Books I Didn’t Finish in June 2016 + Reading Goals Check In

Welcome to the monthly installment of books that I decided not to finish. Since we’re now half way through 2016, this month also includes a look at how I’ve been doing on my reading goals.

12814333A Stranger in Olondria is a very literary, descriptive book. Unfortunately, it was not the sort of book I was looking for. It’s very slow moving and the defining element is the prose and descriptions of the setting. While I can like setting focused books, I wasn’t a fan of the main character, and the plot wasn’t interesting enough to keep me reading forward. I found reasons to read other books for several days before finally calling it quits. That said, I can see why others like it. The writing is very lovely and from what I read there was a focus on the importance of books and literature.

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I made it a hundred pages into Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells before calling it quits. There’s nothing that’s exactly terrible with it, but it is so formulaic urban fantasy. The first person narrator is a cop who used to be a criminal. There’s ex-boyfriend drama and alpha male dudes everywhere. There’s a mystery involving street drugs, oh wait I mean potions. Basically there’s nothing about Dirty Magic that feels at all new or interesting.

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Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard started off well. The beginning had a sort of British humor that I enjoy, and the story seemed like it’d be fun. There was some good dialog. But it turned into a slog. The midsection seemed to become digressions that I didn’t care about at all, and the treatment of female characters started to wear on me. Basically, there aren’t any. A woman doesn’t speak until over sixty pages in, and the most important female character in the 150 pages I read was an abused girlfriend who existed to reflect on the men around her. It could get better at some point, but by now I don’t care any more.

At the end of 2015 I made some general goals for my reading in 2016.

I signed up for an LGBTQIA reading challenge with the intention of reading at least 21 qualifying books. Combined with the eight books I read in January through March, I’ve now read 21. I’ll be continuing to read more in the future, but here’s what I read in the last three months:

I noted at my last check in at the end of March that I haven’t been making my goal of reading at least 30% authors of color. I still am not making it, although I’ve come closer – I’m at about 28% right now.

I also wanted to keep reading ARCs from Netgalley and to reach 20 ARCs total. There’s some reviews I haven’t released yet, but I’m currently at 26 ARCs total! These last three months have been a pretty good batch of ARCs, with none of the books I’ve read having fallen below three stars.

So far this year (all percents have been rounded):

Who’s the author?

Books by female authors: 77% (85/111)

Books by male authors: 26% (23/111)

Books by nonbinary authors: 1% (1/111)

Books by multiple authors: 1% (1/106)

Books by an author of color: 28% (31/111)

Female authors: 80% (63/79)*

Male authors: 20% (16/79)*

Nonbinary authors: 1% (1/79)*

Authors of color: 32% (25/79)*

*Tremontaine not counted since sorting that out would be too much work for this post

Protagonists

Books with female protagonists: 46% (49/106)

Books with male protagonists: 28% (30/106)

Books with multiple protagonists: 23% (24/106)

Books with non-binary or genderqueer protagonists: 3% (3/106)

Books with LGBTQ protagonists: 21% (23/111)

Who’s writing about who?

Female authored books with female leads: 38% (40/106)

Female authored books with male leads: 17% (18/106)

Female authored books with multiple leads: 19% (20/106)

Female authored books with non-binary leads: 2% (2/106)

Male authored books with female leads: 5% (5/106)

Male authored books with male leads: 10% (11/106)

Male authored books with multiple leads: 3% (3/106)

Male authored books with non-binary leads: 1% (1/106)

Books by nonbinary authors with female leads: 1% (1/106)

Books by multiple authors with multiple leads: 1% (1/106)

 

Method of reading:

Ebooks: 19% (21/111)

Library books: 29% (32/111)

Netgalley ARCs: 13% (14/111)

Print: 37% (41/111)

What can you expect here in the next few months? Well, there’s reviews of Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley, Any Other Name by Emma Newman, The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North, and The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich scheduled to go up within the next week. I’m currently working on reviews of Broken by Susan Jane Bigelow, Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn, Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells, and Plain Kate by Erin Bow. There’s also a review of An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows that will be posted on the 19th.

I’m also participating in read alongs for Emma Newman’s All Is Fair and Scott Lynch’s Republic of Thieves that should start going up on Monday and Thursday respectively.

I’ve also managed to get a copy of Karin Lowachee’s Cagebird, so you should be seeing a review of that sometime this month. I got approved for an ARC of Django Wexler’s The Guns of Empire, which I’ll read and review this month (although I may post my review in August, closer to the release date). The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi has been on hold from the local library for what feels like forever now, but hopefully it will arrive in July. Same goes for Fire Logic by Laurie Marks and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. More promisingly, my holds of Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear and The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow have arrived, I just have to go pick them up from the library.

The rest of the month will be filled out with more ARCs, library books, and selections from the ever growing TBR pile.

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6 thoughts on “Books I Didn’t Finish in June 2016 + Reading Goals Check In

  1. Great list!

    It’s hard for me not to finish a book, but I’m learning to let go. I don’t have the time to spare for things I don’t enjoy, but I can at least appreciate what others might have liked about them.

  2. Great job! I usually just pick up whatever looks good to me and my male author to female author stats always seem to come out by themselves to about 50-50. Halfway through 2016 and my stats this year are currently skewing a bit male though, so I’ll have to keep my eye on that.

  3. Hahahaha, your upcoming reading list is a combination of my TBR list and my recently-read list. I’m also with you on abandoning Stranger in Olondria (too slow) and Johannes Cabal (too sexist/also I sort of remember it being on the racist side?). Reading twinsies! 😀

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