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Books Read in 2017: A Recap of My Reading Challenge

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Yesterday, I posted the visual report from Goodreads of what I read in 2017. Here’s how the results match up with my goals.

By the Numbers

As I’d done for the past several years, I set last year’s goal by simply adding one to the previous year’s total. That put me at a goal of 65 titles to be read in 2017 (an average of 5.4 titles per month). How did I do?

Up through the beginning of December, I was barely on track to meet the goal of 65 . . . until I realized how many letters (see next section) I still needed to complete for the second part of my goal. So I dug in and spent a lot more time reading in December to meet both parts of the challenge.

You can see the full list of everything I read in 2017 in my Goodreads list.

By the Letter(s)
In addition to a total number of books, I took my 2015 goal of reading one author for each letter of the alphabet (with X being optional) and expanded it to two authors for each letter of the alphabet (X being optional again). Here’s how I did alphabetically:

A

    1. Ackroyd, Peter; 2. Alcott, Louisa May; 3. Atwood, Margaret; 4. Austen, Jane; 5. Ashley, Jennifer; 6. Aslan, Reza

B

    1. Balogh, Mary; 2. Burrowes, Grace; 3. Butler-Bowdon, Tom (Ed.); 4. Beau, Elle

C

    1. Cates, Kimberly; 2. Crystal, David; 3. Cahill, Thomas

D

    1. Doescher, Ian; 2. Dare, Tessa

E

    1. Ellison, J. T.; 2. Erickson, Carolly

F

    1. Featherstone, Charlotte; 2. Fisher, Carrie; 3. Freed, Alexander; 4. Forsyth, Mark

G

    1. Gilman, Charlotte Perkins; 2. Gaskell, Elizabeth; 3. Grecian, Alex

H

    1. Harper, Julia (Elizabeth Hoyt); 2. Hampton, Richard

I

    1. Isaac, Kara; 2. Irving, Washington

J

    1. James, Henry; 2. Jones, Darynda

K

    1. Knightley, Erin; 2. Kelly, Carla

L

    1. Lenhardt, Melissa; 2. Lin, Amber; 3. Lincoln, Abraham and Stephen Douglas; 4. Lee, Georgie

M

    1. Marlowe, Mia; 2. Massie, Robert K.; 3. McCullough, David; 4. Meyer, G. J.; 5. Milan, Courtney; 6. Milan, Courtney; 7. Miller, John Jackson; 8. Moulton, Gary E.

N

    1. Norton, K. C.; 2. Noble, Kate

O

    1. O’Keefe, Megan E.; 2. O’Neal, Eilis

P

    1. Paine, Thomas; 2. Pool, Daniel; 3. Putney, Mary Jo; 4. Prose, Francine

Q

    1. Quick, Amanda; 2. Quick, Kathryn

R

    1. Ridley, Erica; 2. Raybourn, Deanna

S

    1. Shea, Ammon; 2. St. James, Simone

T

    1. Thomas, Sherry; 2. Thoreau, Henry David

U

    1. Unsworth, Tania; 2. Ursu, Anne

V

    1. Van Dyken, Rachel; 2. Verge, Lisa Ann

W

    1. Wendig, Chuck; 2. Wilson, A. N.

Y

    1. Young, Felicity; 2. Yansky, Brian

Z

    1. Zahn, Timothy; 2. Zahler, Diane

The Genres
Back in 2014, I did a reading challenge that included a bunch of genres that I don’t usually read—fantasy (non-romance), historical fiction (non-romance), science fiction, mystery, nonfiction, horror/paranormal, etc. I did this to try to break myself out of my reading comfort zone and expand my reading (and writing) horizons. But just like when I was in school with assigned reading lists, I had a hard time wanting to force myself to read those genres I’m not familiar/comfortable with.

The A to Z challenge, however, has taken me on a journey into genres that I might not have picked up before—mainly because it’s kind of hard to find historical romance novels written by people with last names fitting every letter of the alphabet! Here are the genres I read in 2017:

  1. Annual Austen
  2. Classic American Literature
  3. Classic British Literature
  4. Contemporary Romance
  5. Contemporary Romance – Inspirational
  6. Contemporary Romance – Paranormal
  7. Contemporary Romantic Suspense
  8. Fantasy–Horror–Suspense/Thriller
  9. Historical Fiction – 16th–17th Century
  10. Historical Fiction – American 19th Century
  11. Historical Mystery – Victorian
  12. Historical Romance – 18th Century
  13. Historical Romance – Regency
  14. Historical Romance – Regency/Paranormal
  15. Historical Romance – Victorian
  16. Mystery/Suspense-Thriller
  17. Nonfiction–Biography
  18. Nonfiction–British History (10th–15th Centuries)
  19. Nonfiction–British History (16th–17th Centuries)
  20. Nonfiction–American History (19th Century)
  21. Nonfiction–Literary Criticism
  22. Nonfiction–Memoir
  23. Nonfiction–Political Science
  24. Nonfiction–Religion
  25. Nonfiction–Sociology/Psychology
  26. Nonfiction–Story Research
  27. Nonfiction–Writing Craft
  28. Novella–Contemporary Romance
  29. Novella–Historical Romance (Regency)
  30. Novella–Historical Romance (Victorian)
  31. Short Story–Contemporary Romance
  32. Short Story–Sci-Fi
  33. Short Story–Fantasy
  34. Star Wars
  35. Young Adult – Fantasy
  36. Young Adult/Middle Grade – Fantasy

How was your reading by the numbers in 2017?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, January 3, 2018 3:36 am

    God, I have had such a bad reading year but am motivated to finish my goodreads challenge of 50 books. You make me want to read even more than the challenge I have set myself, Love Kaddy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wednesday, January 3, 2018 2:16 pm

      I have a few times a year where I get into a complete reading slump—I just can’t abide the idea of picking up my Kindle and putting words in front of my face. This year, I made sure to make allowances for that by including quite a number of novellas and short stories (and one long-form blog series) just to mix things up. Oh, and I go to sleep at night with an audiobook running. That’s one of the reasons I ended up with so much nonfiction on my list this year. Those are easiest to listen to when falling asleep. Not that they’re boring (well . . . sometimes they are!), but that I just don’t feel like I have to pay as close attention to the storyline as I do with fiction.

      Like

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