Friday, January 03, 2014

The Reading Year in Review

I kind of failed at my day of fun. I was in the car, heading out, when I suddenly got a raging case of the Don't Wannas, and since it was supposed to be fun, there was no point in forcing myself. I went as far as the grocery store and then stopped off to pick up some bread and some pasta (good thing, since I wouldn't have had enough for dinner otherwise) and then went back home and indulged in some office cleaning. I've now made it to the boxes that have been sitting in my closet for ages. I also surpassed my writing goal for the day, so I think I'm going to attempt my full goal today.

I've tabulated my year in reading, so here's a wrap-up:

I read 100 books (just barely making it under the wire). Only 7 were re-reads, which may be a new record for me, and most of those were reference books relating to something I was writing when I decided that I needed a refresher from the books themselves rather than just a look at notes taken from them. By far, my biggest reading category was fantasy, with "women's fiction" (broadly lumping together things that are kind of romance-like but not published as genre romance) coming in second, but still with half as many books as fantasy. There was some overlap because I counted those fantasy-like books that are shelved as mainstream in both categories. I didn't have any particular author who dominated my reading this year. The most I had by any one author was four books, and there were a number of authors in that category. I'd say my biggest reading trend was that women's fiction/fantasy crossover, mostly because I was reading for market research and trying to categorize the book I was getting ready for submission and help my agent with the targeting. Overall, I think my reading was fairly diverse, with a mix of "literary" and "commercial," and a mix of historical and contemporary among the various genres.

The stand-out books of the year (my reading, not necessarily published in this year) were The Rook by Daniel O'Malley and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Those were the ones that really lingered in my mind and made me want more. The new series that really caught my fancy was the Tufa books by Alex Bledsoe. I devoured the first two and will eagerly grab any more that come along.

I was trying to do better about reading new fantasy books as they came out so I can be a better nominator and voter for the various awards. I don't know how well I managed that. Maybe I should track release dates in my reading log.

I read some interesting stuff late in the year that I need to do a full report on in a separate post.

My latest library haul was relatively serious, but I think that had more to do with the fact that they were already pulling books off shelves prior to the remodeling and I was just grabbing what was immediately visible. I have a book on hold that I need to pick up, so I guess I'll get to test the pick-up window. I was going to drive through yesterday, but they had the drive blocked with construction stuff, so I couldn't tell if it was meant to be open.

I'm hoping to do a lot of reading this weekend. It's my last free weekend for a while, with two very busy weekends ahead of me. Saturday is supposed to be nice, so I may get my patio storage unit set up before the next cold front hits.

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