I love stats and looking back on things so I thought I would do a little round up of my year in books. Obviously I’ve listed all my books month-by-month in my monthly round ups but I thought it would be interesting to see how many Blytons I read and how many children’s books vs grown up ones.
I have goals every year beyond the total number of books I want to read. There aren’t hard-and-fast numbers but I generally aim to:
- Read more new books than ones I’ve read before
- Read some books I’ve always meant to but never got around to, especially if they appear on lots of ‘must-read’ lists
- Read at least one classic
- Read a good balance of grown up books and children’s books
So let’s see how I did!
I re-read 23 books and the rest (95) were new, so I can tick off the first goal.
I read Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton, and Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding so I feel like I’ve achieved the second goal too. I also read several often-recommended picture books including a few by Dr Seuss.
I only half achieved the goal of reading a classic as I got through half of Jane Eyre, and I hope to finish it at some point this year.
I read 36 children’s books which means I also read 82 grown-up books, so I’m very happy with that split.
Newly discovered books and authors
I love nothing better than discovering a new author or series, especially if there are several books then waiting to be devoured one after the other, with none of that pesky wait for a new one to be written and published.
In 2018 I discovered (27 years after it was first published…) the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
Last year, I found Jasper Fforde and the Thursday Next series. When I say ‘found’, what I mean is ‘finally picked up’ as I had actually heard of them before then. (In fact, I’m sure at least one person had told me I would like them but I hate when people say that and almost always ignore it, only sometimes to my detriment.)
Unfortunately both these series are waiting on a new book; Outlander should have one at some point this year but there is no news on Thursday Next. Fforde has a couple of other series, though, so if I don’t discover anything new soon I can give those a try.
I actually only read five Blyton books last year; all of them Famous Fives. I read:
- Five Go Off in a Caravan
- Five on Kirrin Island Again
- Five Go Off to Camp
- Five Get Into Trouble
- Five Fall Into Adventure
Which are books five to nine of the series. I remember when I could read the whole series in a matter of weeks!
I also read some of The Naughtiest Girl in the School to compare the text between editions.
Somehow I thought I would have read more Blytons, though! Of course I read several books that related to Blyton in one way or another.
There are four with her name on the cover even though she had nothing to do with them:
- New Term at Malory Towers by Pamela Cox
- Summer Term at Malory Towers by Pamela Cox
- Mystery of the Skull by Pamela Butchart
- Noddy and the Farmyard Muddle by Sophie Smallwood
And another which everywhere I looked has the author as Enid Blyton despite being published nearly 40 years after her death:
- The Case of the Hiding Pirates by Unknown
Plus I read a few books that I would recommend for Blyton fans:
- Mystery of the Vanished Skeleton and The Mystery of the Missing Masterpiece, both from the Adventure Island series by Helen Moss
- A Mystery for Ninepence and The Harveys See it Through, both by Phyllis Gegan
Not to forget Five Go Feasting, the recipe book based on the food of the Famous Five books.
What did your year in books look like?