Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New Year's Reading Goal: More Canadian Please!

Reading Envy podcaster and blogger Jenny, who lives in South Carolina, has set herself a goal to read more Canadian books this year. She asked some Canadian readers for suggestions and shared these on Reading Envy episode 107, linked here.

I was one of the people she invited on for this show. It's always so hard to narrow down choices from among the many fine Canadian books, so it was great to hear that some of my favourites that I didn't mention were recommended by her other guests. It also served to increase my own TBR with their suggestions.

Shawn talked about Brother by David Chariandy, which I've been meaning to read since it came out last September. Casey recommended one I hadn't heard of that sounds right up my alley: The Mystics of Mile End by Sigal Samuel.

Reading more local, more Indigenous, and more Canadian authors has been my goal for a number of years. Comparing my 2015 stats to my 2017 stats, (2016 was the year I had to switch from Shelfari to Goodreads, messing up that year's stats), I was pleased to see that my intentions have made a difference. In 2017, I read 137 Canadian books (18 of those were by Edmonton authors) while in 2015 I read 56 by Canadian authors. In 2017, I read 30 books by Indigenous authors, from Canada and elsewhere. I hope to increase that number this year, as a way of deepening my understanding of different viewpoints, and enlarging my inner world.

I look forward to following Jenny's journey through Canadian literature this year, and to discovering more great books by Canadian authors myself. Join us.

Monday, January 1, 2018

My 2017 Reading Stats in Pie Charts

Goodreads makes the wonderful infographic above possible. I read 345 books in 2017, up from 323 last year.

I like to examine my reading stats at the end of each year, to see how well I'm doing in my efforts to read as diversely as possible and to focus on reading books written by women. Looking at my statistics regarding format, genre and categories like poetry and nonfiction also help me know myself better as a reader. And so I made a whole bunch of pie charts. If you like pie, please grab a fork and scroll down. The numbers shown next to each piece of pie are the numbers of books that I read in that category.

Note: Add Edmonton authors to Canadian authors for the total from Canada: 137.

Other interesting stats: 25 titles read in translation and 4 books read in French language.

In making comparisons to 2015, the last time that I looked at stats this closely, I discovered: 
  • I'm reading about the same percentage of books by women (62% in 2017 vs 63% in 2015).
  • I've increased the queer content in my reading (18% in 2017 vs 12% in 2015).
  • I'm happy to have a big increase in reading more by Indigenous writers and People of Colour. Last time, I put these two groups together. (31% PoC + Indigenous in 2017 vs 17% in 2015.)
  • I've also dramatically increased the number of Canadian books that I'm reading. (40% in 2017 vs 19% in 2015)