I’ve been disappointed by many over-hyped books in the past (ahem, Girl on the Train…), so I love this week’s prompt about the popular books I’ve read that have lived up to the hype. I know that these books may fall on your “over-hyped” list, just like the books I thought didn’t live up to the hype man y people clearly enjoyed, so I’m interested to hear what books made everyone else’s lists!
Today’s TTT post is the top ten books I’ve read so far in 2018. Last year, I felt like most of the books I read were okay but not spectacular, and I had a difficult time filling out a top ten list. But this year (and specifically this summer), that has changed! These are some of the best books (and comics!) I’ve read this year, and I expect you’ll see many of them on my top ten list at the end of the year, too.
Readers, you might have noticed that I’ve been AWOL for almost a month now. That’s because I got a new job–without quitting my old job! While my schedule will eventually settle down, right now I’m working nonstop, so I haven’t had much time for blogging. But I had to jump on today’s TTT prompt. In no particular order, these are the books I’m looking forward to reading this spring.
Some of these books have been on my TBR list for so long I’ve forgotten what they’re about or why I even put them on my list. I’m going to try to explain why these books are on my TBR list, and maybe that will prompt me to finally read them!
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty. I have absolutely no idea why this book is on my list…
While Beauty Slept. Gothic Beauty and the Beast retelling.
There is No Dog. Quirky MG (or possibly YA).
The Escape from Home. I always love Avi’s work.
The Broken Teaglass. Murder mystery + tea.
Orlando. I want to read a lot more of Virginia Woolf, but I struggle with her writing.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Because I’ve only read one John Green book, and I feel like that’s not enough for me to judge if I like his writing style or not.
You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know. Crazy but true neurological issue that keeps the author from recognizing faces.
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Why was this the first Terry Pratchett book that made it to my list? (It wasn’t the first I read, obviously.)
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is all about sharing the books I can’t believe I’ve read. Combing through the past couple of years of books I’ve read, I was surprised at how many books I have read recently that are either out of my comfort zone or from genres that I typically don’t care for.
Wild. I had been aware of this book for a long time–who hasn’t?–but I never wanted to read it. I finally gave in when my book club decided to read it, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated.
Dracula. I tried reading this classic in college and was totally freaked out by it. But I decided to give it another shot in 2017, and I’m glad I did.
The Husband’s Secret. I read this book for book club as well. It wasn’t my favorite, but I can see why it has been so popular.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This is one more book club read, one that I had seen floating around for years before I finally read it. And it was fascinating! This is one of my favorite things about the book club I’m in: it forces me to read popular books that I otherwise wouldn’t have tried.
Anna and the French Kiss. I don’t usually like YA romances. And I didn’t like this one, either, despite the assurances of many bookish friends that I would.
American Gods. This is another book I tried in college and quickly abandoned. This time I listened to this monster of a book on audio, which helped me get through it.
The Beautiful and Damned. I can’t even remember why I picked this book up. I felt like it was just a rehashing of the themes from The Great Gatsby (even though this book was written and published before Gatsby), and I didn’t much care for it.
Middlesex. The incest in this book totally freaked me out. But I still finished it.
Bare Bones. I actually read this book for a challenge, which required you read a book that was a recommendation from a stranger. I had never heard of this guy before, so it was really weird reading his memoir, but I didn’t hate it.
What books are you amazed that you’ve read? Leave your thoughts and links in the comments!
Happy New Year, bookish friends! I can’t believe that it’s 2018 already. I love to get into the nitty gritty details of the books I’ve read, so as always, I’m sharing my favorites and all the statistics of the books I read in 2017.
This year, I read 247 books, which is surprisingly similar to last year’s 251 books. My increased work schedule and other life changes would have lowered this number, I think, except for the book challenges that pushed me to finish certain books.
35% of these books were diverse books, which I defined as written by or about underrepresented groups. Books in translation, books about feminism, books about countries other than America or England, and books by or about people of color, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBT+, or adherents of non-Christian religions all fell into this category. (Up a bit from 33% last year, which is awesome!)
I read 75% fiction and 25% nonfiction this year. This is a little bit more fiction and a little less nonfiction than the past two years, which I think is probably because the nonfiction I did read was pretty heavy.
61% of the books I read were written by female authors, which means the other 39% were written by male authors or by both a male and a female author.
64% of my 2016 books were backlist books; 30% were new; 6% were classics. This seems to show how I’m leaning toward reading books from my TBR list rather than only picking up the latest book that catches my eye!
