calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Mt TBR, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books, Words Are My Matter, Ursula Le Guin, Year of the Orphan, Daniel Findley, Ms Marvel, G. Willow Wilson, Queens of Geek, Jen Wilde, Rosemary and Rue, Seanan McGuire, Nimona, Noelle Stevenson, The Year's Best Asutralian Fantasy and Horror, Liz Grzyb, Talie Helene

It’s official: the Hugo Awards have broken my Mt TBR. The voting packet arrived this month and I am suddenly drowning in books. There’s still some that came in the voting packet that I haven’t yet recorded on my TBR. Nevertheless, I’m quite delighted. In addition to the things listed below, I also made my way through the material provided for the Best Fan Writer and Best Short Story categories. Since they’re not exactly books, it’s hard to know how to capture them in my records.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, Mouse Guard, David Petersen, Ms Marvel, G. Willow Wilson, The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, Crow Shine, Alan Baxter, vN, Madeline Ashby, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson, Finnikin of the Rock, Melina Marchetta, books and tea, tea and books

April was already a great month for my reading, but it was nice to have Dewey’s readathon to give it an extra boost. Mt TBR has increased a little with the release of the shortlists for the Hugos and the Ditmars. However, the award shortlists also mean I’m not having any trouble meeting my new year’s resolution to get to the library more often.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 327
Mt TBR @ 31 March 2017: 307
Mt TBR @ 30 April 2017: 306

Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books, Mt TBR, A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab, Victoria Schwab, David Malouf, Ransom, Emily Dickinson, Certain Dark Things, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mouse Guard, David Petersen

March was the first full calendar month where I didn’t have any reading to do for the Aurealis Awards. My reading rate subsequently took a plunge, but I remain happy, especially since there were a lot of good books this month. And things are likely to pick up again, now that the shortlists for the Hugo Awards have been released.

One of my personal reading challenges this year was to make at least one trip to the library per month. This month I managed two trips, picking up Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee, Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer, Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and Chaos Choreography and Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 327
Mt TBR @ 28 February 2017: 309
Mt TBR @ 31 March 2017: 307

Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, Goldenhand, Garth Nix, Threader, Rebekah Turner, Hexenhaus, The Bone Queen, Alison Croggan, The Impossible Story of Olive in Love, Tonya Alexandra, Elegy, Jane Abbott, Frogkisser!, The Ocean of the Dead, Andrew McGahan, books and tea, tea and books

The first half of February continued January’s frantic pace as I concentrated on finishing all the remaining Aurealis nominations. The second half slowed down to a somewhat more manageable pace.

Since I’m over halfway towards my goal of reading 100 books for 2017, I’ve decided to revise the goal up to 150.

My other personal reading goals also included one trip to the library a month. February included two trips: one to pick up The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin and When A Scott Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare (both so I could read along with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Paperback podcast), the other to pick up Binti: Home by Nnedi Okrafor.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 327
Mt TBR @ 31 January 2017: 307
Mt TBR @ 28 February 2017: 309

Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

2017 got off to an epic start. With the deadline for Aurealis judging breathing down my neck, I’ve been tearing through the books faster than I’ve been acquiring them. At the rate I’m going, I should have no trouble making it to 100 books by the end of the year. In fact, I’m thinking of revising the goal upward, since I’m already a third of the way there and it’s only February.

My personal reading goals also included one trip to the library a month. I went and picked up Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire, but haven’t yet had a chance to read it. I’ve still got a couple of weeks before it’s due back, though.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 327
Mt TBR @ 31 January 2016: 307

Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: (Calissa)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, books and tea, tea and books, A Shattered Empire, Mitchell Hogan, Special, Georgia Blain, Black, Fleur Ferris, Yellow, Gemina, Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman, The Road to Winter, Mark Smith, The Map of Bones, Francesca HaigHappy New Year! 2016 was a rough year for many, so I hope 2017 has been kind to you so far. My holiday was lovely and I was glad to spend some time with my family. I also manged to get plenty of reading done, which was a great way to see out the year.

Speaking of which, it’s time for me to take a good look at my reading stats for the year.

2016 reading stats

2016 was a record-breaking year for my reading. I managed a personal best 117 books. My previous best was 103 books in 2009. Being a judge for the Aurealis Awards was a good motivator. It also skewed my stats.

