My Year In Books: 2018

Welcome back to another annual post of my year in books!

As I’ve stated multiple times in the past, each year since 2013 I’ve participated in GoodReads reading challenge and 2018 was no different. What was different was my reading goal. With each passing year I often double the number of books that I want to read.  That was not the case this year.  Instead I slimmed down my goal to only 10 books for the year.

You may ask. The answer is that my life’s getting busier and I wasn’t sure I could read a large number of books.  But guess what?

While my reading goal was 10 books I ended up reading  45 books for the year. 

What can I say,

Now I know compared to other folks the number of books I’ve read for the year pales in comparison but I’m happy to that I accomplished my reading goal again. I’ll give a brief breakdown of the stats but you can view the full report here. Why don’t we take a closer look at what I read shall we?

A couple of the books I read this year were written by first time authors and guess what? They were excellent! Three of my favorites were One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus , The Beauty That Remains by  Ashley Woodfolk  and Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry .  I loved The Beauty That Remains so much I’m going to purchase a copy.  The number of pages that I read was 11,119 across 45 books!

 

Like previous years, graphic novels and trades were prominent among my reading selections, as were Star Wars books. Last year I wanted to read more books by people of color, I did but not to the extent I wanted to.  This year I didn’t read The Outsiders like I’ve done in the past. It remains a favorite book but I haven’t gotten around to reading it. Perhaps next year…

Speaking of which, in regards to my 2019 reading goal I have a few things in mind for what I would like to accomplish.  If things go according to plan, next year I’ll be extremely busy working on something that’ll stir me forward in my professional career (more on that later), so I might not have time to read books that interest me as much as I would like to.  With that in mind, here are my goals for my 2019 year in books.

  1. Read at least 15 books for the year.
  2. Read the entire original Sailor Moon Manga Series.
  3. Read books by authors of color.

When the end of the year comes around again, I hope to accomplish these three goals. What are your reading goals for 2019? Did you accomplish what you set out to read this year? Let me know in the comment section below or on my Facebook page.

Until we meet again my wondrous readers!

 

My Year in Books: 2017

It’s that time of year again where I give you a review of my year in books.

Since 2013 I’ve participated in GoodReads’ reading challenge, where I challenge myself to read a specific number of books for the year. The first time I volunteered myself as tribute, my goal was to read 10 books. I accomplished that goal (I read 28 books) and the next year I doubled it.  Basically each year I double my reading goal and 2017 was no different. Last year my reading goal was 80 books. I ended up reading over 100 books (106 to be exact) so this year I wanted to see if I could do it again.

And boy did I!

This year I read 127 books!  You can view the full report here, but here’s a short breakdown of the stats:

This year I read 24,479 pages across 127 books.

The shortest book was Rachel Rising coming in at 25 pages while the longest book I read was a travel guide book about California-660 pages.  The average length was 193 pages.

One of my favorite books The Outsiders was the most popular book: 884,361 other people have read it. The least popular? Passage To Valhalla: NaPoWriMo 2017 the latest entry in my NaPoWriMo series. Only one other person read it (Psst! It’s free to own so get your copy at Smashwords or Barnes and Noble!).

As far as what types of books I’ve read for the year, well once again it’s a diverse group ranging from manga, Star Wars novels, graphic novels, poetry, and much more.

I’m ecstatic that I was able to accomplish my goal. Next year I’m scaling back my reading goals. My goal for next year is to read 10 books. I know it’s a small number, but the most likely outcome is that I’ll read more than 10, so we’ll see. I also want to read more books by authors of color.

How about you my fellow readers? Did you set a goal for yourself? If so what was it and how did you do? What kind of books did you read this year and do you have a goal to read other types of books next year instead of your usual fare?

Leave your answers in the comments and congrats and happy reading!

2016 My year in books

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2016 is officially over thank the gods. Books were one of the few things that got me through the horrendous year.

As you know, every year  I make a resolution to read a set number of books via the Goodreads yearly reading challenge. I’ve participated since 2013 and this year’s goal was to read 80 books. For 2016, I passed my goal and read 106 books!

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You can take a look back at what I’ve read here.  There’s graphic novels, memiors, and more on my list. I also had the small goal of reading all of the James Bond novels written by creator Ian Fleming that I accomplished.

