Posts Tagged ‘year end review’

2017 Books in Review

(Shhh. I’m not really here.)

As you know, Squiders, every year I take a look at the books I read over the last year and run stats. Because I am a giant nerd and I like to keep track of such things.

Here’s the stats for 2017:

Books Read in 2017: 51
Change from 2016: +1

Of those*:
14 were Fantasy
13 were Mystery
10 were Science Fiction
6 were Nonfiction
3 were General Literature
1 was an Essay Collection
1 was Magical Realism
1 was Romance
1 was Science Fantasy
1 was a Short Story Collection

*Some genre consolidation was done here. YA titles went into the general genre. All subgenres of fantasy or romance, for example, also went into the general genre.

Hm. Little less broad on the genres than usual this year. And LOTS of mysteries.

New genre(s)**: essay collection, magical realism
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: steampunk, superhero tie-in, paranormal, historical fiction, Gothic, chick lit

**This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: science fiction, nonfiction, mystery
Genres that went down: fantasy, romance

26 were my books
23 were library books
2 book was borrowed from friends/family

36 were physical books
15 were ebooks

Lots of library books this year.

Average rating: 3.46/5 (Same as last year! Ha!)

Top rated:
A Man Called Ove (5 – general literature)
Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection (4.2 – mystery collection)
Creature of Dreams (4 – magical realism)

Not a lot of exemplary books this year, though there’s a bunch hanging out at 3.7/3.8 (such as The Doomsday Book, American Gods, Meddling Kids) including some self-published ones I reviewed (Into the Between, Entromancy, Icarus).

Most recent publication year: 2017
Oldest publication year: 1896
Average publication year: 1997
Books older than 1900: 1
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 26

My average year’s back in the ’90s, har har. (Last year it was 2004.) Even though more than half the books I read this year were published in the last 5 years.

See you Thursday, Squiders!


2016 Books in Review

It’s that time of year, squiders, where I look back at what I read last year and play with stats (and then, if I have a lot of free time, I make comparisons to previous years!), and then I let you guys look too, because why not.

I keep track of every book I read, as well as their genre, publication year, and how much I liked them (out of 5). Noteworthy this year was that I apparently didn’t read anything too exceptional, because I only had a few books rated 4 or higher, and nothing in the 4.5 or 5 range (except for Howl’s Moving Castle which doesn’t count because it was a re-read).

On to the stats!

Books Read in 2016: 50
Change from 2015: -2

Of those*:
16 were Fantasy
9 were Science Fiction
6 were Romance
5 were Nonfiction
4 were Mystery
2 were General Literature
1 was Chick Lit
1 was Gothic
1 was Historical Fiction
1 was Paranormal
1 was Science Fantasy
1 was a Short Story Collection
1 was Steampunk
1 was a Superhero Tie-in

*Some genre consolidation was done here. YA titles went into the general genre. All subgenres of fantasy or romance, for example, also went into the general genre.

Wow, a little low on mystery last year.

New genre(s)**: chick lit, paranormal, superhero tie-in
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: ghost story collections, horror, mythology, anthologies

**This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: fantasy, romance
Genres that went down: nonfiction, mystery, general literature, Gothic

32 were my books
17 were library books
1 book was borrowed from friends/family

34 were physical books
16 were ebooks

Way down on library books (I guess my resolution to read my own books worked a bit) and way up on ebooks from previous year(s).

Average rating: 3.46/5

Top rated:
The Dark Days Club (4.2 – historical fantasy)
Sixteen Burdens (4.2 – historical fantasy)
Morning Star (4 – science fiction)
A Little Life (3.9 – general literature)

I don’t normally mention anything under 4, but apparently I was pretty underwhelmed by what I read this year. Nothing too amazing, I guess. Though I did really like The Dark Days Club and I should see when the sequel’s due.

Most recent publication year: 2016
Oldest publication year: 1906
Average publication year: 2004
Books older than 1900: 0
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 28

As you can see, I read a lot more newer stuff this year (more than half!) so all my stats skewed high. Normally my average year is in the ’90s somewhere.

How did your reading go for 2016, squiders? Any books to recommend? What are your goals for 2017? Mine is to read 50 books, as usual.

Goals, Accomplishments, and Zombie Alpaca

Happy arbitrary division of time, everybody! But a new year feels good, doesn’t it? I feel good, anyway, like there’s a year of possibility out there just waiting for me to take it.

