June recap and mid-year book stats

We’re at the mid-way point for this year, and I’m off to Camp (aka: vacation with friends) to dive deep into my Tome Topple reads. While I do that, here’s a short post to share what I read in June and my mid-year book stats.

I finally got around to seeing why everyone is talking about “Murderbot.” The first book I read this month was All Systems Red by Martha Wells. I really liked the voice in this novella. It had me hooked from the opening paragraph. I also enjoyed the story, but I’m not sure if I’ll keep going with the series. It was really fun, and I highly recommend it. The ending isn’t really a cliff-hanger, but leaves things open so there can be more. Since I’m just okay with the ending as-is, I’ll probably leave this series for a while and come back to read the rest later.

I decided to pick up another novella after that, this time Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor, the third in this series. I liked it, but I definitely enjoyed the first two more than this one. I’ve never connected well with Binti as a character, instead what I like most about these novellas is the unique world building.

I’ve been slowly working my way through John Scalzi’s Don’t Live For Your Obituary for several months now. If you’ve been reading his blog from the beginning you can probably skip this because it’s just a compilation of his blog posts on writing. I’ve only been reading Whatever for a couple of years, so a lot of these short essays are new to me. It was a nice antidote to the Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn, another book I’ve been slowly working my way through but finally finished this month. My main frustration with Scalzi’s essay collection was the excess of typos. Usually typos don’t bug me, but there were too many to ignore. I really hope the publisher fixes them and updates the book at some point.

Meanwhile, Indie Author Survival Guide, while really useful as a starting place for research purposes, even though it’s a few years old at this point, is somehow no longer available. I checked the author’s website to see if there was any reason posted, but I can’t find anything. So that’s odd. Maybe she’s making a new edition because this one is three years old? Maybe she’s decided it no longer fits her brand? Who knows. I get the sense that a lot has changed since she wrote this, even the second edition that I read. But, I think it still provides a good overview of how indie (self) publishing works and the main things you need to consider along the way.

I’ve also been reading some short stories. I got a copy of Robots Vs. Fairies for my birthday. I’ve been reading a few stories here and there, over several weeks. That’s the benefit of short stories, I guess. They’re short enough that you can read one while you’re having your morning tea and then get on with your day. I’m definitely team fairy, but the arguments for team robot were very convincing.

But, speaking of robots, the last book I read this month was Head On by John Scalzi. This is the sequel to Lock In. Things I love about this series: it’s a sci-fi buddy cop mystery series set in the near future, and the world building is really well done. Plus, it’s Scalzi, so it’s a super fast and fun read with good banter. I really enjoyed it.

Mid-year book stats:

  • So far this year, I’ve read 31 books. That’s 62% of my annual goal of 50 books. I’m very ahead of schedule, but I will not be increasing my annual goal.
  • Not counting in-progress books, that’s a total of 6,518 pages read, equating to about 326 pages per book, on average.
  • Nearly all of the books I read were fiction (28 total) vs. non-fiction (3 total).
  • Only 8 of the books I read were published this year (new releases). The rest were “backlist” (published prior to 2018).
  • Nearly all of the books I read were written by female-identifying authors (28 total) vs. male-identifying authors (4 total). The collection of short stories (Robots Vs. Fairies) had a nearly even mix of both, so I counted it in both categories.
  • 35% of the books I read were written by authors of color.
  • So far, I’ve read mostly in digital (17 books) and audio (11 books) vs. print (3 books).
  • Genre split pretty evenly across sci-fi (8 book), fantasy (9 books), realistic (6 books), and romance (7 books) with 2 mystery books as outliers (the first two books in the Charlotte Holmes series). Note: I counted Robots Vs. Fairies in both sci-fi and fantasy.
  • And oddly enough, so far this year I’m skewing heavily toward adult books (23 total) vs. YA (8 total). This is usually more evenly split between adult and YA.

We’ll see how this changes or stays the same in the second half of this year. (If you want to see my stats from 2017, that post is here.)

Now it’s time for some vacation and Tome Topple. Still trying to decide what book will be first… If you want in progress updates or to jump in and buddy read with me, come say hi on Twitter (@emenozzi).

Until next post, happy reading!