Monday 31 December 2018

, , ,

Looking Back Over 2018, Looking Forward to 2019

Looking Back Over 2018, Looking Forward to 2019

Can you believe another year has gone by? I swear, it feels like it should only be March, not the end of the year! But no matter who quick it's flown by, it's here, and it's time look over the past year, and make blogging and reading plans for 2019!

Favourite Books of 2018:

These are my favourite books of 2018, but they're my faves that I read this year, not necessarily that were published this year. And, also, I have a lot of faves, so many of these books could fit into multiple categories... so I created other categories so I could include them all! My post, I can do what I like :) Now, onwards!

Fave Book of 2018 Overall:

Muse of Nightmare by Laini Taylor

Muse of Nightmare by Laini Taylor

Fave YA Debut:

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

Fave Adult Debut:

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

Fave YA Novel featuring Mental Illness:

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Fave LGBTQ YA Novel:

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Fave Atmospheric YA Novel:

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Fave YA with multiple POVs

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Fave YA Contemporary:

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers - review coming next month.
But my god, this book is absolutely incredible! It completely broke me. A masterpiece.

Fave YA High Fantasy:

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Fave YA Magical Realism:

The Astonishing Colour of After bty Emily X. R. Pan

The Astonishing Colour of After bty Emily X. R. Pan

Fave YA Horror:

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrande

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Fave YA Retelling:

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Fave YA Thriller:

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

Fave Feminist YA:

I Stop Somewhere by T. E. Carter

I Stop Somewhere by T. E. Carter

Fave Adult High Fantasy:

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakroborty

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakroborty

Also, check out my post, The Smashing and Dashing 2018 Character Awards Tag, for favourite characters!

Looking Back over 2018's Reading:

Reading in General:

My Year in Books

I read 74 books total this year, all fiction. Six of which were adult fantasies, and one MG. I'm down ten books on last year's total, but that's fine. I don't challenge myself to read a certain number of books a year, so it's fine.

Where Authors Are From

Where Authors Are From

I don't think it's much of a surprise that most of the books I read are still by US authors. I ticked off a few more other countries this year, but not as many as I would have liked. I really do want to read from more countries. It's not a goal so much as something I'd just like to do. Hopefully there will be more next year!

Where Books are Set

Where books are set

I also kept track of where books - that didn't have an epic fantasy/sci-fi world setting - took place. Rather than percentages, the numbers relate to the number of books. Not too bad for number of different places, eh? I do want to read more books set in other parts of the world, though. Will have to look out for more next year.

Diverse Reading Stats and #DiverseReadingGoals:

Of the 74 books I read this year, 47 were diverse.

Diverse Books Read
47 diverse books, 27 books that weren't diverse.

Diverse Books

Six of the books that weren't diverse were re-reads of Harry Potter. Originally, I was a little disappointed with these figures, wanting to have read more diverse books. However, there is a lot of talk about who gets to write whose stories, and that authors should stay in their lane. There are a lot of authors who seem not to be marginalised whose work I really enjoy, and want to continue reading. As long as the majority of the books I read are diverse, I'll continue to read the books I enjoy.

Now on to the actual diverse books! Here is a break down of what I read.

Marginalised Protagonists - 47
(22 books had characters with intersecting identities)

Marginalised Protagonists

I held Mental Illness in YA Month this year, which accounts for the large number of books with protagonists who have a mental illness. I really want to focus on some of the marginalisations I never seem to read enough of next year, but more on that later.

Books By Marginalised Authors - 57
(10 authors with intersecting identities)

This chart shows authors whose books I've read who are open about their marginalisations - I may have read books by more authors from marginalised groups, as not all authors are open about their marginalisations.

Marginalised Authors

#OwnVoices Books Read - 33
(6 #OwnVoices authors with intersecting identities)

As above, this chart shows the number of #OwnVoices books read where the authors are open about sharing their characters' marginalisations.

#OwnVoices Books Read

So how well did I do with my #DiverseReadingGoals I set at the beginning of the year?
  • Goal: To read more novels with mentally ill characters as protagonists. I read 8 in 2017. This year, I read 28, because I held Mental Illness in YA Month in July. Pretty happy in completing this goal.
  • Goal: To read more novels with neurodiverse/neuroatypical characters as protagonists.  I read 3 in 2017, but only 2 in 2018. So pretty abysmal, really. 
  • Goal: To continue to read more novels with disabled characters as protagonists. I read 6 books with disabled protagonists in 2017, but only 4 in 2018, so I continued, but didn't do well at all.
  • Goal: To continue to read more novels with characters who have chronic/terminal illnesses/diseases/conditions as protagonists. I read 3 in 2017. I read 0 - I read one book with a secondary character that has a chronic condition, but no protagonists.
  • Goal: To continue to read more books with protagonists from different religious/cultural backgrounds. I read 9 in 2017, and 8 in 2018. There is a pattern emerging.
  • Goal: To continue with the improvement made in 2017 for novels with POC protagonists. I read 28 book with POC protags in 2017, but 27 in 2018. That's over half of the diverse books I read, but I would have preferred to have read more.
  • Goal: To continue with the improvement made in 2017 for novels with lesser represented LGBTQ* protags (and LGBTQ* protags in general). I read 16 LGBTQ* protags in 2017, 13 of which had lesser represented LGBTQ* protags. I read 12 books with LGBTQ* protags in 2018, 7 of which had lesser represented LGBTQ* protags. The number continue to get lower.
  • Goal: To read more books with intersectional characters. I read 15 in 2017, and 22 in 2018. At last, some more progress.
  • Goal: To continue to read more marginalised authors, but to focus less on #OwnVoices. This is something I forgot to keep track of, nor can I work it out easily, so I don't know how I did here. Will make sure to track this in 2019.
  • Goal: To read - instead of overlook - diverse books by authors who seem "privileged". Again, this is something I didn't track. Will do so in 2019.
So I did pretty terribly overall, which I'm really bothered about. But what it does show is that I do pretty well when I focus on one particular marginalisation - in this case, mental illness - so I may give myself more tailored goals in 2019. Rather than read more of everything, read more of specific marginalisations/identities, and change those each year. This year focused on protagonists with mental illness because of my themed month. Maybe next year I could focus on disabled protagonists? Will think about this.

