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2012 Reading Stats!

January 2, 2013 7 comments

To celebrate the new year here on the blog, it’s time to take a look back at my reading stats for 2012.  It’s always fun to compile them and see how my reading changes and simultaneously stays the same over the years.

Last year, I read a grand total of 107 books. In 2010 that number was 70, and the year before that it was 52.  This year I didn’t make it to my goal of 150, but I think I did pretty damn good anyway. :-)

Total books read: 118
Average books read per month: 9.8
Month most read: January with 20 (I’d chalk this up to New Year Resolution momentum!)
Month least read: Tie between September and December with 4 each.  (September was part of a very busy month at work with Orientations for the students. December was the holidays plus a wedding I was in, so…..kind of understandable reading got left behind a bit!)
Longest book read: David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s by David Goodis with 848 pages
Fiction: 86 (73%)
Nonfiction: 32 (27%) This was an 11% increase from last year.
Series: 48 (41%)
Standalone: 70 (59%) I think this is a nice balance between series and standalone books.
Formats: 
–traditional print: 34 (29%)
–ebook: 59 (50%)
–graphic novel: 11 (9%)
–audiobook: 14 (12%) (This more than doubled. I thank Audible for that!)
Genres:
–scifi: 19 (Winner for the fourth year running! It’s clear what my favorite genre is.)
–indie lit: 16
–GLBTQ: 15 (This came out of nowhere, but I’m glad I found a new genre I enjoy.)
–historic fiction: 15
–fantasy: 14 (I have found a few fantasy books I enjoy, so I will definitely keep reading, although a bit more selectively.)
–post-apocalyptic: 12
–urban fantasy: 10
–contemporary fiction: 9
–horror: 9
–mental illness: 9
–nonfiction cookbook: 8 (I had hoped to try one new cookbook a month, but I do think 8 is pretty good.)
–African lit: 7 (Thanks to the African Lit reading challenge I participated in.)
–nonfiction memoir: 7
–mystery: 6
–black lit: 5
–nonfiction environmentalism: 5
–nonfiction history: 5
–thriller: 5
–YA: 5 (Realizing I dislike this genre led to it mostly leaving my reading, except for older acquired books on the tbr shelf.)
–alternate history: 4
–dystopian: 4 (Shockingly low compared to previous years.)
–nonfiction lifestyle: 4
–nonfiction science: 4
–erotica: 3
–nonfiction diet: 3
–romance: 3
–steampunk: 3
–military: 2
–noir: 2
–nonfiction Buddhism: 2
–nonfiction relationships: 2
–transhumanism: 2
–American classics: 1
–nonfiction feminism: 1
–cozy: 1 (Given how much I enjoy cozies, I should really read more of them!)
–Cthulhu mythos: 1
–European classics: 1
–fashionpunk: 1
–humorous: 1
–Irish lit: 1
–Japanese lit: 1
–magical realism: 1
–nonfiction fitness: 1
–nonfiction reference: 1
–nonfiction social justice: 1
–paranormal romance: 1 (It seems I am truly over my paranormal romance phase.)
–poetry: 1
–short story collection: 1
–time-travel: 1
Vampires vs. Zombies vs. Aliens vs. Demons:
–zombies: 9
–vampires: 8
–aliens: 4 (I think aliens should get more attention next year.)
–demons: 3
Number of stars:
–5 star reads: 16 (14%)
–4 star reads: 50 (42%)
–3 star reads: 33 (28%)
–2 star reads: 17 (14%)
–1 star reads: 2 (2%)

Looking at my stats, I can see one thing rather clearly.  My number of highly rated reads went down, and simultaneously some genres I enjoy went down while genres I don’t enjoy (generally) went up.  I think it’s important for me in 2013 to focus in more on reads I am fairly certain I will enjoy, rather than books I think I should read.  I also would like to read more in the genres that as a writer I am currently (or intend to) write in.

On the other hand, I have definitely enjoyed adding diversity to my reading.  I’m very happy to see how much more diverse my reading is now than it used to be when it comes to areas of the world and representations of various perspectives.  This is something I would like to hold on to.

I also would like to even out the number of books read per month to a more consistent number.  The difference between 20 and 4 is huge, and I would like to see my reading not fall by the wayside if possible.  Granted, some of that numerical difference was due to reading chunksters versus graphic novels, so I suppose it’s important to keep in mind that a number is just a number. :-)

Overall, this was a great reading year. It was incredibly varied, and I think I learned more about myself and what I enjoy reading (not to mention writing).  For 2013, I hope to read 120 books, an average of 10 books a month.  I also will be doing the Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge again, as well as the Finishing the Series Reading Challenge.  Beyond that, I will continue tackling my tbr pile.  Hopefully, my 2013 will see me finding a few more gems than I found this year.

Happy 2013 everyone!  Any suggestions for my 2013 reading goals?

