Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Chapter

Happy New Year!

And good riddance, 2016!

A new year comes with new challenges and new gifts. I hope this one is off to a great start for you already. Maybe you've even had time to pick up a new book?

This week on the blog is all about reflection: reflecting on the year(s) behind us and reflecting on what the new year may bring.

This year, in particular, I am so thankful for my fellow book bloggers. I have been more engaged with the online community and it has truly been a refuge for me this year. So, to all you online friends - thank you for who you are and for putting yourself and your thoughts out there in the world. I treasure my small place in this world. Thank you for welcoming me into it.

Today, as I do every year, I am looking back at the previous year and the bookish things accomplished therein. It's been an exciting year on the blog, if not in the world. Here are a few highlights:

  • I read 136 books! A new record!
  • Readership took a major spike this year. (46,000 compared to ~26,000 the last two years). This has been a pleasant surprise as I have done very little to actively seek readership. I'm thankful for every reader!
  • As of now, I have completed 80% of the 100 Best Novels challenge. I worked so hard on the challenge this year, reading over 30 books for it. 2017 is going to be the year I finish!
  • I continued to grow the Read.Write.Repeat. Facebook presence and gotten much more active in the book blogging community on Twitter. Like or follow if you haven't already! 
  • I continued the monthly "chapter" posts and some off and on Movie Mondays as well as starting a brand new feature, Let's Talk About... This is the first non-book-centric post I have ever done here and it had a great reception. I'm looking forward to doing more of these in the coming year.
  • I started offering personalized book recommendations. Take a quick survey, and I'll send you a unique list of books I think you'll enjoy. I've been doing this for friends and family for years, so it made logical sense to start doing it for others as well. I wasn't sure how this would go, but, thus far, I think it's been a big success. I've done about 20 individual lists and have gotten a great response. I firmly believe that getting people reading is all about finding the right books for them. Anything I can do to facilitate that process is a joy and pleasure for me.
For those of you who are more number driven, here are some stats for you. If you are interested in comparing these to previous years, 201520142013, or 2012.

Books Read: 136
Total Pages Read: 47,813
Average Page Count (per book): 366
Most Read Author: Erika Johansen & Hugh Howey (3 books each)
Average Pages Read Per Day: 130.64 pages
Busiest Month: June (15 books)
Slowest Month: November (7 books)

And, finally, here is the full list of books I read in 2016, with links to each review. If you missed it, earlier this week, I named my Best Books of 2016. That's a list worth looking over if you just want the highlights.

