January Reads – 2018

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I read 3 books in January and they were all great! Also, follow my adorable book model on Instagram @tonksreads

Comics for a Strange World: A Book of Poorly Drawn Lines
by Reza Farazmand
finished January 7, 2018IMG_20180208_130431_692

First Sentence: We must record everything.

My take: Reza is freaking hilarious. This book is a compilation of many  of his popular web comics, “Poorly Drawn Lines”, plus new comic (and comical!) content. The comics are weird and weirdly relateable. His first compilation was a little stronger but this one was solid and amazing nonetheless and it’s the first book I completed in 2018.

My rating: 4/5 stars

Pages read: 208

The Fifth Season
by N.K. Jemisin
finished January 11, 2018

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First Sentence: Let’s start with the end of the world, why don’t we?

I heard a lot of praise about this book before I picked it up and well, it’s as good as they say. Warning: once you read the first one you will want to read the sequels. In “the Stillness”, the earth is not very still at all. Not only are their huge earthquakes that practically destroy humanity every other century but there are humans, called orogenes, that are EARTH BENDERS. (kind of, it’s more complex and interesting than that). Society fears and often kills orogenes at birth. This is the most fascinating exploration of prejudice in a fantasy setting that I have ever read. It’s also filled with action, beautiful world building and exceptional, diverse, memorable characters. A fantastic book.

My rating: 5/5 stars

Pages read: 468

The Obelisk Gate
by N.K. Jemisin
finished January 27, 2018

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My take: The sequel to The Fifth Season, this book had a lot to live up to because I was so blown away by the first book. This one was even darker than the first and the characters didn’t go on as exciting of a journey. Having said that, this series is captivating even if I’m a bigger fan of the first book. I’ll be picking up the third very soon!

My rating: 4/5 stars

Pages read: 410

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2017 Reading Statistics

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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 2017 with some goals for this next year of reading:

I read 50 books in 2017.

The shortest book I read was 80 pages (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged) and the longest book I read was 592 pages (American Gods)

The length of the books I read averaged at 288.76 pages.

In total I read 14,438 pages.

On average that is 39.5 pages a day or 277.65 pages a week or 1,203.16 pages a month.

Gender Statistics:

In 2017 54% of the books I read were written by women, 36% were written by men, and 10% (graphic novels) were collaborations with both male and female writers. All of these authors were cisgender.

In 2018 I would love to read one or more books written by a trans, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming author. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

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Race Statistics

In 2017 70% of the books I read were written by white people and 30% were written by people of color. However, my top 10 favorite reads of the year was split 50-50 and there’s no reason why my overall reading can’t be the same.

In 2018 I want to be at 60-40 or 50-50.

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Nationality Statistics:

In 2017 62% of the books I read were by American authors. The rest of the of the 38% were English, Canadian, Japanese, Nigerian, Zimbabwean, Jamaican, Irish, Ghanaian, Spanish, and Swedish.

In 2018  I want to continue my exploration of reading authors from other countries while also supporting American authors. I don’t have a specific statistic goal here.

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Format Statistics:

In 2017, 50% of the books I read were paperback, 32% were hardback, 6% were combined comic books (instead of trade paperback), and 4% were audiobooks.

In 2018, I’m going to listen to only podcasts and music so audiobooks will not be a part of the 50 books I read. I want to continue my pattern of reading paperback, hardback, and comic books.

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Date Published Statistics:

In 2017, 28% of the books I read were released in 2017. This chart is all scattered but most of the others books I read were released in the 2000’s and only a few of the small unlabeled slivers were published pre-2000’s.

In 2018, I want to keep up my pattern of reading books as they’re released so as to stay in tune with the literary world.

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Genre Statistics:

In 2017,  24% of books I read were fiction, 16% were graphic novels, 12% were nonfiction, 12% science fiction, 12% young adult, 6% mystery, 6% horror, 4% fantasy, 2% drama, and 2% children’s.

In 2018, I want to keep up my pattern of reading lots of different genres. I didn’t love the horror and mystery I read this year so I except that category to go down and perhaps sci-fi or fantasy to go up.

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Rating Statistics:

In 2017, I rated 30% of the books I read as 5 stars, 30% as 4 stars, 30% as 3 stars and the remaining 10% were 1 and 2 stars.

In 2018, I want to keep that 3,4, & 5 star balance strong. I want to put down 1-star books before I even complete and rate them.

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In 2018 I want to read 50 awesome books!

New Song! Own Worst Enemy

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It’s my first song of 2018!!!

And be warned: if you listen to the words too closely you’ll find that it’s not a very happy song. This song is part of a larger series of songs where for every sad or un-empowering song I write I must then write a happy or empowering song to acknowledge my negative emotions but not drown in them. This song is about those self-destructive feelings of self-doubt that can pervade the mind and make yourself feel small and worthless. When I think these horrible negative thoughts I become my own worst enemy. Let me know if you relate and look out for a happier tune coming soon…ish. My writing pace has grown slower over the years but I’m still proud that I haven’t given up songwriting and I’m still churning out tunes. Enjoy~ and lyrics below~

Lyrics:
I could show you how to ruin everything
I could show you how to make yourself feel as low as dirt
I could show you how to use anything
As a path to shred yourself of any worth
I could show you what words to use, what thoughts to think steadily
In no time even you could be your own worst enemy
I could spell it out from beginning to end
I could do that for you, but who’d want that kind of friend?

Chorus:
I can find a million ways to make myself feel small
When I want everyone to think me beautiful and tall
I walk among the giants and sling myself as I go.
I’m both the child and the monster. Both the hero and the foe.

A bad day is just a way to know I deserve less.
Wait. Is this my brain purposely adding drama to the mess?
If the tower of my tears is built one stone at a time
Then I’m the master carpenter and I climb and climb and climb.

(Chorus)

Ripping myself into tiny pieces is no way to be a martyr
But being kind to myself, being kind to myself, being kind to myself feels so much harder.

I could show you how to ruin everything
I could show you how to make yourself feel as low as dirt.
I could spell it out from beginning to end.
I could do that for you but who’d want that kind of friend?

(Chorus)