2018: My Year In Books

Posted January 1, 2019 by Amber in Bookish Things / 9 Comments

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Annual round up time!  I like this time of year because it’s like this amazing gallery of all the different worlds I’ve visited and the people I’ve meant.  Okay, so granted, all these people and places are fictional, but books are still the sort of thing that make me happy, so taking a brief revisit is always fun.

As I predicted last year, 2018 was so much better than 2017 in regards to my personal life, travel, reading, everything!  I’m so grateful for this upturn, and I’m sure 2019 will bring whole new slew of joy and surprises.  I started my reading goal this yea at 52 books, but then absolutely blew hat out of the water and upped it to 75 books, and when I beat that… 100 books.  Once I passed 100 (this is the most I’ve ever read in a year) I just let it fly and ultimately… I read 149 books.

Don’t be too impressed.  A lot of these were audiobooks.  I spent over 780 hours commuting this year… which is a lot.  The primary thing I do in the car is listen to audiobooks because it’s easier to take my commute if I get immersed in another world.  I’m hoping to cut that commute in half next spring, so I don’t believe I’ll be reading quite so much.

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Bookish Stats

So for this year, I’m going to share the usual Goodreads Stats, but I also want to make up some pie charts… because who doesn’t like pie?

One of the nicest things about the backend library system I use is that I don’t have to enter all this data manually throughout the year anymore, unless I want to keep track of something really specific.  I’ve got all my numbers in my backend that link up when I update my Reviews Archive.  I love my Reviews Archive. 🙂  I’ll throw in the pie charts at the end, but lets start with Goodreads!

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Pages Read

Whelp, I killed last year’s reading record, consuming about 50 extra books.  I’m also quite please to say that this year, this number does not include DNFs, since I came up with a new system of making sure that didn’t happen.  What this number does include, however, is audiobooks.  So some of that 54k was really in minutes, not pages.

Also I finished Across the Universe at the end of the day New Years Eve, so that one isn’t showing here. 🙂  True total, 149.

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Longest and Shortest

I really thought The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me was going to be the shortest book this year!  It must have lost out to The Sleeper and the Spindle by about 2 pages.  I actually ended up reading a handful of children’s books this year.  No picture books, but definitely short stories and small books that popped up on my TBR.

Aaaaand I’m not in the least surprised by The Dark Tower.  This was actually my longest book of the year last year as well, because I re-read King’s Dark Tower series myself 2016-2017… then decided I needed to force it upon my husband this year. 😛  I don’t intend to read it again this year, so hopefully 2019 will see a new longest book!  Haha.

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Popularity Contest

Both of these make a lot of sense to me – The Great Gatsby is considered a modern classic and well-beloved by a lot of people.  You know what’s funny?  After I cross-posted this review on Goodreads and LibraryThing, I had a couple (I assumed well-meaning) individuals DM me and explain that the reason I didn’t like it was because I missed many of the subtle, ingenious nuances?  They suggested supplemental reading materials to help me appreciate these things, so I could read the book a third time and love it.  *facepalm*

The Nightmare Effect was written by a friend of mine and this was actually the second time I had read it – she wrote it in high school and let me beta read at the time.  This was a complete overhaul of the story and she asked me to consider reading and reviewing it on here – so I did!  It was honestly a lot better than eight-ish years ago, and I’m proud of her for following her heart and self-publishing.  I believe she intends to drop a new book next year, and one the year after!

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My Average Rating

I actually learned something about myself and my rating this year!  I give a lot of books that I really enjoy only 4 stars.  There are some where I put in the tiered ratings and the average comes out and my personal enjoyment rating is higher than the average.  I guess I’m becoming one of those really frustrating people that only gives 5 stars to special books.  My average last year was 3.7 stars, so I have become more generous!

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My Highest Rated

Absolutely no surprise here, and definitely deserved.  The Hate U Give was a fantastic read.  It was one of my five star books this year.  Impressively, it also won Goodreads “Best of the Best” award, beating out over a hundred other books that have been voted best in their individual categories over the last ten years.

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New Books Vs. Rereads

Hmm. So I’m seriously doubting the accuracy of this one, because I’ve re-read all seven of the Dark Tower books and the first six Artemis Fowl and I read Children of Blood and Bone twice this year…. This system is working based on things with more than one read on my backend system.  I guess it goes to show that I need to get on top of my backend system and make sure all my books are in there!

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Ratings Breakdown

There’s a pretty good spread here!  Generally speaking, I liked the books I read last year.  I think I would have had more 1 & 2 star ratings if I hadn’t DNF’d those 10 books.  Still, almost 50% of the books I read in 2018 were either 4 or 5 star ratings, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. 🙂

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Format Breakdown

I love audiobooks so much guys.  My commute would be absolute torture without them.

