Showing posts with label End of Year Recap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label End of Year Recap. Show all posts

Friday, January 17, 2014

December Reads & 2013 Year-End Recap

My last monthly recap of 2013 and then I will be done with the year!

In December, I read a few new releases, but mostly I picked up books from my TBR, some of them from the beginning of the year, and others from 2012. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I was on vacation for two weeks and am still catching up with my December reviews. Nevertheless here is my list:

Total Books Read in December 2013: 24

Contemporary Romance: 6
Historical Romance: 1
Contemporary Women's Fiction: 1
Science Fiction: 2
Non-Fiction: 1
Mainstream Contemporary Fiction: 3
LGBT: 10

Favorite Book of the Month:

Tenth of December by George Saunders: A-

Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane: A-
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout: B+
The Birthday of the World: and Other Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin: B+
The One That Got Away by Kelly Hunter: B+
Sweet & Sour by Astrid Amara: B+
The Haunted Heart: Winter by Josh Lanyon: B+
Cards on the Table by Josh Lanyon: B+
Love A Little Sideways (Kowalski #7) by Shannon Stacey: B
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris: B
The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith #3) by Julia Quinn: B
A Familiar Beast by Panio Gianopoulos: B
Fall Hard by J.L. Merrow: B
I Spy Something Bloody by Josh Lanyon: B
Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson: B-
I Spy Something Wicked: B-
The Kassa Gambit by M.C. Planck: C
I Spy Something Christmas: C
The House on Main Street by Shirlee McCoy: C
All She Wants for Christmas (Kent Brothers #1) Jaci Burton: C
A Rare Gift (Kent Brothers #2) Jaci Burton: C-
The Best Thing (Kent Brothers #3) Jaci Burton: C-
Try (Temptation #1) by Ella Frank: D
Secrets & Ink by Lou Harper: D


I read more in 2013 than I have in the past few years. I suspect the reason is that due to my crazy schedule and stressful family issues, my blogging took a hit during the second half of the year. I needed every single minute of my spare time to relax and I made a conscious decision to spend that time reading. Fortunately, that led me to read loads of great books!

Total Books Read: 222 (including rereads)
Total New Books Read: 212
   LGBT (all categories): 76
   Contemporary (includes romance & fiction: 53
   Historical (includes romance & fiction): 23
   Paranormal Romance: 6
   Urban Fantasy: 19
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 27
   Non-Fiction: 3
   Poetry: 5

A= 27
B= 117
C= 56
D= 13

My numbers always surprise me at the end of the year. I'm not surprised that my LGBT numbers are the highest, but I read more contemporary romance and fiction than expected, and my science fiction/fantasy and urban fantasy numbers really went up in 2013. Unfortunately, my historical romance numbers are way down. That number up there is combined with historical fiction! When it comes to grades, I dished out more A's, C's and D's in 2013 than in previous years, however, not surprisingly, the B's have the highest number.

I'm not really setting specific goals for myself for the coming year. If possible, I would just like to get back to my regular blogging schedule of three or four times per week. As far as reading goes, I will continue to read where my mood takes me, I can't do anything else. :)

That's it for my 2013 yearly recap. On to 2014!

Thank you all for your continued support.


Monday, January 13, 2014

End-of-Year Recap: The 2013 TBR Challenge

One of my favorite, as well as one of the most productive challenges around, is The TBR Challenge, hosted by Wendy from The Misadventures of Super Librarian.

In 2013, I read and reviewed some fabulous books and also ended up not finishing many others. But, the general idea is to either read or weed out those books that have been lingering in shelves or readers for too long, and in 2013 I read books from my TBR in spades! I also got rid of books that did not make the grade. Unfortunately, I did not (don't usually) blog about my DNF reads. One of my goals is to change that in 2014.

Below is a recap a of my TBR reviews:

January 2013 - Theme: Shorts
Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry: A-

February 2013 - Theme: Recommended Read
Psy/Cop Series by Jordan Castillo Price: B+
I did not read a romance. Instead I read an entire LGBT urban fantasy series and posted an overview of the 6 novels and 5 novellas.

March 2013 - Theme: Series Catch-up
Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear: B+
I did not read a romance. Caught up on the Eternal Sky fantasy series (prequel novella)

April 2013 - Theme: New-to-Me Author
Here Comes the Bride by Pamela Morsi: B
Did not follow the theme and discarded book after book!

May 2013 - Theme: Author with more than one book in my TBR
Unexpected Family by Molly O'Keefe: B-

June 2013 - Theme: Lovely Rita
Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews: B-
I did not read a Rita Award Winning book, instead I read a book by a Rita Award winning author.

