2017 | A Bookish Year In Review

It’s that time of year again – the time when I wrap up all of last year’s reading into one handy post for reasons.

But first, how did 2017 in general go for me personally?

As far as years go, 2017 was much better than 2016. For a start, no beloved family members passed away so woo, congrats family, you hung on in there. The fallout from my nanna’s death is still lingering though, which sucks, but that’s life… unfortunately. Elsewhere, 2017 was the year that I finally felt like my life was getting sort of to the point I wanted – I feel on top of the house and bills that go along with it which I share with Liz (check out her blog here if you’re so inclined); I sometimes exercise and eat well (emphasis on the sometimes); I travelled to the US for the first time and loved it; I booked a holiday with Liz to go to Disney World (!) in 2018; I saw The Killers live in Liverpool (best night ever); I got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the magic is SO good), Phantom of the Opera (twice!), Les Miserables again (my fav) and Hamilton (in a word… phenomenal); and, perhaps most importantly, I finally got a job in my chosen field and I feel like I’ve settled into it well and I’m valued as a member of the small team in the office. So, 2017, despite an overwhelmingly crap year for politics, the uncovering of disgusting levels of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood, and the world at large generally going to shit, for my own little blinkered view of the world, it was alright.

But that’s not what you’re here for, is it? This post is aaaall about the books. If you want to see what my top books of the year were, please see the companion blog post: Favourite Books of 2017. This year I surprised myself by not just necessarily including all of the books that were my favourite in any given month – some slipped off my radar as the months ticked by and others stayed with me for longer than I expected.

But, first things first, let’s take a good look at every single book I read this year, because the graphics and statistics are deeply satisfying to me.

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December 2017 | Wrap Up

Welcome one, welcome all to my slightly belated Wrap Up post for December. Now I am  back in Liverpool after being at home for Christmas, I am reunited with my laptop and its image-editing software so I can finally bring you my wrap up for how I did with my reading in December. As we got into December, I had quite a few reading challenges left to complete for the Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge but I was determined to complete it because I knew I’d already failed one reading challenge (the Book Riot Read Harder) and I didn’t want to fail another. Therefore, a lot of the books I read in the month were specifically chosen to fulfil the parameters of the prompts I had left in the reading challenge – I even got super serious and devised a December TBR to make sure I’d get it done, look at me all organised!

In December, I read a total of 8 books fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *).

In terms of format: 1 was hardback, were paperback, 1 was an ebook, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 2 books were thrillerswere YA fantasy, 1 was historical fantasy; 1 was young-adult contemporary1 was non-fiction, and 1 was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

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November 2017 | Wrap Up

Welcome one, welcome all to my Wrap Up post for November. After a rather dismal month in October, I was determined to pick up my reading pace in November, if nothing else to make sure that I was hitting my reading goals and challenges. Happily, as the days get colder and the nights get darker, people seem to understand more the desire to just head home after work and do nothing but read, preferably whilst curled up near a fire under a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate to hand. I fully intend to continue this happy arrangement into December but, for now, let’s see how November went, shall we?

In November, I read a total of 9 books fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *).

In terms of format: 5 were paperback, were ebooks, and 1 was a hardback.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 4 books were sci-fi, were YA fantasy, 1 was memoir, and 1 was poetry.

Onto the books themselves…

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The House Cup Reading Challenge | Wrap Up

As you may remember, I enthusiastically (and a tad foolhardily) signed up for the House Cup Reading Challenge – if you don’t remember, you can find my sign-up/tbr post here! The readathon lasted from Sunday 15th October until Sunday 12th November and was hosted by Lauren of Live, Love, Read/@BetweenDPages; Alex of Book Daisy Reviews/@booksydaisy; Kelsey of Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf/@Kelsenator; and Erica of Escape Under the Cover/@slychica08. The aim was to read some books based on the challenges which were Hogwarts-themed!

You earnt points based on the number of books you completed which fulfilled the Main and Bonus Challenges (20 points and 10 points respectively) and then reported your points to your House’s Head Girl at the end of the readathon. Using the hashtag #housecupreadingchallenge on Twitter also earnt you 1 point per tweet (limited to 20 points total).

