Annual Books Read Statistics and End of ROW80

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

Here are the statistics for 201620152014201320122011 (and the list), 20102009 (and the list).


Books Read: 268, including the following (roughly):
49 novels
45 board books, although the railway books by Rev. Awry and the Beatrix Potter collection total 49 books (which involve ongoing rereads, including the board books from last year)
27 essays and non-fiction and comics
24 short stories and scripts, counting the stories read in anthologies as one since I didn’t read all the stories
17 poems
13 YA/MG books

2016: 168 novels and MG/YA and essays, etc., 45 board books and over 30 books in the Folio Society collected works of Beatrix Potter, 28 short stories, and 25 poems; 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): 175/50=3.5, or two books, two board books and a poem, roughly. I’d like to think it’s less than last year not only because I’ve gone back to school, but because I’ve been writing and editing my own stories more regularly.

2016: 4.8, or three books, four board books, and four short stories or essays.
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: 100, give or take, counting many of the board books.

2016: 130 but 103 without board books
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: Robert Munsch (10 titles plus other rereads not noted!), Kait Nolan (seven titles!) and Monica Byrne (six titles!), followed by four each by J. R. R. Tolkien and Diana Gabaldon and Laura Bradbury , in addition to the Rev. Awry and Beatrix Potter.
2016: Louise Penny, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, followed by Kait Nolan and Monica Byrne, plus Neil Gaiman and Somerset Maugham
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 were by Herman Melville and Leo Tolstoy, as well as the original Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe, and poems by Blake and Wordsworth.

2016: The oldest physical copy is this impressive collection of Byron’s works from1835. 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
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 2017 (not counting reissues, though a couple of these may be from 2016):
The Mushroom Hunters by Neil Gaiman (poem)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
The Dispatcher by John Scalzi
Miniatures by John Scalzi
Montreal Noir (Akashic Books anthology) (some)
MatchUp, a thriller anthology (first four stories, by Sandra Brown & CJ Box, ValMcDermid & Peter James, Kathy Reichs & Lee Child, and Diana Gabaldon & Steve Berry)
Authenticity by Monica Byrne (short story)
Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
Durty, Pilot by Monica Byrne (excerpt)
Vile Jelly by Monica Byrne (short story)
betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
A Day of Signs and Wonders by Kit Pearson
Survivor Diaries: Overboard! by Terry Lynn Johnson
Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
A Priest in Gallipoli: The War Diary of Fr Hugh Cameron by John Watts
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth
The Way Ahead by Stephen Fry (lecture at Hay on Wye http://www.stephenfry.com/2017/05/the-way-ahead/)
The Christmas Fountain by Kait Nolan
Those Sweet Words by Kait Nolan
Once Upon a Wedding by Kait Nolan
See You Again by Kait Nolan
When You Got A Good Thing by Kait Nolan
Once Upon a Campfire (Camp Firefly Falls) by Kait Nolan
Second Chance Summer (Camp Firefly Falls) by Kait Nolan
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Pregnant by the Colton Cowboy by Lara Lacombe
Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
Managed by Kristen Callihan


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

2016: 41, including 10 Forumites and blogging buddies
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,
or Sophie’s Choice by William Styron, which was not at all what I expected it to be like, there are only two books on my list this year:
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville, which I’ve read before. It always drives me crazy.

2016: “The Bog Girl” by Karen Russell (short story) and Peanuts Volumes I to VI -- new strips written by random new authors!
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 few 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 were a few. Can’t remember if I cried reading Vera Brittain, but I must have. Might have cried after reading The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

2016: Louise Penny, Kait Nolan, and 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 45 or so board books, I’ll note one of the ones made for the youngest reader possible (besides the A B C or 1 2 3 books), which has beautiful illustrations:


Bear’s Adventure by Benedict Blathwayt (set in Scotland!)

2016: 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 two, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson sample pages on my Kindle app, because I was desperate to read some, and The Herman Treasury 1 by Jim Unger (reread).

2016: None! (not counting Peanuts not written by Schulz
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
: I would recommend the following, besides all the poets:
Canadian YA authors: Kit Pearson, Terry Lynn Johnson, Tim Wynne-Jones, and Brian Doyle
Board books:
Millicent and the Wind
by Robert Munsch, The Hug by Lesley Simpson, There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins, The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg, and The Third Story Cat by Leslie Baker
War fiction: The Man From Berlin by Luke McCallin and The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
Romance: Pregnant by the Colton Cowboy by Lara Lacombe, Managed by Kristen Callihan, and Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne
Humour: The Fencepost Chronicles by W. P. Kinsella, Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka, and Dolly and the Starry Bird by Dorothy Dunnett
Autobiography or biography: A Priest in Gallipoli: The War Diary of Fr Hugh Cameron by John Watts; Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill (biography of Douglas Bader); A Girl From Yamhill and My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary, and Testament of Experience and Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
Non-fiction: Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth

2016: 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 or essays, this leaves A Daughter’s A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie).


2016: Black and White Ogre Country by Hilary Tolkien
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: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, as well as Laura Bradbury’s Grape series if counted as one, The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, if counted as one, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, and our two gargantuan writers’ houseparties on the Forum, which together ran close to 500,000 words.


