Monday, January 9, 2017

Reading Year in Review 2016: #TBRChallenge

2016 marked the 5th anniversary of me taking over hosting duties for the #TBRChallenge and it was....well, it wasn't a very strong year for me Challenge-wise.  While the year started out pretty great (two A grades!), the second half the year was a quagmire of Meh It's OK, I Suppose C Grades.  It also marked the first time in my five years of hosting that I missed a month.

What does this mean going forward with the 2017 #TBRChallenge?  This year, I mean it!  I really need to DNF more books out of my TBR.  Why am I slogging my way through Meh, C Reads when there are undoubtedly hidden gems awaiting me?  Also, I really need to stop procrastinating.  I could DNF more if I didn't wait until the last minute to pick a book, read said book, and write the dang review.

Anyway, that's the plan. Let's see how long my good intentions last.  In the meantime, let's relive what I read for the 2016 #TBRChallenge:

January - Theme: We Love Short Shorts!

  • I started off the New Year right, DNF'ing my original pick (a Harlequin Romance that wasn't working for me) in favor of Curveball by Charlotte Stein - an erotic romance novella that totally blew up my skirt. Grade = A-

February - Theme: Series Catch-Up

  • I read the first book in the trilogy as part of the 2014 TBR Challenge, so it seemed fitting to read book two, A Man Worth Keeping by Molly O'Keefe for 2016's Challenge.  Unfortunately, while I loved the continuing on-going family Drama Llama, the romance wasn't nearly as convincing.  Grade = C+

March - Theme: Recommended Read

  • A KristieJ favorite, I finally dug out The Way Home by Megan Chance.  This historical western was amazing.  I inhaled this almost 500-page book in a mere two days and only came up for air because of The Day Job.  Darn working for a living!  Grade = A

April - Theme: Contemporary

  • A completely forgettable erotic romance, My Prerogative by Sasha White.  So forgettable that it's probably a good thing I reviewed it should I ever need to dredge up details in the future. Grade = C-

May - Theme: Something Different

  • I dug one of the few YA romances I had in my TBR for this month, Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols.  I loved (LOVED!!!) the Nashville, country music scene world building and the heroine.  Was less enthralled by the romance and the hero. Grade = C+

June - Theme: Favorite Trope

  • So deep is my devotion to the Virgin Hero trope that I'll even read a Fake Country/Royalty book.  A Royal World Apart by Maisey Yates is a very solid book in her Harlequin Presents output.  Grade = B

July - Theme: Award Nominee or Winner

  • The month I skipped.  Because I suck.  Part of the blame was the RWA Conference, the other part was that work was nutso insane for me in July.

August - Theme: Kicking It Old School

  • I love, love, love Jessica Hart's Harlequin Romances, which is how I had No Mistaking Love (1993) in my TBR.  While the writing was pure Hart (loved it!), and I really liked the heroine - the hero was pure Throwback Alphahole.  Grade = D+

September - Theme: Random Pick

  • Ever get thrown by the "tone" of a book?  That was me with The Cowboy Way by Anna Alexander.  It was like this weird hybrid of a Harlequin Western (formerly American line) and an erotic romance.  It was just....odd.  Grade = C-

October - Theme: Paranormal or Romantic Suspense

  • It's a sad tale of woe when a book starts out great and fizzles at the finish line.  Agent Bride by Beverly Long had a compelling suspense thread that died at the end and a romance that never really got off the ground. But it made for great airplane reading.  Grade = C

November - Theme: Historical

December - Theme: Holiday

  • We wish you a very meh Christmas.  Come Home for Christmas by Pat Pritchard was a serviceable read, but with no deep dive into the characters' internal baggage and the tortoise-like pace of the romance this one never registered above OK for me.  Grade = C
Kids, that leaves Auntie Wendy with 2 A's, 1 B, 6 (!) C's and 2 D's.  Excuse me while I go put my head in the oven.  No seriously, this is totally why I need to stop procrastinating and DNF more!  All those C's are totally unacceptable - and only ONE B?!  Ugh.

Anyway, there is always 2017.  I vow I will try and do better.  And hey, why not join in on the fun? It's not too late to sign-up for the 2017 TBR Challenge!


Carole Rae said...

Ooo! Themes are always fun!

S. said...

Lol Wendy, plan your reading ahead! I mean, write down all the books you'll be reading for each theme this week! At least it will encourage you to meet that goal. I know, everyone is different but this works for me.
Good luck!

Wendy said...

Carole: I don't require the themes for participants, but as hostess I try to follow them.

Sonia: I should do that - dig out three books that would fit the theme and set them aside. It would also save me time in rooting around in the TBR - which is only about half organized in any logical manner.