A Review of Reading/Literary Highlights 2015

As a follow up to the 2014 analysis, here’s the analysis of 2015.  At a total of 43 books, the count in the year 2015 was the least I’ve read since I started keeping track of my reading since 2009, a year in which I had started my count late and so I couldn’t say what was the total that year).  The list for 2015 is this post.  The breakdowns for the 2015 reading are as follows:

7 non-fiction; 34 fiction; 2 poetry; 14 ebooks; 1 history/literary criticism; 1 memoirs; 4 literary fiction books; 2 romance novels; 17 comics/graphic novels; 1 anthology; 5 mystery/suspense/thriller books; 2 in the category of meditation/psychology/medicine/self-help/lifestyle type books; 6 approximately children books (not counting the comics/graphic novels); and 1 career development book.

I did a check, out of curiosity, to see the gender and/or racial/ethnic breakdowns of the authors.  About 6 were women writers/co-writers (not counting any in Manhattan Noir 2).  I was terrible with people of color as writers/co-writers; possibly two or three, not counting those behind the comics/graphic novels.  The reality is that I was haphazard with my reading; I’d have to be more conscious and active in deciding what I read and who I read, to have a more diverse reading.  Will I do that in 2016?  That remains to be seen; I haven’t made such a specific or concrete resolution.

I tackled some heavier reading with Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Jane Austen, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book was for my book club meeting this year, actually).  Austen’s Mansfield Park was very much not my favorite; it took forever to read and wasn’t that much intriguing.  I couldn’t get into Woolf’s The Years; the idea of taking in the moment is always a good idea, but I couldn’t “get” it – it wasn’t about a story and that made it harder for me to swallow.

I really binged for a period in reading ebooks for awhile there.  As usual, thanks to the public libraries, Brooklyn Public Library and New York Public Library, for much of the books and ebooks.  As usual, by November, I didn’t do reading because of NaNoWriMo.

In 2015, I still didn’t finish Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass or Linda Greenhouse’s Becoming Justice Blackman.  I still didn’t get to reading Umberto Eco’s In the Name of the Rose or Shakespeare’s King Lear.  Due to work, I didn’t get to go to much book club meetings.  I read a lot of my issues of bar association magazines, since I was behind, but I’m behind on reading everything (forget watching television; my watching television in 2015 was also pathetic).  2015 was strangely disappointing, honestly.

Books purchases were mostly from the independent bookstores (thanks, Strand; Housing Works; and McNally Jackson).  Online book purchases were still from Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Literary notable things in 2015: Brooklyn Book Festival!  MoCCA Arts Festival (comics and graphic novels galore).  And, I completed (well, for NaNoWriMo purposes “completed”) yet another NaNoWriMo project.  I had checked out the Ernest Hemingway exhibit at the Morgan Library & Museum; very impressive.  The exhibit motivated me to read a Hemingway book, and I liked reading Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast at the end of the year.

Hopefully I will have a better year of reading in 2016.

(cross-posted at sswslitinmotion.tumblr.com)

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