I got a very mild dose of COVID, but it left me a bit apathetic & I had been having a bit of trouble getting this list organised.
I’m getting better but I still haven’t figured out how to name my graphs.
Graph 1 Shows I read a disappointingly low number of NZ books.
Graph 2 Shows I read far more books written by women than by men.
Graph 3 Shows my favourite reading century is the 20th (for some reason 19th century – the yellow one isn’t named. & there is an asterisk by 18th century as Lady Susan was written in the 18th century, but not published till the 19th)
Graph 4 shows I read mostly fiction. (Poetry is Poetry/short Stories)
I had two DNFS (more info below)
I read three books in translation & seven of the books I read were rereads.
I also gave two books that hadn’t read one stars due to author harassment. They have their own exclusive shelf, so they don’t count as read books.
GR’s Year in Review
My average rating 4.0. Happy with that. This was a good reading year for me, & I no longer waste time on (over) hyped books on Goodreads. Well, the occasional waste of time will slip through, but overall I’m happy that I have developed some discrimination.
Average Book Length 244 pages. Totally correct. I don’t read much non-fiction & I will always prefer my fiction to come in at 250-400 pages (short stories drag this average down) Saying that I’m going to reduce my reading challenge to 70 books this year as I do have a couple of longer books to read.
Speaking of Book Challenges – while I comfortably hit my GR challenge of 75, I missed by one of my Kiwi reading Challenge. I finished 11 but I had two DNFs – the only DNFs I had this year. One – Magnolia, 木蘭 I was enjoying the poems that I had read online , so shelled out for a kindle copy – which was formatted so badly to be unreadable. I couldn’t contact Ms Powles, so I tried her publicist who never answered. Looks like Ms Powles has finally removed the kindle from Amazon. Wise move.
So on to The Carol Awards!
Going from Bad to Good!
|Worst Book Overall|
Georgette Heyer is my favourite author & has written many of my favourite books, but she has also written some of the worst books I have ever read & The Great Roxhythe is one of the worst of these turkeys. This was the author’s least favourite of her own works. Sadly, she has written a couple that were even worse.
See above. I reread this one because the first time I found it (unintentionally) very funny. The second read it is just bad. My only 1★ this year.
Worst International Fiction
Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey Davis. A lot of my friends like this author’s work but she is not for me.
Worst NZ Fiction
Bonkers by Michele Holman. Nothing like as bad as the above two, but Holman seems to always want a resolution for every character, no matter how minor, in her romances.
Worst NZ Nonfiction
The Great New Zealand Robbery: How gangsters pulled off our most audacious robbery by Scott Bainbridge
Turns out safecracking is very dull. Who knew? This one was a DNF
Worst International Nonfiction
Georgette Heyer’s Regency England I had read enough reviews to know this was going to be bad & inaccurate, but I interloaned it anyway. Saved only by Arthur Barbossa’s cover & b/w illustrations. (the reason I wanted to read it- I’m a massive Barbossa fan!)
On to the good stuff! I only read two cookbooks this year, but both are worthy winners.
Best International Cookbook
Japanese Home Cooking by Maori Murota. I have just taken this book out of the library again, but I get so much use from it, I’m tempted to buy my own copy.
Best NZ Cookbook
Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine by Monique Fiso Just beautiful & the illustrations are very helpful for keen foragers.
Overall Best Cookbook
Japanese Home Cooking because the recipes are both delicious & for the home cook. Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine is more a coffee table book.
Best International Non-Fiction
The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival by Alicia Portnoy. Only a monster would not be moved by Portnoy’s tale about being lucky enough to be one of the (permanently) Disappeared Ones in Argentina.
Two Equal Runners Up
Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer’s (and Editor’s) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, and Myths by Suzanne Alleyn. All fledgling historical writers should read this!
Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes. A thoughtful, feminist perspective on the heroines of Greek Myths.
Best NZ Nonfiction
Dressed: Fashionable Dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 by Claire Regnault. Exquisite!
The Abundant Garden : A Practical Guide To Growing A Regenerative Home Garden by Niva & Yotan Kay. So helpful to the beginner gardener & Yotan (in real life) is so generous with his time & advice.
Impossible: My Story by Stan Walker. Flawed book, but Stan is a truly awesome human being, who has had to overcome so much!
Best Nonfiction Overall
Dressed: Fashionable Dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910
Best Short Story
The Ransom of Red Chief my all time favourite short story
Best Fiction Reread
Devil’s Cub My favourite book of all time
The Foundling both by Georgette Heyer
Best International Fiction
Demelza by Winston Graham
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Voices on the Wind by Evelyn Anthony. I own so many of Ms Anthony’s books – I’ll make it next year’s resolution to read more of them.
Best NZ Fiction
Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz – such an outstanding debut!
Whanau by Whiti Ihimaera
Best New-To-Me Author
Best Fiction & Best Book Overall
Of course it is Devil’s Cub It will be every year I reread this book!
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