Archive for January 1st, 2013

The year in posts & readers

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

It’s the time of the year when some bloggers recount how many thousands of visitors they had in the previous year and various other astounding statistics (maybe even as an infographic!)

So, here goes:

Some people read Walt at Random last year. A very few people even commented (plus thousands of spammers, to be sure).

The actual numbers are neither especially trustworthy (how many were people and how many were spambots and spiders?) nor particularly interesting.

Happy New Year and, if it works for you, keep on blogging.

My 2012 reading report

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Relevance to greater issues: None. But other folks do these and I find them mildly interesting, and in late 2010 I started keeping a spreadsheet of books read–mostly so I wouldn’t accidentally take out the same book a second time (it’s happened).


Books read in 2012

Fortynine. [49]

Ahead of my low bar (3 books in each 28-day period, or 39 in all), behind my unstated goal (a book a week, or 52 in all).

Way behind 2011, when I read 64.

Actually, the real number should be books completed in 2012–and that’s only 45, since I abandoned four books.

If you’re interested, the four books I abandoned–all from the library–were:Bozo Sapiens by Kaplan & Kaplan, Imagining Atlantis by Richard Ellis, Autumn of the Moguls by Michael Wolff and English Music by Peter Ackroyd

I should have abandoned a fifth one: The Hunt for Zero Point by Nick Cook.

Books most enjoyed (not in any order)

Zoe’s Tale John Scalzi
The Android’s Dream John Scalzi
The Florabama Ladies’ Auxiliary & Sewing Circle Lois Battle
Outwitting History Aaron Lansky
Fuzzy Nation John Scalzi
Storyville Lois Battle


The Canterbury Tales Chaucer & Ackroyd
Gone for Good Mark Childress
Snuff Terry Pratchett
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon
The Canceled Czech Lawrence Block
The Final Solution Michael Chabon
Deadly Decisions Kathy Reichs
Hominids Robert J. Sawyer
War Brides Lois Battle
Summerland Michael Chabon

Those are books I rated as “A” or “A-.” Sixteen more books rated “B+” or “B”–ones I enjoyed, but not quite as much.

That’s a pretty good year. One book rated a “B-,” six rated “C+,” four rated “C”–and one, which I might also have been better off giving up on–rated a “C-“: The Information by James Gleick.

By the way, while I’m obviously a fan of facile writing, I’m not necessarily a pushover for Scalzi: The God Engines only got a C. But that’s me.

Curiosity of genre assignment: I usually get three books at a time–one nonfiction, one “mainstream” fiction, and one genre, the last alternating between science fiction/fantasy and mystery. Kathy Reichs’ books, the basis for Bones, are shelved at Livermore Public in mainstream fiction, not mysteries.

The other curiosity here: There’s one book that, it turned out, I had read previously–a decade ago, when it was serialized in Analog. That was Hominids by Robert J Sawyer, and I recognized it about 50 pages in (yes, the copyright page notes the prior publication)–but I read it again because I decided I wanted to read the trilogy it begins–the Neanderthal Parallax–and it made sense to freshen up on the start. Currently being read: Humans, second in the trilogy.