Reflecting on 2018: Reading

I was hoping my reading in 2018 would surpass what I did in 2017, but, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Once again, I set a manageable reading goal, this time at 40 books, which is five books less than last year’s 45, but I ended up reading 10 books less than I did in 2017 and ended 2018 with 64 books read. I was hoping for more.

I was secretly striving for that 100 books goal, and I thought I would have hit if the year hadn’t turned sour toward the end of summer and stress and a bout of bad luck (because I believe in such things sometimes) threw me into a reading and blogging slump that persisted for a few weeks. By the time I crawled out the funk and slump of that difficult period, life became too busy to read as much as I wanted. The last quarters of 2018 were just a murky, twisty time for me. I learned a lot from it in my personal life, but my blogging and reading suffered.

But there is a bright side — I managed to read 64 books in 2018: I surpassed my Goodreads goal! 😀 I’m plenty proud of myself, especially since I managed to start and complete a series — the Fairwick Chronicles — in the year (something I never do) and continue with a series — the Night Angel trilogy — that I’m interested in (also something I never do, unless it’s a Robin Hobb series). I think I’ll continue this trend in 2019: set a reading goal in the 40s but secretly strive for the 100s, and complete a series I began.

Like the previous year, 2018 was not spectacular reading-wise. I rated 13 books 5 stars, but four of them were rereads and about half of the nine books I rated 4.5 stars were rereads too. Most of the books I read were average, but the ones that stood out and grabbed the 5 stars were great. I HIGHLY recommend them all and suggest you check out my Favorite Reads of 2018 post to see what they are. I’ll include the top five below.

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2018 Reading Wrap-Up: Fourth Quarter

This was not a great quarter for reading. Compared to my other quarterly wrap-ups, this one is abysmal. I only got through five books and only one of them received five stars. Surprisingly, the book that received the lowest rating was one I was waiting for years to reread. It was a childhood favorite , but unfortunately, it didn’t hold up well to a reread. On the other hand, the book with the highest rating was one that intrigued me but I wasn’t sure I would like because of how spooky it was at times. So basically nothing went as expected this quarter. Anyway, here are my stats:

Books | Audio Books | Comics

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2018 Reading Wrap-Up: Third Quarter

Oh man! I read some great stuff this quarter, so it was difficult to choose books for “best of” and “favorites” categories below. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a problem, but I’m glad for it. It was a good quarter for reading.

Books | Audio Books | Comics

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2018 Reading Wrap-Up: Second Quarter

The second quarter of the year has come and gone and during that time I read 16 books, only 2 of which were rereads. I consider that a success since I was quite busy during the second quarter.

Books | Audio Books | Comics

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2018

I’ve gotten into the habit of doing this tag every year around this time, and I think a couple other bloggers are doing so too. It’s a nice little round up of the year so far.

This tag was created by ReadLikeWildFire (a booktuber) and Ely Jayne (a blogger).

Best book I’ve read so far:

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus, illus. by James Jean

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2018 Reading Wrap-Up: First Quarter

The first quarter of the year has just ended and my reading is off on a good start. I messed around and read 21 books this quarter, completing approximately half of my Goodreads Reading Goal of 45 books.

I didn’t expect this to happen and certainly didn’t plan for it. But I tend to read more when worried or upset and this quarter had a lot of frustrating ups and downs in my personal life, so maybe that’s why I completed so many books. But anyway, I’m glad the quarter ended on this positive note. Here are the stats:

Books | Audio Books | Comics

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Reflecting on 2017: Reading

And yet, another reflection post on the previous year. It might not look like it, but I’m taking it easy with these reflection posts. Last year, I wrote them back to back and was burnt out by the end of the first week in January and didn’t want to look at my blog or read a book. As my mom always says, “everything in moderation,” so I’m moderating how much I write in a day.

Feeling burnt out, I set a manageable Goodreads reading goal for myself in 2017 at just 40 books. I thought I wouldn’t be much interested in reading and would feel pressured by a high reading goal. But I surprised myself later in the year when I passed my reading goal and read 74 books. I was tempted then to increase my goal, but reading pressure-free was so wonderful that I left the goal as is. Inspired by that, at the beginning of 2018 I again set a manageable Goodreads reading goal for myself at just 45 books.

Overall, this wasn’t a spectacular year in reading. I read some great books, but they were few compared to 2016 when I had a hard time deciding on my best reads of the year. However, I was very generous with my star ratings again in 2017 and gave many books 5 stars, which I don’t mind much but as time passes and I reflect on some books, I realize that I no longer think they are 5-star reads. For example, Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders trilogy, which is wonderful and thought-provoking, but is over worked in some areas making reading feel like a chore. The more I think about those books, the more I feel like dropping a star. But, whatever. It’s still a good read that I highly recommend.

Below, I’ve selected the top books for the year for each category I usually include in my quarterly reading wrap-ups. Again, this is unneeded, especially since I’ve already done a favorite books of 2017 post, but I had so much fun doing this last year that I had to do it again this year. I’ve only included up to 5 books in each category and afterward I list some stats on my reading and mention my progress in the reading challenges I participated in. It’s basically a quick overall wrap-up for the year that’s similar to my quarterly wrap-ups. All books/items, depending on their categories, are listed from absolute best to acceptable, or from least liked to acceptable. Rereads are not often consider for the “favorites” and “least liked” lists.

If you’re curious about how I managed to track all this crap, check out Brock’s YouTube video to learn more about the reading stats spreadsheet he creates every year. (He recently posted a link to an updated version on his Twitter.)

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