Tuesday, February 22, 2022

TTT: In Which the Brett Kavanaughs of the World Get What They Have Coming

 TTT (Top Ten Tuesday) is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

I gotta be honest though, I don't even know what this week's topic is yet. I just had a list I wanted to share. (The day after I told my husband I was done blogging...)

There's a truly lovely bit of wish-fulfillment in Jeff Zentner's latest book, In the Wild Light. The fish-out-of-water Tennessee backwater boy manages to prevent and then prove that his rich east coast asshole roommate had roofied and was trying to rape a girl. I think of all the girls that didn't happen for, and feel such sorrow and rage for them. I wouldn't murder their rapists or abusers, because I truly don't believe that killing in response to violence is healthy or productive, but I certainly have enjoyed some books over the past few years in which teenaged girls fight back to a lethal extent. 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, about a teenaged girl who has murdered her sister's rapist/murderer and gotten away with it.  Now she has to figure out how to live with herself.

Jane Steele by Lynday Faye, which actually starts with "Reader, I murdered him," so you know you're in for a twisty re-telling of Jane Eyre.

Sadie by Courtney Summers, in which a podcaster follows the story of a girl on the hunt for her sister's killer. 

Squad, a graphic novel by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Don't you hate it when you're the new girl and a group of cool girls befriends you, but only because they want you to join their man-eating werewolf clan? 

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is another retelling, this time of a teen Lady MacBeth who doesn't need MacBeth to run her country...

All Eyes on Her by L. E. Flynn is told from multiple points of view. Two went on a hike, one came back. Who is responsible and why? 

Grown is by Tiffany D. Jackson, so you know it's going to be mind-bendingly twisty. The R. Kelly stand-in lies dead in a pool of blood, while the young girl he manipulated and used can't remember what happened. 

You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook. When you wish your abusive, controlling boyfriend would just die, and then he does, you might feel relieved. Until you get a message saying "You owe me a murder."

The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharp features a girl who gets her revenge on an abusive step-father not through murder, but through ruining his life. And that's before the book even opens with her getting swept up in a bank robbery, along with her ex-boyfriend and new girlfriend.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021 Statistics That Are Completely Unrelated To Covid!

Every year I track my reading on Goodreads, but also in a Google Form I made myself. I appreciate that it populates a spreadsheet and that it collects the data into charts and graphs with no effort on my part. I change it up from year to year as I try to narrow in on the type of information I'm really trying to find out, but honestly in 2021, I just didn't care as much. 

I mostly like the books I choose. Almost like I know my own taste. The coveted "All the stars" ratings went mostly to re-reads.

This chart makes even more sense when you look at the following chart:

Most of my reading is sponsored by the public library, and most of the rest of it comes from my own classroom. Slightly backlist books are the result. I still am sure that I read a lot more current releases than I did before I started blogging. 

What's interesting to me about this one is that about 1/4 of the books I read were for adults, but hardly any of my favorites from the year were. I had more favorite MG novels than adult novels! (See yesterday's post for titles.)

I still read majority white authors, but 2020 was the first time I dropped below 80% white authors. This year I wasn't making such a conscious effort, and I still kept it at a lower percentage. There are so many good books in all genres by a wide range of people. 

I got frustrated with all the genre overlap, so I kept it simple this year. And this is about what I would have predicted. I do like my spec fic! 

Also not surprising. I read mostly physical books. Sometimes I can only find a book online.  I keep my subscription to Scribd for a reason! 

As for my Goodreads tracking...the numbers never quite add up, since I don't always count picture books, or I might add books I skimmed for practical purposes (cookbooks, knitting books) in one area but not the other. And there's always some I just plain forget--like, I had the first 3 and book 5 of the Bosch books recorded, but not the 4th one, which I definitely read as well. It's an approximation, but a decent one. I definitely had an off year overall, as the following shows:

My oldest data is from 2014, pre-dating both blogging and my Google Forms. I'd been on GR for several years before then, but either hadn't set a goal or maybe they didn't do that yet? At any rate, I blew past my book-per-week goal, so the next year I upped it a bunch, and blew past that too. That's when I started blogging. In 2016 I became a reading teacher (I'd taught ELD and language arts before). So 234 books was the new normal! 
Another excited year of reading a ton in 2017, but then I started to ease up a bit. It wasn't necessary to read 200 books a year. It wasn't necessary to put pressure on myself either, so I dropped my goal to one I knew I'd blow by in the summer. Still, I wasn't reading much less. Then came the pandemic:

and while you might think I had more time than ever to read, the truth was I had less ability to focus and when school started up in person again in fall of 2020, absolutely no free time. It was insane, and my books read dropped to under 150. 

Then there's this year:

Barely a hundred books! How can it be? Well, actually, I have a list of reasons.
1. I spent five weeks traveling this summer, and read very little during what is normally my most productive reading time.
2. Everything that was true of 2020 in terms of higher anxiety and less ability to focus was still true. 
3.Ask me how many hours I spent playing on my phone in the last two years--THOSE numbers have certainly gone way up. 
4. My eyes, sadly, get more tired more easily, and partly as a result, I didn't participate in any read-a-thons.

But really, all of the other reasons were primarily variations of #2. I'm not beating myself up about it though, or worried. There's a pandemic going on, and we cope how we cope. I still read a lot compared to the average bear, and it still brings me joy. It's just interesting to see the ebb and flow.

And that's my 2021 reading in a nutshell, five pie charts, two bar graphs, some lists, and a partridge in a pear tree. 

Happy holidays, whatever you do or do not celebrate. Here's a few photos to make this a less formal and boring post. 

Christmas morning reflection

My sister and my coworker have decided I'm a hedgehog lady. When they give me things like this, I suspect they are correct.

I'm knitting my first full sweater in about 25 years. So far, so good.

My secret Santa at work gave me this fabulous puzzle. 

I made my own wreath with tree and yard clippings. That's a rose up there, believe it or not. 

I got way more into cookie baking this year than I have in several years.