Mt TBR Report: December 2017 & Yearly Wrap-up

Happy New Year! I hope those of you celebrating had wonderful holidays. 2017 was a rough year for many, so I hope 2018 has been kind to you so far. I had a lovely break and was glad to spend some time with my family and friends. I also manged to get plenty of reading done, which was a great way to see out the year.

Speaking of which, it’s time for me to take a good look at my reading stats for the year.

2017 reading stats

2016 was a record-breaking year for my reading at 116 books. 2017 blew it out of the water with 181 books. Judging the 2017 Aurealis Awards was spread out over both those years, so I’ll be interested to see if this increase in numbers is solely attributable to that or whether it will be a lasting phenomenon.

Fantasy remained my most popular genre. However, the proportion was down by over 10%. In contrast, the proportion of romance I read approximately doubled, at the expense of non-fiction, historical fiction and mysteries. Science fiction held steady.

Of the 181 books I read in 2017, 140 were written by women. I read 9 books written by authors of unknown, non-binary or multiple genders.

44% of the books I read in 2017 were written by Australian authors. Considering all the Aurealis reading I did at the beginning of the year, I’m surprised it isn’t higher.

35% of the books I read that year were from authors I consider diverse. This is an improvement on 25% on last year. However, just three of these books (to the best of my knowledge) were by an author with a disability.

My consumption of e-books was slightly down on the last two years, at 47%. I think this is partly attributable to my increased use of the local library.

57 of the books I read were published in 2017. The average age of the books I read was 1.4 years. The average tenure on Mt TBR was 59 days–which is more than 100 days shorter than last year. This means I’m getting through a lot of newer work while the old stuff continues to gather dust.

My mean rating (out of 5) was 3.2, which is about the same as last year and suggests I’m still probably being a bit generous with my ratings… or sensible enough to ditch books that aren’t working for me.

These numbers probably don’t mean much to anyone else, but I have such fun keeping track of them throughout the year. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings.

Mt TBR Status

Mt TBR @ 1 January 2017: 327
Mt TBR @ 31 December 2017: 367

Books Read

166. Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng. Reviewed here.

167. Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts. Reviewed here.

168. Unclaimed by Courtney Milan. Second in The Turners series. Sir Mark Turner wrote the book on chastity and its success has made him a rockstar of Regency London. Not everyone is happy about it. When he escapes to the country to mull over a decision, he meets Jessica and is instantly attracted to her. However, Jessica is a courtesan with ulterior motives and sets out to seduce him. I loved the way that there’s room for honesty in the role Jessica is playing and how it highlights the way the patriarchy places the burden of chastity on women.

169. Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim. A non-fiction book about making the transition from corporate employee to small business owner. Some of the advice on marketing is a little outdated now (the book’s almost 10 years old), but otherwise seems like solid advice.

170. Deep by Kylie Scott. Fourth and final book in the Stage Dive series. When her sister marries one of the other band members, Lizzy finds herself irresistibly drawn to bass player, Ben. This was definitely my favourite of the series. Scott continues her trend of placing her heroines in painfully embarrassing situations.

171. Goblin Quest by Grant Howitt. An RPG in which players are goblins in an evil army who undertake outrageous tasks with disastrous (and usually fatal) consequences. The game was a ton of fun and the writing style was quite amusing. However, the information wasn’t laid out in the most accessible way.

172. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman. Second in the Lady Helen series and my first reread of the year. Regency fantasy. Having been cast out of her uncle’s house, Lady Helen embraces her training as a Reclaimer. However, forces are working against her both inside and outside the Dark Days Club. Just as delightful to read the second time around. I’m itching to get my hands on the next book.

173. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. A sci-fi novella about a girl from an insular Earth tribe who becomes the first of her people to leave home and attend a prestigious university on another planet. One of my favourite books from 2016 and one of very few I reread in 2017

174. Lord Heliodor’s Retirement by Amy Rae Durreson. After foiling an assassination attempt against the Queen, Lord Heliodor is encouraged to retire to the country to deal with his PTSD. Instead, he ends up reconnecting with an old flame and uncovering another plot against the throne. A sweet second-chance m/m romance with an older couple and plenty of adventure.

175. Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. Having survived the off-world trip to her university and her first term of classes, Binti heads home to reconnect with her family. Perhaps not quite as gripping as the first, but I liked that it shows the fallout from the previous book and built on the world.

176. Super Spy Science Secret Santa by Tansy Rayner Roberts. The only reason Dr Quentin Blythe tolerates Secret Santa at the Q Lab of the Secret Science Center is because it often leads to breakthroughs in spy technology. This year he finds himself especially beleaugered when the Big Cheeses decide to allow the Agents to join in the festivities. Short, sweet and funny, it made perfect holiday reading.

177. Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor. Review forthcoming.

178. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. A delightful middle grade book about a boy who grows up raised by ghosts after his family is murdered. Each chapter reads like a discrete story, though there is an overall plot.

179. Girl in Boots by Stephanie Burgis. A short story from the perspective of a side character in The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart. It’s all about friendship and chocolate, making it another perfect holiday read.

180. Sunvault edited by Phoebe Wagner and Bronte Christopher Wieland. Reviewed here and apparently missed in my records until now.

181. Hold Me by Courtney Milan. Reviewed here. After including this in my Favourites of 2017, I felt compelled to go back and reread it.

Books Acquired

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Joyeaux by Tansy Rayner Roberts
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
On a Barbarian World by Anna Hackett
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
Lord Heliodore’s Retirement by Amy Rae Durreson
Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
The Undercurrent by Paula Weston
Super Spy Science Secret Santa by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
Girl in Boots by Stephanie Burgis
Strangehold by Rene Sears
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
Real World by Amy Jo Cousins
Fucking Apostrophes by Simon Griffen

Online Reading

An Unexpected Honor by Ursula Vernon. This was Ursula’s acceptance speech on winning the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. Presented as a piece of flash fiction, it tells of what happens to a whale’s carcass. I think it says a lot about the author.

Story Seed 85 by Rivqa Rafael. Super short flash fiction about an AI. It shows just how much can be done with so few words.

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