Wednesday, April 26, 2017

25:120 The Wedding Stipulation by Faye Larson

Kenneth thought it was odd that even though Bradley's father couldn't even be bothered to remember his name (even though he was III) he had received a call from his lawyer after his death.  When they meet up for coffee later, Kenneth receives an even bigger shock when Bradley tells him his inheritance is dependent upon him being married and would Kenneth do him the honor of being his husband.  While they've been best friends for years, doing almost everything together, romance had never been part of it and this seems like a paper marriage of convenience until it suddenly doesn't...

For a short story I thought Kenneth was nicely developed but felt that Bradley needed a bit more personality.  The plot was fairly straight forward and since this is a romance, there is explicit adult content. For the record, I know the author and was given a copy with no expectation of review or payment.

Page count: 66p/4,754p ytd/279,229p lifetime

24:120 Early Morning of the Living Dead by Faye Larson

Charlotte was not happy to get the call from her editor that morning after only a few hours of sleep but if Faith was in the hospital after being attacked by someone, there was no way Charlotte would let this interview Faith had worked so hard to secure go to waste.  That was how she ended up Downtown in Spencer's office trying to find ways to get the truth out of him regarding Cooper's disappearance when the riot started outside the building.  It was a strange riot though where several people had beaten a person and now seemed to be...eating him?  And that is a how a zombie apocalypse in the South Bay can start. So quick. So simple. So ready to spread.

I'm wondering if this will be the start of an actual series as it does a pretty typical start of the zombie apocalypse story but ends with the potential for a cure in the room.  If it doesn't, it would be a shame as the characters were just getting interesting at the end and I felt like the story was just really starting.  (For the record, I know the author and was given a copy of this to read not necessarily review and am not receiving payment of any kind.)  There were a few places were some extra editing would have been good.

Page count: 158p/4,688p ytd/279,163p liftime

Thursday, April 13, 2017

23:120 In the Before, When Legends Were True by Seanan McGuire

Let me tell you a story of a time of the parents of my parents, a story from long before when the Legends were True. Let me tell you a story of a time when I wondered and found a living Legend and how we should treat them with reverence thanks to the land that they have left us, the People.

The 6th patreon short story, it is a stand-alone, set in a time far from now when the Earth is still healing.  While not super depressing, it is definitely not a cheery story either but still wonderful written.

Page count: 9p/4,530p ytd/279,005p lifetime

Sunday, April 9, 2017

22:120 Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher

A collection of three short novellas that take place throughout the Dresden Files series.  Harry is called out to the forest by Rivers Shoulders at three different points to help Irwin, Rivers Shoulders' son.  "B is for Bigfoot" sees Irwin in middle-school being bullied but these aren't just ordinary bullies and Harry needs to do some talking to keep things from escalating badly.  "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot" means that Irwin is now in a private high school but he has all of a sudden been struck with illness for the first time in his life.  The doctors think it's mono but when Rivers Shoulders sends Harry out, he finds that there is something draining his life force and it's definitely not mono.  Lastly, "Bigfoot on Campus" has Irwin in college and having found happiness with a beautiful girl until the girl's vampiric nature comes to the fore.  Good think Harry knows a thing or two about vampires.

In all, it was a fun collection and I enjoyed returning to Harry's world.

Page count: 136p/4,521p ytd/278,996p lifetime

Saturday, April 1, 2017

21:120 Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

15th book in the Elemental Assassin series.  Finn still has questions about what happened with his mother so when he suddenly finds himself inheriting her Wild West theme park and hotel, he's suspicious but it seems like too good an opportunity to pass up to possibly get some answers about her.  Gin is extremely suspicious but since she has hit nothing but dead ends in her search for information on The Circle, she agrees to go along.  Of course that means that Bria and Owen come along as well.  It doesn't take long before the real game has been sussed out by Gin and her friends and the deadly stakes are known.  Now Bria, Finn, and Owen have been drugged and kidnapped and Gin has just barely escaped with the help of an unexpected ally. She will need friends and allies if she wants to save them and live to fight another day.

A fun, quick read.  The basic plot was pretty standard for the series and not much headway was made on the overarching Circle plot but there was a bit of expose of Gin's mother's past and much less of her usual repetitive drivel so that made for an overall better reading experience.

