2016 was an unusual, unexpected year. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Icons in art, music, and film unexpectedly passed away from the first days of January to the last few of December. On a more personal note, I became a senior in high school, successfully completed a French exchange, and performed in Prague and Vienna. I became more interested in politics and feminism. I got a job for the first time at the library and began to write more about world issues. And compared to last year’s 40+ posts, I only wrote 12 posts on the blog this year (some of which I think were better content-wise).
Things I did while avoiding the blog
2016 began with me frantically preparing for my five AP exams, then hurriedly departing for Europe with my orchestra to tour Vienna and Prague and perform at Dvorak Hall and MuTH. By the time I got back, it was time for college apps, and between that and juggling mock trial, schoolwork, and other clubs, it’s a miracle I wrote any posts at all. (Also, note on plays: unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Hamilton this year, but I DID get to see Hamlet, Great Expectations, and Wicked… all for less than what one Hamilton ticket would’ve cost! Although you can also get 100 hardcover books or 200 paperbacks for the same price as as a Hamilton ticket.)
Ah, yes, books
I only managed to read 26 books in 2016, with an average rating of 4.2 stars. (That’s 10 5-star books!) I think I really enjoyed a lot of the books I read this year, though, since I spent more time reading books I wanted to read and less time reading books for review (I actually cut down the number of books I accepted for review this year, and I’m still working on a few of them.)
My favorite (new) book was undoubtedly Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and my least favorite Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Ironically enough, both of these were assigned texts for the same English class.
I started reading a lot more magazines/newspapers this year, too, as part of my mission to become more politically aware: The Atlantic is my favorite and the only one to which I have a subscription (although I’ve noticed that many of my liberal, millennial friends dislike its unwaveringly moderate position), though I also read The Washington Post, AP, The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, and The Onion, just to name a few. When its content doesn’t make me cringe, cry, or throw my phone on the ground screaming, I’ve even taking to reading the conservative National Review (which endorsed Ted Cruz, although its content has become increasingly volatile and Trump-ian since November 8. But I digress).
Oh, and on the blog?
I really enjoyed writing the posts that I did this year. Personally, my favorite posts this year to write were I Picture a Black President and 30-Minute Wandmaking. But according to magical Blog Stats, your favorite posts of 2016 were “People of Color”: Racism, 21st Century Style and Souveniring Europe on $100.
And… that’s pretty much it.
A lot of my 2016 was spent studying, writing college apps, and traveling. The blog moved away from both books and bark this year, and I talked more about politics and social issues than anything else this year. And that’s fine by me. I want to write more about books in 2017 for sure, but I like that my blog is growing. Books and Bark was not originally intended to be a book blog, although I’ve classified it as one for the past few years.
In 2017, I will graduate high school, move away from home for the first time, and start college. Also, I will become a legal adult. I have no idea what my college major is going to be, and I have no idea how college and graduating high school is going to change what I post and what this blog is about. But at least for the first five months of 2017, I look forward to reading, writing, and blogging more than in 2016!