2007 reading list, a year end summary

My apologies to those who have already read this on This is the exact same post except for this paragraph right here. I track a bunch of data but usually only report on books, travel and lately swimming. It’s weird, I also watch a lot of movies but I just write them down on a long boring list, for some reason they lack the impact or import in my life of books and beds. In any case, here’s the reading list. If I were a New Yorker cartoon I’d be the one where all the guys are in the boardroom and they’re pointing to an arrow that is falling off the righthand side of the chart. It’s okay, time for a minor adjustment. I had a “watch more TV” resolution (in addition to the other ongoing resolutions) last year to get me off the laptop and maybe it’s time to change that to a Read More Good Books resolution. I’ve been enjoying a lot of genre fiction this past year but it can make deeper reading harder and/or slower. That said, I find both kinds of reading rewarding but the pendulum has to shift more towards at least the middle.

Here are previous year end lists: 2006, 2005, 2004. As you probably know, my booklist lives in a separate blog and it has its own RSS feed. I’m not a voracious reader and I’ve been heavy into genre fiction this year, but here’s the wrap-up of what I read in 2007.

number of books read in 2007: 53
number of books read in 2005: 86
number of books read in 2004: 103
number of books read in 2003: 75
number of books read in 2002: 91
number of books read in 2001: 78
average read per month: 4.4
average read per week: 1
number read in worst month: 1 (November)
number read in best month: 9 (March)
percentage by male authors: 78
percentage by female authors: 22
fiction as percentage of total: 63
non-fiction as percentage of total: 37
percentage of total liked: 89
percentage of total ambivalent: 11
percentage of total disliked: 0

It was not a good year for reading, to put it mildly. I did more travel than ever before, but I spent more time on planes either working or watching back-of-seat movies or just sleeping. Last year I felt like I got a lot of reading done on planes.

This year I also had a new time-consuming hobby which was (and is) swimming. In an attempt to meet a pretty ambitious goal — one which I did not wind up meeting, but boy did I try! — I spent a lot more free time swimming, driving to the pool, showering, etc. And then of course when you swim you sleep like a log, which means less fidgety before sleep time for reading which was a standard reading time for me. I like swimming a lot, but the impact it has on my reading is, to me, quite clear.

So, it’s interesting to do this every year to see how the years compare. I read a lot of genre fiction — six books by John Lescroart, two by Greg Bear, two by Henry Petroski, four graphic novels — and that will probably continue. I read a few books that I enjoyed but which took me weeks to work through, 1491 and Men of Tomorrow, which really put a damper on other reading. I did less parallel reading this year and more serial reading, so when one book bogged me down, I was less able to pick up something else. In any case, I believe that every single one of those books was a loaner from a friend or family member, a library book or a library booksale book and to me that’s a decent accomplishment. Happy reading to everyone in the new year.

Here are some other reader’s lists: Anirvan, Ruby.

What do you think?


  1. Hey Jess, I just wanted to add a comment to your otherwise fine review of “Men of Tomorrow”. I agree about how some further editing would have helped this book tremendously. My other big issue is the strange short-shrift given to Captain Marvel and many other worthy comics. I don’t have the book handy, but it seemed as though he dismissed Captain Marvel in about a paragraph saying that basically it was too whimsical for his liking and was done by non-Jews. Strange that a comic that regularly outsold Superman should be handled so cursorily.

    Also, I highly recommend Jules Feifer’s THE GREAT COMIC BOOK HEROES from Dial Press. It’s way out of print, but quite easy to find and many libraries have it. It covers some of the same period as the Jones book, but Feifer actually worked in the industry at the time, and his personal recollections are quite fascinating.

    Sorry to post my reply in the main blog, but the book section didn’t seem to have a method for replying to individual reviews.

  2. you read Concrete! great stuff, huh?

    thanks for reminding me of this – i’ll have to go hunt down a copy & reacquaint myself

  3. Think it’s _The -Bookwoman’s- Last Fling_.