2015 Reading Highlights and 2016 Reading Resolutions

Well I had planned to post this follow up to my reading by numbers post around New Year, but between one thing and another I ran out of time! So it’s a bit late and 2015 already feels a very long time ago, but anyway, here’s my reading highlights from the past year.

1. Best Book of 2015: For entirely subjective reasons, I’m going to go with The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett as my favourite overall.

2. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2015The Girl with All The Gifts, by M.R. Carey. I read this for book club, and to be honest probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise as I’d assumed it was another fairly bog-standard teen dystopia. I was very, very wrong about that – it’s a fresh, literary and extremely well-written take on the zombie survival genre.

3. Book You Recommended the Most to People in 2015The Wicked and The Divine, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. This is the best comic book/graphic novel series I’ve read in a long time, and I’ve been pressing them on everyone I know. Volume 3 of the trade paperback is out next month, hurrah!

4. Favourite New (to me) Authors Discovered in 2015: Kieron Gillen (The Wicked and the Divine), Clare North (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Touch), Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings)

5. Most Hilarious Read of 2015How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran – had me crying with laughter throughout!

6. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Read of 2015The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Clare North. I almost raced through the entire thing in one sitting, and enjoyed it so much I immediately went out and bought Clare North’s second book, Touch.

7. Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2015: Very difficult to judge this one – I’ve read some books with some very beautiful cover art this year! I’m actually going to go with On Liberty, by Shami Chakrabarti, as I like the boldness and simplicity of it. (I also have a massive fangirl crush on Chakrabarti after seeing her speak at a conference this year!)

8. Most Memorable Character of 2015: Tough call, but probably Holly Sykes from The Bone Clocks.

9. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2015: Another tough one! I’m gonna go with The Goldfinch, by Donna Tart. I just love her writing.

10. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2015H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald (this was also in the running for “most beautifully written”, above!). This is a truly extraordinary meditation on bereavement and grief, wrapped up in a fascinating exploration of hawking. I’d recommend it for anyone who’s ever been bereaved and struggled to explain how it felt and what it does to your life.

11. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2015 to Read: I haven’t really read any “classic” literature this year! I’d probably go with Fragile Things, a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman published in 2007, just because it’s been on my wishlist for several years but I hadn’t got hold of a copy until this year.

Reading Resolutions

Before I set some reading goals for this year, I’m going to have a look back at my 2015 resolutions and see how I did…

  1. Finish the year with fewer than 100 books on my TBR list… Um, no! I managed to finish 2015 with 129 books on my TBR list, more than the 104 I started the year with!
  2. Explore books by more diverse authors… Last year I read 7 books written by people of colour, and and one translated book. That’s pretty poor if I’m honest, but at least I’ve started to pay attention to it now. The same thing happened when I started making an effort to read more books by women – I didn’t realise how badly skewed my reading was in favour of male authors until I started counting them!
  3. Read at least five books that are 600 pages plus… Almost! I read 3 books that were longer than 600 pages (the longest being A Feast for Crows, George RR Martin, at a whopping 976 pages), and the next two longest were 592 (so close!) and 576 pages. I’m going to give myself a pass for this one, as taking my five longest books together, the average page count is 732 pages.

So out of three resolutions, I’ve… almost managed one. Ah. Ok, let’s see if I can set some more realistic goals for 2016!

  1. Seriously, stop buying so many goddamn books. I need to be more realistic about the books I pick up and when I will actually have time to read them! I’m going to set myself the same goal as last year: try to end the year with fewer than 100 books on my TBR list. Let’s see if I actually manage it this time!
  2. Read at least 10 books by people of colour, and/or in translation.
  3. Review more books!

Re no.3: I’ve been thinking a lot about how hard writers work to get an audience, and how difficult it is to compete for attention and book sales in an increasingly crowded market. I have a few friends who are writers, and I follow a lot of writers on Twitter, so I’m aware of how hard they work. The most consistent advice I’ve seen for writers on promoting their books is to rely on readers to do it for you – nothing sells like word of mouth!

