For the last few years I have been tracking my reading via author gender, book format, genre and author nationality. So here are my results from 2018:
In 2018 I read 69 books which was 3 down on last year but on par with previous years. My author gender ratio was majority female for the first time since I started tracking my reading thanks mainly to devouring all of Maggie O’Farrell’s novels, finishing my discovery of Margaret Atwood and then also discovering the brilliance that is Barbara Kingsolver. My aim with tracking was always parity but I’m pretty happy to tip the balance the other way to to make for previous years of unbalance.
My formats stayed roughly the same in 2018 with audio the predominant format thanks to two hours of driving every day plus my daily dog walk. For the second year in a row I read no eBooks.
Fiction was again my preferred genre with literary fiction the dominant sub-genre. My crime reading was down again in 2018 down to 10%. The same as last year I feel crime is becoming so generic and formulaic. As publishers see bestsellers coming from this genre they are publishing anything and anything. Some of the “biggest”crime books this year were rip off plots of previous bestsellers. And don’t me started on dialogue. Some of the dialogue in the so-called “biggest books of 2018” was not only drivel it was used as an exposition of plot device instead of what it actually is. In saying that my favourite authors in the crime genre were at the absolute top of their game this year.
American writers again dominated my reading and were back up over 50% this year. My Australian writers were also down to 4% and I did not read very widely nationality wise in 2018. I have got my gender ratios right, I think my reading resolution for 2019 needs to be to read more diversely by nationality. Maybe I need to set a goal of reading a minimum of one author from every continent in 2019? Although me an goals don’t really get along when it comes to reading so we will see.
2018 was a cracking reading year. I don’t remember falling into any reading ruts and discovered some great novelists whom I read all their backlist including Maggie O’Farrell and Barbara Kingsolver. 2019 is already looming as a great year too with new novels from Don Winslow, Adrian McKinty, Laura Lippman, Margaret Atwood, Eleanor Catton and Andrew McGahan to name a few! Plus what ever new discoveries I can make!!