Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016 in reading

Last year I set a goal of reading 70 books, which I barely managed to meet, squeaking in at 71 - once again not counting the hundreds read to Malcolm. I also set a goal to read more books by women and minorities, more foreign fiction and more poetry. How did I do? Let's break it down, shall we?

1) More books by women: This was a success. Without even trying to select books by women, 43 of my 71 books were by women - this includes fiction and non-fiction - for 60.5%. By far and away my most successful goal.

2) Minorities: Only eight of the books I read were by identifiable minorities (nine if you count someone with a physical disability). Not as successful, but not a complete failure. I am actually kind of ashamed of how few minority authors I read, because of those eight, six of them were from two authors. I haven't tallied up the children's books I've read with Malcolm, but I have been making an effort to find and include minority authors there too.

3) Foreign fiction: Apart from one Italian novel and two Finnish children's books, I read a few books by Australians and some British authors. Not very good. Not good at all. I am rather sad about this, because I have many foreign works on my to read shelf on Goodreads - I guess I need to make more of an effort to search them out at the library.

4) Poetry: Well, abject failure is one way to put it. I did read some poetry now and then, but I didn't finish any books, and apart from the poetry on Literary Mama, nothing new.

Going forward into 2017 I have the same set of goals. More women, more minorities, more foreign, more poetry. So far, I have finished three books - two fiction and one anthology of essays. Of those, the two fiction are both by women, and the essay was edited by a woman and includes some minority authors. So, yay me - off to a good start! And of the two books I am currently reading, one is by a woman and one is by an African American.

The best books I read in 2016? Absolutely no contest - The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. She is my new favorite author, hands down. If you are into audio books, I highly recommend the Audible versions, both narrated by the excellent Robin Miles.

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