To get things started, look at this awesome mug my sister got me for Christmas.fear them

Ahahahaha. Sometimes she has excellent taste.


The rest of this post is the obligatory reflection of how 2016 went and how I hope 2017 will go. At the beginning of last year I made a spreadsheet of all the things I wanted to do and gave them general time frames for completion.

I only completed two things on the list, but I think that’s a bad reflection of how the year actually went.

  • I revised, edited, published, and marketed City of Hope and Ruin (with help from my intrepid co-writer Siri, of course). That’s no mean feat in of itself, as you guys probably know.
  • I also wrote a near-novella length story for To Rule the Stars and went through the revision process with that. In addition, I did both the print and ebook formatting AND the cover. I’m pretty dang proud of that. (The cover in paperbook form is gorgeous and I regret nothing.)
  • I wrote and published a CoHaR-related short story/prequel which may or may not have made people cry.
  • I wrote several (not sure how much, but probably at least 10K) thousand words on my nonfiction books, both here on the blog and in the books themselves.
  • I redid the book description for Shards and redid the back matter for both it and Hidden Worlds.
  • I’ve done several drafts of my query letter for my YA paranormal novel.
  • I completed the revision prep for the first book of my high fantasy trilogy, which took about six months because it was in a terrible state.
  • I’ve continued to shop short stories to appropriate markets.
  • I’ve also continued to write monthly installments of my stealth scifi serial (say that five times fast), and have also started posting it to Wattpad.

So how does 2017 look?

First of all, I’ve got a short story collection coming out in early February called The Short of It. It will have four previously-published stories and one brand spanking new one. I’m doing final edits on it now, so I’ll let you know more information as it becomes available. I’m going to test out KDP Select with it, so I’ll report back on how that goes.

I’ve also got Shards in a promotion this weekend where it’ll be available for $.99 (It’s normally $3.99). I’m testing some new promotion techniques, and am also interested to see if the new book description (see above) will hatch me any chicks. More information on that later, too. I may post a Saturday post depending on when I get the info from the promo coordinator.

That’s the immediate future. Other plans:

  • My revision of the first trilogy book takes top priority. My mother and sister signed me up for PPWC at the end of April, and if all goes according to plan, I hope to pitch it there. I’ve applied for a session with the acquisitions editor of Del Rey.
  • The next highest priority is the query letter for my YA paranormal. I’d like to start querying it sooner rather than later.
  • I’d like to continue to try out new promotion techniques with both Hidden Worlds and Shards. I didn’t market HW at all when it was released, and Shards suffered from a misleading book description. I feel like they deserve more/better work than I gave them the first time. If you have ideas/want to help, please let me know!
  • I’m going to continue work on my nonfiction book series. The publishing/submitting posts will start back up here next week. I’m also considering moving to a three-times-a-week posting schedule to speed things up.

If all that gets done, I’d like to:

  • Finish the first draft of my space dinosaur scifi adventure novel.
  • Research, outline, and start a steampunk adventure/mystery series.
  • Start a new novel in the Shards!verse.
  • Discuss and perhaps start a sequel to City of Hope and Ruin, or at least work on other stories in the same world.

There’s more odds and ends, but those are the main things.

How did 2016 go for you, squiders? Anything really exciting happen? What are your plans for 2017?

(I know typing this stuff all out is a pain, so feel free to link me to posts and whatnot if you’ve laid it out elsewhere!)

2015 Books in Review

If you’ve been with me for awhile, Squiders, you know I keep a list of every book I read in a year, along with genre, publication year, and a rating out of 5. Then, at the end of the year, I run stats to get a general view of what I read for the year. (I thought I started in 2010, but it turns out I started in 2009. Huh.)

I think this is the third year of me sharing here with you guys. Anyway, I’m always interested in the genre variations. For example, two years ago (2013) I read a ton of mysteries (19) and last year fantasy reigned supreme (16). 2011 I read mostly nonfiction (16) which–I must have been researching something. I wonder what. Death mythology, probably.

Anyway, I could go on about trends forever, but here are the stats for 2015.

Books Read in 2015: 52
Change from 2014: +2

Of those:
11 were Fantasy (includes all age ranges and subgenres)
9 were Science Fiction
8 were Nonfiction
5 were Mystery
3 were General Literature
3 were Ghost Story Collections
2 were Gothic
2 were Horror
2 were Mythology
2 were Romance
1 was an Anthology
1 was Historical Fiction
1 was Science Fantasy
1 was a Short Story Collection
1 was Steampunk

Huh. That’s a lot wider spread of genres than usual. Good for me, I guess!

