WTF Did I Do & What I'm Going To Do About It: 2016 Recap & 2017 Goals

Brooke Banks | 10:48 PM | | |

Everyone is doing their yearly recaps and surveys and well, I just have to join in. Though I'm late and doing it a bit differently. But first...

Obligatory GR Recap Screenshot:

Of the 227 books I read, 58 had diverse MCs and 42 were written by marginalized authors.

That's it?!? That's terrible! I could've sworn there was more. Scrolling through my list it looks like before I started blogging again in May and after I started there's a huge divide of types of reads. Before, it's Lily White time with series by white straight women about white straight women. I read 40+ books in the In Death series alone. o.O

Now I can't say I regret those series as some of them were very important to me and I will be continuing. In Death has the PTSD rape survivor while White Trash Zombie and Cherry Tucker have the poverty I was born into.

However, I'm still sad my stats are that lopsided. This is why looking at the number is really helpful, memories are not reliable and studies have shown our perceptions are skewed.

I have 94 reviews posted on The Broke Book Bank, and only 26 are from my previous years. That means I tripled the amount in 2016 with 68 new reviews. 

I've blogged for 8 months straight since May and have grown more consistent as time went on rather than being burned out. That simple fact I'm insanely proud of. I'm on medication for my depression and anxiety, which is clearly working for me.

Other notable moments:

  • I've had several wonderful moments interacting with authors and publishers that loved my review.
  • I did a beta read and a sensitivity read through request on Twitter. I've learned a lot from those experiences, made a new friend, and plan on doing more such reads this year.
  • I read AMAZING books I wouldn't have been able to if I wasn't active online again
  • One such book, White Nights, Black Paradise, has a short film and praise from my review is included in the trailer
  • I've branched out to reviewing more products on Amazon and a couple on here. This I will be continuing as well.

Looking pretty good considering my only hope when I restarted this endeavor was not to crap out unexpectedly on everyone. Yay me!

Before I get to my goals, I want to include some bits and pieces from the amazingly thorough long ass survey from Jamie @ The Perpetual Reader.


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I'm such a fan of hers but holy shit, I reading this one was miserable.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
The Good: Dark Matter, The Bad: The Devil's Madonna
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Iron Cast, Baby.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You and Play Me Backwards. Still making me smile!
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?
Nas from Read Diverse Books
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?
Oh man, that's a tough question. Hmm...if I HAVE to pick, then Mark of the Dragon.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I didn't do any meatspace events (time, money, mental, physical reasons) but I loved doing tours. It's again hard to pick just one, but every tour for Rich In Variety has been amazing and fun.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?
Most recently, I did a beta read and a sensitivity read. I was an anxious mess and learned a lot but everyone walked away happy. (I consider myself friends now with one of them, bonding over her book :D)
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Most Views: Fates Entwined by Julie Barnes Most Comments: Portraits of the Dead
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Uh....any of them? All of them!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set nothing because I'd been gone for so long. My only hope was to continue blogging and reviewing instead of letting my depression, anxiety and chronic pain run me down/out. But, I did it! I kept at it. I'm ecstatic about that TBH.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
Oh why you do this to me?!? Why did I pick this question? But FINE. Here's five of the many hundreds: If I Were Your Girl. Certain Dark Things. Air. The Sorcerer to the Crown. Juliet Takes A Breath.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
SO HARD to pick. One book I haven't mentioned yet: The Upside of Unrequited.
3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
#THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG and Girl Out of Water, of course. That's just harder to chant.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Series: Assassin's Fate
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?
I want to keep going and be more social and outspoken in the community. Use my voice for good, but still shut up and promote when necessary.

Why is nobody asking the about the worst reads and experiences?

They exist and it's not all down to personal presences. You can't ignore that part. Especially all the problematic shit that happened! I couldn't even begin to list all that. Authors and bloggers advocating diversity, inclusion, and fairness were threatened and harassed. The response? "Keep YA Kind". Swarming to support white authors while ignoring women of color, particularly black women, and using their labor.

Nazis. TERFS. White Feminists. Intersectional Ignorance. Blocking POC but retweeting white people saying the same damn thing.

It's all just...UGH.

Anyways, Read this post by Meleika @ The Aus Library, who's an amazing person, activist, blogger, and withstood some of the biggest fucking bullshit this community had to offer.

Now to my Worsts List E.G:

  • Problematic Piece of Shit That Still Pisses Me Off: Winger
  • Hindsight Is Painful: All of Sarah J Maas's books. How did I not see all those problems and the writing?!? WHY? *facedesk*
  • Worse Love Triangle: Starters. Seriously ruined, ruined the book. The ending was a hook but dear lord, I don't want to deal with more of the back 'n forth shit.
  • White People Writing Out Their Lane: A Mortal Song. Nemesis.
  • New (to me) Authors to Avoid Because They Showed Their Ass: Anna Banks, Lauren DeStefano, Tommy Wallach,
  • Books I Will Not Read Because of Problematic Rep: Rebel of the Sands, Poison's Kiss, The Continent,
  • WTF Nazi Nonsense: The Devil's Madonna. I had no idea it'd turn out the way it did and I'm so pissed at myself for reading it.
  • Abusive, Unhealthy Relationships: Ten Tiny Breaths
  • Blandest: Perception
  • Forgettable: A Hold on Me.
  • Worst of the DNF: A Casual Vacancy.

Okay, I know I said I'll also do goals but holy shit this was longer and more work than I expected. Next time!

Any of your worse reads or experiences you'd like to share/add?


  1. Winter was also my longest read! I love how GR puts out these stats. They are fun to peruse after a long years of great reads.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

    1. True! There's no way I would've known any of that. It's not like I'm going to do it myself XD

  2. Well done overall! I love how more bloggers are making reading diverse books more of a priority in the coming year (as am I!). Can't wait to see what this new year brings us. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! I love how it's growing and more people are doing it too!

  3. You read 40+ books in ONE SERIES?! I don't think I could do that. I'd either be too intimidated to start or get sick of it or both lol.

    Congrats on reading so many books! And on sticking to blogging for eight months :-) And making friends and having a quote from your review in a trailer are definitely awesome. Good luck with your goals for next year!

    1. Thanks! To be honest, I didn't realize the series was so long when I started. My mom recommended the series to me but I wasn't expecting to love it so much since I'm not a fan of Nora Roberts other work.

      Good luck on your goals this year too! :D

  4. I also expected to have read more diverse reads in 2016, and I'm hoping to improve that this year (even though I don't have time to read as many books). I have a list of diverse books I read in 2016 here along with reviews on all of them if you want to find more to add to your list.
    Happy reading :)


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