Tagged with ann patchett

2017 in Reading

My favorite reads of the year, in alphabetical order by title. I read some damned good shit this year with one re-read in the list (Run)

The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise by Georges Perec

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler 

Cake Time by Siel Ju

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey 

Fountain of Age: Stories by Nancy Kress

Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist’s Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector by Jessica Hische  

Lies of the Saints by Erin McGraw 

Night to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier 

Run by Ann Patchett 

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan

Sex, Class & Culture by Lillian S. Robinson 

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski 

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti 

My diversity report for the year: Women authors 50.8% (up from 48%) last year). Non-white authors were 16.3% of my reading (essentially flat from last year’s 16.4%). I chose a book different from what I might have read ordinarily to hit my diversity target 24% of the time, down slightly from last year’s 25%. Between my being careful about what gets into my to-read lists/piles and perhaps improved diversity coming from my filters, this is a continued good sign. My Dead White Men number meanwhile somehow continues to climb, up to 20.1% from 14.4% which goes to show that diversity doesn’t necessarily entail the death of the Canon. Non-US authors were 39.8% of my reading essentially flat from last year’s 39.9%. Translations were up at 14.1% compared to last year’s 10%. Books in Spanish were down to 1.3% from 3.8% courtesy of not taking a Spanish class this year and the fact that I’ve still not finished the long-ass but magnificent 2666. 

The authors I’ve met number was up a fair amount at 7.2% vs 2.5% last year to which I attribute a few friends having new books out this year. Re-reads were down to 2.8% from 5.4% (my Salinger re-read project having come to an end), authors new to me were down to 68% from 71.8% last year. Fiction and Poetry were both up slightly at 56.1% and 2.6% respectively, compared to last year’s 47.5% and 1.3%. One new stat this year: books read as research for my novel accounted for 22.7% of my reading this year. I expect that will be down next year as my research winds down, but it is up from last year’s 20% which would be higher had I started work on the novel earlier in the year.

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2016 in reading

My diversity report for the year: Women authors 48% (down from 51.4% last year). Non-white authors were 16.4% of my reading (up from 14.8% last year). I chose my book to hit diversity targets 25% of the time, down from 37.5% last year. I think part of that is that I’ve been more reluctant to let books by white men into my to-read list. My Dead White Men number, meanwhile, despite this climbed from 10.7% of my reading to 14.4%. Non-US authors declined to 39.9% from 41.9%, translations accounted for 10% down from 11.4% while books in Spanish increased to 3.8% from 1.1%.

The authors I’ve met number also climbed slightly from 2.5% from 1.45% Re-reads went up to 5.4% from 3.7%, authors new to me were 71.8% compared to 76.9% last year. Fiction and poetry both declined in my reading, at 47.5% (from 53.4%) and 1.3% (from 5.9%).

My total number of books was 81, down from 88 last year.

And now, my favorite reads of the year, in alphabetical order by title. Worth noting: Only one white man in the list, and mostly women. I think this is the first time my favorite list has included two books by the same author (Mary Rakow was a wonderful discovery this year). Franny and Zooey, was a re-read, but a wonderful re-read. I read La Fiesta del Chivo in Spanish.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

La Fiesta del Chivo by Mario Vargas Llosa

Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

The Memory Room by Mary Rakow

This Is Why I Came by Mary Rakow

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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Beautiful sentences

Magic means nothing to the blind.
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant.

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Beautiful sentences

Magicians all across the world managed quite well without assistants, but without magicians, the assistants were lost.
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant.

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Beautiful sentences

Boys who habitually stole from grocery stores. Boys who loved fire and burned up dry grass fields in summers, hay barns in winter. Boys who would not stop fighting, broke the noses and jaws of smaller boys. Mean, stupid boys who could not be taught the difference between right and wrong, never having seen it themselves. Boys who took girl cousins down to the creek bed at family reunion picnics and raped them. Boys who held those same girl cousins under the water later to keep them from talking. Boys who knew what to do with a lead pipe, knew how to make a knife from a comb.
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant.

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Beautiful sentences

If you truly love Los Angeles, you want to be buried in Forest Lawn.
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant.

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Beautiful sentences

The night Phan died, Sabine had thought the tragedy was knowing that Parsifal would die, too, that there was only a limited amount of time. But now Sabine knew the tragedy was living, that there would be years and years to be alone.
Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant.

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Beautiful sentences

There was in fact a circle of hell beneath this one that required an entirely different set of skills that she did not possess.
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder.

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Beautiful sentences

He was pale with high red cheeks, a fellow traveller who wanted her to ask him why he was flying to Miami and if that was his final destination. He wanted her to tell him she was going on to South America so that he would be impressed and ask her what she planned on doing there, and she would do none of that She would do nothing for him.
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder.
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Beautiful sentences

There was inside of her a very modest physical collapse, not a faint but a sort of folding, as if she were an extension ruler and her ankles and knees and hips were all being brought together at closer angles.
Ann Patchett, State of Wonder.
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