I don’t consider YA to be a genre so much as a market. So, taking that out of the equation, my most read genre was fantasy. No surprises there. Romance was my next most popular, with sci-fi a hairsbreadth behind.

Around 75% of the books I read in 2016 were written by women. I read 8 books written by authors of unknown, non-binary or multiple genders, which is about half the amount I read last year.

49% of the books I read in 2016 were written by Australian authors. This is up significantly on 34% in 2015. Judging the Aurealis Awards was surely a factor.

2015 was the first year I started tracking the diversity of the authors I’ve read. 22% of the books I read that year were from authors I consider diverse. It improved slightly to 25% this year, but it’s clear I still need to make some effort in this area.

E-books made up 53% of the books I read in 2016, which is about on par with 2015. In previous years, e-books were at best a third of what I read. This indicates to me there has been a permanent change in my reading habits.

58 of the books I read were published in 2016. The average age of the books I read was 2.71 years. The average tenure on Mt TBR was 162 days. Last year it was 104 days, so I must be getting through a bit of the older stuff. My mean rating (out of 5) was 3.2, which is down a little on last year but suggests I’m still probably being a bit generous with my ratings… or sensible enough to ditch books that aren’t working for me.

These numbers probably don’t mean much to anyone else, but I have such fun keeping track of them throughout the year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort. I’ll report on the results of that challenge next week.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 244
Mt TBR @ 31 December 2016: 327

Books Read

99. Glass Slipper Scandal by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Read for Aurealis. In the fairytale kingdom of Charming, a rookie reporter and a new palace guard cross paths as the kingdom attempts to marry off troublesome twin princes.

100.A Shattered Empire by Mitchell Hogan. Read for Aurealis. The final book of the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence. When the powerful rulers of two empires clash, Caladan must master his talents and find a way to prevent further bloodshed.

101.Black by Fleur Ferris. Read for Aurealis. Contemporary YA. Ebony Marshall is rumoured to be cursed. Three of her best friends have died over the years and she does her best to keep everyone else at arm’s length. The arrival of a new boy in her small town makes that difficult and soon disturbs old secrets.

102.Special by Georgia Blain. Read for Aurealis. Dystopian YA in which corporations have replaced nations. The rich are genetically designed, while the poor must hope to win a yearly lotto to have a child genetically designed. Fern Marlow is one such child. However, something seems to have gone wrong with this year’s Lotto Girls and Fern must go on the run.

103.The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale. Read for Aurealis. Contemporary YA. After losing her brother in a bombing, Summer’s family move from London to Melbourne as they try to leave their grief behind. But Summer is unwilling to leave behind her brother’s guitar and soon realises the guitar is no ordinary instrument.

104.The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig. Read for Aurealis. The second inThe Fire Sermon series. A post-apocalyptic YA set after a nuclear disaster. Twin births are the norm with one, the Alpha, being fully able-bodied, and the Omega displaying a mutation or disability. The book explores oppression and sibling rivalry. Cass must confront the full extent of the atrocities perpetrated by her brother.

105.Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Read for Aurealis. The second inThe Illuminae Files. When a team of assassins arrive on jump stationHeimdall, it’s up to the station’s pampered daughter and the nephew of a crime lord to make sure everyone survives.

106.A World of Ash by Justin Woolley. Read for Aurealis. Last book of post-apocalyptic YAThe Territory. As zombies close in on the town of Alice, it’s up to Squid, Lynn and Nim to save the day.

107.A Pirate for Christmas by Anna Campbell *. A lovely break from Aurealis reading. Regency romance. The new Earl of Channing is both Scottish and rumoured to be a pirate. However, Bess is not going to let his reputation scare her out of holding him accountable to his community duties.

108. Her Christmas Earl by Anna Campbell *. Regency romance. After being found trapped in a closet with notorious rake, the Earl of Erskine, Philippa Sanders’s reputation is in ruins. Only a quick marriage can salvage it and Philippa finds the earl surprisingly agreeable.

