Happy New Year! I hope your 2015 is off to a lovely start and that you have a fresh stack of books at your side.
I took some time yesterday to look over my spreadsheet of books read in 2014 and compiled some numbers. I read 42 books last year. That’s 13 fewer than 2013, but according to Goodreads it’s 501 pages more. No doubt because I read The Count of Monte Cristo, The Moonstone, The Woman in White, and The Quick, which are all chunksters.
Looking back, I’m surprised I read as much as I did manage since the main focus of the year was getting settled in the new house, exploring a new state, and getting the hang of a new job.
Overall, it was a good reading year. Here’s the breakdown on the 42 books I read:
- Literary: 6
- Historical: 4
- Drama: 1
- Memoir: 7
- History: 3
- Biography: 2
- Science: 2
- Autobiography: 1
- Animals: 1
Books by women: 27
Books by men: 15
19th century: 3
20th century: 7
21st century: 32 (15 of which were published in 2014. I didn’t think I read that many new releases this year.)
I felt like I wasn’t reading many classics or older titles and these numbers confirm it. I’m a bit surprised by how skewed my reading was towards contemporary titles, but I suppose that comes with the territory of reading memoirs and new mysteries.
Favorite Fiction Titles
Based on the passion of the writing, the originality of the story and characters, and the sense memory left from the reading experience, these are my favorite fiction reads of 2014. In no particular order & links go to my post on the book:
- A Long, Long Time Ago & Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
- Blossoms and Bayonets by Jana McBurney-Lin and Hi-Dong Chai
- The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
- Nevada by Imogen Binnie
- Disquiet by Julia Leigh
Favorite Nonfiction Titles
I like to read nonfiction to learn new things, to see how people deal with what life throws their way, how they deal with the repercussions of their own decisions, and to find encouragement and hope. Again in no particular order, here are my top 5 nonfiction reads:
- Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
- My Thinning Years by Jon Derek Croteau
- From Here to Paris by Cris Hammond
- The Street or Me by Judith Glynn
- Death in the Baltic by Cathyrn J. Prince
Reading plans for 2015
I’m not committing to any new reading challenges this year, but I am recommitting to my Classics Club list, which I recently revised. I cut it down from 100 to 50 books and kept my original deadline in an effort to motivate myself to get to some of the books I say I want to read.
I’ll also read more from my own shelves and try to resist the temptations of book tours, review copies, library displays, and new tables at bookstores.
Will also see about reading some 18th and 19th century titles and more early-to-mid 20th century titles. I enjoy pre-twentieth century literature. There was a time when it was the majority of my reading (at least when it came to fiction). Perhaps my tastes have changed? Reckon I’ll find out this year.
As for how many books I’ll try to read, my standard goal is always 52 books. One a week.
How was your reading in 2014 and do you have any special reading plans for 2015?