I periodically (read: when I remembered) updated a progress thread via Twitter which you can find here. And let’s see how many challenges I managed to complete, shall we?

The Reading Challenges

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October 2017 | Wrap Up

Welcome one, welcome all to my Wrap Up post for October. October was a funny sort of month, reading-wise (more on that in a moment) and I feel like I started and abandoned a lot of things. I spent some time at home and although that requires train journeys to get there which ought to mean book-reading time, the journeys were horrendous, to say the least, with missed connections and cancelled trains leaving me in a foul mood by the time I was on a train. Also, my birthday was a week ago and I turned 25 so that put me in a bit of a strange mood, reading-wise, blogging-wise, and just generally speaking. I think I’ve worked my way through it though and, if nothing else, my birthday meant Thor Ragnarok was released and I bloody LOVED every ridiculous and funny second of it. But that’s not reading so, let’s concentrate on what I did read in October instead – there’s not a lot of it, so brace yourselves…

In October, I read a total of 2 books fiction and non-fiction. (Yep, only 2.)

In terms of format: 1 was paperback and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 1 book was fantasy and 1 was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

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September 2017 | Wrap Up

All in all, September has been a bit of a mixed bag. At the start of the month I went to my very first (and hopefully not last) trip to the US. Rather optimistically I took a couple of books with me and a Kindle loaded up with many ARCs that I really ought to get to. Surprise, surprise, I was having such a good time in DC that I kind of forgot about reading, apart from on one rather sunny day when I read a book in the shadow of the Washington Monument which was all kinds of surreal for me, the girl who hasn’t travelled any further than Spain or Greece before this. I also managed to squeeze in a little reading on the train from DC to New York but aside from that I didn’t really think about it. (Side note: I thought I’d read on the train home from London but, guess what, jet lag and not sleeping on the plane home is a bitch and I don’t do well with it.)

However, once I was back in England I tried to get to a few books I’d been meaning to finish off in order to start clearing that growing ‘currently reading’ shelf. It’s been a mostly successful month, in that sense, though I still haven’t finished You Know What, but I’m hopeful that next month will be the month I do. I’m also still in the midst of my His Dark Materials read-through as I’m listening to the audiobook for Northern Lights so it’s taken me a little longer to get through. That shouldn’t take too long to finish though and then I’ll move on to the second and third books in the trilogy. Anyhow let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s see what I did finish reading in this past month…

In September, I read a total of 7 books – 5 fiction and 2 non-fiction, amounting to 2000 pages in total, and, of these, 0 books were re-reads* – go me!

In terms of format: 5 were paperback, 1 was hardback, and was an ebook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 2 were non-fiction, 1 was magical realism, and 1 was contemporary/romance.

Onto the books themselves…

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August 2017 | Wrap Up

How on earth is it already September?! This year is going far too quickly for my liking, and I can’t believe we’re two thirds of the way through 2017. I smashed my Goodreads goal already but I’m still trying to complete the Book Riot and Around the Year challenges and I’m not running out of steam yet. There are also some great readathons and readalongs happening lately so, all in all, I’m feeling pretty damn good about how my reading is going this year. Let’s take a look at how August went, shall we?

In August, I read a total of 8 books – 7 fiction and 1 non-fiction, amounting to 2223 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads*.

In terms of format: 6 were paperback and 2 were audiobooks.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 1 book was young-adult/historical, 1 was action/adventure, 1 was mystery, 1 was historical/fantasy, 1 was non-fiction/memoir, 3 were sci-fi/graphic novels.

Onto the books themselves…

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July 2017 | Wrap Up

Where has July gone, am I right? (I seem to be saying that for every single month of this year but seriously, I mean it this time.) How is it August? Where did the first half of the year go?! Enough incredulous questions, let’s just get onto what we’re all here to do, and that is to take a peek at what I read in this past month, ignoring the fact that we’re almost a week into August… cough… let’s just move on…

In July, I read a total of 6 books – 5 fiction and 1 non-fiction, amounting to 2009 pages in total, and, of these, 4 books were re-reads.