For 2017, my goal is to read 100 books as I double my reading goal each year. I’ve already started putting a list together and I’m looking forward to conquering this challenge.

With all the uncertainty in this country and around the world, books are vital. Literacy is important and we’ve seen how people are taking it for granted or just plain trying to take away freedom to read from others.

Books inspire us and that’s why their important. Books provide freedom, knowledge, imagination, and creativity. They challenge our beliefs and task us to do better for ourselves and our fellow man.

What are your reading goals for this year?

National Library Week Starts April 10th

Next week on April 10th, National Library Week begins. Initiated in 1958, National Library Week, “is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.” Around the country, libraries of all types, big and small, celebrate with a variety of events and displays.

Special celebrations are held during the week which include the following:

  • Monday, April 11: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2015.
  • Tuesday, April 12: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.
  • Wednesday, April 13: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

NLW-FBcover_0Each year a theme is assigned for the weekly celebration and this year the theme is “Libraries Transform,” and award-winning graphic novelist and the 2016-2017 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang will serve as Honorary Chair. You can learn more about the writer at his website geneyang.com.

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Last year over at Uncanny Pop, I posted infographics, book spotlights, and interviews with librarians and library staff. I’ll repost those articles here on my blog so stay tuned.

(Via ALA.org)

Review: Dark Mists 2: Kurotobi Skies

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Writer: Annika Eade
Artist: Babisu Kourtis
Format: 132 pages Full Colour

Review:

Dark Mists: Kurotobi Skies is an epic tale that concludes the story of the leading Geisha Kimi and her Geisha sisters.

At the book begins with Kimi’s disappearance after the murder of her lover and her sisters’ struggling financially. The murder of Kimi’s lover also pays the way for corrupt government official Osamu to infiltrate the government with his Yakuza army and take control over the Gion the Geisha district.

With Kimi missing and most likely dead, her Geisha sisters try to move on an overcome their grief while they welcome a new Geisha Akane who’s true motivations will have dire consequences for Kimi’s sisters and the Gion. Meanwhile, Kimi lives after surviving a suicide attempt, but her memory and eye sight are not intact. Months pass and she regains both and a new resolve to return home and defend her sisters, the Gion, and save the government.

Having not read the first book, I had no trouble understanding what had previously taken place as I read. The story’s pacing is well paced and intriguing, and I didn’t want to stop reading till I got to the end. Writer Annika Eade scripted a great story that features complex characters. I also loved artist Babisu Kourtis’ beautiful and poignant artwork. The coloring of the illustrations fits the story’s tone extremely well.

Overall Dark Mists: Kurotobi Skies is an excellent story that readers will enjoy and want to read again.

5/5

Purchase your copy here. 

2015 My Year In Books

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Happy New Year! 2016 is officially here and that means new year resolutions. While I’m still thinking about what if any more resolutions I’ll make, I do have one that I’ve been doing every year since 2013 that I’ll share with all of you.

Every year I make a resolution of reading a certain number of books for the year.  To help me monitor and stay on track, I use Goodreads. They have a yearly reading challenge for folks to use and since 2013 I’ve been using it with great results. Last year I wanted to read at least  60 books for the year. I’m happy to say that I surpassed that goal and read 89 books!

You can take a look back at my year in books for 2015 here.  The books I read were diverse in that some were poetry, others were comics and graphic novels, while still other books were novels.  As for this year, I’m hoping to read at least 80 books for 2016.  I’m already in the midst of reading two books so I’ve started off right.

What are your reading goals for this year?

Take the Road Less Traveled: My Picks For Summer Reading 2014

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Summer is winding down and August has arrived. Soon students will head back to their classrooms and learn new things while expanding upon the knowledge they already hold. Families around the country are taking their final road trips and vacations. Everywhere kids and grownups alike are settling down around the campfire, relaxing on the beach soaking up some sun, or reclining on their sofas at home or abroad, all with a good book in their hands. It’s the season of summer reading.

Whether it’s assigned or self-picked, summer reading is a yearly event that takes readers on exciting journeys through the various imaginary adventures located in the pages of books.  Growing up, I always enjoyed reading and this didn’t change during the summer.  Though the books were assigned, I found myself getting lost in the stories, some of which have become favorites of mine.

