A Look Back…And a Look Ahead

2016 feels like the year that I finally got myself organized and under control. As anyone who has ever read a post on this blog probably knows that I like things to be arranged and in place. I like plans and goals and organization, and my book collection was way, way out of whack for quite a few years. I wouldn’t say I am a minimalist or anything, but I don’t like my space cluttered by things I can’t or won’t use, and my monster TBR pile always bugged me for that reason. Instead of being a pleasure, it was like a burden I was just trying to get through.

It was for that reason that I finally pulled the plug on my Sherrilyn Kenyon TBR pile. I made it through the first 10 or 12, but I really just lost interest as the stories went on. I did plan on getting to Acheron’s book, but I realized I liked him as a character too much to read about him getting the crap beaten out of him for 400 pages. The Dark-Hunters were probably my big fail of 2016, but it was still hard to part with my 40+ Kenyon books. I was really happy, though, when I realized that getting rid of them dropped my TBR down to just 17 books. Yep, 17.

On the other hand, I also had a big winner in 2016. After much procrastinating, I finally took the plunge and gave J.D. Robb‘s In Death series a shot. Even though I am only about 12 or 13 books in at this point, it is a definite winner. I haven’t been disappointed yet, and I look forward to each new story. I can totally see why Roarke has always been at the top of everyone’s favorite hero list – just saying.

For me, I think 2017 is going to shape up as the year of ends. Several high-profile series I follow will be wrapping up, or at the very least ending a story-arc before seeing spin-offs start up in 2017. Between The Others, Fever series, Chicagoland Vampires, Cainsville, and the Kate Daniels series, that is a lot of goodbyes (or farewell for nows). As much as I don’t look forward to that, the bonus is that 2018 should be the year of new beginnings. Hopefully.

How did your 2016 shape up, and what do you think 2017 will look like? I couldn’t really pick my best and worst reads for the past year, or even my top 10, but what stood out for you? Did you end up pulling the plug on anything you have held on to for way too long?

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11 thoughts on “A Look Back…And a Look Ahead

  1. MJ Hunter says:

    Happy New Year! Not sure what the TBR is, but if it’s the Dark Hunter series, I’m actually liking the newer books that are in the series. I have to admit, while it took me two sessions to ge through Acheron, I couldn’t get through Styxx. Have you read her Legend series. That has turned out to be my favorite. And dont get me started on the In Death series. I am always awaiting for thr next book, and own them all in audio format, and have listened to them multiple times from the beginning. Yeah, LOVE THAT SERIES!!! As a huge fan of the Kate Daniels series, I didn’t know it was coming to an end. I sure hope not. I also miss the Kitty Norville series (Carrie Vaughn).

    I ended 2016 starting the Cassie Palmer series (Karen Chance), which keeps getting better. I will read the Otherworld stories by Kelley Armstong, and starting to tire of The Sisterhood and Men of The Sisterhood series. I will also read Night School (Jack Reacher series) and Turbo Twenty Three (Stephanie Plum series), and there are more.

    And of course I look forward to your blogs to keep me in the know of what’s coming up. Thanks!

    • kaleigha says:

      TBR was my monster to be read pile, which for a while was at just over 300. I dubbed it Mount TBR. Now it is barely a slight incline. Yay me. Yeah, the Kate Daniels maybe wrapping up thing is not something I like to think about, but it will be even worse if their new Hidden Legacy series wraps up at a trilogy, too. That would leave me one unhappy camper.

      • MJ Hunter says:

        Thanks for the clarification. I lost count of my TBR pile, but since I’ve graduated, I’m so looking forward to making a few dents over the next two years. Some are for fun, others for continued education. I have not read the Hidden Legacy series, and I’ve heard mixed reviews on it so I haven’t been willing to try. Maybe I’ll reconsider.

  2. library addict says:

    I’ve read the In Deaths since back when they first started (I started when the second book came out). I actually use to reread every book before each new release. But shortly after the series went hardcover I just couldn’t do that anymore as it’s so many books!

    I had set modest reading goals for 2016, so was able to meet them. I read one new-to-me author series (I’ve mentioned before how bad I am about buying entire series because the blurb for book 5 or 7 catches my eye and I am a must-read-in-order person). I also got caught up on two authors I was behind reading. And caught up on two on-going series I was behind reading. I picked 10 books from my TBR that I considered “must reads” for the year.

    My main goal was to read all the new releases by my autobuy authors I was not behind on, so that was a challenge. But I made myself wait to buy books I wasn’t planning to read right away unless there was some big sale or coupon code. That helped a lot.

    I have done massive purges of my TBR before. It’s hard to give away so many books I spent good money on. When I moved a decade ago I must have donated 1000+, a third of so of those were unread.

    Since I’ve gone 99.99% digital, having a big TBR no longer bothers me. But I did a massive digital purge a few years ago. It was easier as those were mostly freebies. That cured me of having to download all the freebies I’m vaguely interested in just in case I one day might want to read it.

    I did pull the plug on on series in 2016, but it was contemporary not UF or paranormal.

    For 2017, I plan to do much the same thing as far as my goals are. I picked 10 books that were mostly stand-alones or book 1 in a series that I want to read; it’s a mix of auobuy and new-to-me authors. I picked one author I am woefully behind on (11 books behind, and she has 6 releases scheduled for 2017 eek!). I also plan to catch up on another three authors I am only a few books behind on. Plus I want to read all of Veronica Scott’s Sectors series since all six books are in my TBR.