In terms of format: 1 was paperback, 2 were hardback, 1 was an e-book, and 2 were audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 1 was non-fiction/memoir, 1 was comic-book/superheroes.

Onto the books themselves…

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24in48 Readathon | Wrap Up

As you may or may not have seen from my sign-up post, this past weekend I took part in the 24in48 Readathon and I had a blast. Well, tradition requires me to wrap-up my weekend of reading like a good book blogger and let you know how I did generally, as well as what I thought of the books I read during that time. I’ll try to keep it as short as I can!

Let’s start off with the Big One – did I read for 24 hours? Nope. Not even close, to be honest. But I did get closer to 24 hours than I managed the last time I participated in this readathon back in January so I’m calling that a success. I read for 16 hours which is way more than I anticipated and I’m very happy with that! I’ve come to realise that for me, a person who likes sleep and WILL NOT sacrifice that unless it’s for a very, very good cause on her weekends off, I simply don’t prioritise reading enough to make myself sleep deprived. I also like to do sensible things like take a long shower and get dressed. So I don’t full commit enough to really squeeze every moment of reading out of the 48 hour period – so it’s no wonder I don’t make it to the 24 hour target but, you know what? I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m proud of my 16 hours.

Let’s take a look at what I intended to read:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer [audiobook/PB]
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee [audiobook]

And what I actually read was the following:

106 pages of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
315 pages of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
78 pages/23% of The Art of Asking [audiobook] by Amanda Palmer
224 pages, Stardust by Neil Gaiman
120 pages, Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

= 843 pages

Not too shabby at all! All in all, I’d say that’s a success. I was very aware going into this readathon that I needed to make sure not to burn out during it because I’m currently participating in a War and Peace Newbies Readalong which, whilst only having a low page count to read each day, does require you to read every single day. I didn’t want to burn out and then end up falling behind with War and Peace because I’d over-read books during the weekend. But I think I’m good! This past weekend helped me to realise that I can read ahead with the W&P schedule and use my freed-up time to read some other books too, so that I don’t feel too disheartened with not having completed many books this month. Definitely something I’ll do more often during this readalong.

As far as the books I read during 24in48 went, I thoroughly enjoyed everything I read. I suspected that I’d deviate from my TBR and I did – I know myself well! I blame The Art of Asking entirely for that because I was listening to Amanda Palmer and she mentioned her husband and then that got me thinking that I really wanted to read something Neil Gaiman soon – a few minutes later and I’d picked up Stardust. The other outlier, in the form of Ms Marvel was  picked up due to necessity – I was out of the house at a BBQ on Sunday afternoon but I downloaded Ms Marvel Vol. 1 onto my phone via Amazon’s Prime Reading service so I read that in fits and starts during the afternoon. How’s that for maximising your reading time? All in all, a resounding success, huzzah!

(I am yet to find a situation I cannot illustrate with a Parks and Rec gif. Sorry/not sorry.)

Did you participate in the 24 in 48 Readathon? How did you do?
Comment below or link progress posts if you have them – I would love to hear about your weekend’s reading.


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June 2017 | Wrap Up

Well, here we are in July and can I just join the chorus of people saying that they have no idea how the heck it’s July already? Because it does not feel like 6 months have passed of in 2017. Although that does mean we’re closer to Christmas than we are away from it – yay!

In terms of reading and all things books, June went pretty well. I managed (somehow) to read quite a lot of books (for me) though I’m under no illusions that this wasn’t because of the fact that I read some shorter things as it was getting to the end of the month, mostly to bulk up the number of things I’d read and also because I suspect July will be a much slower reading month and I don’t want to get behind on the various reading challenges I’m doing. That being said, whatever the reason, I had a decent reading month – I read some wonderful things and some not so wonderful things but the month ended on a high so let’s just jump on in and get right down to wrapping up June.

In June, I read a total of 10 books – 10 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 3348 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads.

In terms of format: 5 were paperback, 1 was a hardback, 3 were e-arcs, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 3 books were dystopian, 3 were classics, 2 were contemporaries.

Onto the books themselves…

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