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Month in review

Reviews
Azalea, Unschooled by Liza Kleinman
Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear
Bisbee, Arizona, Then And Now by Boyd Nicholl
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood
Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
CatStronauts: Race to Mars by Drew Brockington
Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood
Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia by Won-Ldy Paye
Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Pippi Moves In by Astrid Lindgren
Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
The 39-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Upper Mississippi: A Wilderness Saga by Walter Havighurst
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Miscellaneous
Crossing the Cornfield
January inclusivity reading and shortening the gap in reviewing
On reading your own books and moving

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


January inclusivity reading and shortening the gap in reviewing: 01/31/17

January inclusivity reading and shortening the gap in reviewingI am still struggling to find the best way to describe how I'm reading and reviewing. My goals for the last year (roughly) have been two fold: to reach a point where half of my reading is inclusive (or as I used to call it, diverse) and to lessen the gap between reading and posting reviews.

Looking first at closing the gap between reading and reviewing, I've managed to post the last of my 2013 reviews. Yes — I've had books on the back burner for nearly four years. My next hurdle is the 2014 books. I have seven left.

The gap by year
Review to post by month read.

Or course, I don't just want to post the old reviews. That would give the blog a very stale feeling and wouldn't accurately reflect where I am now in my reading, curating, and interests. Important trends that develop would be overlooked until they are no longer newsworthy.

In that regard, I am also trying to keep newly read books (including ones published this year) on the front burner. For instance I read five books published in 2017 (three released in January, and two coming out in April) and managed to post reviews for all of them.

I still, though, have twenty other books read in January that I wish to post reviews about. To keep chipping away at the front of the pile, I have a new policy. Every book I've rated three stars or higher I will put in the upcoming reviews queue. That said, I still have 52 books from 2015 and 129 books from 2016 that I want to talk about. That means I already have 201 books I want to talk about on my blog before even getting to the ones I'll be reading this year. Put another way, that's 55% of my potential posts for 2017. If I keep up with posting 10 reviews in the month I read them, I'll be left with an excess of 220 books by the end of the year, plus what ever is left from the 129 books.

Inclusive reading and reviewing is mixed into this equation as it's directly tied to how quickly I can post reviews. In my previous years of reading, I was selecting books based on different criteria. Looking at 2014, my reading was focused on graphic novels, especially those in the middle grade and YA categories. 2015 was mostly focused on reading through my wishlist of books — so a lot of older reading.

A year's worth of reading by month
Read books by month with a breakdown of inclusive vs not.

A year's worth of reviewing by month
Read books by month with a breakdown of inclusive vs not.

Now though, I am trying to find more balance in my reading — meaning actively including more stories and authors from outside my experiences. These books will include books from different countries, though I suspect many of them will be Canadian due to the upcoming move, and from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

Last month I tried to further breakdown the reading into an "own voices" category but there's still a lot of debate happening on that front and I don't feel well-read enough or qualified to get into continue subdividing my reading or reviewing in that fashion.

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