109.Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha *. Post-apocalyptic erotica. Thrown out of Eden for failing to live up to their strict moral standards, sheltered city girl Noelle won’t last long in the criminal sectors surrounding the glamorous city. Fortunately, she is rescued by Jasper, a lieutenant of the O’Kayne gang. Scorching hot erotica that positively depicts sex, bisexuality and polyamory. More please!

110.Yellow by Megan Jacobson. Read for Aurealis. Kirra’s friends bully her and her mother is an alcoholic. She promises a ghost she will find out who murdered him if he can turn her life around in exchange.

111.Drums and Power Lines by Rowena Evans. Read for Aurealis. After seeking to escape a bully, Ivan unexpectedly finds himself in a world disturbingly close to his own.

112.Argenterra by Donna Maree Hanson. Read for Aurealis. Two girls find themselves in another world filled with magic. While Aria fits right in, Sophy struggles to adjust.

113.A Toaster on Mars by Darrell Pitt. Read for Aurealis. A futuristic detective story in which a special agent gains a new partner he’s not too happy about. Told in a quirky style reminiscent of Douglas Adams.

114.The Troll’s Toll by Kirstie Olley. Read for Aurealis. A fairytale retelling of a princess who is given to a troll when her wastrel father can’t afford to pay the bridge toll.

115.Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks. Read for Aurealis. An alternate history steampunk with magic. When well-bred Emmeline is deported to Australia for theft, she struggles to keep her mechanical heart a secret.

116.The Road to Winter by Mark Smith. Read for Aurealis. Finn has learned to look after himself after a virus wipes out most of Australia’s population. However, things get complicated when a young woman arrives on his doorstep needing help.

117.Heart Hunter by K.S. Nikakis. Read for Aurealis. Fleet is a young hunter in a clan struggling to survive as winter takes a more permanent grip over their lands. When she makes an enemy of the clan’s new oracle, Fleet finds herself sent out into the wilderness to achieve an impossible task that could help the clan survive.

Books Acquired

Time Catcher by Cheree Peters
Threader by Rebekah Turner
The Price of Magic by K.J. Taylor
Fire Boy by Sami Shah
Duplicity by Talitha Kalago
Demon Hunters 4: Premonition by Avril Sabine
Rosie’s Rangers 1: Justice by Avril Sabine
Rosie’s Rangers 2: Vengeance by Avril Sabine
Realms of the Fae 2: Marked by the Wild Hunt by Avril Sabine
Plea of the Damned 3: Forgive me Jena by Avril Sabine
Wanted: A Gentleman by K.J. Charles
Dreaming in the Dark edited by Jack Dann
Redemption by Lara Morgan
Angel Blood by K.S. Nikakis
The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
The Ocean of the Dead by Andrew McGahan
Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti
Goldenhand by Garth Nix
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Musketeers in Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts
A Pirate for Christmas by Anna Campbell
Her Christmas Earl by Anna Campbell
Beyond Pain by Kit Rocha
Who’s Afraid Too? by Maria Lewis
Beyond Control by Kit Rocha
Beyond Denial by Kit Rocha
Beyond Painby Kit Rocha
Beyond Temptation by Kit Rocha
Beyond Jealousyby Kit Rocha
Beyond Solitudeby Kit Rocha
Beyond Addiction by Kit Rocha
Beyond Possession by Kit Rocha
Beyond Innocence by Kit Rocha
Closed Doorby Kit Rocha
Blank Canvasby Kit Rocha
Beyond Ruinby Kit Rocha
Beyond Ecstasy by Kit Rocha
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
Bitten by Amanda Pillar
The Hopes of Kings by Steve Reilly
A Private Miscellany by K.J. Charles

Online Reading

Nominal by Unpretty. Bruce Wayne gets creative with spreadsheets in order to manage his depression. Hilarious and sweet, even if I don’t think depression works that way.

What have you read this month?

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, Alison Goodman, A Tangle of Gold, Jaclyn Moriarty, Book of Lies, Teri Terry, The Bone Queen, Alison Croggon, Allegiance, Confused, Wanda Wiltshire, TBR, books and tea, tea and books, Earl Grey Editing

November has been… an interesting month. I got off to a roaring start but eye strain slowed me down significantly and I continue to be slow to recover. So I’m pleased that I still managed to finish a reasonable number of books.