Page count: 373p/4,385p ytd/278,860p lifetime

Thursday, March 30, 2017

20:120 Batman: Court of Owls Vol.1 by Scott Synder, Greg Capullo, & Jonathan Glapion

The Court of Owls has been rumored and hinted at for as long as Gotham has been around.  Always a group that operates in the dark, controlling the underworld, but Batman has looked into it but never found any evidence until a string of brutal murders targeting Bruce Wayne and friends starts up. Now he is in the thick of things and it seems to have been following his family for generations but is this real or is he finally loosing his grip on reality?

I thought the story was intriguing.  My big hand up so often with comics is the artwork and in this case it was ok, except where it was supposed to be ugly because that fit with the story itself.  I was I had been more gripped by the whole thing but for whatever reason, I just wasn't.  I've been told by family members I need to keep going so I will hope the next one works better for me.

Page count: 176p/4,012p ytd/278,487p lifetime

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

19:120 The Lay of the Land by Seanan McGuire

What seems to always be the most likely way to get someone interested in someone else (at least from a story trope way)?  Yeah, have the father forbid the daughter to ever go near "that boy/man" ever again and then ground her.  So what does Jonathan Healy do when the Covenant member comes to town and his daughter, Alice, has stumbled into him already?  Yep.  And what does she do in response?  Of course!  She takes him over some cookies and offers to show him around the woods filled with incryptids.

Now we already know that Tom and Alice end up together since this backstory to the series but it's nice to see characters we don't really get to know in the series but who definitely have influenced the people we do follow.  I will say though, I wish Ms. McGuire had not used the boring old trope in this case.  It felt like a bit of a lefdown to go with something so obvious.

Page count: 32p/3,836p ytd/278,311p lifetime

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

18:120 My Last Name by Seanan McGuire

Verity and Dominic have finally meandered across the country to arrive at her parents' home but while the greeting could have been warmer, it was pretty much what you could have expected from her paranoid parents when she brought home a Covenant member.

Short and sweet tale about Dominic meeting the folks for the first time. No surprises at all although I would have thought she might have given them a bit more of a heads up beforehand considering how paranoid they are.  Saves on bullets you know.

Page count: 14p/3,804p ytd/278,279p lifetime

Sunday, March 26, 2017

17:120 Lorraine Hansberry: Award Winning Playwright and Civil Rights Activist by Susan Sinott

In 1959, in just her late 20s, Lorraine Hansberry was finally able to get the play out of her head and onto paper and A Raisin in the Sun was born.  It had been rattling around in her head for a while but once it found its time and place, it took off and took America with it.  Lorraine had grown up fairly middle-class in Chicago, or as middle-class as a black family was to be, to parents who were in at the beginning of the Civil Rights movement.  She learned much watching them that did not truly germinate until she was a young woman and able to truly appreciate what they had done and what her generation still needed to do.  A Raisin in the Sun allowed her to start finding her outer voice although it seems a shame that so much of its message went askew at the time. It is a shame that she died so young with so much left to give to society.

I admit, before this year I had heard of this play but had never seen it or had any idea even what it was about.  I didn't know the name Lorraine Hansberry.  My 10th grader is doing theater and needed to do a biographical research paper so we decided to combine the assignments and do it on a playwright and Ms. Hansberry had been coming up a lot in the standards and his theater curriculum so I suggested her because I did not want to deal with yet another Shakespeare thing (don't get me wrong, I enjoy Shakespeare but researching him is so overdone and I wanted to learn about someone new).  He agreed and this book was the source of most of his information.  It was very informative, simply-written but engaging at the same time.  I'm definitely glad to have learned more about her.

Page count: 147p/3,790p ytd/278,265p lifetime

16:120 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

My original review from 2013:

A 40+yr old man returns to his hometown after many years away for a funeral and finds himself walking down memory lane.  Down a lane with the ocean at the end of it and memories long since repressed and forgotten about things that sound impossible but aren't really.  About monsters and madness, oceans and other worlds, love and loss.  For a while, he leaves the outside world behind and remembers it all.

This is such a quiet book that you don't even realize how much time has gone by until something suddenly snaps you back into reality and you look down to see how much of the book you have read except you haven't read it, you have been swallowed by it mind and soul.  You can't wait to steal a few more minutes to dive into it again only to find yourself emerging an hour later.  Not a long read by any means but I found myself reading it slowly to savor it.  It doesn't want to be rushed but rather wants to quietly unfurl and draw you in...and you want to let it.

