For the past few years I’ve done the goodreads 50 book challenge. This year I baaaarely got there … by cheating! Yes, two of my 50 books were books I DNF (did not finish) and still counted LOL so I actually read 48 books this year.
This year was a weird year for reading for me. I fell down what I will call the “book club rabbit hole”. I thought I would like discussing books with people so I joined….3 book clubs. One with my mom’s friends. One was “book of the month club”. And the third was “Life’s Library.” What I found was I was reading a lot more 3 star books: I liked them fine but I wasn’t loving them.
My 2020 reading goal is to follow my heart and gut and be an independent reader. Read what I want when I want, and put more books down when I’m not enjoying them. Also, my 50 book goal has been tight for the last few years so I’m moving it down to 45 so I have a little more wiggle room and don’t stress out and read 10 graphic novels in December to make up for the slack.
And now what I like to call, “I read a ton of books so that you don’t have to”, here are the 8 reads that I gave a perfect 5/5 rating to in 2019!
- A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
- The Dreamers – Karen Thompson Walker
- The Astonishing Color of After – Emily X.R. Pan
- Carry On – Rainbow Rowell
- Severance – Ling Ma
- The Prey of Gods – Nicky Drayden
- Washington Black – Esi Edugyan
- Exhalation – Ted Chiang
Honorable Mentions: These are books that I didn’t love perfectly and gave 4/5 stars but were super memorable and I am very grateful to have read.
- The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
- On the Come Up – Angie Thomas
- Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
- Lost Stars – Claudia Gray
- How Long Til Black Future Month – N.K. Jemisin
- To All the Boys I Loved Before – Jenny Han
- The Prince and the Dressmaker – Jen Wang
- Dreadnought – April Daniels
And a few book statistics:
This year I read a total of 48 books and a total of 14,840 pages.
That’s an average of 40.65 pages a day and .92 books a week.
My average book length was 309 pages – THIS IS GREAT BECAUSE I’VE HAD THE GOAL TO MAKE THIS NUMBER BIGGER THAN 300 FOR YEARS. WOOHOO!
Most books I rated 4 stars, followed by 3, followed by 5. I want to have more 5 star than 3 star books next year.
I read mostly books that were written in the past 10 years with a few outliers that were still post 1990. I like reading new books because I get excited about them so that is fine with me to continue this year.
I read mostly Paperback and Hardback with a few other formats. I still have a bad relationship with audiobooks and probably will not listen to very many if any at all this year.
I read mostly fiction, graphic novel, science fiction, and young adult. I only read one horror book and I adore that genre so I may be looking for some good horror reads this year.
I tried to read 50% authors of color this year, which once again I effed up right at the end of the year in my hurry to finish the challenge. At least half or more of the books that end up being my favorites are written by POC so there’s no reason for me to read so many white authors besides that it’s easy (bad excuse). I am going to keep trying to read lots of books that are not by white people!!
60% of the books I read were by Americans and the other 40% was a smattering. This statistic is also fine with me as long as they are not all white people I’m okay if most of my books are by American authors.
This one makes me laugh. BYE BYE MEN LOL Except I would like to read a few more books by men of color in 2020. And I would like to read some books by nonbinary folks in the next year too. Other than that I’ve been loving how many amazing female authors I’ve been reading.
IN conclusion, it was a good year of reading but I am absolutely confident that 2020 will be better!
I listened to a lot of great albums this year. My favorites NEVER align with anyone else’s favorites. Taste is different! But I loooooved these records this year. Let me know what your favorites are 🙂 (#1 is at the bottom so stick around til the end!)
