April 1, 2015

Where I'm Reading: The First 50 Books of 2015

As you know, I've been mapping the books I've read so far in 2015 (although I'm a bit behind). Normally I'd do a round-up of reading goals at the halfway point of the year, but since I'm reading such an exorbitant amount this year, I think I'm going to have to do it quarterly!

This year my goal was to have half (or less) of the books I read be set in Europe (I'm especially trying to branch out from my English obsession). Here's how it's going so far:

Asia: 3 out of 50 (6%)
Unbroken, The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, Mrs. Pollifax Unveiled

Six percent isn't terrible... except that two of the ones I read were actually Middle Eastern settings, and Unbroken doesn't exactly portray Asia at its finest. And, all three of them had American protagonists, who just happened to be spying/imprisoned in Asia. So I still need to branch out here!

Latin America: 2 out of 50 (4%)
The Lost City of Z, The Ladies of Managua

I feel good about both of these, since the Amazonian and Nicaraguan settings were really vivid. Yay for reading things set in more unusual locations than my norm!

Mythical Locations: 7 out of 50 (14%)
Beauty, Matched, Crossed, Reached, Red Rising, Fairest, The Princess Bride

Beauty and The Princess Bride are both set in mythical, but very western European-ish, worlds. The Matched trilogy is set in a post-apocalyptic United States... sort of a mid-western-y vibe. Red Rising is set on Mars, and Fairest is set on Luna (the moon).

United States: 14 out of 50 (28%)
Into the Savage Country, Bunker Hill, The Sweetness of Forgetting, Crazy Little Thing, The Edge of Dreams, The Best Medicine, Lizzy and Jane, Love Me Sweet, Attachments, Shiver, Johnny Tremain, Hold on My Heart, The Beekeeper's Daughter, The Happiness Project,

I'm pleased with how high this number is this year, since it's normally much lower for me. I've mostly read things set in the Midwest or New England this year, I'll have to try a little Southwestern fiction maybe. Although since I see the Southwest every time I look out the window...maybe I won't bother!

Australia/Pacific: 2 out of 50 (4%)
Blood and Circuses, Fallout
The Phryne Fisher mystery is set mostly in Melbourne, and Fallout is mostly in Auckland. I think Fallout's sense of place is a lot better; although hey, maybe 1920s Melbourne was basically exactly like England at the same era.

No Specific Location: 3 out of 50 (6%)
Yes Please, Bon Appetempt, Gulp!
These three are all nonfiction, two memoirs, and a study of the alimentary canal. In each of them, the author visits a lot of different locations, so it's hard to choose just one setting.

Africa: 1 out of 50 (2%)

Too Bad to Die
This one is sort of cheating, since half of it takes place in Cairo, and half in Teheran. And again, it's a British protagonist. I need to read another Alexander McCall Smith soon, to up my percentage here!

Europe (non-UK): 5 out of 50 (10%)
The Beige Man, The House of Hades, Every Secret Thing, The Firebird, All the Light We Cannot See
There are a few titles which are set half in England or Scotland, half elsewhere, so I'm splitting them up. I put The Firebird and Every Secret Thing on my "non-UK" list, since I thought their respective St. Petersburg and Lisbon portions were the most vivid. The Beige Man is set in Sweden, The House of Hades in assorted Italian, Croatian, and Greek locations, and All the Light We Cannot See in France.

The UK: 13 out of 50 (26%)
Plague Land, The Siege Winter, Gun Street Girl, Who Buries the Dead, The Winter Sea, The Girl You Left Behind, The Royal We, Cousin Kate, The Alchemist's Daughter, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Rose Garden, The Sussex Downs Murder, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher
Hooray, I'm only at about one quarter English or Scottish, and even with the other European ones, I'm well below 50%. It's funny how many of the those were medieval fiction though: 3 of my 13! And I don't even feel like I read that much medieval stuff.

Where in the world have YOU been reading?

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