Well it’s the last day of 2013 so it must be time to reflect on how the year was for me, reading and blogging wise! Firstly – December reading wrap up:
Total Books Read: 27
Library Books: 3
Books On My TBR List: 3
Books in a Series: 8
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 12
Male/Female Authors: 2/25
Kindle Books: 8
Books I Owned or Bought: 5
Favourite Book(s): Barracuda, by Christos Tsiolkas
Least Favourite Book(s): Takedown Twenty, by Janet Evanovich. Why do I continue to do it to myself?
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 10
As of today, I’ve read 337 books for 2013, which pretty much surpassed any expectations I might’ve had at the beginning of the year. I attribute this to probably my eldest starting kinder three days a week and my youngest simply getting older and needing less. He also naps for at least 2-3 hours every day and I can get an average paperback read within that time. Of these 337 books, 44 of them were by men and 292 were by women. There was 1 book that was a collection of letters, so by a huge number of both men and women and I didn’t assign it to either category. I wanted to read 50 books by men this year, so I fell short of that goal slightly however I have something to really aim for next year.
I took part in 5 reading challenges this year – one of which is a rolling 5 year challenge, the other were for just the year of 2013. For the second time I took part in the Australian Women Writers Challenge aiming to read over 100 books to match my contribution of 2012. I ended up reading 116 books for this of which I reviewed around 114 (some reviews haven’t been published yet and are scheduled to appear on the blog in the first few days of the new year and 2 books for the challenge I simply didn’t review at all).
I also took part in the Aussie Author Challenge for 2013 but I did modify this slightly in order to encourage me to read more men. My goal was 12 novels read by Australian male authors, some of which were new to me, some of which were non fiction and with 4 fiction genres represented. I ended up reading 18 novels for this challenge so I was really happy to have met and gone past my goal. I read many authors that were new to me, I explored literary fiction (Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan), non-fiction (Murder In Mississippi by John Safran, On the Trail of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope), humour/romance (The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion), young adult (The First Third by Will Kostakis, Fireshadow by Anthony Eaton), crime (Zero At The Bone and Line of Sight by David Whish-Wilson) and action/adventure (Combusion by Steve Worland). I even read a book on my beloved Sydney Swans (The Rise of the Swans: A Decade of Success 2003-2012 by Martin Blake). I look forward to re-signing up for this challenge in 2014 and using it once again to track the reading I do of Aussie male authors. There’s still a large gender imbalance in my reading and I suspect there always will be but I am becoming more aware of male authors, especially local ones and finding titles that interest me.
I also took part in the What’s In A Name?6 Challenge and completed all 6 of the categories. I’ve participated in this challenge for the last 3 years and enjoyed it immensely however I will be taking a break from it in 2014 and focusing on some other things.
Those three were the challenges I consider a success in 2013. However there are several that I had less success in…firstly, the Literary Exploration Challenge in 2013. I challenged myself to the hardest level, to read books from a list of 36 different genres. I got half way, completing 18 of the genres so I am aiming to tick off the other 18 in 2014. The genres I have left are: autobiography/biography, children’s book, classics, cyberpunk, drama, dystopian, educational, erotica, fantasy, horror, noir, philosophical, poetry, science fiction, steampunk, supernatural, thriller and Victorian.
And then there’s the Classics Club Challenge. To be honest, I always knew this one was going to be a bit of a long shot when I signed up almost two years ago. My aim was to read 50 classics in 5 years at a rate of roughly 12 a year so 1 per month. I am woefully behind on this challenge. Overall I think I have read only 10 classics, three of which I read this year and I didn’t even write reviews for 2 of them I don’t think. However I have to look on the bright side: it’s probably 10 more than I would’ve read if I hadn’t of joined this challenge and even though my progress is rather slow, it is still progress! So once again, this rolls over to next year and I hope I can tick a few more titles off my list (which you can see here).
The top 10 posts in popularity that were posted in 2013 were:
Review: The Stranger I Married, by Sylvia Day
Review: Just For Now, by Abbi Glines
Review: Naked, by Raine Miller
Review: The Stranger (Just One Night #1), by Kyra Davis
Review: Tampa, by Alissa Nutting (plus giveaway)
Review: The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty
Review: Lick, by Kylie Scott
Review: The Silver Chain, by Primula Bond
Review: Seduction, by Kate Forster
Review: Enshadowed, by Kelly Creagh
Later today I’ll be posting my favourite books of 2013! Hope your 2013 year of reading was a good one filled with many amazing books and more of the same awaits in 2014.