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2018 in Review, 2019 Up Ahead

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message 1: by Geoff (new)

Geoff (geoffgreer) Just wanted to jot down a few thoughts I had about my reading this year. And what I would want to do in the new year.

2018
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Lois McMaster Bujold & Alastair Reynolds - I finished Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga (11 books), its a great and varied series. And then, despite not wanting to jump into another big sci-fi series, I read 6 of Reynolds' books (mostly Revelation Space series). I'm a big fan of Reynolds' work.
Hugo Best Novel Winners - Finished 6 of them this year. My favourite being Among Others by Jo Walton, which I would never have predicted. And abandoned 5 others that just weren't very good. The leaves me with 14 to read.
Other Genres - I read a lot of sci-fi this year but very little of anything else. It wasn't even close.
Goodreads - When I started my job I thought I'd end up reading less. While I did read fewer books this year, the big difference is that I did very little posting on Goodreads. And that's disappointing because I generally enjoy the discussions here.

2019
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Fantasy - There's a lot of new fantasy from debut or established authors that set for 2019 releases. They have me very excited. And who knows, maybe a couple of those 'long awaited' books will finally come out.
Science Fiction - Not going to change anything up here. I don't really want to start a big, new series but when I inevitably do it will be Iain Banks' Culture series, which has been on my to-read list for a long time.
Stephen King - Pretty much read everything. So I'm going to start re-reading them. Particularly, the books I started out with that I read when I was in high school. Plus I'm sure he'll have a couple new books come out.
Talking About Books - I actually want to talk to people about books - in person (getting out and doing more stuff 'in person' is a general goal I'd like to have). Don't know how I'm going to do this with books since the idea of a traditional book club does not excite me at all but I'll try to figure something out. Any ideas are welcome.


message 2: by Bill (new)

Bill | 1596 comments Nice post Geoff. I was thinking on doing one soon. Nice to see you enjoyed Among Others I own it and plan on I being one of the first books I read next year.

2018 highlights

Finishing Series This is definitely what I was most proud of. I managed to finish 33 series this year and should be able to get another 3 done by years end.
Page Count Set a new high with 88,305 pages which beat my previous high by over 25k pages. This also doesn’t include he 200ish Marvel comics that I didn’t set read dates for.
Female Authors Also set a high of female authored books read. I read 118 books by 47 different authors. Don’t think I ever read more than 50 books by female authors in a given year before.
Release Year I just noticed this the other day so didn’t do it consciously but I read at least 1 book a year from 1982 to 2018.
Sci-Fi Thanks to Rob starting the S+L challenge I read 24 SF books this year most of which were Vorkosigan books.

2019

New Series Now that I’ve got my series count down I plan on started only completed series but catching up on a few that were released in the last couple year and will finish up this year. Top of the list is probably Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestors.
Sci-Fi Going to try to get up around 50 for the year. I’ve been reading over 90% fantasy for at least 5 years and need more variation.
Standalones again would like to read maybe 50 standalones. This will help me keep my series count down as well.


message 3: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1175 comments Geoff wrote: "Talking About Books - I actually want to talk to people about books - in person (getting out and doing more stuff 'in person' is a general goal I'd like to have). Don't know how I'm going to do this with books since the idea of a traditional book club does not excite me at all but I'll try to figure something out. Any ideas are welcome. "

I didn't like bookclubs either (thank God we're not a book club), because it didn't appeal to me to read the same book as 20 other people whom I might have to wait for to finish, or whom might rush me to finish until the next meeting if I'm slow.

I tried taking part in a German bookclub who have a monthly topic to read about, where everyone chooses their own book, and these are then discussed during the month. For example, the monthly topic was "mode of transport", where I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (his shoes were depicted on the cover), and someone else read Ship of Magic, and another one read Vintage Cars In Color. It was an interesting concept, but did not appeal to me after all, because everyone was most interested in talking about their own books.

It took me a long time, but I now have finally made 2 friends who love books. One is an avid reader, the other one is a fantasy author. We get together every 3 or 4 weeks in a restaurant for a meal and lots of wine, and talk about reading and writing books all evening. It's not really a bookclub, but we call it our "Bookworm Meeting" and it's not open to everyone.


message 4: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I'll do my normal stat post at some point after Christmas/closer to New Years when I've mostly firmed up what I'll do by the end of the year.

Overall though my reading is back up after being down the last few years. Until I look at the numbers I'm not sure why. I might have read more Graphic Novels this year than normal.

I think after about 6 years of solid SFF, I'm starting to burn out a little. I've done back to back nonfiction books for the first time that I can recall. At least since joining Goodreads.

I'm not sure what sort of goals I'll set for next year beyond my usual goals of reading down my next-in-series and owned-and-unread shelves and reading less SFF. Mostly this seems to be Nonfiction. I don't really know where to go for good books in other genres. I tend to get my other genre fix from TV/Movies I guess.


I was sad to watch this group mostly die this year. Mostly I gave up on organizing reads anymore as it seems most people who used to participate have stopped for one reason or another.

I'm glad the side topic threads have continued at least. I'm in other groups with some of you guys, but I don't really see most of you posting there.


With regards to in person book discussion, I'm really glad to have the S&L local meetup. We don't spend a ton of time talking about the S&L pick, but just books in general over lunch/second breakfast at an Irish pub. It's great. Maybe you can find something like that? Or see if others in S&L would be interested in meeting in your area?


message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill | 1596 comments Rob wrote: "I was sad to watch this group mostly die this year. Mostly I gave up on organizing reads anymore as it seems most people who used to participate have stopped for one reason or another."

I have mostly stopped reading new releases and that seems to be the majority of what was being read here. The groups that seem to have the most participation on here are the ones with challenges. Think it gives people something to stay active with in between group reads.


message 6: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
We could make challenges. I'm just not sure what I'd do that wouldn't just be a copy of what I did for S&L.

As far as only reading new stuff, I do tend to read a lot of new releases and want to discuss them, so that may be to blame.

But I do read some older stuff as well. Older stuff can be hard because there are higher chances that others will have read it already. For me I have a terrible memory so it's hard for me to jump in on stuff I read more than a month or two ago.

I'd still be up for trying more older books depending on what they are/if I've read them already.


message 7: by Tina LoCasto (new)

Tina LoCasto | 19 comments I’d love to read some sci-fi with this group. It’s hard to find people that like to read it that are down to earth and don’t argue over the feasibility of some science lol. I my self tam trying to read through some of the Arthur c Clarke winners.


message 8: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Tina LoCasto wrote: "I’d love to read some sci-fi with this group. It’s hard to find people that like to read it that are down to earth and don’t argue over the feasibility of some science lol. I my self tam trying to ..."

I don't read a ton of Sci-Fi myself, but I'm open to suggestions. I will warn I'm not a huge classic sci-fi fan though so it may be those Arthur C Clarke books aren't ones I'll be interested in. I mostly prefer space operas to Big idea stories, and tech/computers stories (cyberpunk, etc)

But if you've got a list of books you're planning to read, post them over in the suggestions thread (https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...) and maybe we can find some interest in one or more of them to set up a group read.


message 9: by Tina LoCasto (new)

Tina LoCasto | 19 comments I’m with you Rob as far as the classic sci fi. I find the Arthur c Clarke award books to be more accessible to
Me than the dry sci fi. Thanks for the email idea though. I’ll put a list up and see if I can get some takers!


message 10: by Bill (new)

Bill | 1596 comments Rob wrote: "As far as only reading new stuff, I do tend to read a lot of new releases and want to discuss them, so that may be to blame.

But I do read some older stuff as well. Older stuff can be hard because there are higher chances that others will have read it already. For me I have a terrible memory so it's hard for me to jump in on stuff I read more than a month or two ago."


I’ve noticed it’s always easier to get people together to read new books. It also seems like once you get passed the more mainstream fantasy very few people want to dig deeper into the genre.

Your point on older stuff is kind of why I stopped reading new releases. I found that by the time a new book came out in a series I had forgotten a lot of the previous book because I had read over a 100 books in that time. I pretty much paused all my continuing reads until the final book is out and I can read them straight through.


message 11: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "Your point on older stuff is kind of why I stopped reading new releases. I found that by the time a new book came out in a series I had forgotten a lot of the previous book because I had read over a 100 books in that time. I pretty much paused all my continuing reads until the final book is out and I can read them straight through.."

I worry that too many people will wait until the final book and the early books won't sell enough copies to result in more books. So I still read/buy on release for a lot of stuff.


message 12: by Bill (new)

Bill | 1596 comments I still buy the books as they come out just don't read them.


message 13: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "I still buy the books as they come out just don't read them."

Oh. I guess that's one way around that problem! Hmm. Maybe I'll do that more often. Especially since we're not really doing all the new release group discussions here anymore.

