It feels weird doing an End of the Year Survey when I hardly remember what I read! As per usual I did all my reading at the beginning of the year and read almost nothing in the second half. So now I have to go back and remember it all! I had started doing a Bookish Awards post giving “awards” to books based on what they did well, but since that only encapsulated a few months’ worth of books I can’t really go off of that for this post. So I’ll have a look at Goodreads and we’ll get going.
It looks like I had a lot of minor accomplishments this year. I managed to finish a lot of series. I finished the Harry Potter series for…what, the fifth time? At least. Well, I know I’ve read the first few more than the last few, but I have to have read the first book at least five times by now. Anyway I reviewed all of them up until the 7th, which for some reason I kept putting off reviewing so now I’ll have to read them all again so I have everything in my head when I review it. (Like that’s a bad thing, lol.) I think I’ll probably just reread the 5th and 6th before seriously reading the 7th. I think I’m watching the movies along with the books so I can sort of review those as well.
So I finished that series, and I read (and reviewed) the entire 12-book Cirque du Freak series (by Darren Shan). I recently (maybe a year ago? Two years?) acquired all of the books and they’ve just been sitting there on my shelf, but this year I said “I’m gonna finally finish this.” I had only read until book 8 before. I remember that I was reading this series during our move so I had all ~600 of my books packed away in boxes except the last two Cirque du Freak books so I could finish those. (I actually unpacked all of those boxes today just before writing this; let me tell you that fitting ~600 books on 2.5 bookshelves is not easy. I would not be surprised if they crumble and self-destruct tomorrow from the weight. I don’t have the built-ins that I had in the old house.) And that series was a great one, super trippy. It definitely changes as it goes on; often with books it starts out a certain way, a really captivating way, and the more books you add the more different it gets. I feel like over 12 books the MC, Darren, really grew up a lot. (Which is super ironic considering the ending.)
Speaking of book series changing as they go on, I also finished the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. Before I had only read…the first book? The first two? And let me just say the first two were the best and everything went downhill after that. The first was fantastic, the second was good, and then….blegh. I mean, it was okay, it wasn’t horrible, but it definitely lost the charm of the first two. I still have to finish the Book of Enchantments which is sort of the companion book. It’s not really that good either, haha. In fact I’m probably gonna try to knock it out tonight after writing this post just so I can say I read the entire series in 2016. And then be done with it.
I also managed to fulfill all my NetGalley obligations this year! I may have only requested like 16 or so books, but now I’ve read and reviewed all of them. I’m gonna try to take a break from ARCs (or at least new ones) for a while, but if something new comes up I’ll have a much better chance of getting it ’cause I’m at 100% now. It’s good insurance.
Apparently it was also the year of Roald Dahl. I believe I read all the books I have by him, which is a good few. I finally read the entire Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series, including the Missing Chapter. (As you can probably tell, I’m a completionist and I love all the extras.) Honestly though the Great Glass Elevator is a whole different can of beans. It’s good I suppose but an entirely different story from the Chocolate Factory. Super whacky.
Had a few good new reads in there, a few ARCs that turned out nicely, a few from authors I’ve read before that keep churning out good stuff. Shoutout to R. S. McCoy, an author whom I’ve been following from the beginning who now has like 4 different series, all entirely different, written differently and still all very good. I may rant in my reviews about certain things but the thing is the quality is consistent. If I pick up a book by her I know I’ll like it and it’ll be unique. And she’s done all these series in record time. Like it can’t have been 3 years yet. That’s pretty neat if you ask me.
Okay, that’s just my comments from going through my Goodreads and looking at what I’ve read this year. I’m not going to do a standard style Survey because I should have been doing that this whole year (I’ll have to remember that for 2017) and I can’t remember squat now, so I’ll just fill in what I can and what I feel is important.
