2016 Recap and 2017 Goals


I can’t believe that 2016 is already over! This year flew by and I was able to get so much accomplished while also having lots of fun. When I set my goals for this year I wanted to get in a better variety of books. I was able to accomplish some goals but not as many as I had planned. I find it hard sometimes to do the reading challenges that I’d like to do. I sign up for too many reviews between all the ARC sites and email requests, and I end up barely being able to keep up with that review schedule. It doesn’t end up leaving much room for reading specific books to fit requirements of a reading challenge. I couldn’t even really keep up all year, I have about 30 books from summer-ish that I still have to read for NetGalley. I ended up kind of giving up on some goals that I had set for 2016 in order to keep up with my reading schedule and also to keep my sanity!

So! To recap on the goals I had set for 2016:

  1. PopSugar 2016 Reading Challenge – Read at least 20 books off this checklist. I really enjoyed doing this checklist for 2015 so I decided to participate again for 2016 – I ended up completing this one, you can browse through the ones I used to check off the list here.
  2. Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 – I heard a lot about this checklist this past year at the Book Riot Live conference and online and I’m excited to try this checklist this year! – I was able to check off 8 out of the 24 boxes, not as much as I would have liked but you can see the books I used for this checklist here.
  3. Penguin Random House Challenge Your Shelf: Books A-Z Challenge – This was technically a 2015 challenge but I liked the list so much that I’m going to use it for 2016 just for my own purposes. I’m going to try and read at least 10 books off this list. – Unfortunately I didn’t get to read any of the books on this list, maybe some other year!
  4. Participate in one shorter reading challenge per quarter. And since I’m a planner by nature I’ve already picked out which ones I plan to participate in:
    1. Quarter 1 – I’m currently participating in Bookish Bingo: Holiday edition which runs through end of February 2016 so this one will be my Quarter 1 reading challenge – Seems like a running theme but I didn’t do well with this reading challenge this past winter, I didn’t even get a real bingo. I did the best I could though, and you can see my bingo square and the books I read here.
    2. Quarter 2 – I’ve been wanting to participate in a Bout of Books challenge for a while now but the timing never lined up for me in 2015 so I am planning on definitely participating in the one in May 2016. – I did participate in a Bout of Books this past May and it was great fun! This one worked really well for me since I just had to read as much as possible. You can see my posts from this challenge here.
    3. Quarter 3 – I really liked participating in the ARC August challenge this past August and I am sure I will have a bunch of ARC’s on my schedule at that point so I am planning to participate again this year. – This one also went fairly well for me, I had some time off in August and I was able to devote a good amount of time to reading. You can see which ARCs I was able to read and review during this challenge here
    4. Quarter 4 – I found this listing of the 24 Best Books About Witches to Get You in the Halloween Spirit and I noticed a lot of the books on the list were already in my TBR list so for Sept/Oct I am gong to work my way through this listing (this will be my own reading challenge hosted by my site). – I didn’t end up having time to do this, maybe some other year. 
  5. Other general goals that are less defined but are just overall goals I’d like to work on:
    1. Establishing contacts/relationships with publishers – I think I made some good progress on doing this, I have been participating more in Blog Tours through the books I request on NetGalley and I have made a couple contacts through these requests. Definitely lots more room to grow here though!
    2. Continue to review ARC’s from authors – Check, did it. Lots. Almost every book I read this year was an ARC or author request.
    3. Try doing some shorter reviews on books that I don’t necessarily have as much to say on. I’ve been having trouble keeping up with all the reviews I have to do and I’m hoping to write some shorter reviews this year for the books I’m just reading on my own – I maybe did a couple but I could definitely do more of these shorter reviews next year.
    4. Try to wrap up some of the series that I’m in the middle of, I feel like there are just so many and I lose track of the characters. I know its unreasonable but I almost wish authors would release a full series at the same time and be like “ok that’s it I’m not doing anymore.” I’ll start reading a series because the “finale” is out and then there’s somehow another sequel released and while excited it is also incredibly frustrating. – I probably didn’t do these well, I read mostly ARC’s so unless I got an ARC for a book in my series then it probably didn’t get read.

