2016: A Book Review

One of my resolutions is to remember to post more (I got overwhelmed between trying to write more and adjusting to my new city!) But I did still read a ton, and I was organizing my books into categories when I saw Mari at Story and Somnomancy post this breakdown that I liked, that it looks like Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner posted. So here’s my reading habits broken down from 2016 – enjoy!

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2016 Reading Stats

Number of books read: 80
Genre You Read the Most From: Young Adult (too vague?) 

*added in*
Under 250 pages (not including novellas): 26
Between 400-449 pages: 6
Between 450-499 pages: 1
Over 500 pages: 2
Over 1000 pages:  0

Number of…
Audiobooks: 10
Re-reads: 11
DNFs (did not finish): 2 (About 5-7 that I plan on finishing, but shelved for now.)

Number of books rated…
Five Stars: 21 (9 of which were comic volumes) 
One/Two Stars: 7 2 stars, 0 1 stars

Number of authors met in 2016:  11

  • Victoria Aveyard (Signed)
  • Sophie Jordan
  • Rouhani Chokshi (Signed)
  • Sarah McCarry
  • Marie Rutkoski
  • Renee Ahdieh
  • Victoria Schwab (x2….and already planning to see her in 2017 T__T) (Signed) 
  • Sarah Porter
  • Fran Wilde 
  • Kim Liggett (Signed) 
  • Erika Lewis

Number of book events attended in 2016: 5

Number of books you read in one day: 2 at the most

Number of books that made you cry: At least 12. I am a crier. 

Number of 2017 books you have on pre-order: 0 (I don’t pre-order, I just wander into BoW eventually.) 

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2016:

Stand-Alone: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Series: Firebird (A Thousand Pieces of You, etc) by Claudia Gray

Mid-Series: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Graphic Novel: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

2. Book You Were Excited About and Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Remembrance by Meg Cabot, The Last Star by Rick Yancey

3. Most Surprising (in a good or bad way) Book You Read? Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People to Read (And They Did)? A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

5. Best Series You Started in 2016?  Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best Series You Started in 2016? Asylum by Madeleine Roux 

Best Sequel of 2016? A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Best Series Ender of 2016? Firebird series by  Claudia Gray

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2016? Ernest Cline and Rouhani Chokshi

7. Best Book From a Genre You Didn’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone? The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year? Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

9. Book You Read in 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? I mean obviously A Gathering of Shadows, prior to the final book’s release.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read In 2016? The Wicked + Divine 1831 (both), A Gathering of Shadows, This Savage Song

11. Most Memorable Character of 2016? Lila Bard. Still to this day. 

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2016? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Madel and The Star-Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016? ?Laughable Love by Milan Kundera

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? World War Z by Max Brooks

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? Taken from After the Witch Hunt by Megan Falley 

“The first time we made love I realized why
I never prayed. One human can only say
Oh God so many times.”

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (longest) and Belinda Blinked.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most (Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.) A Gathering of Shadows (I KNOW I KNOW)

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar) 
Rhy and Alucard FOR SURE

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year Harlan Coben brought back Myron Bolitar and Win Lockwood and my heart was full again. 

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously: Home by Harlan Coben

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? Alucard Emery 

23. Best 2016 debut you read? The Star-Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? ?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? ?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016? 12 books. I am a crier. I don’t think I can list them all.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? What’s a Soulmate by Lindsey Ouimet

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? I honestly cannot think of one. 

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? I have no idea — I guess Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as it was the only drama I read. 

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? A Gathering of Shadows, because of the bloody cliffhanger. 

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? Heartless by Marissa Meyer

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco or Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? Caraval by Stephanie Garber

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017? Finally finish a book! 

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: None yet

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No YOU carry too many notebooks…

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The way to my heart is through a notebook. It’s not surprising, and maybe a little sad, but I am a sucker for a beautiful notebook. I’ll go into a stationery store to calm myself, and am usually good about not buying anything new. Occasionally I cave, if one is pretty enough…

….Even if I carry 4-5 on a daily basis as it is. What isn’t pictured are any legal pads, because I’m currently between book ideas. Well, “between” is used loosely — I got frustrated with one book idea and set it aside, and haven’t started outlining any of the ideas I’ve been tossing around in my head. Plus I’m not 100% sure my bag or back could handle too much more weight.

To be fair, the brown one on top doesn’t leave my apartment too often. It’s my personal, “no one will ever read” journal. I am a strong believer that every writer should have one of those, even if you don’t write in it every day. My twitter becomes a dump for thoughts frequently, and based on reading it, you can kind of imagine how this journal looks.

