End of Year Wrap-Up

2018 Reading Recap

Here it is again, time to do another yearly recap! Time keeps sneaking up on me quicker and quicker every single year. Since I’m not going to finish the book I’m reading today (boo for starting a 500+ page book near the end of the year ::eyeroll::) I figured I’d go ahead and get my post together. I’m going to give a rather brief recap this year since I don’t have the time, patience or energy to sit down and really dig into my stats very deeply (something I love to do).

In 2018 I was able to finish 63 books. I did have a few DNF books in there (I gave myself full permission to stop without guilt this year, so I think I had 5 or 6 that I ultimately set aside).

Of my 63 books:

  • 55 were fiction and 8 were non-fiction. (better than last year’s ratio, but still would like to see improvement there)
  • 12 of my books were published in 2018 (I’ve always been more of a back-list reader)
  • 27 had male authors and 36 had female authors (BIG win for me there – I’ve always had more male authors than female)
  • 26 were by new-to-me authors (yay for new authors!)
  • 38 books were from a series. (10 of which were new-to-me series, and I only intend to continue on with maybe 1-2 of those series….)
  • 39 books were in paperback format, 19 in hardback, e-books and audio. (Audio just doesn’t work well for me to be honest)
  • 7 books were checked out from my local library. (I don’t utilize my local library nearly as often as I should, but I have so many books here at the house that I don’t really feel the pull to go to the library – except in instances when I want a new release).
  • My presidential reading challenge is still chugging along, very slowly! I managed to get through all but one of the George Washington books that I had intended on reading. I’ve started on John Adams (and I’m not 100% on the book I chose to start with…bummer) Anyhoo, I’m sure I’ll update more on this at a later date.

2018 FAVORITES

I usually like to come up with a Top 10 list, but I realized that my first 5 came together really easily and then I was struggling for the other 5, so I’m just going to list 5 this year:

The Great Alone
This book was on my radar when BOTM picked it, but I didn’t really want to take a chance on it. But then Modern Mrs. Darcy picked it for one of her montly book club selections and so I decided to take a chance on it. And I. LOVED. IT. It ended up being my ultimate #1 favorite of the entire year. It was not an easy read content wise, but it spoke to me in so many ways.

Final Girls

This was, I believe, the second book I read in 2018. And I had had it on my shelf for a few months by that point, but I had seen Samantha post a review of it and I knew I had to give it a shot. And whoa was it a thriller!

 

The Last Time I Lied
When I saw that BOTM picked Riley Sager’s 2018 release, I knew I had to have it in my box that month. And what was unusual was that I didn’t let it sit for months. I picked it up a few weeks after receiving it and it did not disappoint! It was a lot of fun and I loved it! I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

The Seven Husbands of Evenlyn Hugo
This was another BOTM selection, but it was from 2017. To be honest, I had picked it up that month because that cover was just gorgeous. I was not expecting to be so swept up in it. I enjoyed it so much that I even bought a copy of it for my FB book club Secret Santa partner 🙂

All Around the Town
This one was a total suprise! I picked it up at the Goodwill on a whim one night. I was not expecting to be so caught up in it. There are so many psychological thrillers on the market right now, but this one (from 1992) felt like a precursor to the trend that’s sweeping the thriller genre right now.

That’s about all I’ve got for you. Overall I’m happy with my 2018 reading. I read some really good ones (and a few duds 🙂 ) But it was still a successful reading year for me and I’m definitely looking forward to 2019!

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3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, MMD Book Club, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner
by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 332

Read: Dec. 6 – 10, 2018

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Library

 
Blurb: Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.


Review: This book was the December selection in the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club. I had honestly never even heard of this book before it was announced but it sounded like a cute read that I would enjoy even if it was a little bit out of my comfort zone. To be completely honest, after skipping the September book, DNF’ing the October book and skipping the November book, I was ecstatic for something that seemed like it might work for me again.

For the most part I did enjoy this book. However, it wasn’t perfect. The first 2/3 of the book was enjoyable and then the last 1/3 of the book there was another love interest thrown in there that felt forced and not vital to the overall storyline. It wasn’t even all that surprising, but it just didn’t work for me. Of course, romance and chick-lit novels are not my usual cup of tea, so that’s probably why I had an issue with it.

It definitely had a whimsical feel to it – how Nina just up and left everything she knew behind for an entirely different country. Not very practical, but it is fiction 🙂 I also had an issue with just how entirely wrapped up in books Nina was. I mean don’t get me wrong, I am a book lover – but I also have a life outside of books and it felt to me as if Nina lived only through her books … not entirely healthy, if you ask me.

I don’t know. It was a cute book and it read quickly and was enjoyable. It was also not something that I ever would have picked up on my own. And so while I can’t say that I absolutely loved it, I liked it well enough. Another win for Modern Mrs. Darcy for really helping me to explore outside of my comfort zone.

