Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Year-End Reading Report 2013

This was quite a busy year for me: in the winter I worked on getting my books organized in Portland, only to find that I ended up packing them all up in August for the move to Charlottesville, where I then had the pleasure of unpacking and shelving them again (this time putting them in order as I did so). I ended the year by clearing out a whole bunch of boxes of books from my mom's house in New York last week and taking lots of volumes I didn't need anymore to some local libraries so they can find their way into the hands of new readers.

Like last year, I joined the 75 Books Challenge for 2013 group at LibraryThing (see my group thread), and the gentle competition, general stats-geekiness, and whimsy of that whole process proved entertaining as ever. I'll probably do the same next year.

The craziness of the year notwithstanding, I read 161 books in 2013, for an average of one every 2.3 days. Total page count was 50,366 (but of course that doesn't include all the magazines and journals and assorted articles, &c. &c. I'm not quite so mad as to try and tabulate all those too). The titles broke down into 84 fiction and 73 non-fiction books (plus 4 which defy such categorization). I read 67 hardcovers, 54 paperbacks, 37 ARCs, and 3 e-books. For a full breakdown of my 2013 reading stats, see Message 59 here).

This year I continued my resolution to try and read at least slightly fewer books published in the current year, and I managed that once again: 2013 publications made up just 40% of this year's total, but the majority of books read (58%) were still published since 2010, so I'll maintain the same resolution for next year and try to continue reading more not-so-recent titles.

And now, my favorite five fiction and non-fiction reads for 2013 (in no particular order within the lists):


Justice Hall by Laurie R. King (Bantam, 2009). Review.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker (Harper Perennial, 2013). Review.

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (Random House, 2013). Review.

All the Names by José Saramago (Houghton Mifflin, 2000). Review.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin). Reread (for the umpteenth time).


The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey (Penguin, 2013). Review.

The Mortal Sea by W. Jeffrey Bolster (Harvard University Press, 2012). Review.

The Notorious Elizabeth Tuttle by Ava Chamberlain (NYU Press, 2012). Review.

If Kennedy Lived by Jeff Greenfield (Putnam, 2013). Review.

Seward: Lincoln's Indispensable Man by Walter Stahr (Simon & Schuster, 2012). Review.

Happy New Year to you all!

Previous year's reports: 2012, 20112010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.