2014: A Year in Reading

I’ve finally finished my yearly reading stats post! As I’ve done in previous years, I also attempted to choose my favorite books from the year (it’s always so hard!)! Overall, I’m really pleased with the amount and variety of books I read in 2014. I’ve made an increasing effort over the past several years to diversify my reading selections, and I think the reading stats are starting to show that.

If you’re curious, you can click the following links to see how 2014 compares to previous years: 2012 & 2013.

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Reading Stats for 2014:

Number of books read: 59

Number of paperback/hardcover: 29

Number of e-books: 1

Number of audiobooks: 30

Number of fiction: 47

Number of non-fiction: 12

Average Rating (out of 5 points): 3.78

Most books read in one month: 7 books in January, May and August

Longest book read: A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin at 784 e-book pages (1060 paperback)

Longest audio book listened to:  Dangerous Women edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois: 32 hours and 49 minutes (800 hardcover pages)

Female author : male author: 35 : 24 (note I have left off an anthology which featured selections from both male and female authors)

Total number of books read that were NOT set in the United States: 25

Total number of unique countries read: 11 (United States, Canada, Spain, Chile, United Kingdom, Nigeria, India, Australia, China, France, and Democratic Republic of the Congo)

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I still can’t believe I read 59 books last year…that just doesn’t seem possible! I’m also very happy with the number of non-fiction books I read (12!?)…I think this is the most I’ve ever read in one year. In 2015 I will be participating in challenges that will encourage me to read both books in translation and books set in countries that are not the US, so hopefully I’ll have more than 11 different countries to report!

In addition to collecting the stats, I also reflected on all the books I read and attempted to choose some favorites. It’s always hard to pick the absolute favorite, so I listed some runners up as well.

Best Fiction Book: Middlemarch by George Eliot

middlemarch bn

Choosing a fiction book was so, so hard this year, but this epic, wise, and very entertaining novel is the clear winner in my mind. I definitely plan to re-read this novel and more George Eliot in general in the future.

Runners up: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, and The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Best Non-Fiction Book: Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

saltsugarfat

Just ask my (long-suffering) boyfriend…I’m STILL talking about this book. I was already familiar with some of the facts Moss described in this book, but learning more about the science of taste (and how much time and money the processed food industry has invested to both acquire and exploit this knowledge) has forever changed the way I eat and think about eating in general. It’s not that I think the giant food companies are inherently evil or that I will never eat processed food again…but lets just say I go much farther out of my way to find an alternative than I did before reading this book.

This book is eye-opening, interesting, and totally worth your time if you have access to a copy.

Runners up: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Best Audio Book: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny_Beautiful-330

I absolutely loved this book, and the fact that it was read by Cheryl Strayed herself.

Runners up: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

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Next up will be my 2015 reading challenges…and then I’ll be all caught up(ish)!!!

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. biblioglobal
    Feb 21, 2015 @ 09:31:45

    Looks like an excellent reading year! I need to remember to keep an eye out for Tiny Beautiful Things. I keep hearing good things about it.

    Reply

  2. Geoff W
    Feb 23, 2015 @ 09:11:03

    I did love Middlemarch.

    Reply

    • exlibrisheather
      Feb 23, 2015 @ 10:22:37

      When did you read it? Did I just totally miss that post???

      Reply

      • Geoff W
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 10:24:56

        Whoa almost two years ago. I liked it more than my review shows though. It’s one I should probably re-read again in a few years.

      • exlibrisheather
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 10:33:32

        Oh wow–Book 26…that was awhile back! I can tell that you liked it…you were probably just worn out after slogging through! Have you thought about reading “My life in Middlemarch?” It’s a little light on the memoir and more of a biography of Mary Anne Evans…but having just read Middlemarch I found it really interesting!

      • Geoff W
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 10:35:27

        Haahaa, well it’s not quite THAT long ago. I just switched to my total numbering this year so that was just the 26th of 2013 😀 I haven’t read it, but I’ve seen a few people talking about it recently and I’m definitely considering it.

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