Over the past few years, I’ve set myself fairly aggressive reading goals, and managed to hit those goals. 2016 is the first year that I can remember falling short of my goal, and not by a little bit—but a lot.
My challenge to myself this year was to read 20 books, and I’ve only managed 19. That’s down almost in half from my total last year (itself down significantly from the year before). In fact, it’s the smallest number of books I’ve read in over a decade, and probably longer (I started tracking in 1999).
My staggering decline in reading started with my new job, which eliminated my daily commute. I used to let my Kindle read to me while driving to and from work, which allowed me to get through books at a more prodigious rate than simply reading when I had free time available. Add to the fact that 2016 left me very little free time at all, other than just before bed, and I end up with the low numbers overall.
Still, that’s not to say there weren’t some great books I read this year, because there were. Unfortunately, there are more books on my to-read list than I’ll probably ever get to. When I ended 2015, I had 84 books on this list. As of the end of 2016, the list stands at 96. At my current rate of reading, it will take me six years to finish them all—and that’s assuming nothing else gets added to the list, which most certainly will happen.
Looking forward to the next year, I’ve got some series that I want to both begin and continue, as well as some standalone novels that look really interesting. My choices lately have been difficult to make, partly due to the fact that I want to spend my limited time reading good books. As a result, I’ve shied away from some books that I might otherwise have selected.
Still, it’s time to look back at what I read this year:
- Thunderbird by Jack McDevitt (370 pages | 1/1 – 1/11 | My rating: 4/5)
- Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (498 pages | 1/11 – 1/31 | My rating: 5/5)
- The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (400 pages | 1/31 – 2/16 | My rating: 3/5)
- ** Morning Star by Pierce Brown (545 pages | 2/16 – 2/28 | My rating: 5/5)
- ** Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (583 pages | 2/29 – 4/7 | My rating: 4/5)
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (332 pages | 4/8 – 4/19 | My rating: 5/5)
- Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer (366 pages | 4/21 – 4/29 | My rating: 4/5)
- The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (467 pages | 4/30 – 5/21 | My rating: 4/5)
- Star Wars: Bloodline by Claudia Gray (352 pages | 5/23 – 6/24 | My rating: 4/5)
- The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter (400 pages | 6/25 – 7/10 | My rating: 4/5)
- ** Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (336 pages | 7/10 – 7/18 | My rating: 4/5)
- Star Wars: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig (448 pages | 7/18 – 8/7 | My rating: 4/5)
- Written in Fire by Marcus Sakey (348 pages | 8/8 – 8/15 | My rating: 4/5)
- Join by Steve Toutonghi (336 pages | 8/24 – 9/17 | My rating: 4/5)
- Death Wave by Ben Bova (414 pages | 9/17 – 10/9 | My rating: 3/5)
- ** One Second After by William R. Forstchen (351 pages | 10/10 – 11/27 | My rating: 5/5)
- Star Wars: Catalyst by James Luceno (352 pages | 11/27 – 12/9 | My rating: 4/5)
- Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston (400 pages | 12/10 – 12/15 | My rating: 4/5)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed (352 pages | 12/19 – 12/31 | My rating: 4/5)
** Denotes highly recommended titles
Looking forward to the new year, I suppose I should set myself a new reading goal for 2017. Considering I shot for (and missed) just 20 books this year, I will endeavor to read at least that many next year. Therefore, if I can finish 20 books in 2017, I’ll be very happy.