Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Forward: 2015 in Review


2015 wasn't a bad year of reading. I met my Goodreads goal, plus some; I embarked on a personal reading challenge. The difference between my reading in 2015 and any previous year, though, is that, for the first time, I feel like my reading choices aren't entirely my own. Technically, yes, I still have 100% reading autonomy, but now, having a job that is entirely enmeshed in the literary realm, I feel a great sense of responsibility to know my collection. I think I probably read more middle grade titles this year than adult titles [I'll find out when I do some tallies in a few minutes.] And though I legitimately love middle grade books (way more than YA), I do feel somewhat pressured to spend most of my time reading them, because it has already proven to be hugely beneficial in my daily job—the personal recommendation is everything to a middle schooler!

  • 62 total books read
  • 40 middle grade or YA titles
  • 11 nonfiction
  • 12 graphic novels
  • 39 women authors
  • 3 re-reads
  • 32 published in the past 2 years (2014 or 2015)
  • 9 published between 2010 - 2013
  • 11 published between 2000 - 2009 (ok, clearly I need to branch out, but this was totally because of middle school books)
  • 2 published in the 90s
  • 4 published in the 80s
  • 2 published in the 70s
  • 1 published in the 60s
  • 1 published before 1950 (1914 to be exact)


Most engrossing: Here, There, Elsewhere by William Least Heat-Moon

Most boring: Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart

Most memorable: A Field Guide to Happiness by Linda Leaming

Most forgettable: TIE // Boys of Blur by N.D. Wilson and Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady by Florence King

Most humorous: Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz

Most enjoyable: The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher

Most disappointing: TIE // Forever by Pete Hamill and Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Overall fave: The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth


I've mentioned many times my lack of attention span during the school year, which is why it comes in handy that the once fall-back/quick-read plan of picking up a JUV or YA book is actually incredibly helpful with my job. In looking at my reading list from the past year, though, I ultimately feel pretty underwhelmed, like I haven't challenged myself much or broadened any horizons. To some degree, it may be unavoidable if I want to keep myself abreast of what's in my school library, but I think I'm going to edit my aforementioned plan of limiting adult reading to breaks only. To get back to being a well-rounded reader, I will:
  1. Try to alternate MG/YA books and adult books (or at least keep up the ratio)
  2. Finish the Read Harder Challenge, and start this year's version (So, I actually didn't realize it was a 2015-specific challenge until I saw somewhere a 2016 version; I was just chugging along at my own pace. So, I will finish the current challenge and start the new one.)
  3. Read Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 in its entirety. This is the ultimate 1500 page chunkster that I've wanted to commit to for years. I'll tackle it slowly, a chapter at a time, but, by god, I will finish it! You know I love a good reading project.

Happy new year and happy new reading!

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