My December and Year-End Reading Wrap-Up

2016Bidding a not-so-fond farewell to 2016, here’s what I read in December:

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

What I’m reading now: What’s Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi.

What’s up next: my library wait-list finally came through, all at once!  So now I’ve got Commonwealth, The Wonder, and Today Will Be Different to read in the next 20 days.  I’ve  also got Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking (sigh — I can’t bring her back but I can honor her by reading her books).

Best book of December: clearly Testament of Youth, although I was happily surprised by Before the Fall, which I thought would be just a thriller.  And I was happy to discover a new series that blends urban fantasy and detective fiction (and British, to boot) in Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series (see here for a great list of fantasy/sci fi recommendations).

In 2016, I read 71 books (compared to 82 last year). I reviewed 49 of those, counting a few mini-reviews.

They roughly break down into these genres:
· Historical fiction/mystery: 20
· Contemporary fiction: 19
· Science fiction: 16
· Fantasy, paranormal or steampunk: 14
· Classics: 6

Books in a series: 24
Published in 2016: 31
New to me author: 32

What was different in 2016? I read a lot more new (2016) releases than I usually do, and a lot fewer classics. I read a lot of new-to-me authors, but didn’t have a lot of diversity and very few books were set outside the US or Great Britain. I only count 6 books by authors of color (plus one I’m reading now) and only 3 set predominantly outside the U.S. or Great Britain.  I read very little non-fiction, or short stories.

Most of these differences are because I didn’t participate in challenges this year.  So what am I thinking of for next year?

I want at least one challenge that focuses on reading books around the world.  There’s one at Howling Frog Books and one at Hard Book Habit. Anyone know of others?  I prefer reading internationally to reading diversely, although it becomes a little more challenging when a book is written by a white author or an author that doesn’t live in the place he/she is writing about.

For classics reading, I’ve enjoyed Books and Chocolate’s Back to the Classics Challenge, and will continue with my Classics Club reading list.  Roof Beam Reader is starting up a challenge where he reads a specific classic each month.  I won’t read all twelve but definitely a few.

In recent years I’ve really enjoyed Feed Your Fiction Addiction’s Book Blog Discussion Challenge, which encourages posting about blogging and reading, not just book reviews.

I’ve also been thinking about the books that have been on my TBR list for years and are sure to be set aside for newer, flashier releases.  I’ll aim to set aside time for them.

I think that’s more than enough challenges and reading resolutions but I’d love to hear about others.

Here’s to 2017, readers!  What are your reading goals for 2017?

  16 comments for “My December and Year-End Reading Wrap-Up

  1. December 31, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Love your photo of the road!!

    Nice December of reading for you and nice year!!

    I only read 50 books, and most were historical fiction and women’s fiction I also like to read mystery.

    Happy 2017!!

    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

    • January 1, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’m amazed by how much some people read in a year – it’s the quality that counts. I have to slow myself down sometimes and make sure I’m really reading books that are worth my time and that I’m getting the most from them. Hope you have a great 2017!

  2. December 31, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I’m trying to cut down on the amount of books I buy as well as the amount of reading challenges I enter (since I did horribly on the ones for this year) so next year, I plan to only do the Goodreads reading challenge, the Beat the Backlist challenge (so I mostly read books I already own), and the library challenge.

    • December 31, 2016 at 11:23 am

      I don’t own a lot of excess books, but I like the idea of the library challenge! I already read a ton of books from the library, so that would be a challenge I know I’d meet. Happy new year!

      • December 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        Oh lucky you. I have a huge backlog of books I own and haven;t yet read. It’s a bit daunting.
        Happy New Year to you too!

  3. December 31, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Would love to have you for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. It’s totally loosey goosey and you can set goals…or not. lol Looks like a great month. I finally got my reading mojo back this month after a long election-related absence.

    • January 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks for reading Andi! I try not to keep too many books (the library helps) but I’d love to join your group. I agree, reading was difficult after the election. Some books felt way too relevant, when I wanted to get as far away from the news as possible. Hope you have a great 2017!

  4. December 31, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I’m posting about my goals tomorrow, but basically I really want to make a dent in my physical TBR pile, read more books from different countries of the world (I have quite a few of these in the aforesaid TBR), keep reading classics, and read the NYT list of “Six Books to Help Understand Trump’s Win.”

    Here’s another around the world challenge I discovered via Doing Dewey:

    • January 1, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      I’m looking forward to reading more classics and books from different countries. It seems like we might be crossing paths a lot in 2017. Thanks for the reference to the around the world challenge and happy 2017!

  5. December 31, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the Discussion Challenge. It’s one of my favorite things about blogging!

    • January 1, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      I didn’t participate much this year but I really enjoy reading others’ posts about blogging, so I’m glad you keep hosting! I also like having a place to link my monthly wrap-ups. Have a happy 2017!

  6. January 2, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    I suck at reading challenges beyond “I will read X 3 of books this year” but I would also really like to read more internationally! I would also like to focus on reading the many unread books I have on my Kindle and Audible library. Hope you have a great 2017!

  7. January 6, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I’m impressed you read so many new-to-you authors. Sometimes I have a hard time branching out because new authors are unknown territory. It could be great, but it could be disastrous. The gamble is half the fun, but I have to be in the right mood for it. 🙂

    • January 7, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks for the comment Dena! I was surprised by that number too, since it was kind of a year of comfort reading for me. I think some of that is because I read so many books from the Baileys longlist.

  8. danielle hammelef
    January 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    My goals for 2017 are to read more debut authors as well as continue with series that I’m only part way through. i also hope to read a book a week which I am finding reading time more difficult to squeeze in lately. I do enjoy not rushing through a book, especially when the author’s writing is so poetic and fresh.

  9. October 8, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I love finding new authors 🙂 I have found some absolute favs that way.

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