Page count: 259p/3,643p ytd/278,118p lifetime

Friday, March 24, 2017

15:120 A History of US Vol. 5: Liberty for All? by Joy Hakim

Review from 2013:
The 5th book in her US history series for middle school.  Better than some of the others.  There was some interesting information in there setting things up for the Civil War and while I appreciated learning more about the authors and artists of that time, I'm not sure how much my son got out of that.  There were definitely parts that I felt could have moved more quickly but at the same time, I think it was good to show where the country was and all the things that went into creating the factions of North vs. South.  It wasn't just slavery although that was the main thing but the industry, life styles, and exploration that slavery enabled that many people did not want to lose as well.

Page count: 219p/3,384p ytd/277,859p lifetime

Thursday, March 23, 2017

14:120 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Brian is angry, so angry.  He knows the Secret that caused his parents' divorce and now he is stuck in a small, single-engine plane on his way to visit his father in Canada because they can no longer all live together. He is stewing about that when the pilot has a heart attack and the fight for survival in the Canadian wilderness starts with the plane crashing in the middle of nowhere, well off the flight path they were supposed to be on.  With the plane sunk in a lake and no supplies but his windbreaker, the hatchet his mother gave him as he left, and his very limited knowledge of survival skills, he must find shelter and food for who knows how long.

I have seen this book around but had never read it before but found a literature study unit for it and grabbed it for homeschooling and now is when my son decided we should read it.  I really enjoyed it as Brian was very easy to relate to.  He makes mistakes, he doesn't have a lot of survival skills, he has set-backs where he almost gives up but then pulls himself out of it.  He has some luck, both good and bad, but in all it's a huge learning experience for him and we get to share it.  I also appreciate that even after his rescue, he doesn't just return to how he was before but they mention some of the issues he has readjusting to regular life.  I think that's an important thing that so often gets left out so I was happy that this book didn't.

Page count: 186p/3,165p ytd/277,640p lifetime

Sunday, March 5, 2017

13:120 American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Three seemingly unrelated tales interwoven until they all wrap up together at the end.  You have the Monkey King who has trained and studied to be accepted into Heaven with the other Gods but is shut out because he is only a monkey. There is Danny, an all-American boy, who is continuously embarrassed every time his cousin Chen-Kee visits from China and behaves as the most horrific characterization of every horrible Chinese stereotype ever.  And then there is Jin Wang, a new student in a new school, trying to fit in with his all-American classmates and horrified when a boy from Taiwan starts at the school and wants to be friends with him because what will that do to his chances with the girl he is falling for?  All three main characters are dealing the fact that they are not happy in their own skin and looking for acceptance from outside is not working out so well for any of them.

My older son read this for his college comics class and recommended it to me.  It has won several awards and it's easy to see why.  The graphic novel format allows it to swing back and forth between the stories easily and conveys the thoughts much easier than I think the written word alone would have allowed for.  The interweaving of the stories was well done although a bit heavy handed at the end on the moral but since it's such an important one, it's easy to forgive.

Page count: 233p/2,979p ytd/277,454p lifteime

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Releases I'm Looking Forward To: 2nd Quarter 2017

My usual disclaimer:
Let me state, this is really based on authors or series that I'm already reading since those are the things I follow.  I'm not paid to write this blog nor do I have any affiliations with any publishers so I don't receive free books or advance notice of things except what I glean off Facebook from people who do have those contacts or what I research on my own (which again, leads back to authors that I'm already reading).  Maybe someday I'll be one of those who has the contacts and gets ARCs but it's not today.

So I'm still massively behind in reading the new books that I keep buying.  Life has gotten so much busier although I'm not altogether sure how but I think it's been spending a lot more time with friends and now with our new dog there is a LOT of time spent outside walking her which is definitely not helping me get more reading done.  That doesn't mean that I'm not going to find time to start getting to some of these books that I post about. Thankfully there isn't a ton coming out this quarter so maybe I can start making a dent in the backlog.

Legend Has It by Elliot James is first up.  The fifth book in the Pax Arcana series.  I'm a book behind right now but this one definitely looks cool with the villain reading a magic book that is changing the world around him to match his fantasies.  Hmmm...

Release date: April 18

Next up is Snared by Jennifer Estep, book 16 in the Elemental Assassin series.  I've just started reading book 15 and it looks like the new long term plot line with the Circle will be continuing for a bit.