2016 Reading Stats
number of books read
Sooooo I only read 74 books this year (d*mn it, what a slacker, right?) out of my goal of 120. I usually set it at 100 ’cause that’s almost exactly the number of books I usually end up reading (but now I’m starting to think it’s because I set the goal). But when I start to think “hey if I can do 100 I can easily do 120 right?” then the problems start. Once I start trying to overachieve, my authority-hating self rejects the idea and starts underachieving. To tell you the truth if I had kept reading like crazy over the second half of the year I could easily have achieved 120, maybe more. But I was distracted by school (got straight A’s though so worth it) and crafting. Man did I do a lot of crafting instead of reading. See I have too many hobbies. I can only focus on one at a time, and I burn myself out on it before I switch to another. So at this point in time I’ve burnt myself out on crafts and am reading again. (Just in time for the beginning of the year!)
I re-read 16 books, if I remember correctly that I read the first two of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles before. 16/72, that’s a fair amount. The thing is I’ve been so busy trying to complete my series in my collection so I can go back and re-read them as a complete series. How many do I still have to go? (Wait, lemme get my official records) It looks like I have 27 series still incomplete. How many do I have complete? 30. So that’s better. And how many of those do I still have to finish? Only 7, which is good, but that’s not including the ones where I only have to read the companion books. If I include those, I add 2 more to that number, so 9 series incomplete. Still not bad.
genre most read
Fantasy. Obviously. That will never change.
More Fun Goodreads Stats
Pages read: 19,831
Shortest book: A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality by John Perry (54 pages)
Longest book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (870 pages) (why does the worst book have to be the longest? Ugh)
Average book length: 279 pages
Most popular book read: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
My average rating for 2016: 4.1
My average rating overall: 4.2 (As in, for all the books I’ve rated on Goodreads, the average is 4.2)
Highest rated on Goodreads: The Divide by E. J. Mellow (4.67 stars, from 142 ratings)
Random Charts (courtesy of UBB)
number of books by genre
number of books by rating
|Did Not Finish||0|
ratings by genre
|Genres (Number of Books)||Average Rating|
|Adult fiction (5)||4.2 Stars|
|Biography (1)||5 Stars|
|Childrens (2)||3.5 Stars|
|Contemporary (8)||4.25 Stars|
|Crime (1)||3 Stars|
|Dark Romance (1)||5 Stars|
|Dystopia (3)||3.33 Stars|
|Fantasy (27)||4.3 Stars|
|Gay & Lesbian (1)||3 Stars|
|Historical Fiction (2)||4.5 Stars|
|Horror (2)||4 Stars|
|Middle Grade (16)||4.31 Stars|
|Mystery (2)||3.5 Stars|
|Mythology (1)||5 Stars|
|New Adult (5)||4.6 Stars|
|Nonfiction (2)||4.5 Stars|
|Paranormal (14)||4.43 Stars|
|Retelling (2)||4 Stars|
|Romance (13)||4.31 Stars|
|Science fiction (7)||3.71 Stars|
|Suspense (4)||4 Stars|
|Thriller (2)||3.5 Stars|
|Western (1)||5 Stars|
|Young Adult (31)||4.19 Stars|
Brief interlude: Wow, look how long this post is already! And I haven’t even shared which books were the best yet!
Best Books I Read in 2016
Note: I don’t generally pick one favorite, or even a few, but here I’ll list the ones that I gave the highest ratings.
Addendum: Well, it looks like I have a grand total of 25 books with a rating, and I am sure as heck not gonna list them all here with their accompanying…(sigh) book covers, and full titles/authors, and links to reviews, and links to Goodreads, etc. Honestly if I had a widget that could let me bring all that up for each book just by clicking a button in the visual editor here, that would just make my entire life. It would be all pretty in an informative collage. (I must talk to Ashley from NoseGraze about that. She’s already done something similar.)
Okay, so if I’m not gonna do that…here’s what I’ll do. I’ll do it by series, because several of these are from the same series.
- The Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan has a nice hefty five books with a rating this year. That’s a fifth of the total. These books are: The Vampire’s Assistant, Trials of Death, the Vampire Prince, Lord of the Shadows, and Sons of Destiny. Okay, I’ll throw you a bone here—here’s the link to the first book in the series on Goodreads (I only gave it four stars, apparently, but it was really good).
