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.
Wow, this week has gone by super quickly! On Monday, I drove home to spend the week with my parents for Christmas/Hanukkah/Mom’s birthday. It was a really fun week. We did Christmas with my brother on Christmas Eve. On Christmas, we had a long, leisurely morning before going out to lunch, then doing Christmas. I got new books as presents, which is always so awesome. The next few days were full of shopping and relaxing. I went to Barnes and Noble and got a couple books I’ve been wanting for awhile. Today, I’m driving back home. I’m sad to leave, but I’m also happy because I miss my cats. I’m also getting excited for the new year.
I bought Atomic Habits and The Beautiful. The rest were gifts. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is signed and personalized by the author. I’m thrilled with my holiday haul.
This week was so lovely. I had the week off from school, and I got a lot of relaxing done. Monday and Tuesday, I had appointments and ran/went to the gym, but on Wednesday, I woke up with a deep desire to do nothing. And, by nothing, I mean sit and read. So that’s what I did. I opened up Interview with the Vampire and tore through it. When I was done, I went to the library for The Vampire Lestat (and Queen of the Damned, but my library doesn’t own a copy). It was a magnificent day.
Thursday, I started my day with a run. About five minutes in, I came across a small dog that was in the park. I tried to get it to come to me so I could see its tags, but it ran away. I started running again, only to stumble across the dog once more. The dog ran off, but stopped at the end of the block to bark at me. Then, it ran away and disappeared. I rounded the corner and started running down the block. Then, I heard barking behind me. The little dog had gotten a slightly bigger friend and they both chased me down the street, barking their heads off. I kept running faster and faster, absolutely terrified (all the while cognizant that this was a ridiculous situation). Finally, I decided to stop and see what happened. I did, and put my hands up for some strange reason. The dogs stopped, too, barked at me a little more, and then ran off. So, yeah, that was an adventure.
Reading wise, I finished three books, Interview with the Vampire, Capturing the Devil, and The Jane Austen Society. I wrote a little bit, but not as much as maybe I should have, and I even got to the movies yesterday. So, it’s been a very nice week.
I survived the week before winter break! The week wasn’t as hard to get through as I thought it would be, but it was definitely crazy. Three of the five days, we had assemblies in the morning. Then we’d go back to class and have to test. It was insane. But the kids held together and we got through.
On the reading front, I got a lot done. I finished Finale last night and Her Majesty’s Necromancer earlier in the week. I didn’t get a ton of reading done, but that’s okay; I was busy. Mostly what I did was relax. I got home on Monday and realized I was very close to being totally burned out, so what I needed to do was just let my mind turn to mush and zone. So, that’s what I did.
Yesterday, I ran my second 5K. It was a Christmas themed race, so I joined in the spirit:
I managed to shave a few milliseconds off my time, which was not as fast as I wanted, but still good. Now, I just need to train for my New Year’s run. 🙂
So, November was a weird month. It went by really quickly, but also felt really long. I’m not quite sure how that happens.
Highlights: I won NaNoWriMo my first time out. I figured I probably could, since I’d just written a novel the previous month, but at times, I was sure I was going to fail. My initial outline was way too bare and if I’d stuck to it, I wouldn’t have met the 50,000 word goal. Luckily, I was able to flesh out the plot once I was in and met it the day before Thanksgiving.
I also ran my first 5K. I didn’t totally embarrass myself, which was awesome. I came in 24th out of 35th in my age bracket, which I felt was respectable. Also, it poured rain the entire time and was cold for California, but I had so much fun. I’m doing another on December 14th and one more on New Years Day.
The run on December 14th is the Jingle Bell Run to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. I’d be thrilled if you could donate to help support the cause. My former principal (and favorite principal) introduced me to this organization because she had rheumatoid arthritis. She never let it stop her, though, and even went horseback riding in Hawaii, among other adventures. My dad has arthritis, too, and I’m hoping the money that goes to the foundation will help find ways to make him more comfortable. You can click here and donate.
Read: 6 books
Categories: 5 adult, 1 YA
Types: 2 physical, 3 e-books, 1 audio
Hours listened: 9
Sources: 1 Goodreads Giveaway, 2 library, 2 ARC, 1 from the author
So, overall, not my best month, but not my worst either. I was super busy and reading sort of fell by the wayside. I’ll catch up this month, though. I’ve already finished two books and I’m in the middle of two more.
How was your month? Any firsts for you? Let me know in the comments!