Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with reading

At the start of 2014 I set myself the target of reading 100 books. To find out if I made it or not, go to the Skinny website and read the beautiful article I wrote for them about my joys and triumphs, my failure and The Line of bloody Beauty.

However, I won’t leave you, my loyal reader(s) with just that. Like the bonus features of a DVD that most people don’t watch, here are the all important stats of that year.

In the split between fiction and non-fiction, made up nonsense won by a margin of 54% to 46%.


In the gender fight-off, men literally beat women by 73% to 25% (two per cent were collaborations with both sexes writing in the same book — what is the world coming to?).


Thirty-seven per cent of my authors were born in the USA, while 35% were born in the UK (not graphed in that way). Three per cent came from the combined made-up nation of Belaruscolombiahaiti.

Unless I did this wrong, which I might have done and used some reprint dates, my favourite year for books to be published was 2010. Most of the books I read were pretty recent, with none before 1921 and none between 1922 and 1940. However, some of the stories were set in those periods so I’m not time-ist.

The best books I read were:

1) The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (fiction, male, Australia, 2005)

2) Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris (non-fiction, male, USA, 2000)

3) Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, Barbara Demick (non-fiction, female, USA, 2009)

The worst books I read were:

1) The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (fiction, male, UK, 2004)

2) The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson (fiction, male, UK, 2010)

3) The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets, Simon Singh (non-fiction, male, UK, 2013)

So there we have it: never read a book by a male British author.

Have you ever read a book before?

Filed under: life, , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    It looks like you copied your book and life off that guy in the quality magazine article you linked to. I don’t blame you, it’s an inspiring up-and-down journey – but then, you would know how to tell a story after spending most of your year inside them. Maybe there’s an e-reader app that can track the exact time your eyes spend reading. You could make more graphs!

    • Oliver says:

      Anything that leads to more graphs can only be a good thing. I have quite an old e-reader, but my girlfriend has a new model that does actually track how long she’s spent reading (ie has her e-reader turned on). Eye scanning software can’t be far behind.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: