I made another video! I’m noticing my enunciation/articulation is pretty bad because, frankly, I’ve never had much training in speaking/acting/etc…but hopefully doing these will help! Bless video editing for allowing me to cut out awkward pauses and rambles. And, yes, Stephen King’s On Writing had some glaring problems…
I’m behind because I was busy doing the 2017 TV and music wrap-ups (and also I left out The People vs. O.J. Simpson on the TV one! oh no!), but finally, here’s my 2017 reading results, my favorites from the year, and 2018 plans!
According to Goodreads, I read a total of 67 books, although that isn’t completely accurate as I explained here…basically, some of the books I counted I read most but not all of for school, but I definitely read enough articles and short stories that wasn’t counted that I figure it’s good enough. Anyway, here is where you can find my Goodreads’ “Year in Books” thing.
- A total of 29 books/plays/graphic novels I read were for school, although 1 novel and 1 short story collection I chose to read I also used for school projects. Also, I read 1 play because I’m going to be the props master for a production of it next semester!
- 4 of the books I read were either ARCs or copies sent for review. (Kaleidoscope Song, Kid Authors, Echo After Echo, and 27 Hours.)
Here’s a breakdown of the types of books I read out of those 67
- 28 novels (fiction)
- 13 nonfiction books
- 1 short story (I read more, but this was “The Canterville Ghost” which was long-ish and I marked it on Goodreads)
- 2 novels-in-verse
- 9 graphic novels/memoirs
- 4 short story collections
- 6 plays
- 4 epic poems/epics/epic romances
Compared with last year, it looks like I definitely read more diversely (and more–last year I counted 55 books). I read over 4 times the number of nonfiction and over 4 times the amount of graphic novels/texts. I actually read a couple of novels-in-verse (though one was for class). I didn’t read as many plays but I did read more epics, and that’s mostly because of class assignments, frankly. I also, as I had planned, read more African-American literature after I had found myself gravitating toward non-racial diversity in books and deciding that was the demographic I wanted to learn more about. Granted, my school assignments helped a lot with that, too. (Shoutout to a professor who was not only an amazing teacher and lecturer, but made a required survey class be almost exclusively by and/or about POC and queer people.)
Favorites/Books That Have Stuck With Me
These are in the order I read them (more or less), not ranked. Reading so many different types of books makes them really hard to compare against each other! Links to reviews where applicable (some are to come).
- Rereads of The Great Gatsby and My Antonia, which I still really do love for, sometimes, intensely personal reasons.
- The Attention Merchants (Tim Wu)
- Giovanni’s Room (James Baldwin)
- Fun Home (Alison Bechdel)
- The Underground Railroad (Colson Whitehead, who I also got to see speak and he was so funny and inspiring!)
- The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)
- Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)
- The March trilogy (John Lewis, et al)
- Lost in the Funhouse (John Barth)…I liked this probably the least of all of these but it was definitely memorable.
- We Are the Ants (Shaun David Hutchinson)
- The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
- Star-Crossed (Barbara Dee)
- Ms. Marvel vol. 1 and 2 (G. Willow Wilson, et al)
- Angels in America (Tony Kushner)
- Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi)
- Beloved (Toni Morrison)
- Braced (Alyson Gerber)
- They Both Die at the End (Adam Silvera)
- Kaleidoscope Song (Fox Benwell)
- Echo After Echo (Amy Rose Capetta)
- “The Canterville Ghost” (Oscar Wilde)
- Paradise Lost (John Milton)…admittedly I enjoyed thinking/talking about this more than actually reading it!
- The Book of Dust (Philip Pullman)
- The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night (Jen Campbell)
- Turtles All the Way Down (John Green)
- You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (Rachel Lynn Solomon)
I’m noticing a pattern…while I did enjoy a lot of books I read for class, most aren’t up here! I think part of it was the speed at which I had to read them, often on top of other books I was already reading. I didn’t get to fully live inside of them. Similarly, books I read outside of class that were heavy (especially Beloved) I feel like I would have enjoyed more had I read in a more rigorous manner. The books that didn’t make a list that I still gave high ratings to might not be personally my favorite (yet), but I will absolutely recommend them to peers and students where applicable.
Also, this is REALLY LONG and I tried to cut it down but it just seemed rather unfair. I read a lot of great books! And they were all great in different ways.