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Now that I’m an adult, my appetite for reading hasn’t diminished and I continue to immerse myself in the stories. This year I made a goal of reading 40 books for the year and recently I crossed the finish line. I know 40 books isn’t a big deal (On my bucket list I have the goal of reading at least 10,000 books) but it felt wonderful to challenge myself. Next year I’m going to attempt to read at least sixty books.  I’ve read some great works this season and in honor of summer reading, here are my picks for books you to read before the summer ends.

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This is one of my favorite books. The first time I read it was in 7th grade. I reread it this summer and the excitement, thoughts, and feelings I had the first time came back again.

2. Kindred by Octavia Butler

This is a sci-fi book one that sees a young woman in the 70’s going back in time to meet her ancestors. One of which she has to protect and happens to be the son of a slave owner. She also gets to know what it was like to be enslaved firsthand.

3. Mindfulness by Gill Hasson

Previously due to an incident I had experienced, I met with a therapist who discussed mindfulness and last year for convocation at my job I took two classes on the subject.  So why not read a book about it? It’s a helpful book which gives you tips and exercises to bring about positive changes in your life.

4. The Deadly Seven by Kyoko M.

This is a short story collection written and self-published by this talented author who also happens to be my friend. Combine archangels, demons, and a seer mixing it up with the seven deadly sins you get an enjoyable read. Don’t believe me? Just read my review.

5. Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler has become one of my favorite authors. I’ve read most of her books and enjoyed them all. These two make up a series about a young woman living in a dystopian future who sets out on a mission to create a new religion of her own: Earthseed.

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6. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack

What is afrofuturism? Read this book and find out. I guarantee that you’ll be amazed and inspired.

7. The Rose That Grew From The Concrete by Tupac Shakur

I’m a poet and I always get inspired when I read the works of others. Like so many talented artists, Tupac was taken from this world far too soon. Aside from his music, his poetry lives on and gives us an insightful glimpse of who this young man was.

8. Jurassic Park & The Lost World by Michael Crichton

In 1993, I had just finished six grade when Jurassic Park came to life on the big screen. It would be few years later when I would read these two books. My imagination ran wild with the descriptions of the dinosaurs moving and stalking about.

9.  The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway

Tenth grade English Honors was where I was introduced to Mr. Hemmingway. We read an excerpt from his novel in our big thick literature books. Only this summer I finally sat down to read the entire story about the old man and his battle with a giant and magnificent fish.

10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Can you imagine living in a world where books are forbidden and if you’re caught with them they’re taken away and burnt? Throughout our history we’ve seen people burn books. Read the cautious and insightful tale about the fireman who decided to stop the burning.

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11 Blackest Night Series by Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi (writers)

A few years ago on Free Comic Book Day, I read a DC comic which had a preview of this story and I was intrigued. My sister had the entire series (consisting of seven volumes) and it was an amazing read.

12.  The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills by Charles Bukowski

Matt Dillon is a favorite actor (and celebrity crush) of mine and after watching him portray Charles Burkowski’s alter ego Henry Chinaski, in Factotum, I was curious to know more about the writer. I did a little bit of research and borrowed this book of poetry. Isn’t it interesting how a film can peak your interest in a book and vice versa?

13. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Speaking of movies, I saw the film before I read the book and I believe the film did its predecessor justice. As I read I visualized and remembered the action sequences from the film.  Fleming does a fantastic job writing about his creation 007 in the first of his many adventures.

14. Storykiller by Kelly Thompson

I got this book as a reward for being a backer in Thompson’s Kickstarter project to get this book published. It was an enjoyable read (see my review here) and an interesting take on characters such as the Big Bad Wolf, Robin Hood, and the Ice Queen. Fans have a lot to look forward to since Thompson’s first novel The Girl Who Would Be King has been optioned for a film!

There are many more books that I could recommend but these are my favorites from this year of summer reading. Take the road less traveled and pick up one or more of these books from your library, bookstore, comic book shop, or Amazon. Happy Summer Reading!

P. S.

What books would you recommend for the last month of summer? Post them in the comments below!