quinta-feira, dezembro 26, 2019

2019: My Reading Year in Review

And the year ends once again...

Without further ado, my crème-de-la-crème was the following:

Links for some of the above-mentioned reviews (in no particular order):

8XK40367: “Citizen of the Galaxy” by Robert A. Heinlein
Competent Man: “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A. Heinlein 
Non-Fuckfort SF: "The Great Leveller (#4-6)" by Joe Abercrombie
Less World-Building is Better: “The First Law Trilogy (#1-3)” by Joe Abercrombie
Symplectic Geometry: "Axiomatic" by Greg Egan
Tangent Space: "Schild's Ladder" by Greg Egan
Hausdorff Manifolds: “Distress” by Greg Egan
Eigenstates: “Quarentine” by Greg Egan
Möbius Strip: "Diaspora" by Greg Egan
Groking: “The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein” by Farah Mendlesohn
Post-Post-Rhodian MilSF: "Aftershocks" by Marko Kloos
De Broglie-Bohm Interpretation vs. Copenhagen: "Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics" by Nick Herbert
Crazy Magic: "Beyond Weird" by by Philip Ball
Calabi-Yau Spaces 2: "The Shape of a Life: One Mathematician's Search for the Universe's Hidden Geometry" by Shing-Tung Yau, Steve Nadis
Wave-Function Collapse: "What We Cannot Know: Explorations at the Edge of Knowledge" by Marcus du Sautoy
Topology vs. Differential Geometry: "Ricci Flow and the Poincaré Conjecture" by John W. Morgan, Gang Tian
Strange Hypotheticals: "Quantum Physics, Mini Black Holes, and the Multiverse: Debunking Common Misconceptions in Theoretical Physics" by Bill Poirier, John Terning, Yasunori Nomura
Tortoiseshell Ray-Bans: "Adventures of a Computational Explorer" by Stephen Wolfram
ITIL Practitioner Certification: Lessons Learned After Exam Taking
"Foundations of Theoretical Mechanics I" by Ruggero Maria Santilli
Dazzling and Mesmeric: "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel
A Lesson in Idiocy: "A Noiva do Tradutor" by João Reis
Flour Sifter: "The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods" by Antonin Sertillanges, Mary Ryan (Trans.)

Bookish Resolutions (published on the 2nd of January 2019):

1 - Re-read Greg Egan's back catalogue. I'll also write the reviews I didn't write the first time I read his stuff ([29th of December 2019]: done);

2 - Read more sciency stuff (String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity, MWI, Math relevant to Physics, etc.) ([29th of December 2019]: done);

3 - Dip my toes in the cold waters of contemporary SF (stuff coming out only in 2019) to gauge its state-of-the-art ([29th of December 2019]: not done);

4 - Re-read the 6 volumes comprising Abercrombies' "The First Law" (the 7th volume will come out in late 2019) ([29th of December 2019]: done);

5 - Read the two Shing-Tung Yau's books ([29th of December 2019]: done);

6 - Keep on re-reading Phil Dick's stuff (and writing the corresponding reviews) ([29th of December 2019]: not done);

7 - Read Smolin's "Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution - The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum" coming out in 2019 ([29th of December 2019]: done).


In a nutshell, books read by category:

Physics = 42 (29 in 2018)
SF = 42 (40 in 2018)
Crime Fiction = 2 (9 in 2018)
Mundane Fiction = 9 (16 in 2018)
Computer Science = 10 (9 in 2018)

2018 was finally the year I found the gumption to publish 300 of my retro-reviews. Between the stuff I recovered from my BBS disks and some other IDE and SCSI disks I've got in the loft I was able to scrounge up these 300 "gems" from back in the day. There's much more reviews where these came from, but in 2019 I came up short in terms of finding the will to publish them. Maybe in 2020. Incidentally, in 2020 I'll clock 40 years in reading and reviewing. Maybe it'll be time to call it a day.

2019 was also the year I was able to read more Physics books. I've read same absolute crackers! (see pictures and links above)

2019 was also the year I wanted to return to my SF days. Meaning, I wanted to catch up with the genre. Unfortunately I didn't even started reading the stuff published in 2019 I wanted. Nevertheless, I was still able to read two more SF books than in 2018.

In 2019 I also built some cool stuff but not nearly enough of what I intended to do at the start of the year. What I managed:  Tic-Tac-Toe Game (Android App) and a DIY Laptop Rack.