As expected, my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats continue to slip. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I finished October at 45% and November puts me at 44%. With all the Aurealis reading I have to get through, it’s unlikely to improve before the year ends.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Önline )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

 

20161102_091753-instagram

Oh boy. October was a pretty good month for reading. It also involved a flood of acquisitions: some Aurealis entries, some gifts, some acquisitions from Conflux, some loans and some just because I had to have them. So usual story (well, except for the gifts), just slightly higher numbers.

My #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats continue to slip. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I finished September at 48%. October takes me down to 45%. With all the Aurealis reading I have to get through, it’s unlikely to improve before the year ends.

The positive news is that I managed to hit my Goodreads Challenge target of 90 books and I look set to hit my personal goal of 100 books before the year ends.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, September book haul, Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock, Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the end of the Lane, Juliet Marillier, Den of Wolves, books and tea, A Toaster on Mars, Darrell Pitt, Waer, Meg Caddy, Iris and the Tiger, Leanne Hall, Kimberley Starr, The Book of Whispers, We Ate the Road Like Vultures, Lynette Lounsbury, The Curiosity Machine, Richard Newsome, Jessica Miller, Elizabeth and Zenobia, Julius and the Soulcatcher, Time Hehir, The Road to Winter, Mark Smith

September is right in the middle of Birthday Season, that time of year when just about everyone I know has a birthday. There has been much cake and not nearly enough reading. Mt TBR is wildly out of control, mostly thanks to an influx of books for the Aurealis Awards. On one glorious morning, I had a box of eight (!) books arrive from Text Publishing (you can see them in the photo above).

My #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats continue to slip. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I finished August at 50%. September takes me down to 48%.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status ) Books read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

 

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, books and tea, A Map of Bones, Francesca Haig, The Night Circus, Eric Morgenstern, The OTher Side of Summer, Emily Gale, Special, Georgia Blain, Tellow, Megan Jacobson, Black, Fleur Ferris, Leviathan Wakes, James S. A. Corey, The Expanse, Drums and Power Lines, Rowena Evans, A Shattered Empire, Michell Hogan, Mouse Guard, David Petersen

I did a decent amount of reading this month, but just couldn’t keep up with the onslaught of books that came in this month. Most of these acquisitions came as Aurealis entries, but there were a few review books and I also couldn’t resist a few other bits and pieces. Mt TBR is definitely at a record new height.

Much to my surprise, my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats have only slipped slightly. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I finished July at 51% and the end of August has me at 50%.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 244
Mt TBR @ 31 July 2016: 256
Mt TBR @ 31 August 2016: 270

Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: (Calissa)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, books and tea, Illuminae, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff,

July wasn’t my slowest month for reading this year, but it came close. I’ve been very unfocused, thanks to my competing reading schedules (Aurealis, Hugo, reviewing). I’ve started quite a few books but not managed to finish many. However, I’m still hanging in there, even if Mt TBR is getting a little out of control.

My #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats are holding steady, but just barely. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I finished June at 51% and scraped in at the same by the end of last month. I’m pretty pleased with that, all things considered.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 244
Mt TBR @ 30 June 2016: 252
Mt TBR @ 31 July 2016: 256

Books Read

58. Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur *. Reviewed here.

59. Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk *. The second in her series Whyborne and Griffin. Historical fantasy m/m romance. A high-born philologist with a talent for magic teams up with a private investigator to uncover the truth behind some mysterious occurrences at a remote coal mine. Fairly light reading, which was just what I needed.

60. Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie *.  Reviewed here.

61. Winning Lord West by Anna Campbell *. Reviewed here.

62. Changeling’s Island by Dave Freer. Read for the Aurealis Awards. A YA novel about a teenage boy who gets shipped off to Flinders Island to stay with his grandmother.

63. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. Review forthcoming.

64. Earth and Lunar Dreaming by C.M. Simpson. Read for the Aurealis Awards. A young girl blackmails a werewolf into helping her escape from danger aboard a spaceship.

DNF – The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. I’ll definitely be coming back to this one. However, attempting to read it in the week where Alton Stirling, Philando Castile and five police officers were shot in the US wasn’t doing my mental health any favours. There wasn’t time to finish the book before it had to be returned to the library.

