Goodreads reading challenge – 2018 wrap-up

I love my reading challenges, both the Australian Women Writers one and the Goodreads one. They help me stay motivated and remember not to let all the shiny things in life — like the Sims — distract me too much from all the books on my to-be-read pile. (As if the wavering, towering stacks weren’t enough reminder to chip away at them before they topple and crush me to death!)

I didn’t do one of these dedicated posts in 2017; I think I was a bit deflated at the fact I missed my reading goals that year. But in 2018 I lowered my Goodreads goal (and then met the 2017 goal anyway, as you do), which helped. It was all part of my 2018 resolution of being kinder to myself. Also, I didn’t have to power my way through all those Sanderson Stormlight Archive books in 2018, which helped even more — I only read one, which I’d already started when 2018 began. 😉

So here are the books I read in 2018, with some handy statistics for my own amusement. I haven’t included my own books that I’ve read in the editing process — except for A Hand of Knaves, given most of that book wasn’t by me — because then Goodreads asks me to rate them and I don’t feel comfortable rating my own books.

  • More than 75% of the books I read were by women writers (or had at least one woman writer contributor, in the case of the anthologies). Most of that was Sarah J. Maas (five books), and a decent number of female authors by whom I read three books. I am nothing if not consistent.
    • 31% of the books I read were part of the Australian Women Writers challenge, which clearly had a lot to do with the preponderance of women in my reading overall.
  • I read 69% speculative fiction (see again re: consistent, and also, teeheehee), of which the top three four categories were:
    • fantasy — 29%
    • steampunk — 12%
    • urban fantasy and science fiction — 10% each
  • Format-wise, 52% of my reads were paperback or hardcover books; 31% were audiobooks; and 17% were on my Kindle. (That’s pretty consistent with the 2016 numbers. The TBR pile topple-over threat is less intimidating for the digital ones.)

How did you go with your reading in 2018? What was your favourite book (or your favourite top five if you’re like me and can’t commit to one)?

Oh, and if you want to follow me on Goodreads and see all my reviews — although I almost always cross-post them here — you can find me here.

Goodreads reading challenge – 2016 wrap-up


Actual figure: 48. See note below.

I’m a huge fan of the Goodreads reading challenge, as it’s something that keeps me motivated to read, even when life gets crazy busy and sometimes I’d rather just sleep. (What? I like sleep!) So, once again, here are the books I read in 2016, with some handy statistics. (I also like statistics. I did up an Excel spreadsheet with formulas and everything!)

I haven’t included any of my own books that I’ve read in the editing process, because then Goodreads asks me to rate them and I personally don’t want to go there.

  • 77% were one stripe or another of speculative fiction, with 27% being fantasy, 21% being urban fantasy and 17% being sci-fi. Interestingly, 10% were superhero fiction, which is something I hadn’t really read at all before 2016.
  • 63% of the books I read were by women writers (or had a women co-author in the case of Gemina). I am very happy with this stat. In 2015, I over-corrected from my male-dominated reading habits to get to 87% women. I prefer it to be closer to balanced, but — given that I do the Australian Women Writers challenge every year too — the numbers are always going to favour women writers a little.
  • Two new-to-me authors featured very heavily this year: Brandon Sanderson (21%) and Emmie Mears (13%). I hadn’t read either of them before 2016 and they are now big favourites. (They are also responsible for all the superhero books I read, and the bulk of the fantasy!) Sanderson also made up the majority of the books by men that I read in 2016. I am nothing if not consistent.
  • Format-wise, 48% of my reads were paperback or hardcover books; 16% were audiobooks; and 9% were on my Kindle.


One thing I noticed after I got the screen grabs from Goodreads is that it didn’t record me having re-read Divided, even though I changed the date completed. Grr. I did include it in the stats above, but here is a picture of the cover, so the book doesn’t feel left out:

DIVIDED full digital

How did you go with your reading this year? What was your favourite book (or your favourite top five if you’re like me and can’t commit to one)?

My book purchases so far for 2014

Bird reading book

I think I have a problem. I’m sure I’m not unique in having this problem, especially among the type of folks who are likely to read my blog.

My name is Cassandra and I’m a bookaholic.

After Emily Mead shamed me into ordering a copy of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (no I haven’t read it yet SHUT UP THAT’S WHY), I was looking at all the other books I’ve got either on order or have already received.

These are my book buys for the first quarter of 2014, in order of purchase:

  1. Sky Song by Sharon Sant
  2. The Young Moon by Sharon Sant
  3. Not of Our Sky by Sharon Sant (Sharon had a sale on and I love her The Memory Game so I snapped these up)
  4. Sleeper by S. M. Johnston
  5. Immagica by K. A. Last
  6. The Problem With Crazy by Lauren K. McKellar
  7. How to Write Descriptions of Eyes and Faces by Val Kovalin (non-fiction — obviously)
  8. Trajectories by Tess Grant
  9. Spider by Jennifer Anderson
  10. Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash (I received an ARC of this but then bought a copy for a friend, so that counts!)
  11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  12. Unclean Spirits by Chuck Wendig
  13. The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
  14. Wicked After Midnght by Dehlilah S. Dawson
  15. The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
  16. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
  17. Cat and Mouse in a Haunted House by Geronimo Stilton (for my son)
  18. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  19. Splintered by A. G. Howard

I also bought Shadows by Paula Weston but that was a gift for someone, so that doesn’t count…right? And I received Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles free (my review of it is scheduled for 4 April as part of the book launch blog tour), so I haven’t included it.

