2021 Books in Review

I was only able to read 17 books this year. This is the least number of books I have read since 2009. I’m not very happy with that, but 2022 is a new year and another opportunity to read more books!


  • Only 5 books from outside the US
  • 63% of books were written by Men
  • 69% of books I read were on the Kindle (4 audiobooks, 1 real book and the rest were kindle books)
  • 3,286 pages
  • 1,879 minutes of audiobooks (~31 hours)
  • Almost half the books I read where about the environment (44%)
  • 4 audiobooks came from the library, saving me $89.10

Top rated (5-star) books:

2020 Books in Review

I had high hopes for 2020 as far as reading went. But 2020 had other plans for all of us. My wife and I welcomed a new baby girl into our lives and the world gave us a global pandemic. You would think I would have more time on my hands with a global pandemic, but preparing and having a third little girl did divert my time slightly. While I planned to read many more books in 2020 I only made it through 36 books this year. Less than the 55 I was able to read in 2019.

Although I read less I think I did better with reading diversity. In 2019 I read only 23% female authors’ books, while in 2020 I managed 40%, still less than half, and something I can still improve upon, but better. 89% of the books I read were non-fiction. I believe fiction is important to read, but my favorite genre is definitely non-fiction, I really feel like reading those books is time well spent. Back to diversity; I also look at the nationality of the writers I read. In 2020, I read 77% from United States writers. I did manage to read 3 Canadians, but that’s still the North American continent.

As far as how I liked the books, my average score was 4, the lowest was 2, and the highest was 5. I’ll make sure to link to all the 5-star books below. My favorite binding or way of reading was Kindle (48.6%). This makes sense when you see how many books I read about minimalism this year and last. Next was audiobooks, 31.4%. I’m sure I would have read even more audiobooks in 2020 if my commute would have lasted past March.

I read 6,524 pages digital and real this year. I listened to 6,170 minutes (102.8 hours, 4.3 days) of audiobooks. I enjoyed listening to books on walks while riding an indoor bike and sometimes laying on the ground waiting for a child of mine to fall asleep.

Topics or why I read the books I did this year. 9 books were related to minimalism, 5 were general education, 4 on the environment and cycling (4 each). This is a big one. I saved $310.09 by using the library in 2020.

One thing that was different this year is that each book got a blog post, something I have not been very good at doing in the past. I hope to get better at this.

5 Star books I read in 2020:

If you can only read one of these books read, How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger.

2018 in Review | My Year in Reading

In 2018, I read 28 books. My goal for the year was 50 books. How did I miss my goal so badly?

Books Read by Month

As you can see in November I didn’t read any books and there were 6 months were I only completed one book.

Obviously, we can see where I went wrong here. Pretty plain and simple, I had a few months where I really drove my reading and finished some books. Especially, March, May and June.

I just didn’t do a good job here. But let’s take a look at the data from a different direction. I have been making note of the nationality of the author, in an effort to try to read books from people outside of the US. I did not do well on this either. Only 21% of the books I read this year where from outside the US.

Okay, but how about gender. Did I read more books from female authors? Slightly better here. 32% of the books I read this year were written by a female author. A good improvement over last year at 24%.

What is my binding of choice? What format do I prefer to read in. E-books was the clear winner here with 10 (36%) e-books written. I think this makes sense considering that I was challenged to find time to read this year. By making it easier for me to read anywhere, I was able to squeeze in more reading.


Now for the big numbers. I read 5,724 pages. I also listened to 2,914 minutes or 48.5 hours (just over 2 days) of audio.

I spent $24.30 on books this year. The library saved me $225.36! Use your local library!

Year over year

For the last 4 years my reading has taken a plunge! This is a trend that I don’t want to continue. I really need to do better in 2019. That is one of my New Years resolutions. Wish me luck! I will set my Goodreads goal at 45 books in 2019 and do my best to hit that number.

