By the Numbers: 2013 Reading Summary

For the Number Geeks! The numbers are in! By the end of 2013, I will have read 169 titles: read 38,482 pages and listened to 370 hours of audio. Impressive, but what does it mean? The numbers, after all, are arbitrary in value and don’t speak to quality or impact. So this: The numbers only mean that I read more than I did in 2012. That’s it!

BREAKDOWNS

AUTHOR’S GENDER

  • 96 Male Authors
  • 71 Female Authors
  • 02 Male & Female Author Teams

NEW-TO-ME AUTHORS VS KNOWN-TO-ME AUTHORS

  • 71 New-to-Me Authors
  • 97 The Usual Suspects
  • 01 Known-to-Me Editor/Author with 1 New-to-Me Editor/Author

FORMAT

  • 40 Audio Books
  • 76 Print Books
  • 11 Graphic Novels
  • 36 Ebooks
  • 06 Audio and Text Combined

FICTION VS NON-FICITION

  • 157 Fiction
  • 012 Non-Fiction

AGE GROUPING

  • 039 Children’s Books (Ages 8 and Up)
  • 003 YA
  • 137 (Adult)

BACKLIST VS NEW RELEASES

  • 128 Backlist
  • 040 New Releases

GENRES

  • 06 Bio & Memoirs
  • 01 Chick-Lit
  • 07 Classics
  • 03 Drama
  • 36 SFF
  • 01 Folklore
  • 34 General Fiction
  • 09 Historical Fiction
  • 05 Historical Romance
  • 05 History
  • 06 Horror
  • 05 Literary Fiction
  • 23 Mystery
  • 22 Romance
  • 04 Thriller/Suspense (Spy Novels)
  • 01 True Crime
  • 01 Western

AVERAGES, OVERS/UNDERS

  • AVERAGE: 298 pages/print book*
  • 70 Books under 300 pages
  • 33 Books 300-399 pages
  • 15 Books 400-499 pages
  • 07 Books 500-599 pages
  • 02 Books 600-699 pages
  • 01 Book 800-899 pages
  • 01 Book 1000+ pages 
  • AVERAGE: 7 hours, 52 minutes/audio book*
  • 25 Audio Books under 8 hours
  • 09 Audio Books 08-11 hours
  • 06 Audio Books 11-15 hours
  • 03 Audio Books 15-20 hours
  • 01 Audio Book 30+ hours
  • 01 Audio Book 40+ hours

* Computed by totaling number of pages read/recorded hours and dividing by number of books read/audio books listened to

 

2014 Reading Goals

I had an outstanding reading year in 2013: 169 titles, 38,482 pages and 370 hours of audio! This was a personal best and I look forward to 2014!

That said, it may surprise you that my goal for 2014 is actually to read less! I want to see more plays, more movies and do more hiking and kayaking! This is not to say that I am foregoing reading, only that I want to see more of the world beyond the page!

Anyway, I set up 14 mini-goals for 2014:

NEW RELEASES
I. New Releases – Books Released in 2014: Of necessity, this will category will be left open as the year rolls out its books. Many of my choices will be informed by the Blogger’s Recommend Newsletter and by what catches my eye from the Hot of the Press shelves at my library.

SERIAL KILLERS
II. The Dresden Files – I have listened to nine of the novels in The Dresden Files series (by Jim Butcher; audio narrated by James Marsters.) By the end of 2014, aim to have read/listened up to the fourteenth novel in the series:

10. Small Favor
11. Turn Coat
12. Changes
13. Ghost Story
14. Cold Days

III. Circus Life – John LeCarre Novels – I love the spy novels of John LeCarre and have read up to Smiley’s People. Though the Smiley series concludes with The Secret Pilgrim, The Circus Life continues. By the end of 2014 I would like to have tackled six more of LeCarre’s spy thrillers:

09. The Little Drummer Girl
10. A Perfect Spy
11. The Russia House
12. The Secret Pilgrim
13. The Night Manager
14. Our Game

IV. The Walking Dead – Graphic Novel Trade Volumes – I’ve read the first seven trade volumes and watched the first season of the AMC show. Maybe I’ll catch up on the TV series one day, but I’d rather catch up a bit on the graphic novels:

08. Made to Suffer
09. Here We Remain
10. What We Become
11. Fear the Hunters
12. Life Among Them
13. Too Far Gone
14. No Way Out

FROM THE TBR STACKS
V. Randomness -Using a random number generator (random.org) and cross indexing it with master list of books in my personal library, I have chosen 14 books to read in 2014:

