I don’t know about you, but I’m glad 2016 is over. Sure, there were some good moments, but it felt like the universe kept delivering hit after hit. I have no idea if 2017 will be any better (probably not considering the state of American politics), but I’m going to do my part to make sure it’s not worse. For me, that includes practicing self-care, spending time with my friends and family, making a few changes for my own health and peace of mind, and sharing even more books–books that encourage readers to think beyond their own experiences–with my students and everyone who visits this blog.
I read 278 books this year, exceeding my goal of 275 books. I featured 85 books–mostly YA and middle grade novels–on this blog. Many of the books I read were children’s books–some featured on Knight Reader Junior–and others were romance novels, which I used as brain candy. In 2017, I’m planning to read at least 250 books, and I’m going to try to post on at least 100 of them here. We’ll see how that goes.
Before I get to the business of 2017, let’s take a quick look back at Knight Reader in 2016. This little blog, which is almost nine years old, had over 10,000 visitors in 2016. I wrote 86 blog posts, and my most popular post was on I Wish My Teacher Knew.
Several books stand out as my top reads this year. They’re listed below–in order of date read–with author, publication date, and genre:
- Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – 2016, historical fiction
- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – 2015, fantasy/science fiction
- Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – 2016, fantasy
- Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick – 2016, realistic fiction
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – 1961, fantasy
- The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan – 2016, fantasy
- The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner – 2016, magical realism
- And I Darken by Kiersten White – 2016, historical fiction/alternate history
- Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige – 2016, fantasy
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling – 2016, fantasy
- Black Widow: Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl – 2016, science fiction
- The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan – 2016, fantasy
- A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – 2016, mystery
- The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner – 2016, realistic fiction
- The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg – 2016, mystery/realistic fiction
If I had to pick a favorite from all of these, I’d probably go with The Serpent King. (Those of you expecting me to choose Lady Midnight, I get it. I’m actually shocked myself.)
As I examine all of the posts I wrote here in 2016, one thing really jumps out at me–the lack of diversity in my reading. In the coming year, I plan to change that. If I want my students to expand their thinking, appreciate diversity, and practice empathy and acceptance, I need to do the same.
Let’s now look to 2017. I know lots of books will come to my attention throughout the course of the year, but there are already a few books that I’m looking forward to. Here are a few due out this year (publication dates tentative):
- Dark Side of the Rainbow (Dorothy Must Die, #0.8) by Danielle Paige – January 31st
- King’s Cage (Red Queen, #3) by Victoria Aveyard – February 7th
- The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes, #2) by Brittany Cavallaro – February 14th
- Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner – March 7th
- The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die, #4) by Danielle Paige – March 14th
- The Queen of Oz (Dorothy Must Die, #0.9) by Danielle Paige – March 14th
- Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – March 28th
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, #3) by Jenny Han – May 2nd
- The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan – May 2nd
- Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare – May 23rd
- Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga, #2) by Kiersten White – June 27th
- Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by multiple authors – July 11th
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – August 29th
- The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) by Rick Riordan – October 3rd
In addition to these new releases, I also plan to put a dent in my towering TBR pile–which includes many books that have been out for years.
Now, it’s time for me to get on with my new year. I have a family dinner in a couple of hours, the premiere of Sherlock season 4 tonight (!!!!!), and I’m back to work tomorrow. (I’m really hoping my pyromaniac neighbors cool it with the fireworks this evening. I’m a tad grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep.)
Anyhoo, thanks for visiting my little blog this year. Here’s hoping that 2017 brings us a great year in reading. Happy New Year!