Bookish Musings: 2016 Bookish Goals End-of-the-Year Update


At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about what my bookish goals were for the year. It was actually the first time, believe it or not, I ever had any bookish goals. Really they were more like guidelines, things I was excited about, things I wanted to read more about, types of books I wanted to try for the first time, stuff like that.

But anyway, it seemed like it’d be a good idea to look back at those goals and see how I fared, so here we are! Join me as I take a look at all my failure! 😉

Read At Least 100 Books

The Goal:

…to read at least 100 books. (I’m sorry if I lost you there, I know that one was super complicated.)

How I Did:

Well, I purposely set it to a number I knew I’d reach so that I wouldn’t stress. But I should have read a total of 166 books by the time the year ends (I’m at 163 now but have 3 planned for this week), so I did great!


Expand My Repertoire of Supernatural/Paranormal Creature Reads

The Goal:

I wanted to read about less common paranormal creatures and ones I had never read about before.

How I Did:

Already on the list of creatures I’ve read about were: vampires, incubi, shifters, ghosts, witches, demons, angels, faeries, merpeople, dragons, reapers, phoenixes, and even, vaguely, hellhounds.

This year I managed to add: unicorns, krakens, kelpies (technically those three were shifters for their animal, but close enough), djinn, golems, and kind of mummies and yetis (though those were both more side characters). And I’m not sure I had ever read about gods before, so I’ll include those too. Oh, and cupids! Are those even a thing?

Anyway, it turns out I don’t really care for djinn (I tried three books in one series, two in another, and one in another, so I gave them a fair chance), but all the others were interesting. And somehow I managed to read TWO books about kelpies and TWO about krakens yet still no books about trolls -_-

Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr | reading, books
Chosen by Christine Pope | reading, books
Kelpie by Kaye Draper | reading, books
Mud by AJ Wenstrom | reading, books
Naughty Cupid by Deanna Wadsworth | reading, books

Try Some Books About Aliens

The Goal:

I had never read about aliens, so I just wanted to try at least a few books about them.

How I Did:

I read four books! My verdict is that I wouldn’t avoid books with aliens, but I don’t think I’ll be actively seeking them out either.

The Experiment by Alicia Nordwell | reading, books
Untaken by J.E. Anckorn | reading, books
The Deep Beneath by Natalie Wright | reading, books
As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M. Doweyko | reading, books

Read More Retellings

The Goal:

No set number, just to read more and to read some about some less common stories.

How I Did:

I managed to read one Sleeping Beauty and one A Christmas Carol retelling. I also read one book inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, one inspired by Alice in Wonderland, one with Rumplestiltskin as a main character, a series inspired by Hades and Persephone, and one book that was kind of a Snow White retelling though not quite exact. So I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked as far as actual retellings go :-/

Princess of Tyrone by Katie Hamstead | reading, books
The Heartless City by Andrea Berthot | reading, books
Scrudge & Barley, Inc. by John Inman | reading, books
Unhinged by Chani Lynn Feener | reading, books
Black Snow by EAB | reading, books

Learn More About Lore, Mythology, Fairy Tales, and the Origins of Supernatural Creatures

The Goal:

I wanted to learn more about the origins of different supernatural creatures and folklore, more about mythology, etc.

How I Did:

I can’t say I did too great. I did read some of the original fairytales and some Greek myths since those are short and easy to find, but that’s it.


Read Some Classics

The Goal:

Again, no set number, just wanted to read some, get some culture 😉

How I Did:

I read four, if you count some of them despite how short they were, but I would say that’s not bad considering how averse to them I generally am since I don’t usually seem to like them. And I FINALLY read Dracula! So that counts as extra or something since now I no longer feel like a disgrace of a vampire book fan.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson | reading, books
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll | reading, books
Dracula by Bram Stoker | reading, books
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens | reading, books

Read More Graphic Novels

The Goal:

I had no set number, but I think my goal was kind of to try at least five new graphic novels (since Saga was the only one I had ever read).

How I Did:

I did good with this one! I read the complete iZombie series, two volumes in Sex Criminals, Vol. 6 in Saga, and the first volume in Morning Glories, Blood Stain, Art Ops, Day Men, The Wicked + The Divine, and The Woods. While we’re on the topic, anyone got any good recs for graphic novels similar to Saga or iZombie?

iZombie Vol. 1 by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred | reading, books
Sex Criminals Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky | books, graphic novels, reading, book covers
Morning Glories Vol. 1 by Nick Spencer | reading, books
Blood Stain Vol. 1 by Linda Sejic | reading, books
Art Ops Vol. 1 by Shaun Simon, Matt Brundage, & Michael Allred height=

My Own Personal Dan dos Santos Book Cover Challenge

The Goal:

To read all the books with Dan dos Santos cover art! Or at least try each series.

