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Month in review

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance
Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Bow Wow by Spencer Quinn
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Farm Fresh Murder by Paige Shelton
Field Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish by Barry Deutsch
Ivy by Katherine Coville
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue
Lumberjanes Volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds
Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer
Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens
My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt
Otis by Loren Long
Our Hero by Jennifer L. Holm
Outside In by Jennifer Bradbury
Queen and Country Volume 1 by Greg Rucka
Smarty Marty Steps Up Her Game by Amy Gutierrez
Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle
We Are the Engineers by Angela Melick
Winnebago Graveyard #3 by Steve Niles
A Woman's World Tour in a Motor by Harriet White Fisher
Wrong Side of the Paw by Laurie Cass Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 06)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 13)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 20)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (November 27)
October 2017 Sources
October 2017 Summary
Reading Goals for 2018

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Reading Goals for 2018: 11/30/17

As we roll into the last month of 2017, I'm starting to think about my goals and direction for 2018. This year has been one of constant flux. I knew it would be as I went into it.

2017 summarized

I began the year expecting the move — and yes — I did move. But originally we were planning an international, transcontinental move. Those plans fell through but the process of getting ready for the move made us realize that we still wanted and needed to move into a bigger place. In fact, because of the process of selling our condo and buying a house, we moved twice — once to an apartment, and then into our house.

In February our local independent book store closed. The long time manager of that store chose to purchase much of the unsold inventory and start her own book store. The city rallied behind her plans and her online fundraising. It took seven months to get the new storefront ready, inventory moved in, and the store opened. Coincidentally the new store opened the same day that we closed on our house.

From July to October we lived in an apartment, with only a single box of books per person, plus whatever books we checked out from the library or ebooks we downloaded. Then from October 7 to November 15 we moved into our new home. Here it is the end of November and we still haven't brought any of our home library back from storage.

2018 Blogging

In 2009, I mentioned having a backlog of 116 titles I wanted to review. Over the next couple of years that backlog grew from three months to six months worth of posts, assuming no reading. Of course I didn't stop reading, but I have slowed down, allowing me to close that gap. I'm not 100% closed but the gap is narrow enough I can no longer plan out my blog posts half a year in advance. This is a good thing.

For the last five years (give or take), I have been posting my reviews around weekly themes. I've never made those themes public — they were just there to make organizing the review in advance more fun for me. Starting over the summer I realized that method didn't work any more as my lag time between reading and reviewing has shortened.

Instead, now I'm doing a day of the week theme, meaning different days are dedicated to different types of reviews.

The schedule:

  • Saturday: New books – books published this year
  • Sunday: Old books - either books I read a while ago and haven't reviewed, or books published a long time ago.
  • Monday: Recent reads - books I read recently that aren't published this year
  • Tuesday: Canadian books (because I'm a long time participant in the Canadian books challenge)
  • Wednesday: Mystery books
  • Thursday: Comic books and graphic novels
  • Friday: Research - either reviews of road narrative books or road narrative essays


    To read and review a minimum of:
  • 52 newly published books
  • cleaning out my backlog
  • 100 books off my wishlist that aren't newly published
  • 52 Canadian books
  • 52 Mystery books
  • 52 Comic books or graphic novels
  • 52 Road narrative reviews or essays
  • 51% (or 153 books for the year) reading and reviewing of diverse books / authors, with an emphasis on authors.

The books left to review by month read

Once I've cleared out my backlog, I plan to rededicate Monday to audiobook reviews. Currently that's at 166 books I've read and written reviews for. I know it's right where I was in 2009, but my reading has slowed to under a book a day that I can close this gap by April or May. Leaving me the back half of 2018 to focus on wishlist books.

Blog goals:

I'm still working through my update of the graphics on every review. I"m working backwards. So the present day back through January 2011 are complete. The move really took time away from this project.

Once the graphics are done, I plan to make my site more mobile friendly. I have no time line right now for when that project will start or how long it will take. It will be a learning process for me.

I'm tracking books read and reviewed that count towards both my reading goals (see the rest of the post below) and the Beat the Backlist 2018 challenge. Books I've reviewed will be posted here throughout the year.

