2017 Goals: Did I fail?

Here are my original post and my mid-year wrap-up.

To sum, if you don’t like clicking links, half way through the year I was doing pretty good but there were a few goals that were not going as planned.  

1. Continue on with this Book Blogging thing 

I had another slump, and I really need to re-think my blog.  More like redesign and put more effort in.  Anyway, I’m still kinda here so this still kinda counts as a win.

2. Clear out my drafts file  

Didn’t happen.  But honestly, have a few handfuls of half-ideas or half- written posts is not a bad thing, despite what early 2017 me thought. 

3. Keep the number of books on my Goodreads ‘To-read’ list under the number of books in my ‘Read’ list

This mess of a goal is a) a mess and b) still kinda worked out in the end.  I would still like my list to be smaller than it is, but I’ve had a good reading year where I took a number off the list and added about as many as I read.

4. Make better reviews 

I did not achieve this goal.  Sure, it’s open-ended so I could find some way that I did manage it (and my brain is already supplying a few for me) but the reality is I think my reviews got worse not better.  Rereading my review for The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet really brings this point home as the review I would have written for it now would not have been as good. 

5. Reduce the number of unread books on my bookshelf by half (of the total number I started the year with; aka have 6 or fewer unread books by year end)

There is a saga with this goal, and I will do a check-in eventually for this but overall I didn’t achieve this goal, but still consider it a success because I did read a lot of books that have been sitting on my shelf for years.  

6. A tough one: Stop feeling so guilty about not reading.  Conversely, stop feeling so guilty about reading.  

As I explained in my check-in, this one ended up not being tough and fixed itself quite nicely.  As a result I both read and didn’t read this year and I felt great about both!

In the Check-in I also talked about my a few side goals and trends I was hitting.  My Goodreads goal I ended up actually committing to more then the first half of the year and upping the ante to 75 books, which I achieved.  I also continued to read diverse types of books (generas and formats).  Since I wasn’t doing as many reviews in the end of 2017 my emphasis on audiobooks reduced but I always acknowledged reading them in my round-ups.  Finally, my commitment to indy and self-published books waned in the last half of the year, but I might try for it again in 2018.  

Final comments: I did feel I read a bunch of forgettable books this year, even though on average my star ratings were quite high.  I need to think on this and determine if I want to address it in my 2018 goals.  

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Most Anticipated of 2017: Did I read them?

Here were the 6 books I was anticipating and whether or not I got to them (in the order they were listed in my original post found here):

Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder – I’ve owned this for about 6 months have have not read it…..

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers – Have also owned for months and have yet to read….This is going so well, hahaha

Firebrand by Kristen Britain – Have attempted to obtain from the library, but no dice.  Hardcover is 40$ so I’m waiting for the soft cover (which also matches my set). 0/3 so far…

Third Illuminae book [aka Obsidio] by Kaufman and Kristoff – was  not released, is on my 2018 list.

A Spy’s Guide to Tortall by Tamora Pierce – I READ THIS ONE! And actually have 2 copies of it….

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – Have bought and read this one!  Was going to reread but I’ll do that in 2018. 

Grand total: 2/5.  Very bad of me, especially since I own 2 of the unread ones!  Oh the life of a reader!

Re-reads through Mark Oshiro

This time last year I made a post talking about how my read pile is deceiving.

This year is the same.  My Goodreads said I read 76 books this year.  However, I had 2 DNF’s that I count in that.  I also have several books I have reread through Mark Oshiro.  Add these on to my Goodreads Challenge and my total number of read books jumps to 83 which is quite a few more then my goal of 75.

To round off my list of books I have read this year, here are the handful I have read along with Mark over at Mark Reads.

1. Wizard Alone by Diane Duane

2. Wizard’s Holiday by Diane Duane

3. Wizards at War by Diane Duane

4. Wizards of Mars by Diane Duane

5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

 

The last of the Year

According to Goodreads I read a total of 76 books.  Here is the last of them.  Goodreads is deceiving as I will talk about in a later post. 

Books read:

66. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo     4 Stars

67. Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce     4.5 Stars

68. Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My life as a country vet by Jan Pol (David Fisher)     3 Stars

69. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Lynn Chen)     4 Stars

70. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green     2 stars

71. Lumberjanes, Volume 1 by Noelle Stevenson, etc     3.5 Stars

72. Lumberjanes, Volume 2 by Noelle Stevenson, etc     3.5 Stars

73. Warcross by Marie Lu     4.5 Stars

74. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (full cast)     3.5 Stars

75. Beating Back the Devil: On the front lines with the disease detectives of the epidemic intelligence service by Maryn McKenna (Ellen Archer)     4 Stars

76. The Viral Storm: The dawn of a new pandemic age by Nathan Wolf (Robertson Dean)     2 Stars

77. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne     3 Stars

Average Rating: 3.45

Audiobooks: 5

Rereads: 1.3

TBR Shelf: 0

Comments:

My numbers are not adding up and that’s bugging me, but whatever.  I hit my second goal of 75 books.  Of those books, about 56 were novels, and the rest were novellas and graphic novels. 

There is a good mix of types of books in formats and generas represented here, which I like.  Though, I have been finding that graphic novels, while good at beefing up my numbers, they tend not to be a form of writing that really excites me and I end up meh about the books overall.  The Saga graphic novels were the best of the year for me and even those didn’t come near my favourite books of the year.  

I failed at my TBR goal as I have really dropped the ball in reading TBR books in the past few months. However, I also count parts of it as a win as discussed previously.  Still not sure how I will work it into my 2018 goals.  