- The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series by Patricia C. Wrede has 2 books with a rating (like I said, after the first two it goes downhill). These are Dealing with Dragons and Searching for Dragons.
- Roald Dahl‘s books aren’t all in one series, but they are a group, and I gave 3 of his books a rating this year. These are: The Twits, James and the Giant Peach (this will always make me emotional), and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of course.
Now for the standalones. I’m only mentioning some, because they deserve it. Covers link to Goodreads. (See, I’ll do some work. But I’m not gonna try and fix the formatting. I’m terrible at that.)
Didn’t think I’d forget about HP7, did you? Even though I haven’t reviewed it yet…And can we just talk about that Vengeance Road cover? I’m in love with it. Although I did do a pretty good job at designing my own cover for it, if I say so myself…but you can’t see that yet! It’s a surprise.
what disappointed me
I got just one for ya, but it’s a big one.
I don’t often read hyped books, especially not new ones, but I was commissioned to choose a book for a book club and I chose this one so I’d be forced to actually read a hyped book. And I suppose it was good, I mean I gave it 4 stars, but I sort of expected it to be amazing. (As I expect of all hyped books.) Cait from Paper Fury gave it 2 stars so I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t really understand the hype, but it’s still disappointing. It was long and too busy and…just read my review. I believe I called it complex // annoying. Nice.
Vengeance Road. You’ve already seen it. Just scroll up if you need a refresher. (Bask in its glory.)
most beautifully written
Othello by Shakespeare. I mean really, can you beat the Bard? No, you cannot beat the Bard. This might just be my favorite play of his.
Interlude le deux: Yes there were a lot (a few) of hot book boyfriends this year but I don’t like picking a favorite and honestly I cannot remember them all that well anyway. None of them really stood out. Sorry to disappoint!
favorite book by previously read author
There were several this year, but the one that comes to mind is Dream of Me by A. Star. The imagery was fantastic and I love the love story. She’s another one of those authors whom I’ll read anything by.
most unique book
Any of my philosophy books! I have to read those for my minor at University. Let’s see, there’s The Trial and Death of Socrates, Five Dialogues, A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality…etc.!
most popular post
I believe my most popular post has always been (since I posted it) the quotes page for The Fault in Our Stars. I think people find it a fantastic resource, because I think I managed to pick out all the best quotes so people don’t have to flip through their own copies. And it’s a great book/movie which explains why it’s still popular.
I’m probably gonna read The Series of Unfortunate Events as my big series of the year. It’ll be a huge project. I have all the books/companions, and I’ve already read the first 3, but the problem is I started cataloging things in those first three that I will now have to do for all 13. That will be really time-consuming but yet still enjoyable. Maybe that’s a summer project.
I also might read Alice in Wonderland a few times. I have so many Alices, I’ll have to pick…I’ll probably go with an Annotated Alice because I have two (neither are the most recent though) but have not read either. I feel like I’m missing out, really. And then I shall read Heartless by Marissa Meyer, which I just bought with a gift card I got for Christmas. A bit excited about that. Hmm, how many Alices do I have now? Let’s count….twenty-five Alices, plus Aspects of Alice plus a sticker book plus a coloring book. Shameful. Just shameful that I haven’t read them all yet. (They’re all different, with different illustrators too). I now have three B&N exclusives, two different pink ones and the new purple one that I just got with the same gift card. One of the pinks is gold-edged and the purple is silver-edged which I think is really cool.
any other goals?
No other goals, really. Read more, I suppose. Maybe actually surpass 100 books. Be more active in the blogosphere. Start all the features I keep saying I will. Review more types of things. Stick with something throughout the year. Blah blah blah. We’ll see how much of that I actually do.
If you’ve read this far, congrats. I can’t give out cupcakes like Cait, but I can give out raw sushi because I happen to prefer that. If you don’t want it, I’ll keep it. (:
Full credit to the lovely Jamie from The Perpetual Page-Turner for the End of the Year Survey and its prompts. I’m surprised I actually did it this year considering how little reading I’ve been doing lately. But I’m happy I did. It’s fun. Here’s to the new year and a fresh start.