9% of the books I read were published by indie or small press publishers; 91% were by mainstream publishers. I’d like to do better at reading small press books this year.
My Goodreads ratings overwhelmingly fell into the 3-4 range. I rated only one book as a 1 this year, and I only gave nine books a 5 (which explains why I had such a hard time creating favorites lists this past year; there were very few books that blew me away in 2017).
Almost all of the books I read this year were from the library (or Hoopla/Overdrive, both of which I have access to through our library system). Other sources included Amazon (of course), Paperback Swap, the thrift store, and my other online sources, Scribd and Serial.
11% of the books I read this year were audio books, which is way up from any years in the past. 22% were ebooks, and the other 67% were print books (no surprise, as I still much prefer paper to reading on a screen or listening to a book).
I reviewed 81% of the books I read this year. Some of the 19% I didn’t review because I didn’t have much to say about them; others I read for personal reference.
I’m also taking a cue from Alise at Read. Write. Repeat. and sharing a few books that I enjoyed in certain categories.
Most thought provoking:$2.00 a Day by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. This book was painful but fascinating to read.
Best children’s series:Septimus Heap. I’m sure frequent blog readers will not be surprised to see that series here, considering how much I’ve gushed about it this year!
Best adult series:Aunty Lee. I love the Singapore setting for these mysteries, and Aunty Lee is such a fun character.
I set only three bookish goals for 2017:
Write more joint book reviews. I didn’t complete as many of these as I had hoped, but you can see my annual Newbery reviews with my sister here, and I did a guest post for Jane of Raincity Librarian here.
Participate in Armchair BEA. I did this, and it was so fun! Unfortunately, the organizers of Armchair Book Expo have stepped down, so I’m not sure if this will continue next year, but I’m very glad I was able to participate again in 2017.
Continue to read at least 25% diverse books. I did this handily!
I hope you all have a great start to 2018! I’m wishing you all happy reading in the new year.
I’ve already received a couple of books from my Christmas wish list (thank you, Secret Santa!), but there are always plenty more I’d like to add to my shelf. Here is this year’s edition of the ten books I want to find under my Christmas tree.
The Year of Living Danishly. This sounds so fascinating!
The rest of the Septimus Heap series. I’ve acquired copies of the first three books in the series. I know I want to re-read it in the future, and one day introduce the series to my children, so I need a complete set.
The Complete Stories of Dorothy L. Sayers. I haven’t read any Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (crazy, right??), so why not just get them all at once?
Neverwhere. I’ve been wanting to read this Neil Gaiman story for a long time.
Pioneer Girl. I think it would be really interesting to read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s autobiography–this time written for adults.
Black Dove, White Raven. I loved Code Name Verity, and this book has been on my TBR list for a long time.
Accidental Saints. To someone who spent a fair amount of time reading about non-traditional Christianity this year, this book sounds super interesting.
The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Because of course.
What books are you hoping to receive this holiday season? Let me know in the comments!
Interrupted. I read a huge amount of Christian books this year, and this was one of my favorites. Powerful and relatable.
The Septimus Heap series. The more I think about this series, the more I love it! I can’t believe it took me this long to finish reading it. Now I just need to acquire my own copies of these books so I can re-read them.
Although it never really gets cold here in southwest Florida, I still find my reading habits changing as the holidays approach. I don’t want heavy novels or important nonfiction; give me dystopias and lighthearted mysteries! Here are ten of the books on my TBR list this winter.
On the Edge of Gone. A dystopian novel starring an autistic character? Yes please!
The rest of the Aunty Lee series. I really enjoyed the first book in this mystery series set in Singapore, and I’m excited to read the next books.
The rest of the Junior Bender series. There’s even a Christmas-themed book, so this read is right on time!
Death by Darjeeling. Why not spend the winter months getting into a new mystery series?
Shadows on the Moon. This is one of the books that has been on my TBR list for so long that I can barely remember why I put it on there in the first place. I need to read this soon.
Howl’s Moving Castle. I have still never read a Diana Wynne Jones book (I know, I know!), and this one seems like a good one to start with.
A Tale Dark and Grimm. What fits these short winter days better than some dark fairy tales?
Neverwhere. I don’t always enjoy Neil Gaiman’s work, but his creepy, surreal worlds also seem fitting for winter.
The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries. This anthology of Christmas mysteries kept me happily occupied during Christmas break last year, and I think this anthology might do the trick this time.
What books are on your winter TBR list? Leave your links in the comments!