Here are eight facts you always wanted to know about our reading list to December 2018:

  1. We have read 200 books together. At a guess they would make a wobbly pile that is 12 feet or approaching 4 metres high!

  2. 51% of these books (102) have been written by women, 97 by men and 1 was a free choice.

  3. We tend to pick recently published books. Over our 22 years of existence as a group we have read just six books from the nineteenth century, with Wuthering Heights (1847) our oldest book, (the others were Madame Bovary, Adam Bede The Belton Estate, The Moonstone and Moonfleet). Seventy of our books were written between 1900 and 1999 and 123 have been written since 2000.

    Books read by decade of writing

  4. We could consider the ‘age’ of our books at the time we read them. For example our book for November 2018, The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, was published in 1931 and so was 87 years old when we read it. From the chart below you can see that we have read 22 books in the year that they were published and 64 books in the year following their publication year.

  5. Books read by decade of writing

  6. Penguin is our favoured publisher accounting for 32 of our choices. Vintage is close behind with 30 picks. Taken together Penguin and Vintage account for almost one third of our choices. There are 59 publishers in total on our list (see the reading list page and sort by publisher for full details).
    Books read by publisher
  7. We have read books by 181 different authors. Only Ian McEwan and Kate Atkinson have been picked 3 times. We have read two books each by: Andrea Levy, Beryl Bainbridge, Carole Shields, Geraldine Brooks, Gillian Slovo, Joanne Harris, Jonathan Falla, Khaled Hosseini, Lionel Shriver, Margaret Leroy, Nick Hornby, Robert Harris, Rose Tremain and Yann Martel

  8. Eight of our authors have been called John (Bayley, Coetzee, Farrell, Lanchester, Le Carre. Meade, Faulkner, Preston and Williams) plus two Jonathans (Falla and Franzen). We have read four Margarets/Maggies (Attwood, Forster, Leroy, O'Farrell) and six with variants of the name Katharine (Kate Atkinson and Williams, Katharine McMahon, Katie Hickman, Kathryn Stockett, Catherine O’Flynn).

  9. 41% of our books have been set in the UK, and 15% in the USA. Altogether we have read books set in 46 countries (including Panem!).

    Books read by country of setting