Year of reading 2020 Part 2: Statistics

After the list of my 2020 favorites, here are my statistics.
Then tomorrow you can see the fun I had with the titles I read in 2020.

Year of reading 2020
Part 2: Statistics

As I wrote yesterday, if I personally didn’t experience a reading block this past year due to Covid-19, as unfortunately several other book bloggers went through, still, these statistics reveal some major new trends in my recent reading habits.

Ok, let’s go into numbers:

My total numbers of books read/listened to is actually the highest ever since I have started tracking it seriously through Goodreads and Google sheets:
76 books reads (90 in 2019), and 47 listened to (28 in 2019) = 123, which is an average of 10.25/month (118 books in 2019, with a monthly average of 9.8).

Books read in 2020:
. That’s an average of 7.5/month
Total of 20,317 pages (23,033 in 2019), which is an average of 55 pages/day (63 in 2019).
That’s an average of 267 pages/book (255 in 2019).

So I read far less books and pages (3 thousand less!), but the books I read were slightly bigger than in 2019 – probably because I read less mangas!

Books listened to in 2020:
[28 in 2019]. This is an average of 3.9/month (2.3 in 2019)
Total of 16,937 mn (14,323 min in 2019) with an average of 46 mn/day (39 in 2019)
That’s an average of about 6 hours/audiobook. (8 hours/audiobook in 2019).

As you can see, the major difference is an explosion in audiobooks: 67% more than in 2019!
The content is mostly my two audiobooks projects: I meant to reread the whole Bible, and decided to do it as audiobooks. And I’m in the process of listening to the whole Hercule Poirot canon, as I did for Sherlock Holmes.
But more audiobook time means also more cleaning around the house and exercise!

In graphs, this is what it looks like:

2020 average pages_day

So quite erratic!

2020 average minutes_day

It definitely increases with Covid!!
And becomes nice and steady, whereas last year it was very inconsistent.

2020 genre

Nice diversity, with each group more represented.
More mystery, but also 7% more nonfiction than last year.
And historical fiction still decreasing.

2020 format

Less graphic novel than last year.
But 13% more audiobooks!

2020 authors

4% more female authors than last year.
Though male/female doesn’t matter for me,
as long as they know how t write well!

2020 nationality

5 less nationalities than last year,
probably due to the fact that this year, I wasn’t on
the Man Booker International Prize Shadow Panel

2020 languages

5 less nationalities than last year,
due to the same reason as above.

Still, I’m glad that 50% was not originally written in English

In translation: 48 [51 in 2019]:

  • 17 from the Japanese
  • 15 from the Hebrew
  • 5 from the French
  • 4 from the Greek
  • 3 from the Russian
  • 2 from the Chinese
  • 1 from the Spanish
  • 1 from the German

29 in original language: in French (16 in 2019)

Out of a Total of 79 authors (90 in 2020)
34 were new to me (43%. It was 58% in 2018)
It reflects my desire to read more of he authors I love.

Books by the same author: 50 [32 in 2018]
(which goes along with the above number):
11 by Agatha Christie
9 by Georges Simenon
4 by Haruki Murakami
4 by Franck Thilliez
3 by Natsume Soseki
3 by Michel Bussi
and 2 by Hirimu Arakawa, Mary Oliver, Nnedi Okorafor, Katherine Applegate, Antoine Laurain, Sylvain Tesson, Nicolas Beuglet, and Maxiums the Confessor.

17 (mostly Bible books).
And I also read twice a book by Michel Bussi (one as audio, and then again in print with one of my students),
and twice a book by Maximus the Confessor, in two different translations.

Oldest: The Book of Judges (8th BC)
Newest: And the Earth Will Sit on the Moon – rescheduled publication for April 6, 2021.

