Annual Books Read Statistics, 2016!

Here it is: The Annual Books Read Statistics and Thoughts post.

Here are the statistics for 2014201320122011 (and the list), 20102009 (and the list).


Books Read: 268, including the following (roughly):
118 novels
45 board books (which involve ongoing rereads, including the board books from last year)
30 essays and non-fiction and comics
28 short stories
25 poems
15 YA/MG books
4 anthologies
1 play
over 30 books in the Folio Society collected works of Beatrix Potter (counted as one in total count)
Journal of Inklings Studies and Tolkien Society’s Amon Hen and Mallorn issues (also counted as one)

2015: 91 novels and MG/YA and essays, etc., 29 board books, and 12 poems
2014: 111 novels and short stories (plus essay collections, comics, and poetry)
2013: 188 novels and short stories (plus poetry)
2012: 142
2011: 124
2010: 92
2009: 131
2008: 101
Note: Not counted: Beta reads, and thousands of words written and read for writers’ houseparties on the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum, plus other forum writings, magazines, newspapers, etc.


Average over 50 Weeks (not counting the poems): 240/50=4.8.
This seems quite high compared to previous years; roughly three books, four board books, and four short stories or essays per week.
I don’t feel as though I read more this year than in other years, especially since I read fewer YA and MG books. Not counting about 45 board books still gives a high average, though. The only thing I can think of to account for this is that I’ve been reading more on the Kindle app than ever before, and that once my commute became regular, I started reading more regularly, rather than focusing on my own writing or other hobbies.

2015: 2.6, or two books and one short story and one board book.
2014: 2.2, or two books and one short story.
2013: 3.5, or three books and two short stories (one more than the previous couple of years).


Authors Read: 130, but 103 without board books.
It seems surprising when looked at this way -- 100 different authors!
I always feel as though I’m rereading too many favourites, but it seems I do read widely for all that.


2015: 91
2014: 61
2013: 88
2012: 105
2011: 89
2010: 63
2009: 57
2008: 69 (not counting anthologies)
Note: Not counted: Beta reads and anthologies.


Most Books by One Author: Louise Penny (14 titles!), Agatha Christie (16 titles!) and J.R.R. Tolkien (17 titles!) followed by Kait Nolan and Monica Byrne, plus Neil Gaiman and Somerset Maugham -- and the Little Miss and Mister books by Roger Hargreaves.
My reading year in a nutshell, basically!


2015: tied between Tolkien and Gaiman (with second place tied between many authors (Agatha Christie, Walter de la Mare, Joel Dicker, Catherine McKenzie, Kait Nolan, Brenda Novak and Marilynne Robinson) and two board book authors, Sandra Boynton and Julia Donaldson (the creator of the Gruffalo and the Acorn Wood series))
2014: Tied between Louise Penny and J.K. Rowling (Gaiman and Tolkien come in a close second)
2013: Neil Gaiman (plus L.M. Montgomery, Josephine Tey, Tolkien, Brenda Novak, Stephen King, E.
L. Konigsburg, and Budge Wilson)
2012: Tolkien and Stephen King, plus four Talli Roland books!
2011: I reread The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, Outlander, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (before seeing the last movie)
2010: I again reread the Anne of Green Gables series, including The Road To Yesterday
2009: Rereads included Rowling, Gabaldon, and Agatha Christie


Oldest Book: The oldest stories and poems and letters were by Shakespeare, John Evelyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, Robbie Burns, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

The oldest physical copy is this impressive collection of Byron’s works from1835.

And now I see that I missed replying to comments on that post. Thank you Eden, Hilary, Beth, and Nas for coming by and your kind words!

