Back in January I set some goals for my reading year and before I think about 2017’s plans I want to draw a line in the sand under this year’s goals.
Read 25 books written by Australian women writers and review at least 20 of them.
Almost there. I ‘only’ read 22 eligible books but I did review all of them. One of the books was by a father daughter team though so technically that doesn’t qualify as a full book. I’m pretty pleased with this progress even though I didn’t quite reach my goal, not least because several of the books will be on my favourites list for the year. I’ll take quality over quantity any day of the week.
Read 6 books by new (to me) authors set in different states of the USA
Success. This was part of my long-running Reading USA Fiction Challenge and I managed to read 7 eligible books this year. With several of these ending up on my favourites list for the year I feel like this was Challenge time well spent as I’ve definitely got some new potential favourite authors on my radar (I have read more USA-set books during the year but they were ineligible for inclusion if they weren’t by a new (to me) author or were set in a state I’ve already ‘visited’).
Reduce the TBR to 100 or less (from 145)
Fail. Despite a decent reading pace for at least some of the year and a little purging of titles I know I will never read I still have 130 books in my TBR. Sigh. My problem is being attracted by new reads, whether they be library holds or the result of shopping trips. During 2016 I only read 25 books that I owned prior to the start of this year. Sigh again. Must try harder. If only people would stop writing great books and people I trust would stop recommending them to me. Just for a little while.
Buy no physical or eBooks from stores outside Australia
This first chart shows how I acquired all 117 books this year.
This second chart shows where all the 74 purchased books came from. I separate out the audio books because they do come from overseas but I give myself a pass for that. To date there is no local source for downloadable audio books. You can occasionally buy CDs (if you take out a small mortgage) but I no longer own anything that will play that format.
Aside from the audio downloads I only bought 4 books from overseas and I don’t think local booksellers can be too upset with me. Three of the purchases were not available to buy in Australia (one was a Kindle-only book and two were from a UK publisher that only sells direct from their website). So I only bought one book – Zygmunt Miloszewski’s RAGE for the record – that I could have purchased here. I succumbed and bought the kindle version because it was more than $20 cheaper than I could find it locally. In other cases I would delay purchase or wait for a library copy but this was for book club so I caved.
Participate at least 6 times in the monthly Crimes of the Century reading challenge
Success. As previously detailed I participated every month (and twice in September).
Read no Girl books
Success. Near Miss (as pointed out by Angela in the comments I actually did read a book called Ghost Girls this year)
My reasons for eschewing Girl books are complicated. I have enjoyed some (Stieg Larsson’s trilogy most notably, though it must be said they were not Girl books in their original language). But more often I have not (the Gone version got thrown against the wall long before I finished and the one on the train made me very cross). But as well as being sick of publishing bandwagons and stupid hype I think the overuse of the word says quite a bit about how women and our place in the world is viewed (Literary Hub expresses this with much more intelligence than I can muster). I wondered if my year would be the poorer for ignoring such a large and popular segment of the available reading. But I’ve read some outstanding books this year despite there being no girls in sight so I don’t feel that I’ve missed out on much. I don’t know if I will continue this challenge into 2017 or not though. I do have two Girl books on my TBR that I really do want to read (Derek Miller’s THE GIRL IN GREEN and Adrian McKinty’s GUN STREET GIRL) and perhaps I missing out on some other gems. Any Girl book you think I should be looking out for?
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
In summary then I had
three two successes, two three near misses and only one outright fail for 2016’s bookish goals. More important than numbers is the fact that three of the challenges have steered me towards finding fabulous books I might not otherwise have read which is surely the point. And I am pretty comfortable that if the bottom falls out of the local book selling industry it won’t be my fault.
Did you set any bookish goals for yourself this year? If so, how’d you do? Got any interesting bookish goals for 2017 that you’d like some company with?
Post updated 30/12 because I forgot I had read a Girl book (well a Girls book to be accurate)