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Monday, January 2, 2017

A Look Back at 2016


Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you had a safe and happy celebration.  My husband and I were asleep before 9:30 and didn’t turn on the tv coverage once!  It’s a weird feeling when both of our parents stayed up til midnight and we didn’t.

Before we get started with a whole new year of bookish things, I want to take a few minutes to look back at what 2016 gave us.  It helps me to see what sort of reading trends I had and it is fun to look at why I might have read the way I did. 

So first, here are some book stats for 2016.


This was a good reading year. Not only did I finish my Goodreads goal of 50, but I read more than last year (51). This year felt more consistent in reading habits and now that I’m 100% done with school I should have more reading time to devote to books I want to read.


The majority of the books I read this year resulted in reviews. Those that did not were genres that I don’t review but still enjoy reading, as well as 2 books that I still owe reviews of that will be coming up in January.

PAGES READ: 13,528

That’s about 500 pages more than last year, which makes sense because I read more books.  It’s nice that there is some consistency.


Surprisingly this number went down again for a second year in a row. Yes, my commute has been shorter, but I have done a lot of listening while at work. Just surprising.

FORMAT: (some may overlap)

  • Hardcover: 2 (my beautiful hardcover of The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling)
  • Paperback: 1
  • ARC: 47
  • Audio: 16
  • E-Book: 43
  • From My Personal Collection: 14 (most of these were school books but the rare few were from my own shelf)

Holy cow did I read very few physical print copies! I was sure that it was more than 3! Although my husband is thrilled with this statistic because it means that the physical amount of books in the house isn’t much increasing.

GENRE: (may overlap)

  • Historical Fiction: 51
  • Young Adult: 1
  • Contemporary Fiction: 5
  • Romance: 30
  • Non-fiction: 4
  • Fantasy: 1
  • Western: 14

Well the number of romance reads skyrocketed this year because of my participating in the group blog, Romantic Historical Reviews – which will continue this year. There were I think only 2 of those 30 that were modern romances. My non-fiction went down this year, which is something that makes me sad since I really enjoy reading them. I must work on that in 2017.

SETTING: (may overlap)

  • England: 21
  • France: 4
  • Ancient Worlds: 1
  • Scotland: 1
  • America: 31
  • Fantasy: 1
  • Germany: 3
  • Asia (Ceylon): 1
  • Russia: 2
  • Cuba: 1
  • Australia: 3
  • Belgium: 1
  • Antarctica: 1
  • Spain: 1
  • Italy: 2

Well there was certainly more diversity in places this year, but the bulk was still America (specifically the American West) and England for sure.



What happened to my quest to read about Presidents and First Ladies!?! This must change. Over the last 2 years I have read exactly 1 book.


  • Vivi Holt (7)
  • Debra Holland (3)
  • Stephanie Laurens (3)
  • Kasey Michaels (3)
  • Kathleen Kimmel (2)

All of these are romance authors and I typically notice that they tend to release books quicker so I end up with more from them to review. Plus, most of these were on the 200-ish page length.

FAVORITE BOOKS READ IN 2016: (in no particular order, not all released in 2016):


  • The Time Between by Karen White
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • My Last Continent by Midge Raymond
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa

A little eclectic this year – a couple historicals, a thriller, and a couple contemporary fiction works are all in my top novels.

MOST ANTICIPATED OF 2017: (in no particular order)


  • Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh
  • For the Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser
  • The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie
  • The Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
  • The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

2016 was certainly a wider net of people and settings than in prior years, which was something I was hoping to accomplish. It also was a year of a lot of sequel reading or series continuations. I think that will be a little less in 2017 based on what I have for review and what I know of to be coming out and what I am interested in reading, but who knows! Some of the titles I am most excited about being released are from debut authors who are writing on fascinating subjects. While I see a trend of early 20th century novels coming out (and some released this past year), these don’t hold my attention quite as much and as such they will probably not be as frequently reviewed (I do make exceptions for some of my favorite authors who are releasing novels set in some of these time periods).

You can check out a really cool visual of my reading year on Goodreads here.

I enjoyed the survey questions from The Perpetual Page Turner that I used in my year-end review the last couple years, so I wanted to continue this for 2016.

Book you read in 2016 that you recommended to people most in 2016?


There are really 3 here that I recommended over and over: Song of War by Kate Quinn, Christian Cameron, Libbie Hawker, Vicky Alvear Shecter, Russell Whitfield, Stephanie Thornton, and S.J.A. Turney; My Last Continent by Midge Raymond; and The Time Between by Karen White.

I think all of the short story collections that have been released by the H Team have been among my top recommendations each year they have come out and Song of War is no different. I have always loved The Odyssey and The Illiad by Homer and loved how each of the authors took a character or group of characters to tell the story from their perspectives. It was so well done. Even if you haven’t read or enjoyed Homer’s works, but you enjoy reading novels set in the ancient world this one will work for you.

My Last Continent by Midge Raymond is not a historical novel, but was one that I made exception for and reviewed on the blog. I loved how vividly she brought the completely foreign world of Antarctica to life for me. Tie that together with the hardships of living there and a romance thread (which isn’t romancey at all like you might expect and certainly isn’t a romance novel by far) and there is enough drama to keep it moving along.

The Time Between by Karen White I did not review because it is a contemporary novel for the most part, but it is one that I really enjoyed. The way she told the story from three different perspectives and unveiled the flight from Hungary of the elderly aunt was beautifully put together and I couldn’t put this one down.

Best series you discovered in 2016? 


It seems like the only new series that I discovered this year were all romances. Regular historicals that I read were second installments in a series or further – so they don’t count for this question. Additionally, many of these series have only 1 book released so far, so it’s hard to say. But, if I were to pick it would be The Little Season series by Kasey Michaels. I like that there is an overarching story that envelopes all the novels but that each one focuses on a specific couple. And it is quite comical too!

Favorite new-to-me author discovered in 2016?

the time between

Karen White – I so enjoyed The Time Between because of how she crafted her characters. Elements of them were revealed over time and it was nice to learn about them as other characters did. There was so much hidden behind facades and bravado.

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

fall of poppies

Fall of Poppies – I love the simplicity of the cover but how much it represents the tone and theme of the stories.

Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

code name verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I had heard about this novel in passing before, but WWII was never a huge theme for me. I picked it up on a whim for my next audio book and was so enraptured with the characters and the non-linear storytelling and unreliable narrator that I just couldn’t put it down. After I finished I realized how much talk about the book there had been.

Favorite book you read in 2016 from an author you’ve read previously?

rivals of versailles

I read so many new-to-me authors this year that there are only a few whom I have read previously. I would say that it is Rivals of Versailles by Sally Christie, which isn’t that surprising because I listed Christe’s The Sisters of Versailles as my favorite debut in 2015.

Best 2016 debut you read? 

my last continent

My Last Continent by Midge Raymond – for all the reasons I stated above.

Beyond reading, this year has brought a lot of new energy to The Maiden’s Court. I reinstated some old post series that I loved, I worked on doing more than just reviews and keeping relatively consistent with my content, and I worked on sharing this content with you all in more ways. I have built greater bonds of friendship with several wonderful ladies in the book reviewing community who I look forward to talking with everyday about things both bookish and not. I hope you all enjoy the materials that I am sharing with you and that you stick around throughout the year! Happy New Year!! 

What have you learned about your reading habits in 2016? Did anything surprise you?  What were your favorite reads?

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