Books Read in 2016

So in the end, I finished 45 books in 2016:

  1. Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
  2. Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer
  3. The Planet Mappers by E. Everett Evans
  4. Adventures in Academic Cartography by Mark Monmonier
  5. Arguably: Selected Essays by Christopher Hitchens
  6. My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt
  7. Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
  8. Persona by Genevieve Valentine
  9. China at the Center: Ricci and Verbiest World Maps edited by Natasha Reichle
  10. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  11. Snakes of the Southeast (revised edition) by Whit Gibbons and Mike Dorcas
  12. Wings of Sorrow and Bone by Beth Cato
  13. Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
  14. The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar
  15. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  16. Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen
  17. Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer
  18. Discovering Scarfolk by Richard Littler
  19. Company Town by Madeline Ashby
  20. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  21. The Usual Path to Publication edited by Shannon Page
  22. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
  23. The Invention of Nature: Alexander Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf
  24. The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente
  25. The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente
  26. Ventriloquism by Catherynne M. Valente
  27. Necessity by Jo Walton
  28. Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
  29. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
  30. Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds
  31. Not So Much, Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick
  32. Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton
  33. The Man Who Made Models by R. A. Lafferty
  34. Shoot the Moon by Nicolas Dupont-Bloch
  35. Speak Easy by Catherynne M. Valente
  36. Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling
  37. Updraft by Fran Wilde
  38. The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: The Biology of the Tyrant Dinosaurs by David Hone
  39. Invisible Planets edited by Ken Liu
  40. Bridging Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan
  41. The Sorcerer’s House by Gene Wolfe
  42. Treasures from the Map Room edited by Debbie Hall
  43. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
  44. A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
  45. The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain

(Links are to my reviews.)

I like to track what and how much I read. It amuses me to crunch the numbers, but most of you will be bored stiff by what follows.


Fig. 1. Books Read, 2011-2016.

Figure 1: Books read, 2011-2016.

Forty-five books is roughly in line with how much I’ve read in previous years. (I don’t know how I managed to read so much in 2012 and 2013.)


Figure 2: Breakdown of books read, 2016.

Figure 2: Breakdown of books read, 2016.


Figure 3: My reading trends, 2011-2016.

Figure 3: My reading trends, 2011-2016.

I track things like format, subject, and gender of author, as well as whether I bought the book, took it out of the library, or got it as a review copy. As far as those things were concerned, there were three firsts in 2016:

  1. A majority of the books I read were written or edited by women. (Over the past five years I averaged around 40 percent.)
  2. A majority were ebooks rather than paper. (This is thanks in part to electronic review copies — mostly from NetGalley — which comprised just over half of the ebooks I read.)
  3. Books I actually paid for made up less than half the books I read. (The rest were library and review copies; my library use was typical, but my review copies quadrupled — NetGalley again.)

Goals for 2017

I always aim to read more than I end up reading, but there are a couple of things I want to aim for, reading-wise, in 2017:

Read more for pleasure. I’m not by nature a close or careful reader, so reading a book I know I’ll be reviewing takes more time and effort. My reading for pleasure suffered as a result, though I could have easily tucked more of it in between reviews. So I’ll try to do more of that this year.

Read more nonfiction. Something like two thirds of what I read is science fiction or fantasy, but I enjoy nonfiction just as much. (It’s also less effort for the pleasure: for some reason nonfiction is easier for me to read.) I’m very much plugged into the sf scene and there’s real pressure for me to stay current, which tends to crowd out the other books on my to-read stack. Must fix that.