2020 publication year

Wow, only 50% of very recent books. Thanks to my Classics project
If I count Biblical books, I actually read 47 classics,
that is 38% of all my 2020 books

2020 source

Most books bought are part of my EStories audio subscription.
4% less books received for review than last year,
preferring to go with books on my shelf or on my TBR – 
thanks to my public library!
Among the free books are a lot of audio through youtube

33 countries these books led me to (21 last year):
France (34),
Japan (18), Israel (15), England (15), US (12)
Russia (6), Egypt (3)
2 were set in Namibia, Iran, Poland, Italy, Iles Marquises
1 was set in Wales, Peru, Iceland, Spain, Argentina, Turkey, Iraq, Switzerland, Brazil, Antarctica, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands, Tibet, Germany, Belgium, Lebanon, China, Hong-Kong, and Norway.
Plus Space (2), the digital virtual world, old Mesopotamia, and mythology.

I also visited 7 US States:
Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia

Shortest book: Civil Disobedience, by Thoreau –  33 pages

Longest book: The Mirror and the Light, by Hilary Mantel 757 pages

Shortest audiobook: The Book of Esther – 28 minutes

Longest audiobook: Atomka, by Franck Thilliez – 17H10

Funniest: Complètement cramé, by Gilles Legardinier

Most Unique Book: Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor – a mix of Himba culture and science-fiction!

Most tearjerker: Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate

Most disappointing: Foundation, by Asimov

Creepy: Atomka, by Franck Thilliez

Eye-opener: L’Humanité en péril, by Fred Vargas – very detailed info on catastrophic results on how we have been treating our planet

Best reading companion: Lessons from Walden, by Bob Pepperman Taylor, on books by Thoreau

Beautiful illustrations: Goddess Power, by Yung In Chae

Biggest discovery: Nnedi Okorafor, Serge Joncour, Jo Walton

Favorite characters of the year:
Alex (Eagle Strike), Maime (Au Soleil redouté), Kate (Three Hours in Paris), François (If You Cross the River), De Marco (No Woods So Dark as These). Andrew (Complètement cramé), Bob (The One and Only Bob), Armand Gamache (All the Devils are Here), and Zyzo (La Chute du soleil de fer).

Classics I finally got to read:
If I count Biblical books, I actually read 47 classics, that is 38% of all my 2019 books
The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura
The trilogy Sanshiro / And Then / The Gate, by Natsume Soseki
Selected Poems, by Masaoka Shiki
The Haunted Bookshop, by Christopher Morley
Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau
Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
The Letter Killers Club, by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
The first 9 books by Simenon
The first 11 books with Hercule Poirot

Books present for a while on my TBR that I finally got to read (other than the classics just mentioned):
The Ten Loves of Nishino, by Hiromi Kawakami
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World; A Wild Sheep Chase; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
If You Cross the River, by Geneviève Damas
The Vexations, by Caitlin Horrocks
La grande escapade, by Jean-Philippe Blondel
A Very Russian Christmas – a collection of Russian Christmas stories
La Femme au carnet rouge, by Antoine Laurain
L’Énigme de la chambre 622, by Joël Dicker

Which authors new to me in 2020 that I now want to keep reading?
Chan Ho-Kei, Joncour, Andrea, Myamoto, McConaghy. Jo Walton, Geneviève Damas, Stephen Baxter, and Nnedi Okorafor

New Series I want to pursue:
Flood, by Stephen Baxter
N.E.O. by Michel Bussi

Best title:
Killer Come Back to me
Écouter le noir

Longest book title:
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Shortest book title:
Luca, by Franck Thilliez








2021 books in translation reading challenge


Click on the banner to join this reading challenge


The Challenge is organized by
@IntrovertReader (Twitter)
@Introverted.Reader (Instagram)
@IntrovertedReader (Facebook)

I haven’t participated in this challenge for several years.
So far, as I prepare this post, I have read 17 books in translation in 2020 (plus 28 books in French), so this is not really a challenge. I’m joining more for the social aspect and connecting with other readers of world literature.
So am shooting for the Linguist Level = 10+, I wish there were a higher level.

I will be updating the list here as I go along.
I start the year with the Japanese Literature Challenge, so by the end of March, I should already have read 9 books in translation.

