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Year in Books 2018

January 1, 2019

Meant to do this yesterday, but oops.

  • I’m not counting these.
  • I forget to officially mark as “DNF” a lot of things I didn’t finish.
  • I definitely read in phases this year, especially if you count “mystery novels I’ve read before” and “too depressed to read” as phases.
  • Books I read twice this year: The Story Book Girls, Penny Plain, Priorsford, The Day of Small Things, Ann and Her Mother. That…feels about right. I was just as wowed by The Story Book Girls the second time around, and Anna Buchan is just…the best.
  • The Story Book Girls was obviously the best new-to-me thing I read this year. Honorable mentions include The Wings of Youth, Mary-‘Gusta (by Joseph Crosby Lincoln), and The House That is Our Own (another Anna Buchan).
  • You can kind of see where I fell apart in the second half of the year. I want to read more again. I want to write more again. I don’t know when I’m going to get that energy back, or if I’m devoting it mostly to fanfic right now, or what, but I am trying still.
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17 comments

  1. Great stuff – thanks for a wonderful blog, which is always fun and has introduced me to some great books!


    • Thanks for reading, and enjoying!


  2. Ooh, you gave me an objective for 2019! I usually keep a spreadsheet, but what a great opportunity to combine passions…my books and my pens! This is great! ❤


    • Yeah, I started a very spare form of bullet journaling a couple of years ago as a pen activity, and you’re supposed to have various kinds of running lists, but none of them really worked for me until I started keeping a book list. Now I’ve also got a pen list, where I write down the pen and ink and the date each time I ink something up. Super recommended.


  3. Fanfic is writing.

    Beating yourself up takes energy (believe me – I know) but it doesn’t usually help.

    New year, new list of books to be read. And never forget your blog posts – whether frequent or infrequent – make some of us very happy.

    Happy New Year!


    • Fanfic is absolutely writing and I feel good about it, but I don’t want to let go of this writing to do that writing.

      Sadly, not beating yourself up takes energy, too :/

      Happy new year, and thanks so much for continuing to read and comment.


  4. You could always blog a bit about fan fic here. Either way you’ve once again reminded me I need to try Anne Buchan


    • I don’t want to write about fic the same way I write about books–especially books with dead authors.

      Definitely try Anna Buchan! I think Penny Plain is a good place to start.


  5. By the way, Happy Public Domain day!

    (Belated of course since it was January 1st)

    1923 is now open and if we can only keep Congress from screwing around, the 20s will soon be open.


    • Yes! I don’t think we can trust Congress not to screw around ever, but for now: so many new books. I’ve been unsystematically going through the 1923 publications on hathitrust and hopefully I’ll have some results to share soon.


  6. Partly inspired by your lists (and also by the fact that I kept not being able to find books I wanted), I’ve been dropping the books I read on my computer into a spreadsheet with a quick summary of the book (the things I expect I might remember and try to find the book by again, mostly). But pen and paper is so much more appealing! (but not so searchable, sigh; and my brain is a sieve)

    Also it may be time for me to start trying to find paper copies of the not-public-domain-yet Anna Buchan books, because oooh. :-)


    • My book list sort of came from a pen and paper place more than a book place–I just…always want things to write down for the fun of using my pens and inks. Having a searchable place to put down a summary is great, too, though. I should do a better job of keeping the Redeeming Qualities Pinboard account updated.

      For Anna Buchan: have you looked at PG Canada? I think only one of her not-public-domain-in-the-US-yet novels is missing from there.


      • That totally makes sense, re: pens. I’m just struggling at the moment to figure out how to 1. mark books I’ve read recently enough that I probably don’t want to read them right away, but 2. be able to find the good (or just more or less decent) ones that I’ll likely be interested in re-reading, at the appropriate time out for re-reading, while also 3. dealing with a lousy memory [and some of these titles are… ambiguous, to say the least] and 4. multiple reading formats and locations (on computer via library ebook site; on computer via PG or archive.org or hathitrust; on kindle; physical books either from public library or “home library”).

        Okay, I admit that I also want to be able to find some of the ones that are not so good, and that I’m probably not going to re-read – but I recall quotes or details and sometimes those become relevant to other conversations. I just read a 1923 PG murder-mystery book that turns out… well, let’s say that it resolves things in a different strategic manner than *most* mystery books I’ve read, anyway… The Meredith Mystery; I do not expect to read it again, but I will probably want to verify bits of it at some point.

        I’m torn on Project Gutenberg Canada for things where I want someone to put them back in print (as happened to the Miss Buncle books! So maybe lightning can strike again?), especially if it’s going to be a while before US copyright gets there, but yes, Anna Buchan is *probably* not going to be picked up for proper reprints soon. *sigh* But thank you for pointing that out! (I do not count the “we’re just photocopying the google-scanned public-domain text, whether or not it’s missing pages or has gloved hands covering paragraphs accidentally” print-on-demand bulk “publishing companies” as bringing things properly back into print. I want 1. cleanly printed text that 2. is proofread (containing the whole book) and 3. is decently bound.)


        • It sounds like bookmarks with tagging might be a good solution for you? I love pinboard.in, and it lets you add non-link “notes” as well as links, but it’s not free. A lot of the other bookmarking sites that used to be around are gone, but you can also do a lot with browser extensions. And when I was doing my thesis in college I tracked my sources with some kind of index card program, which also let me use tags.

          If something isn’t in print, I don’t worry too much about how I’m getting hold of it (I also don’t count print-on-demand as “in print”). And even when they are…I mean, US copyright is obviously immorally long. If it’s out of copyright somewhere, I pretty much consider it fair game.


  7. It’s wonderful to see you posting again–yes, to see what you’re reading but also just to know you’re doing okay. I hope that things brighten up in the new year for you.

    And what sort of fanfic do you write? Is it published online?


    • Thank you. I’m…doing better than I was.

      I’ve written in a bunch of fandoms over the years. I…don’t really want to talk about specifics here?


      • No problem! I tend to keep my different online “personas” separate. I was just curious because I read a lot of fanfiction, mostly on fanfiction.com and AO3.



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