 

Another 20 books gone

Books read: 

46. Relic By Preston and Child     4/5 Stars

47. Armada by Ernest Cline     4/5 Star

48. Vote for Me! by Ben Clanton     4/5 Stars

49. Onepunch-Man #1 by ONE, Yusuke Murata      DNF’ed

50. Arata: The Legend, Volume #1 by Yuu Watase     DNF’ed

51. Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars

52. Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars

53. Reliquary by Preston and Child     4.5/5 Stars

54. Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia     4.5/5 Stars

55. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie     5/5 Stars

56. Saga, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars

57. Saga, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars

58. Still Life with Crows by Preston and Child (Scott Brick)     4/5 Stars

59. Saga, Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars

60. Saga, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars 

61. Saga, Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn, Fiona Staples     4/5 Stars

62. Scythe by Neal Shusterman     4/5 Stars

63. Mooncop by Tom Gauld     3.5/5 Stars

64. Soppy by Philippa Rice     3.5/5 Stars

65. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson     2.5/5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.0

Audiobooks: 1(ish)

Re-reads: 0

Indy/self-published: possibly a few of the graphic novels

TBR Shelf: 0

DNF’ed: 2 (not counted in ratings)

Comments: 

Quite a few graphic novels on this list, however several bigger adult books too.  Plus another contender for the top 5 books of the year.  Overall, there were good ratings all around on this list, but that also means many of the books don’t stand out from the rest. 

At this point I have bought more unread books and haven’t really wanted to read any of the previous unread books on my shelves at present (but I still want to read them and not give them away) so I doubt I will accomplish the goal I set out to accomplish at the beginning of the year.  I was doing so well, too!  But I have manged to read half of the books I started the year with that were unread and I am happy about that.  

With this group of reads I finally bumped my GoodReads goal up to a realistic yet slightly challenging new goal of 75 books.  At the time I did that I was on track to accomplish this goal, however with my current slow-down and the expected slowdown that comes every year at Christmas this goal will be a challenge, but not an impossible one.  Especially if I finish off the last few volumes of Death Note, which are sitting on my kitchen table waiting for me.  

Books I’ve read that are older then me #2

1979     Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

1955     Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

1962     A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

1983     The Witches by Roald Dahl

1959     My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

1952     Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

1954     Lord of the Flies by William Golding

1990     Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

1983     So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane

1984     Boy by Roald Dahl

Fifteen more….

Books read:

31. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire     5/5 Stars

32. Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle     4/5 Stars

33. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong (Charlie Anson)    3.5/5 Stars

34. The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (Scott Brick)     4.5/5 Stars

35. Abhorsen by Garth Nix (Tim Curry)     4/5 Stars

36. Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman by Loryn Brantz (NetGalley)     3/5 Stars

37. Breaking Up is Hard to Do … But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Campbell (NetGalley)     2/5 Stars

38. If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle Aged Men by Matthew Inman (NetGalley)     2.5/5 Stars

39. Heart and Brain: Body Language: An Awkward Yeti Collection by The Awkward Yeti (NetGalley)     4/5 Stars

40. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (various narrators)     4.5/5 Stars

41. Lies We Tell Your Kids by Steve Hoover     2.5/5 Stars

42. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh     4.5/5 Stars

43. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg     3/5 Stars

44. Brimstone By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Scott Brick)     5/5 Stars

45. The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child  (Jonathan Marosz)    5/5 Stars

Average Rating: 3.8

Audiobooks: 5.25

Re-reads: 0

Indy/self-published: possibly a few, up to 5 of them are from smaller publishers

Reviewed on Blog: 0

Bookshelf TBR: 4

Comments:

So this post is so delayed that my ‘next ten’ was almost 20 by the time I got around to this so I split the difference and made it 15.  

These books were a mixed lot.  At the start of this list, I really really loved Down Among the Sticks and Bones and have bought a copy and will be re-reading before the year is done.  But I was also browsing NetGalley and read several comic books, most of which were ‘meh’.  I was feeling sad that I hadn’t really found any new favourites yet this year but boy did that change with the last handful of books.  I thought I was going to be hard pressed to have a top 3 or 5 books this year about a month ago but at this point I’ll have no trouble with finding books, it’ll just be hard to order them from most favourite to not as most favourite. 

4 more TBR bookshelf books were read in this bunch!  I’m really proud of the concerted effort I have made in knocking down my physical TBR pile on my bookshelf.  However, I gained 2 more books from a friend and bough one more and thus I’m still basically where I started, with 11 unread books still on my shelf.  This goal is starting to feel like an epic saga, with a slow start, a push forward then losing ground followed by more progress and lost ground.  Yet despite being more or less where I started at the beginning of the year, the average ‘wait time’ for the TBR books on my shelf has been reduced (I think… now I need to calculate that…).  What’s more is that despite all this gaining and losing ground, I have now read 6 of my original 12 and gotten rid if one of the others, so if I never get to 6 or less by the end of the year, at least I have done that.  Honestly, that makes me very happy.  Also, I discovered a few unexpected surprises on my shelf which is another bonus to this challenge. 

I’ve officially crossed my randomly picked number between 30 and 50 for my Goodreads yearly book goal and rapidly closing in on 50 books this year.  I’m doing way better at this point in time then this point in time last year and am so happy and proud of my reading so far.  Now I am reassessing and considering coming up with another goal to hit but really, I’m reading tonnes and enjoying myself which is the real goal here.