2016 was a milestone year for me in that I graduated from college, a lifelong goal of mine. Now, I’m floating around with no clear direction or goals for the time being, 2016 was a year of ‘tries’, ‘worry’, and ‘roller coaster emotions’. There’s no going around that.
2016 was also the year I really attempted to blog about books. Where’s My Bookmark? on WordPress will be turning one soon, but Where’s My Bookmark? as a blog entity will be coming up to it’s fourth year in February.
I haven’t decided yet, but 2017 may be my final year blogging about books. It’s been fun, enlightening, and should I say, courageous…? But, depending on my own personal responsibilities, by the end of 2017, I may be putting away my blogging hat and stick with just my reader one. It’s not set in stone yet.
But for now, let’s venture into my bookish year.
Jamie, the voice and face of The Perpetual Page Turner has an annual end of the year reading survey. To begin my year in review, I decided to answer a few questions from her survey (which can be found here). Questions taken directly from the survey will be marked with an asterisk* (which is most of them!).
Number Of Books You Read: 80 books (estimated)
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy
Pages Read: approx. 19,000 (based off Goodreads calculations, estimated)
Since this post is going up before the year officially ends, 77 is an estimated count. It may change between now and January 1, 2017. I’ll stick to 77 for now.
I was planning on re-reading Fruits Basket, but only got to volume 4. I also re-read The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
The genre I read the most of was Fantasy, including supernatural, paranormal, and urban fantasy. Fantasy is my favorite genre and I told myself to just let myself read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Second most read was Science Fiction
This year in reading was much more free and less constricting. I didn’t have a Goodreads challenge or set number of books to read. I just went with how I felt and read at my own pace.
The best in books is bias and subjective (when is it not?), but this year I had my fair share of really good books. It felt so good to be reading because there are some really great books out there right now!
Best Book You Read In 2016?*
I really want to put Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom, but a book I was really glad to have read this year was Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. It’s an adventure and survival story, two teenage girls traversing mid-west to escape their previous lives. I loved the friendships in this book and it’s a lot more humorous than I originally thought.
I read a lot of good books this year. I’m a happy reader.
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?*
I rarely read contemporary or general fiction, but I knew that I wanted to give Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz, a chance. It deals with issues that are close to home and I wanted to give contemporary another shot. I’m glad I did. Jasmine has a memorable voice and de la Cruz does an exceptional job at not only humanizing the undocumented person’s experience, but reaching across the aisle and portraying Jasmine as just another teen, newly falling in love and coming-of-age.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?*
The most action-packed/thrilling and most definitely the unputdownable book of 2016 was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I read that book in one weekend (and the sequel in one day, like how?). Bardugo introduced a great set of characters, a thrilling plot (criminal plot!), and a conclusion that left me itching for more.
Most beautifully written book read in 2016?*
I’ll be the first to admit that The Star-Touched Queen was difficult to read for me, but there’s no denying that it is downright beautiful in prose, description, and setting.
The Reader reminded me of The Night Circus, similar ways in which the storylines intertwine and characters that are vivid and yet so far away.
Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?*
I need to do a better job at promoting this book series, but Sky Chasers trilogy by Amy Kathleen Ryan is by far one of the best space operas and science fiction novels I have ever read. It’s definitely a ‘thought-provoking’ series. We have three teens trying to save themselves and their families, figuring out what is right and what is wrong, and for one the limits of personhood.
Totally read it if you liked the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness (yet, another series I need to promote more!).
Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?*
This passage is from Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky:
He who gets up more than he falls, succeeds.
I compose myself with a deep breath. I put the wood to my chin, and launch in Paganini’s Caprice no. 24. When Father first showed me the sheet music, I told him I couldn’t do it.
“You’re right,” he said, chopping vegetables with his cleaver.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. Have a pea shoot.”
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right…” – I love that!
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
My favorite friendship is Inej and Jesper from the Six of Crows Duology. We don’t see the development of the relationship per se, but we get to see their interactions and how comfortable they are with each other. They genuinely care about each other and want the best for the other. They’re true friends through and through. My favorite parts of the books was when they both shared some page-time (Inej and Nina are amazing too!).
- Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?* Leigh Bardugo, Zoraida Cordova, Traci Chee, Stacey Lee
- Best Series Ender of 2016?* Let the Wind Rise by Shannon Messenger
- Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?*
- Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?* Stone (from Sacrifice), Khalid (from The Wrath & The Dawn)
- Most memorable character of 2016?* Kaz Brekker (from Six of Crows)
- Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?* Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?* Sacrifice by Cindy Pon, Let the Wind Rise by Shannon Messenger
- Most Unique Book You Read In 2016* The Reader by Traci Chee
I decided not to set a Goodreads challenge this year and not follow any other reading challenges either, like those monthly reading themes. I didn’t really have any reading goals set out for myself. I personally try to read at least four books a month (one for each week) and was able to maintain that.
I didn’t have a set of blogging goals either. The only thing I really wanted to do was maintain the blog and keep it running. I didn’t want to give up before the year was out.
With one year of “serious” blogging under my belt, I think I want to try setting some blogging goals for the coming year.
# of book reviews: 32
# of posts: 100
Favorite reviews for 2016:
- Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
- Sacrifice by Cindy Pon
- Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon
Favorite Reading Life posts:
- “I Don’t Own A Burro Or Take Siestas” // On Reading & Having Diverse Narratives
- Villains & Antagonists That Forever Left An Impression
I’m incredibly nervous for 2017, for various reasons. New presidential administration (I’m American and currently based in the USA, if that was unclear), I’ll be moving back home by the end of the year, and I still don’t have a steady form of income.
But, I’m also oddly excited. I’m determined to make 2017 as good as it can be. I’m going to set goals for myself. I want to TRY things. In my reading, in blogging, and in my personal life. I want (and need) to set my mind to do something.
The blog & bookish wise, I’m thinking of setting up some blogging goals for myself. Keeping up with book reviews, writing and curating more discussion and perspective posts. I’m going to continue reading what I want to, but be more open to try out different genres. I want to read more contemporary romances, genre Fantasy and Sci-Fi (not YA Fantasy and YA Sci-Fi) and more manga!
I’m still deliberating on blogging and reading goals, but all in all, I’m hoping to feel better, be better, and try to give myself some slack for the coming year.
This was a super long post, but if you read it all, thank you! How was your year? Reading wise, personal, etc. Tell me all about it! Let’s hear about one (or more) great thing that happened for you or tell me about a goal you’re thinking of accomplishing for the coming year?