Release Date: April 25

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter kicks off the next month.  Again, I'm a book behind in the series *sigh* but this next one looks to be seriously a** kickin'.  Leo is under threat (again) but this time from revenants that should never have risen which means there is much more magical mojo going on than Jane has ever dealt with before.

Release date: May 2

The second book in the Hidden Legacy series, White Hot by Ilona Andrews, ended up being delayed a while so it's nice to see that not only is it coming out this year but the third will be coming out a few months after.  This is definitely a paranormal romance series but the world is intriguing and they are definitely working to have a reason for the characters to have a relationship which is something I definitely appreciate.

Release date: May 30

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire wraps up this quarter's new releases.  A follow-up to Every Heart a Doorway, this is the backstory of the twin girls, Jack and Jill, who found that love isn't always enough and choices can be tricky things.

Release date: June 13

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

12:120 Anthem by Ayn Rand

My review from 2014:
High School English.  I have a hard time writing up a synopsis of this one.  My understanding is that it's a typical, if short, example of Ayn Rand's basic philosophy that working together and community is the greatest evil ever perpetrated by man and that the ego and self are all important.  It's simplistic in style, propagandist crap and I wish it wasn't in our curriculum but at the same time, I think it's good for kids to be exposed to other points of view and how to analyze them so unfortunately that means I'll be reading it at least two more times.  *sigh*

So yeah, my opinion hasn't changed.  This is written from an extreme angle as propaganda and not well written at that. Instead, we are now seeing what extreme individualism mixed with corporate greed is bringing us and I am not a fan.  I have said before and will continue that any kind of extremism is going to be bad and I stand by that opinion.  Society and civilization depends on balance between many different forces in order to function well for all.

Page count: 92p/2,746p ytd/277,221p lifetime

Monday, February 27, 2017

11:120 Nutshell: A Novel by Ian McEwan

A retelling of Hamlet but told in modern times with the unborn Hamlet as the narrator.  Trudy is late into her third term and her lover and husband's brother, Claude, has convinced her they must kill John, her husband, so they can sell the family house and live in luxury together after the baby is born and sent away.  The baby describes all he hears and imagines he sees and tastes as the plot unfolds since he is privy to all their plans although powerless to do anything from inside the womb.

No, just absolutely freaking no!  I tried to like this book, I really did but there could be no suspension of disbelief for me and as we got further into it the more I screamed and raged at it until the birth scene when I actively wanted to start throwing things, many things, all the things because it was so freaking ridiculous.  I will grant that the prose is beautiful and would have been amazing from another narrator but as an unborn baby it just simply did not work for me in any way.  Basic biology was completely against all of it and there was nothing to help me get past it.  Would I read this author again?  Maybe. It would really depend upon the subject and especially, the narrator.

Page count: 208p/2,654p ytd/277,129p lifetime

Saturday, February 25, 2017

10:120 Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

Felix has been cast aside.  No, not just cast aside! His place in the theater that he has worked so hard for, put all his dreams into, has been stolen from him by the one he thought he was mentoring.  Now he is an out-of-work director/actor with no prospects with his life in shambles as this came on the heels of the death of his young daughter.  So he goes into seclusion coming out only when a unique opportunity to ply his trade, as a teacher of a drama class for a correctional facility where he might be able to enact revenge on those that have wronged him.  Several years pass and the time is finally upon him and what play would he have his group put on but The Tempest, the one he was working on when he was thrown out.  What play could be more perfect?!

This is almost a retelling of The Tempest while still using the original play itself as a focal point.  The weaving of the two tales is wonderfully done and there is enough explanation that you can see the similarities even if you aren't familiar with the original Shakespeare play (and I only had a passing knowledge of it) but it doesn't seem heavy-handed and doesn't bog the story itself down.  I really enjoyed it and am now interested in seeing what some of the other authors in this series have done with their stories.

Page count: 324p/2,446p ytd/276,921p lifetime

Friday, February 17, 2017

9:120 A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

More money than the Younger family has ever imagined is due to come any day due to the passing of their patriarch.  Now the decisions of how to use it to their best advantage are being fought about with Mama wanting to use it as a down payment on a real house in a suburb and some for her daughter's college as she dreams to be a doctor but her son wants to use it all on to go in with friends for a liquor store.  His dreams and his vision of himself are as low as can be but things are about to change for the family...

