[Our 2015 In Books – Part Two of Two] Reading Stats, Blogging Life, and Looking Ahead

Myra, Iphigene, and Fats here.

GatheringBooks officially greets you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016!! Sparkles, glitters, and starshine, people!


For the past two years, it has been our tradition to join the End of Year Book Survey hosted by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. Since there are three of us answering the book survey, we thought it best to color code our responses, as per usual. We posted the first part of this book survey (our list of outstanding reads this 2015) a week ago, and here is Part Two!

Purple for Myra

Blue for Iphigene

Orange for Fats



One of our personal challenges here in GatheringBooks is to read 365 books every year across all three of us. I am glad to share that we have collectively read an astounding total of 703 books – we beat our record from last year’s! We also have bimonthly reading themes throughout the year and so we try to tailor-fit our reading based on what our themes are.

Number Of Books You Read


Since we have now been updating all our individual Goodreads account quite regularly (I am using the GatheringBooks Goodreads account – while Iphigene and Fats have their own), it is much easier for us to keep track of the books we have read for the year. Initially, we divided the 365 books across the three of us as the challenge seems quite daunting. However, it appears that we can hold our own quite well as can be seen in a grand total of 703 books read across all three of us – as of 31 December 2015, 9 am:

Myra: 511

Fats: 139

Iphigene: 53

Total: 703

Here is my Goodreads Stats:

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And this is my reading broken down across genres – with Fiction PictureBooks taking up the large chunk at 289 books read in all.

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And here’s another tabular representation of books read across the months:

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I was also pleased to note this notification about being one of the top readers on Goodreads for the past 12 months – at least in Singapore (not sure though why the stats indicate 501 when it should be 511):

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Below is my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. I’m really glad I decided to do only 100 books this year and still managed to surpass my goal even though I barely found time to read this year. Yay for the 139 total books I’ve read!

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Number of Re-Reads:


I re-read the entire Grisha trilogy with my daughter (turning 14 in a few days’ time) – that is how much I enjoyed the Grishaverse. I am hoping that Six of Crows would have its sequel soon, so that I can dive into this world once again. I also re-read The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie which we discussed in one of my book clubs this year and read aloud The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness to my 14 year old girl.


I did 3 picture book re-reads this year. These include Chris Van Allsburg’s Jumanji and The Polar Express, and Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline’s Rescue.

Genre You Read The Most From


As can be seen in the table above – fiction picturebooks wins the day at 289! Followed closely by nonfiction picturebooks (86), then graphic novels (47) quite a close third, then middle-grade/YA fiction (39).


Fiction picturebooks! Always a delight to read them! Perfect stress relievers!


New favourite book blog you discovered in 2015?


I have been checking out Book Riot more regularly now. And yes, the amazing Mirrors Windows Doors by my friend Marjorie Coughlan, former Editor of

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Favourite review that you wrote in 2015?


I loved writing about the Philosophical Musings Tackled in Picture Books: Oskarsson’s The Flat Rabbit, Erlbruch’s The Big Question and Ducks Deaths Tulips, and Muth’s Three Questions.


I also had a lot of fun Revisiting Sweet Valley High in my Late 30s and examining What Works and What Doesn’t.

I also enjoyed writing about the three artistic adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by Arthur Rackham, Roberto Innocenti and Zdenko Basic:


I was happy to share 13 Picture Books That Celebrate Diversity, Self-Love, and All Kinds of Families. That was quite a labor of love!

I enjoyed writing about the Portrayal of Loss and Grief in Picture Books featuring The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson and My Father’s Arms are a Boat by Stein Erik Lunde. Both books tackle an important subject for children.

Lastly, I liked my post featuring Gut-wrenching Stories About Brotherhood, Family, and Isolation as portrayed in Tekkonkinkreet, I Kill Giants, and Essex County.



Puddle Jumping and Finding Audrey. Both I wrote with Fats.

Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?


Oh it’s always the Asian Festival of Children’s Content for me here in Singapore where I published my third edited book – Asia: Land Of Perennial Stories and an annotated themed bibliography on trees called Forest Of Stories.

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?


Poetry Friday: Fighting Dragons


My best bookish moment is my visit to the International Youth Library in Munich.

That was unforgettable. And I look forward to spending two months there next year as an International Fellow. 🙂

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?


This has to be my “off” reading year. I was busy juggling two jobs during the first quarter of the year, then I just couldn’t seem to find the right time or motivation to read. I’m really hoping that my reading would pick up by next year.

Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?


This one: Parallel Universes, Other Worlds, Night and Day in Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá’s “Daytripper” and Fisher & Labrune’s “The Night Watchman”

Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2015?


Having Sophie Kinsella post a link of our review of Finding Audrey on her Facebook Page

Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?


I started my online Quarterly subscription this year. Quarterly features a variety of curators, and I am subscribed to Book Riot and Book Riot: YA. Every box they send is filled with surprises. I like it so far!


Filipino Indie Comic Publisher Meganon Comics. Awesome Comic books!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?


YES! As you’ve seen in the previous post, I completed my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge by reaching my goal of 100 and reading beyond it! Hurrah! (Unfortunately, I was unable to complete Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge. I was 4 tasks short of completing the challenge! Will try again next time!)


Yes. See above for our 365 Reading Challenge.

We also hosted the Award Winning Books Reading Challenge this 2015 and read 109 award-winning titles in all – our goal was 35 books – so we went over and beyond what’s expected.



One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2016?


This is one of the books that I will need to read for my two book clubs this January, so I really am looking forward to reading it: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.



The Martian by Andy Weir. I’ve seen and enjoyed the movie. I would definitely read the book next year.




The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. I started reading it, but it was too close to home that I needed to take a pause half way into it.

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2016 (non-debut)?


Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke


2016 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?


The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2016?


I am looking forward to going back to The Raven Cycle series in The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All The Way Home by Catherynne Valente.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2016?


Based on my table from our previous post, I am hoping to read more adult novels, middle grade/YA novels and more poetry too.


I need to pick up on my reading and hopefully be able to read the new books on my shelf! Also, if Book Riot is hosting another Read Harder Challenge next year, I’ll do my best to complete all the tasks in the challenge!


In my reading life, I think is to sink my teeth into the classics. I have a lot of Russian Literature waiting. In my blogging life? Hiatus.

A 2016 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone


Oh, I have the perfect answer for this one: The Land Of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly.

That is it from the GatheringBooks ladies this 2015.

A Warm Bookish Welcome to 2016!!!

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “[Our 2015 In Books – Part Two of Two] Reading Stats, Blogging Life, and Looking Ahead

  1. What a fantastic year you’ve all had!! So many great children’s books. I’m not reading as many children’s books because my kids are growing so fast and hitting teen years. But I always have the opportunity to feature great children’s books on my blog tours. Hope you have another great year of reading!


  2. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Best Books Read in 2016 from the GatheringBooks Ladies (1 of 2) – Gathering Books

  3. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] Reading Stats and Best Books from GatheringBooks’ 2016 Reading Themes – Gathering Books

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