So overall I set a TON of goals and accomplished a few and passed on a few. I definitely read A LOT. I read some books that I never would have picked out on my own, and some of these I really loved too. I made connections with some wonderful authors, I’d consider some of them friends at this point even. I also continued participating in a local book club this year, that also has introduced me to books I might not have read otherwise. You can see the books we read for book club this year here. And there were also a couple books I read for an online book club this year, you can see those here. I also started doing Monthly Status Update posts on my reading progress throughout the year.

I ended up reading 122 books in 2016, below is a chart showing # of books read per month for this year and also the last 3 years. I peaked this year in May, I think I burned myself out a little. I slowed down during the summer as life got in the way.




And now onto 2017!! I am excited to see what the next year will bring. For my goals for 2017, my main focus will be on trying to finish all the ARC’s that I wasn’t able to read during 2016. Other than that I hope to do a couple reading challenges again that I enjoy and continue to work on my relationships.

  1. Finish any ARC’s from 2016 that I missed from NetGalley.
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges:
    1. Bout of Books 19 in May 2017
    2. ARC August in August 2017
  3. Other general goals:
    1. Writing shorter reviews
    2. Continuing to establish relationships

Short and simple! That’s pretty much my plan in essence this year, to keep it simple and just accomplish as much as I can. And that’s it! Hopefully 2017 is a productive and happy year for me and for all of you as well! Happy new year to everyone!!


2016 Monthly Status Update: December


Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 8
# pages read this month: 2,316
# books read year-to-date: 122
# pages read year-to-date: 36,850

Favorite Books I Read:

Love Connection by Camilla Isley – 4.5 stars
The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner – 4.25 stars

Books I Didn’t Particularly Enjoy: 

I liked all the books this month, was another great month for the books!

Other Posts this month:

The Trouble With Dukes BLOG TOUR!!

Status of 2016 Reading Challenges:

I’ve pretty much given up on the reading challenges for 2016, I’m mostly just trying to survive at this point.

PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016 Checklist – 20/20 books read
Book Riot Read Harder Reading Challenge – 8/24 books read
Penguin Random House: Challenge Your Shelf A-Z Reading Challenge – 0/26 books read

Next Year TBR List:

I don’t have a formal plan yet for 2017, see my Goals post to come for what my plan will be for next year.


2016 Book #122 – Burning September by Melissa Simonson

517rolxrycl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: Burning September
Author: Melissa Simonson
Date finished: 12/31/16
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: September 8, 2017
Pages in book: 222
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Author/Publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Kat’s life is going exactly the way her sister has planned it, until a detective shows up at their front door early one morning and arrests Caroline for murder. Suddenly and utterly alone, Kat doesn’t know how to navigate a world without Caroline, the woman who raised her. During the aftermath of the crime, Kat tries to figure out who she is without her sister, but unlocking those doors only leads to more troubling questions. Kat realizes the one person she thought would never lie to her had, and quite frequently. Sorting through the skeletons and secrets might be more than she can handle, but it’s a necessary evil if she ever wants to see her sister acquitted.

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Katya (Kat) and her sister Caroline, and both their lives during Caroline’s murder trial for killing her ex-boyfriend in a house fire. Kat told the police that her sister was at the condo all day but the police aren’t listening and arrest Caroline anyway. Caroline is confident that she won’t be stuck there for very long but that confidence is apparently misplaced as after she’s transported to a mental facility for trying to cut her wrists, she’s stuck there for the next few months until trial. And while Caroline is there, Kat starts to realize that her sister has been hiding things from her. Like the fact that she somehow has a very expensive attorney representing her. And that they have a lot of money in their checking account when Caroline mostly just does freelance work. So how much can Kat really trust her sister? And what, if anything, can she believe is the truth?
Overall I really liked this book, it was a really interesting story line and held my attention throughout the book. Kat was a really interesting character, and Caroline also had a lot of interesting layers to her. I liked the way that the author built a lot tension between Kat and Kyle, Caroline’s lawyer. There was a great build up of suspense in this novel, it was almost like a cross between a thriller and a contemporary romance. This was a really good read and I would definitely recommend!


The bottom line: I really enjoyed this book, there was some great tension between the main characters and I loved Kat’s character overall as well. Great read, I would definitely recommend!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page