I didn’t actually post any book reviews here in 2015 (although I did a couple on the Leeds Book Club blog), and I kinda miss reviewing books. I also know how helpful a good review is, particularly for less well-known writers, and especially somewhere like Amazon where most people will look for book reviews! I’m therefore going to make more of an effort to blog book reviews here, and post reviews of books I enjoyed on Amazon. This is partly for selfish reasons – I enjoy reviewing, and I also want writers I like to do well so they’ll continue to write books – but also I do love recommending books to people, and reviewing is really an extension of that!

I’m actually going to start my third resolution right now, as I read some great books over the Christmas holiday that I’d love to shout about! So look out for my next blog post, I promise it won’t be a three-week gap this time…

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2015 Reading by Numbers

Well it’s been a quiet year on the blog, but a busy one on the reading front! As is traditional, I’ve run some numbers, made some pretty charts and tried to quantify my reading for the year. Look out for my second post (probably tomorrow) on my favourite reads of the year if qualitative is more your thing…

01-totals

I read a grand total of 93 books this year, beating my previous record of 91 books in 2013! I had a quick look comparing total number of pages for the past few years, to see if I genuinely did read more this year and in 2013 than in 2014, or if I just read fewer but longer books in 2014…

02-pages

As the chart shows, going by page numbers I still read significantly less last year than I did this year or in 2013! Interestingly, although I read 2 more books this year than in 2013, in 2013 I read more than 1,200 more pages than this year – so I must have read some significantly longer books in 2013!

03-pages-month

Month by month, the number of pages read each month correlates pretty well with number of books read, as a percentage of the totals. As in previous years I seem to read a lot more in the Autumn months – probably due to my reading the Booker Prize shortlist and trying to fit in other things I want to read at the same time! There was a pretty big dip in July this year, I think that’s because it was such a busy month – my twin got married on 1st August, so July I was mostly busy with first the hen weekend, then helping out with wedding prep!

04-gender

I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to maintain a pretty even split of identified genders in the books I’ve read this year, with a slight favouring (52%) of female-identified authors. I have worked to get to this point – in previous years, despite always assuming I read mostly books by women, in fact I had either a 60-40 or even 70-30 split in favour of male-identified authors! So this is something I’ve continued to bear in mind, to try to redress this balance.

This year, I also tried to keep track of how many books I read were written by people of colour. I haven’t done this in previous years so I can’t track any progress here, so no pretty chart, but looking at my LibraryThing, this year I’ve noted down 7 books I’ve read as being by people of colour (the rest are either by white authors or I didn’t know) – just 7.5% of the total. That seems pretty poor to me, so I’ll try to improve the diversity of what I read over the coming year.

05-sources

I didn’t do so well at the whole “stop spending all your money in bookshops” thing this year… I bought nearly half of the books I read this year! That being said, I did make good use of the library this year – 29% of the books I read this year were library books, as opposed to just 19% last year.

06-year

Probably as a consequence of buying so many books (!!), three-quarters of the books I read this year were ones that I picked up this year, rather than ones that had been languishing on my shelves from previous years! I must work harder to clear my backlog this year…

One of my reading resolutions last year was to finish the year with fewer than 100 books on my to-read (TBR) pile. I’ve utterly failed at this – at time of writing, LibraryThing tells me that I have 129 books in my possession that I have not yet read! That’s even more than this time last year – I managed to end 2014 with just 104 on my TBR list. That means I must have bought, borrowed, been given, or otherwise acquired 118 books this year!! This is getting out of hand…

Let’s be honest though, it’s never going to change. I love reading and I love books. And although I know full well that I’ll never have enough time to read all the books I already have, somehow I convince myself every time I pick up a new book that of course, I’ll have time for this one!

Next up, I’ll be posting some thoughts on what I’ve read this year, and some reading resolutions for 2016.

2014 Reading by Numbers

I realise I’m a little late with my annual round-up of my reading stats from the past year – I’ve just moved house and haven’t had a computer or laptop available to make my pretty charts on until now! Hopefully this has been worth the wait…

This year I’ve decided to split my usual long post in half. This first part will feature all the pretty charts and number-crunching on my reading, and my next post (coming soon, I promise!) will give my reading highlights of 2014 and reading resolutions for 2015.

