What I Read in 2014


2014 was an interesting year of reading. While I haven’t managed to read as much as I wanted, what I’ve read has changed. A look at format, genre, price, and authorial gender and nationality.

Format

woman female books library

# Read Paper Hard Audio e-Book
2009

92

63%

12%

25%

2010

167

49%

4%

4%

44%

2011

165

27%

4%

1%

69%

2012

141

23%

5%

72%

2013

90

24%

7%

11%

58%

2014

103

22%

10%

16%

52%

Paperbacks read seems to have stabilized at about 23% after plunging from 63% in 2009. Listening to more audiobooks seems to have eaten into the ebook numbers.

Freebies

books

# Read

Free eBook / Audio

Library

2009

97

1%

19%

2010

167

10%

4%

2011

165

39%

13%

2012

141

39%

17%

2013

90

38%

20%

2014

103

51%

6%

Freebies are a temptation I can’t refuse. 51% of the books I read were free, not including those from the library. Borrowed book numbers remain erratic which makes sense since I mostly borrow on a whim.

Male Authors

books male men writing

# Read

Male Authors

Classics

Non-fiction

Fairy Tales & Retellings

Before GR

222

18%

5%

6%

8%

2009

97

9%

5%

3%

3%

2010

167

7%

2%

1%

2%

2011

165

13%

1%

5%

2%

2012

141

11%

2%

9%

5%

2013

90

27%

9%

26%

4%

2014

103

50%

37%

17%

16%

While most readers were worried they were reading too many male authors last year, I was sitting in a corner wondering why my experience showed I had the opposite problem. Rectifying the situation has been a task I’ve been attempting for the past couple of years, but this year I achieved gender parity for the first time!

Reading more male authors seemed to go hand in hand with reading more classics, non-fiction and fairy tales & retellings. Only two of the classics and five non-fic books were written by women, although one of the male authored non-fic’s was about two African American women – Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin.

International Reads

global international
Publishing is overflowing with books by American and British authors, which was reflected in my reading choices, so I made a determined effort to read more internationally this year, reading books by authors born anywhere but the UK and the USA.

Algeria: The Golden Ass: Or Metamorphoses by Lucius Apuleius
Algeria: The Plague by Albert Camus (white man)
Argentina: The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
Australia: English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs
Barbados: Creoleana by J.W. Orderson (white man)
Barbados: Alabama Blues by Margaret Sisu
Belarus: I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Canada: I’m Starved for You by Margaret Atwood
China: The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Czech Republic: The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
DenmarkThe Tinder Box (adult & child versions) by Hans Christian Andersen
France: The Story of the Beauty and the Beast: The Original Classic French Fairytale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Germany: The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Fredrich Engels
Iran: Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyam
Ireland: The Canterville Ghost | A House of Pomegranates | The Happy Prince and Other Stories – by Oscar Wilde
Nigeria: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Russia: Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
South Africa: Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales by Nelson Mandela

My favourites were Algeria’s The Golden Ass and Nigeria’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Feminism

females women books
Feminism is still something I’m very much interested in, having read:

  • All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism by Kira Cochrane
  • Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Medical Memoirs

doctor female woman
A new interest of mine. My mother’s ill health has meant an increase in my medical knowledge and experience with various parts of the British healthcare system, and, as a result, I’ve developed a curiosity for how the systems works and what it looks like from the other side.

  • In Stitches by Nick Edwards (A&E)
  • Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek
  • Further Confessions of a GP by Benjamin Daniels (I loved the first one!)
  • Living with Mother: Right to the Very End by Michele Hanson
  • The Migraine Brain: Your Breakthrough Guide to Fewer Headaches, Better Health by Carolyn Bernstein

*Since some book entries (and therefore reviews) on Goodreads have been deleted my numbers aren’t exact, especially for 2014.

Images: iosphere

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