The saddest part of all this is that I already had more than 50 books on my TBR pile. And so far I’ve read three and a half of the books in the list above.

How many books have you bought this year? Please tell me I’m not the only one with this addiction!

I beat Goodreads!

GoodreadsThat’s right, Goodreads, with your judgemental “You are 5% behind schedule”. I BEAT YOU! I only set my goal to 40 books, which is not quite one a week, but hey, that’s more than I read the year before without your incessant nagging.

So I guess I owe you thanks, you harpy.

As I’m drafting this I just started “Running Home” by Julie Hutchings. I may well have finished it by the time this post goes live. It’s not like I have anything on in the days beforehand. :p

Four observations on 2013:

1. John Marsden. Oh yes.

2. A quarter of my reads were either small press or self-published.

3. Just over a third of my reads were by Australian authors (I’m counting Katie Hamstead in that list even though she now lives in America). Almost half of that was because of point one, but I’m going to try and keep it up.

4. I read two non-fiction books, both on writing.

I was going to make point five my favourite read, but I can’t. I just can’t. TOO MANY CHOICES!



Ten books that have touched me

Stacey tagged me in one of those Facebook status games where you have to list ten books that have touched you in one way or another. The rules say not to overthink it, but since in my case I’m pretty sure that’s a genetic impossibility, I thought I’d post the list here, with some of my thoughts.

StoneCage1. “The Stone Cage” by Nicholas Stuart Gray

This is a Rapunzel retelling from the perspective of the witch’s cat. I read it when I was about 11, and then again at 17, and then again in my late 20s – and I loved it every time.

I think I’m due to re-read it again. 🙂

2. “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

All of the laughs. ALL OF THEM! (I could add Terry Pratchett to the list for the same reason, but I read Adams first.)

3. “All the Weyrs of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey

“The Dragonriders of Pern” was my first fantasy series, and will always remain my favourite. It’s hard to choose one book, but it has to be either this one (I had SUCH a crush on Masterharper Robinton) or “Dragonquest” (for the mating flight scene).

Magic's Pawn4. “Magic’s Pawn” by Mercedes Lackey

As with Dragonriders, I loved all the Valdemar books. But Vanyel was my first and my favourite. It’s also the first series I ever read with a gay main character.

5. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkein

I had an illustrated edition as a child, and read it SO MANY TIMES. In fact, I still have that same copy. I’m looking forward to sharing it with my son.

6. “It” by Stephen King


MCL7. “The Many-Coloured Land” by Julian May

This (and the rest of “The Saga of the Exiles”) is one of the few scifi series that I love. The way the past and the future have been woven together is so clever – and I loved Aiken Drum. Not as much as Masterharper Robinton, but, you know, a lot.

8. “The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’m not much of a fan of the last book in the trilogy, but I loved the first two. I couldn’t put them down.

9. “Interview with the Vampire” by Anne Rice

The early books about Louis and Lestat were my formative vampire fiction. To me, the series jumped the shark a little later on, but these books were where my first love of vampires was born. (Buffy was my second love.)

10. “Stormdancer” by Jay Kristoff

My first Steampunk experience was only last year, and I LOVE IT!

Goodreads is nagging me

Goodreads* is nagging me.

I set a rather ambitious goal for the amount of books I’d read in 2013, because last year I didn’t read that many books, and I felt bad, like my brain was a pot plant I’d left on the windowsill to wilt in the sun for lack of water.

My goal is forty books—and okay, that may not be ambitious to a lot of people, but for me that’s a lot more reading than I have time for. One book every week and a bit. Goodreads tells me I’m two books behind. I’m about halfway through two different novels that I’m quite enjoying: Keir by Pippa Jay and Quite Contrary by Richard Roberts. If I spent all of today and tomorrow reading both of them then I’d catch up, but I also want to get some writing done.

Not to mention the fact I’ve got a little boy to keep entertained and housework to do. Sigh. (I know: wah, right?)

I’ve considered getting some audiobooks so at least I can “read” in the car on the commute to and from work. That’s one thing I miss about not being able to use public transport anymore—I loved my reading time on the bus to uni and back. The only thing is that I’ve got a TBR pile that’s about fifty books deep. These are almost all paperbacks I’ve already paid for, and I hate the idea of having to buy the book again to listen to it.

Bring on the day when I can hand my smart phone a novel and it will read it for me. Maybe in David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor accent.

My 2013 reads thus far

My 2013 reads thus far

How many books do you read in a year? Do you struggle to read as much as you’d like?

* No, I don’t have a Goodreads account linked to this profile. That’s because it’s on my personal account; I haven’t set up an author account yet. I will, when I get around to it. One day. Hey, I have lots of other social media!