My Mid Year Reading Round Up

I thought I would do a mid year reading round up because I tend not to do any monthly ones. By the end of June I had read 69 books although there are a couple of them that I haven’t blogged about yet. That’s a lot of books read in six months, and it just shows you what a terrible long winter we had, with snow and ice on the roads on and off for six or seven months. The best thing to do was to ‘coorie doon’ and read.

Forty three of the books I read were by female authors, so obviously that means that 26 were by male authors. If I’m recalling correctly last year I ended up having an even split between the sexes, but that was just a fluke.

So far I’ve only read 13 books by Scottish authors – I must do better and I plan to read some by Ali Smith and Louise Welsh by the end of the year so that tally should increase.

Shockingly only 8 of the books I’ve read have been non-fiction. Improvement required! I always read far less non-fiction but I hope to read more by the end of the year. I have some history books I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages.

I think only 14 of the authors involved are actually still alive. This is quite normal for me as I prefer reading older fiction. Peter Ackroyd, Bernard Cornwell, Elly Griffiths, Penelope Lively, Richard K. Massie, Louise Welsh, Len Deighton, Adam Riches, John Le Carre, Anne Fine, Caroline Young, Ann Martin, Daniel Smith, Amor Towles.

Surprisingly only 7 of the books are vintage crime, somehow it seemed like I had read a lot more than that.

Six of the books were aimed at children but have become classics over the years. As ever, good writing is entertaining no matter what age you are when you get around to reading it.

Only four of the books fit into my fairly strict idea of a ‘classic’ Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Lampedusa’s The Leopard, Trollope’s The American Senator and Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor.

I couldn’t possibly say which is my favourite read so far this year, but by far the worst was The Strongest Weapon by Notburga Tilt. I have a signed copy of it too!

If you’re interested in seeing all of the books I’ve read have a look at my Goodreads list here.

I hesitate to say it but we’ve been having wonderful weather for over a month now. The schools have just broken up for the summer holidays so I hope it hangs around longer so they can enjoy the unusual weather. It’s over 20 years since we’ve had a decent summer and we had begun to think that the weather had changed and good summers were a thing of the past. The down side of it though is the horrendous peat moorland fires that are raging over large parts of northern England. They must just about be praying for torrential rain there.

Gardening has taken over from reading although I’m still reading quite a lot due to the fact that Jack is glued to the TV watching just about every match in the World Cup – three a day, you wouldn’t think it would be possible – five minutes of football watching is enough for me – but each to their own.

6 thoughts on “My Mid Year Reading Round Up

  1. Hi Katrina,
    I have so much to comment on in your post. And I apologize for writing such a long comment. Please don’t feel you need to reply right away, or if all I have to say is too much. I will understand.

    First of all, 69 books—what an accomplishment! Have you ever read close to 70 books by mid-way in the year?

    Next, I totally agree with you that well-written children’s fiction is just as good and just as rewarding as fine adult fiction. I need to read more in this genre.
    Have you ever read Ruth M. Arthur’s books??? She wrote children’s fiction in the 1960s and early 1970s. She was English, and actually a number of them would be classified today as YA. I have adored them all and am now trying to complete my collection of all she had published. Do look her up. Perhaps you have read them in the past.

    I particularly like her fiction because her young female protagonists often are in settings with no parents about, and they always are on the verge (though not deliberately so, oh no!) of trying to gain a sense of who they are and to understand others at a time in their lives when their future and their understanding of themselves is so uncertain. I loved her books as a young teen, as an older teenager, as a reader in my 20s, my 30s, and even now. Ruth M. Arthur speaks to me.

    And I’m with you, too, now more and more, in that I enjoy older fiction much, much more than I used to. I gravitate now to older living authors and authors who are no longer living, those who wrote in the early-to-mid-20th century and earlier. My appreciation and study of history over the last half-century has enabled me to be more in sync with them and to understand them more than many of the young people writing today. I prefer the former’s company, quite frankly.

    • Judith,
      Thanks for the very interesting comments. I agree with everything. Thanks also for pointing me in Ruth M. Arthur’s direction. Amazingly I don’t recall ever having heard of her – and she was apparently born in Glasgow, as I was, so she was definitely Scottish! Guess what I’ll be buying tomorrow?! Bedtime now though. I doubt if I’ve ever read that many books by this stage in the year.

      • Katrina,
        How interesting that she was born in Glasgow! A number of her settings are in northern England, I think. I know for sure that A Candle in Her Room is set in Pembrokeshire. I plan to read them all again.

        • Judith,
          There seems to be practically no info on her apart from her place of birth. Maybe she moved away when she was young or thought an English or even Welsh setting would be more commercially acceptable!

  2. I do like all these stats. I always want to keep track of those things, but never do. I have never read that many books in 6 months. Maybe someday when I am retired.

    • tracybham,
      I certainly couldn’t get through anything like as many books if I was still working. I always note down books in a jotter when I finish reading them and make a note in the margin such as ‘nf’ or S for Scottish so it’s very easy to add them up and keep track.

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