2018: A Year in Books

I love to read, and for the last few years, I have obsessively tracked my reading using Goodreads. Goodreads offers a data export feature, so I thougth I would export my data and build some visualizations. Want to create your own? Check out the source on GitHub.

Curious about my literary highlights for ? Check out my Books of the Year blog post to read about my top 3 books of the year.

My Rating Distribution

Here are my ratings for the year, from 1 to 5 stars. I did not dole out any one-star ratings (the lowest score on Goodreads) this year. Selection bias plays a big role here - I'm unlikely to read a book that I end up truly disliking. How do I know ahead of time? I'm not sure, but maybe I am judging some books by their cover...

(I borrowed the idea for a plot using cover images from the Goodreads stats page. Check it out!)

Bucking the Trend: Where My Ratings Differed

This graphic shows the difference between my rating for a book and the average community rating. Each point's vertical position corresponds to my rating for that book. Each point's horizontal position corresponds to the average community rating for the book. The dotted line is the "perfect match" line (where my rating matched the average). Points above the line are books that I rated higher than the average rater, and points that fall below the line are books I rated lower than average. It seems that, in general, I'm tougher to please than my fellow readers.

The most underrated book on my list? The Great Gatsby. C'mon people, it's a classic for a reason. Show some respect. Most overrated? The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. I know people swear by that one, but it just didn't do it for me.

Activity By Month

The bars represent the number of books I read each month, and the line is the number of pages. You can see that this year, I didn't do as much reading in the latter half of the year as in the beginning. That was when things got busiest at work, so I'm not too surprised!

Page counts are based on the numbers provided by Goodreads, which includes things like indexes and other end matter. So while I believe in the page trends, I don't put much stock in the precise numbers.

Top Topics for

My reading was very politics-heavy for the second year in a row. A sign of the times, I guess. I also read quite a bit of history, and more fiction than usual, too! I joined a Science Fiction book club this year, which accounts for most of the fiction, but I also reread some classics this year (The Great Gatsby and Things Fall Apart). Books can be on multiple shelves, so these numbers add up to more than .