2016: Knight Reader’s Year in Review

2016_newyear_picI 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:

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!

Happy New Year from Knight Reader!

In case the title of this post wasn’t clear enough…


2015 was a decent year with various highs and lows, but I’m ready to start fresh in 2016. Having said that, let’s take a quick look back at my reading in the past year.

My reading goal for 2015 was 250 books. (Yes, I realize that’s low for me.) Well, I surpassed that by just a few books, and my grand total was 257 books. That total includes picture books, romance novels, middle grade and YA novels, and even a few memoirs. Some were in print, and many were ebooks. Some were new releases, and some had been out for years.

I only posted on 93 of the books I read here on Knight Reader. (Some of the others–those suited for elementary age readers–ended up on Knight Reader Junior.) For those of you wondering which books were my favorites, here they are. (I’ve also included genre and publication year for your convenience).

These are not listed in order of preference. For the most part, this is simply the order in which I read them. If I had to pick my absolute favorite book of 2015, the honor would probably go to Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. That book is made of awesome.


Now, let’s look to 2016. This year, I’m hoping to read at least 275 books and write at least 100 posts here on Knight Reader. A tall order, but I think I can do it.

Many of the books I plan to read this year are already out (some of which have been on my TBR list for years), but there are loads more that I’m looking forward to. Let’s take a quick look at some of my most highly anticipated reads of 2016:

  • Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein – January 5
  • The Siren by Kiera Cass – January 26
  • Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan – February 9
  • Ruler of Beasts (Dorothy Must Die, #0.6) by Danielle Paige – February 16
  • Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1) by Cassandra Clare – March 8
  • Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3) by Danielle Paige – March 15
  • The Crown (The Selection, #5) by Kiera Cass – May 3
  • The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1) by Rick Riordan – May 3
  • Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins – June 14
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White – June 28
  • United as One (Lorien Legacies, #7) by Pittacus Lore – June 28
  • The Bronze Key (Magisterium, #3) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – September
  • The Fever Code (The Maze Runner, #0.6) by James Dashner – September 27
  • Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – September 27
  • The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2) by Rick Riordan – October 4
  • Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh – October 25

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a pretty good start! I know I’ll add quite a few more to my TBR list as the year progresses.

With that, I’ll wrap up this way-too-long post. I wish all of you a wonderful New Year, and I hope you read some wonderful books in 2016. Thanks for your support of my little blog!