2015: In Dubious Battle (Steinbeck), Absent in the Spring (Westmacott (Christie)), and Jim at the Corner (Farjeon), in physical copies. In reprints and new editions, there were many from the 1930s, but the oldest were Heidi and Wodehouse’s retelling of William Tell, plus the short story “Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come To You, My Lad” by M. R. James, from 1904
2014: Childe Harold by Lord Byron and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
2013: Keats and Byron’s poetry, plus The Count of Monte Cristo and, considering stories and not publication date, Land of the Seal People by Duncan Williamson. Plus a John Clare poem and an old song from the Shetlands that I read on Kate Davies’ blog, and the short story “Why, Of Course” by James Edmond Casey, from 1912
2012: Cyrano de Bergerac and Voltaire were the oldest authors, and the oldest published books (not reprints) were the anthologies The Land of My Fathers – A Welsh Gift Book, and Princess Mary’s Gift Book, both from 1914, including stories and poems by Arthur Conan Doyle, Kipling, etc. Plus Ah King by Maugham, Shakespeare in London by Marchette Chute (reread), and Helena by Evelyn Waugh
2011: 14th Century Book of Good Love by Archpriest Juan Ruiz, though the translation was only a hundred years old. Plus the chapter on the Earl of Rochester from Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, and Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers, as well as Wodehouse
2010: Earl of Rochester, and Perreault’s fairy tales, plus Hours at the Glasgow Art Galleries by T. C. F. Brotchie, An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott and When the Going Was Good by Waugh.
2009: Shakespeare and a handful of books from pre-1950
2008: Oldest authors were Aesop and Pliny, and oldest original book was by Dorothy Sayers, followed by John Fante and Steinbeck


Newest Book: Books published in 2016 (not counting reissues):
1.            A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
2.            The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien
3.            A Secret Vice by J.R.R. Tolkien (edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins)
4.            No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien
5.            Wish I Might by Kait Nolan
6.            If I Didn’t Care by Kait Nolan
7.            Turn My World Around by Kait Nolan
8.            Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan
9.            Just for This Moment by Kait Nolan
10.          The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
11.          Colton Baby Homecoming by Lara Lacombe
12.          Lyrebird by Cecilia Ahern
13.          The Murder Game by Julie Apple
14.          Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
15.          The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
16.          The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak
17.          Discovering You by Brenda Novak
18.          The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
19.          Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
20.          Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach
21.          Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
22.          All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes
23.          Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
24.          Wizarding History by J.K. Rowling (short pieces on Pottermore)
25.          Gambled Away anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Rose Lerner, etc.
26.          “I Give You My Body...”: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon
27.          The Story Toolkit: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Stories That Sell by Susan Bischoff
28.          BOSS: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band--The Illustrated History, by Gillian G. Gaar
29.          “Save Our Public Universities” by Marilynne Robinson (essay in Harper’s Magazine)
30.          Surrey International Writers’ Conference 24th annual writing contest winner:
               “Forget Me Not
 by Claire Greer (short story)
31.          “For my Wife, Navid” by Monica Byrne (short story)
32.          “Blue Nowruz” by Monica Byrne (short story)
33.          “Traumphysik” by Monica Byrne (short story)
34.          “Birthday Girls” by Monica Byrne (short story)
35.          “Free Fall” by Monica Byrne (short story)
36.          “The Bog Girl” by Karen Russell (short story)
37.          “The Cookie Jar” by Stephen King (short story)
38.          “The Favour” by Clare O’Dea (short story)
39.          short story by Becky Morgan
40.          “Ite Missa Est” by Anthony Martignetti (December 2015)
41.          The Creatures of Number 37 by John Watts (December 2015)

I thought this was a lot, but I read 44 new books in 2011. Sometimes I feel as though I’m only reading authors from 100 years ago (since they’re my favourites), but it seems I do keep up with new releases!

Roughly 10 Forumites and blogging buddies, depending on how loosely I define them.

2015: 11 less than 2014, which had exactly the same number (37) as in 2013! 7 Forumites in 2015, and 3 blogging buddies (not counting older books of blogging buddies that I caught up on reading!).
2014: 5 Forumites, as well as blogging buddies
2013: 4 Forumites, as well as blogging buddies, and the Cabinet of Curiosities authors, plus the 60th anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (with an introduction by Neil Gaiman)
2012: 36, including 9 Forumites
2011: 44
2010: 13 plus 10 Forumites
2009: Many more, including books by kc dyer, Hélène Boudreau, Linda Gerber and Diana Gabaldon -- Forumites all!
2008: 2, by Joanna Bourne and Marilynne Robinson


Stories/Authors I Didn’t Like: This is the category under which I hide some honesty. Some of the books that I feel obligated to read (for review purposes or because I received them as gifts) leave me cold. I try not to be mean when doing a review post, especially when sharing a review on Amazon.

Not counting those 2 or 3 books that were simply not well written, there are only two books on my list this year:
“The Bog Girl” by Karen Russell (short story)
Peanuts Volumes I to VI -- these volumes were part of a Humble Bundle of Peanuts comics that I bought. The main collection was original comics, but these volumes were new strips written by random new authors. How is that even allowed? They were very disappointing.

