Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Month in Review for January: Challenge Updates, Reading Stats, and More

Super Bowl Cupcakes... because it's second Thanksgiving.
In 2015, I've decided to expand my month in review posts to include my reading stats and challenge updates, mostly because I want to make sure I'm on track with my goals for 2015. And also, I'm more than a little OCD, and organizing factoids has always been my forte- I used to keep track of books and pages I read on the back of my bookmarks.

With the arrival of Goodreads, it's been easier to track my pages and books read, but I like to see other things like how many books I read are written by females vs. males, etc. In other words, most of my month in review posts are simply for me to sort out what worked and what didn't work in my reading and blogging life. Also- this is where I brag about making cakes, or take pictures of my dogs/plants/travels for the express purpose of showing off.

 Total Posts: 18
  Total Critiques: 10
    Fantasy: 2
    Historical: 2
    Out of Orbit: 1
    Part of a Series: 8
    Steampunk: 3
    Urban Fantasy: 3

Most Popular Posts of January:
"Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)" by Gail Carriger
Early Critique: "Song of Blood and Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1)" by L. Penelope
My Best (and Worst) Reads of 2014
NQAC: Biweekly Update #6 The "Good" Bibliophile
"Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2)" by Gail Carriger

Pageviews for the Month: 798
Comments: 10

Blog Schedule and Features: Critiques on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Sundays, I rotate between the Sunday Fun Five, and Confessions of an Insomniac Book Devourer (or Not Quite a Confession).

Reading Challenges Updates:

Snowflake and Spider Silk Bingo Challenge

Applicable Books:
Song of Blood and Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) by L. Penelope (POC main character)
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger (New to me author)
Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2) by Gail Carriger (2nd book in a series)
Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3) by Gail Carriger (female author)

I may do some rearranging later in the challenge, since that's allowed.

Travel the World in Books Challenge

Applicable Books:
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat (Author was born in Haiti, book was set mostly in Haiti)
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro (book was mostly set in England and Paris, France)

Reading Stats:

This year I've decided to catalogue my reading stats, like the gender of the author of a book I've read, diverse authors vs. not-so-diverse authors, self-published vs. traditionally published, etc. It's my guess that I lean heavily towards female authors along with not-so-diverse authors, and I only occasionally pick up a self-published volume.

Books read in January: 10

Book Stats:
Has a Diverse Main Character: 3
Doesn't Have a Diverse MC: 7
Female Main Character: 9
Male Main Character: 1
 Fantasy: 1
 Steampunk/Paranormal Romance: 5
 Historical Fiction: 3
 Historical Romance: 1
Published in 2015: 1
Published in 2000-2014: 6
Published in the 80's-90's: 3
Self-Published, Small Press, or Other: 1
Traditionally Published: 9
Ebook Version: 7
Paper Version: 3
Favorite of the Month: Billy by Albert French
Least Favorite of the Month: Captured by Victoria Lynne (but, it was free)
From the-pile: 3
From the-invisible-pile: 1
Recently acquired: 6
Added to the-invisible-pile in January: 2
Books bought: 1
Pages Read (according to Goodreads): 3413 pages

5 Stars: 1
4-4.5 Stars: 6
3-3.5 Stars: 3

Author Stats (1 = 1 book read by x author):
Male: 1
Female: 9
Diverse: 3
Not-so-Diverse: 7
Living: 10
Deceased: 0

Planning to Read in February:

As it is African American history month (in the U.S.), I've decided to dip in my piles and read the books I have accumulated on the subject. I'm particularly excited about Born to Be by Taylor Gordon, a White Sulphur Springs, Montana native who lived in Harlem during the Roaring Twenties. Born to Be is his autobiography of the period, and one of the few accounts on the Harlem Renaissance.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones won a Pulitzer prize and is "an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexities". I'm also perplexed by whoever put a giant CO in blue marker on the cover- did this book come from Colorado? Who knows?

Another book I recently found for free online is Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which is a classic I haven't read yet.

I also plan on reading my two NetGalley finds, Unseen (Unborn #2) by Amber Lynn Natusch and hopefully I'll be able to finish The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber, even though I'm struggling with reading it right now.

Upcoming Reviews:

Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
A novel about a girl who emigrates to America from Haiti to be with her mother, only to be drawn back sometime after. I can only assume it's drawn from some of the author's own experiences, as she came to America from Haiti at the same age as the main character, and in the same time period (I'm guessing this is set in the seventies).
Genres: Historical, Travel the World in Books

Billy by Albert French
This book is a fictional account of Billy Lee Turner, a ten-year-old boy who was sentenced to death for killing a white girl in Baines, Mississippi in 1937. Billy is written in a unique folksy voice that I didn't think I'd like at first, but it ended up a five star read for me.
Genres: Historical, 5 Stars, Heroines I Love, Heroes I Love

The rest of the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger
I only have Heartless and Timeless left to review, so I assume I'll be able to fit them in somewhere in February. I really enjoyed this series for what it was: a light, fun take on a comedy of manners set in a Steampunk world. If you're looking for a social commentary on London town during that time, you're definitely better off with straight-up historical fiction.
Genres: Steampunk, Fantasy, Heroines I Love, Historical


  1. I just finished the Parasol Protectorate series the other day as well. I agree it was so much fun. I'm looking forward to reading her new spin off series. I'm on the waitlist for the library audio of the YA trilogy she wrote as well.

    Great looking bingo challenge. I'm trying to track more of my reading stats each month as well so the end of the year one is easier to put together. :-)

    1. I was surprised at the amount of books Gail Carriger has put out based on her world in the Parasol Protectorate- she's even doing a new one with a character from Timeless.
      The bingo challenge is fun because I know I have a lot of books that would qualify for each square already- no need to buy any more books (even though I still want to). The month-in-review posts did make my end of year posts surprisingly easy to write up, as all I had to do was add them all together. I'm hoping it will make me more conscious of what genres I'm reading the most of.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Tabitha!
      ~Litha Nelle


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