Books Acquired

Earth and Lunar Dreaming by C.M. Simpson
Dragon Slayer Number 9 by Instisar Khanani
Book of Lies by Teri Terry
Confused by Wanda Wiltshire
The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Pope
A World of Ash by Justin Woolley
Something Nice by Tiffany Reisz
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
At the Edge by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts

Online Reading

Wingborn Ch 11-20 by Becca Lusher. A Regency-style fantasy with giant eagles. The feathers hit the fan when Mhysra’s parents discover she’s enlisted in the Rift Riders without their permission.

What have you read this month?

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

 

Mt TBR, History and Fiction, Gillian Polack, Binti, Nnedi Okorafor, Aradia, Charles Leland, Seanan McGuire, Discount Armageddon, Midnight Blue-light Special, InCryptid, tea cup, tea and books

Entries for the Aurealis Awards started coming in this month. It has been a challenge to juggle them with reading for the Hugos and reading review books. However, I’m doing a decent job of keeping up with the Aurealis reading and the voting deadline for the Hugos is in a month. Things should ease up a bit then (famous last words, I know).

Unsurprisingly, now that the Aurealis entries are coming in, my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats are beginning to drop. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I was at 52% at the end of last month and am at 50% now. I expect that’s only going to get worse over the coming months.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Seveneves, Neal Stephenson, Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut's Windlass, The Cinder Spires, The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin, Ishtar, Amanda Pillar, K.V. Taylor, The Wild Girl, Kate Forsyth, books and tea, Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR

May was a challenging month for reading. It got off to a slow start, thanks to the way I binge-watched two seasons of Daredevil on Netflix. It also didn’t help that May unofficially turned into the month of chunksters, particularly when the Hugo nominees for Best Novel arrived from the library.

My #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats are looking reasonable. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I was at 52% at the end of last month and am at the same now. I don’t anticipate that this will improve (or that I will meet my goal for the year) now that I’ve signed up as an Aurealis judge. Books for the Aurealis Awards will likely start arriving in the next month.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

Earl Grey Editing, Mt TBR, Dungeon World, Sage LaTorra, Adam Koebel, The Opposite of Life, Narelle Harris, tea, tea and books

March may have been a terrible month for Mt TBR, but April made up for it. I’m very pleased that I have almost broken even for the year and I’m hoping I can keep this up for the next eight months. Hey, a girl can dream.

I’ve also done better with #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR.  It was at 40% at the end of March and I’ve managed to claw it back to 52%. I’m not confident I’ll improve much on that in May, especially because I got way too excited with some review books and will be posting two reviews a week for the next month just to keep up.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

20160331_113235_Richtone(HDR) Instagram

Um. So, between some excellent sales (particularly from Samhain as they wind up), some raids on the library in preparation for Contact and my trip to the Contact dealers room, I might have been a bit excitable with my acquisitions. Even keeping up my excellent reading rate hasn’t helped. But I always knew March was going to bring in a lot of books.

Unsurprisingly, my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks stats have taken a dive. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. At the moment, it’s at 40%, so I have a fair bit of work to do and will be concentrating on that in the coming month.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 244
Mt TBR @ 29 February 2016: 241
Mt TBR @ 31 March 2016: 253

Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: (Calissa)

Earl Grey Editing, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Mt TBR, The Lyre Thief, Jennifer Fallon, HarperVoyager, Clariel, Garth Nix, The Old Kingdom, Allan and Unwin, Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London, Peter Grant, Gollancz, Wicked Embers, Keri Arthur, Souls of Fire

Wow. It seems the increase in my reading pace is sticking around. In fact, I’ve read so much that Mt TBR has actually shrunk a little bit. If this keeps up, I might actually break even for 2016! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Contact2016 is in March and I anticipate a trip to the dealers room may do some damage.

Despite the good news for Mt TBR, I’m not doing nearly so well with the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year come from Mt TBR. I’m currently sitting on 47%, thanks to a number of review books and Leife Shallcross’s collection of Ben Aaronovitch. The war is far from lost, though; I’m reasonably confident I can make up some ground in March, even with the convention to attend.

