I read 68 books in 2015, which seems low but doesn’t include anything I didn’t finish completely. Nine of the total were read for a professional obligation of some kind, whether for a review or our best books deliberations or they were written by authors who were appearing on a panel I was moderating.
- Mystery/suspense/thrillers: 28
- YA: 17
- Memoir: 8
- General fiction/literary fiction: 8
- Nonfiction: 4
- Sf/fantasy: 3
The format breakdown is as follows:
- Library ebook: 26
- Galley/advance reading copy (print): 14
- Galley/advance reading copy (ebook): 13
- Print: 14
- Library print book: 1
The gender breakdown of authors:
- Female: 60
- Male: 7
- Unsure: 1
As far as standout titles, these are ones that give me a particularly warm feeling when I see them on my list:
- All of Louise Penny’s wonderful Inspector Gamache series.
- Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies.
- Dodie Smith’s classic I Capture the Castle.
- Felicia Day and Shonda Rhimes’s terrific memoirs.
- Rachel Hartman’s richly imagined YA titles Seraphina and Shadow Scale.
- Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
- Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
- P.D. James’s The Children of Men.
When I compare the 2015 breakdown to the 2014, the main thing that jumps out at me is that I finished far fewer books this past year than the one before. Otherwise, though, the genre, format, and author gender divisions are about the same. I made some headway in diversifying my reading, but not as much as I’d like—I’d say nine of those 68 titles could qualify as such; more than ten percent, but not yet 20. So my goal for 2016 is for at least 25% of the books I read to have an author or protagonist who is not a straight, white, neurotypical, able-bodied person.
wait –25% has to have a protagonist that is ALL those things? not straight, not white, not neurotypical, not able-bodied? black + gay + wheelchair bound? Or can they just be one or two of those things? black & gay = fine? wheelchair bound + schizophrenic = OK?