Sunday Salon: October Recap and November Preview

The Sunday

Happy Halloween, everyone! I am spending it with my parents. We spent yesterday carving a ton of pumpkins, and this evening we’ll be handing out candy to the neighborhood trick-or-treaters. I hope that, however you’re spending your day, you enjoy it!

Reading Recap: October

October was the first month I vigilantly tracked my reading. I went back through my list of books I’ve read this year to compile the YTD numbers. (Yes, I’m a dork!) I’m rather excited to see what sort of reading stats I’ve amassed.

Read vs. Listened To

Read vs. Listened To (Ocotber 2010)

I got through 17 books this month, which brings my yearly total to a nice round 80. Of those 17, I read 14 and listened to 3. The total number of books is higher than usual, thanks to the readathon.

It’s interesting to see how my total number of audiobooks changes depending on what’s happening in the rest of my life. If I’m driving a lot or working on projects at home, or if my husband is traveling, I listen to them almost constantly. It’s also getting to be knitting season (i.e. cold!), which means my audiobook totals should go up!

Total Pages Read and Hours Listened (October 2010)What do 54 books and 26 audiobooks look like in pages and hours? Kind of scary–I’ve spent almost 9 1/2 entire days listening to books! What I love is how most of that is bonus reading time. Audiobooks don’t take time away from reading for me; instead, I use them to squeeze in reading time when I can’t actually sit down with a book. And 15,622 pages makes my 1,474-page project look positively doable.

Fiction vs. Nonfiction

Fiction vs Nonfiction (October 2010)Nonfiction only made up 12% of my reading for October and 21% for the first ten months of the year. I do prefer fiction and would, therefore, expect those numbers to be higher. But I didn’t expect such a gap! I’m not sure yet how I’ll do it, but I would definitely like to include more nonfiction in my reading mix.

Female vs. Male Authors

Female vs. Male Authors (October 2010)I decided to track the gender of the authors I read after I read Jodi Chromey’s Minnesota Reads post about how her TBR pile was looking “disturbingly masculine.” When I tallied my list, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, without any planning on my part, my YTD numbers are neck-and-neck. It is interesting to note, though, that the numbers fluctuate wildly on a month-to-month basis. Not sure why that is when the overall totals are so close.

Other Noteworthy Items

  • I completed my first book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, for the World Party Reading Challenge, which I’ll be posting about in the next few days.
  • I participated in my first readalong (Dueling Monsters: Round II) and ended up reading both books so I could more fairly declare a winner!
  • I am embarrassed to report that I’ve only read five (yes, five) classics this year. Ack! I read one in August, one in September, and three in October, though. At least I’m slowly increasing my classics intake.

Reading Preview: November

I already have quite a few books lined up for November! At a glance:

  • The World Party Reading Challenge country for November is Turkey. I’ve had many Orhan Pamuk recommendations, and since I’ve never read anything by him, I think he’ll be a good place to start. I already have a copy of The Black Book, I think I’ll go with that.
  • My sister and I are slowly starting off on our A Suitable Boy readalong. I doubt I’ll finish in November, though!
  • The Distant Hours by Kate Morton comes out on November 9th. I just received an ARC and would love to have it read and reviewed by the release date. We’ll see how the timing works out.
  • I am tentatively participating in readalongs for Graceling (ohh…my favorite!), Memoirs of a Geisha, and/or The Odyssey. (Ack! If I do this last one, it’ll absolutely be on audio.)

Your Turn!

What are you up to this Halloween? How is your November reading shaping up?

Join the Conversation


  1. I’ll bet The Odyssey is far better on audio than I print. I had to read that in college and hated it! I wish you the best of luck!

    Ironically, I’ve found my reading the last two years to be disturbingly feminine! I’ve read nearly twice as many female authors as male this year!

    1. Ian McKellen narrates the version of The Odyssey I have, which just makes me happy. I hated The Odyssey in college too, which is why I haven’t actually committed to the readalong!

      I should go back and see if I’ve preferred the books by men or women more. That would be really interesting!

  2. I was doing so good tracking all my stats and then kind of lost track of it. I don’t know why but it is so satisfying to know this stuff.

    I do know that I read 100 books this year. It is the first time in three years that I’ve been able to do it. Not sure why it worked for me this year but I’m so happy with this somewhat nebulous accomplishment!

    1. I really enjoyed tracking my stats this month! I’ll definitely be continuing. I love how many different things you can track, and how many different ways you can look at the data you collect!

      100 books–that’s awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever hit 100 in a year. I don’t think 100 books in 365 days is particularly nebulous 🙂

    1. I don’t think about male vs. female authors when I pick my books, which is why I thought it was so interesting that my numbers are almost even! Though even if one had been much higher than the other, I don’t think I would have tried to balance them out.

  3. Yeay for stats!

    I love THE ILIAD far more than the ODYSSEY. There is tons of emotion: rage, etc. in it. But I agree that listening may be far easier for either of them. It’s meant to be heard.

    1. I’m interested to give The Odyssey a try on audio. I’m really not confident I’ll get through it, but the experience of trying should be worthwhile! I’ve read parts of The Iliad but not the whole thing, so I can’t say where I stand on that one. Maybe I’ll end up listening to it as well!

    1. I had a little too much fun with it! There are so many different ways to organize the stats that I imagine it can easily get out of control. I love having all the info, though!

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