Saturday 30 December 2023

My 2023 reading

So, I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a good one? Ours was very much a family Christmas, quite busy, so I've just emerged blinking into the... well... not sunlight... it's December in the UK after all... more like damp and drizzle with the likelihood of more storms on the horizon... possibly even a tornado or two now, apparently!

December was, as predicted, not a hugely productive reading month, but that's fine. I read 5 books, 3 of them managing to be Christmassy in theme.

96. A Closed and Common Orbit - Becky Chambers

97. Who Killed the Curate? - Joan Coggin

98. Home Cooked - Kate Humble. Seasonal living in a farmhouse with recipes included. Delightful.

99. Haunter at the Hearth - edited by Tanya Kirk. To be reviewed but this was a better than average collection of Christmas themed weird stories published by The British Library.

100. Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon - James Lovegrove. I saw this on Lark's blog, thought it sounded fun, and grabbed it for my Kindle. It was fun too. All dark brooding castles  and weird goings on in the wilds of Yorkshire. Lovegrove has written a lot of Holmes and Watson stories, I've read one other and plan to read more as I'm a bit of a Holmes and Watson mood at the moment. 

So I made it to 100 books read this year... for the second year in a row. I didn't intend to, I intended to slow down but it just didn't happen. Oh well, perhaps I just need to read what I read at a pace that just happens and stop trying to fix what ain't broken. 

Of the 100 books 22 were non-fiction. That's ok, not brilliant but not terrible either. I completed the Mount TBR challenge and read 24 books that had been moldering on my tbr mountain since the dawn of time. I read 14 books for Susan at 'Bloggin' 'Bout Books' Bookish Books reading challenge. I also read 17 science fiction or fantasy books, which was one of my personal challenges for 2023. I consider that a success. (For 2024 I've set myself all kinds of personal challenges but more about that in another post.) 

According to the Goodreads thingy, I've read nearly 34,000 pages, the shortest book being To Be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers at 135 pages and the longest, The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb at 906. Apparently that gives me an average of 339! Who knew?

A few favourite fiction books:

I'm going to do non-fiction in a separate post, partly because of the length of this post but also because I read some good ones and they deserve their own post.

So, another year of reading under our belts. It's whizzed by. It's not just me, everyone says so. It's quite alarming really so I'm choosing not to think about it and concentrate instead on having a good reading year in 2024. Again, I will do a separate post.

Happy New Year to everyone who reads my humble blog, whether you comment or not. I hope you all have an excellent 2024, finding lots of wonderful books and having loads of fun reading them.


Harvee said...

Congrats on reading 100 books. We read more than we think we will sometimes! I love books with the word "library" in the title. Have a great New Year.

Harvee @

Lark said...

Your blog is awesome! And 100 books last year is also great. You managed to read more nonfiction and science fiction than I did, but I hope to do better in those categories next year. And congrats on doing so well in all those reading challenges! I wish for you a very Happy New Year...and many good books to read in it. :D

Cath said...

Harvee: Thank you! We do read more than we think we will and I need to just go with the flow I think.

I've been trying to sign in to your blog to comment and whatever I try, Google, Anonymous and Name & URL, nothing works. It just won't let me comment. Any ideas?

Cath said...

Lark: Awww, thank you, you're really kind. I think every year I try to do better in one respect or another be it more non-fiction, more sci-fi, whatever. It's nice to have something to strive for. :-)

Happy New Year to you too and thank you for always coming to comment on my posts. It's really appreciated. And I like that we seem to have a very similar taste in books. :-)

Margot Kinberg said...

You had a good year of reading, Cath, and that's great. 100 books is terrific! I was happy to see Nevada Barr on your list; she is really talented. I know what you mean about being in certain reading moods, too. Sometimes you just want (or don't want) to read something, and it's best to go with that mood, in my opinion.

Margot Kinberg said...

Also, I wanted to wish you and those you love a very Happy New Year! All the best for 2024!

TracyK said...

You have had a great reading year. 22 nonfiction books sounds very good to me. It is an effort for me to make to to ten. And 17 science fiction or fantasy! I could aim at 15 but don't think I would get there. You have so much variety in your reading.

One of Robin Hobbs' books will be on my list of favorite fiction books for 2023, and one by Becky Chambers, and you introduced me to both of those authors.

I did read Who Killed the Curate? this month and enjoyed it. I hope to read others in that series, even though it is a bit over the top.

Have a Happy New Year's Day and health and happiness in 2024.

Kathy's Corner said...

Hi Cath, Congratulations on reading 100 books and you inspire me because we should all read alot of books each year. It's fun, it's educational but also this year I read 32 and what I realized when it came time to compose my best books of 2023 list is that I didn't have many books to draw from when it came time to compose my list. So next year I want to shoot for 60 books and maybe more. Of the books you mentioned I want to read Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Library.

Hope you and your Family have a great New Year!

Sam said...

Sounds like reaching 100 books is the norm for you now, Cath. Congrats on doing it two years in a row because most people never even come close to doing it once in their entire lives. It's especially nice to see that you enjoyed so many of them.

