2016 Wrap-up!

Happy new year, everyone!

It’s felt like longer but this marks the end of my 8th month with this blog! I’ve been much busier than expected and will only get more so (I’m scheduled through to August) but I’m excited to learn more and connect with more bloggers in this community. Here’s to the new year!

So since this is my first wrap-up, I thought I’d include some of my favourites – overall, new authors, specific genres, as well as some of my goals for 2017. I think it’s much easier to set book goals rather than life resolutions!

First of all, you can check out all my reviews from this year HERE and all of the books I read HERE. One thing I’ve learned is that I just don’t have the time to write up blog posts for every single book I read but I always try to keep Goodreads updated. That’s where I started this whole blogging journey and I treat it like my personal library so it’s probably the most “organized” of any of my sites!

My Reads

I got to a grand total of 42 books, which is much better than I anticipated, far outreaching my Goodreads goal of 20! I technically read 43 but one was DNF (How to Be a Woman – not impressed).

Etta and Otto image
My favourite was definitely Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper! It’s a really sweet book about an older couple and also offers a lot of imagery for Canadian readers. This was also my first experience with an audiobook and the narrator, Robert G. Slade, was excellent! I think his narration definitely impacted my feelings about this book!

My next two favourites this year would be Melody Bittersweet (so funny!) and The Blackbird Singularity (kinda sad?), very different feels but incredibly enjoyable and feel-good reads, even if the second one doesn’t seem like it right away.

Though I’ve always kind of turned up my nose at YA, even when I was in that demographic (sorry YA authors!), this year I discovered an author who has decidedly changed my opinion of the whole genre, Zoe Kalo! So far I’ve read 4 of her books and I’m anxiously awaiting the next release! Beck Medina is also on my list to watch though she’s more in the NA genre, but these two are definitely high on my recs list!

For some creepy books, I read two this year that I really enjoyed but you’ll have to wait for the reviews! I interviewed the author of The Wave at Hanging Rock so you can go check that out here, and the review will be coming to you at the end of this week. All Darling Children was the last book I read of 2016, a great retelling of Peter Pan but far removed from what you’ll likely remember from the story. These authors are another two I’d like to keep my eyes on!

I ended up doing much more on this blog than I expected but I was also limited. If you go back and check my earliest months, I wrote some more general posts about reading or topical news. I’d like to get back to this and I’ll probably write more about my own life if I go into grad school (fingers crossed!) but I got so many requests for reviews at the end of this year that it just wasn’t realistic. It took me a while to learn I could turn some offers down!

Still, I was able to do some of my own projects, such as Music Monday which I am very proud of! If you haven’t yet seen any of these posts, basically I write about any connection between music and books. This has included featuring authors who are also musicians, musicians who are inspired by books, playlists based on books, really anything you can think of! I’d like to continue to expand this and get more people involved. I know there are some sites that host all the weekly memes book bloggers create so maybe I’ll sign up there to get more people participating. If you’re interested in creating one of these posts, please do! Use the hashtag #MusicMonday and share your link on my site so I can go check it out!

I also recently started author interviews and I’ve loved getting to know these authors better (though coming up with questions was admittedly nerve-wracking at first)! It’s actually helped me because I’ve been conducting interviews with people in the library science field as that’s where I’d like to work, so I have lots of experience now!

Bookish Goals for 2017

I am two essays away from completing my undergrad and then hopefully I’ll be attending grad school in September so this will be the longest period I’ve ever been out of school! Unfortunately, I won’t have unlimited time for reading cuz I will be working quite a bit but I’m at least expecting less stress (so less guilt when I spend time working on blog posts rather than other commitments?).

As I said above, I’ve received a bunch of author requests that will take up a lot of my time but I do want to devote some time to my own reading. I really want to focus on:

  • Diverse books/authors
  • Canadian authors
  • My physical shelves
  • My TBR list

If I manage at least one read from each of these categories I’ll be happy, and I really don’t want to put numbers on it because I just don’t know what my schedule will be like. I’m going to set a Goodreads goal again, maybe up it to 30, but again I’m not so concerned about the numbers. I’d just prefer to read books rather than add more to my TBR!

I probably won’t have time until February but I’m also planning to clean up my TBR list. I’ve currently got more than 300 on there (oops!) so it’s time to narrow that down.

I joined a lot of book tours this year and for the most part I really enjoy working with them. I think I may dial it back a bit with these, just because I’ve realized my reading interests don’t match up with theirs, but I’ll likely still be joining tours in 2017. I feel it’s a great way to promote books while also being able to interact with authors and other bloggers!

When I first started blogging, I searched for a bunch of weekly memes to join in and while those seem like a great way to meet new people, I just haven’t had the time for it. I may occasionally join in like I have in the past but for the most part I’ll be sticking to my Music Monday posts and Author Interviews.

One of the things I would like to do is be more involved in the book blogging community. I’ve started following a lot of great people, and just got an Instagram account in November (@spinesinaline – 2017 goal is to add that link to this blog!), so I feel I’m able to connect with more bloggers now. I’m not quite sure how else to reach out yet but I’ll just keep trying to make new friendships and go from there!

Bout of Books certainly helped with that last year, and I know there is one currently going on right now so good luck to all those in the thick of it! I’m definitely going to partake in more readathons in 2017, especially for the Twitter chats. It was a lot of fun talking to people last time and I’m looking forward to the next time I can participate!

This got very, very long but it was a busy year for me! Thank you if you stuck around to read the whole thing!

Here’s one way I can get started on one of my goals: introduce yourself below and leave a link to your site so I can get to know you!

Wishing you all a wonderful year!


2 thoughts on “2016 Wrap-up!

  1. Happy new year, Sam! Congratulations on being so close to the end of undergrad, and I wish you all the best in graduate school! Happy reading in the new year 🙂


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