2015 in Review and Challenge Updates

Books Read

It was a very good year reading wise. I don’t like to stress out about “how many” books I’ve read, so I tend to set goals I truly think are possible (not a stretch goal). I set my Goodreads challenge to 60 books, and pretty much blew it away by reading 95.


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Goodreads does a fun break down showing your longest and shortest books, as well as the most and least popular. What it shows me is WAY more people need to read In Midnight’s Silence by T. Frohock!


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Now, I signed up for a number of challenges at Worlds Without End. And, silly me forgot to update my reading over there and now I can only update one of them. So, the one that was the easiest to attain! I read over 18 Speculative Fiction books that were published in 2015 (which was not much of a goal, really, but hey! It’s fun to mark off boxes!)

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The other challenges were the slightly more challenging ones. And while I can no longer update them to mark off my complete status, I at least know I did finish them.

RYO_2015WoGFBanner New to me Female Authors
Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 10.15.09 AMIn addition to what I entered on the challenge, I know I read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, Updraft by Fran Wilde, Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, The House of Shattered Wings by Alliete de Bodard. There’s liable to be more as well.


RYO_2015_IJustHaveToReadMore Must Read More of that Author

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In addition to what I entered, I read 5 more Robin Hobb books this year. That alone finishes off the list. I know there were more authors I read more of this year as well (K. J. Parker, Ann Leckie, George R. R. Martin, Chuck Wendig, Sarah Lotz)

I also made progress on my r/Fantasy Bingo challenge. This one is different as it start/stops in April, so I still have time to finish, even if I suspect the odds of me getting some of these final squares (like pre-Tolkein fantasy) are pretty slim! I’ve read at least 3 short stories this year thanks to A Knight of Seven Kingdoms, and I’ve read some novellas that may count for that spot as well, but I’m waiting to update the square until I know for sure what I’m using for it.



Around the Blog

I published 91 reviews this year (definitely up from 72 last year). I also struck more of a balance with my reading regarding author’s gender. I’ll be honest, this was not intentional, but I was happy to see it because I know it has been rather lopsided.

  • Female Authors: 53% (last year was 30%)

  • Male Authors: 46% (last year was 70%)

Over all, I had 187 posts this year (up from 151 in 2014).

I successfully completed my Backlist Burndown every month this year! This is actually the most challenging challenge I have on my plate, and I think it helps that I turned it into a recurring feature and meme to encourage others to join in. Even if no one does, I feel a stronger obligation to get my book read and the post out there just incase. And reading Backlist Books is always a harder choice with all of the new and shiny books are being talked about.

DECEMBER – Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb
NOVEMBER Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
OCTOBER White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland
SEPTEMBER California Bones by Greg van Eeckhout
AUGUST Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron
JULY My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
JUNE – Last Call by Tim Powers
MAY The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
APRIL The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
MARCH Miserere: An Autumn’s Tale by Teresa Frohock
FEBRUARY Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
JANUARY Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay



















The Speculative Herald

I can’t really do a wrap up of what I worked on this year without including a mention of The Speculative Herald. This new blog really started as a whim of an idea, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. And eventually I worked up the nerve to bounce the idea off of some fellow bloggers. The response was positive, and so 3 months ago (Yes! It has only been around for 3 months), I saw this idea actually come alive. It has been a lot of fun working with other bloggers, and I love seeing the coverage we are able to get for new releases between us. In 3 months, we have posted 75 posts, 54 of which have been reviews. The collaborative lists we’ve worked on have been a huge success, so three months in I am very happy with how things are going.

Many, many thanks to Mogsy at The BiblioSanctum, Tammy at Books, Bones and Buffy, Bob from Beauty in Ruins and Lynn from Lynn’s Books for their regular contributions, as well as many thanks to Nathan from Fantasy Review Barn who has also had some great contributions when time/scheduling permits.


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15 thoughts on “2015 in Review and Challenge Updates”

  1. You had an awesome month, Lisa! And all this in addition to starting and running TSH, I’m super impressed:-) I really need to check out Reddit this year, I know you are very active there, but I have no idea what it’s all about, so that will be one of my goals in 2016. That Bingo looks like fun! And I hope you continue Backlist Burndown. I failed pretty miserably, as I think I only posted two or three backlist reviews total, but that’s ANOTHER of my goals in 2016, to read more backlist.
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…What’s On My Plate – January 2016!!My Profile

  2. Nice! It looks like you had a pretty great year. I really need to work on balancing out the gender of the authors I choose to read. Mine usually weigh very heavily toward all female. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

    I hope your 2016 goes just as well, if not better than 2015.
    Samantha recently posted…Stacking the Shelves: Week of Dec. 27thMy Profile

  3. Absolutely awesome year 😀 I’m definitely going to be challenging myself in 2016 – and probably failing to complete said challenges! I’ll hopping onto the Backlist Burndown too! 😀 Best of wishes for the new year!
    proxyfish recently posted…2015: A Year in ReviewMy Profile

  4. I love how Goodreads gave us this new summary email this year, I thought it was nicely done and presented. Black Wolves was my longest book this year too 🙂

    And way to go with Backlist Burndown! I really failed at that challenge towards the end of the year, and I’m really hoping to do better this year. I have a lot of 2015 books to choose from now, at least 🙂

    1. I know! I had actually hoped I would make it, but my December was very slow reading wise (and very hectic real life wise), so it just didn’t happen. I will confess to cramming in Saga Volume 5 on Dec. 31 to hit 95 at least. 🙂 And last year my ratio was quite skewed towards male authors, and the year before, probably even more so. Am curious to see how this year goes
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Review: Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonMy Profile

  5. What a great year! I love the way Goodreads breaks things down – next year I really do need to make sure I use it more because it is a great little helper really.
    My backlist books have been a bit touch and go – although I did have Lock in for November and forgot to post it!!! Drat.
    Next year I’m hoping to read more of my own books !!
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…You will, you will, you probably will! Maybe you won’t..My Profile

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