Friday, January 3, 2014

Reading Recap 2013.

As I did last year, I'm going to post my stats from 2012 in italics next to the numbers for 2013, just for my own extremely nerdy comparison purposes!

Total Books Read: (54) 72. Although Goodreads originally had my count for 2013 at 58. And then halfway into doing this reading recap, I realized that a bunch of my books didn't have the "date read" set to anything, which is why it looked like I hardly ready any more books than last year, and why it also looked like I hadn't met my Goodreads 2013 Reading Goal when I TOTALLY HAD. My numbers from 2012 are probably likewise off, making most of these comparisons meaningless. I think this is a phenomenon that happens when I add books on my phone, because the Goodreads app is the worst. UGH. #GOODREADSPROBLEMS, am I right?

Within Those Books:

- Children's or Young Adult Fiction: (34) 46.

- Picture Books: (0) 0 :( :( :(

- Queer Lit (YA or adult): (30) 34. Getting more and more gay each year!

- "Adult" Books: (10) 26. Becoming ever-increasingly adult through the influences of Book Riot and running the AfterEllen book club. Although I mean, considering I still read 20 more kid/teen novels, clearly I'm not TOO MUCH of an adult. Thank God.

- Graphic Novels (YA or adult): (11) 14. Still want this number to be higher. Official goal for next year: 20 graphic novels!

- "Classics": (2) 3. Although one (A Christmas Carol) was a read-aloud with a group, and the two others are queer lit classics that I'm counting, although I'm sure they're not included in the hetero world's canon (The Price of Salt and Stone Butch Blues). Unsure about whether I should include Strangers in Paradise too, as both a queer classic and also a graphic novel classic, although I only read the measly first volume anyway. The point is, I need to read more classics, and the second point is, the whole "classics" title is problematic.

- Nonfiction (YA or adult): (5) 9. Still want this number to be higher, too.

And I'm adding a new category this year because I want to:

- Poetry: 2.

Some Highlights:


The Fault in Our Stars, John Green. DUH.


Bomb, Steve Sheinkin. This is youth nonfiction, a category which is almost always awesome and also extremely overlooked. But whether it's written for youth or not, I was totally enraptured by this entire story. I wanted to talk about it for weeks. Worthy of those gazillion awards adorning its cover.


Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell. This book wound its way into the most sacred of my Warmest, Happiest, Most Romantic heart parts, and it did it almost from the first page.


Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo. I got totally wrapped into this world, dark and enchanting. Can't wait for the conclusion. I have lots of Feelings about the Darkling.


A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki. No other novel this year made me laugh so much--the first line is "Hi!"--while being so heartbreaking at the same time. While I found Nao's story more engaging, I also loved the atmosphere of Ruth's British Columbian island town. The quantum physics stuff went straight over my head, but overall, just really lovely.


Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Kirstin Cronn-Mills. Without a doubt, my favorite queer YA read of my year. Fantastic.


The Heroes of Olympus series, Rick Riordan. This was the year I became obsessed with Rick Riordan books again, an obsession I am totally proud of. And that has also helped me answer many a trivia question about Greek and Roman gods.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Saenz. Oh, OK, so when I just said a second ago that Beautiful Music was "without a doubt" my favorite queer YA read of the year, I guess my doubts are more fickle than I anticipated, because I also really, really, really loved this one. Quiet and beautiful.


The Engagements, J. Courtney Sullivan. J. Courtney Sullivan is a characters master. I love characters masters. (Supposedly Reese Witherspoon has picked up the movie rights to this? We'll see.)


Bird and Squirrel, James Burks. Lolz, my favorite kids book I read this year. Bird and Squirrel are amazing.


Drama, Raina Telgemeier. I am a sucker for stories about middle school/high school stage crew anyway, and then Raina Telgemeier goes ahead and makes it 100% adorable while also being way inclusive. Thumbs up.


Rapture Practice, Aaron Hartzler. A really well done memoir written for youth, a category I've rarely read before. The best part of it is that it shows a view of people who are so easy to hate, and their evil deeds aren't hidden, but they're examined the way a son can examine them: with empathy and love.


Proxy, Alex London. This was the best dystopian YA I've read since Hunger Games or Divergent, yet I feel like hardly anyone talked about it. On top of a non-stop action-filled plot, the main character is queer AND a person of color. Read Proxy, people!

Other thoughts:

Overall, while this was a great reading year, it also feels like I inadvertently had a very white reading year. A Tale for the Time Being is the one book that stands out as focusing on a culture that was different from my own, along with Aristotle and Dante and Proxy. A lot of the books I read had a culturally diverse cast (the Rick Riordan books, Drama, and Park Sheridan, of course), but, I dunno. I want to make it a point to read more books written by and about people of color this year, including YA and adult.

Another goal for 2014: read more of the books that are actually already on my shelves, in addition to being more up on current releases.

*rolls up sleeves* *jumps into piles of books**swims*

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