I wasn’t planning to do a tag, but then I saw that Rincey at Rincey Reads created this one and thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so here we are! I can’t do it exactly like she did, but I figure it’ll still be interesting to try and look back at how my reading has changed over the last decade.
What was your favorite book in 2009?
Not going to lie, I’m super jealous of Rincey for being on Goodreads and tracking her reading as long as she has. I’ve only been tracking my reading since 2015 and joined Goodreads in 2017, so I would kill for that kind of data about my own reading!
I really can’t give a definitive answer on what my favorite book of 2009 was because I have no idea what exactly I read that year. Looking at popular releases from 2009, I’m guessing maybe Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins? Or possibly Fire by Kristin Cashore? I’ve actually never been known for reading a lot of new releases, so this method is far from reliable, but I know I got into those series almost from the beginning, so I definitely would have read the sequels as soon as they came out. And I still have both books on my shelves in the original hardcovers, so they’re definitely favorites!
What is your favorite book of 2019?
Ok, seriously? How am I supposed to pick just one?!! Some of the first ones that come to mind as favorites are the Crown of Shards trilogy by Jennifer Estep, Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik, Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews, Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse, The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, and The Psy/Changeling series by Nalini Singh. But seriously, checking out my seasonal favorites posts (winter, spring, summer, more summer, and fall) for way more of my 2019 recs!
What was your least favorite book in 2009?
I honestly can’t even begin to fathom what my least favorite book was in 2009. Nothing on the list of most popular books is jumping out at me as something I would have read and hated back in 2009.
What was your least favorite book in 2019?
I actually have two books that come to mind for this. The first one is Dark Age by Pierce Brown, which I technically didn’t even finish because I was just not enjoying it. I loved the original Red Rising trilogy, but I was really disappointed by the beginning of his new trilogy set in the same world. So I was definitely hesitant going in to Dark Age. But it was just so massive and violent and I felt like a lot of the book wasn’t at all necessary, and did I mention how incredibly violent it was? I just was not enjoying it at all , and I DNFed it about 275 pages in. I just couldn’t take another 500 pages.
The other one is The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez. I wrote a review of this on Goodreads, it made me so mad. I think the worst part was that it was fairly enjoyable for most of the book, and then the last third really ruined it. Spoiler alert: the hero’s best friend/the fiance of the heroine’s best friend dies, which felt incredibly inappropriate for a romance, especially a lighter one like this. So that ruined a lot of this book for me, but then the heroine magically got pregnant at the end of the book despite all of her health issues and infertility? I can’t remember being so upset by a book in a while.
Good lord, now I’m on a roll. I just remembered how disappointed I was in Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve loved all of Gladwell’s previous books, but this was just unnecessarily graphic, posited a weak theory connecting a number of unrelated events, and engaged in blaming the victim for campus sexual assaults. I was not impressed, and I don’t recommend wasting your time on this book.
Sorry, I don’t usually like focusing on negative books, but those are definitely three that stood out as being especially bad to me.
What is a book published in 2009 that you still want to read?
There aren’t any books on my TBR that I’ve been wanting to read since they were released in 2009, but there are a couple of books that have come on my radar in the last few years that happened to come out in 2009. Those books are Soulless by Gail Carriger and Ash by Malinda Lo. I wouldn’t say they’re near the top of my TBR, but they’re books I’ve been wanting to read for a while and that I’m definitely still interested in!
What is a book published in 2019 you want to get to before 2020?
Good lord, so many!! I have copies of The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina – Separating the Myth from Medicine by Jennifer Gunter and Know my Name by Chanel Miller on my shelf, and I’d like to read them both sooner rather than later. I also really need to read The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages! Those three are probably at the top of my list, but there are definitely a whole host of books published this past year that I’d still really like to get to.
What is a genre you used to read a lot of that you don’t read as much of anymore?
I would say the core of my reading has mostly stayed the same over the past decade: fantasy and romance. That said, I definitely read a lot less YA contemporary now than I used to, which makes sense since I was in high school ten years ago, and therefore more of the target audience. I read a lot more YA romances, and now if it’s not an adult romance, I’m not all that interested. I also read a lot more YA fantasies there were set in high schools, so more urban or paranormal fantasies, whereas now I gravitate more towards high fantasy. But I would say mostly my reading has expanded to include new things more than it’s left genres behind.
What is a new genre you’ve discovered since 2009?
A new genre I’ve discovered in the past couple of years is memoirs. I read a few before then, but not many, and now I have a whole shelf dedicated to some of my favorite memoirs! I just really like learning more about different people’s stories and experiences, and memoirs are such a great way to do that.
Also, I almost forgot because I tend to lump romance together, but when I was in high school, I only read historical romance. I had no interest in contemporary romance, and definitely no interest in paranormals. But now I read a fair amount of contemporary romance, and as a massive fan of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, I can’t say I don’t read paranormals anymore! I’m really glad I expanded my reading into new subgenres, because now I have a whole host of new favorites I wouldn’t have otherwise.
What is a reading or book habit you are hoping to leave behind in this decade?
I mean, since it’s been such a big focus of mine the past couple of years, I’d like to leave behind some of my bad book buying habits I’ve developed over the years. I’ve talked about this more in plenty of previous posts, but I felt like I was accumulating too many books that I was never going to read, and I didn’t like it. Now that I’m down to a zero TBR, I’d like to permanently leave those bad habits in the past.
What is a new reading goal or habit you want to create in the upcoming decade?
I have so many goals! Keeping with the theme of maintaining my zero TBR, I want to read books as I buy them moving forward. I want to keep making an effort to read books from marginalized voices and do everything I can to promote more diversity in publishing. And I want to keep working on the lifelong reading goals I outlined in a blog post last year, like read more books by authors from around the world, keep trying new genres, and reread more books.
I think my favorite part of this tag has just been to generally reflect on my reading journey over the past decade. Ten years ago, I was a senior in high school, and I read a lot. I couldn’t say how it compares to my reading pace now, but it was probably several books a week. But like a lot of other people, my reading dropped off significantly when I went to college. God, I really wish I had all of my reading statistics from the last decade. How cool would that be?!
Anyways, I started reading at higher levels again immediately after I graduated from college, and I can tell you I averaged about 75 books per year. But then I discovered BookTube and realized people read more than 100 books a year, and I started my own blog and tracking my own reading, and the number of books I read in a year exploded! It’s a combination of being exposed to all kinds of new books and also pushing myself to read more, and while I think I could afford to read a less, I’m not sure I can ever go back to watching as much television and movies as I used to.
Interestingly, as I mentioned earlier, the core of what I read is still very much the same, which I think makes sense, but it’s also cool to see that the seeds of who I am as a reader today were definitely planted at an early age. Fantasy and romance are still my two favorite genres, and now I read a lot more nonfiction since I don’t have to for school. But I definitely make more of an effort these days to try and read things outside of my traditionally preferred genres, and lately I’ve been leaning a lot more towards romance than fantasy.
The biggest shift in my reading has by far been a result of starting to pay attention to who is writing the books I’m reading. I never paid attention to reading books by marginalized authors until I started tracking my own reading and realizing I was reading almost exclusively books by white authors. I started taking steps to correct that almost immediately, and now I can’t imagine ever going back to the way I was before.
How has your reading evolved in the past 10 years? What habits do you want to leave behind in this decade, and what goals are you setting for yourself in the next decade? Let me know in the comments, and definitely drop a link down below if you decide to do this tag yourself!