Continuing my goal of last year to diversify my reading, I’ve boosted the goals for reading women writers and non-white writers. My statistics improved in both categories, with women accounting for 51.4% of my reading (compared to 39.6% last year and a target of 50%) and non-white authors accounting for 14.8% of my writing (compared to 13.5% last year and a goal of 15%). I did find myself choosing my next book to boost my diversity numbers 37.5% of the time (compared to just 10.8% last time). Dead white men were responsible for 10.7% of my reading up from 9.9% last year and non-US authors were 41.9% of my reading up from 30.1% last year. The total number of books read was 88, down from 101 last year.
In other categories, 11.4% of my reading was in translation, 1.1% in Spanish, 1.45% were by authors I’ve met (finishing my MFA program pulled this number down quite a bit), 3.7% were re-reads and 76.9% were by authors new to me. Fiction was a smaller fraction of my reading this year at only 53.4% as was poetry down to just 3.9% from 5.9% last year.
With the statistics out of the way, my favorite reads of 2015 were (in alphabetical order by author):
Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
Narratology by Mieke Bal
Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball
The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus by Michael F. Bird
Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son by Peter Manseau
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov
Living with Saints by Mary O’Connell
The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch