Hi everyone! It’s been awhile. The last week and a half has been crazy and I haven’t been able to sit down and work on the blog. On February 6, I drove down to my parents house to see my dad, who was back in the hospital (he’s been in and our since New Year’s Eve). He got out and we celebrated my birthday together. Then, I drove home and got back to work at school. I just felt a little overextended, so I dropped everything but reading and spent the week recovering. But, I’m back and ready to blog!
Monday: A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (Review)
Tuesday: Top 5 Bookish Habits
Wednesday: WWW Wednesday
Thursday: The Chosen by Chaim Potok (review)
I’m currently obsessed with the show The Untamed which is on Netflix right now. It’s about two cultivators, which are magic users, who work together to stop a clan from using evil magic to take control. It’s so good.
Hi all! January is finally over! It really feels like it lasted 465 days this year, and I’m not sure why. Well… I guess I did have a few overwhelming weeks. And my dad was in the hospital for most of it., which caused a lot of stress. And I was exhausted a lot of the time, but I’m not entirely sure why. Except, like many people, I made some healthy goals this year to eat healthier and recommit to my exercise goals, so maybe that’s why I was tired. Only, I’m not sure why that would do it. Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that I didn’t get as much reading as I wanted to. But this is not my monthly wrap up; that’ll come on Friday. 🙂
This week was good. I took some time for myself, started revising the novel I wrote in October, and generally had a good week. Not a lot of reading, but I did get some in. With any luck, I’ll get more done this week.
Hey all! We made it to Sunday. Ready for another week? I am not so much. Progress reports are due on Monday (in the afternoon… I think) and I have not gotten my comments done on them yet thanks to my two plus day migraine. Which sucked. So, that’s what I’m doing today.
Overall, though, the week was pretty good. I didn’t as much reading done as I wanted, but I did get some. I’m starting to get back into a good sleeping routine and, with any luck, I’ll soon be able to get up early again to write. I did decide to DNF The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People because it just wasn’t doing it to me. I like the habits Stephen Covey describes, but the book is just not written in an accessible way for me. It’s too dry and verbose and I can’t get into it. So, I’m dropping that for I Thought It Was Just Me [But It Isn’t] by Brene Brown.
Oy, what a week! Seriously, though, this week was absolutely insane! On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at about 2, my smoke alarm/CO2 monitor started going off. It was just chirping every few seconds, so I didn’t think it was sending off an alarm. I tried to open it up to take the battery out, only to find that the unit was attached by wires to the ceiling, and I couldn’t figure out how to get them unhooked. I also couldn’t read any of the information on the back except the part that said to call the fire department if it went off.
I ended up calling the non-emergency number, but she treated it like an emergency. She had me go and wait outside, in the cold (okay, okay, California cold, but still) and wait for the fire truck and three firemen in full gear to arrive. They went into my apartment, scared the cats, and tested the air. They eventually determined that the smoke alarm itself was defective or past it’s expiration date and needed to be replaced. They unhooked it from the ceiling and left, leaving me to try and get a few hours more of sleep. It didn’t work all that well.
On Thursday, I was out of school for a training in math. It was also the same day my dad, who lives 300 miles away, went in for surgery. I spent the whole day checking my phone, waiting for updates. Around three, my mom texted to say that it would be a couple more hours. I left the training (with a full bladder) intending to drop by home, use the bathroom, grab my gym clothes, and go to the gym. I arrive to find out that my water had been turned off because of a problem in the building. Frustrated, I packed my shower gear and went to the gym. While working out, I decided that it made more sense to do an extra thirty minutes on the treadmill after strength training, because then my water would be turned on. Meanwhile, two hours came and went with no word from my mom. Finally, my brother texted and said it would be another two or so hours. I almost started crying in the gym. The good news came later that he was fine and out of the surgery.
The next morning, I woke up a little crabby, but ready to slay the day. I jumped in my car and my tire pressure light was on. Again. This put me in an even more sour mood, but I persisted and the day went fine.
Saturday was awesome because I ran two and a half miles to the gym, did a work out, did a stretching class, walked home and stopped for lunch. I was swimming with endorphins. Also, I found out I made it to the second round in the RoadTrip Nation trip I’m trying to get chosen for.
Then, today, I woke up to take my car to get tires replaced, only to find my front tire completely flat. I had to call a tow truck and was late to my appointment (I did call to tell them), but it’s basically going to take all day for the car to get fixed. Oh well. It’ll give me time to write and relax, I guess.
