My year in review

My Reading in 2017 and Goals for 2018

It’s the first week of January so that means it’s time to look back on the reading I did last year. In 2017 I read 70 books (beating my goal of 50) and reviewed 51 of them, beating my goal to review 25 of them – you can find all the books I read here. There were some pretty great ones too, so you can find my top ten books of 2017 here.

I had some other reading-related goals that I mostly completed. I put £1 in a jar for every book I read so I finished the year with £70 to put into my bank account – it’s going towards fun stuff like rent. I also continued with my Read the World Project with 29 of the books I read in 2017 being for that project.

I did want to finish 2017 with 50 books or less on my TBR but that didn’t happen. I started the year with 87 books and finished it with 100. Oops! This was from a combination of subscription boxes and generally poor impulse control when there were deals on either in a bookshop or on Amazon.

Now this wasn’t a goal or anything, but I do like to have a look at who’s writing what I read. I generally aim to have an even split between male and female authors and in 2017 I read slightly more books by women. The 10% both come from a mixture of short story collections and graphic novels.

Now I’m looking towards the future and my reading goals for 2018.

I’m keeping them relatively simple, though this year I’ve signed up for a couple of reading challenges as well to keep me on my toes.

Broadly speaking, I want to read at least 52 books in 2018 and review at least half of them. I’m going to continue to put £1 in a jar for every book I read so I can have a nice bonus at the end of the year again and once again I’m going to say I will try and get my TBR down to 50 books. I think I need to be a bit honest with myself about some of my books, if I don’t think I’m going to read them I need to send them on to a new home, whether that friends or a charity shop. I’d like to also keep a 50/50 split of male and female authors read in 2018, but if I read more books by women I wont be too annoyed. I will also being continuing with my Read the World Project. I’m going to have to be reading more books from around the world this year if I want to complete this task in the next four years – I’ve got about 160 countries left to go!

As I mentioned before I’ve signed up to some reading challenges this year – three of them. They are the Beat the Backlist, where the aim is to read as many of the books sitting on your shelves that were published before 2018, the A to Z Reading Challenge, where you’ve got to read 26 books that start with every letter of the alphabet, and the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge which is to read a book each month that fits the theme set. You can find out more about all these challenges here.

So those are my reading goals for 2018. Do you set yourself yearly reading goals? If you do, I wish you the best of luck and I hope you read some awesome books this year.

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My Film Year in Review and my Film-Related Goals of 2018

I had a very good year when it comes to films in 2017. I watched 218 different films and went to the cinema 61 times. You can find a list of all the films I watched in 2017 here and my Top Ten Favourite films of the year here.

I only had a few film-related goals for 2017. They were to take part and complete the 52 Films by Women project for both directors and screenwriters again which I was successful in. I watched 54 films directed by women in 2017, you can find them all here, and 11 of them I saw at the cinema, 5 more than I saw in the cinema in 2016. I don’t know if that’s down to my taste in films or it’s a small sign that the movie industry is getting that bit more inclusive but it’s definitely a good thing. I also watched 60 films that were written or co-written by women in 2017 and you can see what films they were here.

I also wanted to watch more of my unwatched DVD’s and Blu-ray’s but that didn’t really happen. I did watch some of them, and didn’t buy as many as I usually do, but Netflix and Amazon Prime have become my first choice when I want to watch a film, which doesn’t help with my unwatched physical film problem.

I’ve been looking at my stats for 2017 on Letterboxd, mainly my most watched actors and directors of the year, which I always find quite interesting.

My most watched actors were:

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My Reading in 2016 and Goals for 2017

So this is kind of a little late compared to when I normally post this sort of thing but it’s still the first week of January so let’s go with it.

My reading in 2016 was a bit of a mixed bag. I started very strong, reading 4-6 books each month but towards the end of the year I couldn’t really get into any book I was picking up and I started a new job so I had to figure out my new day-to-day work/life balance.

Still, I read some great books in 2016 and you can check out my ten favourite books here.

I had some reading goals for 2016, some I completed and some I didn’t. I surpassed my target of reading 40 books and I in fact read 58 so I was very happy with that and I reviewed 34 of those books, beating my target of 26 reviews.

I signed up to the Bookish Bingo Challenge hosted by The Girly Geek at the start of the year and while I enjoyed the challenge I only completed 24 of the 35 squares. That’s still over half and to be honest, I didn’t really base my reading around the challenge, I read what I liked and then had a look at the bingo card every now and then to see if anything fit on a square. I don’t think I’ll be signing up for any challenges like that this year, but I will be starting the Read the World Project – a wonderful challenge you can find more about here.

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My Film Year in Review and my Film-related Goals of 2017

In 2016 I watched a lot of films, 189 of them in fact, and there were some great ones. You can find my ten favourites of the year here.

I only had a couple of film-related goals for 2016. One was to watch more of my unwatched DVD’s and Blu-rays, something that didn’t really happen as I finally got Netflix half way through the year and that became my new obsession. My other goal was to take part in and complete the Women in Film’s pledge to watch 52 films that are directed by women – this I did! You can find the list of films I watched for this challenge here, almost all of them were new to me and I ended up watching just over the target at 56 films. I also made a note of the films I watched that had a woman credited as the screenwriter and it turned out 65 of the films I watched in 2016 had a female screenwriter. You can find those films in a handy list here.

Some other interesting stats are which directors and actors I happened to watch the most in 2016. Thanks to Letterboxd (which is a great site and is basically Goodreads for films) I can see and share that info.

My most watched actors were:

top-actors

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My Reading in 2015

My reading has been pretty good in 2015. In fact, it’s been the best it’s been for years. When I was at Uni, I rarely read for fun and if I did it was often YA, this year I read more thanks to my five hour commute each day and I read more diversely in terms of genre and author.

I read 81 books this year and reviewed 52 of them. This meant I completed The Mad Reviewer Reading and Reviewing Challenge which I was very happy about. I actually enjoyed reviewing books as I didn’t review every single book I read, just ones that I had a lot to say about. This made it less of a chore and more fun.

I signed up for two other reading challenges at the start of the year. Wormhole’s The What’s in a Name Challenge where you had to read six books that had certain words in their titles and BookdOut’s The Eclectic Reader Challenge where you had to read 12 books from some very different genres.

I completed both of these challenges. I actually found The What’s in a Name challenge harder because it wasn’t always easy finding a book that had a certain word in the title. One of the last books I read this year was for this challenge. It’s kind of crazy that a challenge to read just six books took me the whole year. (more…)