How I Did:

I knew I wouldn’t complete this in a year, mostly because it’s too expensive, but I think I’m just canceling this one, guys. I mean I am genuinely interested in a lot of the books, especially White Trash Zombie, and I did grab a couple of the ebooks while they were on sale, but I’m being realistic. I did finish the Gallow and Ragged series though.

Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow | reading, books
Wasteland King by Lilith Saintcrow | reading, books

Read More Circus Books

The Goal:

To read lots and lots of circus books! All the circus books!

How I Did:

Yeah, I totally failed. I’m so ashamed! *hides behind hands* And the few that I did read, well… the first two weren’t very good, despite their gorgeous covers, and got the circus stuff so wrong that I was actually kind of offended, Girl in the Shadows just wasn’t very circus-y since it was about a magician, and The Moonlight Market was just set at a traveling fair but there was at least one scene that had a realistic circus act in it.

Ringmaster by Trudi Jaye | reading, books
The Gift by Trudi Jaye | reading, books
The Moonlight Market by Aidee Ladnier | reading, books

Make More Reader/Writer/Blogger Friends!

The Goal:

To stop being shy online and to put myself out there more and make more blogger and reader friends.

How I Did:

I think I did pretty well! I mean, look at all of you! If you’re reading this, it means I succeeded 😉 Ok, you might have found me, but I was at least friendly back, right? Seriously though, I used to be all shy and awkward about commenting and talking to people online, but I’ve gotten a lot better about it, and I’m so happy to have all the friendships I have with all of you 🙂


Talk to me!

How did you do with your 2016 bookish goals?


Your Thoughts


46 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: 2016 Bookish Goals End-of-the-Year Update

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Stephanie Jane

    I think ‘failures’ is a bit harsh on yourself! Lots of good reading here 🙂
    For unusual paranormals, if you’re continuing that search this year, you might like to try the Society Of Paranormals series by Vered Ehsani. It’s fantasy steampunk set in Kenya and Ehsani has researched verious African paranormal creature myths. Fun stories and I’ve reviewed a couple on Literary Flits: The first, Ghosts Of Tsavo, is free 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol ok I did do a bit better than I thought when I first started the post. Cool, I’ve never read anything set in Kenya, so that’s another plus! I’ll definitely look at that series 🙂

  2. chucklesthescot

    I think you did good! I like adding new creatures to my list as well. The only djinns I’ve liked are in RL Naquin’s Monster Haven books and Sonya Bateman’s Gavyn Donatti I think. I LOVE the Golem in DD Barant’s Bloodhound Files books! I don’t read classics, retellings or aliens so I have no plans to expand on them next year! I was interested in what you said about learning more about creatures as I’m planning to do some mythology posts next year about the legends behind creatures along with good books I’ve read about them…IF I can find where I put the big book I have on Celtic mythology! It’s in my room somewhere but I can’t find it! Pity about the Trudi Jaye books as those covers are gorgeous!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I did better than I thought, though I didn’t do so well at some of them. Didn’t you mention Monster Haven on your blog or something? I feel like it’s on my TBR. I think you’ve already added more books to my TBR than anyone else with all your urban fantasy recs lol. You should definitely do those mythology posts!

      1. chucklesthescot

        Yeah I’ve mentioned Monster Haven a few times…I love that series! I’m always trying to lead people astray by overloading their tbrs! There will be more of that next year! And tonight I’m looking for that mythology book!

  3. Fleur @ Frankly Books

    You’ve read so many books! I’m going to be taking some recs from your graphic novel list, because I just got two for christmas and I adored them. I just can’t seem to find any others along the same wavelength!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ooh which ones did you get for Christmas? I definitely recommend Saga, the first volume of Sex Criminals was amazing, and I also enjoyed iZombie even though I didn’t like the ending. Unfortunately though, Art Ops got cut short and the rest weren’t really my thing, but you might like them! But I get how you feel, I keep trying new series but haven’t found quite on my wavelength other than those three.

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Yay for your 2016 goals. Looks like you were very successful. I also always have a 100 book goal because I always manage to achieve it, although lately I feel my reading has gone down so next year may not be as easy… we shall see. It’s good to see your goals were different, though. Like learning more about mythology and folklore (something I always want to do but never get around to) and reading different things like about aliens (I enjoy a good sci fi book, they’re always really interesting). And I didn’t know Dan dos Santos did the covers for the Gallow and Ragged series, I really like those covers the artwork is just so on point. I may have to explore his artwork even if I don’t read all the books he did cover art for.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I was really successful with some, not with others. 100 books just seems like a nice, good, simple number lol. But hey, if you have less time next year, you could always make it lower 😉

      Ugh, I never did really get around to learning more mythology and folklore though! I’m making that a goal again next year. If you ever look at my cover posts, you’ve probably seen plenty of Dan dos Santos already without realizing it because I love his covers and use them all the time when possible lol.