The links will send you to my review

  1. The Book of Psalms
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 1/6/21
  2. The Sound of Waves, by Yukio Mishima
    translated from the Japanese
    by Meredith Weatherby
    finished on 1/16/21
  3. Some Prefer Nettles, by Junichiro Tanizaki
    translated from the Japanese
    by Edward G. Seidensticker
    finished on 1/22/21
  4. The Book of Job
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 1/23/21
  5. N.P., by Banana Yoshimoto
    translated from the Japanese
    by Ann Sherif
    finished on 1/25/2021
  6. In Praise of Shadows, by Junichiro Tanizaki
    translated from the Japanese
    by Edward G. Seidensticker
    and Thomas J. Harper
    finished on 2/4/21
  7. The Book of Proverbs
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 2/8/21
  8.  A Cat, a Man, and Two Women, by Junichirō Tanizaki
    translated by Paul McCarthy
    finished on 2/9/21
  9. The Half-Finished Heavenby Tomas Tranströmer
    translated from the Swedish
    by Robert Bly
    finished on 2/13/21
  10. Dans l’œil du démon / Devils in Daylight, by Junichirō Tanizaki
    translated from the Japanese into French by Patrick Honoré and Ryoko Sekiguchi
    finished on 2/13/21
  11. The Book of Ecclesiastes
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 2/27/21
  12. The Book of the Song of Songs
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 3/1/21
  13. The Book of Wisdom
    translated from the Greek
    audiobook finished on 3/1/21
  14. Kusamakura, by Natsume Sōseki
    translated from the Japanese. by Meredith Weatherby
    finished on 3/5/21
  15. The Book of Sirach
    translated from the Greek
    audiobook finished on 3/8/21
  16. The Book of Hosea
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 3/13/21
  17. The Book of Amos
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 3/13/21
  18. Le Mineur, by Natsume Sōseki
    translated from the Japanese into French by Hélène Morita
    finished on 3/20/21
  19. Before the Coffee Gets Cold, by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
    translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot
    finished on 3/21/21
  20. To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, by Natsume Sōseki
    translated from the Japanese by Kingo Ochiai and Sanford M. Goldstein
    finished on 3/29/21
  21. The Black Lizard and Beast in the Shadowsby Edogawa Rampo
    translated from the Japanese by Ian Hughes
    finished on 3/30/21
  22. The Book of Micah
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/4/21
  23. The Book of Joel
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/4/21
  24. The Book of Obadiah
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/4/21
  25. The Book of Jonah
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/4/21
  26. The Book of Nahum
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/5/21
  27. The Book of Habakkuk
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/5/21
  28. The Book of Zephaniah
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/5/21
  29. The Book of Haggai
    translated from the Hebrew
    audiobook finished on 4/5/21
  30. The Swedish Cavalier, by Leo Perutz
    translated from the German by John Brownjohn
    finished on 4/6/21

Recap of languages translated from:
Hebrew: 15
Japanese: 11
Greek: 2
Swedish: 1
German: 1

TOTAL = 30

Sunday Post #19 – 1/5/2020

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It’s a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week on your blog,
showcase books and things we have received.
Share news about what is coming up
on your blog
for the week ahead.
See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


This post also counts for
Mailbox Monday2 It's Monday! What Are You Reading2 WWW Wednesdays 2

Mailbox Monday,
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
and WWW Wednesdays

I’m baaaaack! Last time I wrote for The Sunday Post was in January 2016!
One of my 2020 resolution is to post short reviews of books I have just finished (and keeping long review formats only for books received for review).
Plus, I’d like to start a type of book journaling, we’ll see how this goes.
So I think the Sunday Post will work well for that – though I may not be able to link it until late afternoon, because of Church commitments.

