EuroBookVision 2016 at the Gentlemen’s Book Club

The crowning event of our book club year is our annual get together to review the year and rank our reads. One of the intriguing and fun aspects of this is how our scores change over the year and how (when forced to rank) as a complete series the measures compare to our monthly evaluation of the books.

This year we enjoyed the hospitality of the Royal Irish Yacht Club courtesy of one of our distinguished members. The atmosphere was warm, convivial and wonderfully festive. The company a pleasure as always and the ranking spectacular good fun.

This is the third year we have done this end of season ranking and we have a return author named as our favourite read. Two years out of three – there must be something in his style that appeals to this group.

The ranking in order of popularity is:

Title Author Rank
Imperium Robert Harris 1
Alexander Hamilton Ron Chernow 2
The Silk Roads: A new global history Peter Frankopan 3
The Minaturist Jesse Burton 4
The Invention of Nature: Alex von Humbolt Andrea Wulf 5
I’m Your Man Sylvie Simmons 6
The Pleasure of My Company Steve Martin 7
A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara 8
Five Socratic Dialogues Plato 9
A Dog’s Purpose W. Bruce Cameron 10
Jack Reacher Lee Childs 11
Autobiography of a Yogi Yogananda 12

Of course as alluded to, what is intriguing is how our estimation of a book stands the test of the year. This chart looks at the the how our reads ran. Blue title rose in the end of year estimation and red ones fell against their aggregate score based on our monthly personal ranks.

Imperium of course was the big winner. Not only did it rise to our first choice of all twelve reads, it rose a full four positions to take that lead. Likewise, I’m Your Man suffered the big loss falling from a very healthy aggregated monthly score in November 5 places ending up in the middle of the pack. Alexander Hamilton largely held its strength but was denied that first place finish. the Silk Roads and the Minaturist also fared well each rise two places in the final race.

Likewise, exploring which members made the most appreciated recommendations returns the following:

Total Value of Recommends Weighted Value Contributions
Fergal 15.75 7.88 2
Joe 19.38 6.46 3
Shawn 17.32 5.77 3
Brian C 12.79 6.39 2
Mike 6.40 6.40 1
Brian M 6.00 6.00 1

Fergal leads the pack with two recommendations that return the largest average rating for the two recommendations. Joe and Shawn made largest contributions based on three recommendations being taken. However, when weighted as average return per recommendation Shawn has the lowest score of contributions per recommendation. Shameful really ;-)

Thankfully Shawn manages a slightly more respectable contribution in the year end evaluation when the ranking based on points allotted per recommendation drops from third to fourth place.

Exploring the connection between recommenders and who most appreciated their recommendations, the following charts shows the affinity between books recommended and scores given by other members of the group. The most obvious affinity exists between Fergal and Joe, Others are more evenly distributed.

Finally, there is a clear preference for the non-fiction books we chose to explore.

Even when we eliminate the outliers for each genre or the overall outliers, the preference for non-fictional works continues. Of course ’tis entirely possible that we choose non-fiction that better suits, or we take more chances with our fictional recommendations. Who knows?

See you next year!

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