Saturday, January 4

2013 - A Year in Review

Goodbye 2013, welcome 2014. I can't believe the year is over and another one has begun. It's been another great year. I met one of my all time favourite authors, had a great time watching, and guessing the winners for Canada Reads and the Giller Prize. I even avidly watched the online/tv broadcasts. I rescued, er allowed lots and lots of books follow me home. Attended a few small, book related events and read a lot of books.

Compared to last year, I'm fairly close in how much I read and the different types, although I know I branched out a little bit in trying to read more mysteries. It worked and didn't work for me, but had fun nonetheless. Like last year, which is technically now two years ago.... so... 2012, below is a list if the books I read, my top ten favourites, and 10 least favourites, because you can't do a year end review without a top-ten list...... right? (It's been -22 degrees, plus windchill making it feel like -35, my brain is still thawing out so if I'm rambling, I blame frozen brain). Okay, so below, stats, lists, reviews and how I did on all of my challenges! Drink coffee, or tea or hot chocolate or other tasty beverages, you'll need it!


The Books

1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon - 10/10
2. Whitethorn Woods - Maeve Binchy - 8/10
3. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe - 7.25/10
4. The Beginning of Spring - Penelope Fitzgerald - 7.25/10
5. The Sometimes Lake - Sandy Bonny - 6/10
6. Away - Jane Urquhart - 9/10
7. February - Lisa Moore - 9.75/10
8. The Purchase - Linda Spalding - 6/10
9. Indian Horse - Richard Wagamese - 6/10
10. The City & the city - China Miéville - 5/10
11. On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan - 3/10
12. Between the Acts - Virginia Woolf - 7.25/10
13. Out for Blood - Alyxandra Harvey - 6/10
14. Two Solitudes - Hugh MacLennan - 7.25/10
15. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov - 7/10
16. The Age of Hope - David Bergen - 6.25/10
17. The Color of Tea - Hannah Tunnicliffe - 7.5/10
18. Divergent - Veronica Roth - 8.25/10
19. Time and Again - Jack Finney - 2/10
20. The Broken Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin - 3.75/10
21. Lady Oracle - Margaret Atwood - 8.75/10
22. Heat Wave - Richard Castle - 7.75/10
23. Sophia's Secret - Susanna Kearsley - 5/10
24. Club Dead - Charlaine Harris - 7/10
25. The Earth Hums in B Flat - Mari Strachan - 5/10
26. Insurgent - Veronica Roth - 8/10
27. Dance of the Happy Shades - Alice Munro - 7.5/10
28. The Fort - Bernard Cornwell - 4.5/10
29. The Lighthouse - Alison Moore - 7/10
30. The Informationist - Taylor Stevens - 7/10
31. The South - Colm Toibin - 7.75/10
32. Song of Kosovo - Chris Gudgeon - 7.25/10
33. River of Stars - Guy Gavriel Kay (Review Book) - 7.75/10
34. The Other Sister - Lola Lemire Tostevin - 4/10
35. Four Dragons - Diana Dru Botsford - 7/10
36. Tales From Firozsha Baag - Rohinton Minstry - 3/10
37. King Leary - Paul Quarrington - 4/10
38. Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women - Various (Review Book) - 8.25/10
39. The Perfect Circle - Pascale Quiviger - 4/10
40. Gold Mountain Blues - Ling Zhang - 5.5/10
41. Quentins - Maeve Binchy - 6.75/10
42. Forgotten Country - Catherine Chung - 7.25/10
43. The Black Cloister - Melanie Dobson - 6.5/10
44. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky - Heidi Durrow - 7.75/10
45. Cream Puff Murder - Joanne Fluke - 7/10
46. Heidi - Joanne Spyri - 8/10
47. Secrets - (SGA 20/Book 5 of the Legacy Series) - Jo Graham, Melissa Scott - 8.25/10
48. The Inheritors (SGA 21/Book 6 of the Legacy Series) - Jo Graham, Melissa Scott, Amy Griswold -9/10
49. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan - 7/10
50. Fishducky's Fables - Fran Fischer - 5/10
51. The Blue Castle - L.M. Montgomery - 5/10
52. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie - Ayana Mathis - 7.75/10
53. The Painted Girls - Cathy Marie Buchanan - 7.5/10
54. The Blondes - Emily Schultz - 4.75/10
55. The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution - Donna Thorland - 3/10
56. The Kingdom of Gods - N. K. Jemisin - 7/10
57. The Garden of Evening Mists - Tan Twan Eng - 8.25/10
58. Ink - Amanda Sun - 7.5/10