- I am using THIS CHART from Book Riot (in addition to Goodreads) to keep track of my reading. It not only keeps track of titles, when you read it, how long it took you, etc, but stats like if the author/character/both are POC and/or LGBTQ, if it’s #ownvoices, in translation, gender of author, type of book, genre, etc. I’m really excited! It will also make posts like these WAY easier and keep me more conscious of the demographics of what I’m reading.
- Related to that, I’m going to try to complete some of the tasks from Book Riot’s READ HARDER challenge.
- I noticed I read a lot of YA this year, and while they were mostly great, I want to read the literary fiction I own, too, because I miss that type of story. Related to that, I will continue to be very selective about review copies/Netgalley because I have a lot of backlist to catch up on and limited time.
- Read more sci-fi/fantasy! I used to love the genre and while I’m not the biggest fan of it outside of middle grade (ah, nostalgia), short stories, and TV and movies, I’ve got some I’ve heard great things about.
What are your goals this year?
Ah, that time of year(s) again. My blog and YouTube feeds are full of end-of-the-year wrap-ups, best and worst lists, and more. But for me, my reading year feels so unusual that I can’t quite do the same.
I set my 2016 Goodreads Challenge for 60 books this year. Previously I’d done 50 and read a little bit more, so I figured I would challenge myself. After all, I was starting college–wouldn’t I have more free time?
Ha. Yes, I did have more free time, but I tended to spend them with other people, so reading and other solitary activities dropped a lot in priority. I did read quite a bit for school, but they were mostly short stories. (This year, though, I want to get more back on track, now that I know my new friends better.)
According to Goodreads, I read 55 out of 60 books–not actually that different from the previous counts. However, I found that this year I probably read more formats and genres than usual (less novels). Of those 55 books:
- 2 were short stories (“Harrison Bergeron” and “Master and Man”–these were not the only short stories I read over the year, though
- 1 was a graphic novel (Hyperbole and a Half)
- 1 was a single-issue comic (The X-Files: Origins #1)
- 1 was a book of poetry (Original Bodies)
- 9 were plays
- 3 were nonfiction, mostly memoirs/essay collections (Furiously Happy, A View from the Cheap Seats, Writing Fiction, The Revolution Was Televised, Bad Feminist)
- 1 humor book (Literary Starbucks)
- 3 short story collections (The October Country, Sweet Home, St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves)
- The remaining 34 were novels–mostly middle grade and YA, but there are a few others. Also, a lot of them had LGBTQ characters and/or characters struggling with mental illness. 2 were listened to on audiobooks (Meet the Austins and A Ring of Endless Light)
I’m not going to run the numbers, but that composition is much more varied than previous years, which were mostly novels and maybe some more graphic novels. I read more plays this year (mostly for school) and more nonfiction (mostly not for school), which has made me much more interested in these two mediums.
Favorites/Books That Have Stuck With Me
(These are in the order I read them, not the order of preference. I don’t like ranking reads that are so different from each other.)
- Macbeth (Shakespeare)
- Betrayal (Harold Pinter)
- Meet the Austins and A Ring of Endless Light (Madeleine L’Engle)
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and its sequel (Catherynne M. Valente)
- Radio Silence (Alice Oseman)–I bought the UK edition of this one, but the U.S. edition will be out this spring!
- The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)
- The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
- Some Kind of Happiness (Claire Legrand)
- George (Alex Gino)
- Challenger Deep (Neal Shusterman)
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post (emily m. danforth)
- Still Life With Tornado (A.S. King)
- Finding Perfect (Elly Swartz)
- Wit (Margaret Edison)
- The Revolution Was Televised (Alan Sepinwall)–discussion inspired by this is forthcoming
- History is All You Left Me (Adam Silvera)–I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of this, so I will post a review closer to the pub date (1/17!)
2017 Reading Goals
- Read more racially divese books from authors of color: As I mentioned above, I gravitate a lot toward LGBTQ characters and mental health topics, but I failed to read much in the way of racial diversity this year. I’ll be starting with The Color Purple and Beloved because I have them and have been planning to read them, and I need to make that a priority.
- More nonfiction! More plays! More short stories! (As much as I can around my required reading, which contains more novels than last semester.)
- I want to continue exploring classic middle grade and YA books and blogging about them. This includes finishing the Fairyland series and reading more Madeleine L’Engle, probably.
- I’m planning on doing this challenge to read and review/blog about diverse books.