2017 State of the Blog and Wrap-Up

State of the BlogIt’s four days till Christmas, and I’m heading out the door to celebrate with family — mostly by eating an embarrassing amount of tamales. But first, some end-of-year stats!

First, the basics

  • Books read in 2016: 56 (13 since 10/1)
  • Audiobooks: 0 (0 since 10/1)
  • Ebooks: 6 (0 since 10/1)
  • Pages read: 17,725 (3,414 since 10/1)
  • Books reviewed: 31 (3 since 10/1)
  • Books not enjoyed: 5 (1 since 10/1)
  • Books not finished: 1 (1 since 10/1)
  • Library books: 21 (3 since 10/1)
  • Re-reads: 4 (0 since 10/1)

Genre breakdown (year totals)

  • Fiction: 31
  • Non-fiction: 25
  • Young adult: 3
  • Fantasy: 3
  • History: 8
  • Memoir: 4
  • Mystery/Thriller: 22
  • Humor: 3
  • Gender/sexuality: 4
  • Paranormal/supernatural: 4
  • Period piece: 6
  • Children’s literature: 2
  • Reading for work: 4

Reading challenges

  • Charity Reading Challenge: 56 books @ $2/each = $112 donated to Camfed
  • Monthly Motif Challenge: 11/12
  • Off the Shelf Reading Challenge: 2/9
  • The Write Stuff: 3/4

I’m so excited to give to Camfed again this year. My company matches donations as well, which means I’ll be able to put one girl through an entire year of school. She’ll go on to earn 20% more as an adult, and be less likely to die in childbirth. Want to change the world? Educate a girl.

I also really enjoyed The Write Stuff. I met most of my goals, including finishing two short stories and the first chapter of a novel. Once you add in all the “in-character” snippets I wrote as part of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, it’s more creative writing than I’ve done in almost a decade. Crazy! Definitely going to keep this challenge going in 2018.

Some thoughts

  • It’s the end of the year, which means my brain is mush. I’m trying to give myself permission to stop pushing, and focus on what I’ve done well and what’s made me happy this year.
  • Book club is awesome. It’s a group of bright, insightful women, and I’ve loved our conversations.
  • Professional development has been the name of the game these last few months. Lots of lessons learned.

Looking ahead

  • Excited to see what we read and chat about in book club this year.
  • I’m hoping to enjoy more creative writing challenges.

How did your 2017 reading turn out? What are you looking forward to in the new year?

State of the Blog: September 2017

State of the BlogI had my first pumpkin spice doughnut of the season a few weeks ago. It must be fall, which means it’s time for the quarterly bookish update!

The basics

  • Books read since January 1: 43
  • Pages read: 14,311
  • Books reviewed: 28
  • Books not enjoyed: 4
  • Books not finished: 0
  • Library books: 18
  • Ebooks: 6
  • Audiobooks: 0

Genre breakdown

  • Fiction: 28
  • Non-fiction: 15
  • Fantasy: 3
  • History: 7
  • Memoir: 2
  • Mystery/Thriller: 18
  • Paranormal/Supernatural: 4
  • Young adult literature: 2
  • Children’s literature: 1

Reading challenges

  • Charity Reading Challenge: 43 books read
  • Monthly Motif Challenge:  9 of 12
  • Off the Shelf Reading Challenge: 2 of 9

Check out my reading challenge progress.

Some thoughts

  • The end of September snuck up on me. Between moving and various family activities, I haven’t had much time to read or post.
  • I enjoyed writing about my approach to minimalism.
  • I finished a 3,000+ word story for The Write Stuff! It’s the longest thing I’ve written since college.

Looking ahead

  • I’ve been doing some soul-searching and trying to answer the “Where do you see yourself in five years” question. It’s frustrating, and I’d love to get some next steps in place for my goals.
  • I want to finish out The Write Stuff challenge. I need to knuckle down and focus on brainstorming.

How’s your reading going this year?

State of the Blog: June 2017

State of the BlogWhy is it so freaking hot? Let’s drown our sorrows in books.

The basics

  • Books read since January 1: 28
  • Pages read: 9,522
  • Books reviewed: 20
  • Books not enjoyed: 3
  • Books not finished: 0
  • Library books: 14
  • Ebooks: 6
  • Audiobooks: 0
  • Genre breakdown
  • Fiction: 15
  • Non-fiction: 13
  • Fantasy: 2
  • History: 6
  • Memoir: 2
  • Mystery/Thriller: 12
  • Paranormal/Supernatural: 3
  • Young adult literature: 2
  • Children’s literature: 1

Reading challenges

  • Charity Reading Challenge: 28 books read
  • Monthly Motif Challenge:  6 of 12
  • Off the Shelf Reading Challenge: 2 of 9

Check out my reading challenge progress.

