2017 was not the greatest reading year. It also wasn’t the worst; that would be 2015. But I still didn’t meet most of my reading goals. In my defense though, this was less because of laziness and more because of circumstances beyond my control, so I don’t feel too bad about it.
I had four primary reading goals this year:
- Read 100 books. My goal last year was 50 and I almost reached 100, so I thought I’d challenge myself a bit more this year.
- Read more poetry. I have a love/hate relationship with poetry. When it’s bad, it’s awful, but when it’s good, it’s great. I wanted to explore more poets and try to find some new favorites.
- Read 40 books by authors of color. Last year I read a lot more books by AOC than I had in the past and I wanted to increase that number again.
- Read all the books on my 2016 “better luck next year” list. I ended up reading 4 out of 10 and none of them were that great.
- Complete the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge. I did pretty well, all things considered, but I didn’t finish. I read 22 out of the 26 books I needed to read for the challenge, checking off 19 of 24 items on the list.
- Read a balanced mix of fiction/nonfiction and frontlist/backlist books. Neglecting fiction is a bad habit of mine, though I usually do pretty well at reading a roughly equal number of frontlist and backlist books.
Let’s see how I did…
General Reading Stats
Books Read: 75, down 17 from last year.
Pages Read: 18,203. (Down 7,384 from last year.)
Audiobooks: 27 (36%), up from 24 (26%) last year.
Backlist: 43 (57%), same as last year, though the percentage was lower last year because I read more frontlist books.
Genres: In 2016, I read 62% nonfiction, 37% nonfiction, and 1% poetry. This year, I read 66% nonfiction, 23% fiction, and 11% poetry.
Longest Book Read: The Complete Enneagram by Beatrice Chestnut (494 Pages)
Shortest Book Read: A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers (36 Pages)
Most Popular Book on Goodreads: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Least Popular Book on Goodreads: New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment by Connie Strasheim
Women: I never set a goal for this because I tend to have a slight bias for reading women authors (although, interestingly enough, when I tallied up the book in my home library recently, it turned out that I own more books my men ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). Last year I read 53 books by women (about 57% of my total). This year I read 42 books by women (about 56% of my total).
Authors of Color: I set an ambitious goal of reading 40 books (40% of my total reading goal) by POC authors this year. I only read 19 books by authors of color (25% of my total). This is down from last year when I read 26 books (28% of my total) by AOC.
The Best + Worst of 2017
My average star rating for the year was 3.4, same as last year. I’m always surprised at how high my average is. I must think of myself as a more critical reader than I really am.
I gave 12 books (about 16% of my total) five-star ratings, up from 10 (11%) last year. By comparison, I only gave 4 books (about 5%) one-star ratings.
My five-star reads were as follows:
- Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire
- The New Odyssey by Patrick Kingsley
- We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
- The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
- Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif
- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
- The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi
- New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment by Connie Strasheim
- Ghostland by Colin Dickey
- What We See in the Stars by Kelsey Oseid
- Women in Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky
The one-star duds were:
- Hope for Each Day by Billy Graham (Preachy + moralizing.)
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Ridiculous + overrated.)
- Is the Bible Good for Women? by Wendy Alsup (Internalized misogyny at its worst.)
- The Spy by Paulo Coelho (Pretentious + exploitative.)
2017 New Author Discoveries
The only new author I really “discovered” this year was Douglas Preston. His latest book, The Lost City of the Monkey God, made it onto my best books of the year list. One of his backlist titles, The Monster of Florence, was my favorite backlist book of the year. He seems to have a habit of getting himself into all sorts of sticky situations while on grand adventures in foreign lands. I look forward to seeing what else he writes in the coming years.
My 2018 Reading Goals
My goal for 2018 is to have no reading goals. 2018 is going to be all about reading for pleasure–whatever strikes my fancy whenever I want. That’s it.
It’s been a long time since I really focused on reading solely for pleasure and I want 2018 to be the year I finally do that again. To that end, I’m planning to stay off of Goodreads next year. I’ll probably wait until next December and then enter all the books I read for the year, but until then, I’ll only record my reading in my personal journal. I’m hoping this will help take off some of the pressure than I inevitably feel by publicly posting every time I start or finish a book.
Did you meet your reading goals for 2017? What are your 2018 reading goals?