Books with an asterisk on the list below were part of my #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks effort.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2016: 244
Mt TBR @ 31 January 2016: 246
Mt TBR @ 29 February 2016: 241

Books Read

10. The Duchess War by Courtney Milan *. Romance as it is meant to be. This is a Regency romance about Minnie, a young lady seeking to flee the scandal of her past by being as bookish and mousey as possible. Unfortunately for her, the Duke of Clermont sees straight through her façade and has an agenda of his own that puts her at risk. I especially loved that while both characters came across as smart, there was also a significant difference in their levels of intelligence–a difference that was never used to make one character seem lesser. Highly recommended.

11. Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat *. Reviewed here.

12. Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. The second in the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series, which are crime novels masquerading as fantasy. I’m enjoying these a whole lot and particularly liked seeing the continuing characters develop their relationships. The book also made me laugh out loud many times.

13. Take Me As I Am by Charmaine Ross. A charming contemporary romance set in Australia. It was the characters that really sold it for me. Both are good people trying to do their best for the people they care about. This makes them likeable and provides one of the central conflicts. Kate’s workaholism was deftly done and recognisable. I also loved David’s warm, open nature and the way he manages to hold onto that, even when Kate pushes him away. My one quibble is I think having David be both a talented sculptor and musician seemed overkill to me, and perhaps trying too hard to overcome the tradie stereotype.

14. Chasing Death Metal Dreams by Kaje Harper *. Another contemporary romance, this time m/m between a Latino transgender death metal musician and a Jewish goth artist. I really wish I’d had the space to review this because it was a gorgeous story. It struck me as sensitively done, though being outside my experience I can’t make the claim with authority. I also had a few quibbles about where it verges on White Saviour territory. But overall, a fantastic story.

15. Captive: A Graced Novella by Amanda Pillar. Reviewed here.

16. Rag and Bone by KJ Charles. Reviewed here.

17. Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. The third in the Peter Grant/Rivers of London series. As with the last, I loved the character development, especially with the active return of a couple of characters. I was also pleased that it didn’t play out quite the way I expected. However, it lacked a little of the suspense of the previous two.

18. Freedom Spiced and Drunk by M.C.A. Hogarth *. A fantasy short story about a race with three genders and two puberties. An interesting premise and the yearning for freedom is captured well, but overall it didn’t do much for me.

19. Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch. The fourth in the  Peter Grant/Rivers of London series. OMG, that ending! Talk about epic! I am really loving this series.

20. Susanna and the Spy by Anna Elliott *. A Regency mystery novel with a romance sub-plot. An unemployed governess investigates the murder of her estranged (and rich) grandfather and uncovers more than she bargained for. I found it rather dull and didn’t really buy Susanna’s attraction to her mystery man. In fact, the emotional elements were lacking across the board.

21. Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan. Review forthcoming.

DNF – The Lord and the Mermaid by Bernadette Rowley *. A fantasy romance whose worldbuilding needed work. I also struggled to connect with the characters.

Books Acquired

Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh
Wicked Embers by Keri Arthur
Marcus: Hell Squad by Anna Hackett
Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts by A.K. Benedict
Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat
Clariel by Garth Nix
Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan
Rag and Bone by KJ Charles
Captive by Amanda Pillar
Dark Deceit by Lauren Dawes
The Lyre Thief by Jennifer Fallon

Online Reading

Forest of Memory (Excerpt) by Mary Robinette Kowal. I’ve been meaning to get to her Glamourist books for ages. This is quite different from those, being more of a sci-fi. It’s an intriguing premise but I’m not yet sure it’s for me.

Wingborn Prologue by Becca Lusher. To quote the author: It’s a high fantasy world with giant, talking eagles, Regency-esque manners, a YA protagonist and lots and lots of clouds. Five hundred riders and their eagles disappear from the strongest citadel in Etheria, leaving Lieutenant Lyrai to figure out what happened. I’ve read earlier iterations of this story and Lyrai is one of my favourite of Becca’s characters (though, to be fair, I have many).

What have you read this month?

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

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I’ve had an excellent start to my reading this year. It surprises me a little because I had a deadline and a book of short stories that slowed me down. There is just something about collections of short stories that refuses to let me rush. However, I made up for lost time in the last week of the month.

