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message 1: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Dec 07, 2018 01:21PM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
2018 Personal Reading Challenge
------------------------------------


My Corner
2017 Personal Challenge
2016 Personal Challenge

Another year, another log. Here's to taking it easy in 2018.

2018 Book Roundup
January
01. The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
02. The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane by Colin Falconer
03. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
04. Borderline by Mishell Baker
05. Reclaiming the Atonement: An Orthodox Theology of Redemption: Volume 1: The Incarnate Word by Patrick Henry Reardon

February
06. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
07. The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
08. The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden
09. The Moon and the Other by John Kessel

March
10. Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker
11. Great Lent: Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann
12. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
13. The Strange Bird: A Borne Story by Jeff VanderMeer
14. Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi

April
15. Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov
16. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
17. Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.
18. Ignite by Emerald Dodge (Ebook novelette)

May
19. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
20. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
21. On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
22. An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl
23. Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
24. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
25. Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio (ARC)
26. Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
27. Helium by Rudy Francisco
28. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

June:
29. Neurobiological Basis of Migraine ed. Turgay Dalkara
30. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
31. Accessing the Future: A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction ed. Kathryn Allan
32. Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer
33. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
34. Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World by Annie Lowrey (ARC)

July:
35. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
36. The River Where Blood Is Born by Sandra Jackson-Opoku
37. Battlecry by Emerald Dodge
38. WORDS FOR OUR TIME: The Spiritual Words of Matthew the Poor by Matthew the Poor
39. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (ARC)
40. Semiosis by Sue Burke
41. The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn

August:
42. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
43. Bossy Nights by Liv Morris
44. Starfish by Peter Watts
45. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
46. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
47. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa (ARC)
48. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
49. March: Book One by John Lewis

September:
50. Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
51. Passing by Nella Larsen
52. Sentinel by Emerald Dodge
53. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
54. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

October:
55. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
56. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
57. The Terrible: A Storyteller's Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward

November
58. The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 edited by John Joseph Adams & N.K. Jemisin
59. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
60. Mercury by Emerald Dodge
61. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940 by George Chauncey

December
62. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells
63. The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey


Did Not Finish
01. Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns
02. Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira
03. Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan
04. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
05. Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts



message 2: by Susy (new)

Susy (susysstories) Wishing you the best of luck with your goal Samantha & a very happy New (reading) Year!


message 3: by Samantha (AK) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) Thanks, Susy!


message 4: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments Wishing you the best of luck with your goal this year.


message 5: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 16, 2018 12:37PM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
January Roundup (#1- 5)
------------------------------------

The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne, #1) by Robert Ludlum The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane by Colin Falconer Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke Borderline (The Arcadia Project, #1) by Mishell Baker Reclaiming the Atonement An Orthodox Theology of Redemption Volume 1 The Incarnate Word by Patrick Henry Reardon

All links in the post are to my reviews, and not the root book page. See first post for book links.

January was a great month for me. My long-postponed reread of Ludlum's The Bourne Identity removed it from my guilt-shelf, which is always a plus. Reading it with a good friend of mine made it that much better the second time around. (Now I just have to reread the rest of the trilogy...).

Speaking of buddy-reads, I paired up with Ronnie for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell , which I can honestly say would never have landed on my TBR without that nudge. Given how much I enjoyed it, I'm glad for the experience.

Mishell Baker's Borderline caught my eye last year as a somewhat unusual Nebula Nominee, and I found myself a little bit let down by my expectations. That said, it is definitely worth a read.

On the nonfiction side, I finally finished reading Fr. Patrick's Reclaiming the Atonement: Volume 1 . Theology buffs--this one's for you. Also one of the few books I'd actively recommend reading in Kindle format.

Sadly, 2018 also brought my first DNF of the year: R.E.
Stearns' Barbary Station was an ambitious first novel that couldn't hold up to the weight of its own expectations.

No short stories to report for January, but we'll see what February brings. See you next month!


message 6: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments Samantha you are making great progress I love your roundup idea! I hope you have a fun time continuing your progress.


message 7: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 16, 2018 12:38PM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
February Roundup (#6- 9)
------------------------------------

Thanks, Blagica! Historically I've had trouble keeping up with individual book notes, so I'm giving monthly updates a shot.