So, on with the numbers…

Total books read per year

I read fewer books in 2014 than in 2013, but still more than each year 2010-2012, managing a grand total of 81 books. I did read an unusually high number of books in 2013, so I doubt I’ll manage the giddy heights of 91 again any time soon! I’ve thought about setting myself a goal of how many books to try and read in a year, as I’ve seen many people doing on Twitter, but I’ve decided against – I think I’d rather just read what I fancy, rather than pushing myself to pick up books I might not really enjoy just to boost my total.

02-2014-monthly

This year my LibraryThing exported data gave me the page numbers for each book I read, which I don’t think it did in previous years, so I thought it’d be interesting to compare number of books read each month, with total number of pages read each month. I was wondering if, in months when I read lots of books (such as November, when I read 11 books), I’d just read lots of shorter books! Going by the graph above though, percentage-wise it looks like book count and page count are actually pretty close. The only really big gaps are in January (8 books read, but all quite short), and March (only four books read, but one of them was Gone With the Wind, at a whopping 960 pages).

I’m not really sure why I apparently read so much more in November than in every other month!

Gender of authorNow this, I am really proud of. I wanted to take part in the Year of Reading Women this year, for reasons I’ve gone into before. I decided that rather than only reading women (I couldn’t quite bring myself to give up Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Patrick Ness for an entire year!), I would aim for a 50/50 split in my reading, to make up for the gender imbalance in previous years. Happily, I’ve succeeded – in fact, I have tipped the balance slightly the other way – I read 40 books by women and 36 by men this year! (Yes, I know that doesn’t add up to my total of 81 – the remaining 5 are books with multiple authors of mixed genders).

I really enjoyed this experiment this year, but I was surprised at how much conscious effort it took. It’s made me actually think about who wrote the next book I pick up, rather than just grabbing whatever I fancy, which I’m inclined to see as a good thing – I think it’s worthwhile questioning our unconscious biases in these areas. Before starting to make these annual number-crunching posts, and before #readwomen, I would have confidently stated that I mostly read female authors – but the numbers show that just wasn’t true. I’d like to continue to do something similar for 2015 – I’ll come back to that in my “reading resolutions” post!

Fiction vs non-fiction

I didn’t read much non-fiction this year – less than last year in fact, which surprised me a little. I felt like I’d read more non-fiction this year. Maybe it’s because I read it so seldom, when I do it tends to stick in my mind!

Sources of booksPleased to see that I managed not to spend too much on books this year – I only bought 49% of my reading in 2014, down very slightly from 50% in 2013! Library use is still looking a bit low (19%, same as 2013, and down from 29% in 2012), although I think that’s because I’ve been focusing on trying to get through my ridiculously huge TBR pile! Speaking of which…

06-2014-acquired

I didn’t do so well on stopping myself buying new books in 2014, although the proportion I read in 2014 that I acquired that year was slightly lower than in 2013 (62%, down from 68% in 2013). I am slowly reducing my TBR pile though! At the end of 2013 I had 116 books in my TBR pile; by the end of 2014 that was down to 104. So, that’s progress, right?? A quick check of my LibraryThing also shows that I only added 81 new books in 2014, compared to 124 (!!) in 2013. I also culled a few books from my TBR list that, realistically, I was never going to read. So I should be able to get my TBR list to a more manageable level, I just need to learn to walk past bookshops, charity shops, libraries, and book exchanges… Although, I did buy two new books earlier today, so perhaps I’m just a lost cause!

That’s it for my reading round-up! The second part of this post, with my reading highlights and resolutions for 2014, is coming soon…

 

 

2013 Reading by Numbers

As is becoming an annual tradition, I have totted up the books I read in 2013 and made some pretty charts to illustrate my reading habits. I’ve also listed my 2013 reading highlights at the bottom of the post, so feel free to scroll straight down to there!

2013_totalsMy amount read by year has been steadily increasing, although I’m not really sure why. I read a whopping 91 books this year! Maybe I’m just reading faster in a desperate attempt to keep up with all the many, many books I want to read? My TBR pile is rapidly getting out of control again, I may have to ban myself from buying new books until I’ve got it to a more manageable level!

2013_monthlyI kept track again of how many books I read each month, so I could try and compare to last year and see if I’ve got any usual patterns. Nothing’s really leaping out at me here, except that both this year and last I didn’t read much in August. That surprises me actually, as I’d always thought I read more in the summer!