A timeless story of a middle class family who struggles to make ends meet let alone try to better their situation for their children.  It's easy to understand their hopes and dreams and frustrations.  What can not be understated is the fact that this is a black family in Chicago during extreme racial segregation and prejudice. The thought of Benethea, becoming a doctor seems like a pipe dream to Walter Lee, the son. He is a chauffer for a well-to-do white man while Ruth, his wife, cleans houses and works in kitchens.  This play focuses really on Walter's despair at this place in life but in the end there is a glimmer of hope that we all need to keep going and you have to hope that things will turn out well for this family.

Page count: 151p/2,122p ytd/276,597p lifetime

Thursday, February 16, 2017

8:120 History of US, Vol 4: The New Nation by Joy Hakim

Previous review written in 2012 when I read it with son #3

I have to admit I learned more in this book than previous ones like the fact that there were presidents between Jackson and Lincoln.  I mean, I knew that in a logical sense because Jackson was number 7 and Lincoln was sixteenth but still, they actually had names.  Of course, she only gave one chapter to all 8 of them since they didn't seem to do much of anything.  Otherwise, it was still better than the first book or two as it seemed to flow better and the presentation was easier to follow.  I still dislike the gazillion side notes and extra articles that get stuck in tho.  I find them distracting and I know that Jon tends to gloss over them.  Sometimes you can as they aren't that important and sometimes they are really important.  Ugh!

Son#4 is enjoying this far more than the last one did which definitely makes it more enjoyable for me as a teacher when we can discuss in depth and it's not fighting over getting him to read any of it.

Page count: 199p/1,971p ytd/276,446p lifetime

Monday, February 6, 2017

7:120 The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

Started in the 1920s as Bell Labs, the official research and development arm of AT&T, this book delves into the people that made this lab so effective.  This is the group that developed the transistor and lasers, digital and cellular telecommunications.  There aren't many factors of today's society that has not been impacted by their inventions.  But who were these people and why were they so successful in innovation?  That is the question that this books really looks into.

I read this for book club and wanted to like it.  I'm always interested in how people come up with brilliant ideas but the way the information was presented was dull and boring.  There were pieces that were interesting but it never sucked me in and it felt like it couldn't decide between trying to focus on the people that made it happen or the technology that they developed and so varied between the two which kept it from working well.

Page count: 432p/1,772p ytd/276,247p lifetime

Saturday, February 4, 2017

6:120 The Time and Space of Uncle Albert by Russell Stannard

Gedanken has a science project due for school so she goes to her Uncle Albert for help.  He informs her of an experiment he has been working on and this new thing he has discovered, a thought bubble, where experiments can be conducted that can't be done on Earth.  She agrees to go into the thought bubble to chase a light beam and try to catch one.  She can't but they do learn a few things from her first attempt and several more attempts are made as they discover strange things with each experiment.  She is finally able to complete her project which earns her a good grade.

In reality, Uncle Albert is Albert Einstein and this book is exploring his Special Theory of Relativity in an easier to understand way.  I'm definitely a fan of the way it was presented and have gotten the other books in the series for my youngest although I look forward to reading them as well.  A nice, gentle introduction to relativity for the young or old.

Page count: 120p/1,340p ytd/176,815p lifetime

5:120 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

1936, Flint, Michigan.

Bud, not Buddy, has been at the Home (orphanage) for about 4 years, ever since his mother died.  He has never known his father but in his suitcase that contains all his belongings there are fliers for Herman E. Calloway & the Dusky Devastators of the Depression.  When he is sent to a new foster home where the abuse starts immediately, he runs away and comes to the conclusion that Herman E. Calloway must be his father so he will find him.  Bud ends up in a Hooverville at one point and then gets lucky when Lefty Lewis picks him up on his way to Flint.  Lefty knows Herman and gets Bud there in a much easier way than it would have been for him to walk.  Herman is not at all the person Bud was imagining but life has more unexpected surprises in store for the young man.

I read this as part of a literature unit with my 5th grader having never read it before.  I found the story engaging and touching and my son read ahead constantly.  While the story itself is not a true story, many of the scenes and people were based on people in the author's life and the stories he heard growing up and this helps give it a ring of truth.

Page count: 243p ytd/1,220p/276,695p lifetime

Monday, January 30, 2017

4:120 The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Margaret Lea has lived a simple life working in her father's bookstore and living in the books that are there. She has done some biographical work on people she has found interesting through her readings but nothing that has prepared her for the letter she receives from one of the most elusive writers, Vida Winter.  Ms. Winter has spent her life coming up with stories, not only those she sells as novels but also revolving around her past.  Now she wants to come clean and have the truth be out there and she wants Margaret to be her biographer.  The story she has to tell though is just as fantastical as any tale she could have made up but as Margaret gets drawn deeper and deeper into it, she finds that there are even more secrets than she could have possibly imagined.

