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Looking Back on 2016, Looking Forward to 2017

So it's come to the end of the year, and again I want to look back over the year on Once Upon a Bookcase and my reading, and what I'm looking forward to in 2017.

Favourite Books of 2016:

Fave Book of 2015 Overall:

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Fave YA Debut:

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Fave YA Novel on Mental Health:

Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Fave LGBTQ YA Novel:

Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate

Fave Historical YA:

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Fave Atmospheric YA:

The Graces by Laure Eve

Fave YA Sci-Fi:

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Fave YA High Fantasy:

Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff

Fave YA Retellings:

The Lunar Chronicles

Fave Adult Retelling:

Drown by Esther Dalseno

Fave Feminist YA:

What's a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

Fave Non-Fic:

Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates

Looking Back over 2015's Reading:


Last year, I set myself some diverse reading goals, inspired by Kayla Whaley and her 2015 Diverse Reading Audit.

I wanted to be more intentional in my reading in general, and I think  I succeeded in that, though looking at the figures, I didn't read as many diverse books as I would have hoped, but I think this is mostly down to me not being a hugely fast reader, and down to trying to complete other challenges, too. As I wasn't making notes in 2015 of the diverse books I read, I can't compare 2016's figures with past figures, but here's what I read.

In total, I read 56 novels (I also read a number of non-fic books, which makes the final total of books a little higher). Of those 56, 26 books were by authors of marginalised identites, and 26 were diverse novels. That's just under half for both - not that impressive really. Of the 26 diverse novels, 12 were #OwnVoices (but 13 #OwnVoices authors; both Nina LaCour and David Levithan are #OwnVoices authors for You Know Me Well).

Here is the break down of the the diverse books, authors, and the #OwnVoices novels I read. If you want specifics about the books I read you can check out my #DiverseReadingGoals page.

Books With Marginalised Characters - 27 in total (4 with intersectional characters)

Books By Marginalised Authors - 26 in total (9 with intersecting identities)

#OwnVoices Authors Read - 13 authors, but 12 books as explained above (2 with intersecting identities)

I did read more of the books I wanted to read (more books with disabled characters, more books with characters of lesser seen LGBTQ+ identities, more #OwnVoices novels), but no where near as many as I hoped. I did pretty abyssmally, really. Based on my reading this year, I have made some goals for 2017 to increase those numbers, which you can read here.

Looking Forward to 2017:

Diversity in YA:

As I said, you can read about my 2017 #DiverseReadingGoals. Here are some of the books I'd like to read next year to help me meet my goals.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
Traitor to the Throne by Alywn Hamiton
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

And many others! Also, I'll continue to add titles to the masterlist of Diverse YA & MG 2017 UK Releases I've created. This list is for readers who wish to diversify their reading, to help them pick out books that are being publised next year with marginalised characters and/or by marginalised and/or #OwnVoices authors.

Culling and NetGalley:

I have far too many books. Seriously. I am not even able to shelve my books properly; they're in piles, but instead of being spine out, they're bottom out, to make room for an extra pile. It's not pretty. And even with these piles on my shelves, I've had to start stacking books on the floor again. It's just becoming too much. Books are tumbling in the middle of the night and waking me up. I'm running out of room. I need to reduce the number of books I actually have, and not add to them. So there will be a cull to make some room in my life. A charity shop is going to be very happy.

Because of this, 2017 is going to be the year where, where possible, most of the books I request for review will be via NetGalley. This is something I first read about from Lili of Lili's Reflections in her post The Downside of ARCs, and intended to try to do it this year, but then there were some Kindle issues, and I've not been able to use my Kindle for most of the year. But next year, this is what I want to do. I'm also going to be really strict with myself. I'm aware it's far too easy just to click request, request, request and forget that these books are, too, piling up, even if not physically. So I'm going to make a concerted effort to only request books that I really want to read, not ones I'm going to forget about.

The plus side of this is I tend to read much faster when I'm reading on the Kindle, so hopefully I'll get through more books in a year. Fingers crossed, eh?


I'm hosting the Retellings Reading Challenge 2017 again this year, and it's bigger and better! I'll also be taking part in the usual challenges, the Debut Author Challenge 2017 and What's In a Name? Challenge 2017.

I'm also hoping, as I'll be mostly reading on my Kindle next year, I'll be able to actually make some headway on the 2017 NetGally & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017. I'd also like to keep an eye on the books I buy, whether or not I read them all, so I'm also taking part in the Read the Books You Buy Challenge 2017.

I also really want to have more discussions on my blog, and although I completed the challenge last year, I'm hoping to increase the number of discussions I have for the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge. I struggle to come up with posts for the blog that aren't reviews, so I'm really going to try to come up with more content in 2017.

I won't be taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2017. I find that setting myself a goal of a certain number of books to read feels more like pressuring myself than challenging myself. It's not any fun, and I always feel bad when I don't reach my goal. I'm not a fast reader, and that's something I just have to accept. I'm going to spend more time enjoying the books I read, rather than having the number of books I must read at the back of my mind.

Read about the other challenges I'll be taking part in in 2017 here.

How about you guys? Link me to your end of year wrap up posts and/or your 2017 blogging goals posts! I'd love to read them!

This post first appeared on Once Upon A Bookcase, please read the originial post: here

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Looking Back on 2016, Looking Forward to 2017


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