2019 in Review

I’m pulling prompts for this from a whole bunch of places, which is a little annoying because I swear a couple years ago, I had a specific person’s blog post that I based my post off of, but whatever. Here we are, my post where I give you more statistics than you probably care to know and answer some other fun questions. Let’s get started!

How many books did you read this year?

I read 303 books in total and here is the monthly breakdown:

A bar graph showing that in January I read 26 books, February 29, March 25, April 18, May 25, June 27, July 31, August 19, September 16, October 35, November 22, and December 30.

I think it makes sense that April was a low reading month because I started a new job and traveled to Kiss Con, but I cannot figure out why August and September were such low months. Also, wow, did October blow every other month out of the water.

Let’s talk genre!

First, let me note that these numbers showing that I read 13 nonfiction books include the one graphic thing I read (Herding Cats by Sarah Anderson) and the one poetry collection I read (the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace) because I felt like they fit okay in that category, but I don’t really count them toward my goal of reading 12 (which I failed). Second, I tried really hard to be internally consistent, but I’m not positive I succeeded so it’s possible some sequels counted as romance when I counted the first book as fantasy and vice versa.

So unsurprisingly, romance was my highest read genre at 76.5, nonfiction was 4.1% of my reading, General Contemporary was 6.1%, Historical Fiction was 2%, and Fantasy was 11.2%.

I couldn’t figure out how to adjust where the labels went on the graph, so that purple slice that doesn’t have a label is actually historical fiction. I lumped the Lady Sherlock series into historical fiction because I didn’t want to bother making a whole separate mystery/thriller category for four books, which would have left me with only three for historical fiction. Anyway, so there’s the genre breakdown in general, so now let’s do the romance breakdown:

Contemporary romance was 48.3% of the romance I read in 2019, paranormal romance was 28.7%, historical and other (romantic suspense were about 11.5% each.

Other is all but one for romantic suspense and then I had one book I just had no idea how to count so I threw it in and made it other.

I’m not going to bother making a chart for adult vs. YA because I read 24 YA books total and that chart would just look sad. I really shifted away from YA this year and I think that may be unlikely to change. There are still some YA books that I want to pick up, but I imagine it will remain a fraction of my reading rather than being close to half of the books I read in a year like it used to be.

Now, let’s talk diversity statistics.

I want to note that I’m not giving you these numbers to brag or to call myself out. I just need to make sure that I’m making a concentrated effort to not slip back into the easy habit of just picking up books by white people. (To be fair, diversifying where I’ve been getting recommendations from was really half the battle because there’s no way I could actually fall back into that now!) But I also want to make sure that anyone who needs a reminder that you may want to think about this has this opportunity. So I ended up with a 40/60 split between authors of color and white authors and I feel pretty good about that. I’m keen to keep trying to push toward 50/50, especially since I was at 46% authors of color last year, but as long as I’m hovering around at least 40, I’m not going to freak out. I did a really poor job of keeping track of the LGBTQIA+ books I read this year and so I know I missed some queer characters in m/f relationships, but I came out to a mere 7%, which isn’t a number I feel great about. I’m definitely going to try and do better about both keeping track and reading more in 2020.

What format did I read my books in?

I read 19% of my books with a physical copy, listened to 39%, and read 42% digitally.

So I think I got my statistics correct, but I could have messed up in a few places. Regardless, based on what I counted, I read 58 books in physical format for a total of 19% of my overall reading, 126 books were consumed digitally for 42% of my total reading, and 119 books were consumed via audiobooks for 39% of my total reading.

What was my favorite book I read this year?

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I know all of you already know so I’m not going to talk about it AGAIN.

What was my least favorite book I read this year?

I’m not sure about least favorite as in worst book of the year, but I can tell you my two biggest disappointments (which is a small spoiler for a post I’ll be making soon). Those are When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton and The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare. When We Left Cuba is not disappointing because the book is bad. It’s disappointing because what I wanted is not what the book was, which I knew going it and yet, was still hoping somehow it would give me an HEA to love and cling to. It… doesn’t really do that. It is a really good book if you can convince yourself that you’re just reading a really good historical fiction novel, which is what it is! I couldn’t though. And then The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare was disappointing because I was LOVING it and then… The sexual assault history just came out of nowhere and was not handled in the way I would have preferred if that subplot was going to exist.

What was the most surprising book I read?

I mean, to be honest, Daisy Jones & The Six caught me hella off guard because while I liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I was not expecting this to just like… become my favorite book of all time. Are you ever expecting that?? But anyway, that really was my most surprising book of the year.

What was the saddest book I read this year?

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord. I mean, I was crying so hard I could barely read the last like 50 pages.

What was the happiest book I read this year?

The book that brought me the most joy and had me laughing out loud often was probably Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. I loved it so much and thought it was so funny. But I really enjoyed a lot of the books I read this year.

What book did I read this year that I consider overhyped?

Thankfully there wasn’t a book I hated this year that made everyone else’s best of list like some years in the past, but I really do not understand the praise The Serpent King by Jeff Zetner gets. But I’m salty about a lot of people’s representation of Appalachia and shouldn’t police others experiences and blah blah blah, but it feels like the Hillbilly Elegy of YA contemporary. (Read Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon for similar rep that is still hard hitting without feeling like tragedy porn.)

What book do I read this year that I consider underhyped?

Excuse me, but why are people SLEEPING on Chanel Cleeton’s Wild Aces series? I know they’re older, but y’all! Into the Blue is SO good!!! They all are so good, to be honest. I just don’t understand why people aren’t still shouting these books from the rooftops, the way I’m still shouting about Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai and A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole.

Authors Who Defined 2019 for Me

Kennedy Ryan, a new to me author whom I now can’t imagine my reading life without, and Alyssa Cole, who delivered so many hits at the beginning of the year and capped it off with an Audible original that blew me away.

Hopefully I’ve more or less touched on everything you wanted to see. I think the Top 10 of 2019 posts certainly help sum up 2019 for me reading life wise, but I hope you enjoyed this post too with a few more statistics and some rapid fire questions. Let me know below your favorite book of the year and any books you think are underhyped!

xx

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2 Comments

  1. YAY FOR STATS!! These posts are my favorite! Also, you are my icon for reading more than 300 books in a year, and I aspire to be you.

    It’s so interesting how our reading compares, because I read a bit less romance than you this past year, and I tend to pick up predominantly historicals, with a strong emphasis on contemporary and a growing amount of paranormals (whoo Nalini!). Also, lol at your comment about YA vs. adult. My post is coming on Friday and I did in fact make a chart, and it’s as sad as you’d expect. I should really skip it next year! And your audio stats are so cool! It’s not a format I’ve gravitated towards as much, but I love that it’s become such a big part of your reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to read your post tomorrow! I love these things. Stats are the best. Also, Nalini is a big reason why my paranormal section is as high as it is. Lol. Rereading the whole PC series and then who knows how many times I actually kept track of reading Kiss of Snow… Lolol

      Like

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