Saturday 27 December 2008

End of Year Meme

Well, my Top 15 of 2008 were listed yesterday, and now for something linked to it.
I did this meme at the end of last year, and thought it worth a revisit for 2008... I won't tag anyone, but do have a go if you'd like to.

-How many books read in 2008?

137 (so far!)

-Fiction/Non-Fiction ratio?

101 Fiction/36 Non-Fiction, which leans less towards fiction than usual. Mostly literary non-fiction - letters, biography, lit crit.

-Male/Female authors?
62 male, 72 female, 3 where there were mixed contributors. Wom
en were comfortably outstripping the men until the autumn when my course started, and the reading lists became dominated by men. Still, women just win out.

-Favourite book read?
Top 15 listed here...

-Least favourite?
Not including the occasional review book which I didn't think much of (as I try to only write positive reviews of books if people have been kind enough to send them to me) - I was underwhelmed by Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, and bored by Conrad's Heart of Darkness. And, of course, gave up on Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin.

-Oldest book read?
A re-read of Sense and Sensibility wins this title. A bit more modern than last year's winner - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Quite a few read before they were published this year...

-Longest book title?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer will probably be most bloggers' longest title for 2008.

-Shortest title?
I've cut a couple letters of last years (5, with 'Sylva') - the shortest title thi
s year is Tru by Eric Melbye.

-How many re-reads?
Far more than usual... 18. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day; Year In, Year Out by AA Milne; Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice; Cold Comfort Farm; The Garden Party; four Mapp & Lucia books; four St. Clare's books, and four titles on my 50 Books... list: Speaking of Love; The Love Child; The L-Shaped Room; The Provincial Lady Goes Further

-Most books read by one author this year?
EF Benson and AA Milne win with 6 each; Enid Blyton
managed 4; Jane Austen, EM Delafield, Olive Schreiner, Katherine Mansfield and Daphne du Maurier had a respectable 3 ea

-Any in translation?
2: The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. Considering I'd hoped to read lots of Scandinavian lit this year, I rather failed.

-And how many of this year's books were from the library?
17, all the university library, which is better than none last year.


  1. Simon, many thanks for pointing me in the direction of so many great books in recent months. I am doing my best to keep up with you! I would single out "It's Too Late Now", "Frost at Morning", and "Deceived by Kindness". I tried to get "The Haunted Bookshop", but the only one I could find was quite expensive.

  2. Hey! Nice to meet another Enid Blyton and St Clare's fan. My book list this past year was embarrassingly low. But I'll do better next year. Happy Holidays!

  3. Well done for using the library! I, of course, have read a tiny number of fiction books by comparison, Fiction to non-fiction ratio probably about 1:3, with of order 35 fiction books in total, but almost all of these (apart from the Colette) were from my public or University library, so I still just manage to beat you at something.

    Have a very Happy New Year

    Dark Puss

  4. Cool meme. I'd love to use it too if you don't mind. After I figure it all out of course.

  5. Great meme! I've decided to use it as my 2008 wrap-up. Thanks, Simon.

  6. Some lovely books! I've also read your earlier posts - I'm catching up after being away over Christmas. I haven't read any of your favourite books, although I have the Mitford book waiting to be read - after reading your earlier post on it! Thanks for all your recommendations.

  7. You have been tagged!

  8. Oops! You're quite right, you never mentioned Helen Berr. I have no idea where I got that recommendation from then, I'd just assumed it was you. Thanks for the rest though!

  9. What an interesting year end wrap up! I like the idea of figuring out the oldest book read; like you I've read many new ones in pre-pub. Your top 15 list also gives me more titles to add to The List.

  10. I've had a go at this over at my blog. Still thinking about the meme I was actually tagged for though...

    Happy New Year for tomorrow x

  11. I had a go at this on my very under-used LJ:


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