Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2018: Numbers and Highlights

I'm always a little bit slow with these round-up posts, but for those of you who are interested, here is a 2018 lookback.  In total, I read (or attempted) 108 titles in 2018, although I'm not the best record-keeper so there may be a few physical books in there that didn't get counted.

The Breakdown: 
  • Novellas: 4
  • DNF: 11
  • Total bookclub reads: 14 (3 DNF)
  • Podcast reads: 11 
  • Reads for RT reviews (RIP, RT Book Reviews ): 7
  • Books by authors of color: 17
  • Nonfiction on audio: 3
  • Nonfiction ebooks: 2

Some highlights:
  • I discovered Elizabeth Vaughan's Warlands series and it was amazing. Definitely my favorite binge of the year. 
  • Lexi C. Foss's Immortal Curse series.  Complex world building, cool magical powers, old enemies and shifting alliances -- you never know who to trust in this series and the plot twists are Machiavellian. 
  • Jeffe Kennedy makes regular appearances in my reading. 2018 was a particularly prolific year for her and features some really lovely additions to her portfolio. 
  • A nonfiction title blew me away this year!  Please immediately acquire The Order Of Time by Carlos Rovelli, specifically the audio version, narrated by none other than Benedict Cumberbatch. I promise you it is a mind-bending experience.
  • Tiffany Reisz' The Red. Beautiful, haunting, erotic, and a little disturbing. This is her best work yet, IMO.
  • I'm pleased with the percentage of authors of color that made it into my reading this year. I've said a number of times over the life of this blog that I miss the "globe trotting" historical romances of old-skool days, though often part and parcel with a lot of problematic content.  It turns out that getting some fresh perspectives and new settings is as easy as seeking out more diversity in the authors I'm reading. Worth the effort.

Lowlights:
  • Anne Bishop's Others series -- quite the disappointment, although it started out strong. Have a listen to our podcast series for more details (while the books disappointed, the podcast will not!) (Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh, Etched in Bone)
  • Several of my bookclub reads were DNFs. This isn't really surprising. The bookclub I belong to through work rotates through all different genres and it turns out that I know my preferences pretty well -- there's a reason I don't read much lit-fic.  I'm giving them a good try, because 1) I enjoy the conversation; 2) it's a good brain-stretch exercise; and 3) every now and then I find a really awesome one that I would otherwise not have tried. So I'm pretty happy with finishing 10 out of 12 titles.  The third DNF was from my romance bookclub and was mainly due to health issues. Although it is true that the book wasn't exactly my cup of tea, I probably would've finished it if it hadn't landed in the midst of a flurry of doctor visits.
  • I was sad to see the end of RT Book Reviews. I had been reviewing for them for about three years, and very much enjoyed the conferences in the years I was able to go. I won't be able to try out the BookLoversCon this year, but if the feedback is good, maybe next year.

Looking forward:  
  • On the Blog: I have a few modest blog goals this year. I'd like to post a minimum of two reviews a month, and get back in the habit of a weekly reading roundup.  I'm making an effort to read the physical books that are on my shelves. 
  • If you enjoy Twitter, please keep an eye out for my live-tweets, usually tagged with #amreading. I try to remember the #bkbrk (book break) tag as well.
  • Finally, I'm very much enjoying my role as guest-podcaster with Tamara at Shelf Addiction. We are continuing the #3bloggers1series read-alongs (I'm super excited about the series that we'll be starting after the 3rd title in the Grisha trilogy), and I'm doing some mini-reviews in the new "Shelf Byte" feature that Tamara kicked off this year.  So if podcasts are your jam, please check this one out. 

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