13 September 2017

Reading Roundup Year in Review, 2016/17

Another September, another year in reading for me to evaluate. (I first logged my month's reading in September 2003 as a fresh-faced college freshman, so my reading year runs September through August.)

Last year I observed, "The past three years have been remarkably consistent. Apparently a book every 2.5 days is the pace I will always have no matter what." Little did I know I would set a new record for books read the next year! One every 1.8 days! My previous high of 195 was set during the year I read for exams, where I read a book every two days essentially for work. I would not have guessed that I would surpass it! Obviously the Hugos are partially to be credited here (I read 25 in May and 26 in June), but that alone wouldn't push me to these heights.

Here's what I've been reading this year: (I broke out series/authors only if I read more than one book of that series/author)

Doctor Who 21 1.8 10.5%
Star Trek 6.5 0.5 3.3%
Other Tie-Ins 2 0.2 1.0%
Media Tie-In Subtotal 29.5 2.5 14.8%

L. Frank Baum / Oz 13 1.1 6.5%
H. G. Wells1 3 0.3 1.5%
Hyperion Cantos 3 0.3 1.5%
M. T. Anderson 2 0.2 1.0%
Other SF&F 30 2.5 15.0%
General SF&F Subtotal 51 4.3 25.5%

The Transformers 22.5 1.9 11.3%
DC Crisis Crossovers 9 0.8 4.5%
Manhunter 5 0.4 2.5%
Blue Beetle 3 0.3 1.5%
The Atom 3 0.3 1.5%
Legion of Super-Heroes 3 0.3 1.5%
Other DCU Comics 19 1.6 9.5%
Thor 2 0.2 1.0%
Spider-Man2 2 0.2 1.0%
Other Marvel Comics 3 0.3 1.5%
Top Ten 3 0.3 1.5%
Calvin and Hobbes 2 0.2 1.0%
Saga 2 0.2 1.0%
Other Comics3 7 0.6 3.5%
Comics Subtotal 85.5 7.1 42.8%

Victorian Literature 5 0.4 2.5%
James Bond by Ian Fleming 2 0.2 1.0%
Other Literature 14 1.2 7.0%
General Literature Subtotal 21 1.8 10.5%

Other Nonfiction4 13 1.1 6.5%

1. This actually includes both science fiction and literature by Wells, but I can't be bothered to separate them back out for the purposes of this report.
2. This also include novels about these comics-originated characters/premises.
3. Comics based on a particular series (e.g., Star Trek or Oz) are included with that series's count.
4. Nonfiction connected to a particular series or author (e.g., Doctor Who or H. G. Wells) is included in that series or author's count.

Comic books went up slightly over last year in absolute terms (from 73 to 85.5), but their proportion of my overall reading fell somewhat (from 49.0% to 42.8%). General science fiction and fantasy saw the biggest shift year-to-year, from 11.4% to 25.5%. Certainly that can be blamed on the Hugos.

As usual, I picked a book every month as the "Pick of the Month." Often I complain it would be impossible to rank the Picks themselves, but this year I used Preference Revealer to do it. Here they are, from twelfth-best to best:

12. Star Trek: The Rings of Time by Greg Cox
11. The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, Volume 1 by James Roberts, Nick Roche, Alex Milne, et al.
10. The Transformers: More then Meets the Eye, Volume 3 by James Roberts, Alex Milne, et al.
9. Doctor Who: Exodus by Terrance Dicks
8. The Lost Embassy by Adam Fergusson
7. The Marvelous Land of Oz by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young
6. Blue Beetle: Shellshocked by Keith Giffen, John Rogers, Cully Hamner, et al.
5. This Census-Taker by China Miéville
4. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
3. The Vision: Little Worse than a Man by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta
2. The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, Volume 4 by James Roberts, Alex Milne, et al.

and, the Pick of the Year:
1. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Note that isn't the twelve best books of the year because I could have read a book that was the second-best of one month that would have been the best with different competition. The full list of "Picks" going back seven years is here.

Finally, here's my usual graph of my reading trends over time:

Will 2017/18 be as productive? Now that I don't ride the bus any more, it seems doubtful, but driving every day means more podcasts, I guess.

You can compare this to previous years if you're interested: 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16. (I didn't do ones for 2010/11 and 2013/14.)

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