Lastly, I will leave you with a list of the books that earned 5 stars from me in 2018:

2017 in Review

My daily profession is as an analyst, so I’m really into numbers.  This is going to be a very number-heavy post.  First, I should mention that without my reading log it would take me forever to put this post together.  The reading log helps in a lot of ways.  It helps me understand what kind of books I’m reading and why.  If I am diverse in my reading or not.  Links to my reading list are on the left side of the site.  I’ve had a reading log since 2015.  Let’s dig in.

Something that may not be that important to everyone, but is important to me is how much I spent on the books that I read this year.  This isn’t how much I spent on books this year, but how much I spent on the books read this year, an important distinction. The total costs of the books I read in 2017 are $486.36.  This is how much it would cost (MSRP) to grab the same book in the same format from Amazon.  However, I spent $0 on my 2017 books read. I get a lot of my books from the library, which is a big way that I keep the costs of books down.  43% of the books I read in 2017 came from the library, the single largest source of the books I read.  Library savings alone was $295.50.

2017 Books Source
2017 Books Source

Another very important but small number is the total number of books that I read this year.  That number is much smaller than I wanted it to be this year, only 37.  Other numbers that I would consider a miss was on the diversity side of things.  Only 24% of the books I read were written by female authors. 

Author Gender
Author Gender

I most frequently read on my kindle.  This is how many of my friends gift me books.  46% of my reading was done on a kindle.


Audiobooks were close behind.  I listened to 5,313 minutes of audiobooks or 89 hours, or 3.7 days. I count pages on kindle as actual pages to make these next numbers easier.  I read 7,018 pages in 2017.  The average book length was 242 pages.  The shortest book I read was 36 pages, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.  The longest was When Paris Went Dark at 480 pages.

5 Stars
5 Stars

And now the part you have all been waiting for.  Here is the full list of all the books I thought worthy of a 5-star rating.  Out of 37 books only 11, 30% reached this coveted placement.  I’m linking to the review for each of the books below so you can learn all about them before diving in.

The Best Books I Read in 2015

Book Lust
Book Lust. Sums 2015 up well.

Just as in previous years I’m writing a post about the books I read in 2015. I read 87 books in total, below is the breakdown. This year I’m adding a few metrics which I think will be interesting. Like, how much I saved by borrowing books from the library ($807.40) and what percentage of the authors I read were men (67%).

Fiction was the majority of my reading at 60%. Fantasy (20%) and Science Fiction (21%) being the largest portion of all genres. Read a few series this year, meaning I read 8 books by Holly Black (Spiderwick Chronicles), 3 from C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), 2 from Timothy Zahn (The Thrawn Trilogy) and 2 Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson). Paperback was the least popular binding at on 17% of my reads.

Most of my books came from the library (37%). Longest audio book I listened to was Capital at 1,503 minutes (25 hours), shortest was The Hamburger: A History at 180 minutes (3 hours). Total audio listening was 11,751 minutes (196 hours, 8.2 days).

Longest book I read was Hadoop in Practice (536 pages), which was for a class and I didn’t read every page. Next was All the Light We Cannot See at (530 pages). Shortest was 30 pages, a short story called Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo. In all I read 14,560 pages.

The longest it took me to get through a book was Capital (195 days), Michelle and I listened to it in the car. Shorts books included a lot of the Spiderwick Chronicles, in all I finished 12 books the same day I started them.

I finished the most books in July (20). The most popular book (according to goodreads) I read was The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The least was Valkyrie.

So how does this year compare to previous years? Well, I read the most I have in the past 3 years, but still not as much as 2011, when I read 96 books. That big 100 is still just out of reach. Maybe this year…

Some of my favorite books of the year were:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back


Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Falling Up

Tuck Everlasting

The Nixie’s Song

How Reading Changed My Life

The Wrath of Mulgarath


The Field Guide


Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason

The Read-Aloud Handbook

Dark Force Rising

The Last Olympian