01: #252: Tears in the Darkness
02: #218: Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
03: #074: Kraken
04: #513: Shadow of All Night
05: #597: The Silver Spoon and Passersby
06: #455: Ratlines
07: #118: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
08: #310: Revenge of the Spellmans
09: #367: A Portrait of Yo Mama…
10: #507: Dare Me
11: #254: White Nights (Anne Cleaves)
12: #448: The Country Ahead of Us
13: #639: She Stoops to Conquer
14: #254: The Grapes of Wrath

A couple of alternates:
#135: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
#151: The Bridges of Madison County

VI. Oldest – These are the 14 oldest books in my stacks:

01. Emma 
02. The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court, #1)
03. Dracula (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
04. Lost Illusions (B & N Classic Series)
05. Agnes Grey (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
06. Bangkok Haunts
07. The Children’s Book
08. Sacred Games 
09. The Kiss Off (Soho Crime)
10. The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller, #1)
11. The Cornish Trilogy: The Rebel Angels, What’s Bred in the Bone, and The Lyre of Orpheus
12. Independence Day: Bascombe Trilogy (2)
13. Sea of Poppies (Ibis Trilogy, #1)
14. The Kite Runner

A few alternates:
The Princes of Ireland
Rumo 
Atonement 
Netherland

VII. Fillers – Some of the books I have listed from the TBR stacks are not first-in-series and I haven’t read the preceding books. These are the titles that will fill in the gaps:

01. The Man of Property
02. In Chancery
03. To Let
04. The White Monkey
05. The Spellman Files
06. Curse of the Spellmans
07. Raven Black
08. The Sports Writer

If I read Rumo from the oldest list, then:
The 13-1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebeard

VIII. From 50 – I want to have tackled at least 50 books form my TBR stacks. These will be books that I have purchased prior to January 1, 2014, will not overlap with any other category, and will NOT include ARCs. This will be something of an open roll as the other categories are completed first.

AUDIO
IX. Harry Potter– Um, er, yeah. I have only ever read the first Harry Potter novel and that was a few years ago. There is no denying that they have had a significant impact on our culture and in the book industry; So whatever misgivings I may have about this, it’s time to put them aside and read the canon! I will be listening to the audio editions as narrated by Jim Dale, and/or reading the print editions AND watching the movies:

Harry Potter and …
01. The Sorcerer’s Stone
02. The Chamber of Secrets
03. The Prisoner of Azkaban
04. The Goblet of Fire
05. The Order of the Phoenix 
06. The Half-Blood Prince
07. The Deathly Hallows

X. Armchair Audies – For the past couple of years, I’ve been participating in the Armchair Audies. The Audies are the audiobook industry’s version of the Oscars. Particpants in the Armchair Audies listen to all the titles listed in a particular category and try to predict the winner. Finalists won’t be posted until sometime in February. At that time, I will list the category/titles that I have chosen. There are usually five audiobooks listed for each category.

XI. Randomness – These are audiobooks from my TBR queues that were chosen using my method of cross-indexing my exported goodreads list and a random number generator (random.org):

01. #167: Solar 
02. #244: My Korean Deli
03. #623: The Last Good Man
04. #297: Anansi Boys

Owing to the heavy listening schedule already in place (owing to another group/challenge), I decided not to push my luck by plumping this list out to fourteen titles.

MISCELLANIA
XII. SLAM Selections in print – I belong to a group (SLAM) that listens to mysteries in audio format. They used to have monthly selections and discussions and though I tried to participate in every discussion, over the course of four years, there were fourteen audiobooks that I didn’t get around to for various reasons. I want to catch up and be current with the common culture of the group. I’ll probably go for the print editions for most of these titles:

01. The Woods
02. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
03. Pick Your Poison
04. Iron Lake
05. Murder on a Girls’ Night Out
06. The Bootlegger’s Daughter
07. Booked to Die
08. Indemnity Only
09. Monkee’s Raincoat
10. Fer de Lance
11. King of Lies
22. Monkeewrench
13. Blue Smoke
14. Burglars Can’t Be Choosers

XIII. E-books – I’m prone to go through dnload frenzies on my various e-readers and then forget about the books I’ve parked! It’s time to clear the decks a bit:

