2017 in Books

Well 2017 happened, and I read some books. In accordance with tradition, I shall take look back at my year in reading (and watching and drinking, but those will come later). I keep track of my reading at Goodreads (we should be friends there), and they have a bunch of fancy statistical visualization tools (but definitely not enough for a dork like me), so let’s dig into it:

First up is the total number of books read:

Total books read in 2017

I read 54 books in 2017, which is a record in the current era (i.e. since I started tracking my reading in 2010), though a fair amount of these titles are actually short fiction, but we’ll get more into that later. Full list of titles here. Also of note, a fair amount of these were audiobooks, which sometimes feels like cheating. Still, even taking into account these disclaimers, looking at another angle is also a record breaker:

Number of pages read per year

With a nod to the inherent variability of page numbers, I just barely slipped past last year’s count by almost 100 pages. Not half bad. More info:

Summary of Book Reading in 2017

As befits the expansion of short fiction this year, the average page length is down significantly to 279 pages (from 296 last year, 306 the previous year, and the record of 356, set in 2013, when the quantity of books was quite small). The longest book of the year was The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. at 752 pages, which is nothing to sneeze at (so NO SNEEZING), but notably lower than last year, when I read two 900+ page books.

Pie Chart of Books Read in 2017

Another breakdown of the books, with an expansion of short fiction, but I will say that was mostly absorbed by not reading any comic books this year.

Books I Read in 2017 by Publication Date

In terms of publication dates, I did ok at spreading things out, but perhaps not as good as last year. The whole Hugo Awards participation thing makes it a bit challenging, but even beyond that, I read plenty of recent stuff. I am looking forward to digging into some more vintage fiction in 2018.

Moar assorted thoughts:

  • Only 7 non-fiction books for 2017, which is lower than it should be and will need to be rectified in 2018. I know I said something similar last year, but I mean it for reals this year.
  • 27 of the 54 books were written by women, with an additional two co-authored by women (so 29 total), which I’m pretty sure is a record to me. Also of note: this happened almost completely by accident and without any real plan. Go figure.
  • The oldest book I read last year was 1953’s Mission of Gravity, by Hal Clement, which was fabulous.
  • A quick scan of the list reveals that only 19 of the books were Science Fiction, which seems a bit unusual (and I was being pretty generous, for instance including Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., which is borderline). A fair amount of this was driven by the Hugo Awards (which seemed to be more fantasy focused than usual), though also Lois McMaster Bujold published three Penric and Desdemona (i.e. fantasy) novellas this year, and I read more stuff for Halloween than normal… which might have driven my SF numbers down. I suspect this will revert to the norm this year.

And that about covers it. Stay tuned for a overall movie recap, followed by the traditional onslaught of the Kaedrin Movie Awards. Sprinkled in there will be some reviews for Vintage SF Month, because I’m looking forward to that…

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