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Reading and Reviewing in 2017

Well it’s that time for reflection on the old and setting new goals for the new year so I’m going to start in my traditional way with a few facts and figures.

I have read and reviewed 147 books in 2017, one less than this time last year and boy some of those books have been really worth shouting about!

This amounts to 48, 281 pages 657 pages more than last year so obviously I’ve chosen some longer books to delight me in 2017 – that is an average of 132 pages per day!! No wonder I keep saying I don’t have time to do anything – to be honest that figure shocks even me!

Good old Goodreads tells me that my longest read was The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne was the longest book I read at a whopping 592 pages which was my very last review of 2017

The shortest unsurprisingly was a short story  Promises to Keep by Elizabeth Haynes at a mere 41 pages.



of the oldest books on my TBR was Room by Emma Donoghue which I finally read earlier this month – this was the book most read by other readers on Goodreads – 926,679 other readers there have also read this popular book, although I suspect many of them did so a little before I did!

The book I shared with the fewest readers was a debut crime thriller The Last Thread by Ray Britain, written by a former Police Officer not only were we treated to a new Detective but the authenticity of the read shone through – this book deserves a wider audience for sure!

A whopping 92 books fell into the crime fiction/psychological thriller categories although the psychological thriller count was down by 8 from 2016 to a mere 35.

My non-fiction reads declined slightly from 15 to 13 book fitting into this category, including a must-read for book-lovers; The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler although a large proportion of these are also crime related.

As always my goal for the year was to read more of my own books so not only did I participate in Cathy’s wonderful 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge (which I completed on time – go me!) I chose a number of books that fitted with 2017’s obsession with the variety of ways true crime is presented and books inspired by true crime which was kicked off by the brilliant Little Deaths by Emma Flint

I also participated in the Mount TBR Challenge on Goodreads for the first time where I completed 34 of my aimed 36 books purchased prior to 1 January 2017.


In all I read 56 of my own books or a relatively respectable 38% of my reads for 2017 which is a vast improvement on the 49 books completed in 2016 and very nearly the 40% I was aiming for. I was spurred on by realising how many superb books I already own with The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell being an early delight.

Of course though I’m a book lover and so this is exactly the time and place to say thank you to all the authors and publishers who have given me copies of your books to review – there are simply too many outstanding reads of the year (although tomorrow I will pick my top ten published in 2017) a whole 92 books read in 2017 were ARCs including Shelter by Sarah Franklin a historical novel set in the Forest of Dean where I lived from 1979 to 1987 – a setting that was also used in The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer

As for you all, what you seemed to enjoy most in 2017 were the following Top Five Reviews of the year were:

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly
The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
Painkiller by N.J. Fountain
Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century by Peter Graham

Two of these are from my own bookshelves proving that it isn’t just the newest releases that captures reader’s attention!

Finally at the beginning of December I completed the annual filling in of the Reading Bingo squares with some choices of the year.


2018 Goals

Beyond the Goodreads Reading Challenge, I don’t normally go in for bookish goals but I am going to break with the tradition and set myself some (gentle) targets for 2018.

  1. In 2017 I discovered what a wonderful array I have already in my possession and so the target is to read 40% of my own books in 2018. To give me some motivation I have decided to allow myself to buy one book for every three of my own that I read – of course there are some get-out clauses – the annual book sales held on the island are exempt and I will be visiting the library for any must-reads that I don’t own.
  2. The latter clause is important as I really want to up my reading or re-reading of classic novels, I shelved just one book in this category in 2017 although two others could have been put there but I felt they belonged better elsewhere. My target is to read at least 6 so one every other month and the library is the place to go for these. Despite being a library member all of my life, I haven’t visited anywhere near enough in more recent years which is something I feel guilty about.
  3. I am taking part in the Mount TBR Challenge again with an aim of reading 36 books – let’s see if I make it in 2018.

On the blog

  1. I am (very) slowly amalgamating the tabs with the aim of putting all the reviews for 2013-2015 onto one tab – this ongoing project must be completed by the end of March 2018.
  2. My about me page is in dire need of an update especially as it is visited far more often than I expected with 660 views in the last year.
  3. And of course I will shortly display an updated shelf as my header to welcome in the start of 2018.
  4. I always used to write my book review before starting a new book and this habit is being resumed in 2018 – this has been a very busy year and as much as I love blogging it has been a real struggle to fit everything in and I’m hoping this will help me get a better balance, rather than frantically writing reviews at the weekend when I need to endlessly check names (I have a real blind-spot in this department) as well as other elusive details.
  5. Finally I will remember to post each review to Cleopatra Loves Books Facebook page which at best has been intermittent since I set it up earlier this year.

That just leaves me to thank you all for visiting, commenting and writing your own entertaining posts and reviews that has me constantly rationalising my book choices!


