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Blogiversary #2!

It’s been 2 years since the launch of the present incarnation of Celebration of Books! And while the past 6 weeks have included a pitiful amount of reading, I’m still going to celebrate!

A Huge Thank You!

The fact that anyone reads anything I have to say still surprises me, so thank you to everyone who has taken even a passing glance at one of my reviews, every view means a great deal to me!

The Stats

From the beginning, we’ve grown in followers, likes, and views! Our nonfiction numbers are slowly but surely catching up with our fiction numbers, 107 fiction reviews to 85 nonfiction. And while my two year kick of nonfiction is still going strong, I have started jumping into fiction once more! My current read (and present favorite) is The Lost Queen by Signe Pike. The image above is from my favorite book of the past review year, In Extremis: The Life and Death of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum – I’m still obsessed these 9 months after reading it!

So once again, a big thank you, and I promise reviews will start again TOMORROW!

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2018 Reading Roundup: A Year of Nonfiction

The Year on the Blog

A Big THANK YOU! to Our Readers & Followers

This year has been a bit of an up and down reading year (September and October were nearly entirely lost), we posted all of our “backlogged” reviews from previous years and have completely transitioned to WordPress from our old platform – everything that we reviewed before is now here! The connections gained with fellow book lovers has been amazing – the kindness of strangers is incredible in the book world. But I guess, when you’re talking about a mutual love of books, you’re never really strangers! So a big thank you to all of our wonderful (fellow) readers!

The Reading Challenge

This year I set a modest 52 book challenge for myself. In August I was way ahead, like ten books or something, which never happens, so I thought about changing it, but with all the family changes in September (see In Memory of My Favorite Reader for details), I didn’t really finish any books in September and most of October. So finishing with more than 52 books was the goal, but I decided not to stress about it too much. My total for the year: 58 – not too shabby! As for the PopSugar Reading Challenge, I didn’t do too badly – results here.

I’ll be taking the 2019 challenge this coming year and you can join in here.

This Year’s Books in Review

I’m a number cruncher. It’s my happy place. I run reports and create tables based on our staff picks at the store, so of course I have to do so for myself as well! Results of this year’s reading are as follows:

The Statistics

(all titles link to their reviews!)

Books Read: 58
Total Pages: 14,840
Average Length: 255 pages
Shortest BookWe Should All Be Feminists
Longest BookIn the Garden of Beasts
Most Popular Book Read (via Goodreads): The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Most Obscure Book Read (via Goodreads): I Know a Woman

Books by Female Authors: 34
Books by Female Minority Authors: 4
Books by Male Authors: 13
Books by Male Minority Authors: 3

Fiction Titles (w/o graphic novels): 14
Nonfiction Titles (w/ graphic novel memoirs): 41
Graphic Novels: 5 (4 of which were Giant Days)
Audiobooks: 32
Average Rating: 8 out of 10

Top Genres of 2018
Memoir/Autobiography: 18 books
Essays: 13 books
Sociology: 10 books

New Favorite Authors
Jenny Lawson – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened Furiously Happy
Alyssa Mastromonaco – Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
V. E. Schwab – A Darker Shade of Magic

Still Favorite Authors
Anthony Bourdain – Kitchen Confidential
Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Frost and Starlight
Agatha Christie – The Body in the Library

Reading Predictions for Next Year?

Towards the end of the year I started to crave fiction once again. Who knows? Maybe next year will be closer to a 50/50 split for nonfiction and fiction, maybe I’ll continue on this new nonfiction path – I find my reading interests woefully difficult to predict!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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2017 Reading Roundup

The Year on the Blog

A Big THANK YOU! to Our Readers & Followers

Together Laura and I have posted 101 book reviews (!!!!) since May when we switched our platform to WordPress. I love how easy it has been to connect with readers and other book bloggers on this platform, something that we were not able to do before. Thank you for all the likes, follows, and comments – it is always a thrill to get the notifications on my phone that someone is actually reading what I’ve written!

