Friday, January 18, 2019

First Reads of the Year, 2010-2019: A Reading Retrospective

This month's prompt for the Blog All About It challenge is First. I've decided to do a little retrospective and look back at the first book I read each year since I started keeping track of books on Goodreads in 2010.


Chosen by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast 

I was working as a teen librarian in 2010, and I had one patron who was really into this series. Since I didn't really like Twilight, but still wanted to put a good faith effort into being interested in the vampire phenomenon that had such a grip on all the teens, I decided to take her recommendation and give this a try. I don't remember this book specifically, or why I was reading it on New Year's Day, but it's interesting to see how different a book it is compared to the others on this list!


Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! by Laura Amy Schlitz 

I read this the same day I started blogging, and my review of it was one of the first reviews I posted to my (now-defunct) first blog. It was the start of my ongoing quest to read more Newbery winners and honor books.


Troublemaker by Andrew Clements

I just read and reviewed Andrew Clements's newest title, so it seems I like to read him in January. I remember liking this book, which, if memory serves, I finished reading at my desk in the library. It must have been a slow day, because I don't think I had many chances to read in that job!


Seeing Cinderella by Jenny Lundquist

Whenever I see the cover of this book, I remember being on a train with it, so I must have been reading it during my commute. I remember feeling dubious about the fantasy elements, but I wound up giving it four stars. I think this was also the beginning of my obsession with Aladdin Mix books, which I read in abundance for several years afterwards.


The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

I really liked this series, and had almost forgotten about it! I wish this author had written other contemporary YA stories, though I am also curious about her 2018 release, The Book of Boy.


The Zebra Wall by Kevin Henkes

This was a used bookstore find that I had never seen before, but that now seems to be at every sale and store I visit. I remember being really amused by the sit-com-esque storyline and interested in Henkes's evolution as an author since the 1980s.


Claire's Story, 1910 by Adele Whitby

I loved this series and I wish there had been more titles! The writing was really just adequate, but the concept - exploring the connections between different generations of the same family - was great.


The Family from One End Street by Eve Garnett 

This book stands out to me as one of the first I ever borrowed from I had been wanting to read it forever and was amazed when I realized it had been sitting there waiting for me all along. I also remember my review mentioning that I was going to read the other books of the series - it might be time to make good on that promise now!


Amahl and the Night Visitors by Frances Frost and Roger Duvoisin 

This was the first book of last year, and possibly also the best. I just re-read it with the girls at the beginning of the month, and it was just as good the second time around.


The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander 

This year's first book was for my book club. I really enjoyed it, both for the writing style, and for the way it put into words many thoughts I have had in passing but never expressed.

What was your first read of the new year?


  1. It is neat to see the progression of your firsts read of the year down through the years. Now you have me curious to go back and see what mine were.

    My first read this year was That Girl Darcy by James Ramos.

  2. Oh, I love this idea! Finding all the first books you read of different years. Good times!
    2019 = Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes (It was better than expected.)
    2018= Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane (It was not all that I had hoped for.)
    2017= The Miniature Golf Course Murders by Sara Penhallow (It was pretty good, but I should have read the first one first, I suspect.)
    2016= Friday Night is Seafood Night (I guess I really wanted a different way to make fish.)
    2015= WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014 by Deborah Owen (I'm one of the authors that won a spot in the book. And it was the first time I published under my own name. So to say I was excited doesn't even scratch the surface.)

    Hey, that was a fun flashback!!! Thanks for this.

  3. Very cool first post! I love seeing what your first reads of the year were. This year mine was "We're Going to Need More Wine" by Gabrielle Union.

  4. Lol, the only one I've read from this list is Chosen. It's fun looking back at past reads isn't it? I did that this earlier in January when setting my Goodreads Goal for the year.

  5. Oh what a fun way to do the prompt! I love how varied your first picks were over the years. Neat :)