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 Magic, Rosemary 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 Novel, Developing 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.
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.
- Booker Talk
- Elle Thinks
- Emerald City Book Review
- Zezee with Books
- Feed Your Fiction Addiction
- Reading, Writing, Working, Playing
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.