ShadrachAnki's 2020 Reading
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I'm Anki, and this is my fourth year in Club Read. I'm looking forward to reading and talking books with everyone!
As with previous years, I am setting a few reading goals for myself for 2020. Actually, a lot of the goals are going to be very similar to previous years, since number/percentage goals are the way I do things (I'd like to be the sort of person who can make a list of books to read in a month/quarter/year, but have learned through experience that making lists of that sort is a good way to kill my interest in whatever is on that list).
In November 2018 I made a list of all the books I own that I haven't read. While this list is...rather daunting, it provides a good reference for me when I am looking for something to read. And in May of last year, I implemented a system of book beans to help manage my rate of book acquisition. I will be continuing both of these things in 2020 since they are useful to me.
Over the past two years, my focus and goal has been to read more books that I own, and I will be maintaining that in 2020. At least 50% of my reading should be books I own; more would be better. I have a lot of ebooks (43% of my owned, unread books are in this format), and while they may not take up physical space, they do carry something of a mental weight. So I want 10-20% of my reading to be in that format in the coming year. Finally, I want to read at least 12 non-fiction titles in 2020. I enjoy non-fiction when I read it, but I struggle with actually picking up and finishing the books in a timely fashion.
- A Case for the Book of Mormon by Tad R. Callister
- Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver
- The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde
- The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (combo read; audio narrated by Simon Vance)
- Heirs and Graces by Rhys Bowen, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
- A Bid for Love by Rachel Ann Nunes
- Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
- Saints: The Standard of Truth by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2020 Reading by the Numbers
Total Books Read: 20
Last Year (2019) by the Numbers
Owned: 146 (82%)
Borrowed: 32 (18%)
Print: 120 (68%)
Ebook: 22 (12%)
Audio: 36 (20%)
Fiction: 94 (53%)
Non-fiction: 8 (4%)
Comics: 76 (43%)
Rereads: 63 (35%)
Total Books Read: 178
I did really well in the owned vs. borrowed arena in 2019, but the numbers are somewhat skewed due to my rereading the entirety of Eyeshield 21 near the end of the year. I don't regret it in the slightest, but it is something I have to keep in mind.
Books Read January - March
* indicates a reread
1. Delicious in Dungeon, vol. 1 by Ryoko Kui (comic, print, owned)
2. Kakuriyo 1 by Waco Ioka (comic, print, owned) *
3. Kakuriyo 2 by Waco Ioka (comic, print, owned) *
4. Kakuriyo 3 by Waco Ioka (comic, print, owned)
5. Kakuriyo 4 by Waco Ioka (comic, print, owned)
6. Kakuriyo 5 by Waco Ioka (comic, print, owned)
7. An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan (fiction, print, owned) *
8. House of Teeth by Dan Jolley (fiction, audio, owned)
9. Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold (fiction, ebook, owned)
10. Penric's Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold (fiction, print, owned)
11. Date Night on Union Station by E. M. Foner (fiction, ebook, owned)
12. At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider (non-fiction, print, owned)
13. Make Mine Magic by Shanna Swendson (fiction, audio, owned)
14. Interview with the Robot by Lee Bacon (fiction, audio, owned)
15. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery (fiction, audio, owned) *
1. March Upcountry by David Weber & John Ringo (fiction, ebook, owned)
2. Mother of the Year by Rachel Aaron (fiction, ebook, owned)
3. The Black Count by Tom Reiss (non-fiction, ARC, owned)
4. Pile of Bones by Michael J. Sullivan (fiction, audio, ebook, owned)
5. One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron (fiction, ebook, owned)
Books Read April - June
* indicates a reread
Books Read July - September
* indicates a reread
Books Read October - December
* indicates a reread
Delicious in Dungeon, vol. 1 by Ryoko Kui
(manga, print, owned)
Starting off the year with an amusing manga about a fantasy adventuring party that decides to save on the cost of rations by eating the monsters they encounter in the dungeon they are exploring. There's a bit more to it than that, of course, but it is a delightfully zany mashup of standard D&D-style adventure and cooking manga (yes, that is a thing). My sister pointed this series out to me, and I am very glad she did. I look forward to reading more of the series in the future.
Kakuriyo, Vol. 1 by Waco Ioka *
Kakuriyo, Vol. 2 by Waco Ioka *
Kakuriyo, Vol. 3 by Waco Ioka
Kakuriyo, Vol. 4 by Waco Ioka
Kakuriyo, Vol. 5 by Waco Ioka
(manga, print, owned)
Aoi Tsubaki is able to see ayakashi (spirits/demons/fairies), just like her grandfather. After his death, she learns that the ability to see spirits isn't the only thing she inherited from him; she also discovered that he had put her up as collateral for his debts to the spirits! Now, Aoi has been taken to Kakuriyo, the realm of the spirits, to make good on those debts.