New genre(s)*: ghost story collection, Gothic, horror, romance, anthology, science fantasy
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: Christian literature, crime procedural

*This means I didn’t read them last year, not that I’ve never read them.

Genres that went up: science fiction, nonfiction, mythology
Genres that went down: fantasy, mystery, general literature, historical fiction

28 were my books
24 were library books
0 books were borrowed from friends/family

(Normally I borrow a few. I guess nobody wanted to pass anything on this year!)

47 were physical books
5 were ebooks

(I had been reading more ebooks every year–last year I read 12–but this year dropped to my second lowest ever. I blame The Mysteries of Udolpho, which I read on Kindle–and posted about here–and took me forever.)

Average rating: 3.45/5

Top Rated:
Collected Ghost Stories (4.5 – ghost stories)
Illuminae (4.1 – science fiction)
Blackout/All Clear (4 – science fiction – 2 books)
The Boys in the Boat (4 – nonfiction)
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (4 – mystery)
The Supernatural Enhancements (4 – horror)

I don’t normally note anything below a 4, but I also really enjoyed (and gave 3.9s) to The Queen of the Tearling and Throne of Glass. I actually gave out quite a few 3.9s this year.

Most recent publication year: 2015
Oldest publication year: 1794
Average publication year: 1991
Books older than 1900: 2
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 18

How did your 2015 go in reading, Squiders? Any truly excellent books you want to recommend (or any terrible ones I should avoid)?

2014 Books in Review

As you probably know, Squiders, the left-brained side of me likes to keep statistics on each book I read in a year. This includes publication year, genre, and a rating out of 5. And then, at the end of the year, I look back through my list and look at trends.

I’ve been doing this for…five years now, I think, with the goal to read at least 50 books a year. The biggest thing that seems to change from year to year is which genres I’m reading, and in what amounts. Last year, for example, I went on a major mystery binge and ended up reading 19 mysteries in 2013. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery are generally my top three genres, though they vary in amount and order.

This year, I also kept track of non-novel substantial things I read, which includes novel-length fanfiction, graphic novels, literature magazines (ones full of stories), and manga. I did not include those in these stats, as it was more an exercise to see if I was reading a bunch of non-novel stuff and, if so, what it was, but I read 11 of those, including 3 fanfics, 4 graphic novels, 2 manga series, 1 fantasy magazine and a collection of comics that were frankly terrible.

And, to start the new year off, I’m starting The Hobbit, which I’ve never successfully read all the way through despite owning the book in multiple languages and having tried at least a dozen times.

But, anyway, on to the stats!

Books read in 2014: 50
Change from 2013: no change

Of those:
16 were Fantasy (includes all age ranges, subgenres)
8 were Science Fiction
7 were Mystery
6 were Nonfiction
5 were General Literature
3 were Historical Fiction
1 was Christian Literature
1 was a Crime Procedural
1 was Mythology
1 was a Short Story Collection
1 was Steampunk

Wow. It’s been a long time since my three favorite genres were at the top in the correct order.

New genre(s): Steampunk, Crime Procedural, Short Story Collection, Christian Literature
Genres I read last year that I did not read this year: Romance, Thriller, Children’s, Magical Realism, Gothic

Genres that went up: Fantasy, Science Fiction, General Literature, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction
Genres that went down: Mystery

26 were my books
19 were library books
4 were borrowed from friends/family
1 was read online

38 were real books
12 were virtual/ebooks

Average Rating: 3.35

Top Rated:
Assassin’s Apprentice (4.5 – fantasy)
To Say Nothing of the Dog (4.3 – science fiction)
The Twistrose Key (4.2 – MG fantasy)
Foundation (4 – science fiction)
Hornblower and the Hotspur (4 – historical fiction)
Red Rising (4 – science fiction)
The Winter Witch (4 – fantasy)

Most recent publication year: 2014
Oldest publication year: 712 (haha, that’s going to skew everything)
Average publication year: 1963 (1988 without the 712 one)
Books older than (and including) 1900: 3
Books newer than (and including) 2012: 18

Did you read anything amazing in 2014, Squiders? I am going to try and limit the amount of library books I’m reading in an attempt to make a dent in the books I have sitting around the house, but I’m always up for recs.

And happy 2015, everyone! Let’s get out there and do what we want to get done!