01. Bad Marie
02. A Common Pornography
03. Hour of the Rat
04. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie
05. Wild
06. Zoo Station
07. The Mockingbirds
08. The Little Fuzzy
09. One Good Deed
10. Rosemary’s Baby
11. Rudyard Kipling’s Tales of Horror and Fantasy
12. Beau Geste
13.The Cay
14. The Werewolf of Paris

A few alternates, thanks to end-of-year sales!:
Wildwood
Under the Empyrean Sky
Mockingbird 
Blue Blazes
The Bat
The Proposal

XIV. Free-for-All – Somewhere around Halloween, I have this weird sort of reading breakdown. I end up divorcing my reading schedules and as-yet-unfinished reading challenges. For the next six to eight weeks, I look at the next year’s challenges, sort my stacks and generally just read whatever I want. Usually, this means a lot of romance novels. I have no idea what I’m going to read until I’m actually reading it so this category will accordingly have to remain open until I get there! 🙂

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When all is send and done, I hope to read around 100 books and post at least 50 reviews/commentaries here on tumblr 🙂

2013 Audio Book Challenge: “Married” and then some…

Teresa (@teresasreading) hosts the annual audiobook challenge at her blog, Tersea’s Reading Corner. There are five levels to the challenge: Flirt (6 audiobooks); Going Steady (12 audiobooks); Lover (25 audiobooks); Married (more than 25 audiobooks) and a [Create your own category]. I never got around to creating my own category, but I definitely read listened to more than 25! 

  1. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (first in the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger; performed by a full cast starring Mark Turetsky)
  2. Darth Paper Strikes Back (second in the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger; performed by a full cast starring Mark Turetsky)
  3. The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (third in the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger; performed by a full cast starring Mark Turetsky)
  4. The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett (an Origami Yoda book by Tom Angleberger; narrated by various readers, starring Mark Turetsky)
  5. Chasing Vermeer (by Blue Balliett; narrated by Ellen Reilly)
  6. Bangkok Tattoo (second in the Sonchai Jitleecheep series by John Burdett; narrated by Paul Boehmer)
  7. Dead Beat (The Dresden Files book #7 by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
  8. Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files book #8 by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
  9. White Night  (The Dresden Files book #8 by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
  10. The Shape of Water (first in the Inspector Montalbano mystery series by Andrea Camillieri; translated by Stephen Sartarelli; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  11. Black History (History in an Hour title by Rupert Colley; narrated by…)
  12. Gregor the Overlander (first in the Underlander Chronicles by Suzanne Collins; narrated by Paul Boehmer)
  13. Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (The Underlander Chronicles book #2 by Suzanne Collins; narrated by Paul Boehmer)
  14. Suspect (by Robert Crais; narrated by MacLeod Andrews)
  15. Kenny & the Dragon (by Tony DiTerlizzi; narrated by Alan Cumming)
  16. The Cheshire Cheese Cat (by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright; narrated by Katherine Kellgren and Robin Sachs)
  17. A Cold Day in Paradise (first in the Alex mcKnight series by Steve Hamilton; narrated by Dan John Miller)
  18. The Eleventh Plague (by Jeff Hirsch; narrated by Dan Bittner)
  19. Same Sun Here (written and narrated by Silas House and Neela Vaswani)
  20. The Lemonade Crime (second in the Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies; narrated by Stina Moore)
  21. The Bell Bandit (third in the Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies; narrated by Stina Moore)
  22. Man in the Empty Suit (by Sean Ferrell; narrated by Mauro Hantman)
  23. White Heat (first in the Edie Kuglatuk series by M.J. McGrath; narrated by Kate Reading)
  24. The Cold Cold Ground (first in the Troubles series by Adrian McKinty; narrated by Gerard Doyle)
  25. What Dreams May Come (by Richard Matheson; narrated by Rob Dean)
  26. A Beautiful Place to Die (first in the Emmanual Cooper series by Malla Nunn; narrated by Saul Reichlin)
  27. Wonder (by R.J. Palacio; narrated by Diana Steele, Nick Poehle and Kate Rudd)
  28. New Tricks (Andy Carpenter series book #7 by David Rosenfelt; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  29. Dog Tags (Andy Carpenter series book #8; by David Rosenfelt; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  30. One Dog Night (Andy Carpenter series #9 by David Rosenfelt; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  31. Splendors and Glooms (by Laura Amy Schlitz; narrated by Davina Porter)
  32. The Freedom Maze (by Delia Sherman; narrated by Robin Miles)
  33. The Bad Beginning (first in the Series of Unfortunate Events; by Lemony Snicket; performed by a full cast starring Tim Curry)
  34. The Reptile Room (second in the Series of Unfortunate Events; by Lemony Snicket; narrated by Tim Curry)
  35. A Cold Day for Murder (first in the Kate Shugak mystery series by Dana Stabenow; narrated by Marguerite Gavin)
  36. Young Fredle (by Cynthia Voight; narrated by Wendy Carter)
  37. Pie (by Sarah Weeks; narrated by Kate Rudd)
  38. From The Arthur Miller Collection (by Arthur Miller)
  • “A View from the Bridge” (performed by a full cast starring Ed O’Neill)
  • “After the Fall” (performed by a full cast starring Anthony Lapaglia and Amy Brennehan)
  • “Incident at Vichy”(performed by a full cast featuring Armin Shimmerman)