Reading Challenge Wrap-up: Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge 2012

December 24, 2012 2 comments

mia2012badgeAs you all know, the one reading challenge I host is the Mental Illlness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge.  Since we’re into the last week of the year, I’d like to post the 2012 wrap-up.

This year, I read 8 books that count for the challenge, successfully achieving the Aware level.

The books I read and reviewed for the challenge, along with what mental illness they covered, in 2012 were:

  1. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
    PTSD
    4 out of 5 stars
  2. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
    Mental Retardation
    4 out of 5 stars
  3. Barefoot Season by Susan Mallery
    PTSD
    4 out of 5 stars
  4. Abject Relations: Everyday Worlds of Anorexia by Megan Warin
    Anorexia
    4 out of 5 stars
  5. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
    Depression
    4 out of 5 stars
  6. Haunted by Glen Cadigan
    PTSD
    3 out of 5 stars
  7. January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her by Michael Schofield
    Schizophrenia
    4 out of 5 stars
  8. Germline by T. C. McCarthy
    Addictive Disorders
    4 out of 5 stars

The books I read covered genres from scifi to thriller to memoir to academic nonfiction to historic fiction.  I’m also a bit surprised to note in retrospect that all but one of these books received four stars from me.  Clearly the books I chose to read for the challenge were almost entirely a good match for me.  It’s no surprise to me that I enjoy running this challenge so much then. :-)

The most unique book for the challenge was The Sparrow.  The scifi plot of first contact with aliens was a very unique wrapping for a book dealing so strongly with mental illness.  Most challenging was Abject Relations: Everyday Worlds of Anorexia, which was my first foray into university-level Anthropology.  Something I’d like to see more of is more memoirs by parents of children with a mental illness, like January First: A Child’s Descent into Madness and Her Father’s Struggle to Save Her.  That was an interesting, new perspective for me.  I think I’d also like to read more schizophrenia books next year, as well as books that challenge the gender norms perceived of in certain mental illnesses, such as the idea that eating disorders are female or that alcoholism is male.

If you participated in the challenge this year, please feel free to either comment with your list of reads or a link to a wrap-up post.  I’d love to see what we all successfully read this year!

And if the MIA Reading Challenge sounds like a good match for you, head on over to the challenge’s main page to sign up for the 2013 iteration!

Friday Fun! (Thanksgiving, Cooking)

December 2, 2011 5 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope those of you who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I had a great time with my dad.  We ordered in Thai food, which he’d never had before.  (I believe it was a hit).  I showed him one of my favorite indie bookstores.  He took me grocery shopping! (Which has been wonderful for me, I can tell you).  We spoiled my kitty rotten and went to a couple of my favorite pubs.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I hope to get to see him again very soon!

This week I got to see my friend Nina for the first time in around a month.  We went for a super long walk together in the random Indian summer weather we had at the beginning of the week and made this stir-fry out of baby bok choy, onions, pepper, garlic, parsnips, carrots, and fake steak tips (they were soy).  Oh, and sesame seeds!

Those of you book bloggers who are looking for projects and/or challenges for 2012, please be sure to check out my Diet for a New America page and my Mental Illness Advocacy 2012 page.  Even if you don’t choose to participate in them, any mentions on your blogs, facebook, and twitter are most welcome!  These types of things are always more fun the more people participate!

Also, if you missed it, I have an international giveaway currently running thanks to the author.  Be sure to check that out too!

This weekend I’ll be training in the gym, going to a tree trimming party, and editing zombies.  Also hopefully cooking something up in the slow-cooker to freeze into single servings for lunches.  Busy busy!

Happy weekends all!

Announcement: Mental Illness Advocacy Reading Challenge 2012!

December 1, 2011 4 comments

I am pleased to announce that I will again by hosting the Mental Illness Advocacy (MIA) Reading Challenge for 2012!  Just what is the MIA Reading Challenge?  I’m glad you asked!

I started the MIA Reading Challenge in December 2010 in an effort to raise awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of mental illness.  Reading, both fiction and nonfiction, is an excellent way to broaden one’s horizons and expose one to new ideas and ways of thinking and being.  Many reading challenges already exist in the book blogging community to address racism, sexism, and homophobia, but I could not find any to address the stigma faced by those suffering from mental illness.  In spite of mental illnesses being recognized by the scientific community as diseases just like physical ones, many still think those suffering from one are at fault for their own suffering.  I hope reading and reviewing books featuring characters struggling to deal with mental illness, whether their own or another person’s, will help remove the stigma faced on a daily basis by those with a mental illness.  They already have to struggle with an illness; they shouldn’t have to face a stigma too.

Challenge Levels:
Acquainted–4 books
Aware–8 books
Advocate–12 books

I think in the world of book blog reading challenges this is a fairly unique one for a good cause, and I hope you will consider signing up for it!

Just head on over to the challenge’s main page to sign up by commenting with a link to your announcement of participation and feel free to grab the 2012 button for your blog.  The challenge page also contains a list of suggested books sorted by illness that 2011’s participants found to be very helpful.

Rock on, advocates!

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