NetGalley eProofs:

This year, 29 of the 74 books I read were eProofs. That's one less than I read last year (30), but I also read fewer books this year (read 88 last year). This year, 39% of the books I read were eProofs, where the figure was 34% last year. However, I set myself a challenge to read 50 eProofs this year, and only managed just over half - and my feedback ratio has gone down from 63% to 53%. I actually wrote a post a few weeks back - The Pros & Cons of eReaders & eProofs - that goes into more detail about why I didn't do quite as well as I hoped this year. I have tried to request eProofs over physical books where possible, but I also read 19 of the 75 (oh my god) books I bought this year, plus I re-read Harry Potter. That means 19 of the books I read were physical ARCs. So when it comes to ARCs, I am reading more eProofs. But I do want to think more about the source of the books I read next year. (And also buy fewer books, because man, that is a lot. I bought more books than I read!)

Looking Back over 2018's Blogging:

In regards to blogging, I think 2018 has been a really good year for me!
  • I changed my blog design and used my other header, I discussed trying to become more organised, and have been experimenting with bullet journalling and sorting out myself a schedule.
  • I held Mental Illness in YA Month which I feel was a success on a personal level in regards to books read, the authors who were willing to get involved, and the discussions had, even if it wasn't hugely popular to blog readers.
  • I created a new blog feature, which I love: Once Upon a Retelling, where authors discuss the retellings they've written.
  • And I've written so many more blog discussion than I normally do! I have been so inspired this year! For a very long time, it's been mostly reviews around here, but I've managed to get my thinking cap on and come up with ideas for things to talk about. So I'm pretty happy!

I'm hoping that next year will also include some more personal posts, so you can get to know me better - me the person, rather than just me the reader/blogger. I just find it tricky knowing what to write about!

Here are some of my favourite blog posts from 2018:

13 SFF Novels by Diverse Authors, Inspired by Non-Western Cultures

On Negative Reviews & Book Blogger Integrity

Why We Need to Support UKYA & MG Authors of Colour

2019 Goals and Challenges:

I will be setting my Diverse Reading Goals over the next few days, and will come back and link to them once they're up, but for now...

My 2019 TBR Goals:
  • Cull my books. Any books I've read that weren't that keen on, or books you didn't absolutely love, get rid of.
  • Try not to add too many bought books to the TBR. Don't buy so many. Maybe try to borrow instead. Save money, save space.
  • Only request physical copies of books when I can't get them on NetGalley. And then, only for books I desperately want to read. Otherwise, try to borrow.
  • When requesting eProofs, don't request everything that takes my fancy. Only request those books I know I will definitely read. Only those books I think sound amazing, not those that I think sound interesting. Borrow those instead.
  • Try to read more books on your Kindle than physical copies. Should work out ok if I follow the above goals.
General Reading Goals:

  • Read more books by authors from countries other than the USA and the UK
  • Read more books set in countries other than the USA and the UK.
  • Read more translations (I didn't read any this year, I don't think).
  • Take part in shorter reading challenges throughout the year.
  • Read what I enjoy. Don't read books because you feel I should, especially if their books I wouldn't normally pick up otherwise.
  • Don't put too much pressure on myself to read everything. The hyped books, all the diverse books. I'm not going to manage it all, so don't try.
  • Read (and, therefore, buy) fewer books by US authors that aren't published in the UK. Save my pennies. Borrow if I must. 

In 2018, I completed the 2018 Debut Author Challenge and the British Books Challenge 2018 by a mile. I failed at the What's In a Name? Reading Challenge 2018 and the 2018 NetGalley & Edelweiss Challenge 2018. But I did manage to complete the 2018 Book Blog Discussion Challenge for the first time ever! I set my own challenge of reading 12 retellings, but only managed 8, and I wanted to read 40-60% of the books I bought this year, but failed miserably. Considering all the books I was challenging myself to read last year, I think it was a little ridiculous. I won't be challenging myself o read any amount of bought books next year, but I will keep track.

In 2019, only the 2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge is coming back, from what I can see. On top of this, I will be taking part in the 2019 Retellings Reading Challenge, and the For the Love of eBooks 2019 Reading Challenge. You can see all my challenges for 2019 here. If they happen next year, I hope to also take part in the #RamadanReadathon, Asian Lit Bingo and other, smaller readding challenges throughtout the year.

Over to you graphic

So that's pretty much it for me! How was your year of reading/blogging in 2018? What are you hoping to achieve next year? Anything you're particularly looking forward to? Anything exciting happening? Let me know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to follow me on:
Bloglovin' | Twitter | Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. I also think you did a great job with blogging in 2018, haha. You've consistently put out great and thoughtful content. Your blog is one that's inspired me to put more consideration and effort into my posts for 2019. I am also signing up for the Discussion Post challenge for the first time this year, as part of my goal to write better content. Here's to many more good posts and good books in 2019. Happy New Year!