2015 (see the 2015 post for my reasons): Two classic Little Golden Books: Colors Are Nice by Adelaide Holl and Leonard Shortall and The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustaf Tenggren; one new book: JaMaDu: Pippa et le crocodile; another kids’ book: Emily’s House by Niko Scharer and Joanne Fitzgerald; two war-time tales (WWI and WWII): Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson, and Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear; a classic: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (I blogged about this Bradbury book here); an author I otherwise love: The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend; and What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
2014: 2 romances, and the short story collection The Progress of Love by Alice Munro
2013: 1 book I didn’t like but finished: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; and 1 book I didn’t like and didn’t force myself to finish: Jenny Lawson’s semi-autobiographical memoir (I explained a bit about why on the Forum)
2012: No books I actively disliked, but 2 I felt “meh” about: Before Versailles, and Inkheart
2011: Jonathan Franzen, Philippa Gregory and Gillian Bagwell
2010: Libba Bray and Thomas Cobb
2009: Ilyas Halil
2008: 3 authors (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ian McEwan and Ian Rankin) and 1 story (“Hairball” by Margaret Atwood)


Books That Made Me Cry: In the last three years I’ve tried to remember to keep track of this throughout the year because it’s not very accurate at year-end when I can’t remember.

But I forgot again!
I’m sure there was a Louise Penny or two, a Kait Nolan story, and probably The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.

2015: The Lord of the Rings; Be Careful, It’s My Heart by Kait Nolan; The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne (reread); and Going Back by T.L. Watson
2014: The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny; The Lord of the Rings; Harry Potter series; The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer; Liza of Lambeth by Maugham; Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon; and How To Fall In Love and One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
2013: Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi; The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (reread); The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by Tolkien; The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows; and She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb (skimming reread) (it’s that last line (“Thayer, I saw her!” I yell. “I saw!”) that gets me. Every. Single. Time.
2012: Bag of Bones by Stephen King; Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury; The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman; All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque; The Fault In Our Stars by John Green; The Casual Vacancy by Rowling (because of Krystal); and Lunatic Heroes by C. Anthony Martignetti (if you haven’t yet, you have to listen to him reading the chapter The Swamp. Bullfrog.
2011: The Scottish Prisoner, and Outlander, both by Diana Gabaldon, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by Rowling, and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, all of which were rereads, but there was also Rowing in Eden by Barbara Rogan; The Only Alien on the Planet by Kristen Randle; This and That by Emily Carr; The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells (I bawled); Dancing Through the Snow by Jean Little; Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay; The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson; and Fifteen by Beverly Cleary


Youngest Books: Short of listing all 40 or so board books, I’ll note the one that seems made for the youngest reader possible (besides the A B C or 1 2 3 books):
Things That Go

2015
: The Acorn Wood series by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler; Paddington Bear All Day and Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond; The Going To Bed Book, Moo, Baa, La La La and But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton; Chu’s Day and Chu’s Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman; Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg; Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Also these four board books: Pop-up Peekaboo! Farm by Dawn Sirett and Sarah Davis; Colors Are Nice by Adelaide Holl and Leonard Shortall (Little Golden Book); Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Book (Usborne) by Stella Baggott; and Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Colours Play Book (Usborne) by Fiona Watt and Stella Baggott
2014: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (reread) (brought to you by Neil Gaiman) and Emil In the Soup Tureen by Astrid Lindgren, plus a few YAs and MGs. Not sure if Go the F*^$ To Sleep and You Have to F*%$ing Eat count
2013: Quite a few board books, just as in the last few years, including: two Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems; Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman; The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman; The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman; Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman; To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr Seuss; Who’s A Pest? by Crosby Newell Bonsall; Star Trek Book of Opposites; Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch; and Rainy Days with Bear by Maureen Hull. Also quite a bit of YA and MG


Fluff but Fun Books: Only the Peanuts collection, it seems. I miss reading comics! I’ve still got a couple of books to read in the Sandman collection...

