This is my review of my reading year. I’ve loved keeping this blog to help me with reading more and tracking what I’ve read. I’ve read 65 books this year, compared to 20 in 2016, and 19 in 2015 (so glad for the goodreads challenge to help me keep count!). I’m delighted to be back reading regularly after many years of feeling like I wanted to read more, but just not fitting it in. I have been regularly blogging this year, but didn’t create my blog last January. I had done the odd book review before this – twelve in total form 2015 and 2016.
How have I managed to read so much more?
Several things have helped. The first, and probably most important, is I am no longer in a job that requires me to work most evenings and some of the weekends. I changed jobs to one where I have an amazing amount of work-life balance compared to the eight years before. I also watch much less TV, sometimes spending a few hours in the evening reading instead. Finally, my children are slowly getting better at sleeping and I’m less completely knackered all the time!
I’m more than happy with the amount of non fiction I have read this year.
I’m equally happy with the gender split of authors I’ve read this year.
Here is somewhere I could definitely do better on. I need to prioritise reading more BAME authors.
Nationality of Author
It’s very clear that I mostly read British or American authors. It’s embarrassing how there’s no South American or African authors, and only a few from the entire of Asia. Definitely something I need to do better on next year.
Very happy with this. I’ve been discovering lots of authors this year, and have read a lot I just hadn’t got round to yet!
Sorting my books into genre was very difficult! I had to put a few categories together or I was going to end up with a lot of genres with just one entry and the pie chart would have been a complete mess! I already knew I had read a lot of literary fiction. I’ve probably put quite a few books in this section that shouldn’t strictly be there. I’m happy with the amount of other types of books I’ve read.
My top book reviews of 2017
Click the text to go to the review.
- The Power – Naomi Alderman
- Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor
- Nasty Women – 404Ink
- Inferior – Angela Saini
- Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
- Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
- American Gods – Neil Gaiman
- The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
- Ad Astra: An Illustrated Guide to Leaving the Planet – Dallas Campbell
- The Girl On the Train – Paula Hawkins
Most of this top ten is not a surprise. Many are my favourite books of the year and also ones that I’ve felt have had a bit of a buzz around them that I have read quite soon after they came out (Inferior and Nasty Women are two examples). Some won big awards (The Power and The Underground Railroad) and so people were generally interested in them. There’s a couple of the big bestselling type of books here (The Girl on the Train and Me Without You), and a few that I think my friends would be particularly interested in (Quiet, American Gods, and Ad Astra – science geeks yo). More cringingly, the second most popular review of the year is a book I really did not get on with very well. I write honest reviews, but I am very careful writing negative ones. I didn’t hold back much on this one for a few reasons: it’s a hugely popular author and my small opinion will not even register on anyone’s radar, plus generally the literary community bloody loved it.
But none of those are the most popular post of 2017, in fact one post got 14 times more views than the most popular book review…
My review of this music festival got an incredible number of views in the week after I wrote it. I did a very short analysis of the gender makeup of the bands and their order of billing. I describe how I set out to support the female artists and musicians over the weekend, and also the BAME musicians (of which there were only a handful out of hundreds of performers). This post got shared amongst some (thankfully private) facebook groups and some people found it erm… not to their taste shall we say. I had some of the comments reported back to me, and lets just say I’m glad I couldn’t read them. They weren’t very nice. I saw some incredible bands over the weekend and will do exactly the same sort of analysis next time I go, because that’s what I enjoy doing!
Looking forward to 2018
Next year I want to read more. I want to make sure I read more BAME authors and also more authors from around the world – I will have to include lots of translations to make sure I do this. There are no graphic novels, horror (eeek!), or poetry in this years book – need to sort that out! No romance? I’m not keen, but I’ll have to give some a go. Any recommendations?
Thanks for reading!