I play a fun game at the end of the year. I ask my well read mates to recommend their best reads for me. The book recommendations came pouring in. A curated list resides at the end of this edition, as a gesture of my gratitude. In the spirit of this column, I’ve recalled my preferred story telling pal – visual art – for fun insights into what everyone recommended this year.
Recommendations by Genre: Colour and size reflect interest (yellow: highest, red: lowest)
I wonder if the present state of affairs around the world had some bearing on dystopia taking top spot. Biographies and anthropology too put their hands up. Many of you seemed to be engrossed in lifeless people and potentially lifeless futures. Most of you, I’m glad, are alive and well.
Recommendations by Author: Colour and size reflect interest (yellow: highest, red: lowest)
George Orwell’s classics were dusted off bookshelves. Sapiens and Homo Deus pushed Yuval Noah Harari to battle with Orwell, but dystopia triumphed. Many of you were interested in lies. I’m fairly certain that several dashed off to quench their thirst for fibs in the fountain of Google. Your lies sent Seth Stephens’ breezy read into top 5. Dawkins and Ramachandran reignited interest in evolution and our brains.
Books by Genre, Page Length, Rating (yellow: highest, red: lowest)
Low Goodreads ratings could be a function of low readership, and/or inferior content quality of books. The red fest indicates that you read gems off the beaten path. Or perhaps, your books were quite unreadable. I hope it is the former.
Humour, philosophy, sports were among the shortest in length; war, politics and biographies were the longest. I’d rather the opposite.
For those that missed being part of this book fest, it is never too late to send in your book recommendations.
Finally, my fun forecasting game. What genres will top in 2018?
Happy 2017 and, to a hopefully happier, 2018!