I spent his evening exploring the old books that have been archived on the web now by groups such as Project Gutenberg. It's been a while since I've done that, and I was surprised to find that they have made it very simple to get epub copies for uploading to a kindle. I did that with a nonfiction book about women novelists that was published in 1918 and three early Dorothy L. Sayers novels from the 1920s. They look great on my kindle. You might want to take a look at that as a way to pick up some really good reading material for 2024.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I am never going to reach your lofty heights of success in the reading stakes, so I'll just stick with my modest number of titles and drool over your posts, whilst adding more and more titles from them, to my own wish list!! :)

I know I could read many more books than I do and that it is only putting together reviews which is holding me back, which is actually why I bade farewell to Fiction Books blog in the first place! So I wonder if I should I continue with the reviews or simply cut back to Goodreads ratings only and read more books for my own pleasure. But then what would I have to chat about when I visit your blog and others?

Our Christmas Day with family was lovely, then unfortunately Dave came down with some horrendous upper respiratory tract infection and we haven't left the house since! I'm not sure this was meant to happen immediately he retired, so we are both hoping for a better start to 2024!

Mind you, I can't remember a Christmas / New Year period with so many storms down in this part of the country. It has hardly been conducive to getting out and about, has it?

Wishing you and yours all Best Wishes for the New Year, with some great new reads along the way :)

Nan said...

Do you know what you have changed about your reading that has increased the amount of books you read now? I am SO impressed! And I always love coming here, though do not comment enough. I will try.

Kay said...

First of all, Happy New Year, Cath! Always love stopping by here. I haven't read any from your favorites list except for BLIND DESCENT. I loved that one and haven't reread it in many years. Maybe in 2024. I'm making no predictions for 2024 in the reading department, but I would like to read a few more books. I only made 55 in 2023 and that was a very low number for me. I have a bunch of series that I would like to get caught up on, so maybe that is actually a plan or goal or whatever.

Cath said...

Margot: Yes, quite a good reading year this year. Quite a good variety, which I like.

I plan to try to catch up with the Anna Pigeon series in 2024 as I'm way behind. I think Nevada Barr is very talented as you said and I love all the different NP settings.

Thank you for all your comments and your friendship this year, it's been a pleasure. And all the best to you for 2024 too.

Cath said...

Tracy: Thank you. I usually manage a few more than 22 non-fiction books but it is what it is and it's not a bad total. I was determined to get back to reading more sci-fi and fantasy. I really enjoy both genres but for reason had almost abandoned them both over the past 10 or 15 years.

Very pleased to have got you into Robin Hobb and Becky Chambers, both excellent authors but the trouble is, there are 'so' many excellent authors and it's hard to cover them all. There's only so much time. Glad you enjoyed Who Killed the Curate, I will read more at some stage too as I liked the humour.

Thanks for stopping by to comment so much on my posts, I really do appreciate it. Here's to lots more good books in 2024!

Cath said...

Kathy: I actually did not intend to read 100 books, I wanted to slow down and be more thoughtful about the books I read but it just didn't work that way. Oh, well... Good luck with aiming for 60 books next year! Remarkably Bright Creatures and The Library were two really fun and excellent books.

Look forward to reading more of your blog posts in 2024 and thanks for stopping by to comment on mine. Happy New Year.

Cath said...

Sam: Yes, it does seem like getting close to 100 is the new norm for me. Although I do plan to read a few longer books next year so 100 may not happen and that's fine. One other thing I need to do is blog more often, I saw the number of posts I've written is well down.

It's 'years' since I took a look at Project Gutenberg so thanks for reminding me about that rich resource. I recall looking at Gutenberg Australia too and finding even more interesting books on there. Good to hear their output is now easily transferrable to Kindle too.

Thanks for stopping by to comment on my blog so often, it's so great to have you back after your long break. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Cath said...

Yvonne: I read something on Twitter where someone said, 'Whether you read one book a year or 100, you're still a reader'. And everyone's circumstances are different. I probably ought to get out more and plan to this year hopefully.

I think you have to go with your gut when it comes to reviewing books. I've never really done Goodreads reviews but I don't know why. I've stopped doing a lot of long reviews on here, opting for shorter ones. That suits me but it might not suit others. It's 'really' hard to decide what to do, I know, and I feel for you.

Really sorry to hear Dave caught a respiratory tract infection as soon as he retired, that's rotten luck. Mine has not been much better. I fell in the kitchen a couple of nights ago and gave my head one heck of a whack on the door, I now have a lump on my head and a black eye and am too embarrassed to go out, I look such a sight!

It's raining here again so no, it's not conducive to going out galavanting. Thanks for your good wishes, I hope you and Dave enjoy your retirement once he gets better. And thanks for always stopping by to comment, as always it's much appreciated. :-)

Cath said...

Nan: I think the biggest thing that has sped up my reading is that I now read a lot of books on my Kindle Fire and for some reason I always read quicker on that. Possibly something to do with the font being adjusted to the perfect size for my eyes and the page is never brown with age or the book too hard to keep open for my arthritic hands. Not that I don't still love real books, I do, but old age has intruded!

Really nice to see you here, my oldest book blogging friend apart from Kay. I'll be doing my non-fiction books soon and I have a feeling some of those will interest you.

Cath said...

Kay: Oh, I did love that Nevada Barr, definitely an edge of the seat read! I want to read more of her series next year but I notice she's not publishing very much at the moment. I do hope she's not ill.

I think 55 books is excellent and numbers can be so deceiving anyway. I also think it's far better to read 55 books and enjoy them than hundreds that you then can't remember.

Happy New Year, Kay. You and Nan are my oldest blogging friends and it's lovely that you're both still around from time to time. I hope 2024 is a good year for you and your husband.