59. The Memory Man - Lisa Appignanesi - 9.5/10
60. Eight Girls Taking Pictures - Whitney Otto - 6/10
61. Gold Digger: A Klondike Mystery - Vicki Delany - 6/10
62. The Mysterious Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 7.5/10
63. Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris - 8.5/10
64. Skeleton Women - Mingmei Yip - 9/10
65. The Nine Fold Heaven - Mingmei Yip - 8.25/10
66. April Morning - Howard Fast - 7.75/10
67. Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show - Frank Delaney -7/10
68. Wildcatter - Dave Duncan - 7/10
69. Wild Geese - Martha Ostenso - 9.5/10
70. Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris - 8/10
71. Emma - Jane Austen - 7.5/10
72. Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle - 7.25/10
73. Away From Everywhere - Chad Pelley - 10/10
74. Open Secrets - Alice Munro - 9/10
75. The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton - 8.5/10
76. A Wind in the Door - Madeleine L'Engle - 4.5/10
77. Under the Sun - Justin Kerr-Smiley - 7/10
78. Moebius Squared - Jo Graham and Melissa Scott - 3/10
79. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gailman - 4.5/10
80. The Kissing Man - George Elliott - 7.5/10
81. A Brewing Storm - Richard Castle - 7.5/10
82. A Raging Storm - Richard Castle - 7.75/10
83. A Bloody Storm - Richard Castle - 7/10
84. Baking Cakes in Kigali - Gaile Parkin - 6.5/10
85. The Diviners - Margaret Laurence - 10/10
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Minstry - 9/10
87. Soldier's Song - Alan Monaghan - 3/10
88. The Perks of Being a Wall Flower - 6.75/10
89. Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami - 6.75/10
90. Sweetness in the Belly - Camillia Gibb - 7/10
91. Men of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong - 8.75/10
92. The Second Life of Samuel Tyne - Esi Edugyan - 6.5/10
93. The Best Place on Earth - Ayelet Tsabari - 9.25/10
94. The Truth About Delilah Blue - Tish Cohen - 6.25/10
95. Missing - Francis Itani - 6.75/10
96. Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth - Jane O'Conner - 8/10
97. Surprise Island - Gertrude Chandler Warner - 7/10
98. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie - 9.75/10
99. Minister Without Portfolio - Michael Winter - 6.5/10
100. The Woman Upstairs - Claire Messud - 5.5/10
101. Extraordinary - David Gilmour - 8/10
102. Anne of Avonlea - L. M. Montgomery - 6/10
103. The Son of a Certain Women - Wayne Johnston - 3/10
104. Caught - Lisa Moore - 7.5/10
105. HellGoing - Lynn Coady - 7.25/10
106. A Beautiful Truth - Colin McAdam - 4.5/10
107. Going Home Again - Dennis Bock - 3.25/10
108. Beauty Beneath the Banyan - Crystal Fletcher - 10/10
109. Loteria - Mario Alberto Zambrano - 7.75/10
110. Allegiant - Veronica Roth - 7.25/10
111. Bone and Bread - Saleema Nawaz - 7/10
112. Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility - Theodora Armstrong - 7.5/10
113. Under Budapest - Ailsa Kay - 5/10
114. The Crooked Maid - Dan Vyleta - 8.5/10
115. Emancipation Day - Wayne Grady - 8.5/10
116. The Lion Seeker - Kenneth Bonert - 9.25/10
117. How To Get Along With Women - Elizabeth de Mariaffi - 6.75/10
118. In The Land of the Birdfishes - Rebecca Silver Slayter - 8.75/10
119. Fair Exchange - Michèle Roberts - 7/10
120. Choke Collar: Positron Episode 2 - Margaret Atwood - 8/10
121. Erase Me: Positron Episode 3: Margaret Atwood - 8/10
122. The Female Quixote - Charlotte Lennox - 4/10
123. Definitely Dead - Charlaine Harris - 7.25/10
124. Changing Heaven - Jane Urquhart - 6/10
125. Beautiful Days - Teng Xiaolan - 7/10
126. The Flight of the Earls - Michael K. Reynolds - 4/10
127. The Odds: A Love Story - Stewart O'Nan - 2.5/10
128. All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris - 6.75/10
129. The Empty Room - Lauren B. Davis - 9/10
130. Mercy Among the Children - David Adams Richards - 10/10
131. Irish Fairy Tales - James Stephenson - 6.5/10
132. The Beothuk Expedition - Derek Yetman - 4/10
133. The Book of Secrets - M. G. Vassanji - 4/10
134. End of Days: A Night Runner Novel - Max Turner - 7.25/10
135. Always and Forever - Cathy Kelley - 8/10
136. Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall - Kazou Ishiguro - 5/10
137. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift - 2.75/10