2013_genderLooks like I still read significantly more male than female authors. Again, that surprises me as I did feel like I’d read more books by women this year! I would like to do something about this, actually, as I don’t think it’s great to have such an imbalance. There’s some fantastic women writers out there, and I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out! I found this article by a person who decided to only read women writers for an entire year, and thought that was pretty inspiring. I don’t think I’ll go quite that far, but I would like to prioritise the female writers on my TBR pile. In fact, I think I’ll make that one of my reading resolutions for 2014!

2013_fictionLooks like my proportion of fiction vs non-fiction read has stayed about the same. I still read far more fiction than non-fiction, and I don’t think that’s likely to change. Although I have read some great non-fiction this year, I do tend to find it more of a chore than fiction! Maybe I’ll try to read a bit more factual stuff this year, but I doubt it to be honest.

2013_sourceI’m pleased to see that my reading this year shouldn’t have made too much of a dent in my bank balance! I only bought half of the books I read, and I think most of those will have been discounted (for example, I only really buy ebooks when they’re on sale, as I resent paying full price for something I don’t really own!). Looks like I used the library a bit less this year than last year (library books made up 29% of my reading material in 2012), not really sure why. I’ll have to try and make that up again in 2014!

2013_acquiredAlthough I didn’t do a Mount TBR challenge again this year, I did try to read at least some of the books I already had on my shelf rather than ones I bought, borrowed or received this year. As you can see above, I didn’t do too well at this! I might have to try a TBR challenge again for 2014, as at the moment my TBR list stands at 116 books, and I’d like to try and make a dent in those before getting more books!

ETA: I just did a quick count of the 116 unread books in my LibraryThing, and the totals from each year are as follows:

  • Added in 2009 – 3 books
  • Added in 2010 – 10 books
  • Added in 2011 – 12 books
  • Added in 2012 – 34 books
  • Added in 2013 – 57 books

So I am slowly working through the older books in my collection! I just need to slow down my rate of acquisition of new books. But new books are so pretty, so tempting… *strokes the books*

2013 Reading Highlights

1. Best Book of 2013: This is always such a hard question to answer – it’s like being asked to choose your favourite child! (Or so I imagine, not actually having any children…) I think it’s a toss-up between The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin, and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. On balance, I think I’ll go with A Monster Calls, just because I found it so incredibly moving, painful and life-affirming all at once.

2. Worst Book of 2013: I haven’t read any really awful books this year, I’m happy to say! There’s been nothing this year that I couldn’t finish, and looking at my LibraryThing ratings I haven’t given anything less than two stars. If I had to pick one, I’d say probably Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow. I feel a bit bad naming this here as it really isn’t that bad, just not my cup of tea! I admire Cory Doctorow for his stance on information rights, but his fiction writing just doesn’t grab me.

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2013: Probably The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker. Again, it’s not a bad book, it just didn’t really live up to my expectations – the premise sounded fantastic, but I found the story and characters a little flat.

4. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2013: Where the Bodies are Buried, by Christopher Brookmyre. A few people had said they felt really let down by this book, as it doesn’t have the humour of Brookmyre’s previous books (which I am a huge fan of), but I actually really enjoyed this. It’s a good, solid crime thriller.

5. Book You Recommended the Most to People in 2013: The Hunger Games! I lost count of the number of people I spoke to about the films, and urged to read the books immediately!

6. Favourite New Authors Discovered in 2013: Naomi Klein (can’t believe I’d never read any of her books before!), Alison Bechdel (ditto), Eleanor Catton, John Scalzi, Naomi Alderman

7. Most Hilarious Read of 2013: Definitely How to be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran – had me crying with laughter on the train!

8. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Read of 2013: A Storm of Swords (parts 1 and 2) by George RR Martin. One of those books that makes you resent having to do things like go to work, eat, sleep, etc when you could be reading instead.

9. Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2013: More than This, by Patrick Ness. I like the stark graphic, it works well with the book’s subject matter (without wanting to give too much away!)

