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2013 Book Summary

Blimey! This is the latest I've done my book summary yet. I'm about to finish my 16th book of 2014 and haven't reviewed a single one yet. I must improve on this.

  1. Stone, Irving — The Agony and the Ecstasy (439 of 763 pages)
  2. Morpurgo, Michael — The Mozart Question (68 pages)
  3. Unsworth, Barry — Stone Virgin (312 pages)
  4. Phillips, Caryl — The Nature of Blood (212 pages)
  5. Howard, Robert E. — The Conan Chronicles, Volume 1: The People of the Black Circle (549 pages)
  6. Lockwood, Richard & Steve Potz-Rayner — A Little Book of Lies (170 pages)
  7. Vickers, Hugh — Great Operatic Disasters (65 pages)
  8. Howard, Robert E. — The Conan Chronicles, Volume 2: The Hour of the Dragon (574 pages)
  9. Rennison, Nick — 100 Must-Read Classic Novels (164 pages)
  10. Augustine of Hippo (John K. Ryan, translator) — The Confessions of Saint Augustine (422 pages)
  11. Fitzgerald, F. Scott — The Great Gatsby (146 pages)
  12. Harrison, Fraser — Infinite West: Travels in South Dakota (188 pages)
  13. Banks, Iain M. — Consider Phlebas (466 pages)
  14. Banks, Iain M. — The Player of Games (307 pages)
  15. Carter, W. Hodding — Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization (239 pages)
  16. Mandela, Nelson — Long Walk to Freedom (750 pages)
  17. Banks, Iain M. — Use of Weapons (411 pages)
  18. Banks, Iain M. — The State of the Art (215 pages)
  19. Banks, Iain M. — Excession (450 pages)
  20. Kazantzakis, Nikos — Zorba the Greek (345 pages)
  21. Banks, Iain M. — Inversions (407 pages)
  22. Banks, Iain M. — Look to Windward (403 pages)
  23. Nouwen, Henri J. M. & Yushi Nomura — Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers (136 pages)
  24. Gaiman, Neil — The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes & Nocturnes (217 pages)
  25. Banks, Iain M. — Matter (600 pages)
  26. Banks, Iain M. — Surface Detail (627 pages)
  27. George, Rose — The Big Necessity (308 pages)
  28. Banks, Iain M. — The Hydrogen Sonata (630 pages)
Page count
9820

I set myself two goals for last year: (1) read two complete series and (2) read at least one foreign-language book. Um, yeah, I completely forgot about the second goal and made no effort to achieve it. But I did succeed in reading two series, even if I didn't complete my goal until 14 minutes to the New Year. The book total was essentially the same as the previous year and the page count improved by nearly 3000 pages, so overall this is a win.

I can't pick a favourite book from last year: too many awesome books to choose from. I did enjoy both series (The Conan Chronicles and the Culture series) very much. My least favourite book was easily A Little Book of Lies. Most influential is a tie between The Agony and the Ecstasy, Long Walk to Freedom, Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization, and The Big Necessity.

I read 20 unique authors in 2013, 15 of whom were new to me. The longest (complete) book was Long Walk to Freedom at 750 pages. (The Agony and the Ecstasy was longer, but only half of it was read in 2013.) The shortest was Great Operatic Disasters at 65 pages. The average book length was 347 pages if you don't count The Agony and the Ecstasy or 351 pages if you do.

I turned 40 years of age in 2014. To mark that milestone, I've decided my reading goal for the year will be to read at least 40 books, at least 10 of which are 400 pages or more in length. (While I began the year at a torrid pace, I am currently just under two books short of that pace.) We'll see if we can check in on my success or failure in January of next year.

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