Part 2 of Year End Sum and Looking Onward

I read NINE books from the list of 1001+ Books to Read Before I Die. Which is also what feeding my Classics fever.

Is there a good way to find out where authors are from or whether or not they should be considered diverse? I have a hard time with this one – either figuring it out, knowing how to figure it out but mostly taking the time to figure it out. Just saying.

I really did read more diversely and somewhat on purpose but also because I am making good efforts to pay attention to titles that are on other bloggers’ diverse lists and hearing they are MUST READS. Now I need to read the ‘more by’ these authors I’m finding excellent. Truthfully, I am not or have not typically been the kind of reader who ‘follows’ an author – somehow Stephen King has made it on that list (up to 11 now!)  and, of course, Tracy Kidder*. But even the other authors I *say* I want to read more-by, I haven’t. Authors like Atwood and McEwan come quickly to mind. Now I want to read more by Tayari Jones. and others, but Ms. Jones is who I will focus on this year. I also intend to read more nonfiction on issues of race and education.

Only 10 books from 2014 were by an author I had previously enjoyed. Thus, over 50 new to me authors!
Three authors presented me with their second:  Garth Stein’s Sudden Light, Matt Haig – both read this year: The Radleys and The Human. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Signature of All Things (and this was my first fiction from her.)
I reread two books: Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and Daphne DuMaurier’s The House on the Strand.

I do a horrible job tracking genre.  (Excuse for no pie charts… I love everyone’s pie charts!)

I failed to note which PRIZE winners I was reading but I know many of the titles enjoyed this year won Pulitzers and/or…   other notable prizes. Sigh.

Unintended THEMES in my 2014 reading: how many books had to do with water, at least in title. Like Water for Chocolate, The Color of Water, Three Men in a Boat, Washing Cars and Wasting Time, and Hops & Glory (a reach perhaps, but beer is mostly water, and this is a story about traveling by water, sort of.) I had many parallel reads – The Sparrow followed immediately by Silver Sparrow with nothing in common. All the Light We Cannot See and immediately after Sudden Light, also coincidental and both book club books.

Borrowed from the Stats suggestions everyone is using:
Book I was excited about and thought I was going to love more:  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Most surprising book: Again, East of Eden because just mentioning Steinbeck out loud used to bring on a rash because I overdosed on him in High School. And Count of Monte Cristo – THRILLING!!!  drama, revenge, dastardly deeds, sinisterness, benefits of cold calculated plotting of plans, love and sex and love, duplicitousness and generosity, violence and horrific tales! ALL of it.

Book I pushed the most people to read: Probably The Rosie Project. HOWEVER. I did toss out to a Facebook friend that she should read Monte Cristo and she publicly thanked me for the suggestion because she LOVED it. Such a lovely lovely feeling, yes?

 

Looking Onward – I will do the What’s in a Name Challenge, as many readalongs that appeal to me, The Classics Challenge, and I hope to join in a REAL LIFE book club of somesort while reading along with my Massachusetts club.

I am setting a goal of 65 books.

Otherwise, the year is WIDE OPEN!

Readalong anybody for a Sister Carrie or Germinal?  I’m currently audiobooking Five Days at the Memorial.

OK, that’s it. Next up, some regular ol’ reviews!

 

 

* I didn’t get to any Kidder books in 2014.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Part 2 of Year End Sum and Looking Onward

  1. Even with your lack of pie charts, I had great fun reading this! It was quintessentially Care, with the coincidences and “non-usual” sort of stats and such. One of the many things I love about you. 🙂 Much luck with your goals and even more with your wide open!

  2. litandlife

    I really do need to do a better job of tracking my reading. I’ve been pretty content just to know how many books I’ve read and haven’t dug much deeper but I am curious about breaking things down and seeing what I’m missing.

    1. I do get frustrated when I feel like I haven’t done a good job categorizing. I love TO organize, I just don’t like maintaining my org, yaknow? I do OK with my google spreadsheet data entry though and it saves me for most of this but then I wing it.

  3. Have fun with your plans for the new year. I’m still trying to decide which challenges to join but I think I’ll probably do the What’s In a Name. So fun.

    1. Yes! Let’s cheer each other on with the WiaN! Since I didn’t get Mockingjay complete read by NYE, I can count if for either the ING or ANIMAL category so I’m off to a good start!

  4. I’m up for Sister Carrie! I want to read Germinal, too, but have this crazy idea of reading the Rougon-Macquart series in order. The Fortune of the Rougons (book 1) is on my kindle now.

    1. yea, I’m not interested in THAT much Zola! but i ‘get’ that one probably should be. I really want to start Sister Carrie soon – do you think we can get it read THIS January?

  5. I too am bad at following authors, even when I want to or say I’m going to. And I also have a hard time with the “diversity” category. I still can’t figure out the specific qualities necessary to qualify as a diverse author or book. Let me know if you figure it out. 🙂

    1. Sometimes, especially if no photo on goodreads or a bio anywhere, I feel I should respect the idea that I shouldn’t actually choose by this criteria but then colorblindness only seems to trip ya up into that ‘privilege’ habit and so we should try to embrace the differences – cuz really, that’s when we find the human-ness of us all.

    1. Ok. You do know that I know NOTHING about Sister Carrie because I’m skipping Doctorow’s intro – because Intro’s typically assume you know what is about to happen… But I can’t wait to hear what Ms Parker says about Dreiser – save for after?

  6. I’d be up for a readalong of Germinal! I’ve been meaning to read it. Amanda (Zen Leaf) loves loves loves it. I haven’t read East of Eden, but I felt the same way about Steinbeck when I read Grapes of Wrath. It was so so good. I’ve been meaning to read East of Eden for years.

  7. I’ve been really bad at tracking my reading (I’ll just say that I have no idea how many books I read last year, except it was “not many”) so your stats look pretty good to me. And I must say, you’re making The Count of Monte Cristo look quite attractive! I haven’t had any hankerings to read a classic, but this might one I tackle this year.

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