Another year, another collection of books.
I missed putting together my 2016 year in books so here’s a quick round up courtesy of my Goodreads account:
- I read a lot of Deadpool comics.
- I read more women writers.
- I read two books of poetry (Czeslaw Milowsz and Leonard Cohen)
- I discovered a new (to me) mystery writer and series: Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce.
- I reread part of the Harry Potter series.
- In total I read 61 books, flying past my goal of 50. I credit the comics for a large part of that.
My goals were:
- I would like to read more female writers. (24/61)
- I’d also like to read more poetry. Poetry is like cake. It has to be savored. (Mmm, I guess I’m not very partial to cake? I read two books of poetry.)
- I’d like to continue mining the classics, such as Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. (Henry James, Robertson Davies, L.M. Montgomery, William Faulkner, Edith Wharton, Simone de Beauvoir, and Virginia Woolf all graced my 2016 shelves, so yes, I did that.)
- I’d like to read more musical biographies/autobiographies. (3 – Patti Smith, Carole King, and Amanda Palmer.)
- I’d like to read 50 books, surpassing my 44 of this year. (61/50!)
Since I did not have any new goals for 2017, I’m going to take the same lens I used for 2016 to review who and what I read in 2017.
- I read 40/50 books in 2017. Less comics.
- 6/40 I did not finish. Some I intend to return to because I own them.
- 17/40 were written by women.
- 24/40 were fiction.
- 2 were classics.
- 7 were memoirs or autobiographies, but zero were musical.
- 0 poetry.
Although the memoirs I read were not musical, they were all fascinating in their own right. The one I’ve recommended most of all has been Hillary Rodham Clinton’s What Happened, which was written in a plain, beautiful language that points a lot of fingers and doesn’t fail to provide context to the craziest American election campaign ever.
I learned that if I’m going to review a book on the Internet, take the time to get the writer’s name right. Worst person’s name to mess up? Scaachi Koul, who’s One Day We’ll Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, was awesome. To be fair, I’m not the only one who has messed up her name. She’s even written about it on Buzzfeed.
I was loaned a copy of The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk and I zipped through those 600+ pages of that post-apocalyptic utopian egrarian matriarchal universe and then wished it really did exist. Except for the part where there’s still societies that want to take all of that away.
Russell Brand’s Revolution is a great read, but he spoke to exactly one female expert. His entire thesis is based on the ideas of male thinkers and I think there’s a serious flaw in that. I like the idea that revolution can come from love, but how can you conceive of that idea and then completely ignore an entire section of humanity that bases almost all of their life choices on love? I mean, hello!
Finally, I think this thought that I tweeted out a few days ago sums up my experience of 2017 best:
Perhaps the biggest change I have seen in myself this year is that I am simply more aware of how few women create the books, the movies, the television shows, the art that we hold dear to us. Where are our voices? When do our experiences come in?
— Olga Kwak (@olgakwak) December 29, 2017
To that end, I’m making a few new challenges for 2018.
2018 Reading Goals
- Read 50 books.
- Only women.
- Half pre-2000, half-post.
- Review them on the Punnery.
We’ll see how well this goes! Happy 2018, everyone! Wishing you all happiness, health, success, and joy, plus some time to read 🙂