I should also point out that I don’t read ebooks as a general rule?  So every ebook noted here was a NetGalley ARC so THANK YOU NETGALLEY FOR THAT I LOVE YOU.

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Target Age Group

You may have noticed that these things weren’t included in genres!  That’s because I think making YA a genre is dumb?  There’s still so much stigma out there about adults reading anything not Adult and I hate it so in my own records, I’ve stripped those titles away and I check off multiple boxes when I read a book.  Would this book only be enjoyed by people 18 and under?  How about from 15 to 64?  Then it gets checked of as Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult!  Huzzah!

That’s also why there’s sooooo many New Adult there.  The fact that New Adult has been overrun by erotica vexes me to no end.  You know what New Adult should be about?  People who are in college or young professionals just starting out.  Is romance included?  Of course.  But it’s not exclusive.  Ugh.  Rant for another day.

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Genre Breakdown

Sooooooo.  I had 81 genres/sub-genres this year, so rather than give you a pie with a gazillion tiny slices, I’m only going with the genres/sub-genres that had 10+ books anyway… that should give you an idea of my preferred genres this year! 🙂

To absolutely nobody’s surprise, my most read genre this year is fantasy.  I love fantasy so much.

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My Favorites By Month

     

     

This was so hard.  There were some months – like May and June!  And October!!!! – where I read a lot of good books.  Ultimately, I went with the ones I was obsessed with.

Also I cheated a little with Tess of the Road.  The review dropped in February, but I read it in January sooooo loophole.

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My Least Favorites by Month (Not Including DNFs)

     

     

So, erm, there are a handful of NetGalley ARCs on here?  This is why I’m getting pickier about what I request.  I don’t want to get an ARC and give it a poor rating!

Fundamentally, though?  A lot of these books are simply ones that I didn’t personally enjoy.  There are others out there who may have been crazy about them, and that’s perfectly okay.

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Bloggish Love

I know this is a little bit off the subject of books, but I did this section last year and wanted to share again. 🙂

This year, the top 3 posts were:

  

Um, guys.  I posted that Slytherin thing last year.  Is my content not that good this year that you have to go back to 2017 to find good stuff?  Tell me the truth, guys.

In all seriousness, though… I am so grateful for the way the 90s Kid Book Tag took off!  I had no idea it would be so successful, and I still get pings for it every couple weeks and I see it in places where I don’t get pings, too.  I was talking to a blogger last week about it who mentioned she liked it, but it wasn’t really nostalgic for her because it’s very US-centric…. which is totally fair!  I made it to what I remember growing up, and I encouraged her to make a new one based on her own experiences in her part of the world.  I really hope she does because HOW COOL would it be to have a European version, etc.?  I’m in.

Also, I love how the tag has transcended the YA book blogger niche?  I get tagged on … romance and mystery blogs?  Which is fun!  But also I don’t have anything to say about their bookish replies?  Just a thank you! Haha.

  

While all these books were published this year, what you guys aren’t seeing in the most popular reviews it that just a couple reviews behind Fourth Dimension is Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me which I lol’d about when I pulled it from my TBR Jar… but I get pretty regular hits!  Just goes to show that you never know what book reviews will bring you traffic!

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All the Books

Are y’all ready for this intensity?  There’s a lot of reviews to follow – you can click through to get to any of my reviews.  Some general notes – the backend system uses Font Awesome graphics and recently half stars have ceased to exist *dies* so everything is rounded down and when you click through, the actual review will show if it’s a half-star.

Also, books with no stars are DNFs.  I don’t give 0 star reviews. 🙂

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Did you make it to the end?

How many books did you read this year?

Are you happy with your reads overall?

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9 responses to “2018: My Year In Books

    • Amber

      Hahahaha no. It’s just a plug-in I use in my backend system. One simple short code and all the reviews are there! 😂

    • Amber

      That’s amazing Chloe! That’s more than a book a week! I’m with you on the pie charts as well! Everything is better with pie 🥧.

    • Amber

      Awww thank you! I remember seeing a bunch of pie charts on peoples last year, so I made a note for this year. 😊 I hope you have an incredible 2019 as well!

  1. You had such a great reading year, Amber, wow, that’s amazing! <3
    I read Anatomy of a Misfist as well a little while ago and even if I can't recall the details, I can remember that this book wasn't for me, either haha. And seeing the Deepest Roots on your list just reminds me of how badly I want to read this one! 🙂
    I hope 2019 will be an amazing reading year! <3

    • Amber

      Thank you so much, Marie! <3 <3 <3 I really hope you do like that one, when you're able to get to it. I absolutely loved it and it was a lot of fun!