My reading life in 2018 (with charts and spreadsheets!!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I read 84 books in 2018, which is more than double my best year ever! You can take a look at my 2018 reading challenge on Goodreads below to browse the books I read there.

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Laurel has completed her goal of reading 48 books in 2018!

I recently discovered this AMAZING spreadsheet on Bookriot that allows you to track your reading in detail. I updated the 2019 spreadsheet to work for 2018 and filled it in with all my books for the year.

Here's a summary of what I found out!

Full list of books I read in 2018

Here's the full list of books I read in 2018, broken down by my star rating. I use the Goodreads star rating system, so 1-5 stars with 5 being the best.

5 stars ("It was amazing")
20 books; 24% of total
  1. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  3. The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
  4. The Dry by Jane Harper
  5. Educated by Tara Westover
  6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  7. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  8. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
  9. Getting Things Done by David Allen
  10. Give Your Child the World by Jamie C. Martin
  11. Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley
  12. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  13. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  14. I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown
  15. The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
  16. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  17. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  18. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  19. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  20. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

4 stars ("Really liked it")
37 books; 44% of total
  1. 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
  2. Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
  3. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  4. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
  5. The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
  6. Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
  7. Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith
  8. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  9. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  10. Final Girls by Riley Sager
  11. The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin
  12. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  13. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  14. Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  15. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
  16. I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell
  17. I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
  18. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
  19. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  20. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
  21. The One by John Marrs
  22. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  23. The Path Between Us by Suzanne Stabile
  24. Practical Wisdom for Parents by Nancy Schulman
  25. The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin
  26. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  27. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
  28. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  29. Tables in the Wilderness by Preston Yancey
  30. Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan
  31. There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
  32. This is how It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  33. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
  34. What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  35. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
  36. A Woman's Place by Katelyn Beaty
  37. Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

3 stars ("Liked it")
20 books; 24% of total
  1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  2. The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees
  3. Good as Gone by Amy Gentry
  4. The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
  5. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
  6. Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
  7. Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  8. Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
  9. The One by Kiera Cass
  10. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  11. The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
  12. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
  13. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  14. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  15. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  16. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  17. Still Me by Jojo Moyes
  18. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  19. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  20. You Can Stay Home With Your Kids! by Erin Odom

2 stars ("It was OK")
7 books; 8% of total
  1. Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman
  2. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
  3. The Elite by Kiera Cass
  4. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
  5. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
  6. Raising an Original by Julie Lyles Carr
  7. Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman

1 star ("Did not like it")
0 books; 0% of total

Book stats

The reading spreadsheet automatically creates lots of charts to give you insight into the types of books you have been reading. I found out a lot of interesting things!

In 2018, about half of the books I read were on my Kindle. About 40% were in print, and the remaining ~10% were on audio. This wasn't shocking; as much as I prefer books in print, I love the portability of my Kindle (and the fact that I can also read those books on my phone in a pinch).

I got about 43% of my books from the library this year, and I own the rest. Some of those were purchased this year, some I've had for a while, and others were gifts.

Not surprisingly, I read about 60% fiction and 40% nonfiction

I loved seeing stats on the genres I read because some were surprising! At the top is Self-Help/Business at 23% (not a surprise). Next are Contemporary Fiction at 20%, Mystery/Thriller/Horror at 18%, Romance at 13% (higher than I realized!), and Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Christian Nonfiction tied at 6% (both lower than I would have guessed). Other genres don't get much of my time, but I think I might work on changing that in 2019!

This is a fun and surprising statistic: Over 81% of the books I read this year were written by female authors! I had no idea how often I gravitate toward reading books written by women but there you go. #feminist

Another less surprising stat: page count. I actively avoid really long books (part of why I made it to 84 books this year, I'm sure). I also don't cheat and only read short ones either. ALL of the books I read in 2018 were between 200 and 600 pages, and most were in the 300-400 page range.

Reading stats

It's fun to see how many books I read broken down by month. May and September were the lowest counts, and when you consider I'm married to a teacher, you might know why. :) October really surprised me, and then I remembered that's when we started going to the library (instead of just using them to check out digital/audio copies of books). It really made a difference!

Some more stats I learned from the spreadsheet:
  1. I read 23,950 pages and listened to 96 hours, 52 minutes of audio books this year.
  2. I averaged 29.5 days per book. This might sound surprising given the number of books I finished, but sometimes I start one and put it down for months. It would be nice to track the number of active hours I spend reading, but that sounds like a lot of work. :)
  3. I averaged 65.62 pages read per day. I'm guessing that's probably less than an hour for me for most books. (I read nonfiction faster, for whatever reason.) I am a relatively fast reader, but do note that I'm not spending hours and hours reading every day, which I think is the biggest assumption people make when they hear how many books I read. ("When do you find the time?" - Now you know: it's not that hard to find an hour a day after my kid is in bed, especially when I don't watch much TV at all.)
  4. I read 7 books a month, on average. My goal was 4, so I am thrilled with how many I did manage to read!
  5. I only spend about 15 minutes a day listening to audiobooks. I listen to podcasts most of the time and I just squeeze in audiobooks when I really want to get some extra reading in.
  6. About 15% of the books I read were young adult books
  7. I read exactly one book of poetry this year (Lin-Manuel Miranda's book, Gmorning, Gnight!). Everything else I read was either a novel or nonfiction. Looks like I might need to branch out into some different styles (plays? short stories? graphic novels?).
  8. About 18% of the books I read were written by people of color. I would love to increase that percentage in 2019.
  9. If I tracked everything correctly, I read two books in translation this year: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (originally in Japanese), and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (originally in Swedish).

Okay, that was way more fun than it should be. :)

50 podcast recommendations

Favorites These are the podcasts I listen to religiously and recommend all the time. If you're looking for a podcast to get you hooked...