A new year means statistics from the old year. It is quite interesting to go through what you have read last year. Some books you tend to forget you have read, but when you see the titles they come up to the surface again. I don't have any one book that stands out this year. It probably means that I have been on a good, even level in my reading.
I have read 83 fiction (78%) and 23 non fiction (22 %) books. They are divided into: Historical fiction 8, Classics 20, Mystery 28, Other fiction 27; Biographies 6, History 5 and other non fiction 12. Top individual categories turn out to be Mystery and Classics. The division between fiction and non fiction is quite good. Although I might try to read some more non fiction this year. I listened to five audio books, and I am at the end of another, rather long one. It takes a long time for me to go through the audio books, since I listen mostly when out walking. I read both paper books and e-books and enjoy both ways of reading.
Overview of 2018 books
The 2018 reading year was for me quite different than usual. First of all, I read a lot of classics which, to a large extend, was due to my university course in Literature. It made me discover some unexpected pearls. For example Chrétien de Troyes' Lancelot. Estimated to have been written in 1177 and 1189, it holds a freshness and modernity that is amazing. Another classic I enjoyed was Voltaire's Candide. A humorous intake on the world at his time, and a real pleasure to read even today. Maybe not much have actually changed?
By far the best mystery was Jane Harper's Force of Nature, which had a compelling story which kept you guessing until the end. I also liked the two detectives and their interaction. I wanted to read another book by her, but I never got around it. Just lets me have some joyous reading for 2019.
A wonderful combination to read was Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady and the continuation of the story, Mrs Osmond, as written by John Banville. Always a fan of Henry James, as is John Banville, which is the reason it took him many years to decide on a sequel. It is done with utmost skills and a language close to James, that it is hard to notice a difference. The only difference might be that Banville makes an ending.
I cannot say that any book this year stood out against the others. It was an even reading year, a lot of mystery books, which I usually not read a lot of. Maybe the influence on being in Scandinavia? Most books appealed to me, but Arnaldur Indridason always sticks out. I must admit though that the last book I read, The Shadow Killer, left me without a clue on whodunnit? Anybody who has read it and can give me a hint. I wanted to re-read the last chapter again, but forgot and gave the book back before reading it through more thoroughly.
After many years on my TBR shelves, and thanks to the Classic Club, I finally read Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. It is an interesting book, where Gaarder manages to make you understand a little bit of philosophy. That is, until the philosophical world enters the real world. Or, is it the real world that enters the philosophical world? Hmm! A pearl of a book and a must if you are interested in philosophy.
Always interested in people's lives, I enjoyed a few biographies. To mention is Miranda Seymour's The Bugatti Queen, with its tale of an unusual woman's life. The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair by Russell Martin and Lydia Nibley is another interesting story of how life move items through history. A last mentioning will go the Marie Benedict's The Other Einstein. A historical fiction about Einstein's first wife Miléva Maric. An interesting take on the value of wives' influence over scientific husband's work.