Breakdown of Ratings

My lowest review was a 2. My highest was a 10. About 18% of the books I read received a rating of below 5  while 29% received a rating of 8 or higher, but the majority of my rankings are still in the middle range. 

Rating Category
Amount of Books
1 - 2.75
3
3 - 3.75
8
4 - 4.75
12
5 - 5.75
9
6 - 6.75
21
7 - 7.75
46
8 - 8.75
21
9 - 9.75
12
10
5


Top Ten Favourite Books
  1. The Memory Man - Lisa Appignanesi
  2. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie 
  3. Beauty Beneath the Banyan - Crystal Fletcher
  4. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon -
  5. The Diviners - Margaret Laurence 
  6. February - Lisa Moore 
  7. Wild Geese - Martha Ostenso 
  8. Away From Everywhere - Chad Pelley 
  9. Mercy Among the Children - David Adams Richards 
  10. The Best Place on Earth - Ayelet Tsabari 




Out of the ten books, my number one book of the year was Mercy Among the Children. Also, it was hard to narrow my choices to ten. As there were two books that I was trying to decide for the final cut. So, honourable metion to The Lion Seeker.  Also, fun fact, 8/10 books are CanLit on this years top ten. 








Ten Least Favourite Books
  1. Going Home Again - Dennis Bock 
  2. Time and Again - Jack Finney 
  3. Moebius Squared - Jo Graham and Melissa Scott
  4. The Son of a Certain Women - Wayne Johnston 
  5. On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
  6. Tales From Firozsha Baag - Rohinton Minstry 
  7. Soldier's Song - Alan Monaghan 
  8. The Odds: A Love Story - Stewart O'Nan 
  9. The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution - Donna Thorland 
  10. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift 



General Stats and Other Fun Facts


This year I read more EBooks (11 more) and Library book (16 more). I also read more pages this year than last year. This year I also gave up on a few books. For a couple of them I may go back to them later as one or two were library book and I didn't give them a chance, before having to return them. This was one of the few times I ever actually gave up on multiple books.

General Stats
Number of Books
Books Read
137
Pages Read
37, 981
Re-Reads (included in total)
2
Did-not-finish
6


Format of Book

Print
73
EBook
64


Where they Came From

Own
97
Library Books
40
Review Books
6



This year I read more novels and less short stories both individual and as a collection. I had hoped to read some poetry collections but never got the chance. Maybe 2014 will be my year.

Type of Book
Number of Books
Novel
110
Short Story Collections
16
Short Story and/or Novella (Individual)
10
Poetry
0
Combined
1

I read the same amount of Canadian Books in 2013 as I did in 2012 but about 60% of those were new to me Canadian Authors and almost half of the New to Me Authors I read this year were Canadian. Most of these stats are lower than last year, but I did read more mysteries/thrillers this year, which is a genre I don't normally read.