2015: None!
2014: The F*%#ing books, plus Tintin and Asterix and the Caliph
2013: Some more Andy Capp, the Far Side, and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, the Music edition
2012: 2 issues of MAD
2011: Andy Capp, MAD, and an Archie; fewer than the past 3 years


Books/Authors I’d Recommend: Besides the A.A. Milne and Louise Penny and Mo Willems and Marilynne Robinson I’ve recommended over the years, and all the poems, I would recommend the following:

Classic books and authors that are classics for a reason:
Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street and 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Traitor’s Purse by Margery Allingham
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The Rose and the Yew Tree by Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott)
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien
English People by Owen Barfield
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert Gertrude Bell (compiled by Georgina Howell)
Kill Me Quick and The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi
The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier

Newbery Medal winner:
The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

New books:
The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes

Younger readers:
The Creatures of Number 37 by John Watts
(see my blog post on this: http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2016/03/founex-row80-and-creatures-of-number-37.html
Strange Street by Ann Powell
(see my tweet on this: https://twitter.com/DenizBevan/status/765261780230742016)
Who’s A Pest, Mine’s the Best, and The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Newell Bonsall
A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

Writers:
The Story Toolkit: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Stories That Sell by Susan Bischoff

2015: All Forumites and blogger buddies, plus Kait Nolan, Catherine McKenzie, John Scalzi, Louise Penny, Agatha Christie, Tolkien, Robert Galbraith, Marilynne Robinson, and A.A. Milne, depending on your tastes. Also the following: Les dernieres jours de nos peres by Joel Dicker; La Verite sur l’affair Harry Quebert, and its sort-of sequel Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker; Mr. Garden and Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; The North Star is Nearer and Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton; Emily’s Balloon by Komako Sakai; The Wars by Timothy Findley; Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico; Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka; Aunt Sass by P.L. Travers. Plus the following board books: Rabbit’s Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler; Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg; Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond and R.W. Alley; The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton; Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton; But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton; Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman
2014: Louise Penny and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer (non-fiction)
2013: Besides all Forumites and blogging buddies, all of Josephine Tey and E. L. Konigsburg, plus: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson; The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge; A Calendar of Tales by Neil Gaiman; The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks; Esio Trot by Roald Dahl; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows; A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka; A Dangerous Fiction by Barbara Rogan; and the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems
2012: The books that made me cry
2011: Forumites and old favourites, Tolkien et al.


Shortest Book: Not counting novellas or short stories or board books or YA/MG or poetry or plays or screenplays, this leaves Black and White Ogre Country by Hilary Tolkien, a gently written memoir about childhood in rural England at the turn of the last century.

2015: Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major by Tolkien; A Christmas Story by Richard Burton; and Aunt Sass by P.L. Travers
2014: The Tales of Beedle the Bard, same as in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Also the two lovely meet cutes by Kait Nolan, Once Upon an Heirloom and Once Upon a Snow Day
2013: I read a lot more essays and short stories in general, so it was hard to single out just one.
2012: The Space Between, a long novella by Diana Gabaldon
2011: The Object Lesson by Edward Gorey (besides short stories, the youngest books, Andy Capp, Archie, and MAD)


Longest Book: Besides Tolkien and The Chronicles of Narnia, and the entire Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, this would be English People by Owen Barfield, Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, and Arthur and George by Julian Barnes, though a couple of others might have been just as long. No real tomes this year.

2015: Lots of Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings and books 8 and 9 in the History of Middle Earth series) and Joel Dicker. I suppose The Grapes of Wrath is longer than usual too
2014: Every year there’s a Tolkien or Gabaldon in there, and 2014 was no exception
2013: Series: Anne of Green Gables series; all of Josephine Tey’s books; and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. Also some long Stephen King: Under the Dome; the uncut The Stand; and 11/22/63. Plus The Count of Monte Cristo
2012: I had no long series that I could count as one book, so I decided to mention Neil Gaiman


Research Books: Research what?

I haven’t read non-fiction for research in a few years now. Most likely ever since I finished writing my three novels set in the 15th Century, and moved to stories set during WWI and WWII or to contemporary stories.
It’s too bad, in a way, as I enjoy learning about a specific time period, or exploring geography, and reading about explorers of various times. The closest book to all of that was A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert Gertrude Bell (compiled by Georgina Howell), which was partly for research, along with the three writing craft books, particularly The Story Toolkit: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Stories That Sell by Susan Bischoff.

2015: Hardly any non-fiction. Some of the fiction (anything set in or during the wars, along with writing from that time, especially Tolkien’s The Notion Club Papers) could count as research
2014: No non-fiction. Counted L.M. Montgomery and A Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie French as research
2013: Some novels doubled as research. Loved Archaeology is Rubbish by Prof. Mick Aston and Tony Robinson. Skimmed the following: Medieval Civilisation by Jacques le Goff; The Great Explorers (Folio Society); Parragon’s Encyclopedia of Animals: a Family Reference Guide; and Celtic Myths and Legends by Mike Dixon-Kennedy
2011–2012: Various, including books on English history, poetry, Mediterranean flora, Ottoman history, and the Renaissance


Books From the 19th Century and Earlier: Doing much better than the last few years!

