Book Analysis 2016

I like to keep track of how many books I read (I’ve been doing it since 2008) but I’ve not really done much analysis other than an occasional, vaguely guilty realisation that I read a lot of of kids’ books. So first, some statistics and then some Q&A I got from Google.

2008 – 78
2009 – 44
2010 – 29
2011 – 48
2012 – 73
2013 – 64
2014 – 74
2015 – 100
2016 – 85

Number of new books:
2008 – 38 (49% of total)
2009 – 12 (27% of total)
2010 – 13 (45% of total)
2011 – 22 (46% of total)
2012 – 31 (42% of total)
2013 – 22 ( 34% of total)
2014 – 27 (36% of total)
2015 – 52 (52% of total)
2016 – 32 (38% of total)

Number of kids’ books:
2008 – 35 (45% of total)
2009 – 21 (48% of total)
2010 – 17 (59% of total)
2011 – 19 (40% of total)
2012 – 38 (52% of total)
2013 – 26 (41% of total)
2014 – 38 (51% of total)
2015 – 49 (49% of total)
2016 – 53 (62% of total)

Number of scifi/fantasy books (sorry to lump these together; sometimes it’s not easy to pick which one a book fits into)
2008 – 52 (67% of total)
2009 – 12 (27% of total)
2010 – 12 (41% of total)
2011 – 19 (40% of total)
2012 – 34 (47% of total)
2013 – 34 (53% of total)
2014 – 38 (51% of total)
2015 – 40 (40% of total)
2016 – 24 (28% of total)

Number of crime books:
2008 – 0
2009 – 0
2010 – 2 (7% of total)
2011 – 11 (23% of total)
2012 – 8 (11% of total)
2013 – 9 (14% of total)
2014 – 3 (4% of total)
2015 – 18 (18% of total)
2016 – 6 (7% of total)

Number of non-fiction books:
2008 – 6 (8% of total)
2009 – 5 (11% of total)
2010 – 0
2011 – 2 (4% of total)
2012 – 3 (4% of total)
2013 – 2 (3% of total)
2014 – 2 (3% of total)
2015 – 2 (2% of total)
2016 – 2 (2% of total)

Number of plays:
2008 – 0
2009 – 2 (5% of total)
2010 – 0
2011 – 0
2012 – 1 (1% of total)
2013 – 2 (3% of total)
2014 – 0
2015 – 0
2016 – 2 (2% of total)

And now some questions:

1. Best Book You Read In 2016? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2016 release vs. backlist)

I really enjoyed Becky Chambers’s The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, I thought that was fantastic. And Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. And How the Girl Guides Won the War by Janie Hampton.

02. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

I was mildly disappointed by a few – Katharine McGee’s The Thousandth Floor was a lot more melodramatic and teenagery (and incestuous!) than it could have been. Chris Travone’s The Travelers was somehow unsatisfying. And Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire just wasn’t as fun as it should have been,

03. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2016?

Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. I avoided those books for a couple of years because “chosen one kills the king” sounds pretty samey & tedious and I was so wrong and so happy to be wrong.

04. Book you read in 2016 that you recommended to people most in 2016?

I always recommend Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. I’d recommend the Kingkiller Chronicles & I have several times recommended How the Girl Guides Won the War.

05. Best series you discovered in 2016?

Kingkiller Chronicles! I also enjoyed Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone and have high hopes for the next two.

06. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Patrick Rothfuss. I was behind the times.

07. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

No, see, I read for pleasure, so I don’t go seeking things that I’m not comfortable with. I’ve never read any JG Ballard before – it was a bit creepy and a bit scary and it got on my mind quite a bit but I wouldn’t say I was entirely uncomfortable with it.

08. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2016?

JG Ballard’s High Rise – it got under my skin and I needed to see what happened next.

09. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Scott Lynch, Scott Lynch, Scott Lynch. I daresay I’ll reread quite a few Chalet Schools. Neil Gaiman’s American Gods – that gets reread pretty regularly. It’s satisfying to my soul – what I said last year.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

The Mistborn books have pretty covers. So do the Daughter of Smoke & Bone books. And Becky Chambers’s books. And Fantastic Beasts. Modern fantasy covers are pretty good at the moment.

11. Most memorable character in 2016?

Kvothe Kvothe Kvothe Kvothe.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

I’m not very good at this question.Um…. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2016?

I think that would be How the Girl Guides Won the War. It made me look at my own Guides and my Rangers and myself and think how different people are today from back then.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?

Kingkiller Chronicles.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

I think that’s got to be Sissix’s thing from The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, about feather families, but it makes up an entire chapter of the book, plus it pops up again somewhere else in the book so it’s far too long to quote.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest was Casey the Utterly Impossible Horse by Anita Feagles. Longest… Rogues, an anthology edited by (and with his name on the front in huge letters) George RR Martin.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

You know, I don’t think there was one. I read relatively calmly. I mean, Katy was pretty distressing in places but I read What Katy Did before I even remember so there was nothing that was a surprise. Revelations? About Karou’s true nature in Daughter of Smoke & Bone? The whole of Laura Barnett’s Versions of Us was a bit WTF – I had trouble keeping up with the various strands of various realities. The reveal of the killer in SL Grey’s Under Ground.

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2015 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Sissix & Rosemary in The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. Kvothe and Sam in the Kingkiller Chronicles. Locke and his “feather family” in Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Half a War by Joe Abercrombie. I’d read Half a King and Half the World in 2015, plus I’d read the First Law trilogy and a couple of the standalones years ago.

20. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Didn’t have any. I read them mostly on whether they catch my eye in a bookshop or whether I’ve previously enjoyed an author’s work.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2016?

Girls Own, colonial-era boarding school children’s books. The Chalet School, the same as last year plus the entire Trebizon series this year.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?


23. Best 2016 debut you read?

I’m not sure how many of my books were actually new in 2016 other than the two new Harry Potter scripts. I liked Fantastic Beasts a lot more than the muddled mess that was the Cursed Child.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2016?

I have a very clear picture of Kvothe’s world from the Kingkiller Chronicles and Adua from The First Law trilogy which I reread this year.

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2016?

Daughter of Smoke & Bone was a lot more fun than I was expecting, as was the Kingkiller Chronicles. And I always enjoy Robert Galbraith, which is why I read The Cuckoo’s Calling twice this year. And the Chalet School books are just fun.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

Jacqueline Wilson again, like last year, only this time with Katy.

27. Book You Read in 2016 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I am fond, in a way, of Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland books, which get overlooked in favour of mainland Scandi crime. But the English translations are being done in a crazy order (number 2, then number 6, then number 3, then I think number 4 – what’s the sense in that?). Still not enough people are reading Scott Lynch.


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