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text 2018-10-18 20:07
What to read next?
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine - Lindsey Fitzharris

I got my flu shot today and I´m a bit tired tonight because of it. I have finished my Halloween bingo reads, though, so I have to line up my next reads (I don´t want to fall into the reading slump trap). I´m not too tired for that. After perusing my shelves, I went for two books:


  1. I´m in the mood for a classic and I picked a short one with Alice in Wonderland.
  2. The Butchering Art is a new addition to my TBR and the subject matter is right up my alley. I cannot wait to read it. So off it goes onto my currently reading list.


And maybe Michael Connelly´s The Black Echo will arrive in the mail tomorrow, so this might be jumping on my reading list as well. I think that´s a pretty neat line up for the weekend.








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text 2018-08-12 08:42
My Sunday reading plan
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
The Mitford Murders - Jessica Fellowes

I think I have to read another book alongside East of Eden. I´ve gotten the feeling that this might be a hard hitting read. Cathy freaks me out and I don´t even think I have seen the worst of her. And no, it doesn´t mean I don´t like the book. I really do. I just have to read something a bit more lighthearted every now and then.


I have choosen The Mitford Murders as the book that has to do the deed. I have never read a book by any of the Mitford Sisters and I don´t know much about the family either, so I don´t know much about the Mitfords themselves. Which might be a good thing in regards to this book. Let´s see how I will get along with it.

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text 2018-01-03 20:03
2017 in Review -- and Consequences for 2018


2017 Statistics

Total number of books read in 2017: 287

Number of (as-yet unread) books added to "owned books" TBR in 2017: 250


So, looks like overall 2017 was a pretty good reading year for me -- and certainly, even without having participated in BooklikesOpoly, the two games during the last four months of the year helped a lot.  The above total numbers don't tell the full story, however (in fact, in some respects they're more than a little deceptive).


In 2017, especially in the first couple of months, I had to do a lot of driving -- as well as having to cope with a lot of stress.  To compensate and for on-the-road entertainment, I took to revisiting my favorite classics and my favorite mysteries on audio; and the amount of my comfort reading (or rather: listening) clearly shows in my yearly reading stats -- not only in the number of new books read vs. rereads, but even more so in the number of audiobooks vs. print books read: 2017 was unquestionably the year when I discovered the  audiobook:

(Note: 2 books out of the total of 287 were Christmas classics I revisit every year, and where I chose the DVD version in 2017.)


Similarly, while my reading year was a pretty good one if you only take into account the new books I read (average: 3.95 stars), it improves even more if you factor in all the favourite-book rereads:


And of course, my comfort reading also impacts -- big time -- the genre breakdown of my 2017 reading:

(Note: "Nonfiction", for purposes of this exercise, comprises biographies, memoirs, historical nonfiction, science and popular science, reference books, and assorted general nonfiction. -- The category "Historical Fiction" includes a number of historical mysteries, which are included only once in the above chart for purposes of consistency in total number of books read, but which are included in the genre-specific analysis further below under both "Mysteries" and "Historical Fiction", and which I've also analyzed separately.)


However, the area where my inordinate amount of comfort reading most significantly shows up is in the author gender breakdown.  It looks pretty evenly spread, with a slight pro-female bias, if you just look at the total figures:

("m & f" are anthologies featuring contributions from both male and female authors or male-female author teams.)


But the vast majority of my comfort reads (or rather: audio revisits) were books written by female authors, and if you eliminate those, there's a clear male author bias, except solely in the subgenre of historical mysteries.  In other words, almost all across the board, roughly 2 out of 3 new books I read were by male authors. (And it's even more embarrassingly one-sided with regard to the six fantasy and five literary fiction titles I managed to squeeze in: they were all written by men.)  As all of this very much will have to change in 2018, I suppose the Women Authors Challenge / Bingo is coming just in time for me!


By Format:

(All but 2 of the print books were new reads, so the stats are almost exactly identical for all print books and new print books read.)


By Major Genres Read:

 (All nonfiction books I read in 2017 were new reads.)




