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:
76
. 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:
47
[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.

Re-Reads:
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

MORE FUN RECAP ON FRIDAY!

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The top 8 books to read in December 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in December 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

  The Vexations La grande escapade

📚 The Vexations, (2019) by Caitlin Horrocks
A historical novel on Erik Satie! Loving it so far

📚 La Grande escapade (2019), by Jean-Philippe Blondel
Received for review in 2019
By a French author I really like. Not too sure where this is going, and I’m a quarter done.

READING NEXT

Flood

  The Letter Killers Club  Upstream

📚 The Red Notebook (2014), by Antoine Laurain
I have read several books by this author, and especially enjoyed his most recent one, but I have never read this famous one. This is the latest book my Online French Book Club has chosen, so actually I’ll be reading the original French text.
Let me know if you want to join us, on Discord.

“Heroic bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. There’s nothing in the bag to indicate who it belongs to, although there’s all sorts of other things in it. Laurent feels a strong impulse to find the owner and tries to puzzle together who she might be from the contents of the bag. Especially a red notebook with her jottings, which really makes him want to meet her. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?”

📚 Flood, (2008) by Stephen Baxter
This one was more recently offered to me by one of my French students. He loves this author, and knowing that I like scifi, he thought I should definitely read it!

It begins in 2016. Another wet summer, another year of storm surges and high tides. But this time the Thames Barrier is breached and central London is swamped. The waters recede, life goes on, the economy begins to recover, people watch the news reports of other floods around the world. And then the waters rise again. And again.
Lily, Helen, Gary and Piers, hostages released from five years captivity at the hands of Christian Extremists in Spain, return to England and the first rumours of a flood of positively Biblical proportions…
Sea levels have begun to rise, at catastrophic speed. Within two years London and New York will be under water. The Pope will give his last address from the Vatican before Rome is swallowed by the rising water. Mecca too will vanish beneath the waves.
The world is drowning. A desperate race to find out what is happening begins. The popular theory is that we are paying the price for our profligacy and that climate change is about to redress Gaia’s balance. But there are dissenting views. And all the time the waters continue to rise and mankind begins the great retreat to higher ground. Millions will die, billions will become migrants. Wars will be fought over mountains.”

📚 The Letter Killers Club (1926), by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
This is the book I got for Classics Spin #25.

“Original Writers are professional killers of conceptions. The logic of the Letter Killers Club, a secret society of “conceivers” who commit nothing to paper on principle, is strict and uncompromising. Every Saturday they meet in a fire-lit room hung with blank black bookshelves to present their “pure and unsubstantiated” conceptions: a rehearsal of Hamlet hijacked by an actor who vanishes with the role; the double life of a medieval merry cleric derailed by a costume change; a machine-run world that imprisons men’s minds while conscripting their bodies; a dead Roman scribe stranded this side of the River Acheron. The overarching scene of this short novel is set in Soviet Moscow, in the ominous 1920s. Known only by pseudonym, like Chesterton’s anarchists in fin-de-siècle London, the Letter Killers are as mistrustful of one another as they are mesmerized by their despotic president. Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky is at his philosophical and fantastical best in this extended meditation on madness.”

📚 Upstream: Selected Essays (2016), by Mary Oliver
I have been trying to drastically reduce my TBR, by stopping as much as possible requesting books through Netgalley and Edelweiss, but my public library started a special recommendation service, and I couldn’t resist. (And I’m going to get another book to read chosen by the staff, for the usual Winter Reading Challenge!)
Among the five titles they suggested, I chose this one.

“Comprising a selection of essays, Upstream finds beloved poet Mary Oliver reflecting on her astonishment and admiration for the natural world and the craft of writing.
As she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, finding solace and safety within the woods, and the joyful and rhythmic beating of wings, Oliver intimately shares with her readers her quiet discoveries, boundless curiosity, and exuberance for the grandeur of our world.
This radiant collection of her work, with some pieces published here for the first time, reaffirms Oliver as a passionate and prolific observer whose thoughtful meditations on spiders, writing a poem, blue fin tuna, and Ralph Waldo Emerson inspire us all to discover wonder and awe in life’s smallest corners.

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

  Atom[ka] Three Act Tragedy

📚 Atom[ka] (2012) by Franck Thilliez
Did I say I was going to stop reading this author?
Well, I couldn’t resist. His books often contain some horrific details, BUT they are always so smart as well. This time, looks like there are three threads together, one of them having to do with Chernobyl – incidentally, I just read a fabulous nonfiction graphic “novel” on Fukushima!

📚 Three Act Tragedy,  (Hercule Poirot #11, 1934) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
I don’t think I have ever read this one.

“At an apparently respectable dinner party, a vicar is the first to die…Thirteen guests arrived at dinner at the actor’s house. It was to be a particularly unlucky evening for the mild-mannered Reverend Stephen Babbington, who choked on his cocktail, went into convulsions and died. But when his martini glass was sent for chemical analysis, there was no trace of poison — just as Poirot had predicted. Even more troubling for the great detective, there was absolutely no motive!”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR DECEMBER

📚 Posting more reviews??

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR DECEMBER?

