Firstly, the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop closes tonight, so click the link on the right and get your entry in.
Secondly, I have books on sale tomorrow as part of the New Year, New Reads promotion day for all those people who need help using the gift cards they got for Christmas. Watch for the special offers tomorrow!
My Book of the Year Award
This is simply my pick of those books I read in 2016. There were a lot of them, even though I only did a Goodreads target of 52, I did even more than the previous years when I set myself the target of 60. But I was stingier with my star ratings this year, only giving them when I thought they deserved the Goodreads ‘awesome’ tag (4 stars means I really liked it!)
The books that got five stars were:
- The One Memory of Flora Banks, Emily Barr
- The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1), Rick Riordan
- The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co #1), Jonathan Stroud
- The Other Einstein, Marie Benedict
- A Grave Tree (Derivatives of Displacement #3), Jennifer Ellis
- Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Zoe & Zak #1), Lars Guignard
- The Martian, Andy Weir
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1), Becky Chambers
- The Last Pilot, Benjamin Johncock
- Dear Amy, Helen Callaghan
- The Good Liar, Nicholas Searle
- Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel, ed. David Gatewood
- Forgotten Suns, Judith Tarr
- Sons of the Sphinx, Cheryl Carpinello
- A Room Full of Bones (Ruth Galloway #4), Elly Griffiths
- The Rosetta Man, Claire McCague
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne
That’s 17 out of a total of 65 read. 25%. Despite saying I was going to be stricter, I don’t think I’ve actually dropped the number of five star ratings, although I notice a slightly larger proportion recently, so maybe I’m getting softer. There’s a mix of MG, fantasy, history, scifi, crime, mystery, and even non-fiction there, but it’s probably heavier on the scifi, which is interesting, since I think I’m quite strict on what I count as amazing in scifi! I have been catching up on scifi having avoided it while I was working on the Perihelix, though, so it may be that I’ve just picked up a lot of excellent books here. I recommend them all to you, but if you just want four, I’d say Dear Amy, Synchronic, Rosetta Man and Screaming Staircase (reviewing next Saturday), with the One Memory of Flora Banks as your first pick for 2017 as it’s out on January 12th (and reviewed here Jan 14th).
Well done, all you fabulous authors!
Reading Challenge Round-up
I told you what challenges I am doing in 2017 earlier in the month, but you can check all the details of this year’s challenge books read (and other challenges) in the menu headings top left.
- I went through the Goodreads Reading challenge target in November, and just kept on reading to get more books off my TBR, which is really the driving force behind my reading at present. I’ve eventually finished at 65 books, which is my biggest total yet.
- The Mount TBR Challenge, books from your To Be Read list, strictly on the list and in your possession by 31st Dec 2015, I got through 24 by November and finished up at 30. I confess I got a couple of those from the library or second-hand stalls, but they had been on my list for years, and it was the list, not the shelf, that seemed important to me.
- The What an Animal challenge seemed hard to start with, but then the animals on covers started appearing, and I read twice as many as I’d expected. Next year only books featuring an animal as part of the story will count.
- The Alphabet Soup Challenge was fun, and achieved with the dubious addition of the X Pirate series, which is not the title of the book. That’s also going to be stricter for next year, requiring the letter to be the first in the title except for J,Q,X and Z. Funnily enough I don’t seem to have trouble with Q and Z. I’m doing this again, and will probably also participate in the Great Middle Grade Reads’ MG version, too, which I didn’t complete, missing out on A,D,E,H,N,R and X. Must try harder next year!
I hope you enjoyed your 2016 reading, and you’re looking forward to new adventures in other people’s worlds in 2017. I don’t know how I’m going to cope with all these series I’m now reading, but I’m still looking forward to new books, especially from favourite authors. I expect you are too.
In this crazy world of ours, perhaps our best solution is to retreat to a book, but remember to reach out and help people who need your company, and your wise words, and, most of all, your care and friendship.
Thanks for being with me this year, and happy new year!