WORK-RELATED

  • Love and War (second in the North and South trilogy by John Jakes; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  • Heaven and Hell (third in the North and South trilogy by John Jakes; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  • The Last of the Doughboys (by Richard Rubin; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  • Memoirs: Duc de Saint-Simon: Volume One: 1691-1709 (by the Duc de Saint-Simon; narrated by Grover Gardner)
  • Memoirs: Duc de Saint-Simon: Volume Two (by the Duc de Saint-Simon; narrated by Grover Gardner)

DNF

  • The House at Riverton (by Kate Morton; narrated by Caroline Lee)
  • Christine Falls (by Benjamin Black; narrated by Timothy Dalton)
  • The Coroner’s Lunch (by Colin Cotterill; narrated by Clive Chafer)
  • The Hypnotist (by Lars Kepler; narrated by  Mark Bramhall)

Operation TBR: List of Titles Read in 2013

Thirty-nine of the one-hundred-sixty-nine titles that I read last year were acquired before 01/01/2013 and read before 01/01/2014:

  • Classic Ghost Stories: Eighteen Spine-Chilling Tales of Terror and the Supernatural (edited by Bill Bowers)
  • Bangkok Tattoo (Sonchai Jitpleecheep novel #2; by John Burdett; narrated by Paul Boehmer)
  • Dead Beat (The Dresden Files #7; by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
  • Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files #8; by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
  • White Night (The Dresden Files #9; by Jim Butcher; narrated by James Marsters)
  • The Lipstick Jungle (by Candace Bushnell)
  • Unwritten Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity (by MIke Carey; illustrated by Peter Gross)
  • The Little Book (by Selden Edwards)
  • The Great Gatsby (by F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • Stories: All-New Tales (edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio)
  • Horns (by Joe Hill)
  • K.I.A. (Dr Kel McKelvey Novel #2; by Thomas Holland)
  • Green River Killer (by Jeff Jensen; illustrated by Jonathan Case)
  • The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire series #1; by Craig Johnson)
  • She Got Up Off the Couch (by Haven Kimmel)
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (Circus Novel #6;  Smiley Novel #3; Karla Trilogy #1; by John LeCarre)
  • The Honourable Schoolboy (Circus Novel #7;  Smiley Novel #4; Karla Trilogy #2; by John LeCarre)
  • Smiley’s People (Circus Novel #8;  Smiley Novel #5; Karla Trilogy #3; by John LeCarre)
  • Gone, Baby, Gone (Kenzie/Gennaro Series Book #5 by Dennis Lehane)
  • Mystic River (by Dennis Lehane)
  • Shutter Island (by Dennis Lehane)
  • Coronado (by Dennis Lehane)
  • Lamb (by Bonnie Nadzam)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (by Audrey Neffenegger)
  • Domestic Violets (by Matthew Norman)
  • A Beautiful Place to Die (Emanual Cooper Series #1; by Malla Nunn; narrated by Saul Reichlin)
  • Last Night at the Lobster (by Stewart O’Nan)
  • Swim Back to Me (by Ann Packer)
  • The Road to Fotheringhay (Stuart Saga Book #1; by Jean Plaidy)
  • Cannery Row (by John Steinbeck)
  • Dead Eye Dick (by Kurt Vonnegut)
  • Chariots of Fire (by W.J. Weatherby)
  • Little Altars Everywhere (by Rebecca Wells)
  • The Age of Innocence (by Edith Wharton)
  • Ethan Frome and Selected Stories (by Edith Wharton)
  • House of Mirth (by Edith Wharton)
  • Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) (by Bill Williingham et al)
  • Fables Vol. 8: Wolves (by Bill Willingham et al)
  • The Religion (by Tim Willocks)