Review of 2012 & Looking Forward to 2013

My goals for 2012 were to get through a TBR list, read 30 books from a variety of genres, and read more poems and short stories. Success, except for getting through the TBR list. But, really, what can you expect from me with a list…

Read 74 short works including the available Nebula nominated works (four novellas, five novelettes, seven short stories). That was a first for me. 74 doesn’t include collections and anthologies. If you want to see the list, including a ton of fiction links, here’s the spreadsheet. About half were by authors that were new to me. About a third were by female authors. Nearly all were read in some electronic form, whether online or on an ereader.

Read 37 books. For me, that’s a lot of books. That may be the most books I’ve read in a year, post-college. I didn’t even count comics! Part of the reason for the increase is that I participated in quite a few readathons, or tried to participate. Another part is that I made three different trips Nebraska in 2012. I read on planes. And another part is that I didn’t do as much writing in 2012. That last one isn’t a good thing… I’d really like to do as much reading this year, but I need to do a lot more writing.

About 80% of the books I read in 2012 were fiction, and about 30% of those were story collections or anthologies. The collections and anthologies somewhat confound my calculations for new authors and female authors because many anthologies included some of either or both. Around half the books I read were by authors new to me, and 40%-ish were by women. In 2011, I made a concerted effort to read more female authors. I did not in 2012, but still ended up with approximately the same percentage. I figure this is due to my increased reading of YA fiction titles, especially popular ones.

In 2012, I became more active in the social aspect of book blogging. I joined Bout of Books in May, marking the first time I did a readathon that was longer than 24 hours. I joined other readathons during the year and found varying degrees of community associated with them. Often I felt a little like an outsider, due possibly to my age. There are (happily!) a huge number of young (sub-30) readers out there, blogging about reading! Makes my writerly heart happy. And generally, they’re tolerant of a pushing-40 grump.

Early 20th century magician, David P. Abbott, beheads a lady.
Early 20th century magician, David P. Abbott, beheads a lady.

For 2013, I’m tasking myself to again read 30 books. I’ve signed up for a few challenges; hopefully ones that I can mesh with what I need to be reading for writing. I plan on reading quite a few mysteries and books about magic. I’m going to try to be a little more structured in my reviews and think more in terms of craft rather than just enjoying a book. As much as I enjoy being a reader and a book blogger, I need to get back to being a writer.


5 thoughts on “Review of 2012 & Looking Forward to 2013

  1. Looks like you did a pretyt amazing job to me this year. Are you reading the Nebula nominees for short stories again this year? I enjoyed reading those posts in 2012, and was so excited to see someone else reading the awards. I plan on doing it again this year (for the novels), and I just can’t wait for the announcement!

  2. I wish you all the best on your 30 goal and hope you can indeed do that AND get some more writing done. Why not have your cake and eat it too, eh? 🙂

    I’ve been wanting to do something similar with both the Nebula and Hugo nominees in the past and yet never get around to doing so. Maybe I’ll make that a private (although I’m sharing it here…shhh….) goal for myself this year.

    One of these days I’d love to have read thoroughly enough to vote for the Hugo and Locus awards and not feel like an imposter doing so.

    Here’s to a great new year!

    1. I’m really terrible at reading books during the year they were published. If I were voting for the 1984 Hugos, I’d have a chance. With the short fiction, at least I can catch a goodly portion online.

      1. I bought a Kindle Fire HD in the beginning of December in the hopes that I could keep up with some of the online magazines, Clarkesworld and Lightspeed in particular. There is just so much. One of my favorite anthologies, Eclipse, is now online only and I have yet to read one of the stories. Which is terrible, even more so since I love the work of the artist they are using right now, Kathleen Jennings. Ideally I would like to read all three of those each month and Asimov’s in print form but that is a TALL order given all the other stuff I want to read…and, you know, that LIFE stuff that gets in the way of everything. 🙂

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