Posted by: Sally Ingraham | December 31, 2014

The Turn of the Page (lots of reading stats, with bonus pictures of Maine!)

Parson's Beach, Dec. 26th

I was in Maine for Christmas, and although I walked on the beach, played Dutch Blitz for hours with my sisters, spent lots of time eating all my favorite Mom-made foods, and even went on a quick trip-within-my-trip further up the coast to Acadia National Park…I managed to finish five books as well, and knocked out my goal of reading 75 books in total this year.

Quick book-gush, here, before I run the year-end numbers:

It was wonderful to revisit the tattered paperback copies of Patricia McKillip’s Harpist in the Wind series, read last when I was probably 11. Her world-building and use of language is close to unmatched, I think, and The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and The Harpist in the Wind are the best things she’s written. I had mostly forgotten the details of the story of Morgan, prince of the tiny island country of Hed, born with three stars on his face and a destiny far greater than making the best beer in the realm.

And I had entirely forgotten Raederle, the second most beautiful woman in An, who fought beside Morgan and had to come to grips with her own powers. In fact the books are chock full of badass ladies (and they get at least one book more-or-less to themselves) which is always refreshing, and especially nice in these, considering that the books were published in the late ’70s.

I definitely need to add these to my personal collection (a large portion of which got shipped from my parent’s house back to mine in Pittsburgh – yay!) and I plan to reread more of McKillip’s books in the new year. You should too!

And now I gotta relish some stats, since it is that time of year, and I am a list-loving dork, and Goodreads keeps my list looking so pretty!

I finished my reading year with The Beats, a graphic non-fic book about those weird and wild guys (and gals!), written by Harvey Pekar among others (with lots of artwork by Pittsburgh’s Ed Piskor).


I started the year with the 2nd installment in Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, and I finished the series later in the year. I read a lot of authors more than once – 75 books written by just 57 authors. Margarita Engle gets the prize for shelving 4 books in my mental library, although Ed Piskor authored 3 books I read and did artwork for a 4th so he gets the runner-up prize.

I finally read more books by female authors than male, which was a goal for the year – 41 books by the ladies, and 34 by the guys. Another goal – to read more diversely (meaning authors who are not white) – needs to be improved upon in 2015. Out of 75 books read, only 21 were written by authors of color.


I read tons of fiction, as usual – only 12 books were non-fic. I read 21 books that were based on historical events though, and really not that much fantasy. I read 7 books of poetry/novels-in-verse and 3 plays. I read 18 graphic novels/comic books, and 9 books that were translated works.


I had some big reading adventures this year. I finally tackled Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, via the one group read I took part in (thanks again Richard!) I explored Cuba‘s lands and history through Margarita Engle’s beautiful books, and became obsessed with the story of the Johnstown Flood and the West Virginia Mine War.


I woke up to the fact that publishing in this country skews hard toward white (male) authors, and joined the movement to bring more diversity to books (thanks Aarti for nudging me!) My goal to read more books written by women of color led to the discovery of many wonderful new authors, and will be an adventure I continue in 2015 and beyond.

Finally, while I read many excellent graphic novels (with an emphasis on female authors there too) it was Ed Piskor’s work, and the start of a rollicking journey through hip hop culture, that I especially enjoyed.

My loose goals for the new reading year are: 100 books…?! more female authors of color! more graphic novels! Patrick Rothfuss! The Lord of the Rings! the rest of August Wilson’s plays!

I don’t know why it’s so exciting to look forward to a whole new year of reading, like it’s going to be any different than the last one (physically I mean – after all, the mechanics of reading are pretty consistent), but I always do get pumped. All those new books to discover and form a relationship with! The new worlds to see, and characters to encounter! The new ways of seeing that all this will grow within me! Pretty cool.

I’m not going to even bother waiting until midnight – there are fabulous books to bust into immediately. I’ll be back to chat about them next year. Cheers!


Pics from the Maine trip, just ’cause (a very snow-less, rather sunny Maine this year…!):

Backside of the Beehive, ANP, Dec. 27th

Thunder Hole, ANP, Dec. 27th

Timber Island, Dec. 29th

Timber Island, Dec. 29th

Timber Point, Dec. 29th

The Bowl, ANP, Dec. 27th


  1. Beautiful pictures as always, and it was so interesting to read about your reading. Here’s to a 2015 full of great books!

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: