In 2013 I finished 86 books. Most of these I also started in 2013, but not all. My list includes all 86, however; I justify this because the books I started in an earlier year are not counted in that year, so everything will even out in the end. Furthermore, I started but did not finish several books this year, as well as the various chapters, sections, articles, and magazines I read.
This number also includes children’s books and stapled guide books. These are only moderately inflationary, since several children’s books I failed to record and I don’t remember which ones they all were.
Rather than simply giving you a list of 86 titles this year, as has happened before, I thought I’d group things together. The first book I finished in 2013 was A High View of Scripture? : The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon by Craig D. Allert; the last was Asterix and the Pechts by Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad, translated into Scots by Matthew Fitt.
Ancient/Late Antique/Patristics Books
This year I sought to read more literature from Late Antiquity. This, along with ancient epistolography and Patristics, qualifies as work; this tripartite category covers 18 books, I think. The ‘ancient’ literature I read, in order of completion: Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh and Others trans. Stephanie Dalley; The Poems of Catullus trans. Peter Whigham; Cicero’s Letters to Atticus trans. D R Shackleton Bailey; Selected Letters by Seneca, trans. Elaine Fantham; and The Love Poems by Ovid, trans. A. D. Melville. Yesterday I read the Egyptian Tale of Sinuhe, but I’ve not finished the anthology as a whole.
The Late Antique or Patristic literature: The Dialogue with Trypho by Justin Martyr, trans. Thomas B. Falls; Against the Heresies Book 1 by Irenaeus, trans. Dominic J. Unger (I went on to read the rest of Against the Heresies in the ANF trans); Confessions by St. Augustine, trans. Henry Chadwick; On Christian Teaching by St. Augustine, trans. R P H Green; The Chronicle of Hydatius and the Consularia Constantinopolitana ed. w/English introduction and translation by R W Burgess; Roman History, Vols 1-3, by Ammianus Marcellinus, trans. J C Rolfe; One Hundred Latin Hymns from Ambrose to Aquinas, ed. & trans. P G Walsch and Christopher Husch; Poems and Letters, Vol. 1 & 2, by Sidonius Apollinaris, trans. W B Anderson; and The Creedal Homilies by Quodvultdeus, trans. T M Finn; Arians and Vandals of the 4th-6th Centuries, ed. and trans. John R C Martyn (incl. Victor of Vita’s History of the Vandal Persecution, Victor of Tonnena’s Chronicon, and Victor of Cartenna’s De Poenitentia).
I also read nine complete works of secondary literature for work (started many others and read some articles, chapters, book sections, and the like as well). I’ll mention only two: Borkowski’s Textbook on Roman Law, 4th ed., by Paul du Plessis, which is more interesting than it sounds — I found Roman family law especially interesting — and Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West 376-568 by Guy Halsall, which is eminently fascinating and recommended to anyone interested in the period, Germanic peoples, ethnogenesis, and other related areas.
This year, I read 9 books containing medieval literature, much of it Norse, and only three texts for work: The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, trans. Jesse L Byock; Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas trans. Gwyn Jones; The Letters of Saint Boniface trans. Ephraim Emerton (this was work); The Nibelungenlied trans. Cyril Edwards; The Romance of Perceval in Prose (the Didot Perceval), trans. Dell Skeels; The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, trans. Leo Sherley-Price; Two Lives of Charlemagne by Einhard and Notker the Stammerer, trans. Lewis Thorpe (I count these two as work); King Harald’s Saga by Snorri Sturluson, trans. Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Pálsson; and Njal’s Saga trans. Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Pálsson.
I also read 2 modern books about medieval things: The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings ed. Peter Sawyer; and Charlemagne’s Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age by Paul Edward Dutton.
2013 saw me do a lot of travelling. I read 12 guide books to sites, art, and galleries in Cyprus, Italy, Scotland, Austria, and the Paris region. Of these, 4 were bound by staples (in the interests of full disclosure). The most notable was the lovely The Frescoes by Angelico at San Marco by Magnolia Scudieri; if you’re ever in Florence, said frescoes are worth a visit.
I usually have one novel on the go. I read 18 in 2013: The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov; A New Song by Jan Karon; Railsea by China Miéville; The Sword Bearer by John White; Firebird: A Trilogy by Kathy Tyers; Count Belisarius by Robert Graves; Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, trans. Jacqueline Rogers; The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury; Grendel by John Gardner; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë; Sourcery by Terry Pratchett; A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; Runelight by Joanne Harris; The Island of Doctor Moreau by H G Wells; The Invisible Man by H G Wells; The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey; Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl; and Red Star Rising by Anne McCaffrey.
I also read non-work-related, neither-ancient-nor-medieval Christian books, numbering five total; most importantly (of those I’d never read before) two by Dallas Willard: The Spirit of the Disciplines and The Divine Conspiracy.
I only read two graphic novels, but given how gigantic Essential Hulk Vol. 1 is, it’s not so puny a feat — also, deciphering the Scots Asterix and the Pechts was no mean feat, either.
I read lots of children’s books; my list includes 9, but there were more. Of note: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl and Das Grüffelokind by Julia Donaldson.
Finally, let it be known that I read Quiet by Susan Cain and Roman Disasters by Jerry Toner.