Other Random Facts
Number of Books
Canadiana
62
New to Me Canadian Authors
38
Authors New to Me
78
Women Writers
84
Speculative Fiction
28
Mysteries/Thrillers
16
1001 Books
8
Classics
8
Series
31
Children's/YA Lit
15


The Challenges

This year I participated in 16 challenges plus the Goodreads challenge, where I met my goal of 131 books and the 50 Book pledge where I pledged to read 100 books. Of the 16 challenges I completed 11 of them. Which I'm happy with, I almost finished the alphabet challenge, and probably could have, but I would have finished, pretty much at midnight. Talk about finishing in the eleventh hour! I also wish I finished the Mount TBR Challenge, but those new books are just too tempting to read.  



Challenge Name
Progress
Challenge Starts
Challenge Ends
Challenge Completed
1
100 Books in 2013
100/100
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
October 6, 2013
2
2013 Category Challenge
102/131
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
DNF
3
7th Annual Canada Book Challenge
40/13
July 1, 2013
June 30, 2014
September 27, 2013 (13 books)
4
777 Challenge
7/7
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
September 11, 2013
5
Alphabet Challenge 2013
51/52
 
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
DNF
6
Canadian Book Challenge VI
60/13 Books
July 1, 2012
June 30, 2013
September 1, 2012
7
E-Book Challenge 2013
50/50 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
October 23, 2013
8
Finish That Series Challenge 2013
1/4 Series
2/7 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
DNF
9
Ireland Reading Challenge 2013
10/10 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
December 31, 2013
10
Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge
9/12 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
DNF
11
Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2013
54/75 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
DNF
12
Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge 2013
5/5 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
July 6, 2012
13
New Author Challenge 2013
50/50 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
September 8, 2013
14
Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge 2013
5/5 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
December 8, 2013
16
War Through the Generations Challenge 2013
3/3 Books
January 1, 2013
December 31, 2013
July 14, 2013




Countries Visited

This year I visited 36 different countries. Oddly enough I ignored all of South and Central America as well as the Caribbean.  I "visited" Canada the most, followed by the USA.








Australia: 1 / Austria: 2 / Cambodia: 1 / Cameroon: 1/ Canada: 37 /China: 5 / Egypt: 1 / Ethiopia: 1/ England: 14 / Equatorial Guinea: 1 / France: 3 / Germany: 3 / Hungary: 1 / India: 2 / Ireland: 10 / Isreal: 1 / Italy: 4 / Japan: 2 / Kosovo: 1* / Laos: 1 / Macau: 1*/Malaysia: 1 /Nigeria: 1/North Korea: 1/Poland: 1/Russia: 3/Rwanda: 1/Scotland: 1/Serbia: 1/South Africa: 1/Spain: 1/Switzerland: 1/Tanzania: 1/Thailand: 1/USA: 32 /Wales: 1



Reading Projects

I worked on two major reading projects, the 2013 Giller Prize (Giller Fever), where I had planned to read all of the longlisted books.  I'm not finished it yet, so I'm carrying it over to this year. I also had my own version of the award, Jules' Book Reviews Prize, which will also be carried over for this year. I only have a couple of books left to read, so I'm trying to finish those off.



Books that Followed Me Home

Many! The house is still standing, my e-reader only has one SD card to help expand its collection, so clearly not enough!


Outlook on 2014.

So far I'm participating in 14 challenges. Although one is the 50 book pledge, the other is the Goodreads challenge, so as long as I read books, they count. My goal is to read 140 books this year. I was close last year and in 2012, so I'm fairly certain I can do it. And technically, I've finished one challenge, but it runs until June 30 2014, and then (I assume) the next one starts. So in reality, it's just one long perpetual challenge for me. I'm again aiming to read more CanLit, and more new to me authors of CanLit.  And I have a goal of finishing the Wheel of Time Series. I will have to re-read the first 6 books, but I'm going to finish it this year. I don't remember the story enough to finish with the series, so it's basically going to be a fresh start for me. The hopefully I can start/finish some of the other series I've been neglecting.