2019 was also the year I rode my e-kick-scooter on my daily commute. Riding a scooter in Summer and Autumn in Lisbon is a must...

I was able to improve my numbers in terms of reading more Physics (improved from 29 to 42), SF (improved from 40 to 42), and Computer Science stuff (improved from 9 to 10).

On the leisurely side, I went on my 3rd Cruise, this time to Madeira Island and Canary Islands. As usual, it was a blast...

Last but not least, the RWC2019. So many mind-boggling games of rugger watched! The final was a deception though (despite Brexit I was rooting for England as always...I can't help myself). To top it off, I was also able to squeeze in Eddie Jones' memoir.

Walking-wise, it was also a medium year. By using the e-Kick-Scooter I walked a lot less steps than I should have done otherwise:

On the professional side, and in terms of Data Science in general and Data Visualisation in particular, I was finally able to move on from QLIKVIEW to QLIK Sense (cloud based). So many Apps to migrate from QLIKVIEW to QLIK Sense...I learned a lot Data-Science-wise! QLik Sense is really another ball game altogether... On the private side, I was also able to migrate my Books Read App I developed on QLIKVIEW a long time ago. It's a wonder to be able to have all of my book statistics on the cloud. Some of the views/sheets already migrated from QLIKVIEW to QLIK Sense:

- Books Read
- Author's Books Read Per Year
- My Books Rating Average

Of course, my books' data in the export file coming from Goodreads needs to be curated...lots of wrong data there (e.g., books with no rating, etc.)

Also, lots of white-hat-hacking stuff which I can't enunciate here...

On with the rest of the numbers:

· Number of words written in the 131 book reviews: 134 844 (averaging 1029 words per review)
· Number of words written in the 6 non-book chronicles/essays: 10 151 (averaging 1692 words per chronicle/essay)
· Number of words written in the 139 reviews and non-book chronicles/essays: 144 995 (averaging 1058,3 words)

Number of books and pages read: 

Number of Books Read Per Publication Year (1900-2019): 

Ratings Distribution (2019) - 51879 pages read:

My 2019 Reading Challenge:

My All-Time Goodreads' Profile as of the end of 2019 (1034 reviews in total):

Number of followers on GR (yep, after what happened to Leafmarks one can't be too careful...):

2018 Average Rating:

NB: 3.7 in 2017.

2019 Average Rating:

Most Popular Pages from My Blog in 2019:

NB: What a surprise! One of my Shakespeare pages ranked first!

Number of views in 2019:

Top locations in 2019:

Absolute numbers 2019:

Percentages 2019:

My All-Time Rating  Distribution (3.33):

NB: 3.32 in 2018.

My All-Time Physical Properties (Number of Pages Distribution):

How High is My Book Stack:

NB: My value at the end of 2019 was 375,9 metres (1233.4 feet). Higher than the Big Ben and the Washington Monument! Like last year, the Empire State Building is still just around the corner with 381 metres (1250 feet)...almost there...I'll be funny if I can do it in 2020, clocking 40 years in reading and reviewing!

If all the pages in all my books were laid end-to-end:

My All-time Author Gender:

My "Dead or Alive" When it Comes to Authors:

Number of Books Read on My Bookshelf:

Number of Books Read per Year:


Number of Pages Read per Year:

2019 Shortest, Longest Books (and average): 

2019 Most and Least Popular:

2018 Average of Pages Read : 

Most Popular 100 Reviewers in Portugal:

NB: GR stopped updating this tab since 05 July 2019:

Most popular 100 reviewers in the last 12 months in Portugal:

All-Time Blog Hits Around the World (the blog you're reading now):




Around 408 K new hits in 2019 (34K hits per month). A very pronounced increase when compared to last year's stats (around 66K new hits.

The increase from 2017 (38K) to 2018 (66K), resulted in an 28K hits jump.
The increase from 2018 (66K) to 2019 (408K), resulted in an 342K hits jump.

All-Time "My Map of the World":

2017 (1280 places):

NB: 1280 places "visited" this blog since 17.04.2016.

2018 (2480 places):

NB: 2480 places "visited" this blog since 17.04.2016.

2019 (3697):

NB: 3707 places "visited" this blog since 17.04.2016.

All-Time Number of Posts Written Between August 2006 and December 2019:

I'm off! Take care.