The second, small journal is my book idea journal. It’s literally just for the purpose of jotting down book ideas, notes for book ideas, etc. I keep this on me 100% of the time. You literally never know when inspiration going to hit — I’ve spent an hour in the Natural History Museum jotting notes and ideas down. (I found the museum horribly disappointing outside of that hour, which is sad as I could not wait to visit it!)

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The tree area of the Natural History Museum and I became good friends.

The third notebook is literally a collection of lists. It has my new year’s resolutions, my book challenges, my bucket list, my 30 day challenges, my current grocery list, hiking list….you name it, I’m working on a list of it (hopefully?) I am such a scatterbrained person naturally, so I need ways to focus. And unfortunately, I can’t get on board the electronic route. This notebook doesn’t always travel with me, but it’s with me usually (especially during the work week.) Have I proved how odd I am yet?

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Did you ever see John Tucker Must Die? The insane girl who was constantly GO GO GO? That’s what this notebook reminds me of.

The fourth notebook is the smallest, and I have it in 5 more that size plus 3-4 larger ones. I don’t know what I love about this brand (Cambridge Limited), but it’s a decent daily writing notebook. I use it for my daily writing prompts (which I go in and out of doing regularly… currently “in.”) I think it’s their floppiness yet sturdiness — allows for easy crossing out!

The final notebook is one I received from Women in Aviation International when I went to their conference in March. It’s a gridded notebook, so I’ve turned it into a daily calendar notebook that looks like this….

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Note the WAI logo? It’s a fantastic organization. I’m sure this isn’t what they want their notebook used for, but it works for me. Each thing done daily gets a colored square. I am embarrassingly behind on this month’s coloring (and…well…accomplishing anything) or I would post a picture of what it looks like currently.

I should feel more organized in life, or at least like I am on my way to becoming someone who doesn’t casually consider themselves a writer, but really I’m just a notebook hoarder. I have a shelf with so many on them, and yet I think it might be time for a new one….

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December Wrap Up

I think I am going to start doing monthly wrap ups and projections for the month. Seems like a fun idea, no? But it’s also a way I can keep myself on track. Especially as I work on my New Year’s Resolutions, which one of them is to stay more organized! So let’s see….

Books Read

I definitely didn’t finish as many books as I wanted to, so a few will end up on my “To Be Read” list next month. But here’s what I’ve finished for December:

  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey 3/5 Moose (I can’t bring myself to review this chick-lit book.)
  • Santa Maybe by Scarlett Bailey 3/5 Moose
  • Married by Christmas by Scarlett Bailey – DNF My first DNF. That’s sad.
  • Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore 3/5 Moose
  • Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan 4/5 Moose (Review will probably come out tomorrow.)
  • 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (about 17% in the book and LOVING IT. I hope it stays this good.)

Projects Started/Finished 

  • Blanket and baby things for Grey Hudson (started)
  • 4th Doctor scarf (started)

Words Written

I wrote two starter ideas, and then restarted sketching my main book idea. This is here because a NY Resolution is to write more obviously.

Monthly Goals

  • Visit High Line – did not do (weather and drama)
  • Unpacked all my boxes (done! Though there is one more box to move down to the garbage.)
  • Organize kitchen (done! Thanks to my mom’s wonderful Christmas present)

Places to visit in my new city 

  • High Line
  • Museum of Mathematics  Visited – definitely for kids. Disappointing!
  • National History Museum – oh my god. the line?!
  • 9/11 Museum – Visiting with my mom today.
  • Union Square Holiday Market – Loved!

 

Trying to understand boarding school…

….when you went to public school.

I went to public school all the way through my undergrad, then did a brief and regrettable year in a private grad school (regrettable because the student loans? Oh boy.)

While I do have some “experience,” which is all chalked up to five years on an intense online community, I still can’t quite grasp the boarding school life. So tonight I am composing a list of books that are set at a boarding school. Research, of course….ahem. This research is for my NaNoWriMo novel. This research is definitely going to be easier than reviewing and deciphering insurance policies!

My Ridiculous Boarding School Book List for Research

  • Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter (I’m in the 4th of 6 books)
  • Heist Society by Ally Carter
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Barnes
  • A Little Princess by Frances Burnett
  • A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
  • Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Boarding School Books for Re-reading?

  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (THERE IS MORE THAN ONE?!)
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (Well, why not.)
  • Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger (okay… I should actually finish this one first)
  • Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I could obviously use as many recommendations as possible. I took a look at Goodreads, and there are 529 books on the best list. So if there are any that I absolutely have to read, please feel free to throw them my way! I’m happy to live in….imaginary plaid skirts for awhile.