Jake McCrary

Reading in 2015

At the beginning of the year I generally take the time to reflect on my reading in the previous year. I’m nearly three months but I’m finally taking a look at 2015. Here are my summaries of my 2014 and 2013 reading.

I’ve continued to keep track of my reading by using Goodreads. My profile contains the full list and reviews of books I’ve read since 2010. Here is my 2015 list.

2015 Goals

2015 did not have an easily measured goal. I set the vague goal of increasing the quality of my reading by attempting to think deeper about what I’ve read.

2015 Results

I have no idea if I achieved my goal. Some books have stuck with me and I’ve thought quite a bit about the stories. Others I’ve forgotten already.

Looking at raw numbers I read 51 books in 2015 for a total of about 21,790 pages. When compared to 2014 these numbers are lower by 19 books and about 1300 pages.

In terms of star ratings, 2015 was a better year. I had three more five star books and one more four star book. The 19 book difference between 2014 and 2015 is entirely found in two and three star books.

Recommendations

I awarded ten books a five star rating. This is more five stars than any other year. Each of the five star books I’d recommend without hesitation. Below is my list of five star books. The titles are affiliate links to Amazon and the my review text links to Goodreads.

One of the great things about writing this post is that it forces me to pause and reflect on the previous years books. Its great seeing this list of great books and remembering the stories. Of these ten books the ones I remember most fondly are Stoner, Snow Crash, and The Pale King.

There were also a ton of great four star books this year. One that stands out is Joseph Heller’s Something Happened (my review). Kurt Vonnegut wrote a brilliant review of this book which I encourage you to read.

Dave MacLeod’s Make or Break: Don’t Let Climbing Injuries Dictate Your Success (my review) deserves a mention. I highly recommend this book to any climber. We push our bodies hard and this book will help you prevent and recover from injuries. I’ve used it as a reference so many times over the past year. It probably deserves five stars.

Other Stats

Unsurprisingly, I’m continuing to mostly read ebooks.

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|           | 2014 | 2015 |
|-----------+------+------|
| ebook     |   64 |   47 |
| hardcover |    1 |    1 |
| paperback |    4 |    3 |

My average rating went up.

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| Year | Average Rating |
|------+----------------|
| 2011 |           3.84 |
| 2012 |           3.66 |
| 2013 |           3.67 |
| 2014 |           3.48 |
| 2015 |           3.86 |

Last year I had many repeat authors. This year I had fewer. Neal Stephenson and Donna Tart really stood out this year. I read multiple books from both of them and rated every book five stars.

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| Author               | My Average Rating | Number of Pages | Number of books |
|----------------------+-------------------+-----------------+-----------------|
| Neal Stephenson      |                 5 |            2693 |               3 |
| Donna Tartt          |                 5 |            1427 |               2 |
| Paolo Bacigalupi     |       3.666666667 |            1113 |               3 |
| Bret Easton Ellis    |               3.5 |             590 |               2 |

2016 Goals

In 2016 I’m planning on reading one or two biographies. That isn’t a genre I typically read. It should be a pretty easy goal to hit. If you have any recommendations please leave them in a comment.

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