  5. Angie @ Ba_BAMB

    These were some interesting goals. I’m not very diverse in my goals – I just set a number and try to reach it. LOL

    Though this you, I have some specific series I’d like to fit in, and I’d like to read more male authors. I read a lot of Contemporary Romance and Urban Fantasy, and I think those are mostly women authors.

    Great post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol just a number is good too! That was the only goal I was “strict” about. The others were more just guidelines. I also have some specific books and series I want to fit in in 2017. Male authors, that sounds like a hard one. I’m pretty sure most of the books I read are female authors because there just seem to be more of those in the genre I read.


  6. suzanna

    Wow, 166 books read.
    I’ve stopped setting goals for anything because I get stressed when I don’t reach them but I do intend to get through more of my TBR pile (I didn’t do very well in 2016).
    BTW I think you’re a very friendly person. Hope you had a great Christmas and good luck with your goals in 2017.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m definitely happy with the number of books I read. But yeah, stress is why I set a number I know I’ll reach lol, and the other goals aren’t things I’m actually strict about or worry if I don’t accomplish.

      Thank you! I’ve been learning how to be more friendly online 🙂 Same to you!

  7. Greg

    You didn’t actually do bad. I’ve never read about djinnis either I don’t think_that should be a goal for me this year. To read about a wider range of creatures. ? l’d like to read about more Fae, maybe some of the more unusual varieties. Anyway…I did read a kelpie book recently, Fear the Drowning Deep had some different Irish mythology elements.

    I,m not much for aliens either. I do want to read more SF this year though since I,ve really enjoyed the ones I,ve read lately And yeah if only every book w/ a DdS cover was as good as the art, right? ?

    I did see a book with a vaguely circus cover, the next book in the Verity Price sweries by Seanan McGuire (I need to get back to em) but I don,t know if it,s ACTUALLY circus….

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I actually did better than I thought on a lot of them. You should totally try reading about djinn! Although I don’t really have any recs since I didn’t love any of the books I read about them. Kelpies are kinda cool, right? I’d read more about those.

      Aliens are alright. Then there’s also those books that are just set entirely on other planets and the characters are mostly human but slightly different because they’re kind of a different species, and I never know if I should consider that aliens? But anyway…

      I saw that book! I read the blurb and didn’t actually see anything about circus though.

      1. Greg

        Kelpies are awesome, I would definitely read more about them after the (admittedly) limited exposure I’ve had so far. They’re weird too lol- I mean a water spirit that takes horse form? Um, why? I love the idea of water spirits though so I’m okay w/ them in general. 🙂

        I love the idea of humans colonizing other planets and then being… mutants? Or changed in some way, or adapting to a different planet? So yeah, are they aliens? Cool question.

  8. Kaja

    Congrats on meeting so many of your goals! And that is an IMPRESSIVE array of supernatural creatures. I read 2 series with trolls: one was Stolen Songbird (Jensen) and the other was Switched by Amanda Hocking – neither was very good but if you want to tick trolls off your list, you can try these.

    I did okay with my goals, I think. I’m not super worried about not making all of them, I think resolutions are meant to be stretch goals, otherwise they aren’t really challenging.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I actually have a trilogy by Amanda Hocking about trolls (not sure the series name, the first book is Frostfire), so I plan to read that one but you know how it is with the books we plan to read lol. I’ve also heard about Stolen Songbird but have heard some other negative things making me not sure I’d like it.

      Doing okay is better than doing terribly 😛 I wasn’t super worried about not making mine either. It’s just nice to have some things to work toward!

  9. Wattle

    Oh wow, you had an amazing year in books! I hear you on classics, I have issues with them too; the only ones I’ve been able to read are Sherlock Holmes (there’s something about Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing that seems timeless).

    Shifter unicorns are a thing? I am intrigued! I’ve only really just recently got into shifters in general (mainly wolves/big cats I guess), I’m more of a vampire girl; I really do need to read more urban fantasy.

    Congrats on reaching most of your goals 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, classics really just don’t do it for me :-/ But I do like to read originals before reading retellings, so that has been my motivation lol.

      Shifter unicorns are totally a thing! And if you read M/M, I most definitely recommend Wriggle & Sparkle. But yay fellow vampire fan! They’re my favorite too 😀


  10. Lola

    I think you did pretty great with your goals! I always join the Goodreads challenge for the total amount of books I want to read and always set my goal low as well, so I know I can make it. You did pretty well with your goal of reading about new supernatural creatures. I read about rhino shifters for the first time, but besides that I can’t think of many new creatures I read about. I did read a book about djinn that I liked as the first book I read with djinn I didn’t like.

