2016 in Review


It’s been quite a year. I am rushing to finish up book #117 (The Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee). When 2015 ended a year ago, I never imagined I would read so many books in the upcoming year. I ended last year with a total of 58, and thus set my reading goal for 2016 at 60 books. There are three major reasons that I almost doubled that number.

  1. My young children are now two and four years old. I have been having a massive reading slump since 2011. Pregnancy gives me an aversion to reading. I have no idea why. And then adjusting to two children in two years also affected my reading. We are finally in a longstanding routine and they are becoming more independent, which has all equaled out to more reading time.
  2. I discovered Litsy in June. If you haven’t heard of Litsy, I urge you to check it out. It’s a social media platform that combines Goodreads and Instagram. I can be hit or miss with social media, and I didn’t really see the point of Litsy when I first heard about it, but once I joined, I instantly got sucked up into the culture. It’s an amazing place–if you’re over there, my username is @reviewsbylola.
  3. I also discovered Book of the Month. BOTM was another thing that I was like eh, I don’t really need this. It’s a subscription service for books, and every month five new releases are handpicked by the judges. You get to choose which book you want them to send you for that month (or you can skip) and you can add on up to two additional books for $9.99 apiece. My thing was, five books sounds kind of limiting–I like choosing my own books, la la la la la. But I decided to get my mom a gift subscription for Mother’s Day and then two of my sisters and I got subscriptions as well, and we ended up become diehard devotees. I can’t even tell you the anticipation I feel on the first of every month when the new selections are released.

All of those reasons added up to being the best reading year I have ever had. I’m not talking quantity (although I am pretty sure this is my best year numbers wise too). I literally mean that this is the year when reading really came back to me. I feel like I found my place again, and my comfort. I also brought this blog back to life and discovered the Serial Reader app . . . I honestly don’t even know how 2017 can live up to this year but I’m excited to find out.

And last but not least, here are some of my favorite titles that I read in 2016.

  • Hellhound on His Trail, Hampton Sides
  • Working Stiff, Judy Melinek
  • A Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold
  • Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon
  • Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, Faye Resnick
  • Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld
  • I Let You Go, Clare Makintosh
  • Enchanted Islands, Allison Amend
  • Circling the Sun, Paula McLain
  • Flight of Dreams, Ariel Lawhon
  • Miller’s Valley, Anna Quindlen
  • Morgue, Vincent DiMaio
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Bryn Greenwood
  • Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue
  • Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
  • Siracusa, Delia Ephron
  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi
  • The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper, James Carnac
  • The Trespasser, Tana French
  • The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
  • The Fall Guy, James Lasdun
  • The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon

I’d love to hear how everyone else’s year was!

October 2016 Readathon


Good morning everyone! I am so excited to be taking part in another 24 Hour Readathon. I participated in my first readathon in October 2009 and have joined in subsequent readathons whenever possible. It’s been awhile since I have had the time to devote to one of Dewey’s readathons (working retail for five years guaranteed that my Saturdays were always spent working) but I am so thrilled to be here today reading with all of you.

I have a two year old and four year old that will keep me busy and occupied for much of the day (we have plans to do some fun fall activities this morning) but I am still hoping to devote a lot of time to reading and cheerleading.

I try not to bog myself down with a ton of goals, but overall I would like to do the following today:

-Read at least two books

-Spend a cumulative time of 8 hours reading

-Spend at least  hour of cumulative time cheering

I will likely do most of my updates  here as well as on Litsy (reviewsbylola). You may possibly find me on Twitter too (@reviewsbylola).

If you have a Litsy account please post your user name.  The majority of my cheering will  be on Litsy as well so I would love to see everyone’s progress!

Intro survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Columbus, Ohio
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Probably The Mothers, or really all three of my Book of the Month Club picks.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I think I’m the only readathon participant who didn’t go to the grocery store beforehand. Last readathon my husband went and bought me a burrito to try to make my day even better so maybe he’ll do that again!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I believe that nothing pairs better with a book then a great bath so I am already going through my bath stash to figure out what my readathon bath will look like later on tonight.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I feel like I have learned not to pressure myself. I am bummed that I can’t start off reading all morning but I also knew it wouldn’t be fair to coop my kids up all day. I used to also force myself to take small naps and wake up in the middle of the night to read more. I have come to realize that I don’t have to attempt a full 24 hours and so I fully intend to call it quits around Hour 15 and get a full night of sleep.