Once again it’s time for the “look back” post in which we consider how the past reading year has gone, and once again I can be satisfied by the number of books I managed to read, not to mention the short stories I enjoyed between books, a good number of which have made it into reviews. And here is a visual summary:
The books I read are more or less equally divided between Fantasy and Science Fiction, even though there is a fair number of them that crosses between the genre dividing lines. What’s comforting is that of the 60-odd titles under my proverbial belt, only two of them ended up in the DNF bin, while the overall rating for the books I read remains a steady 4,1 stars. Which means I have been quite rewarded by my choices this year.
Here are the books that received the maximum rating of 5 stars: it’s interesting to note that they are all placed in the Fantasy genre, since I used to consider myself more science-fiction inclined. Clearly these past years, and the number of great fantasy novels I enjoyed, have changed my tastes or steered them in a different direction – and in 2018 there was no new Expanse book, or there would at least have been a 5-star rating in the SF field…
On a more personal level, I have said my farewell to GoodReads: the usual annoyances I had to deal with in the past concerning the quirks of the platform and its sometimes unreliable data update have recently been joined by a weird occurrence, which proved to be the infamous last straw. After reviewing, on December 6th, the latest novel in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, I posted on December 8th a review for the novella Suffer a Sea Change that is included in the book: at the time in which I posted the review there was an independent listing for the novella, as there is for many other shorter works in this series.
A couple of weeks later, while compiling the list for this very post, I noticed that the review for the novella had disappeared, as had the novella itself from the GoodReads database, and only a further search brought me to find out that the novella review had been appended to the review for the book. There is nothing truly wrong in this, granted, since there might be a valid reason for the removal of the listing, but what bothered me was the fact that the change had been operated unilaterally, and no one had thought of sending the barest of notices my way.
Taken by a sudden suspicion, I went to check on a similar case: at the back of a previous October Daye book, The Brightest Fell (one of my 2017 reviews), there was another novella, Of Things Unknown, which used to have the same separate listing from the parent book and that I reviewed as such. Well, that one was merged as well, still without notice: I have not checked other instances to avoid further irritation…
It’s not an end-of-the-world occurrence, true, but to me it spoke of a lack of consideration, a lack of good manners if you want: GoodReads sends a lot of notifications to me concerning friends’ updates or events, so why not for this change? From what I read, this is nothing new: other members have witnessed the actual eradication of their reviews, which seems to indicate a pattern, one that leaves an unpleasant taste in one’s mouth.
Anyway, I’ve moved my book collection to Library Thing (where the import mechanism worked like a charm, for the record) and will post reviews on GoodReads only in the case of debut novels, since that’s an instance in which authors need the maximum exposure, but I will just write a few words and then link to the complete post to my blog. It’s a small gesture, a tiny drop in the ocean, I know, but it’s my way of protesting against such rudeness. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it.
Now, moving to a more positive topic: to all of you fellow book lovers…
Have a great 2019 filled with wonderful books! Happy reading!