My 2016 Reading Challenge Wrapup

According to Goodreads, I have read and logged exactly 100 books in 2016. The Reading Challenge was set at 65 books so I am something like 154% ahead of goal.

The list does not segregate graphic novels from short eBooks from massive tomes but I’m cool with that since reading is reading. Some have been required reading for college classes or preparatory for things I intended to teach, others in my role as judge for the 2017 Scribe Awards. A fair percentage remains audiobooks as I have listened to unabridged works while driving and dog walking.

As with every year, I insist on reading someone new and this year’s first time writers include Ann Pratchett, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Beatty, David Sedaris, Aoife Clifford, Tom Standage, Charles Porlis, Cri McCarthy, and Kayla Rae Whitaker.

Rowan Casey gets special mention since reading the first three works in the Veil Knights series prepared me for my own contribution, coming in the first half of 2017. In each case, these were from the collective, most of whom I had never previously read.

I returned to old favorites Jim Butcher, Walter Isaacson, Tracey Kidder, and Stacy Schiff, among others. It allowed me to catch up on series such as The Dresden Files or the conclusion of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire saga. I greatly enjoyed the majority of this year’s Star Trek novels including the summer’s 50th anniversary trilogy from Greg Cox, David Mack, and Dayton Ward.

Among my favorite reads this year has been Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators which does a wonderful job taking us from Charles Babbage to today’s tech pioneers. I also found Laura Anne Gilman’s Silver on the Road a refreshing alternate reality, one I look forward to revisiting when her next entry arrives this month.

While my computer boots up and readies itself most days, I have chipped away at a variety of comic book and Star Trek nonfiction works I keep on my desk. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the efforts of TwoMorrows in capturing the field’s history and its key contributors.

My 100th book of the year was Neil Gaiman’s forthcoming Norse Mythology. When I had questions on interpretation for my TV Gods story, I asked Neil who said he merely followed Snorri Sturluson and then sent me an advance copy for reference. A huge thank you for the generosity and comradeship.

It used to be that I preferred reading only book at a time, mixing in comics, newspapers, and magazines. Life has evolved so I find myself with a book on my Audible app, a book on my desk, and a book on my Kindle app. Thankfully, I appear able to keep track of each thread, as skill developed after decades of reading serialized comic books. And yes, I continue to read between 50-75 comic books a month, saving those for bedtime and lunches.

Despite having read 100 books, I look at the unread works in my Kindle account and the somehow still growing TBR print shelf. I am beginning to comprehend they won’t all get read in 2017, if ever, which is a real shame.

I am upping my challenge for 2017 and hope you find the time and desire to increase time devoted to reading.

 

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