January 2017 Wrap-Up

January was my best month of reading in a long time. I read a total of 15 books, 10 print and 5 audio. My favorites in print were Scythe and The Woman in Cabin 10. For audio, Shadowshaper and the first two books of the Firebird series were really great. I had really high hopes for both Blankets and Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday, but both were underwhelming.

 

 

Sand – 4 crowns

Bad Feminist – 4 crowns

Kevin Kramer Starts on Monday – 3 crowns

Eleven Hours – 4 crowns

Blankets – 3 crowns

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line – 5 crowns

Shadowshaper – 4 crowns

Mr. Kiss and Tell – 5 crowns

What She Knew – 5 crowns

Scythe – 5 crowns

The Diabolic – 4 crowns

The Woman in Cabin 10 – 5 crowns

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird Book 1)- 4 crowns

Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird Book 2) – 5 crowns

The Hypnotists Love Story – 5 crowns

 

I’m currently reading The Nix by Nathan Hill and listening to The Raven Boys on audio, and absolutely LOVING them both!! What is everyone reading?

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2016 Wrap-Up

2016 was an excellent year of reading! I finished a total of 61 books in a combination of mostly print, some audio, and (for the first time ever) a few eBooks.

Print books: 39

Audio books: 18

eBooks: 4 (this of course does not count the mass quantities of fan fiction I read on my phone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Books written by female authors: 34

Books written by people of color: 2

New authors discovered: 33

ARCs: 5

 

LGBT Fiction: 5

 

 

Some breakdowns:

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Clearly I need to try and get more non-fiction reads in for 2017.

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I read an overwhelming majority of YA and Scifi. Honestly, that’s not likely to change for 2017. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Rather than leave a bad review, I normally just don’t finish a book if I don’t like it. I think  honest reviews are important, but writing a negative review is still really hard for me. Not sure if that will ever change.

Favorite New Authors:

I was lucky to discover a lot of really great new authors this year, mostly thanks to Litsy and Bookstagram. My favorites were definitely Hugh Howey, Sarah J Maas, V.E. Schwab, Neal Stephenson, Cassandra Clare, Jay Kristoff & Aime Kaufman.

Favorite Book of 2016: 

My all time favorite for the year was definitely A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, followed closely by Wool by Hugh Howey.

Most Fun Read: 

The most fun I’ve had reading a book this year, and for several years previous would definitely be, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple.

Best Audio Books: 

Audio books changed my life this year as far as reading goes. I’ve got a full time job,  four young children, and a house to take care of. I started listening to podcasts, which led into audio books while driving and doing chores. Not only have those things become a hell of a lot more enjoyable, but I’ve been able to read more than ever. I’ve found that I enjoy audio books more when there is a cast of voice actors, but can still enjoy a singular narrator when they can convincingly play multiple characters well.

Top 10 Books of 2016: 

 

Most Anticipated Reads of 2017: 

There are so many incredible books coming out in 2017 that I cannot wait to get my hands on. I’ve also discovered a lot of older stuff thanks to Litsy, Bookstagram & the All the Books! podcast (which I highly recommend). I’ll be finishing several series that I began this year, and starting a few new ones as well.

Hot Little Hands – Abigail Ulman

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.23.37 PMFrom the jacket:

Claire is magnetic. On the cusp of adulthood and letting go of her adolescence one miserable responsibility at a time, she’s moved from London to San Francisco to work toward her PhD and minor in cheap whiskey, pour-over coffee, and guys who can’t be bothered to shower. When she finds out she’s pregnant by a heartsick ex-boyfriend, the solution seems clear, if only to her.

Kira is a talented thirteen-year-old Russian gymnast who leaves her traditional family to travel to America.

Elise and Jenni, two Australian high school students, seek asylum from the hooking up and heavy drinking they’ve been doing for years by reenrolling in their childhood sleepaway camp.

Over the course of nine loosely connected stories, Hot Little Hands introduces us to young women, at once clever and naïve, who struggle to navigate the chronic uncertainty and very real dangers that come with being impatient for the future and reluctant to leave childhood behind.

Ulman absolutely nails it in this debut short story collection. Her characters are so vividly imagined, incredibly relatable, flawed, and full of angst. I do not read a lot of short story collections, but Hot Little Hands has me both regretting and rethinking that habit. The beginning of each of the nine stories brought with it the excitement you feel when you start a really great new book; each one ending with a satisfying, and sometimes extremely surprising conclusion.

As always, I’m going to get into more detail after the jump. Continue on at your own discretion.

Continue reading “Hot Little Hands – Abigail Ulman”