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
“A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four” by Thomas Hardy
“The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was” by the Brothers Grimm
“The Wedding Night” by Ida Craddock
extracts from the diary of John Evelyn
extracts from Lord Byron’s letters about Villa Diodati

Poems:
The Darkling Thrush and The Oxen by Thomas Hardy (may be early 20th Century)
Ode on Venice by Lord Byron
Bells by Edgar Allan Poe
Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son
Fair Jenny, MacPherson’s Farewell, and Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns
Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley
England and Switzerland, 1802, and extracts from Preludes by Wordsworth

2015: Only 1! The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang. Also three poems, two of which were rereads: “The Fly” by William Blake; “Tyger, Tyger” by William Blake; “January Brings the Snow” by Sara Coleridge
2014: Only 2! Byron’s Childe Harold and Andersen’s The Snow Queen
2013: Only 1! Le Comte de Monte-Cristo par Alexandre Dumas. And a handful of poems. And the Grimm brothers’ story “The Blue Light”
2012: Only 1! The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley, plus poems by Longfellow and Browning, and “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe


Books from 1900 to 1960: All the Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter, Milne, Maugham, Waugh, and G.K. Chesterton, all of the Inklings (Tolkien, Owen Barfield, C.S. Lewis, plus Dorothy Sayers), and the following (roughly up to 1962):

Traitor’s Purse by Margery Allingham
Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Maigret Chez les Flamands by Georges Simenon
“That Hell-Bound Train” by Robert Bloch
“Homage to Switzerland” by Ernest Hemingway
A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert Gertrude Bell (compiled by Georgina Howell)
Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame

Poems:
Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Career, and Human life in this century by Yevtushenko
Willow by Anna Akhmatova

Younger readers:
Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier
Winter Tree Birds by Lucy Ozone and John Hawkinson
Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
Baby Animals (illustrated by Garth Williams), Scuffy the Tugboat, and The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)

2015: Lots of Christie, Dahl, de la Mare, Eaton, Farjeon, Milne, Steinbeck, and Tolkien, as well as The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter; The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper; Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson; The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustaf Tenggren; The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf; Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin; Heidi by Johanna Spyri; William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse; Peanuts Volume 1 by Charles Schulz; “Oh, Whistle, And I’ll Come To You, My Lad” by M. R. James (short story); First and Second Things by Lewis; The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury; Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico; Aunt Sass by P.L. Travers; Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell; “Birds of Passage” by Peter McArthur (poem); and “The Mother” by Nettie Palmer (poem)
2014: The Tintin books, L.M. Montgomery, Tolkien, Maugham, Sayers, Christie (plus The Floating Admiral by the Detection Club, including Christie, Sayers, Chesterton, etc.), Wodehouse, Graves, Milne, and Tutankhamen’s Tomb by Howard Carter
2013: Lots of Tolkien, Josephine Tey and L.M. Montgomery, plus: Esio Trot by Roald Dahl; Poet’s Pub by Eric Linklater; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (reread); To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr Seuss; The Magician’s Nephew by Lewis (reread); “Four Fables for Our Time” by James Thurber (short story) (reread); “You Should Have Seen the Mess” by Muriel Spark (short story) (reread); “Ha’penny” by Alan Paton (short story) (reread); The Screwtape Letters, Chapter 1 by Lewis (read by John Cleese) (reread); “Why, Of Course” by James Edmond Casey (short story); “Acquainted With the Night” by Robert Frost (poem); Medieval Civilisation by Jacques le Goff; All My Life Before Me: The Diary of C.S. Lewis; Stories in Words by Lewis; Emerson; and The Reader Over Your Shoulder by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge
2012: A lot (counting short stories), including all the Tolkien, plus Christie, Sayers, Milne, Bradbury, Waugh, Chute, Maugham, Remarque, Chesterton, and Bodies and Souls (1950s Dell Paperback of crime stories by Christie, Chesterton, etc.)
2011: Only 12 novels and 2 short stories, plus The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
2010: 27
2009: 17
2008: c. 25


Beta Reads: 7! Fellow authors were busy this year...

