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Month in review

Reviews
Azalea, Unschooled by Liza Kleinman
Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear
Bisbee, Arizona, Then And Now by Boyd Nicholl
Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood
Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
The Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
CatStronauts: Race to Mars by Drew Brockington
Drunk Tank Pink by Adam Alter
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Green Mill Murder by Kerry Greenwood
Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia by Won-Ldy Paye
Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III
"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Pantomime by Laura Lam
Pippi Moves In by Astrid Lindgren
Road Trip by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
The 39-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Upper Mississippi: A Wilderness Saga by Walter Havighurst
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Miscellaneous
Crossing the Cornfield
January inclusivity reading and shortening the gap in reviewing
On reading your own books and moving

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



On reading your own books and moving: 01/30/17

On reading your own books and movingAs the first month of 2017 comes to a close I am still waiting for the specifics of our planned move to Canada. As I wait, I have been busy reading through my personal collection in preparation to weed as many of them as I can.

Our last move in 2004 was only across the San Francisco Bay but it was a rough move. The biggest set back in moving was our book collection. Our library had exploded for two reasons: first our toddler son had his own collection of books (a good thing) and I had taken on five vegetable crates of vintage books from a man downsizing to move into an assisted living apartment. I should have weeded then but I was still naively attached to all my books.

Now thirteen years later we are facing our longest move, surpassing our South Pasadena to Pacifica move by 2206 miles (3500 km). Granted we will have access to a professional moving company who will be packing and inventorying everything (due to the international aspect of this move) but there's still the unpacking at the other end of things. There's also the reality of all my husband's professional books that are currently sitting in storage that will no longer be sitting in storage.

Inspired then by this need to pare down our home collection (meaning pleasure reading for me, my husband, and our two children), I have moved the "ROOB" graphs from the monthly review page (see January) to it's own monthly feature. By separating it out, I can concentrate more on the process of reading through my collection, rather than just crunching some numbers for interest's sake at the end of the month.

In case you're wondering why the graphs are all called "ROOB" it dates back to a reading challenge I participated in back in April 2010 — read our own books. The idea was to read as many of our own books without buying new ones, spending too much time on ARCs, or taking too many books out from the library.

Although I wasn't the winner of the reading challenge, I have been enamored with the metrics it generates by weighing difference sources of books. A "perfect" score for a month would be a -5. A complete failure (meaning all new books) would be a 5.

5 = all new books, -4 = all to be reads. The goal is to be as close to -4 as possible.
5 = all new books, -4 = all to be reads. The goal is to be as close to -4 as possible.

Although January I read seventeen of my own books, five of these books were published in January. I suspect my ROOB score will suffer even with reading so many more of my own books (and so few library books) because I am also striving to read more currently published books. These new books are primarily ebooks, although CatStronauts: Mission Moon and CatStronauts: Race to Mars were paperbacks.

5 = all new books, -4 = all to be reads. The goal is to be as close to -4 as possible.
Same data as the above graph, just broken out by year.

Looking at the running ROOB graphs by year, this January's uptick is not as high as last year's despite reading more current books. The offset is due to the fewer library books and the in flux of older books on my TBR list.

Monthy ROOB average
Monthy ROOB average

Finally there is the running average by month. Interestingly, most months come out about the same, being a mixture of library and to be read books. My "worst" months are March and October. March seems to be a popular release month for graphic novels and October usually means I'm buying things for CYBILs.

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