    I actually got really into the sci-fi romance and alien books this year. My verdict is more aliens please, although i would love to see some very well done aliens that really are different and feel alien. Instead of the more common almost human type of aliens.

    You did pretty well on the reading more retellings goals. I am not a big fan of retellings, but I did read two or so this year. I don’t really read classics either, so i think reading 4 classics is pretty good. Nice on the graphic novels, I like graphic novels, although i don’t read a lot of them anymore.

    That goal of owning all books with Dan dos Santos sounds pretty difficult and expensive indeed. But at least you have two of them now.

    And I think you did pretty well with making new friends. I think I got to know you about a year ago because you stopped by my blog and now you’re one of my favorite bloggers!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I love how so many of us set our GR goal low lol because it kinds of makes you wonder why we even bother. I’m actually disappointed in myself that I didn’t read about more creatures even though I did read about some :-/ That’s ok, I’ll read about more next year! Huh, I’ve never even seen a book about rhino shifters I don’t think, so that’s cool!

      I noticed you seemed to get more into sci-fi romance. Only one of the alien books I read was a romance, but I agree, aliens probably wouldn’t be as human as they’re usually portrayed in books. In Untaken they actually took over human bodies though because they needed host bodies, so that was kinda different (but that one was post-apoc).

      Only two were actual retellings :-/ I’m making that a goal for next year too. I think it’s just hard for me to find retellings that actually sound like books I’d really like. Not because they’re retellings, just because of the book itself. I definitely did good with the graphic novel goal though! And I agree that I think 4 classics was good.

      Lol actually I only own one dos Santos ebooks and one physical book. I borrowed the third. Actually I went to the bookstore today because I got gift cards for Christmas, and I was gonna buy Trailer Park Fae finally but they didn’t have it -_-

      You’re one of my favorite bloggers too!!! I’m definitely glad we’ve become friends 🙂

  11. Literary Feline

    You did amazing in achieving your goals, Kristen! You need to reward yourself with something extra special. I need to go back and see if I made any goals this year. I can’t remember if I did. I do know that I did terrible on on at least one of my challenges. It just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.

    I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! My reward is going to be more books, haha. But yeah, certain goals/challenges just don’t end up working out sometimes.

      Thank you, you have a wonderful 2017 too!

  12. Christy LoveOfBooks

    You did a good job, even on the ones you think you failed. Oh man, I freaking love Dan dos Santos art! And White Trash Zombie is the BEST! Especially on audio. Hope you get to that series.

  13. Bookworm Brandee

    I don’t think you can say you failed at any of these goals, Kristen. You may not have read many books towards a certain goal, but just ONE is work towards the goal. AND since I think goals aren’t something you can fail at anyway – because you just keep working towards them – I think 2016 was a great success for you bookish-ly. 😀 Congrats, girl!!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      You make a good point about how you can’t really fail at a goal since you can still keep working toward them. When you look at it that way, I really did do a good job lol. Thanks!

  14. Cait @ Paper Fury

    ooh you did quite well there! CONGRATS ON THAT. I didn’t really set any goals for 2016 because I was lazy haha. But I do the same thing with the Goodreads challenge: if you undershoot you can overachieve and feel awesome. 😉 ? It’s SUCH a win. I read 45 books more than my goal, which made me feel really good haha. And I wanted to binge read an author’s entire works but I didn’t do that, sadly. I’ll have to try harder on that this year! I’d like to do Julie Kagawa or Neil Gaiman.

    Good luck for 2017!!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you! And don’t worry, I definitely wasn’t strict about these goals and mostly forgot about them until I put this post together lol. At this point I’m pretty sure no one actually uses their GR goal the “right” way since we all just put it low or cheat 😛

      Thank you, and good luck with your 2017 goals too!

  15. Drangonfly

    OMG I ain’t visiting your blog anymore. EVER! I’m sooooo jealous!!! 166 books!!!???? Are you kidding meeee?? 🙁
    nah kidding. 🙂
    VERY HAPPY for you [still stinky jealous and envious but happy for you]
    I hope you post the review of Dracula. That one doesn’t glitter 🙂
    OMG If I had read all those circus books I would have never been able to sleep!
    The cover are gorgeous though.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thank you 🙂 They weren’t challenges though, just personal goals, so I completely agree about just wanting to read without all the stress! Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  16. La La in the Library

    Gosh, I totally forgot about Girl In the Shadows. I wanted to read that. I love the cover, too. Personal challenges are great. I am going to try and read a classic once a month this year. Jekyll and Hyde is on my list. I read Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, and A Christmas Carol in 2015 for the first time, 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I forget, did you read Girl on a Wire already? Girl in the Shadows wasn’t bad, but I liked the first one a lot more. Love both covers though! 12 classics! That’s a good goal. Jekyll & Hyde was actually not bad, but I can’t say I’ve loved any of the classics. Looks like we were both pretty behind on them though 😛