  1. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
  2. Adele in Sand Land by Claude Pont
  3. Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson
  4. An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
  5. Alienated by Melissa Landers
  6. American Street by Ibi Zoboi Arnold of the Ducks by Mordicai Gerstein
  7. Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South, Part Three by Gene Luen Yang
  8. Baddawi by Leila Abdelrazaq
  9. The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  10. Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe
  11. Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis
  12. Black Cats and Evil Eyes: A Book of Old-Fashioned Superstitions by Chloe Rhodes
  13. Black Ice by Andy Lane
  14. Bluff and Bran and the Snowdrift by Meg Rutherford
  15. Bo at Iditarod Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
  16. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
  17. Book Clubbed by Lorna Barret
  18. Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle
  19. A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen
  20. Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel
  21. Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
  22. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas
  23. Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase
  24. Chile Death by Susan Wittig Albert
  25. Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman
  26. Classified as Murder by Miranda James
  27. Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
  28. Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
  29. The Clue at Black Creek Farm by Carolyn Keene
  30. Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
  31. Country Matters by Michael Korda
  32. Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
  33. The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
  34. A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
  35. The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
  36. The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
  37. Dear Poppy by Ronni Arno
  38. Decaffeinated Corpse by Cleo Coyle
  39. Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 1 by Ryoko Kui
  40. Depth by Lev A.C. Rosen
  41. Don't Cry for Me, Hot Pastrami by Sharon Kahn
  42. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  43. Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
  44. Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman
  45. Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany
  46. The Enchanted Egg by Kallie George
  47. The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
  48. Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
  49. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  50. Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
  51. Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert
  52. A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
  53. ">Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter
  54. A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett
  55. Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
  56. File M for Murder by Miranda James
  57. The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
  58. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
  59. Fleep by Jason Shiga
  60. The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
  61. French Pressed by Cleo Coyle
  62. Froodle by Antoinette Portis
  63. The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern
  64. Ghostbusters 101: Everyone Answers the Call by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
  65. Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  66. Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
  67. Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
  68. The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear
  69. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  70. Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
  71. Hold The Cream Cheese, Kill The Lox by Sharon Kahn
  72. Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle
  73. House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen
  74. The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
  75. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta
  76. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
  77. If Someone Says 'You Complete Me,' RUN! by Whoopi Goldberg
  78. If You Find This by Matthew Baker
  79. I'll Save You Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal
  80. The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
  81. Inside Hudson Pickle by Yolanda Ridge
  82. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
  83. Internet Famous by Danika Stone
  84. It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
  85. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
  86. A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett
  87. The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
  88. Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
  89. Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
  90. Kraken by Wendy Williams
  91. L. Frank Baum: Creator of Oz by Katharine M. Rogers
  92. Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
  93. Lavender Lies by Susan Wittig Albert
  94. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
  95. The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
  96. The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One by Michael Dante DiMartino and Irene Koh
  97. Lemons by Melissa Savage
  98. Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
  99. Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
  100. Lost and Fondue by Avery Aames
  101. Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
  102. Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
  103. Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbitt and Ross Collins
  104. The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
  105. The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene
  106. Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator)
  107. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  108. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
  109. Melena's Jubilee by Zetta Elliott and Aaron Boyd
  110. Merman in My Tub, Volume 2 by Itokichi Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
  111. The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill
  112. Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
  113. Monoceros by Suzette Mayr
  114. Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson and Michael Robertson
  115. Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
  116. Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
  117. Murder Past Due by Miranda James
  118. Murder Past Due by D.R. Meredith
  119. My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolley and Alitha E. Martinez
  120. My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando
  121. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
  122. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
  123. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
  124. The Mystery of the Missing Mask by M.A. Wilson
  125. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
  126. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
  127. The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger
  128. A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  129. The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
  130. Night of the Animals by Bill Broun
  131. Noragami Volume 4 by Adachitoka
  132. Noragami Volume 05 by Adachitoka
  133. Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett
  134. Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  135. Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
  136. Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
  137. Once Upon a Spine by Kate Carlisle
  138. The Once Upon a Time Map Book by B.G. Hennessy and Peter Joyce
  139. Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
  140. Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer
  141. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
  142. Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
  143. Out of Tune by Gail Nall
  144. The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
  145. Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum Paths & Portals by Gene Luen Yang
  146. Patina by Jason Reynolds
  147. Paradox in Oz by Edward Einhorn and Eric Shanower
  148. Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
  149. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  150. The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
  151. Personal Demons by Nimue Brown
  152. The Phantom of Nantucket by Carolyn Keene
  153. Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki
  154. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  155. A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace
  156. Questions Asked by Jostein Gaarder
  157. Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
  158. The Reader by Traci Chee
  159. Restart by Gordon Korman
  160. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
  161. The Road is Yours Reginald M. Cleveland
  162. Robots & Repeats by Gene Luen Yang
  163. Rooster Joe and the Bully by Xavier Garza
  164. Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
  165. Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood
  166. Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
  167. Runaways: Battleworld by Noëlle Stevenson
  168. Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
  169. Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene
  170. The Sandwich Swap by Rania al-Abdullah
  171. The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble
  172. Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
  173. Secret at Mystic Lake by Carolyn Keene
  174. Secrets & Sequences by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
  175. Seldom Disappointed by Tony Hillerman
  176. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready Show Me a Story! by Leonard S. Marcus
  177. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  178. Slider by Pete Hautman
  179. Slug Days by Sara Leach
  180. Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin
  181. The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
  182. Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
  183. Sovereign by April Daniels
  184. Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
  185. Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti
  186. Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
  187. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
  188. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
  189. Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
  190. Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
  191. Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
  192. Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
  193. Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
  194. Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz
  195. That Book Woman by Heather Henson
  196. Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
  197. This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
  198. This Is Not the Abby Show by Debbie Reed Fischer
  199. This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
  200. Thornhill by Pam Smy
  201. Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
  202. Tim Ginger by Julian Hanshaw
  203. Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz
  204. Title Wave by Lorna Barrett
  205. Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
  206. Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass
  207. Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall and Hyeondo Park
  208. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
  209. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
  210. Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
  211. Wandering Son: Volume 3 by Takako Shimura
  212. Wandering Son: Volume 4 by Takako Shimura
  213. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
  214. The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
  215. Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
  216. When the Silliest Cat Was Small by Gilles Bachelet
  217. White Night by Jim Butcher
  218. The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige
  219. Winter Wonders by Kate Hannigan The Witch's Glass by Holly Grant
  220. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: rereading for the American road narrative
  221. The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
  222. Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth by Jeff Anderson

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