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

52 thoughts on “Reading and Reviewing in 2017

  1. Lovely post as always and great goals for 2018! I would like to try the mount TBR challenge this year, how does it work or do you just chose a number and try to read that many from the pile??!! Thank you xx


  2. Good luck with your 2018 goals. I have 2 at the moment, to read more of my own TBR (I say this every year but never quite manage it! and to make a big dent in my Netgalley shelf which is embarrassingly huge at the moment!).


    1. Happy New Year to you too Joanne – I have an issue in that if I post automatically it takes the header (most of the time) not the post picture and I’m fussy and don’t like making the book the header for each one so I’m stuck doing it manually, or in my case not having time before I leave in the morning to faff around getting it right!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those seem like totally do-able goals. I’ve been thinking about some for myself but since I already failed in the “join less blog tours” category before the year has even started, I’m not feeling very confident I’ll achieve anything apart from the goodreads challenge. 😄

    I would like to read more historical fiction. But I don’t have a specific amount set. Yet.

    Good luck, Cleo! Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! xx


    1. 🙂 I won’t admit to buying some books just to ensure that I have enough to choose from when reading three before buying one challenge either 😉
      I would like to return the Happy New Year wishes to you and yours too – thanks for being a great supporter in 2017 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve had such a great year of reading, Cleo! I’m impressed with the reviews you’ve done, too. Interesting, too, what we learn from going back and looking at what we’ve done. Wishing you a great 2018 and some fine reading!


    1. I actually found out I’d read more than I thought so yes, looking back is beneficial and I’ll keep aiming to read those 132 pages a day!!
      You are one of the bloggers who has kept me going during this difficult year by reminding me that I’m not shouting into the wilderness.
      I wish you and your family all the best in 2018 and I hope it is filled with good books!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of this sounds familiar 😂 I may possibly be guilty of scrabbling around for names when reviewing because I’ve wandered off and started reading something new.

    These all sound like sensible and achievable goals. The most challenging for me would probably be not buying till I’ve read 3. Pretty sure I do the reverse and buy 3 for every one I read.


    1. The buying fewer books is definitely going to be tough – I spent ages doing the maths to see if it was remotely achievable – I’m still not convinced 😉
      It’s going to be another busy weekend catching up on those reviews to start 2018 on the right track!


      1. It is probably the only way to get the backlist down but I always get tempted by Amazon’s monthly deals.

        My weekend will probably be similar. Trying to set up tracking spreadsheet and clearing my ARCs


  6. Good luck with your 2018 goals Cleo! I’m attempting a book buying ban for the year to get the TBR down – I don’t anticipate sucess 😀 Wishing you a very Happy New Year and many great reads in 2018!


  7. It’s been a great reading year for you Cleo! 🙂 Here’s to an even better one in 2018! You can have your reviews automatically put on your FB page through the WP settings 🙂
    I am going to try and read more of my own books next year, too… At least I’m gonna try!


  8. Love the idea of “gentle goals”. I’ve been avoiding posting any goals or recapping 2017 because the truth is I didn’t read very much and I’m not terribly proud of that but maybe I’ll put it all out there anyway. If there is one thing here that I absolutely must try to do, it’s finish the review before I move on with another book. And I love the deal you’ve made with yourself to get motivated to read some of the titles you’ve already got on the shelf. I’ve been trying to do better with that and have finally started Sharp Objects. Looking forward to your posts again in 2018!


    1. Haha the worst mistake I made was not writing my reviews promptly as it takes so long to do them all in one bunch every weekend and has taken some of the joy out of blogging.
      In one way if you put it all out there, next year you can see how much better 2018 has been 😉
      Thank you so much for your visits, shares and comments – Wishing you a very Happy 2018.


  9. Great year in reading! I also applaud your 2018 goals of reading more of your own books…and continuing to write your reviews before starting a new book. Those goals have worked well for me, too. Happy New Year!


    1. You’ve been an inspiration to me Laurel so although I don’t read as many books as you do I need to have a better ratio of incoming to outgoing books.
      Happy New Year and thank you so much for your support in 2017.


    1. I spent ages debating whether one book for every two would make enough of a difference and decided not – already regretting this goal and that’s despite having purchased a few just in case it’s an age before I can buy a new book 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Woohoo! You’ve had a great year of reading! I like your targets – totally agree that the older books get as much love as the new releases. In fact, it’s my classics reviews that get most traffic, I think. Good luck – I have total faith in your ability to restrict your book-buying addiction… *snickers like Muttley*


    1. Somehow I missed your response here! I think there is a perception that everyone is eager to hear about the new shiny books when often it is the older ones that get just as much, if not more traffic on the blog. I was personally surprised how much interest there was in the Anne Perry book (although I was berated for wanting to read it by one or two bloggers) so thank you because I originally found it on your blog.
      Of course I will stick to the rules – don’t you know me at all?? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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