11. Most Memorable Character of 2013: Don Tilman, from The Rosie Project

12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2013: Tough choice, but probably The Testament of Mary

13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2013: The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein. Made me so incredibly angry when I was reading it. Also made me want to run up to random strangers on the street, thrust the book at them and yell: “Have you read this? Read it immediately! And give it to all of your friends to read too! And then REVOLUTION!” For some reason, I did not actually do this.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2013 to Read: I’m going to cheat and pick two here: The Shock Doctrine (see above), and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home.

2014 Reading Resolutions

I have three reading resolutions for the coming year…

1. Read more books by women

2. Finish 2014 with fewer books on my TBR pile than at the start of the year

3. Write more reviews and blog more book-related stuff – I’ve managed a pitiful 12 blog posts this year! If I commit to two blog posts per month, I can easily double that for 2014.

Anyone else have any reading resolutions for 2014? What were your reading highlights of 2013? If there’s anything I really MUST read in 2014 then leave a comment and let me know below!

2012 Reading by Numbers

As with last year, I’ve been recording all my reading in LibraryThing. Here’s some of the data I’ve collected on my reading habits, in handy chart form. If you’re not interested in my pretty charts (sob…) then head down to the end of the post for my list of 2012’s reading highlights.

Number of books read

2012Totals

I read 80 books this year, significantly up on my 2010 and 2011 totals! Not sure why it’s so much higher to be honest – maybe I just read shorter books?? Sadly I didn’t think to keep track of the lengths of the books I was reading, so that’s just a guess…

Books read by month

2012Month

I thought it’d be interesting to see how my reading fluctuated throughout the year. I can’t really think of anything that would explain the whole pattern there! I know the dip in May/June is because that’s when my sister passed away, and I really struggled to concentrate on anything so didn’t read much. The dip in August I think is because I was on holiday with my family then, so spending more time being sociable than reading! Besides that, the other peaks and troughs are a mystery to me.

Male vs female authors

2012Gender

Proportionally, the amount of books by female authors vs those by male authors hasn’t really changed – I’m still reading more male than female authors. That doesn’t surprise me: I don’t consciously notice the gender of authors when browsing, but I suspect that more men than women are published over all, so I would expect that most readers would see a similar balance.

Fiction vs non-fiction

2012Fiction

Again, not a surprise! I read a few more non-fiction books this year, but still not nearly as many as fiction. I have read some good non-fiction this year, but the fact remains that it just doesn’t grab me like fiction does!

Sources of books

2012Sources

Once again, am happy to see that I’ve actually not spent that much on my reading – this year, three-quarters of everything I read came from free sources!

Mount TBR Challenge

Last year, I set myself the challenge of reading 40 books from my TBR pile by the end of this year. As part of the challenge, I was also supposed to not buy new books for the whole year. That part…didn’t really work out! I just can’t help it, I love buying books! Still, most of them were from charity shops etc, so I’m not going to feel too guilty about that.

I almost completed the challenge: I managed to read 35 books from my Mount TBR. Not bad, only 5 off my target! I thought I’d have a quick look at the books I read in 2012 against what year I first got them. Given that I was supposed to be only reading books acquired prior to January 2012, I don’t think I did that well…

2012Year

Ah well. I don’t think I’ll be doing any more reading challenges in 2013 (apart from my annual read of the Booker shortlist) – I found it took some of the fun out of reading, feeling like I “had” to be reading certain books. I’m glad to have made a bit of a dent in my TBR pile anyway – Now I can start building it back up again! 😉

2012 Reading Highlights

1. Best Book of 2012: Always a tough one… I’m gonna go with Bring up the Bodies

2. Worst Book of 2012: Atomised. Hated hated HATED it!

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2012: That’s tough, I don’t really feel disappointed by anything I’ve read this year. There’s been a few I haven’t enjoyed, but they were ones I didn’t have high hopes of to start with, so I don’t know if “disappointed” is the right word to use! I guess Umbrella, as I do expect a Booker prize shortlisted novel to at least be readable, but I couldn’t get more than 30 pages into this!

4. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2012: Dreams from my Father. Really didn’t expect a politician’s autobiography to be so honest, and moving.

