On a whim last year I started keeping track of the books I read. Fast forward to this year, and all my friends are telling me about their Goodreads goals for 2018. Pshaw, I muse, that was so 2017. Except I didn’t set a goal, I just counted books. Also, I didn’t do it on Goodreads, which I feel bad about since Goodreads helps authors. Oh, and Goodreads has been doing this for awhile, so I’m not actually starting any trends. Therefore, in 2018 I realized I’m a backwards, behind the times book reading list keeper. Huzzah.
However, before I dive into this new-fangled Reading Challenge, I still want to review what I read in 2017. The list is easily discovered by clicking the “Reading” link above.
I read 83 books in 2017, and for a working mother going to graduate school, I think that is pretty darn impressive. Now, you may disagree with my accounting, so let me break it down for you:
- 38 books were read in my head just by me
- 22 books were audiobooks
- 23 books were read out loud to Afthead Junior (my rule was they had to be chapter books which took more than a day to read)
However, if you look at the numbers above and think I read 38 grown-up books, or read/listened to 60 grown-up books, you would be wrong. This Afthead loves children and young-adult chapter books herself. Here’s my breakdown by age category:
- 31 children’s books
- 9 young-adult books
- 43 adult books (16 listen/27 read)
Now, another funny tendency I have is to listen to books right after I read them. I’m a fast reader and often miss out on details when I read in my head, so I turn around and listen. Many times it becomes a different book to me. For example, as much as I loved Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series, I could only listen to the first two. The combination of a reader I didn’t love and violence I glossed over in my head made it a hard audiobook for me. But I still counted both the reading and the listening as different “read” books. The duplicates are:
- Agent to the Stars, by John Scalzi
- Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown
- Slade House, by David Mitchell
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling (read once and listened twice)
Finally, not all of my reads were first time reads. Not only do I listen to books I have read, but I also reread books – always have and always will. I can’t tell you how many books became different stories when I read them at different times in my life. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, stands out as the most changed story between readings for me. As a mom, the message was much different to me than pre-kiddo, but I loved both versions of the story. So books that were read in 2017 and also before 2017 are:
- A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle (read and remembered how much I loved that book)
- The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci, The Stupidest Angel, by Christopher Moore, and Visions of Sugar Plums, by Janet Evanovich (audiobooks I listen to every November – January)
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (all read to my daughter, one of the high points of my entire year. We also read them all in the new illustrated editions, which are really fun, but heavy.)
- Road trip listens included
- The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
- A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
- The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
- The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
- Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
So, depending on how you count I read somewhere between 83 and 27 books this year. However, this exercise was as much about reflecting on my annual reading as it was about counting. Looking back, the year broke into a few themes:
- Books that I loved as a reader
- Books that inspired me as a writer
- Author’s first books
I’ll cover those over the next few days. Now, off to go finish my second book of 2018: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, by Matthew J. Sullivan. Have you read it? So far it’s great!
If you want to follow along with me this year on Goodreads, I’m at http://goodreads.com/afthead, but I’m also keeping my good old blog list up to date too.