January 26, 2017

2016 in Books

2016 was my best year of reading since I joined Goodreads back in 2012 and started tracking my reading. In fact, that's also when I started this blog. Anyway, I think it's safe to say that 2016 has been the best reading year of my entire life. When I first started logging the books I was reading, I was encouraged to do so when I caught wind of the 50 Book Pledge: read 50 books in 52 weeks. Seemed easy! Except for me, it wasn't. I never was able to read that many books in one year, until now.
Books Everyone Should Read
I know it's not about the number of books you read in any given year. And I definitely don't go out of my way to read short books or "easy" books just to get my numbers up. I think what changed (or helped) me last year to read 53 books was choosing to read in my spare time over other things. I could write a whole post about that, but long story short, I made it a priority to read. There are so many books I want to read and so little time.

With that being said, I'm happy I had such a successful reading year. Yes, I read more than one book a week, but I also read some really great books too! Of course, I read a handful of really awful books, but such is the life of an avid reader. This year, I'm setting a realistic goal of hopefully reading 24 books. That's just two books a month, and given my situation (a newborn and an active toddler), I think this is doable. Last year, I actually only set out to read 30 books, and when I hit that goal about half way through the year, I just kept on going to see how far I could get (without resetting the goal higher). I'll treat this years goal in the same way.

I don't make any specific goals when it comes to choosing which books to read, meaning, I don't seek out female authors, or Canadian authors, etc. Last year I said I wanted to read more non-fiction books, more specifically, personal-growth books, but I read zero of those. While I will get to them one day, it's not a major priority of mine right now. What I do want to mindful of this year though is trying to choose books that I really want to read. And by that I mean, choosing books that sound amazing, and will most likely be a good read. I know this is a hard thing to guarantee as everyone's reading experience is different, but often there are books on my wish-list or to-be-read list that I'm dying to read, but for some reason, I'll keep choosing lesser known books, or books I'm not all that interested in but think I should read out of obligation. Basically, what I'm saying is, I'm going to be more picky about the books I read. And I'm also going to work on abandoning a book when it's just not working for me.

Ok! And because no book round-up post would be complete with out some stats, here you go!

Number of books read: 53! (up 15 from last year)

Number of pages read: 17,487 (up 4800 from last year)

Percentage of female authors read: 79% (up 8% from last year)

Percentage of Canadian authors read: 17% (up 9% from last year)

Percentage of non-fiction read: 9% (down 2% from last year)

Longest book read: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes at 480 pages

Shortest book read: Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes at 60 pages


Ratings:

5-star reviews: 8 books (15% - down 6% from last year, but the same number of 5-star books as 2016)

I loved all 8 of these books for very different reasons. Me Before You was a re-read for me, but I loved it just as much the second time around.
Books Everyone Should Read

4-star reviews: 16 books (30% - down 7% from last year)

3-star reviews: 16 books (30% - up 4% from last year)

2-star reviews: 11 books (21% - up 10% from last year)

1-star reviews: 2 books (4% - down 1% from last year, but the same number of 1-star books as 2016)

One book from 2016 that I think everyone should read:
It's a tie between One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (my review) and Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center. Out of all my 5-star reads of last year, these are the two that stick out of my mind the most and that I recommend to pretty much everyone. Seriously, if you haven't read them yet, add them to your list for this year!

One book from 2016 that I think everyone should skip:
This was the last book of A Slice of Brie Book Club last year and it was humorously terrible! I had fun writing my thoughts about it though, which you can check out here if you like.



What was the best book you read last year? Worst?

Do you make reading goals for the year?



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