I had set a goal for 2019 of reading 100 books and nearly made it with 95 books. I’ll aim again this year.
My favorite reads for the year, in alphabetical order, were:
- Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- The Best American Essays 2019 edited by Rebecca Solnit and Robert Atwan
- Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse
- The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang
- The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
- Interior States: Essays by Meghan O’Gieblyn
- Possession by A. S. Byatt
- A Primer of Biblical Greek by N. Clayton Croy
- Seeds of Science: Why We Got It So Wrong on GMOs by Mark Lynas
- 2666 by Roberto Bolaño
It’s interesting to note how much of this highlights list is non-fiction (fully half). The fraction that are written by women has declined somewhat to just under half, but white men continue to be almost absent from the list again.
My overall stats for the year had the fraction of women I read decline a little from 52.4% to 49.4%. PoC also slightly declined from 21.4% to 19.3%. Dead White Men continued to decline from 10.5% to 5.4%. Non-US 34% up from 25.7%. Translations 7.5% up from 4.6%. Authors new to me 80.1% up from 76.7%. Re-reads 0.3% down from 0.7%. Authors I’ve met 4.5% down from 7.5%. Median publication year 2014 vs 2013. Books advanced in the reading queue to meet demographic goals, 23.7% down from 35.8%. Books read as novel research 9.7% down from 16.4%.
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