After much clicking and link pasting, our review archive is finally open for business. You can find it up in the black menu bar at the top of the page. Click click click! Make me feel like it was worth it!
So far the review archive only contains the book reviews we did in 2014. The interesting thing about that is that it made it possible for me to put together some 2014 stats. Which may or may not be interesting to you, but I reckon some of the book bloggers who read this rag might want a glance. Because we (I) like numbers, is why. And if you don’t, well, go back to reading your book. Please. I don’t mind.
The Numbers of 2014
Total book reviews published: 129
Books reviewed that were written by men: 44
Books reviewed that were written by women: 82
Books reviewed whose author’s gender was unknown: 1
Books reviewed that were authored by multi-gendered teams: 2
Erika reviewed 59 of those books, and it is thanks to her constant reading of female authors that we did so well in our goal of talking about female authors more often than male, in counterpoint to the way the gender parity stats tend to run in mainstream review publications. She reviewed 46 books written by women, 12 by men, and 1 by a multi-gender team. Go, Erika, go!
I reviewed 62 of the 129, and just barely managed to scrape by in the gender parity department with 33 books reviewed that were written by women, 27 by men, one by multi-gendered teams, and one by an author whose gender was unknown.
In 2014 we also hosted six reviews by Anarcho Geek Review (taken from two male reviewers, if you are interested in “gender of reviewer” stats) who reviewed four books by men and two by women. However, as we cherry pick book reviews from their site to repost here, these numbers in no way reflect their own parity numbers. (If you are interested in their work, visit their site, which has been doing a lot of interesting movie reviews of late.) Tara, our occasional audio book reviewer, wrote two reviews in 2014, one written by a man, one by a women.
As 2014 was our first year online, our reviewing time frame was not the entire year, but from May to December. Eight months and 129 reviews! I hope 2015 turns out to have been as fruitful.
Reflecting on the Numbers
If you’ve ever put together stats like this, you’ll know how hard it can be to make a coherent count. If we had reviewed any books by authors who identified as a gender that was not on the man-woman binary, I would have included a column for that, but alas, we did not as far as my clicking could reveal. Which is another problem: it isn’t always easy to find out how an author identifies with a few clicks. Nor is it the author’s responsibility or duty to share such personal information. If I need to or want to count it, it is my responsibility and worth mentioning that this is a place where error can very easily gob up the numbers. For which I apologize.
Instead of counting books with multiple authors multiple times, I decided to count them once, either under “multi-gendered team book” or, if edited or written by two women or two men, as one book in that gendered category. These stats also include books that were flash reviewed.
There are so many other elements we could have counted! Alas. I never feel like yearly stats are finished. There is always another angle.
The long and short of it is: whatever we are reading (and I am, sadly, still reading far more male than female authors and fighting against a pre-conscious-of-this-issue to-be-read pile in remedying this) we are killing the (binary) gender representation stats so far. Hip hip!
Next year? I hope we review a few more authors who don’t identify on the binary and succeed at getting the word out about awesome books written by people outside of the Old White SF Guard as much and as loudly as we can. For hull’s sake, with half of 2015 over already, I better get started on next year’s numbers now. See you on the other side of the calendar.