10. Solutions – K. Flay
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Bad Vibes
The gift that keeps giving: This Baby Don’t Cry
Lesser played gem : Not in California
9. Living Mirage – The Head and the Heart
Genre: Folk Rock
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Honeybee
The gift that keeps giving: Missed Connection
Lesser played gem : Up Against the Wall
8. GREY Area – Little Simz
Genre: Hip Hop
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Selfish
The gift that keeps giving: Boss
Lesser played gem : Pressure
7. Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Truth Hurts
The gift that keeps giving: Juice
Lesser played gem : Heaven Help Me
6. Trophy – Kate Davis
Genre: Indie Pop
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: rbbts
The gift that keeps giving: Open Heart
Lesser played gem : I Like Myself
5. Crush On Me – Sir Babygirl
Genre: Bubblegum Pop
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Heels
The gift that keeps giving: Haunted House
Lesser played gem : Flirting With Her
4. There Existed an Addiction to Blood – clipping.
Genre: Experimental Hip Hop
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Nothing is Safe
The gift that keeps giving: Blood of the Fang
Lesser played gem : Story 7
3. Wasteland, baby! – Hozier
Genre: Indie Rock/Blues
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Almost (Sweet Music)
The gift that keeps giving: Shrike
Lesser played gem : To Noise Making (Sing)
2. bi/MENTAL – Le Butcherettes
Genre: Punk Rock
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: strong/ENOUGH
The gift that keeps giving: give/UP
Lesser played gem : in the/END
1. Hadestown – Original Broadway Cast
Genre: Musical Theater
Biggest hit for a goooood reason: Wait for Me
The gift that keeps giving: Way Down Hadestown
Lesser played gem : If It’s True
Every year I document the books I read using a super fancy excel spreadsheet. Mostly, so that at the end of the year I can use the chart function to look at my reading tendencies and averages and hold myself accountable in following years. Here’s my reading statistics for 2018 with some goals for this next year of reading:
I read 50 books in 2018.
The shortest book I read was 61 pages (Belinda Blinked) and the longest book I read was 533 pages (The City of Brass)
The length of the books I read averaged at 276.14 pages.
In total I read 13,807 pages
On average that is 37.8 pages a day or 265.52 pages a week or 1,150.58 pages a month.
Analysis: To someone who wouldn’t consider themselves a reader this is probably impressive. To me, all my numbers are down from last year. My shortest and longest books were both shorter and my page count is down. Next year I want to read at least one book longer than this years longest and I want my total page count to be the same or higher. ONE YEAR I WANT MY AVERAGE BOOK LENGTH TO BE 300 PAGES but that might not happened until I’m retired!
In 2018 64% of the books I read were written by women, 34% were written by men, and 2% (one book) was by a nonbinary author. I read 48 books by cis authors and 2 by trans authors. (One is nonbinary and the other a trans women who is counted among the women in the chart below because trans women are women duh)
In 2019 I would love to continue reading books by trans, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming authors. Let me know if you have any recommendations. I’m totally fine with reading more women than men but I LOVED several books by men of color this year and would love to read more.
In 2018 54% of the books I read were written by white people and 46% were written by people of color. This was my most diverse year of reading yet and my top ten favorites were again split 50-50 between white writers and people of color with only one favorite being by a white male author.
In 2019 I want to be at 50-50!! I WAS SO CLOSE AND SCREWED UP AT THE END OF THE YEAR!
In 2018 78% of the books I read were by American authors. The rest of the of the 22% were English, Canadian, Irish, Swedish, Austrian, and Pakistani.
In 2019 I want to continue reading American novels, making sure that their stories represent a wide American experience and when I read international authors look for more authors from non-western countries. (A little vague but I’m okay reading American authors as long as I’m still diversifying my reads.)
In 2018, 68% of the books I read were paperback, 26% were hardback, and 6% were audiobooks.
In 2019, I’m going to listen to only podcasts and music so audiobooks will not be a part of the 50 books I read unless the audio book is a podcast. I want to return to reading graphic novels in the form of comic collections.
Date Published Statistics:
In 2018, 22% of the books I read were released in 2018, 20% were released in 2017, 16% were released in 2016, and 10% were released in 2015. Most of the books I read were released in the 2000’s with a few outliers. My earliest book was released in 1593 (The Taming of the Shrew)
In 2019, I want to keep up my pattern of reading books as they’re released so as to stay in tune with the literary world but I want to throw in a few more throwbacks if I’m able!
In 2018, 22% of books I read were fiction, 20% were fantasy, 16% were graphic novels, 14% were science fiction, 12% were nonfiction, 12% science fiction, 8% young adult, 8% horror, 4% Porno (Thanks “My Dad Wrote a Porno”), 2% Nonfiction, 2% Mystery, 2% Drama, & 2% Magical Realism.
In 2019, I want to keep up my pattern of reading lots of different genres. My favorite books of the year were overwhelmingly sci-fi even though that was a lower percentage of my reading so I may be more mindful about that this year.
In 2018, I rated 28% of the books I read as 5 stars, 42% as 4 stars, 24% as 3 stars and the remaining 6% were 2 stars.
In 2019, I want to keep that balance pretty much the same. I liked my books more than ever this year with my four star ratings being so high and I didn’t complete any 1 star books – putting them down before completion.
In 2019 I want to read 50 awesome books!