Okay this is embarrassing. This post has been in my drafts since… well, 2016. And now it’s suddenly March. Anyway, time to look back on 2016, and give you some statistics as well!
I have no idea how I feel about 2016. My year started out horribly, so the only way was up. Minus the first few months, 2016 was a good year for me personally, with plenty of traveling and stability in my professional life. But beyond that, 2016 was rather crap wasn’t it? Politically (but I won’t go into that) as well as seeing all my favourite celebrities pass away, mostly unexpectedly, at ages far too young…
While I won’t say I was angry at the world, I did often give the world the middle finger and stood firmly for what I believe in. One big fuck you was given through my reading. As my personal revenge on the world, this year I have been reading almost exclusively books by and about women, LGBTQIA+ and PoC. When I was reading all the ‘official’ end-of-year lists by the big media, I regretted this not a bit. All lists, both international as well as national, are dominated by white men. I swear, I have yet to encounter a ‘big’ list that is made up of more than 30% women, for starters. How completely unimaginative and lazy. Fuck that.
Anyway! As every year, I set out to read 52 books and was already far ahead early in the year. My reading slowed down in the last quarter of the year as I was just too busy (busy having fun, mostly, no complaining there!). I still ended up reading 77 books.
This is what Goodreads looks like for 2016:
You can see all the books I read in 2016 here
, or you can take a look at my Goodreads Year in Books
And here are my reading stats for 2016:
Read More Read More
I am seriously neglecting this blog. I have been thinking (but not too often) about what I want to do with the blog and for now I am okay with the way it is. Life is happening, and it’s all good, and that’s okay.
So I will drop wrap-ups here now and then and I will of course do my long end-of-year wrap-up. I am reading and have in the past days met my goal of 75 books this year, so enough food for that end-of-year wrap-up in a few weeks!
Read in October
- God’s Boat by Kaori Ekuni
- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
- Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
- The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery
Read in November
- Affinity by Sarah Waters
- The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
- Bij ‘t graf van een denker by J. Groneman
October was The Literary Others. I was going to participate actively, but alas. I did host a giveaway over at Roofbeamreader’s, and was lucky enough to win a book myself. I ended up reading 4 books (but finished the last one in November), and all were amazing!
November was just a whole lot of eh. I started reading Cixin Liu’s Death’s End, the last volume in the Remembrance of Earth’s Past series. That was a slow read and took up most of my November.
Reading for the rest of 2016
I have finished my Goodreads challenge of reading 75 books. I am now trying to finish my current book, Queer: A Graphic History. I also plan to pick up Haruki Murakami’s Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and my Christmas read will be Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days. The last two+ weeks of the year are looking very busy, so who knows if I’ll even manage to finish these three books!
We’ve been enjoying a near perfect Indian summer here in the Netherlands, which has really lifted my spirits. I’ve found back some of my motivation and started studying again. I started a Korean language course, and am also working on Japanese again (mostly by reading). It feels good to be excited about something again.
As for reading: it’s clear I still had to let my foot heal the past month, hah. I wish I could’ve enjoyed more activities (active activities) outside to properly enjoy the lovely weather, but alas. That’s the one thing I’m pretty bummed about, looking back at September. My foot is slowly getting better though, hopefully it’ll be all fine within a few weeks, and in the mean time I’ve enjoyed a ton of reading.
Read in September
- The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
- Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents, #1) by J.K. Rowling
- Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents, #2) by J.K. Rowling
- 女仙 by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
- 日記帳 by Rampo Edogawa
- The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura
- Breaking Into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text edited by Giles Murray
- Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents, #3) by J.K. Rowling
- 窓 by Kanoko Okamoto
- Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys
- Tegenspel (Een groene bloem #2) by Floortje Zwigtman
- Spiegeljongen (Een groene bloem #3) by Floortje Zwigtman
Phew! I am now at 66 books read in 2016. This past month I read a few short story collections, plenty of Japanese (all short stories), but also a couple of longer books. I read Good Morning, Midnight for #ReadingRhys, and I finished a wonderful Dutch LGBT+ YA series. I wish it had been translated to English, but no luck 🙁
Reading in October
In October I am joining Roof Beam Reader‘s The Literary Others event! I am very excited about it. I will be reading nothing but LGBT+ books this month. The last time this event was held was back in 2012, and my posts are still up (click!). I just picked my first book for the month, Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta. No idea what else I’ll end up picking up this month.. yet 🙂
I am approximately 100% done with 2016. I was already hugely demotivated, and to top it off I got hit by another bout of bad luck a little over a week ago. Right before visiting a concert with friends, I missed a step at the bus stop when we arrived and twisted my ankle. I now have a tear in my ankle ligament and ugh. It continues to hurt and it’s apparently going to take 6 weeks to heal. I already miss my regular workouts, and I also realised I friggin’ love walking, which I can’t do properly right now 😐 Plus, I was preparing for the Color Run in less than two weeks and my running was going so well… Have to cancel that, obviously.
So big fat sigh.
That said, I’ve been reading. I passed my 52 book goal for 2016 and upped my goal to 65 (which I suspect I will pass easily too). My attention span is really short these days, so I’ve been switching back and forth between multiple books.
Read in August
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling
- Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3) by Robert Galbraith
- How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
- Foxfire by Nobuko Yoshiya
- Kersenbloed (Een groene bloem #0.5) by Floortje Zwigtman
- Schijnbewegingen (Een groene bloem #1) by Floortje Zwigtman
- The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho
- Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alice Bechdel
The Cursed Child did not live up to my expectations at all, but I did manage to grab two tickets for the play for September next year, for me and a friend. I am quite excited! In more HP related news, in November they are doing the Harry Potter in Concert show in the Netherlands and I got tickets for that too, hurray!
I loved Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home! Highly recommended. Also, I have been reading Dutch LGBT+ YA, Een groene bloem series by Floortje Zwigtman. I enjoyed the prologue novella and the first book. I’m currently on the second book (after that, one more to go) and getting a bit tired of it. Must be the attention span thing.
Reading in September
I don’t have any specific plans for September, except for #ReadingRhys, a Jean Rhys reading week. I plan to read Good Morning Midnight and perhaps Sleep it off Lady.
It seems I magically brought my blog back to life, more or less! I must say I’m quite proud, and *gasp* I’ve even got a bunch of posts scheduled! Now I have to get more social and then everything will be alright… right?
I am also going really fast with the reading challenge this year… 46 of 52 books read so far! July was a verrrrry good reading month 🙂
Read in July
- The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
- A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf
- Stone Mattress: A Story by Margaret Atwood
- Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
- Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
- This One Summer by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki
- Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
- Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- Yellow Rose by Nobuko Yoshiya
- Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
- Skim by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki
Confession: three of these are short stories and two are graphic novels, so clearly they were quick reads. Still, 11 titles is not bad. Also, many four and five star reads. I can’t even pick my favourite book this month. I wonder if I’m getting soft? (Although The Dark Wife received a harsh one star…)
Reading in August
No idea! No idea whatsoever! But on the last day of July I started both A Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling and, OF COURSE, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! I was going to wait with that book, seeing how there is a tiny bit of hope that I might actually still see the play… But then I realised that even if that’s the case, how on earth could I wait nearly a year? Plus, the book was staring at me. I swear.
I suspect I’ll finish it tonight, so expect a (non-spoilery!) review!