(Note: For purposes of these last charts, the books qualifying as "historical mysteries" were included in both the charts for "historical fiction" and for "mysteries", respectively.)


So, even in the mysteries and historical fiction tallies, despite the clear pro-women author bias in historical mysteries that remains even after eliminating the rereads, both "mysteries" and "historical fiction" flip from a pro-female to a pro-male author bias once the rereads are taken out of the consideration. 



2018 Outlook

In addition to the Women Authors Challenge / Bingo, which is hopefully going to help me put books written by women on a bit more of an equal footing with books written by men in the year just begun, I'm planning to


* continue whittling away at that impossible amount of books I added to my owned books TBR in 2017 alone (not to mention those already lingering on it from previous years),

* continue reading science and popular science with the Flat Book Society (the current read, Helen Czerski's Storm in a Teacup, is of course an excellent way of killing two birds with one stone -- a popular science book written by a woman),

* continue filling my Detection Club Bingo card and continue my exploration of Golden Age detective fiction, (which will hopefully also go some way towards both reducing my phyiscal TBR and augmenting the number of books written by women that I'm reading this year)

* and to the extent time allows, participate in the 2018 Booklikes games!


If in addition to / as part of the above I also manage to balance out my genre intake a little more and include more literary fiction and fantasy, I'll color myself more than happy by the end of the year!


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text 2016-05-02 21:06
#boutofbooks 16: Next week is another readathon week
Bout of Books

The #boutofbooks readathon is happening again. Here is the schedule.

My plans are simple this time, as I'm not planning to join in with any of the competitions or giveaways.



Goals for the readathon

  1. Read every day.
  2. Participate on Twitter every day.


Simple, right? :) Just to make things a bit more interesting, here's what I might be reading next week (*eek* so soon!)
Stranger in a Strange Land.  I don't know if this is for me since I've heard mixed things about it. But trying to keep an open mind, I'll dig in and find out for myself.
Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye.  A friend lent me this gorgeously illustrated book. This comes in a big format, comlplicating the reading process a wee bit. Nothing puts me off reading like an unhandy book. ^^
Sorceress of Darshiva.  The fourth installment in the Malloreon is part of my David Eddings reread. Which has taken me too long already.
Der König der purpurnen Stadt. This German historical novel is so damn cozy to read that it's been sitting on my nightstand for months. Enough!, I say. This is getting ridiculous.
Also, I will (still) be listening to The Guermantes Way, which I started yesterday. And yes, it's actually good fun when you don't need to find your way through Proust's labyrinthic sentences on your own.
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text 2016-04-01 08:36
Monthly TBR: April 2016

April Lesestapel


In April I want to dedicate my reading to all the books I haven't finished! Most of them were not boring or bad in any sense, I just wasn't in the mood for them. Now I can get back to them and happily reach the final page. Or so I hope :-)


David Eddings: Demon Lord of Karanda

Mygoal is to finish this series in June, which means I have to read a book every other month. Except I didn't read this installment in time... Need to play some catch up!


Deborah Tannen: That's not what I meant!

I stopped reading this for no particular reason. Can't wait for the rest of this small book on linguistics.


Rebecca Gablé: Der König der purpurnen Stadt

This chunker of 1022 pages used to be my bedtime read: 20 pages a day would make me feel warm and fuzzy, for this is what Gablé's writing does to me. I'm happy to continue soon!


Jim Butcher: Storm Front

I deeply regret having put this down. But you see, I read it to my fiancé, and then we didn't have time to read, so it is obviously his fault! (sorry love)


Louisa May Alcott: Little Women

I'm not sure I like this book: While I enjoy the characters (mere types) and their little episodes, the all too present dogma of the novel bugs me - just for being there so obviously.


Alberto Manguel: A History of Reading

Still: I have no idea just how to read this big, big book (not very handy!). But I'll keep trying.


Françoise Sagan: Bonjour Tristesse

This is too short not to mention, although it is last on my list for a reason. It was on my March tbr and I didn't get to it, but I haven't dragged this with me like the other books on the list.

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