I read this for book club as it's not something I generally would have picked up but OMG, I was sucked in almost immediately by the language and then the story itself pulled me in and made it almost impossible to put down.  The twists and turns of the plot were very well done and always there were clues about them but so subtle that you might not even realize it until just before it's being revealed to Margaret.  I think this is one that I will need to reread at some point just so that now knowing, I can see all the lead-ups more clearly and watch the genius of it unfold from a new perspective.

Page count: 406p/977p ytd/276,452p lifetime

Monday, January 16, 2017

3:120 History of US, Vol 3: From Colonies to Country by Joy Hakim

Previous review:

The 3rd book in the History of Us series. This one covered the Revolutionary War and forming of the Constitution. I liked this one better than previous as it seemed to jump around less and we delved more into the people and their influences and what they were trying to accomplish rather than jumping time periods constantly and not knowing when we were.

I definitely do like the flow of this one better as it's more sequential in the telling with some backstory of individuals as they are introduced.  And as always, I enjoy reading the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights knowing what magnificent documents they are.

Page count: 224p/571p ytd/276,046p lifetime

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2:120 One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Dina has received a message that her sister is in trouble and without hesitation she goes to help.  Now besides Caledonia, her only permanent guest, and her chef, she now has her sister and her daughter staying at the Inn and Arland, the vampire whose help she requested, is also staying there and Sean is now hanging around more and more.  Gertrude Hunt, Dina's Inn, is feeling better with more people there but now a guest has come that brings with him danger unlike anything Dina and Gertrude Hunt have ever had to deal with.  It is one of the Hiru, a repulsive smelling being covered in metal armor of some sort.  Their race has been hunted almost to extinction by the Draziri and now there are but a handful left but that handful has saved up enough to find the answer to why the Draziri have done this but they need the sanctuary of Dina and her Inn to do so.  This is quite the tall order, even bigger than the peace conference they hosted but if she can bring them all through it alive, she may get the answer to her biggest question as well: "What happened to her parents?"  It's an answer that is worth the price.

Page count: 257p/347p ytd/275,822p lifetime

Monday, January 2, 2017

1:120 Zombie's Bite by Karen Chance

Dory feels like she has finally lucked out with this contract for a Vampire Senate.  It's taken her awhile but she has finally tracked down her mark to New Orleans but before she can get a fix on him, he's in her room and killing himself.  Now she has to figure out why and what is going on before his master finds her and kills her.  Things just got a lot less easy...

This takes place before the Dorina books.  I've found that I like her stories better than the Cassandra Palmer ones and this was no exception.  I just generally like Dory better and I hope that Ms. Chance plays more with her moving forward.

Page count: 90p/90p ytd/275,565p lifetime

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Recap and 2017 Goals

Well, for the first time in a long time I didn't make any of my reading goals last year.  It was a weird year for me and books.  First, there were some really long ones for the boys' school and those kind of slogged me down.  Second, there were a couple of trips that meant more family time but less reading.  Lastly, I'm not sure what happened over the summer but I think it had a lot to do with hanging out with friends who were in town and doing a lot of work around not only our house but also a friend's.  Add all of that together along with doing a lot of Pokewalking instead of reading while kids are at activities and it meant a real decrease in my reading.  I'm a bit bummed and I tried hard in the last couple of months to make it happen but with the holidays and my being in a bit of funk for personal reasons, well, it just didn't happen.  I did get in 109 out of 120 books read, 32 out of 40 new authors, and only 26,318p out of 40,000 so it's not like I didn't read anything and there were some great books in there so there is that.

The other metric I look at is where my to-read pile is.  Shelfari is no more so it's just looking at where my Goodreads list was now compared to a year ago.  Last year it actually went down for the first time and I started 2016 with just 1325 on my to-read list there.  This year, that number is up to 1351 but again, with the my reading down that's not horribly surprising.  My big goal with this is to just keep it from climbing too much. :)

My other goals stay the same.  120 books, 40 new authors, and I'm going to try for 40,000 pages again.  Not sure how this will go this year for many reasons but it's something to shoot for.