I Read Some Things

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved to read. Much to my Mom’s annoyance I had a started book in every room of the house. But at some point I developed the habit of re-reading the same books over and over. If I found myself bored I would grab a random pulp fiction book, open to a random page and start reading. I wanted to do better and start attacking the growing list of books on my reading wish list. So at the beginning of 2017 I clicked on one of the Goodreads emails and decided to sign up for a reading challenge. I set my sights high and tried to read 50 books. I overreached and only managed to read 44. Overall the challenge was a great motivational tool and I certainly read more books than I otherwise would have. I’ve set a goal of 40 books for 2018, a goal I hope to exceed.

I was rather disappointed with the lack of stats Goodreads provides so I generated some of my own. I used the Open Library API to get the page counts. I didn’t track which edition of a book I read so the page counts are probably estimates and I don’t have a good handle on the breakdown between ebooks vs. physical books. I didn’t track the start and finish dates of each book. I’m not sure I find the reading rate important. I’d rather focus on carving out time every day to read.

  • Books Read: 44
  • Fiction Books: 23
  • Non-Fiction Books: 21
  • Pages Read: 17,936
  • Longest Book: 1248 (Oathbringer)
  • Shortest Book: 165 (Man’s Search for Meaning)
  • Mean Book Length: 407
  • Median Book Length: 380
  • Month with most books read: February (6)
  • Month with least books read: November (2)

I am happy the balance of non-fiction to fiction turned out pretty even. I was afraid I would overload on one type of book. The vast majority of the fiction books where in the fantasy or science fiction variety and I found and completed several trilogies. Unsurprisingly Oathbringer was the longest book, which contributed to the low book count in November.

Finally I must say a word about my local library. There was a viral tweet within the last month questioning the usefulness of libraries. Over 90% of the books I read this year were from my local library system. I didn’t calculate the cost of all the books I read but it must be in the hundreds of dollars if not over a thousand dollars. I’m not sure how author feel about this in terms of revenue but even for privileged me the local library is invaluable and enabled me to read all of these books.

Book List

  • Platoon Leader: A memoir of Command in Combat McDonough, James
  • The Man in the High Castle Dick, Phillip
  • Death’s End Liu, Cixin
  • Beyond the band of brothers Winters, Dick
  • The Fifth Season Jemisin, N.K.
  • The Pheonix Project
  • Courageous (The Lost Fleet) Campbell, Jack
  • A Darker Shade of Magic Schwab, V. E.
  • The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War Downs, Frederick
  • Valiant (The Lost Fleet) Campbell, Jack
  • A Gathering of Shadows Schwab, V. E.
  • The Obelisk Gate Jemisin, N.K.
  • Babylon’s Ashes Corey, James
  • A Little Life Yanagihara, Hanya
  • More Money Than God Mallaby, Sebastian
  • Shoe Dog Knight, Phil
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World Weatherford, Jack
  • The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography Singh, Simon
  • Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety Schlosser, Eric
  • The Big Short Lewis, Michael
  • Extreme Ownership Willink, Jocko
  • Surrender, New York Carr, Caleb
  • Moneyball Lewis, Michael
  • The Death of Expertise Nichols, Tom
  • Past Time: Baseball as History Tygiel, Jules
  • The Collapsing Empire Scalzi, John
  • The Handmaid’s Tale Atwood, Margaret
  • Relentless (The Lost Fleet) Campbell, Jack
  • Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition Watson, Paul
  • A Conjuring of Light Schwab, V.E.
  • The Professor and the Madman Winchester Simon
  • Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl, Viktor
  • The Shards of Heaven Livingston, Michael
  • How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes Konnikova, Maria
  • It Can’t Happen Here Lewis, Sinclair
  • The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road Murphy, Finn
  • The Forever War Haldeman, Joe
  • The Gates of Hell Livingston, Michael
  • The Stone Sky Jemisin, N.K.
  • Ike’s Gamble Doran, Michael
  • The Everything Store Stone, Brad
  • Oathbringer Sanderson, Brandon
  • Ninefox Gambit Ha Lee, Yoon
  • Antarctica Robinson, Kim