End of year round up -Reading

I’ve done so little writing this year (but a lot of editing) that I find that I’ve caught up slightly on my reading. In 2016 for comparison I read 90 books in total – 9 were rated Brilliant, 9 were unfinished (I always read at least 50 pages before deciding to ditch a book) 15 were written by women, 17 were ARCs, 21 were eBooks and 51 were bought in 2016.

2017 Stats:


To explain the ratings:

Unfinished is self-explanatory, life is too short for books you can’t get on with, 50 page rule applies and then on the discard pile it goes

Average is a rating for books that are just that, an average of the genre, not a book I’d recommend

Good is a rating for books I enjoyed and would happily tell people I enjoyed

Books rated Brilliant are ones that I think have a certain spark that sets them apart, ones that really chimed for me at the point of reading or ones I think everyone should read. I’ll come back to those books at the end and tell you what really shone for me this year.

You can already see that I read twice as much this year (although a larger % of Unfinished books)

by gender

This year 26% by women compared to last year’s 16% so better but still woeful – a lot of the books on the TBR (see next stat) are by men, that is slowly changing as I buy more women writers.


Acquired means that I either bought the book, was given it outside of birthday/Xmas or grabbed it as a freebie at a Con.

ARCs are books I’m sent by the publisher to review

I read more off the TBR (To Be Read – books bought prior to 2017) than new shiny books -that’s an improvement on previous years.


I read a lot less Graphic Novels this year, I’m not sure why -maybe I’ve just caught up on the many series and standalones? I used to read 1 Non-Fiction for every 3 Fiction books. As my own writing progresses this seems to be reversing, if you count the short stories then Non-Fiction is only just behind Fiction.


The 1 multimedia book I “read” was ‘It must have been dark by then‘ a book/audio/walk/physical encounter. This was fascinating and if you have the chance to experience it you really should.

I read more books in 2017 than 2016 but yet read fewer eBooks, not sure why.

I won’t do a breakdown by month except to note that I read 36 books in May and only 9 in August. No I don’t know why – I expect that August was busy and I was away at a few cons and May I was procrastinating from editing and writing…


I read books by authors of 25 different nationalities (not all are shown on this graph), with the majority being from the UK or USA with the next largest category being European countries. This is not a surprise.

So about those Brilliant books. No spoilers from me – just go read them.


The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley

book thief

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak


Shane by Jack Schaefer


The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry


City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett (although less enjoyable than the first two still well worth a read)


Amatka by Karin Tidbeck


The Lst Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp (being made into a film by Ron Howard which should be good)


Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (this was a second read for me and if anything it was better second time round – this time I used the additional material on the website. I hear there’s a new verson coming too)


How to Build a Universe by Brian Cox and Robin Ince – I listened to the audiobook which I think added a whole new dimension (no pun intended) to the book. Not sure it would have been as good as a straight read…

And that’s it. 2017 in a nutshell. In 2018 I really should read a lot less and write a lot more!

May 2018 bring you all the books you deserve to read.

Published by suttope

Pete W Sutton is a writer and editor. His two short story collections – A Tiding of Magpies and The Museum for Forgetting – were shortlisted for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards in 2017 & 2022 respectively. His novel – Seven Deadly Swords – was published by Grimbold Books. He has edited several short story anthologies and is the editor for the British Fantasy Society Horizons fiction magazine.

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