July 2013 - Theme: A Classic, author, book, theme.
The Notorious Rake (Waite #3) by Mary Balogh: A-
I read three books for review this month including Years and Twice Loved by Lavyrle Spencer, and reviewed The Notorious Rake. This is the only book I officially reviewed for the TBR Challenge that made it to my 2013 favorite books list.

December 2013 - Theme: Holiday (any holiday)
All She Wants for Christmas (Kent Brothers #1) by Jaci Burton: B-
I read the entire Kent Brothers trilogy by Jaci Brothers, and planned on doing an overview of the contemporary series. But in the end, decided to just review the first book.

Did you notice that I did not post in August, September, October and November? During the second half of the year my schedule was off kilter and my posting days did not often coincide with the allotted review days, and in some instances I DNF the books I chose to read. But, I didn't stop reading books from my TBR pile during that time and ended up reviewing many of them after the deadline.

I consider The 2013 TBR Challenge a personal success. I discarded one box of print books and many more from my Kindle, and in the process found a few keepers.

Thanks Wendy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Moments and Final Recap!

Well, my overall recap for 2011 is here at last! It was a very good year! I read more than expected considering my crazy work schedule and family's health problems, but best of all I read some excellent books along the way and had a good time too.

Best Moments of 2011: Meeting friends (old and new), bloggers, and authors.
Favorite Posts/Reviews:
  • The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa - Talk about obsession, I actually wrote THREE posts about this book: The review, plus two posts at my side blog Quotes & Thoughts, with my favorite of those two being Sex and Power in the Feast of the Goat
  • The Abode of Bliss: Ten Stories for Adam by Alex Jeffers: I loved this book and writing the review was a pleasure, but then came the cherry on top. I'm not a fangirl, far from it, but when Mr. Jeffers came by and left a comment on my review, there was a flutter of the fangirl about me for a minute there... I admit it! LOLOL! 
  • John Donne - The Good Morrow: This was a totally self-indulgent post that went up after I spent weeks perusing some of my favorite works by Donne. If left up to me I would probably have posted about ten pages on his poetry and essays, but I figured you would all be snoring by the time I finished. LOL! Instead my post became a very small summary. To all those Donne-crazed fans who came by and made it my second most visited post of the year, a BIG thank you!! ;P

Worst moment of 2011:
  • Deleting ALL the numbers for previous years from my Stat Counter! Yes... in January 2011, I accidentally deleted my Impressions "project," lost all my numbers, and was not able to recover them. My numbers started anew as of the second week of January. Again! Oh... the idiocy! 

2011 Challenges:

As far as Challenges go, I only joined two in 2011: I continued the In-Death Challenge hosted by The happily ever after... where I failed miserable by not reading any books during the whole year! I mean, not ONE -- see my summary page. Fail! [Hangs head in shame]

I also joined the 2011 Book Club: The Women of Fantasy hosted by Jawa Reads, Too! I did a better job there. I chose four books to read for the year. Unfortunately as you will see on my summary page, I completed one book and "DNF" (did not finish) two of the books. The book club did not continue with reading and discussions after June, so the fourth book is still in my TBR.



Total books read: 202
Total Posts153
Total Reviews/Minis156
Books by Categories:
  LGBT (Fiction, Romance, Mystery, Thrillers, YA): 57
  Contemporary (Romance/Fiction/Erotica): 48
  Historical: (Romance/Fiction): 44
  Paranormal Romance: 11
  Urban Fantasy: 11
  Fantasy/Speculative Fiction: 10
  Science Fiction/Science Fiction Romance: 8
  Mysteries: 5
  Misc (Fiction/Children's/Poetry/Non-Fiction): 7

During 2011, I kept better records at Goodreads than I did at my blog. I actually had to reconcile my books read titles and numbers between the two sites! LGBT is my highest number for the year and that is a surprise (TY 57 vs. LY 36), especially since I read very few books in that category during the first half of the year. And I'm quite happy with the increase in the historical romance numbers (TY 44 vs. LY 26). I didn't quite reach my personal goal of reading 12 books for the year in the Fantasy category, but did increase the number (TY 10 vs. LY 2).

  • A noticeable change from 2010 to 2011 is the fact that I read more new releases and less books from my TBR or "to be read" pile of books. As a matter of fact, I added quite a bit to that pile! 
  • In 2011 I also accepted more books or ARCs for review. That's unusual for me, but even through all the stressful family emergencies somehow I found the time to keep up with most of the commitments I accepted during the year, and discovered some favorite reads and authors there! So, it turned out to be a good overall experience. 
  • This was the year of the anthology for me too. I read approximately 15 anthologies that included everything from 3 to 29 novellas or short stories! That's a record for me. 
  • And last, but not least, I joined Twitter after much bellyaching. I still don't really use it much and only think of using it after the fact, but I'll get there, someday. *g* 
That is it!! Now I'll look forward to 2012, and start fresh with the new year. :)