Book Stats, Books I Didn’t Finish, & Bloggers Interviewing Bloggers

Happy New Year!  The most romantic New Year’s scene ever:  When Harry Met Sally

I don’t attend New Year’s Eve parties.  The last time I attended one, it was the ’80s, everyone except me had big hair, and there was much drunken flirting.  There was a snowstorm, and someone was very insistent that we spend the night.

“No, thank you!”

What do I like to do on New Year’s Eve?  Figure my book statistics for the year and make up my final Best  Books of the Year list.


I.  I found out about the books I read this year from:

Book reviews:  10%

Blogs & websites:  2%

Award winners & finalists:  1%

Bookstores, online bookstores, & The Planned Parenthood Book Sale:  53%

Had at home:  34%

I love blogs and book reviews, but often read for the reviewer’s voice rather than his or her judgment, and to keep up with what’s new.  I have a long TBR list.


Books 79%

E-books 21%


Women authors 58%

Men authors 42%

Are you ready for my Best Books of 2013 listI’ve already posted two, one on my sidebar and one on a post, but now I’m going to choose

MY TOP 12 (in no particular order, because it’s ridiculous to compare them)

1. Doris Lessing’s The Four-Gated City

2.  Elizabeth Spencer’s The Voice at the Back Door

3.  Peter Stothard’s Alexandria:  The Last Nights of Cleopatra

4.  Graham Joyce’s The Silent Land

5.  D. H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow

6.  Steve Yarbrough’s The Realm of Last Chances

7.  Barbara Pym’s Some Tame Gazelle

8.  Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

9.  D. J. Taylor’s The Windsor Faction

10.  Virgil’s Aeneid Book XII, ed. by Richard Tarrant

11.  Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner

12.  Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend

And now for a new feature, “Books I Haven’t Finished and Why.”

Books I haven't finished this year.

Books I haven’t finished this year.

1.  Herman Wouk’s War and Remembrance. I am very, very picky about what I read, and I don’t have time to read a 1,300-page book unless it’s War and Peace.  Wouk’s book was recommended by a Wall Street Journal writer.

2.  The Alexandria Quartet by Laurence Durrell.  Justine, the first of the quartet, is a brilliant, lyrical novel about a beautiful, half-mad, sexy woman with a terrible secret.  The narrator, a novelist, loves her, her husband loves her, and various other men in Alexandria love her:  she’s a great fantasy figure, and those of us who are average women are simply astonished.  I am halfway through the second book, Balthazar.

Loved these lyrical books in the ’80s.  If anybody wants the boxed set, let me know.  I’m reading it on my Nook.

3.  Gladys Taber’s Country Chronicle.  I adore her writing about her farm in Connecticut.  This is divided by seasons.  I have Summer and Fall  to go.

4.  Robert Cantwell’s The Land of Plenty.  A 1935 factory novel, very good, but not my kind of thing.  I may go back to it.

5.  Angela Thirkell’s The Brandons.  Angela Thirkell, a humorous novelist, is very, very witty,  but her verbosity can be like a tick.  She is very entertaining if You’re in the Mood for Copious Capitalization.

6.  Margaret Drabble’s The Gates of Ivory.  I have reread the first two books of her Radiant Way trilogy many times, but once again abandoned the third halfway through.  Maybe next year…

BLOGGERS INTERVIEWING BLOGGERS. I planned to interview bloggers about their blogging in 2014,  but  just noticed in surfing the net that a few other bloggers have done this kind of thing.    If I’m not talking about their reading per se, but rather how and why they blog, is it worth doing?  And something very, very short! Or is it like vanity writing?  Bloggers reading bloggers writing about bloggers writing about bloggers…

Well, Happy New Year while I figure this out!