Happy new year good readers!
I haven’t done stats for a long time on this blog, but with all the diversity talks that seem to happen recently *cough* #diversedecember #ReadDiverse2016, I feel inclined to do so.
And of those 26 books:
10 by women (38%)
and 16 by men (62%)
of those, 11 were white men (42%)
7 PoC / BAME authors (27%)
9 translated (35%)
22 new-to-me authors (85%)
So far in my reading quests I never aimed to have gender balance (meaning I just read what I need to read) because I was catching up with the so-called “English canon” and well aware a lot of them are dead white male authors. Considering that, my gender stats in 2015 isn’t bad I think, but in 2016 for the first time I’m going to make a conscious decision to read at least 50% of female authors and I’m going to keep track of it to make sure this happens.
I was always a bit unsure about the whole PoC/BAME concept. I support diversity of course, but I didn’t see much point when one of my most important reading project is Reading the World. My aim is always to learn culture that is different than mine, that is unfamiliar, so in that regards reading from different countries fills that need. A conversation with a fellow Goodreader enlightened me that the PoC (Person of Color) term is really US-centric (while BAME / Black Asian Minority Ethnic is UK-based term), and it may not fit very well outside of that context. I don’t know about you, but apparently someone needed to spell it out for me to make sense of it, finally! In any way, I’m pretty happy with my percentage 27% when combined with the overlapping 35% translated works, considering I didn’t even make an effort.
The 85% new-to-me authors was expected, and seems I will continue the trend for many years.
What I’m most surprised of is that 50% of these (13 books) are by Americans! WHAT. I always felt I read more British authors. I was definitely delusional. The other 50% are divided between English, Irish, Dutch, Japanese, German, French, Argentine, Chinese, Malaysian, Austrian.
Of the 26 books, the majority are novels, apart from:
4 short stories collection
1 essays collection
2 graphic novels + 1 manga + 1 illustrated book
Happy with these. It’s the first year I started reading plays, and I will read more in 2016. Reading short stories collection is kinda new to me too, as in the past years I often just picked a story here and there from a collection. Having finished 4 collections, I’m now a complete convert. I think reading short stories as a collection is the way to go. Reading one random short story is rarely satisfying in my opinion, but by reading a collection you really get the style of the author and what they’re trying to say, which you wouldn’t get by reading just one story (and that’s if it’s the *right* story).
Reading projects stats
A bit disappointed at the Nobel project. I had Orhan Pamuk book on my night stand in the last couple of months of 2015 but didn’t really start to read. I already line up a few Nobel authors for 2016 though so hope I can make amends. Will continue doing these projects, with my new 50 Classics in 5 Years project with the Classics Club – who’s by the way doing a Women’s Classics Literature event in 2016.
I’m not even going to make an attempt to collate favorite reads this year, as they were all good, and there was no dud. But I can say my new-to-me favorite authors are Edith Wharton, Yukio Mishima, and Stefan Zweig – all of whom I already plan to read again in 2016.
For 2016, I have bits and bobs of reading goals, nothing huge, just lots of varieties. One thing of note is I try to read one big classic per year (I might have skipped 2015, but the previous year I read Great Expectations), and this year I’m going to read Middlemarch. It seems to pop up a lot in the past few months, so I got myself the beautiful Penguin cloth-bound copy, and I’m all ready to start… in February. It’s over 800 pages, so I plan to spread it out in 8 months, and maybe write a post every 200 pages. Do let me know if you want to be my reading buddy for Middlemarch.
Wish you another great year of reading!