Click on book covers to access synopsis or review



by Katherine Applegate
Feiwel and Friends
Childrens Books
245 pages

I really like Applegate’s style: it’s very simple, though at the same time beautiful and very real. She always tackles important themes. In this one, we meet young Jackson.
He understands much more than his parents tell him, and he knows they are major financial problems. Because of that, they will probably have to go back and live in their van, as they did some time ago. When things get too tough, Jackson suddenly meet Crenshaw, a very special giant cat.
These are difficult issues, homelessness, how kids cope with adversity, poverty, and hunger, for instance by living in their head with imaginary friends. But Applegate, as usual, does it in a delicate way, with lots of tenderness and wisdom.
Highly recommended.


Perfect Little Children Theological Territories

Perfect Little Children
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date February 4
A woman goes to have a peek at the place where her former friends are now leaving. She sees their kids, but they have not aged, whereas they should be 12 years older.

Theological Territories: A David Bentley Hart Digest
Received for review through Edelweiss
Release date April 15
It is so unusual to find Orthodox theology on Edelweiss or Netgalley. Plus I have read an enjoyed another book by this author, so of course I had to request it.

Audio book

The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea
Am listening for The Classics Club
“That a nation should construct one of its most resonant national ceremonies round a cup of tea will surely strike a chord of sympathy with at least some readers of this review. To many foreigners, nothing is so quintessentially Japanese as the tea ceremony–more properly, “the way of tea”–with its austerity, its extravagantly minimalist stylization, and its concentration of extreme subtleties of meaning into the simplest of actions.”




📚 I managed to finish my first book of the year, Crenshaw (see above) = 1/110
📚 I also started listening (35 minutes) to the Book of Genesis. Indeed it recently dawned on me (finally!), that I could listen to the whole Bible, a nice way to revisit it. So I plan to do this. I found a good recording of it on YouTube – I chose The King James, which is close to the Orthodox translation.
📚 I also figured out a way of reading 2 ebooks at the same time, without having to switch back and forth between 2 books on my kindle. Actually, I didn’t realize I could read books sent by Edelweiss Plus on the kindle app!! So I’m now reading a theological book on my kindle, and a mystery on my phone (see titles above), through the kindle app. Works great!
📚 Perfect Little Children: What’s going on? I have some ideas, but I may be wrong. In the mean time, I enjoy the flow of the writing and the suspense. Sophie Hannah is masterful.

📚 Perfect Little Children: It’s getting really weird, and now there are many more issues about the reliability of the narrator. I enjoy how her teenagers, especially her daughter, is trying to help explain what’s going on.
📚 Theological Territories: I have read the introduction, that basically presents each of the 26 essays. Some of them may totally be over my had, as they refer to authors I have not read.

📚 Listened to the book of Genesis for about 15 minutes. I really enjoy the experience, it’s like rediscovering the text.

📚 Theological Territories: Read the 1st chapter on Rowan Williams’s The Tragic Imagination. I don’t really agree, as I will explain in my review, for instance with this statement: “As aesthetic experiences go, tragedy is probably among the least intellectual.”



 Everything is Illuminated  The Salt Path

Everything is Illuminated
Recommended by my niece
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man — also named Jonathan Safran Foer — sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable Alex, a young Ukrainian translator who speaks in a sublimely butchered English, Jonathan is led on a quixotic journey over a devastated landscape and into an unexpected past.
A reviewer wrote: “a very complicated narrative structure”. I am intrigued!

The Salt Path
Recommended by Booker Talk
“Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.”



Downloaded for free
Classic recommended by my niece.
Colette write about her Mum and her childhood


  Bout of Books 27   Japanese Literature 13

January 6-12: Bout of Books 27
It starts on Monday, but I’ll probably won’t be able to read much the first two days!

1/6: Book review: Lady Clementine
1/7: Top Ten Tuesday, if I have time, about Most anticipated 2020 titles
1/8: Book review: Dreamland
1/9: My top 12 favorites of the decade!
1/10: Book review: Figure Drawing for Kids

January-March: Japanese Literature Challenge 13
You are going to read a lot about Japanese Literature here for three months!!