2017: My Year in Reading and Blogging

This year I put more time into reading and blogging, and I feel good about that.  I spent more time reading and commenting on the blogs I like the most.  I read more diversely in terms of authors, countries, and genres.

I read 89 books, compared to 71 last year. I reviewed 47, in addition to (almost) monthly science fiction and fantasy mini-reviews. Below are some favorites in each category.

Number of books read: 89 (so far)

  • Contemporary fiction: 19 (The Hate U Give, Hag-Seed)
  • Nonfiction/memoir: 11 (Born a Crime)
  • Historical fiction: 18 (News of the World)
  • Fantasy and folklore: 15 (A Conjuring of Light)
  • Science fiction: 15 (The Power, Bloodchild)
  • Short stories: 5 (Anything is Possible)
  • Mystery/thriller: 4 (Something Sinister)
  • Classic: 3 (1984, A Raisin in the Sun)
  • Graphic novel: 2 (Finding Molly, Monstress)

Similar to last year: 

  • Books in series: 27 total, including 16 new series (favorite new series: Shades of MagicRosemary and Rue, The Bear and the Nightingale)
  • New releases: 35 (The Leavers, Little Fires Everywhere, The Long Drop)

Higher than last year: 

  • Diverse author: 28 (Ta-Nehisi Coates, Imbolo Mbue, Yaa Gyasi)
  • New to me author: 56 (Ann Patchett, Helen Dunmore, Connie Willis)

How I did on 2017 Challenges:

I did really well at reading books by diverse authors (28) and books set in other countries (12+), compared to very few last year. I tried to read books about other countries by people from those countries.  I read books about the lives of immigrants in the U.S. and the current political situation in the U.S.  I read much more nonfiction than last year, and different types of nonfiction.  A lot of this, quite frankly, was because of the horrible political year we’ve had here.  I wanted to bury my head in the sand, but I tried not to do that.

I did well with 20 Books of Summer (read 15) and Nonfiction November (read 11). I posted several Book Blogger Discussion posts, but not as many as I would have liked.  Three that I particularly enjoyed were: The Power of the Debut NovelDeveloping Strong Female Characters, and Are the Books of Dr. Seuss Racist?

I did less well with classics.  I only read three: Little Women, 1984, and A Raisin in the Sun.  I started several I didn’t finish: The Three Musketeers, Death Comes to the Archbishop, Don Quixote, and Orlando (I mean to go back to them).  I pretty much failed at the Classics Club, Classic Book of the Month, and the Back to the Classics Challenge.

2017 Blogging Goals:

In the beginning of the year, I set a few goals for myself.  Here’s how I did:

  • Participate in more group activities: I was about the same this year, although I particularly enjoyed Nonfiction November and 20 Books of Summer. I’ve decided more isn’t better; taking the time to really participate in one or two events is more fulfilling.
  • Learn about developing graphics for the blog: I did nothing this year, so learning PicMonkey or some other graphics program is high on my list for 2018.
  • Take the blog into the real world: I did well this year!  I planned meetups with three bloggers, which was really great, and something I hope to continue.  I went to one bookstore event and I signed up for a regular email about literary events in our area.  For 2018 I’m trying out three in-person book clubs.  I’ll let you know how that goes.
  • Learn more about blogging in general: I signed up for Pro Blogger and listened to several podcasts and read a few articles.  Not as much as I’d like, but I’ll keep working on it.

In 2018 my goals are more personal. I want to be a better listener.  I want to improve my relationships with my friends, as well as meet new people.  I want to find a balance between accepting who I am and trying to be a better person.  I also need to find a greater balance between supporting my principles and not letting the political world devastate me.  This blog may not be the right place for those struggles — but then again, maybe it is.

My readers:

I want to thank some of the bloggers who have been my most supportive readers and commenters in the last year.  Their blogs inspire me in so many ways, and they make me feel I’m part of a community, which is what I value most about blogging.

Really, thank you to everyone who reads this blog! The Book Stop continues to be a source of comfort, creativity and learning for me.  I hope you’ll let me know what you find most useful about The Book Stop, so I can keep doing those things.

I wish you all a happy and successful new year, one that’s full of good books, challenging reading, and new perspectives.  And I wish for all of us a more sane, more humane year in 2018.

  10 comments for “2017: My Year in Reading and Blogging

  1. December 28, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    You’re welcome! And thank You for such great content. Congrats on meeting your goals! And I look forward to seeing what you post next year and maybe doing another meet up. 😊 That was fun!
    I need to figure out the graphics thing too for my blog. Finding the time for it is kind of hard though.

    • December 30, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      I’d definitely like to do happy hour again or some other event. You’ve got some good graphics on your blog — I agree about finding the time for it. I always want to do more.

      • January 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm

        Oh yes! That would be great. Just let me know when you’re available (in the spring though because this cold weather is kicking my ass).
        Thanks! Pic Monkey is great to use, but now they only offer a 1 month free trial and charge you about $5.99/mth. Since my blogging is just a hobby, I’m not sure if I want to pay $71.88 a year for something I might not use every month.

  2. December 29, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Nonfiction November was one of my favorite reading events of the year too. You did great on your reading goals and looks like you have a lot of great plans ahead for 2018. Wishing you a fabulous year and looking forward to more posts!

    • December 30, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      Thanks and have a very happy 2018!

  3. December 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Wow, it sounds like you did a great job reading diversely and reading more nonfiction. I’ve rarely met other bloggers and would love to try to do more of that too 🙂

  4. January 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    What most impressed me was 35 new titles read–I constantly struggle with new books because my tbr wish list is so long, but I want to read new releases and support living, active, (struggling) authors.

    I’m also giving an in-person book club a try this year! I like your blog-related goals (btw, I like the snow falling on your current page :))

    Congrats on finishing 2017 in style, and best wishes for a wonderful book-filled 2018!

  5. January 4, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    I didn’t do reading/blogging goals this year, at least not in public. I think I’ll figure them out as I go along. My main goal is to read more books from my own shelves. I’m going to do that exclusively for 3 months and see where it gets me!

    And I agree it’s more fulfilling to really participate in a few activities rather than spreading oneself too thin. That’s another goal for me this year.

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