2016: 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
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
Not enough, that’s for sure. There was only Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, plus a couple of novels that could count as research.

2016: 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: Besides many of the poets, there was Melville, Tolstoy, the original Beauty and the Beast, and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe.

2016: 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: Besides the poetry, board books and non-fiction, there was Alistair MacLean, J. R. R. Tolkien, the Rev. Awry, Beatrix Potter, Astrid Lindgren, and Madeleine l’Engle, along with The Mistletoe and Sword by Anya Seton, The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck, and A Daughter’s A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie).

2016: 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.

2016: 7
2015: 4
2014: 3
2013: 2
2012: 4


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

Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne

Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
Pregnant by the Colton Cowboy by Lara Lacombe


Fellow bloggers and ROW80 members:
The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer
Survivor Diaries: Overboard! by Terry Lynn Johnson
the following by Kait Nolan: The Christmas Fountain, Those Sweet Words, Once Upon a Wedding, See You Again, When You Got A Good Thing, Once Upon a Campfire, and Second Chance Summer


Most Surprising Book: There wasn’t one, really, this year. Honourable mentions go to A Priest in Gallipoli: The War Diary of Fr Hugh Cameron by John Watts, and
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie), and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

2016: 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 in 2015 about the books that have stayed with me, and maybe adding a category for favourite rereads, but instead in 2016 introduced something completely different -- a nationality list. Here are the nationalities of authors whose books I’ve read this year:

Australia
Canada
England
France
Germany
Kenya
Russian Federation
Scotland
Sweden (in translation)
United States

2016: Australia; Canada; France; Germany; Ireland; Kenya; Norway; Russian Federation; United Kingdom; United States





New category: My publications!


Yes, I have my own book to add to the list!

Summer Fire by Deniz Bevan


Hope you enjoyed this recap! Today is also the last day of this round of ROW80. I've done a bit -- finished all my school work, plus another round of edits on The Charm of Time. Also completed the first draft of A Handful of Time, thanks to all the words I wrote during our writers' houseparty. Now to edit that one...

Here’s a reward for scrolling through endless text (followed by the full unedited list of 2017 books)!:






Which surprising books have you read this year?
Which book was your favourite?
Happy Holidays to all!

