2007 in Review

The reading accomplishment for this year was finishing all of the Nebula winners (although I haven't yet read Seeker, the 2006 winner awarded in 2007, since I want to read the previous books in the series). I've now read all Hugo winners and nearly all Nebula winners. Maybe in the coming year I'll tackle another set.

This year, I read three books I rated 10 out of 10. The highest rating usually doesn't mean the book was any better written than a 9 out of 10; rather, it means the book spoke to me particularly strongly. One was the re-read of Bambi, a classic I loved as a child and loved even more as an adult. The other two were new novels first published within the last couple of years: Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette's subversive animal fantasy A Companion to Wolves; and, to close out the year, The King's Last Song, Geoff Ryman's spectacular mainstream novel about Cambodia. All three are, of course, highly recommended.

The non-fiction highlight of the year was Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind's The Smartest Guys in the Room. This detailed story of the rise and fall of Enron is exceptional journalism and a cautionary tale about the state of oversight in US capitalism. The documentary made based on that book was also good, although a bit overdone in its musical background.

There are almost too many other notable books to mention them all, but I will particularly recommend Jo Walton's Ha'penny and Elizabeth Moon's The Speed of Dark as books that deserve a wide audience. Charles Stross's Glasshouse was the best traditional science fiction novel I read all year and should have won a Hugo. It alas lost to a far inferior and uncritical Vernor Vinge paean to the wonders of technology.

Below are some additional personal reading statistics, probably only of interest to me.

In 2007, I read and reviewed 92 books (one fewer than last year). Books are counted as complete on the date that I finished the first draft of my review. Overall statistics with change from last year:

Books read 92 (-1)
Total pages 30,807 (-852)
Average rating 6.94 (-0.09)
Pages per day 84.4 (-2.3)
Days per book 3.97 (-0.05)

So not as much as last year, but not that much of a change.

This year, I decided not to set a reading goal (after coming in under 100 books last year), but of course spent the year occasionally worrying about how many books I was reading anyway. However, I think I have a good baseline now, one that will let me keep up with the authors and fields I want to follow and still leave time for other things. I'm aiming for about 80 books a year.

Breakdown by genre:

SF and fantasy 69 75%
Mainstream 5 5%
Graphic novels 6 7%
Non-fiction 12 13%

Of the SF and fantasy novels, here's a rough breakdown of the books by reason for seeking them out:

Award winners 16 23%
Award series 5 7%
Genre classics 6 9%
Current SF&F 8 12%
Favorite authors 16 23%
Re-reads 5 7%
Recommendations 7 10%
Random 6 9%

Finishing the Nebula winners was a large chunk of my reading at the start of the year. All in all, 30% of my SF and fantasy reading for the year was reading either award-winning books or earlier books in the series that lead up to award-winning books. 12% was keeping up with the field (including reading all Hugo nominees), and another 23% was following favorite authors.

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04