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Month in review

Reviews
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

Miscellaneous
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

Goals:

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

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