5. Book You Recommended the Most to People in 2012: The Knife of Never Letting Go

6. Favourite New Authors Discovered in 2012: Chris Nickson (great books, and he’s a lovely chap too! He’s on Twitter), Deborah Levy, Madeline Miller

7. Most Hilarious Read of 2012: Good Omens, which I re-read in preparation for World Book Night 🙂

8. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Read of 2012: The Knife of Never Letting Go. Read it in one sitting!

9. Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2012: Dark Matter. Perfectly captures the spirit of the book

11. Most Memorable Character of 2012: Kitty Finch, from Swimming Home

12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2012: This is a toss-up between Swimming Home and Song of Achilles – totally different books, but equally beautifully written in their own ways!

13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2012: The Wisdom of Whores – totally changed my understanding of AIDS as a public health issue. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2012 to Read: The Dispossessed – this was a close contender for the “greatest impact” question above, actually! Had never read any Ursula Le Guin until last year actually, now it’s a bit of a “where have you been all my life!!” kind of situation!

Well, I hope that was at least slightly interesting to anyone other than myself! Happy new year all, and happy reading 🙂

Fun with stats! My 2011 reading by numbers

I’ve been recording everything I read for the past two years using LibraryThing, but have never really known what to do with all that info. Last week I stumbled across this blog post where someone had analysed their reading over the past few years. I don’t have quite as much data as that blogger, but I thought I’d have a crack at doing some analysis with what I do have. If you’re bored by numbers and charts (and why would you be??) skip to the end where I’ve listed some of my favourite/least favourite books of the year.

Number of books read

TotalsI read 63 books this year, just slightly down from the 66 I read in 2010, but still comfortably above the one book per week I’d always assumed was my average.

Male vs Female Authors

Male vs female authorsThis one surprised me a little bit. I thought I’d probably have read a few more male authors than female – partly because, historically speaking, more men than women have published books; and partly because I read a lot of genre fiction which I think tends to be more male-dominated. I really hadn’t expected it to be quite such a big gap! I don’t think I’ll deliberately “do” anything about this – I’m not about to start deliberately picking female authors over male, I’d rather just read what I fancy reading without thinking about who wrote it – but I think this is an interesting one to be conscious of.

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

Fiction vs Non-fictionNo surprises here! I rarely read non-fiction, I much prefer to get lost in a good story. Wouldn’t expect to see anything different next year either!

Source of Books

Source of reading materialIt’s quite pleasing to see that a good three-quarters of my reading material in 2011 was from free sources! I expect that the “library” chunk of the pie will shrink a bit in 2012, as I plan to spend most of the year whittling down my TBR mountain. I am making an exception for book club books though, so I expect most if not all of those will come from the library.

So, that’s all the data I have for now. That was interesting for me, anyway – sorry if anyone attempting to read this is now gnawing their own arm off out of boredom! Here’s some (hopefully) more interesting stuff (again, shamelessly stolen from the Reading Monk blog):

Books in 2011

1. Best Book of 2011: Tough call, but… Pigeon English

2. Worst Book of 2011: Highway (only just read this so its awfulness is fresh in my mind!)

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2011: Dead Until Dark. I had such high hopes, being a big fan of the True Blood TV series that is based on this, and was expecting similar silly, gory, sexy, so-bad-it’s-good fun. Disappointing.

4. Most Surprising (in a good way) Book of 2011: Catch-22. I’d expected to be a lot of things – angry, poetic, engaging – all of which it was; but I hadn’t expected it to also be oddly funny.

5. Book You Recommended the Most to People in 2011: The Hunger Games

6. Favourite New Authors Discovered in 2011: Ursula Le Guin, Virginia Woolf, George RR Martin (Ok, so they’re not “new” new, but they are new to me!)

7. Most Hilarious Read of 2011: Shades of Grey. It strikes me as I write this that I really haven’t read many funny books in 2011. That will have to be remedied in 2012!

8. Most Thrilling Unputdownable Read of 2011: The Hunger Games. Completely resented having to eat/sleep/go to work when I could have been reading this.

9. Favourite Cover of a Book You Read in 2011: The Sisters Brothers

11. Most Memorable Character of 2011: Katniss Everdeen (of course!)

12. Most Beautifully Written Book of 2011: The Great Gatsby

13. Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2011: Reading Lolita in Tehran

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2011 to Read: Flowers for Algernon

Here’s to a 2012 filled with good books!