 

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Michael Bennett, Mini Review, P, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Mini Review: Bullseye by James Patterson

Bullseye
by James Patterson

Bullseye

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 327

Read: Dec. 2-5, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Grandmother

 

Blurb: Caught in the crosshairs of a deadly standoff, Detective Michael Bennett must kill … or be killed. Tension between America and Russia is high as the UN convenes in New York City. Snow blankets the avenues of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper West Side. The storm is the perfect cover for a fashionable, highly trained team of lethal assassins as they prowl the streets. Their first hit is target practice. Their next hit could turn the Cold War red-hot once again – because they’re aiming for the president of the United States.

Pulled away from his family and pressed into service, Detective Michael Bennett must trace the source of a threat that could rip America apart – and ignite a war with the likes of which the world has never seen. With allegiances constantly in doubt and no one above suspicion, only Bennett can save the president – and the country – before the assassins’ deadly kill shot hits its mark.


Review: This is the 9th book in the Michael Bennett series. Unfortunately, I read this one quite a few weeks ago and ultimately have very little memory of it. 😦

I do remember reading it quite quickly and that it felt quite relevant. But other than that my memory of this one is quite lacking. I do enjoy the Michael Bennett series and am looking forward to reading the 10th book sooner rather than later!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Nina Reilly, O, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Breach of Promise by Perri O’Shaughnessy

Breach of Promise
by Perri O’Shaughnessy

Breach of Promise

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 535

Read: Nov. 24 – Dec. 1, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Used book store

 

 

 
Blurb: In glitzy Lake Tahoe, couples break up every day. But few are as successful as Lindy and Mike Markov, who built a $200-million business together – before Mike took up with a younger woman. Now he’s claiming he doesn’t owe Lindy a dime since they never married. Attorney Nina Reilly, struggling to make a living in her one-woman office and raise a young son alone, agrees to take Lindy’s case. Nina knows winning is a long shot, even with a brilliant jury consultant and a palimony expert on her side. It’s the kind of case – full of passion and explosive secrets – that could make a fortune for a young lawyer. Or drive someone to commit murder – for love, money … or the right verdict.


Review: This is the 4th book in the Nina Reilly series and it had been over a year since I had read the 3rd installment. Which is a shame, because I always end up enjoying these books – but I’m always daunted by the sheer size of them 😦

Anyway, this particular installment had a quite interesting premise. It was an interesting look at palimony (something I had never even heard of). However, this book was entirely too long. I was a little frustrated when we had a resolution to the legal case and yet there was still another 140 pages left to go. It definitely could have been edited down to a page count in the 400s without losing too much of the overall story. And the way the book ended … well, I didn’t feel like it was all entirely necessary. I don’t know – just seemed to be more padding than worthy content at times.

Anyway, I still enjoy Nina’s character and I most definitely look forward to reading more of her in the future. But I really wish these books weren’t quite so long.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Eve Dallas, Fiction, R, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

Holiday in Death
by J.D. Robb

Holiday in Death

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 308

Read: Nov. 19-24, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: No one likes to be alone during the holidays. And for New York’s most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: All of the killer’s victims have been traced to Personally Yours. As the murders continue, Eve enters an elite world of people searching for their one true love – and a killer searching for his next victim. A world where the power of love leads men and women into the ultimate act of betrayal…


Review: This is the 7th book in the Eve Dallas series and I’m pretty sure it had been over a year since I had read the 6th book. If I don’t read more than one a year, I will never catch up on this series (!). Anyway … this one was pretty decent.

Be forewarned, if rape is difficult for you to read about you need to avoid this books as it is a large part of the plot line and can be graphic at times.

All that aside though, I did enjoy this particular installment. I enjoyed seeing a little more of Peabody. And of course I always enjoy Eve and Roarke.

Overall a good read … and I need to read more of these books!

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

An Unexpected Break…

Oops.. I certainly did not intend to go so quiet here lately. Sorry about that! We had a family member have his world turned upside down, and so we’ve been having him over more than usual, so I haven’t had as much time to sit down at the computer lately.

I’m now 4 book reviews behind, so be on the lookout for some new content in the next few weeks.

I’m also already thinking about next year’s reading goals, so I hope to get a post up about that too. And I’ve also acquired more new-to-me books that I need to update you on ::eyeroll::.

Hopefully I can get my act into gear and get some new stuff posted soon 🙂 Be on the lookout … until then, happy reading!

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2018, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

Review: For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

 

About For Better and Worse

Paperback: 336 Pages

Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (December 11, 2018)

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?


Review:

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review; all opinions expressed are my own.

So when I was pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. It sounded like a book that I would really love. I was eager to get the chance to read it.

And now that I have read it … let me tell you! Just whoa! It grabbed me from the very first page and I was hooked until I finished it. I found it to be compulsively readable. I would pick it up and find myself having read 50 pages before I even realized it.

To be completely honest, this book was going to be a solid 4 star read for me … until that ending! I mean … just … whoa! That ending really bumped it to a 5 star book. It was like a punch in the gut that I was not expecting!

This is probably going to end up being one of those buzzy books … but in my opinion, it’s well worth the buzz! I am definitely glad that I got the chance to read it and I will for sure be recommending it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller!

Highly recommended!


Purchase Links

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About Margot Hunt

Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is her first psychological thriller.

 

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