    I plan to reread the entire Psy/Changeling series again this year. But to mix it up this time I am going to read in chronological rather than published order. I’ve not done that before so it should be fun.

    And try to keep up with my favorite/autobuy authors’ new releases. Otherwise why do they remain autobuys? At least that’s what I tell myself – lol!

    • kaleigha says:

      Yep, my goals were pretty similar, and I reached most of them. Because I am goal oriented, I have to set guidelines. I wanted to drop below 50 on my TBR, which I did due to the purge. I wanted to get up to Acheron, but I dropped the series. No new-to-me series until I was caught up on what I already had books in but had never touched. Buy new series in e-book format first so I can decide if I like them pressure free, and only get one to try rather than the whole damn series. This year, I plan on getting my TBR down to 5 or less, and pretty much just keeping up on what looks interesting. And not letting things rage out of control again. Ugh.

  3. Maria says:

    This year my goals are to keep the TBR to a minimum (I finally got it under 50, and plan to get it under 20), not to compulsively buy everything that appears interesting while surfing, and to read more in the other languages (spanish, catalan and italian) that I speak that I’ve abandoned this year in other to make a dent in my english TBR. (I like to read the original when possible, so all my PNR and contemporary romance is in english) Hope it is not too ambitious!
    Also I’ve put a ban on new series, as I’m also OCD with having to read them in order. I think with the ones I follow right now I should have enough.

    • kaleigha says:

      Your goals sound so much like mine last year! Well, other than the other languages since I am lucky I can handle the one, sometimes. I have my list of series I will be hitting this year, since I still have the first one or two of several in the TBR, but I am going to try and wrap them up before I buy any new ones, too.

  4. pals20 says:

    I finally read the Chicagoland series…. For some reason, I had never picked up this series till now but in 2016 I finally did. I was really, really happy with Merit and the Cadogan House & sad that the series is coming to an end…

    I definitely read more of New Adult Contemporaries this year (shoutout to Elle Kennedy, Kristen Callihan and Tessa Bailey). Partly because NA has grown beyond the super-angsty phase and is now just a fun genre. And partly because am starved for good new PNR and UF authors (other than my go-to authors, of course). I discovered very few new authors and very very few new long-running series.

    I am now afraid that I have caught up with all the good ongoing series across the PNR and UF genres and that A. I will not have any discovered series that I could binge-read. and B. I will have to wait interminably for the next book in my open series comes out.

    Oh well, it is a new year. I have books from Nalini Singh, JD Robb, Ilona Andrews and G A AIken (to say the least) to look forward to. I also can’t wait to see which trope will rule this year.

    I will definitely be relying on your blog for BOTM and New Releases to help me discover new authors… Happy New Year, Kaleigha. Cheers!!

    • pals20 says:

      Whoops, Tessa Bailey is not really an NA author – she’s more of an erotica contemp author. I adore her writing but I have no clue why I added her name here.. Lol

    • kaleigha says:

      I like Chicagoland, but it never climbed to the top of the pack for me. Weirdly enough, I am very intrigued by the new spin-off, though. It was like with Jane Yellowrock. I was ok on the main series, but super excited for the spin-off, which I ended up loving way more.

      Ugh, the super-angsty was what turned me way, way off of NA. It seemed like it was going to be right up my alley, but they just got on my nerve with all of the weird drama. I am glad to see they have moved on from that, because it had a lot of potential.

  5. Iain says:

    Its hard for me to track the series I’ve given up on because I tend to start a series and continue it until I can’t read/listen to another one right now, and then move on to something else… and then I either like the series enough to return, or I never seem to return… and that break can be quite long… I hadn’t read a Kara Gillian book in nearly 2 years before I binge listened to 5 of the 6 most recent entries and then stopped again…

    I still haven’t finished White Tiger or the surrounding novellas in the Shifters Unbound series…. past the first Disillusionist Trilogy book… the last Alpine Woods Shifter book (unless there are more than 6 now), past Jane Yellowrock 3, Allie Beckstrom 2, Rylee Adamson 5, Marla Mason 5, Jaz Parks 3, Kitty Norville 7…

    The 3 series I can say I’m done with are probably Cassandra Palmer (5), Walker Papers (4), and Elemental Assassin (9)… and that’s because the by the time I listened to the book listed in parentheses (generally after reading the first few on ebook and then taking a long break) I basically hated the series or the main characters for one reason or another and said enough is enough…

    To this end, and with the trouble I’ve been having finding anything I wanted to read the last few months… I’ve been listening to basically my UF greatest hits the last few months… I did Kate Daniels back in September… Mercy Thompson starting in early December… and am doing The Others now… when I originally read these it was on ebook… whispersync for voice is great for picking up the audio companion for cheap…

    My plan for 2017 is to continue my trend toward audio… I just love audiobooks… done right with a single narrator for the whole series, it just adds something to the story… since late 2014 I’ve really ramped up my audiobook consumption… which is convenient as my overall reading time has diminished a bit… in 2016 I read about 200 books, and about 125 of them were audiobooks, and longer ones too… the last 3 years, even as my books read has dropped from 365 to 300 to 200, the avg pages has increased from 250 to 300 to 370… so pages have only dropped from 95k to 85k to 75k… as you can see I spend way too much time looking at them Goodreads bookshelf stats pages…

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