So, that’s a lot of words that have nothing to do with reading or books. For most of the week, I didn’t get much reading done because I was tired or stressed. But I did finished The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh on Friday and Crashing Upwards S.C. Wynne. I saw the later on a list of best M/M romance and, having never heard of it, had to read it. It was fine, but Red, White, and Royal Blue was vastly superior as a romance. Way more romantic.
I’m now getting ready to start A Touch of Madness by Rebecca Crunden. I feel so bad. She sent me the book months ago, and I haven’t read it yet. I should, however, have it done by next week (barring any more disasters). The first book in the series was super enjoyable, and I have no doubt this one will be great as well.
Wow! This was a super busy week! I barely even had time to sit down in the evenings, much less read. My poor cat was desperate for affection and whenever I was sitting down, plopped on me for cuddles. Sadly, I was only able to give him a few minutes of them before I was up and rushing to whatever I had to do next. I did managed to get some reading and cuddling in yesterday, though, so we’re all good. With any luck, this week won’t be quite as busy and I can get back to my regular schedule of cat-cuddles and reading.
Wow, what a year! I read more books this year than I think I have in my adult life, and it was wonderful. I started this blog and have managed to keep up posing regularly, for the most part. In July, I took my dream vacation to British Columbia and kayaked with killer whales. I finished writing a book and started another. I won NaNoWriMo my first time out. So, yeah. It was a great year.
I read 120 books (my goal was 100).
For the genres, you can see the table below.
My page breakdown was as follows:
The format of my books were:
Age group breakdown:
Books per month:
Pages per month:
The Longest book I read:
(I think I forgot to put this book on my spreadsheet; Goodreads says I read 120 books and my spreadsheet 119. I think this is the book missing).
And that’s my year in reading! The spreadsheet I used to track my reading was created by Brock Roberts. I found it really fun to fill out and go over the data as I progressed through the year.
Can you believe that 2019 is over? It feels like only a couple weeks ago that I was setting goals and getting excited for the year. And now, it’s all over. It went by quickly.
Today, I’m posting my top 10 reads of 2019. I know, I know;I should be doing top 19 books of 2019, but I feel that kind of dilutes the list. Ten is a good, strong number. This list is in no particular order, although the first on the list is probably my favorite.
If you’ve been around this blog awhile, you probably know how much I love A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and Beauty and the Beast retellings in general. This one blew me out of the park. A highlight of my year was meeting Brigid Kemmerer and getting to tell her how much I loved the book. I just wish I had done it more eloquently.
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston remains one of the most romantic book I read this year. It was so lovely. The letters the boys wrote each other thrilled me to death and made me melt into a little pile of goo. I cannot wait to reread it.
I was skeptical about Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid book because I’ve never read anything like it before. But it was amazing. There were so many lines that touched me. They were like poetry (and I’m not talking about the songs). This is the only book that I’ve ever tabbed so I could go back and reread the lines whenever I want. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a masterful writer.
I’d always assumed Caravel by Stephanie Garber book just wasn’t for me. I’m not much into high fantasy and thought that this would be that. But, I gave it a try and loved it. I love Scarlett and Tella so much! They are both so strong and fierce, each in their own way. I loved watching Scarlett navigate the world of Caraval, trying to get it to conform to rules that it never did.
Spellbound by Allie Therin combines Prohibition with magic and mystery. It also has a very sweet romance and one of my favorite tropes, when one character becomes fiercely protective over another and incredibly loyal. I cannot wait for the next one.
K.J. Charles hands down writes the most romantic declarations from the most unlikely characters, and she manages to make them totally believable. Any Old Diamonds was so good. It’s got intrigue, silliness, kickass female characters, and a very believable and romantic love story. Do I have time to reread it?
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnnelly was a surprise. I had never heard of it, but thought I might enjoy it. It was hard to stop listening to. The story was so well crafted and intricate, and the characters, especially Isabelle, so interesting, that I was swept into the world. I love when “evil” characters are given motivations and stories of their own, especially when that backstory doesn’t necessarily make excuses for their behaviors, just explains them.
Now, technically, The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner doesn’t come out until next year, but I read it this year and loved it. A group of people who are brought together by their love of Austen, and who play out the stories in new, original ways? Yes, please.
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia was a book I literally could not put down. I read it in a few hours, I was so engrossed. I love reading about people who are involved in fandom in some way and who struggle to participate in the real world. Eliza was sympathetic and understandable. I loved this story.
A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian was probably the only het romance I read that I didn’t get in a giveaway. I love so many aspects of this novel. I loved that the female lead was bisexual and a writer. I loved the male lead and his struggle to do what was right and follow his heart. I loved how it tied back with a another novel of Sebastian’s. It was just great.