That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2019 Edition

Goodreads has prepared their annual review of books read and rated by their users in 2019, and my reading list apparently went downhill in 2019, with an average book rating of 2.7. (Last year’s average book rating was 3.5.) I attribute this decline to a couple of factors:

  • I only read a couple of Nero Wolfe books this year.
  • I decided to eschew the “pick a random book” reading model I’ve been using for the past few years, and go with “read books in the order I acquired them” instead. This put me back at books I picked up starting in 2015, many of which were, I think, free books from the early days of my participation in the BookBub mailing list, and a lot of these were subpar YA offerings. (Interestingly, back in 2015 or 2016, I tried to get one of my books — Dragon Stones, of course — into a BookBub promotion, and they rejected it because it only had 20 or so reviews/ratings so they couldn’t be sure it was up to their standards. Hmm.)

Aside from the quality of my reading material, there were a few other, uh, issues that cropped up towards the end of 2019 which affected how much reading I got done. I’ll be getting into that soon. But for now, let’s just look at the books:

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Teaser Tuesday 1/8/19: “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While”

So recently I came across a long short story (or very short novella) called “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland – For a Little While“, by Catherynne M. Valente. This is officially numbered as “Fairyland 0.5” and could be considered a prequel to her “Fairyland” series, inasmuch as it takes place prior to the events of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, and concerns itself with how the missing monarch of that book, Queen Mallow, became Queen Mallow in the first place.

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Only a one-horsepower engine, but it’s a big horse

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That Was The Year That Was (In Books)

So this year, as every year, Goodreads sent me a link to review my year in books. Aside from the actual books themselves, 2018 was pretty similar to 2017, which was pretty similar to 2016, which was … Well, you get the idea. One thing that has changed, though, is my average book rating for the year, which has inched up from 3.1 in 2016 to 3.2 in 2017 to 3.4 in 2018. Presumably that means that the books I read this year were slightly better than previous years, and not that my standards are slipping. At least I hope that’s what it means. I’m already notorious for not being very discriminating about movies, and I would hate to think the same thing would ever become true about books.* A more likely explanation is that I was still finishing up all the Nero Wolfe books this year, which probably dragged up the overall rating. We will see how things look next year, when there is no Wolfe to come to the rescue …

Anyway, because there isn’t a good way to embed the Goodreads “Year In Review” page, I have, as usual, resorted to a series of screen shots. I apologize in advance for the load times.

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That Was The Year That Was (In Books)

Regular readers of this blog―i.e., my parents―may have noticed that there was no post here last week. That’s because on Thursday, December 7, we got out of town as the Lilac Fire advanced on our house. At the time we left, the fire had charred a path nine miles long in a single afternoon. Officials were saying there was a good chance the fire would go all the way to the ocean. And what was directly between the fire and the ocean?

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Us

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