Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Closing out 2019

Well, hello there! I don't know if I'm coming back or not yet but I feel really antsy about not having a wrap-up post for 2019 because, even if I'm not blogging, I'm definitely reading. Here are some of the stats:
Books read: 139 
This was helped by audiobooks and novellas and the fact that I needed A LOT of escapist time due to things both personal and worldwide. Many of my books were genre -- mystery, fantasy, and, this year, a lot more science fiction. I've gone to space more times than I ever expected to!

Rereads: 21
This was mostly due to MarchMagics/DWJ March but I also had a couple of Jasper Fforde, William Ritter, Erin Morgenstern, Philip Pullman, Mary Shelley, and Neil Gaiman rereads throughout the year.

Library books: 60
I made really good use of my library this year. I do wish they had a few more audiobook choices but they are a great way to try books I'm not sure I want to buy. I even gave a couple of romances a whirl this year! I didn't really like any of them though. Hmm.

Books in translation: 3
This is the stat that I'm most disappointed with. I usually do much better but I only managed one German, one French, and one Japanese story this year.

Non-fiction: 19
I made up for that bad translation number though with an amazing non-fiction year! I even have two more in progress on my nightstand. The best ones of the year were Becoming by Michelle Obama, Sea People by Christina Thompson, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, Coal Black Mornings by Brett Anderson, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, and The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O'Meara. I think the key for me is definitely variety!

New-to-me authors: 59 (+ some in collections)
My favorite new-to-me authors this year? Seanan McGuire, Sarah Pinsker, and Becky Chambers. I ended up reading five books by McGuire!

I even made a Top 10 of the year list:
Bluecrowne by Kate Milford
Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal (novella)
Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker (short stories)
Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders (short stories)
Crosstalk by Connie Willis
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers (novella)
How Long 'Til Black Future Month by N.K. Jemisin (short stories)
Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

And a runners-up list:
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
The True Queen by Zen Cho
Witchmark by C.L. Polk
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Recursion by Blake Crouch
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

And an honorable mention:
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig ... for being the book to traumatize me the the most! I am terrified that any single thing that happened in that book could really be in America's future.

My goal for the first couple of months of this year is to read almost exclusively from my shelves (after two audiobooks that I have checked out -- The Starless Sea and Bring Down the Hawk). These beauties I got for Christmas will help keep me busy!

And finally, I have to decide what to do with the blog. At the least, I think it is time to rebrand it. When I started writing here, I was reading with my little guy, featuring picture books and chapter books along with my own reads. But Z and I haven't read together in years and so the "we" is now just "me". I also have a goal of less screen time this year so I'm not sure how blogging would fit in with that. I have started using Litsy again (kristenm) but I'm not sure if that will stick. I tend to forget it after a couple of posts and I just don't feel like it's a replacement for blogging. And finally, there's MarchMagics/DWJMarch, which I don't want to let go but also am not sure I have the time/energy to run.

So there it is -- where 2019 went and where 2020 is headed. Happy New Year, friends! I wish you each happiness and many unexpectedly good story adventures.


  1. It's good to see a recap of your year! Looks like you had a lot of great reading (I will avoid the Wanderers though, I don't need to be traumatized). And good luck with whatever direction you decide to go in.

    1. Thank you, Lory! And Wanderers was very well written -- too well written in fact if you have a fear of biological weapons, militias, or crazy right-wing governments. ;)

  2. It's so nice to see a post from you! I couldn't get into Rotherweird, I don't know why. Best of luck for this year, whatever you end up doing. <3

    1. Thank you for still looking for posts for me! :)
      And I honestly can't remember how Rotherweird started for me because I was so in love with it by the end. I'm really looking forward to the sequel that comes out next week!

  3. Happy New Year! I enjoyed getting this recap even if you're not blogging much. :)

    I adore March Magics and will look forward to it if you do manage it this year--but if not, I bet there are other DWJ fans who would be willing to host it or to help host it if it gets to be too much for you to handle. (I know that feeling on some projects!)

    Best wishes for all your things this year! <3

    1. Thank you, Deborah! And yes, I'm sure March Magics will find a way to survive, even if it's just random readers syncing up through a hashtag. :)

  4. I'll be honest that I miss you here blogging. I miss a lot of bloggers, who have gone over to Instagram or other social media like Litsy. I'm there on Instagram, but it's not the same as having a blog and I'm not really one for long Instagram posts. I prefer Instagram posts to be photos and short captions. When I'm there, I don't have the attention span to read an essay, I guess. All this said, I hope you return here in the new year. I'd look forward to seeing you here.

    1. Thank you for saying this, Bryan! It does seem like too many of the old guard of bloggers have quit or scaled down and it's now a pretty quiet space. And no, I don't like reading big IG captions either. I am starting to get some of my sharing mojo back through using Litsy though so I may just be back here soon with some summary posts.

  5. Hi there! Very belatedly I am reading this post and saying happy 2020 -- I have had a nightmare of a 2020 so far and haven't been saying hi to blogging friends as often as I'd like. I hope you're having a good year so far and I look forward to whatever you decide to do about the blog going forward. <3

    1. Thanks for coming by, Jenny! It definitely makes me reconsider staying when I see that more than one person still checks to see if I'm here. :)

  6. Hi Kristen! it turned out, my problems commenting were entirely on my end, because I was using the Safari default browser. I finally got so sick of Safari for other things that I downloaded chrome, and lo and behold, I can comment again. I didn't realize. Anyway. I actually came out to comment here back when you put up the post, realized that I couldn't, and just left it all unsaid. Now I can't remember what I was originally going to reply. But I will say that whatever you decide to do with the blog (keep, rebrand, quit, just appear from time to time...), I'll be here, and on other medias where we can stay in touch. Happy 2020 to you just a few weeks late!

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you can comment again, Amanda! <3
      I'm starting to think of a different sort of format that might work better for me and I'm getting a little excited about it so we'll see if I follow through.

  7. Thanks for the 2019 recap: have added a bunch of books to the TBR! Would miss hearing what you're reading: I look forward to seeing if you find a format that works for you. I'm not blogging nearly as much anymore either, but it's still nice to check in with old friends periodically. I will certainly participate in whatever #MarchMagics turns into (I totally understand not having the energy to continue: can't believe it's almost March again already!)

    1. I agree that it's nice to sync up every once in a while instead of losing touch altogether! I still don't feel ready to fully quit so that's a good thing. :)