A Few More of My Favourite Things

“For one voyage to begin, another voyage must come to an end, sort of.”

David Mitchell

It’s New Year. Again. (How can it be New Year already?) Which means that it’s time for a round-up post, this year for the first time featuring The English Student’s Reading Stats. Because I have become obsessed with spreadsheets.

Anyway, first things first.

The English Student’s Favourite Things of 2014

(As always, these are all things reviewed in 2014, not necessarily published or released in 2014.)

  • TV: Sherlock: His Last Vow. The only piece of television this year to have turned me into a reviewerly ball of incoherency. Gods I love Sherlock.
  • Film: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. A teensy-weensy bit of a cheat, since this film isn’t new to me; but, come on. It’s Tolkien filmed just the way it should be. And it is perfect.
  • Book: House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski. I read this all the way back in January, and though I have read excellent books since then, none of them has quite measured up to the daring horror of House of Leaves, its deeply intellectual creepiness and its compulsive dark.
  • Misc: Good Omens. The radio adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s darkly funny apocalypse novel was delightful and respectful and All Good Things.

The English Student’s Reading Stats

(Hooray! Spreadsheets!)

  • In 2014 I read 71 books – 11 more than last year.
  • The longest was Fanny Burney’s Camilla, at 956 pages; the shortest was Mark Forsyth’s The Unknown Unknown, at just 23. Overall, I’ve read 28,105 pages.
  • My average rating this year for books was 3.5/5 – either it’s been a particularly good year or I am generous with star ratings. I don’t know because I didn’t have a spreadsheet last year.
  • The oldest book I’ve read – that is, the one that was first published longest ago – was Malory’s Complete Works, from 1485. The average age of the books I’ve read this year is surprisingly old – 70 years.
  • Genre: I’ve read 28 fantasy novels (39%) and 11 science fiction (15%). The rest of it falls into poetry, drama, non-fiction and a number of blurred categories like “contemporary” and “literary”.
  • I’ve read 4 middle-grade books this year (5%), 22 YA (31%), and 44 adult (62%).
  • I bought about half of the books I read this year.
  • The most common reason for my reading a book was for university.
  • 18 of the books I read this year were re-reads – that’s just under 25%, which is ridiculous. I reviewed 58 books – 82% – on this blog. (This is depressingly low, numerically and percentagely. I Must Try Harder next year.)
  • Just 22 (31%) of the books I read this year were by women – although six of them appeared in my top ten favourite books of 2014. This proves, obviously, that women are better at writing books.

So, goals for next year: re-read less; read more books by women; review more books; and, obviously, read more books. And if I can do all that, then pigs will fly.

Happy 2015, Constant Reader!

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