So as they do every year, the algorithm elves over at Goodreads have prepared an annual review of the books their users read and rated in 2020. Being a year when there was, shall we say, not a lot in the way of places to go or things to do, plus one in which I managed not to end up in the ICU for a while, one might think I would have read quite a bit more than in 2019, but in fact, I only read about 200 more pages. Maybe I was spending too much time watching the news …Continue reading “That Was The Year That Was (In Books): 2020 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:
Recently having decided to switch, at least for a while, from my previous habit of picking a random book to read, and instead reading them in roughly the order in which they got them, I have lately been picking up* books that I acquired way back in the halcyon days of 2015. The one I’m reading this week is The Branches of Time, by Luca Rossi.
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.
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?
So Goodreads has released its end-of-the-year recap of everything I read (or mostly read, or read a few pages of and decided it was crap) in 2016, which always makes for an interesting review. Interesting to me, maybe. To you, perhaps, not so much. But here it is anyway!
So this week I’m reading Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johanson, because the Calibre Random Book Picker told me to, and I already paid a buck ninety-nine for it a while ago, and Mango Momma advised me too late that I should read the reviews, which to be fair are mostly favorable, except when they’re scathing. (Seriously, read the scathing review — it’s one of the funniest I’ve seen since Meg took down Legon Awakening, a book I didn’t even manage to finish. Go ahead, I’ll wait.)
This week’s Teaser comes from a book called Legon Awakening by Nicholas Taylor. The first in a series, I started this book and then put it down, for various reasons, most of which were enumerated in a rather amusing fashion by a reviewer named Meg over at Goodreads. (Unlike me, Meg appears to have actually finished the book.) I did enjoy the book’s prologue, sort of, in that I thought the obviously-odious “Iumenta” kind of sounded like the Melniboneans of “Elric” fame.