I picked up the first two volumes of this series early last year, and I enjoyed reading them enough to know I wanted to continue the series. Unfortunately, it currently looks like the five volumes currently available are the extent of the manga adaptation, and while volume 5 doesn't end badly, it does end with the introduction of a new storyline element (Aoi needing to go shopping for some exotic—read, what we would consider normal—ingredients for an important dinner she has been commissioned to make).
The anime adaptation does go further into things than the manga, so I've been watching the series on Crunchyroll. It would be nice to have Midori Yuma's original light novel series translated into English, but I don't know how likely that is to happen.
An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan *
(fiction, print, owned)
This is the first book in a trilogy retelling Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view. I first read this trilogy in 2010 (over the course of ten days), and found it delightful. I think it expands on the original story while still remaining true in tone and time to Austen's work.
I felt the desire to reread the trilogy after rereading Pride and Prejudice at the tail end of last year, and that desire was intensified when my father started rereading the series, albeit in Spanish (he's been studying Spanish for several years at this point, and has been doing large portions of his pleasure reading in Spanish for about two of those years. The story is still just as fun as it was on my first two readings, and I plan to read the other two books in the trilogy over the course of the year.
House of Teeth by Dan Jolley
(fiction, audio, owned)
My first audiobook finish for 2020. This was one of the Audible Originals offered as part of the member benefit in December, and it was the first one that had looked interesting to me in months. Twelve-year-old Henry Lemarchand is sent to visit his uncle and cousin in Louisiana for the summer, and once he arrives at the family's ancestral home (located in the middle of a bayou, of course) he discovers that there is more to his family than he ever realized. There's a lot of magical, supernatural adventure packed into this 7.25 hour audiobook, and I enjoyed listening to it. It is very...middle grade, meaning a lot of things were telegraphed a bit more obviously than they probably would have been in a novel aimed at older audiences, and a few things felt a bit too convenient to be entirely believable. For example,
All told, though, the story had an interesting take on magic; was well narrated and produced; and it made for several entertaining commuting sessions. I wouldn't mind checking out some other stuff that Dan Jolley has written.
>11 rhian_of_oz: I look forward to hearing what you think about the trilogy! It's been fun listening to my father's progress through the story (we work at the same place, and we take walks at noontime, and those walks frequently include book discussions), and I've been having fun revisiting the books, especially now that I've read more things set in that general time period.
Penric and the Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold
Penric's Progress by Lois McMaster Bujold
(fiction, ebook/print, owned)
So, in theory I could just post Penric's Progress here and be covered, since it is the first print collection of the Penric & Desdemona novellas, but the reality is I read Penric and the Shaman as a standalone ebook, then read Penric's Fox in the print collection. I really love how the characters and relationships build across the novellas, and I am eagerly awaiting the second print collection (due out in May of this year). I will...probably also still pick up the ebooks as well. I don't know why I held off so long; I am really enjoying these forays into the World of the Five Gods.
Date Night on Union Station by E. M. Foner
(fiction, ebook, owned)
I think I first heard about this book through one of the blogs I follow, and I picked up a copy when the title showed up in a promotional email at a very good price. Basic premise: humanity has made it to the stars (with some help) and one of the places where they live and work is Union Station, a space station that was established by a group of AI. The whole thing is fairly light and fluffy, with a distinct turn toward the comedic. Not high literature by any stretch of the imagination, just lots of silly fun. It also has the advantage of being the first book in a series, so if I want more stories in the same sort of vein (which I almost certainly will at some point) I have a readily available source.
At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider
(memoir, print, owned)
This travel-centric memoir had been sitting on my shelves for a few years, and I pulled it out at the last minute before a recent trip to Utah (attending my grandmother's funeral). While I had other books with me, this one wound up being my primary reading over nine days of travel. The logistics needed to arrange a year of global travel like the one recounted in this book are exhausting to even think about, but at the same time the whole thing opens up an exciting set of new views on the world. Also on which things are truly important in this life. All told, I think this was nearly the perfect book for me to read while traveling.
Make Mine Magic by Shanna Swendson
(fiction, audio, owned)
Shanna Swendson has been one of my go-to authors for over a decade, so when I learned about this Audible Original production I cheerfully put in my preorder. Claire is a librarian from Texas, visiting New York City on what was supposed to be her honeymoon...had her fiance not run away during the rehearsal. She wasn't about to waste the money that had already been put into the trip, even if it did mean going to a lot of things alone. Claire never expected to get thrust into a world of magic, but that's exactly what happens when she helps an older woman who turns out to be one of the powerful leaders of the hidden magical community in NYC. Her vacation just got a lot more complicated.
This was a delightful book to listen to. Claire is a fun, relatable main character, and the story overall was light and satisfying. I really enjoy seeing the different ways Shanna Swendson weaves magic into her stories, and I would love to see more stories based in this particular magical version of NYC.
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