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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. Adventure on Whalebone Island by M.A. Wilson
  2. An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley
  3. Alienated by Melissa Landers
  4. The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough
  5. Bo at Iditarod Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
  6. The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
  7. Book Clubbed by Lorna Barret
  8. A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen
  9. Canada and the Canadian Question by Goldwin Smith
  10. Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
  11. The Dark Lady by Irene Adler
  12. A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong
  13. The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant
  14. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  15. Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
  16. Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
  17. A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
  18. A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett
  19. Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn
  20. The Final Kingdom by Michael Northrop
  21. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
  22. Ghostbusters 101: Everyone Answers the Call by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening
  23. Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
  24. Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
  25. The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear
  26. Habibi by Craig Thompson
  27. Haunting Jordan by P.J. Alderman
  28. The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber
  29. How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta
  30. If You Find This by Matthew Baker
  31. Internet Famous by Danika Stone
  32. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
  33. A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett
  34. The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
  35. Karma Khullar's Mustache by Kristi Wientge
  36. Koko Be Good by Jen Wang
  37. Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
  38. The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
  39. The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
  40. Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
  41. Locke & Key, Volume 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill
  42. Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
  43. The Mad Apprentice by Django Wexler
  44. The Magician's Secret by Carolyn Keene
  45. Malaika’s Winter Carnival by Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher (illustrator)
  46. March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
  47. Merman in My Tub, Volume 2 by Itokichi
  48. The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time by Steven Sherrill
  49. Miss Pickerell Harvests the Sea by Ellen MacGregor and Dora Pantell
  50. Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
  51. Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
  52. Murder Past Due by Miranda James
  53. My Boyfriend Bites by Dan Jolley and Alitha E. Martinez
  54. My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando
  55. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #1: Twilight Sparkle by Thomas Zahler
  56. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #2: Rainbow Dash by Ryan K. Lindsay
  57. My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #5: Pinkie Pie by Ted Anderson
  58. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
  59. A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  60. The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
  61. Noragami Volume 4 by Adachitoka
  62. Noragami Volume 05 by Adachitoka
  63. Not the Killing Type by Lorna Barrett
  64. Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
  65. Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
  66. Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss and John Hendrix
  67. The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey
  68. Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
  69. Out of Tune by Gail Nall
  70. The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S.F. Said
  71. Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  72. Patina by Jason Reynolds
  73. Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
  74. The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
  75. Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki
  76. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  77. A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace
  78. Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
  79. Rooster Joe and the Bully by Xavier Garza
  80. Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
  81. Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert
  82. Rhymoceros by Janik Coat
  83. Sabotage at Willow Woods by Carolyn Keene
  84. The Sandwich Swap by Rania al-Abdullah
  85. Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
  86. Secret at Mystic Lake by Carolyn Keene
  87. Slider by Pete Hautman
  88. Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin
  89. The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
  90. Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
  91. Sovereign by April Daniels
  92. Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson
  93. Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti
  94. Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
  95. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
  96. Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
  97. Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
  98. Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
  99. Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham
  100. Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught
  101. This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek
  102. Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking
  103. Time Ghost by Welwyn Wilton Katz
  104. Title Wave by Lorna Barrett
  105. Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
  106. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
  107. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
  108. Waiting for Unicorns by Beth Hautala
  109. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks
  110. The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
  111. Welcome to the Real World by Angela Melick
  112. When the Silliest Cat Was Small by Gilles Bachelet
  113. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: rereading for the American road narrative
  114. The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
  115. Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth by Jeff Anderson

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