Some thoughts

  • I’m loving book club! I can’t believe it took me so long to join one.
  • I’ve read more ebooks in the last six months than I did in all of 2016. I blame reading challenges and book club, as well as my book buying ban. And I still prefer the real thing.
  • We’re moving in — holy shit — a day and a half. Almost everything is in boxes, but thanks to the Pre-Move Purge we’ve got fewer DVDs, books, clothes, and dishes to schlep across town. It feels so good to toss out trash and donate good items to people who will use them.

Looking ahead

  • I asked for and got some lovely books for my birthday. I’m excited to jump into those once we get moved and settled.
  • I’d like to make some more progress on my reading challenges, especially Off the Shelf.
  • Where the hell am I going to get a fourth story idea for The Write Stuff?

How’s your reading going this year?

2016 State of the Blog and Wrap-Up

State of the BlogIt’s just a few days til Christmas. I haven’t recovered from Thanksgiving yet, but soon I will be stuffing my face with even more delicious things and wallowing in a sea of wrapping paper. I’m hoping for good things in 2017, but first I want to take a look back.

First, the basics

  • Books read in 2016: 58 (32 since 7/1)
  • Audiobooks: 5 (0 since 7/1)
  • Ebooks: 9 (7 since 7/1)
  • Pages read: 19,528 (10,504 since 7/1)
  • Books reviewed: 33 (18 since 7/1)
  • Books not enjoyed: 3 (2 since 7/1)
  • Books not finished: 0 (0 since 7/1)
  • Library books: 38 (23 since 7/1)
  • Re-reads: 4 (4 since 7/1)

Genre breakdown (year totals)

  • Fiction: 33
  • Non-fiction: 25
  • Young adult: 6
  • Fantasy: 8
  • History: 14
  • Memoir: 6
  • Mystery/Thriller: 14
  • Humor: 5
  • Gender/sexuality: 6
  • Paranormal/supernatural: 7
  • Period piece: 5
  • Children’s literature: 4
  • Reading for work: 3

Reading challenges

  • Charity Reading Challenge: 58 books @ $2/each = $116 donated to Camfed
  • Monthly Motif Challenge: 12/12 – COMPLETE
  • The Mount TBR Challenge: 3/6

Mount TBR is a bust once again. I think it’s time to switch it out with something new. But I’m so proud of myself for completing the Monthly Motif Challenge, and definitely excited to donate $2 for every book I read in 2016.

Some thoughts

  • My reading is down from last year (when I read 73). The goal-oriented part of me is sad, but my rational side thinks I made good reading choices.
  • Fiction is still beating out non-fiction, but the ratio is much closer this year than last.
  • As much as I enjoy young adult novels, it’s been nice to see that number drop this year.
  • The commute to my new job is much shorter, so I haven’t listened to any audiobooks since April. I don’t really miss them.
  • I’ve gotten hooked on podcasts. Currently I’m subscribed to more than 20. It’s a sickness.

Looking ahead

  • I’ve sent my Christmas wishlist to my family, so fingers crossed I get some yummy books to take me into the new year!
  • I recently learned that Emily Nagoski (author of the fabulous Come as You Are) wrote what some people call a feminist version of Fifty Shades of Grey. I’m so in I could explode!

How did your 2016 reading turn out? What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

State of the Blog: June 2016

State of the BlogYea, yea, the usual drivel about how fast the year is going. Let’s just get to the numbers!

The basics

  • Books read since January 1: 26
  • Pages read: 8,842
  • Books reviewed: 16
  • Books not enjoyed: 6
  • Books not finished: 0
  • Library books: 14
  • Ebooks: 3
  • Audiobooks: 5

Genre breakdown

  • Fiction: 14
  • Non-fiction: 11
  • Fantasy: 5
  • History: 9
  • Memoir: 2
  • Mystery/Thriller: 10
  • Paranormal/Supernatural: 4
  • Young adult literature: 1
  • Children’s literature: 2

Reading challenges

  • Charity Reading Challenge: 26
  • The Mount TBR Reading Challenge: 3 of 6
  • Monthly Motif Challenge: 6 of 12

Kickin’ ass and taking names! Check out my reading challenge progress.

Some thoughts

  • I’m at about the same place with my reading now as I was at this time last year. I was feeling like I’d fallen behind, so it’s nice to look at the numbers and realize I’m keeping pace with myself from year to year.
  • I’m doing better with my reading challenges than in previous years. I think I found a handful that are the most fun for (and valuable to) me.
  • The last 12 months have been awful, but have taught me so much.

Looking ahead

  • I’m also really enjoying stretching my creative writing muscles with writing prompts. Going to keep this up in the second half of the year.
  • My book-buying ban continues, but I’ve amassed some gift cards that are begging to be used. Time to stock up on psychology texts and other books I can’t find at the library!

How’s your reading going this year?