Andi is running monthly check-ins for the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge (there’s still time to join!), so I’ve decided it would be useful to take a look at my progress as part of my usual TBR reports. My goal for the challenge was to make sure 60% of the books I read this year is from Mt TBR. I’m currently sitting on 55%, which I feel isn’t a bad effort. I started out well. Then I was gifted with tickets to Contact2016 (eeee!!! I’m going to NatCon!), and I felt it was necessary to be familiar with work by the Guests of Honour. Leife Shallcross was lovely enough to loan me her entire Ben Aaronovitch collection.

If you’re interested in seeing which of my reviews fit the #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks challenge, be sure to check out the tag.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: (Calissa)

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Happy New Year! I hope 2016 has been treating you well so far. I had a lovely time with family and friends. My only complaint is that I didn’t get enough reading time (but when is that ever the case?).

Before I kick off with all my book-geeky stats, I want to congratulate Liz Barr on winning the 2016 NAFF race. It was a close race and I’m very thankful to everyone who voted for me. Perhaps I will have better luck next year.

Also, Round 15 of the Bout of Books reading challenge kicks off today and will be running for a week. There’s still time to sign up if you’d like to join in.

With that out of the way and with 2015 officially over, it’s time for me to take a good look at my reading stats for the year.

2015 reading stats

2015 was a fantastic year for my reading. I managed 91 books. It’s not the most I’ve ever read in a calendar year, but it comes close and certainly beats the 56 books I managed in 2014. I should add a caveat that this included graphic novels and a few bits and pieces too short to be strictly considered novels.

The majority of what I read was fantasy and romance, as usual. The exact split is a little difficult to determine, due to my predilection for fantasy romance. I was interested to see I read much more science fiction in 2015. I attribute this partly to Amanda Bridgeman’s Aurora series and partly to my participation in The 2016 Sci-fi Experience reading challenge (which will continue until February).

64% of the books I read in 2015 were written by women, down on 69% in 2014. I read 16 books written by authors of unknown, non-binary or multiple genders, which is just one less than the total number of books I read that were authored by men.

34% of the books I read in 2015 were written by Australian authors. This is an improvement on the 23% of 2014.

2015 was the first year I started tracking the diversity of the authors I’ve read. I found this a difficult variable to track because it’s not always obvious from an author’s bio or even with a Google search. I may need to reconsider if this is a useful approach. Nevertheless, I am somewhat disappointed to find that only 22% of the books I read were from authors I consider diverse.

More than half of the books I read in 2015 were e-books. This is a definite change from 2014, where the proportion was closer to a third. I suspect the change is mostly likely attributable to joining NetGalley and becoming a more active reviewer.

38 of the books I read were published in 2015. The average age of the books I read was 1.84 years. The average tenure on Mt TBR was 104 days, so I need to do some work on the oldest stratum. My mean rating (out of 5) was 3.5, which suggests to me I am probably being a bit generous with my ratings.

These numbers probably don’t mean much to anyone else, but I have such fun keeping track of them throughout the year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2015: 202
Mt TBR @ 31 December 2015: 242

One year I’d like to at least break even. Perhaps 2016 will be that year (I hear that laughing).

Despite the overall numbers, December was an excellent month for reading. The holidays allowed me to relax a bit and power through a few books. The flip side is that the holidays also mean an influx of books… and this doesn’t even count the books I’ll be buying with the fortune I was given in gift cards.

Books Read

80. Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis Wiebe, Roc Upchurch & Stjepan Sejic. The second volume of Rat Queens. I was a bit disappointed with the change in the art style, though I recognise the necessity. The writing remains as snappy as ever. It was nice to see more background unfold but I would have liked a bit more depth (though I realise I’m almost always going to feel this way about graphic novels).  Some full frontal (attractive) male nudity makes a nice change from the female nudity found so much in pop culture.

81. Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. Magic-infused Regency. This book does such a great job of colouring the language with the perspectives of its characters, which is important in a book that focuses on discrimination in Regency London. A touch predictable in places, but overall wonderfully thought-provoking and well worth reading.

82. Hunter Deceived by Nancy Corrigan. Reviewed here.

83. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Reviewed here.

