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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. Adele in Sand Land by Claude Pont
  2. Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson
  3. An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
  4. Alienated by Melissa Landers
  5. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  6. Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South, Part Three by Gene Luen Yang
  7. The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  8. Black Ice by Andy Lane
  9. Bo at Iditarod Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
  10. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
  11. Book Clubbed by Lorna Barret
  12. Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle
  13. A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen
  14. Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel
  15. Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
  16. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas
  17. Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
  18. Country Matters by Michael Korda
  19. Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber
  20. The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
  21. A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
  22. The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
  23. The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
  24. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  25. Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
  26. The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
  27. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  28. Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
  29. A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
  30. A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett
  31. Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
  32. The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
  33. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
  34. Fleep by Jason Shiga
  35. The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
  36. Froodle by Antoinette Portis
  37. Ghostbusters 101: Everyone Answers the Call by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
  38. Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  39. Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
  40. Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
  41. The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear
  42. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  43. Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
  44. House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen
  45. The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
  46. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta
  47. If You Find This by Matthew Baker
  48. I'll Save You Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal
  49. The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher
  50. Inside Hudson Pickle by Yolanda Ridge
  51. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
  52. Internet Famous by Danika Stone
  53. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
  54. A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett
  55. The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
  56. Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
  57. Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
  58. Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
  59. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
  60. The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
  61. Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
  62. Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
  63. Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
  64. Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
  65. The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
  66. The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene
  67. Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator)
  68. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  69. Melena's Jubilee by Zetta Elliott and Aaron Boyd
  70. Merman in My Tub, Volume 2 by Itokichi
  71. The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill
  72. Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
  73. Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson and Michael Robertson
  74. Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
  75. Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
  76. Murder Past Due by Miranda James
  77. Murder Past Due by D.R. Meredith
  78. My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolley and Alitha E. Martinez
  79. My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando
  80. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
  81. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
  82. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
  83. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
  84. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
  85. A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  86. The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
  87. Noragami Volume 4 by Adachitoka
  88. Noragami Volume 05 by Adachitoka
  89. Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett
  90. Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  91. Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
  92. Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
  93. The Once Upon a Time Map Book by B.G. Hennessy and Peter Joyce
  94. Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett
  95. Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer
  96. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
  97. Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
  98. Out of Tune by Gail Nall
  99. The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
  100. Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  101. Patina by Jason Reynolds
  102. Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
  103. The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
  104. The Phantom of Nantucket by Carolyn Keene
  105. Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki
  106. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  107. A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace
  108. Questions Asked by Jostein Gaarder
  109. Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
  110. The Road is Yours Reginald M. Cleveland
  111. Rooster Joe and the Bully by Xavier Garza
  112. Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
  113. Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
  114. Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
  115. Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene
  116. The Sandwich Swap by Rania al-Abdullah
  117. The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble
  118. Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
  119. Secret at Mystic Lake by Carolyn Keene
  120. Slider by Pete Hautman
  121. Slug Days by Sara Leach
  122. Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin
  123. The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
  124. Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
  125. Sovereign by April Daniels
  126. Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
  127. Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti
  128. Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
  129. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
  130. Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
  131. Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
  132. Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
  133. Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
  134. Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
  135. Tenements, Towers & Trash by Julia Wertz
  136. That Book Woman by Heather Henson
  137. Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
  138. This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
  139. Thornhill by Pam Smy
  140. Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
  141. Tim Ginger by Julian Hanshaw
  142. Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz
  143. Title Wave by Lorna Barrett
  144. Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
  145. Under His Spell by Marie P. Croall and Hyeondo Park
  146. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
  147. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
  148. Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
  149. Wandering Son: Volume 3 by Takako Shimura
  150. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
  151. The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
  152. Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
  153. When the Silliest Cat Was Small by Gilles Bachelet
  154. White Night by Jim Butcher
  155. Winter Wonders by Kate Hannigan
  156. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: rereading for the American road narrative
  157. The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
  158. Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth by Jeff Anderson

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