-----------------------------------------------------------
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon The Night Masquerade (Binti, #3) by Nnedi Okorafor The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden The Moon and the Other by John Kessel

All links in the post are to my reviews, and not the root book page. See first post for book links.

February started strong and trended rapidly into slump-territory. While I enjoyed the idea behind An Unkindness of Ghosts, I thought the execution suffered. Worth a read, but don't let the hype get to you.

Okorafor's The Night Masquerade was about what I've come to expect from her work, but made for a good conclusion to Binti's story. If you like the previous two books, jump on in. If you were ambivalent... *shrug* ymmv.

Nicky Drayden's The Prey of Gods was a wild adventure that appealed to my sense of weird, with some forgivable flaws. Reminded me of *[book link]* The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, but with a tighter plot.

Finally, John Kessel's The Moon and the Other rounded up to make my first 5-star read of the year. Flawless? No. But Kessel knows how to write, and it's definitely worth a read. That said, I'm not surprised that it hasn't received any nominations to date.

On the short story front, since I don't track them on GR:
-- "The Martian Obelisk" by Linda Nagata (Tor.com, July 2017): Quite good
-- "Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance" by Tobias S. Buckell (Cosmic Powers Anthology, 2017): Starting to think maybe short fiction is where it's at for Buckell
-- "The Quiet Like a Homecoming" by Cassandra Khaw (Lightspeed Magazine, February 2018): I gave this 3 stars, but honestly don't remember anything about it.
-- "Carnival Nine" by Caroline M. Yoachim (BCS, May 2017): This thing is Nebula-shortlisted for a reason! Go read it!


So that's it! See you next month~


message 8: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments You are doing great Samantha Keep it up! I hope March is just as successful


message 9: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 16, 2018 12:41PM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
March Roundup (#10- 14)
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Phantom Pains (The Arcadia Project, #2) by Mishell Baker Great Lent Journey to Pascha by Alexander Schmemann Bannerless (The Bannerless Saga #1) by Carrie Vaughn The Strange Bird A Borne Story by Jeff VanderMeer Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi

All links in the post are to my reviews, and not the root book page. See first post for book links.

Ugh. March. *shakes off the first quarter* Here goes...

Mishell Baker's Phantom Pains was disappointing after the first book, and cemented my general meh-ness toward Urban Fantasy. Even when it's decent I can't connect to it, so maybe it's time to move on for good?

Great Lent: Journey to Pascha, on the other hand, is a Lenten classic well-deserving of the praise it receives. I'll end up revisiting this, I'm sure.

I picked up Carrie Vaughn's Bannerless on a successful whim--my word what an interesting book! On the whole, perhaps a little scattered, but the world is interesting enough to make that forgivable.

A glorious five, glittering stars have to be handed to Jeff VanderMeer's The Strange Bird: A Borne Story, for being a book that made me cry and smile and generally flip out in barely 100 pages. Stunning work, really. And it makes up for the burst of disappointment that are my two DNF's of the month...

DNFs:
Gunpower Moon by David Pedreira and Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan

(I'm not even going to talk about these two again because I ditched them so fast. My un-starred review/DNF-notes will suffice tyvm)

Short stories:
Hannu Rajaniemi's Collected Fiction was underwhelming, so I'm glad I managed to squeeze in a couple of gems from last year beside it.

-- "Fandom for Robots" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny Magazine, September 2017): It's so odd to realize that internet culture has ascended to its own sub-form of litcrit... in the mainstream. (I mean, fanfic's been doing it for ages but this is a little different). Oddly poignant.

-- "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience (TM)" by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex Magazine, August 2017): I... kind of got this and kind of didn't. Good, though.


All in all... mixed bag. Here's looking forward to April!


message 10: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments I hope that April brings you many more five star reads.


message 11: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 16, 2018 12:42PM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
April Roundup (#15- 18)
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Blagica wrote: "I hope that April brings you many more five star reads."

You must be psychic. April was almost nothing but 5* reads! O.o
----------------------------------------
Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien Locking Up Our Own Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. Ignite (Battlecry #0.5) by Emerald Dodge

All links in the post are to my reviews, and not the root book page. See first post for book links.

So, I finished reading (90% rereading?) Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Archimandrate Tikhon (Shevkunov). Funny and spiritually uplifting stories from a Russian monastery, many from before the fall of the Soviet Union.