84. A Grosvenor Square Christmas by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Anna Campbell and Katie Noble. An anthology of four linked Regency romances set around an annual Christmas ball. Some fun seasonal reading that showcases the ability of the writers. There was one story I didn’t enjoy quite as much, but all were well written.

85. The Hobbit Chronicles: The Art of War by Daniel Falconer. Reviewed here.

86. Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown. Review forthcoming

87. Steeped by Annelies Zijderveld. A recipe book for tea-infused cooking. A number of the recipes seem rather fiddly or beyond my (basic) skill level, but there were still a few recipes I’m keen to try out.

88. In Heaven and Earth by Amy Rae Durreson. Review forthcoming.

89. Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop. A fantasy novel set on an alternate Earth where humans live at the tolerance of the Others–shapeshifters and Elementals–who control the land. I haven’t been a huge fan of the series so far, but I find myself wondering if I’ve misjudged it. The characterisation remains fairly shallow, but it does wrestle with some pretty heavy issues around self-harm, slavery, discrimination and the environment.

90. The Smuggler and the Warlord by KJ Charles. A short prequel to the series A Charm of Magpies. In fact, it was rather shorter than I expected, being just three pages. It didn’t really add anything to the series but I’ll take whatever I can get of these characters.

91. Feast of Stephen by KJ Charles. Another short story from the series A Charm of Magpies. On the feast of St Stephen, Lord Crane attempts to put a new member of the household at ease by swapping stories. As always, a charming tale, and one that does a great job of hinting at a wealth of backstory while only providing what is necessary.

Books Acquired

Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis Wiebe, Roc Upchurch & Stjepan Sejic
In the Devil’s Nebula by Anna Hackett
On a Cyborg Planet by Anna Hackett
Time Thief by Anna Hackett
Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho
Hunter Forsaken by Nancy Corrigan
Blood of Innocents by Mitchell Hogan
A Grosvenor Square Christmas by Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Anna Campbell and Katie Noble
The Lord and the Mermaid by Bernadette Rowley
Dark Child (Bloodsworn) Episode One by Adina West
Much Ado About Love by Elizabeth Dunk
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Martian by Andy Weir
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
The Smuggler and the Warlord by KJ Charles
Feast of Stephen by KJ Charles
The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Online Reading

No online reading for me last month. I’m going to have to do better, since I’m developing quite a backlog!

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

20151201_103000

Um. It’s amazing the damage a single Amazon gift card can do (though I am very pleased to have won it as part of Dewey’s read-a-thon and grateful to Rachel Noel of Purple Owl Reviews for donating it in the first place). Reading was also a bit slower this month, thanks to work chewing up more of my energy. With such a large deficit and with Christmas approaching, there’s not much hope of breaking even on Mt TBR this year. Next year, I may need to sign up for the Reading My Own Damn Books challenge from Andi at Estella’s Revenge.

Mt TBR Status ) Books Read ) Books Acquired ) Online Reading )

What have you read this month?

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)

 

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My very first post to this blog mentions that Mt TBR was reaching perilous new heights after I became involved with the book blogging community. The post sounds naive to me now, particularly as I wrote it before I started accepting review books. I thought Mt TBR was high back then, but it has grown steadily ever since. Even though my reading pace has increased, Mt TBR is at a personal best (or is it worst?) of 232 books as I write this.

The reactions I get when I tell people my Mt TBR number tend to fall into two categories. Some (almost invariably book bloggers) will nod in recognition; a select few even consider me a lightweight (and rightly so. I’ve seen the number of books the award judges have to get through!). Some–particularly casual readers–boggle at the number. Where do I manage to keep all those books?

Behold the physical incarnation of Mt TBR:

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I know it goes against instinct, but ignore the bookshelf. Mt TBR is in the boxes next to the bookshelf. It’s not exactly a mountain, but keeping it boxed up does make it fairly manageable. Especially with Aurelius keeping guard on top.

Of course, the books those boxes contain aren’t the entirety of Mt TBR. There are some additional books that have already made themselves a home on my various bookshelves, despite their unread status. My Kindle tells me that it hosts 39 unread e-books, with a few more still needing to be loaded.

However, when I think of Mt TBR, this is mostly what I picture:

Weekly Mt TBR

What does your Mt TBR look like? Is it an intimidating alpine range or a manageable molehill?

 

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

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