End of the Year Part 1: Reading

With 2013 over, I met my goal of over 365 books.  I read a lot of great books in the last year.  I gave a good amount of ratings between 2 and 4 stars but I reserve the 1 or 5 star ratings for special books.  This year, I found 19 books worthy of the 5-Star rating, which averages out to less than 1 out of 20 books or just under 5% of the books I read this year.  It has been an interesting trip through reading this year.  I read over 140 books more than I did in 2012.  And in total, I read about 150 traditional "books" and over 250+ graphic novels.  It was definitely a reading-intensive year.  But as is the case with any endeavor, you hit some great books and some not so great books.  Looking back, I see that I gave 5-star reviews to more books than I previously thought I did and gave a lot less 1 star reviews than I thought I might have.
Word Cloud of Books Read
Word Cloud of Books Read

My Rating System

I follow the 5 star reading of Goodreads since I use that as my tracking system for books read over the years.  
5 Stars:  It was amazing.  This means that it is a must-own and that it is in all likelihood the first book to rise to my head when recommending books on particular subjects.
4 Stars:  Really liked it.  It was a great read but I might have found some fault with it where I took issue with the argument, ideas, plot, evidence, etc.  I'll still likely want to own it and recommend it, but it's not without some flaws.
3 Stars:  Liked it.  Enjoyable for sure but didn't impress or move me.
2 Stars:  It was Ok.  I finished it and it had something redeemable about it, but not quite what I was looking for.  Mildly engaging but my life would be fine without having read it.
1 Star:  Did not like it.  Entirely unimpressive, disappointing, or potential drivel.

The 5 Star list for 2013:

  1. My Word!: Plagiarism and College Culture by Susan Blum
  2. A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today by Kate Bornstein
  3. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind by James Boyle
  4. Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas Christakis
  5. How to Fake a Moon Landing: Lies, Hoaxes, Scams, and Other Science Tales by Darryl Cunningham
  6. Experience and Education by John Dewey
  7. Modern Scholar: How to Think: The Liberal Arts and Their Enduring Value by Michael Drout
  8. In the Body of the World: A Memoir by Eve Ensler
  9. The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin
  10. Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe 
  11. Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier
  12. The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih
  13. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  14. You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself by David McRaney
  15. Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville
  16. Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful by Beth Noveck
  17. The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
  18. Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by Carol Tavris
  19. The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial: A Drama In Two Acts by Herman Wouk

The 1 Star List for 2013

  1. Grifter, Vol. 1: Most Wanted by Nathan Edmonson
  2. The Answer! by Mike Norton
  3. Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglass Rushkoff
  4. Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match by Amy Web
  5. Webb, Amy
Apparently, I read a lot more good than bad if we measure by the extremes.  Most of my reads sat somewhere between 2 and 4 stars.

All in all, it was an interesting challenge that I enjoyed.  I don't think I would do it again as intentionally as I did this year (that is, set a goal of doing it), but I am glad I did it.  I do like the idea of having reading goals each year and changing it up to keep it challenging (just like one should change their workouts to keep their body in shape).  For 2014, I am aiming to do a short story a day as that will offer it's own set of challenges.
Word Cloud of Authors Read This Year
Word Cloud of Authors Read This Year

Here's the month by month breakdown.



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