Mt TBR Report: December 2015 and Yearly Wrap-up


Happy New Year! I hope 2016 has been treating you well so far. I had a lovely time with family and friends. My only complaint is that I didn’t get enough reading time (but when is that ever the case?).

Before I kick off with all my book-geeky stats, I want to congratulate Liz Barr on winning the 2016 NAFF race. It was a close race and I’m very thankful to everyone who voted for me. Perhaps I will have better luck next year.

Also, Round 15 of the Bout of Books reading challenge kicks off today and will be running for a week. There’s still time to sign up if you’d like to join in.

With that out of the way and with 2015 officially over, it’s time for me to take a good look at my reading stats for the year.

2015 reading stats

2015 was a fantastic year for my reading. I managed 91 books. It’s not the most I’ve ever read in a calendar year, but it comes close and certainly beats the 56 books I managed in 2014. I should add a caveat that this included graphic novels and a few bits and pieces too short to be strictly considered novels.

The majority of what I read was fantasy and romance, as usual. The exact split is a little difficult to determine, due to my predilection for fantasy romance. I was interested to see I read much more science fiction in 2015. I attribute this partly to Amanda Bridgeman’s Aurora series and partly to my participation in The 2016 Sci-fi Experience reading challenge (which will continue until February).

64% of the books I read in 2015 were written by women, down on 69% in 2014. I read 16 books written by authors of unknown, non-binary or multiple genders, which is just one less than the total number of books I read that were authored by men.

34% of the books I read in 2015 were written by Australian authors. This is an improvement on the 23% of 2014.

2015 was the first year I started tracking the diversity of the authors I’ve read. I found this a difficult variable to track because it’s not always obvious from an author’s bio or even with a Google search. I may need to reconsider if this is a useful approach. Nevertheless, I am somewhat disappointed to find that only 22% of the books I read were from authors I consider diverse.

More than half of the books I read in 2015 were e-books. This is a definite change from 2014, where the proportion was closer to a third. I suspect the change is mostly likely attributable to joining NetGalley and becoming a more active reviewer.

38 of the books I read were published in 2015. The average age of the books I read was 1.84 years. The average tenure on Mt TBR was 104 days, so I need to do some work on the oldest stratum. My mean rating (out of 5) was 3.5, which suggests to me I am probably being a bit generous with my ratings.

These numbers probably don’t mean much to anyone else, but I have such fun keeping track of them throughout the year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2015: 202
Mt TBR @ 31 December 2015: 242

One year I’d like to at least break even. Perhaps 2016 will be that year (I hear that laughing).

Despite the overall numbers, December was an excellent month for reading. The holidays allowed me to relax a bit and power through a few books. The flip side is that the holidays also mean an influx of books… and this doesn’t even count the books I’ll be buying with the fortune I was given in gift cards.

Books Read

80. Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis Wiebe, Roc Upchurch & Stjepan Sejic. The second volume of Rat Queens. I was a bit disappointed with the change in the art style, though I recognise the necessity. The writing remains as snappy as ever. It was nice to see more background unfold but I would have liked a bit more depth (though I realise I’m almost always going to feel this way about graphic novels).  Some full frontal (attractive) male nudity makes a nice change from the female nudity found so much in pop culture.

81. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. Magic-infused Regency. This book does such a great job of colouring the language with the perspectives of its characters, which is important in a book that focuses on discrimination in Regency London. A touch predictable in places, but overall wonderfully thought-provoking and well worth reading.

82. Hunter Deceived by Nancy Corrigan. Reviewed here.

83. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Reviewed here.

84. A Grosvenor Square Christmas by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Anna Campbell and Katie Noble. An anthology of four linked Regency romances set around an annual Christmas ball. Some fun seasonal reading that showcases the ability of the writers. There was one story I didn’t enjoy quite as much, but all were well written.

85. The Hobbit Chronicles: The Art of War by Daniel Falconer. Reviewed here.

86. Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown. Review forthcoming

87. Steeped by Annelies Zijderveld. A recipe book for tea-infused cooking. A number of the recipes seem rather fiddly or beyond my (basic) skill level, but there were still a few recipes I’m keen to try out.

88. In Heaven and Earth by Amy Rae Durreson. Review forthcoming.

89. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop. A fantasy novel set on an alternate Earth where humans live at the tolerance of the Others–shapeshifters and Elementals–who control the land. I haven’t been a huge fan of the series so far, but I find myself wondering if I’ve misjudged it. The characterisation remains fairly shallow, but it does wrestle with some pretty heavy issues around self-harm, slavery, discrimination and the environment.

90. The Smuggler and the Warlord by KJ Charles. A short prequel to the series A Charm of Magpies. In fact, it was rather shorter than I expected, being just three pages. It didn’t really add anything to the series but I’ll take whatever I can get of these characters.

91. Feast of Stephen by KJ Charles. Another short story from the series A Charm of Magpies. On the feast of St Stephen, Lord Crane attempts to put a new member of the household at ease by swapping stories. As always, a charming tale, and one that does a great job of hinting at a wealth of backstory while only providing what is necessary.

Books Acquired

Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis Wiebe, Roc Upchurch & Stjepan Sejic
In the Devil’s Nebula by Anna Hackett
On a Cyborg Planet by Anna Hackett
Time Thief by Anna Hackett
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Hunter Forsaken by Nancy Corrigan
Blood of Innocents by Mitchell Hogan
A Grosvenor Square Christmas by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Anna Campbell and Katie Noble
The Lord and the Mermaid by Bernadette Rowley
Dark Child (Bloodsworn) Episode One by Adina West
Much Ado About Love by Elizabeth Dunk
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Martian by Andy Weir
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
The Smuggler and the Warlord by KJ Charles
Feast of Stephen by KJ Charles
The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Online Reading

No online reading for me last month. I’m going to have to do better, since I’m developing quite a backlog!

What have you read this month?