2015: 4
2014: 3
2013: 2
2012: 4


Forumites were at it again this year! Here are the latest releases that I read:

The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
Colton Baby Homecoming by Lara Lacombe
All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes
Gambled Away anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Rose Lerner, etc.
 “I Give You My Body...”: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon
shortstory by Becky Morgan

Fellow bloggers and ROW80 members:
Wish I Might by Kait Nolan
If I Didn’t Care by Kait Nolan
Turn My World Around by Kait Nolan
Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan
Just for This Moment by Kait Nolan
The Story Toolkit: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Stories That Sell by Susan Bischoff
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer



Most Surprising Book: I seem to have quite a few this year, so I’ve sorted them into categories.

Realising all over again how good these authors are, and learning something new from their stories:
The Rose and the Yew Tree by Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott)
The Rose on the Ash-Heap and English People by Owen Barfield
Up At the Villa and The Casuarina Tree by Somerset Maugham (novella)
The Gustav Sonata and The Road Home by Rose Tremain
Arthur and George by Julian Barnes

Discovering new authors (including classics I’d never read before):
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kill Me Quick and The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi
Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Fun books and younger readers:
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street and 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
The Creatures of Number 37 by John Watts
The Cybil War and The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems (Elephants Can’t Dance, Let’s Go For A Drive and There is a Bird on Your Head)
Who’s A Pest, Mine’s the Best, and The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Newell Bonsall

2015: Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major by Tolkien, My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl, Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie), and Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
2014: Louise Penny, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield, and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
2013: Poet’s Pub by Eric Linklater, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, and Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling
2012: World War Z by Max Brooks


Nationalities of authors:
I was talking last year about the books that have stayed with me, and maybe adding a category for favourite rereads, but instead I’ve decided to introduce something completely different -- a nationality list. Here are the nationalities of authors whose books I’ve read this year:

Australia
Canada
France
Germany
Ireland
Kenya
Norway
Russian Federation
United Kingdom
United States

No Turkish authors! I’ve fallen behind in reading books in Turkish... And I’ll reiterate my goal from last year -- I’d like to read more poetry.

Which surprising books or books of different nationality have you read this year?
Happy Holidays to all!

Here's a reward for scrolling through endless text (followed by the full unedited list of 2016 books)!:



The full unedited list:
1)       The Fellowship of the Ring: J.R.R. Tolkien, Catholicism and the Use of Allegory by David Lord Alton (essay)
2)       The Oxen by Thomas Hardy
3)       The Casuarina Tree by Somerset Maugham
4)       The Rose and the Yew Tree by Agatha Christie (Mary Westmacott)
5)       The Wedding Night by Ida Craddock
6)       No Safe House by Linwood Barclay
7)       The Cybil War by Betsy Byars
8)       No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
9)       SOS by Agatha Christie (short story)
10)    The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
11)    Lyrebird by Cecilia Ahern
12)    The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by J.R.R. Tolkien
13)    Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh
14)    2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron
15)    The Story Toolkit: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Stories That Sell by Susan Bischoff
16)    The Devil and Miss Jones by Kate Walker
17)    SIWC contest winner (short story)
18)    Bells by Edgar Allan Poe (poem)
19)    The Skye Boat Song
20)    Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien
21)    The Long Run by Neil Gaiman (poem)
22)    secret beta read! (JM)
23)    If I Didn’t Care by Kait Nolan
24)    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (annual reread)
25)    Wedding Days: Letters from Ethiopia, India, and the South Pacific by Monica Byrne
26)    Strange Street by Ann Powell (reread)
27)    The Hangman by Louise Penny (short story; reread)
28)    A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (reread)
29)    The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (reread)
30)    The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (reread)
31)    How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (reread)
32)    The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny (reread)
33)    A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (reread)
34)    Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (reread)
35)    The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny (reread)
36)    The Murder Stone by Louise Penny (reread)
37)    The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny (reread)
38)    Dead Cold by Louise Penny (reread)
39)    Still Life by Louise Penny (reread)
40)    A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
41)    Mrs McGinty’s Dead by Agatha Christie (reread)
42)    Still Into You by Roni Loren
43)    Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie (reread)
44)    Remember Me (beta read of short story)
45)    Palace Pets busy book
46)    Smurfs busy book
47)    The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (reread)
48)    The Murder Game by Julie Apple
49)    To Get Me To You by Kait Nolan
50)    Know Me Well by Kait Nolan
51)    The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie (reread)
52)    Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
53)    Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie (reread)
54)    A Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman (reread)
55)    Robert Munsch Mini-Treasury One: The Paper Bag Princess, Angela’s Airplane, 50 Below Zero, A Promise Is A Promise, and Pigs (reread first two)
56)    On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien (reread except for all the expanded edition bits)
57)    Elephant and Piggie - Elephants Can’t Dance by Mo Willems
58)    Elephant and Piggie - Let’s Go For A Drive by Mo Willems
59)    Elephant and Piggie - There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems
60)    Overdose of Death/The Patriotic Murders by Agatha Christie (reread)
61)    Turn My World Around by Kait Nolan
62)    Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie (reread)
63)    Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie (reread)
64)    “I Give You My Body...”: How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon
65)    Fractured by Catherine McKenzie
66)    The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
67)    Maigret Chez les Flamands by Georges Simenon
68)    Prince Wild-fire by G. K. Chesterton
69)    Birthday Girls by Monica Byrne (short story)
70)    Who We Were Before by Leah Mercer
71)    The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
72)    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
73)    No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien
74)    BOSS: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - The Illustrated History, by Gillian G. Gaar
75)    Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach
76)    The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak
77)    Lethal Lies by Lara Lacombe
78)    The Mansfield Rescue by Beth Cornelison (skimmed)
79)    beta read!
80)    Killer Exposure by Lara Lacombe
81)    What Makes My Cat Purr (board book)
82)    Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (love this!)
83)    Things That Go (board book)
84)    Peppa Pig Visits the Hospital
85)    Peppa Pig and Friends
86)    Ox-Tales anthology
87)    Colton Baby Homecoming by Lara Lacombe
88)    Traumphysik by Monica Byrne (short story)
89)    The Cookie Jar by Stephen King (short story)
90)    short story by R. W. (unpublished)
91)    The Rose on the Ash-Heap by Owen Barfield
92)    English People by Owen Barfield
93)    “Come Sing ye Light Fairy Things Tripping so Gay”: Victorian Fairies and the Early Work of J.R.R. Tolkien by Dimitra Fimi (essay)
94)    Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by J.K. Rowling
95)    A Closed World: On By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Emily St John Mandel (essay)
96)    Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
97)    The Summing Up by Somerset Maugham (reread)
98)    The New Adventures of William Tell by Anthony Horowitz
99)    Gambled Away anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Rose Lerner, etc.
100) The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernieres
101) The Bog Girl by Karen Russell (short story)
102) Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
103) The Favour by Clare O’Dea (short story)
104) Wizarding History by J.K. Rowling (short pieces on Pottermore)
105) Jack Palmer by Amanda Palmer (essay on http://myoldman.org/jack-palmer-by-amanda-palmer/)
106) All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes
107) One Day I Will Write About This Place by Binyavanga Wainaina
108) various haiku by R. Wodaski
109) How do artists make a living? An ongoing, almost impossible quest by Monica Byrne (essay)
110) The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (poem)
111) Traitor’s Purse by Margery Allingham
112) Kill Me Quick by Meja Mwangi
113) A Pocketful of Rye by Agatha Christie
114) Little Miss Twins by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
115) Mr Rush by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
116) Mr Funny by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
117) The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi
118) By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie (reread)
119) secret beta read!
120) Where the Exiles Wander: A Celebration of Horror by R.B.
121) How to Write about Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina (essay)
122) A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert Gertrude Bell (compiled by Georgina Howell)
123) Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K Jerome
124) Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie
125) The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
126) A River Town by Thomas Keneally
127) Free Fall by Monica Byrne (short story)
128) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
129) Heartburn by Nora Ephron
130) New Europe by Michael Palin
131) Lyddie by Katherine Paterson
132) The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie (possibly a reread)
133) Husli the Dwarf
134) Winter Tree Birds by Lucy Ozone and John Hawkinson
135) Walkabout by James Vance Marshall (reread)
136) Wish I Might by Kait Nolan (novella)
137) A Walk in the Countryside A B C (National Trust and Nosy Crow Books)
138) My First Touch and Trace 1 2 3
139) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
140) Weep Not, Child by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
141) A Secret Vice by J.R.R. Tolkien (edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins)
142) A Pocket For Corduroy by Don Freeman
143) The Narrow Corner by Somerset Maugham
144) Cakes and Ale by Somerset Maugham
145) Le gout d’Istanbul (anthology) (skimmed)
146) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
