2017 Reading Update 2

Hello! I'm dreadfully behind on my quarterly reading updates, since we are almost done with the third quarter of the year, but I'm going to post this second quarter update anyway.

 If you didn't know, I'm obsessed with reading, so I thought it would be fun to do a little update each quarter with some stats, the most notable books I've read that month, and some general thoughts about my reading life. So here we go.


First, because I am a huge nerd, some stats (as of July 1, 2017):

Total number of books read: 80

  • Adult Novels: 18
  • Young Adult Novels: 6
  • Children's Novels: 2
  • Short Story Collections: 7.5 (one book was part short stories, part essays, hence the .5)
  • Nonfiction Books: 3.5 (one book was part short stories, part essays, hence the .5)
  • Graphic Novels: 10
  • Graphic Trades: 21
  • Poetry Collections: 10

Number of books read in Q2 (April, May, and June): 40 

  • Adult Novels: 9
  • Young Adult Novels: 2
  • Short Story Collections: 1.5 (one book was part short stories, part essays, hence the .5)
  • Nonfiction Books: 2.5 (one book was part short stories, part essays, hence the .5)
  • Graphic Novels: 6
  • Graphic Trades: 8
  • Poetry Collections: 9

Where I got books from this quarter:

  • From the library: 55%
  • Gifts (including gift cards): 20%
  • Bought myself: 20%
  • Little Free Library: 5%

Total number of books I acquired in the first half of 2017: 31

  • Percentage of those books that I have read so far: 71% (pretty good!)

If you remember last quarter's update, I read exactly the same amount of books then (40). The breakdown was a little bit different this time though. I read fewer novels and more short pieces, like graphic novels and poetry collections. I did drastically increase the amount of poetry I read, thanks to my goal in April of reading a poem a day, which I kept up with. I also acquired far fewer books than I did in the first quarter and I read more of the books I acquired, because I knew I was moving and I didn't want more books to carry around with me. Because of that "read more books I own" project, I read a bit more nonfiction than I had in the previous quarter, which was another of my goals, so I'm pretty psyched about it. 


Notable books I read this quarter (in the order that I read them):

Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself by Walt Whitman, illustrated by Allen Crawford

This is such an incredibly stunning book, maybe the most beautiful book I own. Allen Crawford painstakingly handwrote and illustrated Walt Whitman's famous poem, Song of Myself from his collection Leaves of Grass. I kicked off my month of April poetry reading by reading this while consulting a typed copy of Song of Myself (the words in the handwritten edition go in all different directions, so I wanted to be able to see the original order) and it was a wonderful experience. I didn't completely love the poem in its entirety, but there were some incredible lines that have stayed with me, and Crawford's illustration is a massive jolt of artistic inspiration. I flip through it all the time, just to have a look.

Swan by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was by far my favorite poet that I was exposed to during my month of reading poetry. Her work is so simple, elegant, and profound. I've since read another of her books and will continue to do so, but Swan is my favorite so far. Her poetry is very accessible and I think a great place to start if you're interested in getting into poetry.

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles

This was my favorite comic series that I started (and devoured) in this quarter. I'm a sucker for anything with gods and mythology, so this series is right up my alley.  The premise is that every 90 years twelve gods incarnate as humans and become megapowered performers and celebrities, but within two years they are all dead. The artwork and coloring in this series are great and the storyline means you will want to read all of them immediately. A new trade volume has been published since I read the first four and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton

This short book is a novelization of the life of Margaret Cavendish, 17th century duchess, author, philosopher, poet, and scientist. The prose is magical and it is an incredible look at the inner life of a creative woman at a time when it was (even more) difficult to be an accomplished creative professional woman. It is a book that I am already excited to reread.

Supermutant Magic Academy, Indoor Voice, and This One Summer all by Jillian Tamakei

I super enjoyed everything I've read by Jillian Tamakei so far. She is a fantastic illustrator and I just love looking at her work. Suepermutant Magic Academy is a collection of her weird and wonderful webcomic about the weird and wonderful students and Supermutant Magic Academy. Indoor Voice is a tiny publication of her sketchbook (something I love peeking into). This One Summer is a graphic novel written by Tamakei's cousin, Mariko Tamaki, and illustrated by Jillian. The double page spreads in that book are breathtaking.

The Mothers by Britt Bennet

I'm so glad I found this book at my Little Free Library. I had heard great things about it, but I don't think I would have picked it up if if hasn't been for the LFL. I feel like too much explanation won't do this book justice, but know that it is beautifully written. Just go for it if you are at all interested in contemporary stories.

Love and Other Ways of Dying by Michael Paterniti

This is a collection of several of Paterniti's articles from over the years and Parterniti writes nonfiction like no other. He gets so close to his subjects and often writes in a unique style that makes his work so engaging. Many of the stories are incredibly sad (lots of tragic deaths and natural disasters), but they are absolutely worth reading.

Its hard to talk about my reading goals for the future when I'm almost done with the third quarter of this year. But I can tell you a little bit about how it has been going. As I anticipated, my reading dropped off steeply during the month of July when I was moving and traveling. But now I am back on the reading wagon and have read some great books recently! I've been reading more nonfiction, which I'm super happy about. 

One thing I would like to focus on for the rest of the year is internalizing/remembering more of what I read. I'm not really sure how to go about that. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the books I'm reading or how I'm reading them, but I want them to impact me more and to remember more. Let me know if you are also a book nerd and have any tips on how to go about that!

Thanks for checking in on my reading and I'll be back with another quarterly update soon (not several months after the fact)!