The Reading Challenge

Today I powered through 3 graphic novel volumes to make my (newly reduced) 2017 Reading Challenge! While the year started off with an adventurous and lofty goal of 75 books, I dropped it to my usual 52 mid-summer and trimmed it back further today to 50. While some may call it cheating, I call it realism. I might still his 52 this weekend, but my husband and I will be in Philly for the New Year, so I’m not holding my breath on that!

Why only 50 books? Life, that’s why. 2017 was my second full year working at my local independent bookstore as the manager and, I have to admit, it wasn’t a great year. We lost our anchor store in our part of the shopping center, had a lot of staff turnover, and lost out on our usual summer reading sales due to changes in our local districts’ curriculum. Not swell, but not catastrophic.

But customers still ask me what I’ve read, what I’m enjoying, and they seem to think that all I do at home is read, and I truly wish reading was all I did. I also find myself saying to them, I’ve read 35, 40, 45 books so far this year, but I only remember 3 of them. It’s true, my retention is terrible, and the original reason why I started this blog. I’ve loved many books and I didn’t want my crappy memory to keep me from recalling so many wonderful stories.

Each year I try to follow the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – it encourages me to diversify my reading and with a lofty 50+ checkboxes, I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I’ve reached 30! It was 33 out of 52 this year and I’m feeling pretty good about it!

I’ll be taking the 2018 challenge as well and you can find it here.

This Year’s Books in Review

I’m a number cruncher. It’s my happy place. I run reports and create tables based on our staff picks at the store, so of course I have to do so for myself as well! I surprised myself, genre wise, this year, and also in the fact that I read a very even mix of fiction and nonfiction!

The Statistics

(all titles link to their reviews!)

Books Read: 50
Total Pages: 12,346
Average Length: 247 pages per book
Shortest Book: She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton at 32 pages
Longest Book: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas at 705 pages
Most Popular Book Read (via Goodreads): The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Most Obscure Book Read (via Goodreads): Fictionally Fabulous by Anne Keenan Higgins

Fiction Titles (w/o graphic novels): 18
Nonfiction Titles (w/ graphic novel memoirs): 17

Consistently Favorite Genres

Graphic Novels: 18 titles
Fantasy: 11 titles
Young Adult: 9 titles
Historical Fiction: 5 titles

New Favorite Genres

Memoir/Autobiography: 4 titles
Sociology: 4 titles

Brand New Genres That I’d Never Read Before

Science Fiction: 3 titles
Poetry: 2 titles

Reading Predictions for Next Year?

What do I plan to read next year, you ask? Well, I don’t know. I’m not really a reading planner, I tend to just grab whatever I’m in the mood for when I want to start a new book and, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from these reviews, that tends to vary greatly.

But my primary goal is to read more books by non-straight-white-males. To read more books by women, more books by people whose life experiences are different than mine. The year will probably start with a decent amount of non fiction and I hope to eventually finish All the Light We Cannot See and Nevernight!

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

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Holiday Hiatus

I meant to include this at the top of Tuesday’s post and completely forgot – my apologies! We will be on hiatus until Tuesday, December 26th! With working a retail schedule during the holidays and Laura’s recent return home, it just hasn’t been feasible for us to post reviews this week. But we PROMISE – we will return on the 26th!

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Welcome to Celebration of Books!

*New Blog Posts Immediately Below This Post*

*New Reviews by Sarah on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays*
*New Reviews by Laura on Occasional Mondays*

The Celebration of Books Book Blog has been in existence in some way shape or form since I graduated from college in the spring of 2011 and really devoted more time to reading and discussing books with friends and family. I’ve always been an avid reader, but it wasn’t until I moved to the greater Philadelphia area with my now husband back in 2011 and found a fabulous, local, independent bookstore to spend all my money in that I really started to examine what it is that I love so much about books.

This is the 3rd web incarnation of Celebration of Books as I try to find the platform and style that really seems to work best not only for me, and my sister who joined me in this endeavor back in the summer of 2015, but also for readers! My goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to navigate this site and find the content that you are looking for!

So please bear with me as I set about populating this space with book reviews, roundups, and hopefully, a vlog or two every now and then!

*all synopsis included are directly from the physical copy of each book reviewed*