But mostly, 2014 is going to be a read what I love, I have challenges, but most of them are ones where  I can experience new books, but still stick close to what I love. I also have a few other books I plan on re-reading this year, but reading is my main goal. Oh, and I promise myself this every year, I will try to be more social! I do read your stuff, I just don't comment. I lurk (but in a non-creepy way) I mean to comment, usually I have all the blogs, postings, discussion boards open, ready to go, promising myself I'll come back to it later, but I don't. Or the computer decides to act up and restarts. Either way, I'll try.

Hope all of you have a great 2014!


15 comments:

  1. Wow, you are very organized. I hope 2014 is a great year for you.

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    1. I wish I was that organized with other aspects of life. :) But my tracking methods is a lot less complicated then it looks.

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  2. Wow. I love that you included your least favorite books as well. Good luck with 2014!

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    1. Some of my least favourites were other peoples favourites. It's interesting how it works out, but I like to show both sides of what I read. You never know, sometimes you find your favourite read in the least favourite lists.

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  3. You read a lot! I forgot to see how many countries I visited in the pages. Not many, I think (if any at all).

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    1. Yeah, I got a lot read, but hoping to read more. I love keeping track of what countries I "visit" and trying to find books from places I haven't been to yet

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  4. Wow, what an impressive round-up! I'm surprised you had time to read anything!

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    1. It's not nearly as complicated as it looks on the page Most of the stats was a copy and paste. After each book I mark everything down so I have all my stats in a simple way t the end of the month and year.

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  5. FINALLY someone who agrees with me about On Chesil Beach! Great round up!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Not my favourite read, but so far that's been my experience with the author. I liked a few books, enjoyed another a lot, but I don't see the hype behind him.

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  6. I suppose you didn't technically finish the level you signed up for for the MIA Reading Challenge, but 9 books is still a lot! Was so glad to have you participating.

    This was my first year with a dnf book. I had no idea where to put it in my stats, so I just didn't. I don't know why I didn't think to just list dnf, lol.

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    1. I've signed up again this year, and hopefully this year I'll finish it

      I usually don't have DNFs, so it's new for me to. Trying to place them on Goodreads was what I found difficult.

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  7. Love the expanse of your Top Reads list: from Laurence to Haddon...such diverse styles!

    Which of the Gillers remain for you? I still have to get to Hamelin's myself. If you're interested, maybe we can nudge each other along on that one. I'm also still missing Celona's Y from last year (somehow).

    My TBR goal was apparently completely unreasonable (I was aiming for 48 books, which I'd managed last year, and wasn't even close), so I am particularly impressed by that one of your challenges. Though I'm still sad about your Alphabet one. Which letter was missing?!?! And are you going to try again?

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    1. The Gillers for 2013 are: The Orenda, October 1970 (which was one of my DNFs but I might try to get back to) and Cataract City, which I'm about to finish.

      My TBR goal this year is probably unreasonable again this year like last year, but I'll try.

      It was the second "X" book. I did to lists for the A-Z one was all authors, the second was All Canadian, unless it was impossible to find one, and it was the "X" for that one. I have up trying to find an Canadian "X" author, and just picked a book of the shelves, but alas sill didn't finish it

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    2. Oh, that's neat. I did two lists, but one for authors and one for titles. I like the extra degree of challenge of making it Canlit. That would be a tonne of fun. The host for the challenge that year allowed for Ex to stand in for X, so I remember using Maureen Jennings' mystery Except the Dying. That's probably cheating in some hosts' eyes. And maybe it actually *is* cheating. But there aren't a lot of Ex books either really!

      Let me know if you're planning to give Hamelin another go, and I'll let you know when I get another copy too. Maybe the timing will work for a co-read or maybe not: we'll see...

      Reading goals are kinda sorta sposedta be unreasonable, aren't they? LOL

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