Bidding 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?