Hi Internet! Welcome to a new year.
So I read A LOT in 2016. After coming so close in 2015 to the 50-book mark, I really buckled down and read every spare moment I got. I carried books with me constantly. I figured out how to use the public library e-book portal. And, for my effort, I completed 69 books in 2016. Woo!
Last year, for my re-cap, I did a “one-sentence book reviews” post, but this year I’d like to talk a little bit about my book-rating philosophy and maybe even look at some graphs. Yes, I know–once an engineer, always an engineer.
Holly’s Book Rating Philosophy:
Five: This is one of the best things I’ve read. It made think and feel feelings. I probably want to buy it and/or re-read it.
Four: Enjoyable! This book is good, with a few problems/things I didn’t resonate with.
Three: Meh. There is potential here, but there’s enough I don’t like to irritate me. I probably wanted to like this a lot more than I did.
Two: Grrr. This was forgettable or frustrating, with just enough good bits/soundbites to save it from…..
One: Yuck. Waste of time.
I view my rating “buckets” as on a bell curve. Ignore the percentages, but the darkest middle chunk would the Threes, and the Fives and Ones the smallest pieces on the ends. This means, also, that there are ranges within ratings, with some Fours (for example) being higher than others.
As the year progressed, I got curious about my rating strategy and whether or not I had gotten more or less lenient over the years. Me being the data freak I am, I complied the stats from 2014, 2015, and 2016 and compared.
This plot shows the percentage of books in each rating category over the three years. It confirmed my suspicion that yes, I was getting pickier–or at least it seemed to be harder for a book to ‘wow’ me and get a Five. But, by the same token, I think I’ve gotten better at steering clear of book that won’t appeal to me–hence the dip in the Twos and Ones in 2016.
Goals for 2017
No seriously–I’m not one to set myself complicated resolutions about number or pages or types of books to pick up. I set the 50-book challenge again on Goodreads. I would aim for more, since I blew the 50 out of the water in 2016, but I am anticipating the latter third of the year will perhaps be a return to school….stay tuned for more.
And so to close, I am going to list every book I read in 2016, in order of rating.
VICIOUS, V.E. Schwab
FLEDGLING, Octavia Butler
THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANT, Becky Chambers
STATION ELEVEN, Emily St. John Mandel
THE WATER KNIFE, Paolo Bacigalupi
MORE THAN THIS, Patrick Ness
THE HANDMAID’S TALE, Margaret Atwood
LEAN IN, Sheryl Sandberg
IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES, Marie Brennan
A MONSTER CALLS, Patrick Ness
APOLLO’S ANGELS, Jennifer Homans
THE WORD FOR WORLD IS FOREST, Ursula LeGuin
THE HISTORIAN, Elizabeth Kostova
MY LUCKY LIFE IN AND OUT OF SHOW BUSINESS, Dick van Dyke
WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR, Paul Kalanithi
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, Seanan McGuire
ANNO DRACULA, Kim Newman
THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE, Claire North
THE NIGHT CIRCUS, Erin Morgenstern
KUSHIEL’S DART, Jacqueline Carey
READY PLAYER ONE, Ernest Cline
THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK, Bruce Bueno De Mesquita and Alastair Smith
MR FAHRENHEIT, T. Michael Martin
WARBREAKER, Brandon Sanderson
ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY, Charlie Jane Anders
THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE, Michel Faber
THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, Brian Selznick
I AM PROVIDENCE, Nick Mamatas
CHILDREN OF THE EARTH AND SKY, Guy Gavriel Kay
THE MINIATURIST, Jessie Burton
THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, Neil Gaiman
RADIANCE, Catherynne Valente
THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE, Tom Holt
SORCERER TO THE CROWN, Zen Cho
THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING, Erika Johansen
THE GENE, Siddhartha Mukherjee
BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT, Damon Tweedy
CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD, Alexander Weinstein
THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST, Holly Black
THE BONE CLOCKS, David Mitchell
ZEROES, Chuck Wendig
DO NO HARM, Henry Marsh
TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG, Connie Willis
FUTURISTIC VIOLENCE AND FANCY SUITS, David Wong
SLEEPING GIANTS, Sylvian Neuvel
THE TRAITOR BARU CORMORANT, Seth Dickinson
LAST SONG BEFORE NIGHT, Ilana Myer
THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, Renee Ahdieh
THE IMPROBABILITY OF LOVE, Hannah Rothschild
THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM, Cixin Liu
ADVENTURES IN HUMAN BEING, Gavin Francis
HOTEL RUBY, Suzanne Young
BUFFERING, Hannah Hart
GRUNT, Mary Roach
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, Zora Neale Hurston
THE ENCHANTED, Rene Denfeld
I, Q, John de Lancie
VAGINA: A NEW BIOGRAPHY, Naomi Wolf
A STITCH IN TIME, Andrew Robinson
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, Phillip K. Dick
THE BELL JAR, Sylvia Plath
CONCUSSION, Jeanne Maria Laskas
PERV: THE SEXUAL DEVIANT IN ALL OF US, Jesse, Bering
FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK, Melina Marchetta
THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, Marieke Nijkamp
YOU’RE A VAMPIRE: THAT SUCKS, Domenick Dicce
THE RESURRECTIONIST, E.B. Hudspeth
THE ALCHEMIST’S TOUCH, Garret Robinson
THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC
Wow that’s a lot of books. If you made it all the way down here, kudos! Happy New Year!