The full unedited list:
1)      A Priest in Gallipoli: The War Diary of Fr Hugh Cameron by John Watts Grand Finale Writers’ Houseparty (c. 270,000 words!) David’s Father by Robert Munsch (reread) The Dark by Robert Munsch (reread) Jonathan Cleaned Up, Then He Heard a Sound by Robert Munsch (reread) Murmel, Murmel, Murmel by Robert Munsch (reread) Millicent and the Wind by Robert Munsch (my favourite Munsch) (reread) The Hug by Lesley Simpson (reread) The Story of Heidi (retold illustrated board book) The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World Solved by Richard Osman and Alexander Armstrong (skimmed) Mr Topsy-Turvy by Roger Hargreaves Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss Mummy, Where Are You? (board book) Ou est mon ours? (board book) The Bitty Twins’ Picnic (board book) Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworthvarious essays, journal articles, book excerpts, etc. for school A Day of Signs and Wonders by Kit Pearson various articles by and interviews with Marilynne Robinson The Way Ahead by Stephen Fry (lecture at Hay on Wye http://www.stephenfry.com/2017/05/the-way-ahead/) The Christmas Fountain by Kait Nolan Authenticity by Monica Byrne (short story) beta read! (LC by TW) Beauty Like the Night by Joanna Bourne Those Sweet Words by Kait Nolan Montreal Noir (Akashic Books anthology) (some) Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology) (some) World Bank World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development The Function of Political Science by George Catlin (essay) Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill (biography of Douglas Bader) Summer Fire by Sally Wentworth Vile Jelly by Monica Byrne (short story) It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (board book version of tv show) Dracula by Alison Oliver (board book) Wait Till the Moon is Full by Margaret Wise Brown Perfect Cover by DK (beta read) Having it Out with Melancholy by Jane Kenyon (poem) Pippi on the Run by Astrid Lindgren The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien (reread) 1922 by Stephen King (novella) The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (annual reread) Snow by Louis MacNeice (poem) MatchUp, a thriller anthology (first four stories, by Sandra Brown & CJ Box, ValMcDermid & Peter James, Kathy Reichs & Lee Child, and Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry) Glass Houses by Louise Penny A library is many things by E B White (short piece, illustrated by Chris Riddell) beta read (short story by CF) Once Upon a Wedding by Kait Nolan Peppa Pig: Wonderful Weather Listen to the Moon (Lively St. Lemeston #3) by Rose Lerner There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins Bear’s Adventure by Benedict Blathwayt Leaf by Niggle by JRR Tolkien (reread) Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch Mortimer by Robert Munsch (reread) Survivor Diaries: Overboard! by Terry Lynn Johnson Durty, Pilot by Monica Byrne (excerpt) Dust If You Must by Rose Milligan (poetry) And Both Were Young by Madeleine l’Engle The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker Fall With Me by Jennifer L Armentrout Going Green by Patsy Collins (short story) The First Doctor Sourcebook (Humble Bundle Doctor Who collection) A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine l’Engle (reread) A Wind in the Door by Madeleine l’Engle (reread) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine l’Engle (reread) Mein Fingerpuppenbuch mit Biene Bibi by Andrea Gerlich and Antje Flad The Man I Thought You Were by Talli Roland Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson sample pages Various Little Miss and Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves (reread) The Third Story Cat by Leslie Baker Secret Laughter by Walter de la Mare The Prophet From Ephesus by Caroline Lawrence Once Upon a Campfire (Camp Firefly Falls) by Kait Nolan Down Under by Bill Bryson The collected Beatrix Potter (rereads) Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow See You Again by Kait Nolan Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King Some of the Kinder Planets by Tim Wynne-Jones The Man From Berlin by Luke McCallin secret beta! (RM short story) Angel Square by Brian Doyle Fake It Til You Make It by Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn (script) The Fencepost Chronicles by W. P. Kinsella Sonnet to Lake Leman by Lord Byron (poem) Sailor Dog (Little Golden Book) Something Good by Robert Munsch (plus lots of Munsch rereads) May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats My First Counting Book (Little Golden Book) Baby’s First Book (Little Golden Book) Home for A Bunny (Little Golden Book) secret beta read (by RB) Angela’s Airplane by Robert Munsch (reread) Pigs by Robert Munsch Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melvile (reread; it still drives me crazy) Moby Dick by Herman Melville Second Chance Summer (Camp Firefly Falls) by Kait Nolan The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe Winning Back His Wife (Camp Firefly Falls) by Gwen Hayes and Zoe York African Diary by Bill Bryson Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle Peppa and the Big Train Protest by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (poem) The Dispatcher by John Scalzi My Grape Village by Laura Bradbury The Mushroom Hunters by Neil Gaiman (poem) Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan My Grape Escape by Laura Bradbury My Grape Wedding by Laura Bradbury The Little Red Hen (Little Golden Book) by Diane Muldrow (Editor), J. P. Miller (Illustrator) Animal Friends (Little Golden Book) by Jane Werner Watson (Author), Garth Williams (Illustrator) San Francisco Writers’ Houseparty When You Got A Good Thing by Kait Nolan The Herman Treasury 1 by Jim Unger (reread) My Grape Year by Laura Bradbury Baby’s very first black and white books by Usborne Children’s Books The Tyger by William Blake (poem; reread) I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud by William Wordsworth (poem; reread) Mr. Bliss by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread) Dead Girl Walking by Christopher Brookmyre novel snip by Monica Byrne Dolly and the Starry Bird by Dorothy Dunnett The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain Pregnant by the Colton Cowboy by Lara Lacombe The Mistletoe and Sword by Anya Seton Ample make this bed by Emily Dickinson (poem) Sophie’s Choice by William Styron Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story) Since Everything Was Suddening Into A Hurricane by Binyavanga Wainaina (essay) Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem) The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem; http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2017/02/bits-n-pieces-writers-houseparty.html) The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread) Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary Managed by Kristen Callihan beta read! (JB) The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett The Children of Men by P. D. James A Daughter’s A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie) A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass) Save the Cat by Blake Snyder Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays) Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay) The Moon and I by Betsy Byars The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve Black (what was this? I don’t remember!) Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection) beta read (Born to Run by RB) The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread) The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem) Android’s Dream by John Scalzi The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread) Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin Miniatures by John Scalzi Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake) All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story) Merry Christmas, Emily (board book) Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story) The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story) The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story) betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic) various haiku by R. Wodaski ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!

Comments

That is one impressive list. The two MAD made me chuckle.
Your little girl is growing up fast.
Have a blessed Christmas!
I've been reading memoirs lately, because that's my favorite genre. I read Mindy Kaling's second book, Why Not ME?, which I really liked, and I read Natalie Goldberg's memoir, Long Quiet Highway. I love how Goldberg intertwines stories about her life with her advice about writing. I also am looking forward to reading Dan Rather's new book, What Unites Us; I love his Facebook posts.
What an incredible list of words... in not too many words. I wondered some at your mention of "not that may research books, because, really... all books have value for learning something, if only something about yourself. The board books give you connection and insight into your daughter (and yourself... I was constantly surprised by what I did and didn't like about my son's books. BTW, The Napping House was one of his favorites)

Have a wonderful holiday, Deniz. (Hugs!)
Hi Deniz - you are amazing and I have no idea how you read so many ... I see I commented on the Byron one ... again that was the one that stood out ...

Emily is a smiley delight ... have a very happy seasonal end ... and all the very best for 2018 ... cheers Hilary
Wow, this is one extensive compilation! I found your breakdowns so interesting.

I also read The Casual Vacancy. After the HP series, it felt like a letdown.

Congratulations on your own publication! I've been remiss in blogging much this year. I'm sorry I missed he news.

Haver a wonderful reading and writing 2018.
Deniz Bevan said…
Belated thanks to all of you! And yes, you're so right about learning, Eden!

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