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

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