Then I buddy (re)read The Hobbit with a friend of mine who's decided that this year is the year she reads Tolkien. Yes, it's still wonderful, if with many more coincidences than I remember.

Finally, the last couple years there's been a lot of buzz about Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Now, I did read that, but I got the feeling that a lot of people ONLY read that. So, I'd like to direct everyone's attention over to James Forman, Jr.'s Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. I can't shout loudly enough about the importance of all the little pieces of history playing into discussion of the U.S. criminal justice system, but maybe Forman can. Oh, and check out some of his journal articles, too.

Short Stories
--"Utopia, LOL?" by Jaime Walls (Strange Horizons, June 2017): It's crack, but crack that rips your heart out at the end.

-- "Ignite" by Emerald Dodge (Independently published eBook novelette): Eh, this is more interesting as a taste test of her upcoming work than an independent story. Not bad; not great.



message 12: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments “Reading brings us unknown friends” While the warm weather is coming I hope you make some new friends in May!


message 13: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 16, 2018 12:46PM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
May Roundup (#19- 28)
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The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance Trilogy, #1) by N.K. Jemisin Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard An American Princess The Many Lives of Allene Tew by Annejet van der Zijl Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly Empire of Silence (Sun Eater, #1) by Christopher Ruocchio Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson Helium by Rudy Francisco Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1) by Jeff VanderMeer

All links in the post are to my reviews, and not the root book page. See first post for book links.

So, I passed my goal! Yay me? Guess I'll try to push on to 50.

May was a mixed bag, but also my most-read month so far. After being blown away by the Broken Earth trilogy, I was a little disappointed in N.K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. But, Imbolo Mbue's Behold the Dreamers was a good mood shift to cleanse the mental palette.

Aliette de Bodard's novella On a Red Station, Drifting assumed more knowledge of her fictional universe than I anticipated, but was overall a good read.

In the nonfiction category, I was pleasantly surprised by An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew , a biography of an American socialite who married her way into European nobility in the 20th century.

Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Time blew me away. I highly recommend it to SF fans.

Martha Hall Kelly's Lilac Girls is one of the better WWII books I've read, but not for the faint of heart. (Seriously. Follow it with something happy.)

Thanks to Amazon first reads, I buddy-read Matchmaking for Beginners with my mom this month, and it proved an enjoyable shift from my usual genre habits.

Poetry fans! If you haven't read Rudy Francisco's Helium , go get a copy! I guarantee it's worth it.

And finally, I got started on Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach Trilogy with Annihilation , which pulled me in and would not let me go till I'd finished.

I also got my first ARC this month. I'm on the fence about Christopher Ruocchio's writing style for Empire of Silence , but the plot he's building toward is interesting despite the glacial pace.

Short Stories:
--"A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies" by Alix E. Harrow (Apex Magazine): Absolutely lovely! Everyone ought to read this one.
--"The Starship and the Temple Cat" by Yoon Ha Lee (BCS): I usually love Yoon's work, but not this time. It's a nice enough story, I suppose.


Here's to more books in June!


message 14: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments I hope July is amazing for you!


message 15: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 18, 2018 10:58AM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
June Roundup (#29- 34)
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Neurobiological Basis of Migraine by Turgay Dalkara Authority (Southern Reach, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer Accessing the Future A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction by Kathryn Allan Acceptance (Southern Reach, #3) by Jeff VanderMeer Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2) by Martha Wells Give People Money How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World by Annie Lowrey

So, this is super-late, and I have no energy, but June was a decent month for me, reading-wise. Starting to think I'll break 50 again this year.

29. Neurobiological Basis of Migraine ed. Turgay Dalkara [review, 5*]
30. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer [review, 3*]
31. Accessing the Future: A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction ed. Kathryn Allan [review, 3*]
32. Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer [review, 4*]
33. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells [review, 5*]
34. Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World by Annie Lowrey (ARC) [review, 3*]


No short stories to report for June.

Not linking reviews this time; too tired. [Added review links 7/18/18] Here's to (the ongoing) month of July.


message 16: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Jul 31, 2018 10:39AM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
July Roundup (#35- 41)
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The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien The River Where Blood Is Born by Sandra Jackson-Opoku Battlecry (Battlecry #1) by Emerald Dodge WORDS FOR OUR TIME The Spiritual Words of Matthew the Poor by Matthew the Poor Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram Semiosis by Sue Burke The Wild Dead (The Bannerless Saga #2) by Carrie Vaughn

Seven books for July! (And technically I’ve still got a day and a half, but I’m thinking I won’t finish any of my current reads before August. If I do, well, that’s what the edit button’s for.

35. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien [review, 4*]
36. The River Where Blood Is Born by Sandra Jackson-Opoku [review, 4*]
37. Battlecry by Emerald Dodge [review, 4*]
38. Words for Our Time: The Spiritual Words of Matthew the Poor by Matthew the Poor, translated by James Helmy [review, 5*]
39. Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (ARC) [review, 3.5*]
40. Semiosis by Sue Burke [review, 2*]
41. The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn [review, 3*]


Mostly fiction, mostly good. Like last month, I’m not doing a full write-up summary, but you can read each review at the links above.

Short Stories
--”The Independence Patch” by Bryan Camp (Lightspeed Magazine)
--”Sour Milk Girls” by Erin Roberts (Clarkesworld)
--”The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington” by Phenderson Djeli Clark (Fireside Fiction)
--”The Alien from Verapaz” by Tobias Buckell (author’s blog)


See you next month!


message 17: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Aug 31, 2018 08:20AM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
August Roundup (#42- 49)
----------------------------------------


The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal Bossy Nights by Liv Morris Starfish (Rifters, #1) by Peter Watts Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3) by Martha Wells Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3) by Becky Chambers March Book One (March, #1) by John Lewis

And eight books it is, which brings me to nearly double my original reading goal for the year. O.o Still doing a loose roundup--the long narratives take more energy than I have to spare.

42. The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal [review, 5*]
43. Bossy Nights by Liv Morris [unrated]
44. Starfish by Peter Watts [review, 2*]
45. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells [review, 4*]
46. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse [review, 4*]
47. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa (ARC) [review, 2*]
48. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers [review, 3*]
49. March: Book One by John Lewis [review to come]


Short Stories: None for August

See you next month!


message 18: by Samantha (AK) (last edited Oct 01, 2018 04:19AM) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
August Roundup (#50- 54)
----------------------------------------

Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire, #3) by Yoon Ha Lee Passing by Nella Larsen Sentinel (Battlecry #2) by Emerald Dodge The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

September was a month, but at least it was a decent month for books. Finished my buddy-read for The Two Towers and reread Borne (which got better on the reread).

50. Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee [review, 5*]
51. Passing by Nella Larsen [review, 3*]
52. Sentinel by Emerald Dodge [review, 2*]
53. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien [review, 4*]
54. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer [review, 4*]


Short Stories: None for September

See you next month!


message 19: by Blagica , Cheerleader! (new)

Blagica  | 12013 comments You are on your way to having a great year in books! Do you have a book you still can't wait to read?


message 20: by Samantha (AK) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
October Roundup (#55- 57)
----------------------------------------
The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal Call It Sleep by Henry Roth The Terrible A Storyteller's Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward

October was #Inktober, and even though I didn't finish the art challenge, it definitely reduced my reading time. I'm also in a bit of a literary slump right now, but I'm hoping that improves.

55. The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
56. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
57. The Terrible: A Storyteller's Memoir by Yrsa Daley-Ward


Short Stories: None for October


message 21: by Samantha (AK) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
November Roundup (#58- 61)
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The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 by John Joseph Adams Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Mercury (Battlecry Series Book 3) by Emerald Dodge Gay New York Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940 by George Chauncey

58. The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 edited by John Joseph Adams & N.K. Jemisin
59. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
60. Mercury by Emerald Dodge
61. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890-1940 by George Chauncey



message 22: by Samantha (AK) (new)

Samantha (AK) (samantha_ak) ------------------------------------
2018 Reading Statistics
----------------------------------------


(Scroll to the top for books read in December, since I didn't do a monthly recap)

Number of Books Read: 63/25

Books By Female Authors (Percent): 50.8%
-- 6.4% Unspecified Gender

Books by Non-White Authors (Percent): 28.6%
-- 5% Unspecified Race

Books with Author OR Main Character LGBTQ+ (Percent): 30.2%

Breakdown By Genre:
—Science-Fiction: 37%
—Fantasy: 22%
—Non-Fiction: 17%
—Fiction NOS: 13% 
—Poetry: 2% 
—Mystery/Thriller: 5%
—Historical Fiction: 3%


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