So books/series I just won't wait on though. I guess we'll see.


message 14: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I wrote up my review of 2018 with a bunch of stats again: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Here's a shorter version if you don't want to click through/read the whole thing:

Top 5 Reads of 2018
1) Red Sister - 5 Stars - (My Review)
2) Wrath of Empire - 5 Stars - (My Review)
3) The Infernal Battalion - 5 Stars - (My Review)
4) Age of War- 5 Stars - (My Review)
5) Blackflame - 5 Stars - (My Review)

Total Books: 101
Audio: 61
Rereads: 8

Average Rating: 3.83
Total 1 Count: 1 (0.99%)
Total 2 Count: 3 (2.97%)
Total 3 Count: 16 (15.84%)
Total 4 Count: 73 (72.28%)
Total 5 Count: 8 (7.92%)


message 15: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1175 comments In 2018 I barely managed my goal of 20 books. I know this is really not a lot. I thought my new job would allow me more reading time, as I have about an hour of uninterrupted travel on a comfy train each way, but it turns out the train is SO comfy that I tend to sleep through the journey both ways...

My goal for 2019 is set to 20 again (as every year), but I might choose some shorter books instead of the bricks that some of my 2018 reads were.


message 16: by Geoff (new)

Geoff (geoffgreer) I set my Goodreads challenge for 40 books. Despite it being several years since reading less than 50 books in a single year. I'd like to spend more time doing other pursuits and a little less reading.


message 17: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
I always set mine to 75, and so far I always exceed it. I figure that's roughly 1 audiobook per week and 2 books with my eyes every month.


message 18: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1175 comments I still haven't gotten into audiobooks. I have some on my phone from my stint with Audible, I might try listening on the commute.


message 19: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Kat wrote: "I still haven't gotten into audiobooks. I have some on my phone from my stint with Audible, I might try listening on the commute."

I'd never get any reading done without them.


message 20: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1175 comments I just get distracted all the time, and have to skip back all the time. It's the worst when I fall asleep, because it's hell trying to find the spot where you last listened.


message 21: by Ctgt (new)

Ctgt | 629 comments Pretty good year for me, my second highest total since I joined GR. Plenty of audiobooks and graphic novels but not too many 5 star reads.

Here's my year in review

I don't set reading goals anymore, did that for a few years here but all that did was add pressure. Really just looking to continue reading good quality stories.

As far as discussions go I have become more of a lurker here on GR. I post every once in a while and I still follow some threads but mostly just use the site as a filter to weed out books that I should avoid.

As Rob said earlier I much prefer our in person group (nothing personal) and look forward to our get together every month.


message 22: by Tina LoCasto (new)

Tina LoCasto | 19 comments Kat. I’m just like you. I love audio books-but only if I’m driving. And even then if it’s bad weather or something where I feel I have to pay extra attention to the driving I can’t listen. I cannot listen at home doing stuff.


message 23: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 97 comments I had a good year.
Read 65 books
39 of those were fantasy- 60% (my goal was to have at least a third of my books be a different genre)

Favorite SFF reads:
The Library at Mount Char by Hawkins
The Liveship Traders trilogy by Hobb
An Unkindness of Magicians by Howard
Kindred by Butler
City of Stairs by Bennett (a reread)

On the subject of group reads, I am usually reading older stuff because I prefer to read paperback books. Also the way I approach reading a series is I read the first book and if I enjoy it enough to want to continue I buy them as they are released because I know how sales help the series continue to be published, but wait to read until is complete or will be completed soon.

As for goals for next year, I have set my GR challenge for 50 books, again try for a third of my reading to be a genre other than fantasy, and to reread 6 books.


message 24: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Jaime wrote: "Favorite SFF reads:
The Library at Mount Char by Hawkins
The Liveship Traders trilogy by Hobb
An Unkindness of Magicians by Howard
Kindred by Butler
City of Stairs by Bennett (a reread)"


Mount Char is high on my TBR pile (especially since I own a copy), and I LOVE Hobb's stuff.


message 25: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 97 comments Mount Char is one of my favorite books. The funny thing is it is so hard to recommend to people because of how DIFFERENT it is. I loved it!

Hobb. She is amazing. The Liveship Trilogy was just masterful. The emotions! Oh man all the feelings. I had some difficulty with the Farseerer Trilogy, but Liveship sold me on her ability as an author and I will definitely continue on. Though with how intense and emotional her books are, I need some time.


message 26: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
Tawny Man is even better. I liked all of her Elderlings stuff though.


message 27: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1175 comments I have so much stuff on my TBR, I don't know when I will ever get to Hobb, despite all of you having told me to at some point or other.

I'm missing out, aren't I...


message 28: by Rob, Mayor of Ghost Town (new)

Rob (robzak) | 6373 comments Mod
You are. Maybe you should try the series on audio. 😉


message 29: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1175 comments Funny!


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