Monday, October 9, 2017

Year 2: An Update (And Giveaway!)

Today is my 32nd birthday! Instead of doing yearly wrap-ups at the end of the year, like most people, since I started the whole "read 500 books in the next decade" thing that is the entire theme of my blog on my 30th, I use my birthday as the beginning and end of my reading years. Without further ado, during the past twelve months:

In Reading

  • Books read (this year): 84! This is well above my yearly goal of 50, but still below last year's total of 95. I actually was on pace to come close to last year but the last book I finished before my birthday took longer than expected, and then the book that I'm very close to finishing also has taken me a while, so 84 it is. 
  • Books read (total): 179. This is over three years "worth" of reading, and closing in on four. I don't know what the future holds, so I'm pretty comfortable having this buffer in place in case I find myself with fewer opportunities to read as much in the coming years. This does mean that my reviews on the blog are lagging significantly behind my actual'll notice I'm still posting about books I was reading in 2016! I do write my reviews shortly after I finish the books, though, and I write at least a little bit about what I'm currently reading in my A Month In The Life posts, so while I toyed with the idea of doing more than one review post per week, I decided against it. I like the pattern I've got going on here, and hopefully you do too!
  • Male/Female Authors: 44 women/40 men. Last year was almost exactly equal, and this year is pretty close, too. I don't make a concerted effort to read in gender balance (I just pick up the books that look interesting to me), but I do like to be conscious of whether I'm reading drastically more of one than the other.
  • Most Read Genres: This year, I read 56 fiction books (most read subgenres: contemporary fiction and then historical fiction) and 28 non-fiction books (most read subgenres: memoir and history). The pattern I began last year held fairly true this year as well...I tend to read about 2/3 fiction, 1/3 nonfiction, which seems like a good balance to me. 
  • Kindle/Hard Copy: This year, I read 44 books in either hardcover or paperback and 40 on my Kindle. This is much different than last year, when Kindle books made up nearly 2/3 of my reading. I've cut back dramatically on ARCs this year because they're such an inconsistent (in terms of quality) part of my reading experience, and I think I've had an overall more enjoyable reading year for it. 

In Life

I like to look back on major events of the year and see what I was reading during those times. Books are kind of the soundtrack to my life these days.
  • Girl's trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: My annual trip with my best friends to do something fun is probably my most-anticipated event every year. I miss these two girls so much so I really cherish getting to see them. Last year's trip was Universal Studios in Orlando to visit the Harry Potter stuff, and it was super fun (especially since it was right after the election when I needed a pick-me-up). I was reading: Invisible Man
  • Beginning of my third legislative session: The two months before session and then the four months of it going on are the busy season for me. The first day is the official beginning of the end of my life outside Carson City until June. I was reading: Flowertown
  • End of my third legislative session: I never appreciate how much I enjoy not having a commute to work like I do at the end of the time when I have one that's forty minutes each way. It was a snowy, stressful session, but I did learn a lot, so all's well that ends well, eh? I was reading: In The Skin of a Lion 
  • First wedding anniversary: One down, forever to go, eh? The first year of being married was honestly not really a big change because our lives are very much like they were before, only I have a different last name. Which I now usually am able to give without having to think about it or starting to say my maiden name first. I was reading: Spoiled
  • Michigan trip to visit family: This was, I think, the longest I've been in Michigan continuously since I left in 2012, a little over a week. We spent four days in my hometown with my mom and saw friends there, and then we drove up to the Upper Peninsula with my dad to visit his hometown of Ontonagon for the annual reunion for that side of the family. It was my husband's first time in the UP and I'm really glad he got the chance to see it and meet my relatives, who mostly weren't able to come to the wedding last year. I was reading: Station Eleven 
  • Mom's trip to Lake Tahoe: This was my mom's third trip to Reno since I moved out here, and she both spent time with us and family and did a half-mile open water swim in the frigid waters of Lake Tahoe (which were less frigid than usual because of our roasty summer) and it was really fun to have her visit! I was reading: The Idiot 
And, in honor of my second year of reading and blogging, I'm giving away a copy my favorite book that I reviewed on the blog over the past year! I read a bunch of fantastic stuff, but one book definitely sticks out as the best one: We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver. So here's how it's going to work: if you'd like to be entered to win a copy of this book, please use the Rafflecopter below sometime in the next week (through October 16). I'll randomly select a winner and then reach out to you for your contact info, which I'll only use to send you your book from Amazon (either paperback or Kindle, depending on your preference). Sorry international friends, this one is US-only. Thanks for reading along this year!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I never thought about tracking how many male vs. female authors I've read! Now I'm definitely going to count that up for 2017. Could be interesting insight! Thanks for hosting the giveaway, it sounds like a great book! Loved your review of it!

    1. I read some blogs that did things like reading all women for a year...and while I could easily put together something like that, I didn't want to not read books I otherwise would just because they were written by guys. I did think it was interesting to track, though...and I've been surprised by my own balance! I thought I'd end up with more men just because they tend to loom large in my preferred genres, so I'm pleased to find that I'm reading plenty of women, too!

  2. Happy belated birthday! And congrats on the great reading year :) Definitely agree that books are the soundtrack to life ;)

    1. Thank you! I think certain books will always make me think of particular times in my life because of when I first read them