Save

The top 8 books to read in November 2020

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in November 2020

Click on the covers to know more

CURRENTLY READING

The Education of Delhomme To Hold Up the Sky

📚 The Education of Delhomme: Chopin, Sand, & la France (Nov 17, 2020), by Nancy Burkhalter
Reading for France Book Tours

Beaulieu Delhomme, a piano tuner, faces the guillotine for committing treason against the newly elected French president due to his part in the bloody worker uprisings in 1848. The one person who could save him from this fate is his former arch-rival, the celebrated author, George Sand. The plot leading to his imprisonment revolves around the triangle of composer Frédéric Chopin, his lover George Sand, and Delhomme, Chopin’s loyal piano tuner. Both Sand and Delhomme compete for the attention of Chopin, who fights a losing battle with tuberculosis. The president’s spymaster uses this triangle to lure cash-strapped Delhomme into exploiting his friendship with Chopin to spy on George Sand, whose fiery rhetoric threatens the new president.
At first, before the uprisings that marked a tumultuous period out of which France’s Second Republic grew, Delhomme favors preserving the status quo because any policy changes might jeopardize his (and Chopin’s) wealthy client base. Sand wields her pen against the oppressive laws and ridicules Delhomme for his views.
Delhomme changes his opinion of the monarchy when he sees how his nephew is abused as an orphan working in a piano factory in industrial London. Delhomme becomes a double agent, paid to spy for the president while secretly working for the resistance. Sand softens her contempt when she discovers that he has switched allegiances and now promotes workers’ rights.
Delhomme is caught working for the resistance, jailed in Paris’ infamous Conciergerie prison, and faces a trial for treason. Even Sand’s testimony is not enough to trump that of the vaunted spymaster, but her fame may be enough to persuade the new president to pardon him.”

📚 To Hold Up the Sky,  (October 20th, 2020) by Cixin Liu
Received for review.
Cixin Liu is the author of the amazing Supernova Era, that’s why I decided to read this one.

“From Cixin Liu, the New York Times bestselling author of The Three-Body ProblemTo Hold Up the Sky is a breathtaking collection of imaginative science fiction.”
It contains 11 short stories.

READING NEXT

La grande escapade Les grands cerfs

The Vexations Flood

📚 La Grande escapade (2019), by Jean-Philippe Blondel
Received for review in 2019!
By a French author I really like, this time, I should finally have time to read it.

📚 Les Grands cerfs (2019), by Claude Hunzinger
Received for review in 2019!
I’m looking forward to discovering this author, dealing with a nature theme, like several other French novels I read recently.

📚 The Vexations, (2019) by Caitlin Horrocks
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since a friend lent it to me!! I started it, but then had to stop for books received for review.
It’s a historical novel on Erik Satie!

“Erik Satie begins life with every possible advantage. But after the dual blows of his mother’s early death and his father’s breakdown upend his childhood, Erik and his younger siblings — Louise and Conrad — are scattered. Later, as an ambitious young composer, Erik flings himself into the Parisian art scene, aiming for greatness but achieving only notoriety.
As the years, then decades, pass, he alienates those in his circle as often as he inspires them, lashing out at friends and lovers like Claude Debussy and Suzanne Valadon. Only Louise and Conrad are steadfast allies. Together they strive to maintain their faith in their brother’s talent and hold fast the badly frayed threads of family. But in a journey that will take her from Normandy to Paris to Argentina, Louise is rocked by a severe loss that ultimately forces her into a reckoning with how Erik — obsessed with his art and hungry for fame — will never be the brother she’s wished for.
With her buoyant, vivid reimagination of an iconic artist’s eventful life, Caitlin Horrocks has written a captivating and ceaselessly entertaining novel about the tenacious bonds of family and the costs of greatness, both to ourselves and to those we love.”

📚 Flood, (2008) by Stephen Baxter
This one was more recently offered to me by one of my French students. He loves this author, and knowing that I like scifi, he thought I should definitely read it!

It begins in 2016. Another wet summer, another year of storm surges and high tides. But this time the Thames Barrier is breached and central London is swamped. The waters recede, life goes on, the economy begins to recover, people watch the news reports of other floods around the world. And then the waters rise again. And again.
Lily, Helen, Gary and Piers, hostages released from five years captivity at the hands of Christian Extremists in Spain, return to England and the first rumours of a flood of positively Biblical proportions…
Sea levels have begun to rise, at catastrophic speed. Within two years London and New York will be under water. The Pope will give his last address from the Vatican before Rome is swallowed by the rising water. Mecca too will vanish beneath the waves.
The world is drowning. A desperate race to find out what is happening begins. The popular theory is that we are paying the price for our profligacy and that climate change is about to redress Gaia’s balance. But there are dissenting views. And all the time the waters continue to rise and mankind begins the great retreat to higher ground. Millions will die, billions will become migrants. Wars will be fought over mountains.”

CURRENT AND NEXT AUDIOBOOKS

La Chute du soleil de fer Lord Edgware Dies

📚 La Chute du soleil de fer, (N.E.O. #1, Oct 1st, 2020) by Michel Bussi
I really enjoy a lot Michel Bussi, and have listened to almost all of his books. He usually writes thrillers, but for the first time, he’s trying YA fantasy, Two genres I usually don’t read, but how could I resist Bussi?
I have actually already listened to half of it, and am loving it!
The description of the setting are fantastic, and I have no idea how things are going to evolve.

📚 Lord Edgware Dies,  (Hercule Poirot #9, 1933) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club

“An Agatha Christie mystery story. Poirot had been present when Jane bragged of her plan to ‘get rid of’ her estranged husband. Now the monstrous man was dead. And yet the great Belgian detective couldn’t help feeling that he was being taken for a ride. After all, how could Jane have stabbed Lord Edgware to death in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? And what could be her motive now that the aristocrat had finally granted her a divorce?”

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

Listed on the homepage 

List of books I can swap with yours

PLANS FOR NOVEMBER

📚 I’ll be participating in Nonfiction November. My first post will be on Novelber6
📚 I hope to finalize my plans for a  monthly Newsletter, with special content.
Let me know what you would like to find in it.

Eiffel Tower Orange

HAVE YOU READ
OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO READ
ANY OF THESE?
WHAT ARE YOUR READING PLANS FOR NOVEMBER?

Save