The Definitive 2016 Book List

  1. Luckiest Girl Alive - Jessica Knoll
  2. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
  3. The Restaurant Critic's Wife - Elizabeth LaBan
  4. For the Love - Jen Hatmaker
  5. Ragtime - E. L. Doctorow
  6. Mandie and the Secret Tunnel - Lois Gladys Leppard
  7. The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
  8. Being Mortal - Atul Gawande
  9. Zoo - James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
  10. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad
  11. My Life on the Road - Gloria Steinem
  12. Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan
  13. The Golden Son - Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  14. I Said Yes  - Emily Maynard Johnson
  15. The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith
  16. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard
  17. Deliverance - James Dickey
  18. Only in Naples - Katherine Wilson
  19. The News Sorority - Sheila Weller
  20. The Ramblers - Aidan Donnelly Rowley
  21. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
  22. Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth
  23. The U.S.A. Trilogy - John Dos Passos
  24. Brunelleschi's Dome - Ross King
  25. The Prodigal God - Timothy Keller
  26. The Woodcutter - Kate Danley
  27. At Home with the Queen - Brian Hoey
  28. Native Son - Richard Wright
  29. Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee
  30. Rilla of Ingleside - L. M. Montgomery
  31. China Rich Girlfriend - Kevin Kwan
  32. A Nice Little Place on the North Side - George F. Will
  33. Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
  34. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
  35. All Stories are Love Stories - Elizabeth Percer
  36. Eve - Wm. Paul Young
  37. How to Be a Heroine - Samantha Ellis
  38. My Holiday in North Korea - Wendy E. Simmons
  39. The Fever - Megan Abbott
  40. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
  41. 300 Days of Sun - Deborah Lawrenson
  42. The Lost World - Michael Crichton
  43. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
  44. Out of Sorts - Sarah Bessey
  45. The Magus - John Fowles
  46. The Rainbow - D. H. Lawrence
  47. Radical - Maajid Nawaz
  48. Armada - Ernest Cline
  49. Why Not Me? - Mindy Kaling
  50. Champagne Baby - Laure Dugas
  51. Blood and Beauty - Sarah Dunant
  52. The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
  53. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  54. The View from the Cheap Seats - Neil Gaiman
  55. The Sympathizer - Viet Thanh Nguyen
  56. Wool - Hugh Howey
  57. Still Alice - Lisa Genova
  58. Zuleika Dobson - Max Beerbohm
  59. Mandie and the Cherokee Legend - Gladys Lois Leppard
  60. She Finds Power - Anthony Robertson
  61. Life After Art - Matt Appling
  62. The City of Mirrors - Justin Cronin
  63. HRC  - Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes
  64. Scary Close  - Donald Miller
  65. Yes Please  - Amy Poehler
  66. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
  67. 'Til We Meet Again - Ray & Betty Whipps
  68. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
  69. Nostromo - Joseph Conrad
  70. Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler
  71. Greetings from Utopia Park - Claire Hoffman
  72. Back of the House - Scott Haas
  73. Seraphina - Rachel Hartman
  74. The Heir Apparent  - Jane Ridley
  75. The Royal Nanny - Karen Harper
  76. The Old Wives' Tale - Arnold Bennett
  77. Women in Love  - D. H. Lawrence
  78. The Royal We - Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
  79. The Apartment - Greg Baxter
  80. Girl in the Dark - Anna Lyndsey
  81. March - Geraldine Brooks
  82. Traveling Mercies - Anne Lamott
  83. something to food about - Questlove
  84. The Golden Bowl - Henry James
  85. Sam's Letters to Jennifer - James Patterson
  86. The Tiger Queens - Stephanie Thornton
  87. Death Comes for the Archbishop - Willa Cather
  88. 1984 - George Orwell
  89. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Jack Thorne
  90. Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff
  91. The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
  92. The Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claiborne
  93. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Marie Kondo
  94. Shift - Hugh Howey
  95. Hamilton - Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter
  96. Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry
  97. Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset  Maugham
  98. Big Girls Don't Cry - Rebecca Traister
  99. Rice Noodle Fish - Matt Goulding
  100. Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly
  101. Snobs - Julian Fellowes
  102. The Sheltering Sky - Paul Bowles
  103. The Light Between Oceans - M. L. Stedman
  104. The Book of Unknown Americans - Cristina Henriquez
  105. All the King's Men - Robert Penn Warren
  106. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  107. Emily of New Moon - L. M. Montgomery
  108. Love Does - Bob Goff
  109. Ironweed - William Kennedy
  110. The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith
  111. A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson
  112. Red Rising - Pierce Brown
  113. The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  114. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
  115. First Women - Kate Andersen Brower
  116. The Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning
  117. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
  118. Henderson the Rain King - Saul Bellow
  119. The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeonseo Lee
  120. Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller
  121. Dust - Hugh Howey
  122. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
  123. But What If We're Wrong? - Chuck Klosterman
  124. Grape, Olive, Pig - Matt Goulding 
  125. The Maze of Bones - Rick Riordan
  126. The Invasion of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
  127. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
  128. The Fate of the Tearling - Erika Johansen
  129. The Ambassadors - Henry James
  130. The Secret Chord - Geraldine Brooks
  131. One False Note - Gordon Korman
  132. The Wapshot Chronicle - John Cheever
  133. Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline
  134. It's Not Okay - Andi Dorfman
  135. The Sword Thief  - Peter Lerangis
  136. Maybe in Another Life - Taylor Jenkins Reid

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