147) Blue Nowruz by Monica Byrne (short story)
148) Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie
149) secret beta read!
150) The Road Home by Rose Tremain
151) The Mewlips by J.R.R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
152) Just for This Moment by Kait Nolan
153) To Err is Human -- To Float, Divine by Woody Allen (short story)
154) the collected works of Beatrix Potter (Folio Society edition, over 30 books)
155) 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman) (only half read)
156) At Home by Bill Bryson
157) Millions of Cats by W Gag
158) Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster
159) Discovering You by Brenda Novak
160) Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
161) Report from the Interior by Paul Auster
162) Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame
163) Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
164) The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)
165) They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie
166) The Creatures of Number 37 by John Watts
167) The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter (reread)
168) A Mother’s Confession by Amanda Palmer (lyrics and liner notes)
169) Where Eagles Dare by Alistair MacLean
170) Guide to the Names in the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, in A Tolkien Compass
171) Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay (poem)
172) For my Wife, Navid by Monica Byrne (short story)
173) An Evening in Tavrobel by J.R.R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
174) The Lonely Isle by J.R.R. Tolkien (poem; reread)
175) Bilbo’s Last Song by J.R.R. Tolkien (poem)
176) Ancrene Riwle, preface, by J.R.R. Tolkien
177) Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley (poem)
178) Absence of Mind by Marilynne Robinson
179) The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)
180) The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck by Beatrix Potter (reread)
181) The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter (reread)
182) The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter (reread)
183) The Young Magicians edited by Lin Carter (anthology; includes two poems by J.R.R. Tolkien and all of rumble rumble rumble rumble drum belaboured by C.S. Lewis, referred to in The Last Battle)
184) Black and White Ogre Country by Hilary Tolkien
185) The Devil’s Coach Horses by J.R.R. Tolkien (essay)
186) Guido’s Gondola by Renee Riva and Steve Bjorkman
187) Save Our Public Universities by Marilynne Robinson (essay in Harper’s Magazine)
188) Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
189) Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
190) Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
191) Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
192) Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
193) Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
194) Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
195) Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
196) MacPherson’s Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
197) World’s End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
198) Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
199) The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)
200) The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
201) The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
202) A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
203) The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
204) The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
205) 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
206) Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
207) Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
208) beta read!
209) Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
210) Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
211) Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
212) Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
213) Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don’t remember it after 20 years)
214) The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
215) Sing a Long Children’s Songs
216) Emily’s First Christmas
217) Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
218) Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
219) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
220) The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
221) Sophie’s Throughway by Jules Smith
222) Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
223) The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
224) Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
225) The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
226) Morgoth’s Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J.R.R. Tolkien (reread)
227) A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
228) Who’s A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
229) Mine’s the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
230) The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
231) extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
232) extracts from Lord Byron’s letters about Villa Diodati
233) Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
234) Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
235) The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (reread)
236) The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis (reread)
237) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (reread)
238) Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (reread)
239) The Red Angel by G.K. Chesterton (essay)
240) Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
241) The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
242) The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis (reread)
243) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (reread)
244) secret beta read!
245) Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
246) Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
247) Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
248) Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
249) England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
250) Once Upon A New Year’s Eve by Kait Nolan
251) short story by Becky Morgan 
252) Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
253) That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
254) Distraction by J. L. Campbell
255) Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
256) Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it’s mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
257) Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
258) Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
259) issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
260) Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
261) Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
262) Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
263) ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
264) Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
265) Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
266) When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne (reread)
267) Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
268) Moranology by Caitlin Moran

Comments

S.P. Bowers said…
I didn't keep track of picture books/chapter books I read to the kids, still you blew me out of the water. I need to go read now and see how much I can catch up before years end.
Deniz Bevan said…
I'll bet you wrote more than I did, though! The only person I know who can read a lot and write consistently is DG. If I'm going to concentrate on writing and editing my own stuff next year, I'll need to read less...
Hi Deniz - gosh you are thorough in your listings etc. Delighted to see pictures of Emily - but these lists are great for us to have - I definitely need to read more ... I've hardly read any books ... but a few good ones and ones I've used in my posts. Mostly history and geography, changing landscapes etc So I'm mighty glad to have your listings ...

Have a lovely Swiss Christmas and a very happy New Year ... cheers Hilary
sage said…
This is very detailed... scanning through I saw 3 Men and a Boat (and let's not forget the dog), which I read in 2015... a very funny book!
Deniz Bevan said…
I love having these lists -- wish I'd kept them from when I was a kid! It's fun to see my reading patterns :-) And I'm always interested in what others are reading!

Happy New Year!

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