End of Year Wrap-Up

2019 Reading Recap

Hi! … remember me!? HA! So back in late August my computer finally gave up the ghost. I had a good 6 year run with it, but it was still sad to see it go. And then I got a case of the cheaps and didn’t want to buy a new one. So I put it off and put it off until finally I realized that my phone and iPad just was no longer cutting it. It was time to get a new computer. So I got the new computer, but still had no interest in blogging. Oops. I’ve gone back and forth for the last 4 months whether or not I wanted to even return to this page. And so I hadn’t. Until I started to see everyone’s yearly recaps. And I decided that I wanted to hop on and at least do a recap because I had my best reading year in a very long time and I wanted to share it with you. Although if you are a friend of mine on Goodreads, you’ve probably seen all my updates. Instead of posting reviews here, I’ve just started leaving reviews there and I’m content with that. I don’t know where this blog will go in the future, but I’d like to at least post a monthly recap so I can keep track of things that way. I highly doubt I get back into the swing of things regularly – I simply do not have the time anymore. Garrett is very involved in sports and scouts right now, and Katelyn is starting to express interest in wanting to get involved in something as soon as she possibly can (how is she going to be going to kindergarten this fall!??!) And I am really no longer interested in receiving ARCs and having deadlines to meet. I think that’s why the second half of my reading year in 2019 was so much better than the first half – I read what I wanted, when I wanted to. It was refreshing and I loved every moment of it. Anyway, you probably aren’t here for all that nonsense … so I’ll get right down to the nitty gritty of things. My year in review:

In 2019 I was able to finish 70 books. That’s my highest number since 2009! WHOA! I also allowed myself no guilt about abandoning books, and I ended up setting aside books.

Of my 70 books:

  •  61 were fiction and 9 were non-fiction
  •  14 were published in 2019
  • 30 had male authors and 40 had female authors (BIG win for me there – I’ve always had more male authors than female)
  • 39 were by new-to-me authors (yay for new authors!)
  • 33 books were from a series. (9 of which were new-to-me series.)
  • 63 books were in physical format, 5 e-books and 2 audio. (Audio just doesn’t work well for me to be honest)
  • 20 were checked out from my local library. That means I read 50 from my own shelves – HUGE WIN!
  • My presidential reading challenge is still going … at a snail’s pace. I got through John Adams and started on Thomas Jefferson but then I kind of fizzled out. I found myself wanting to go back to George Washington. And I wanted to pick up one more John Adams. I think I’m going to rethink this challenge and just pick up whatever interests me. I think it’s the “in order” part that is slowing me down. Again I do my best reading when I’m free of the restraints, so I really think I need to just read in whatever order catches my fancy for this challenge to really work for me.

2019 Favorites

Oh my … this always proves to be so difficult each and every year. I went back to my Goodreads page and sorted my books by rating. I found that I only gave 8 books a 5-star rating (I’m pretty stingy with that 5th star…) Of those 8, only 6 of them still stick out to me today, so those are the ones I’m going to list here:

I'd Rather Be ReadingSo if you’ve been here awhile, you know that I am a Modern Mrs. Darcy book club member. I have been for nearly 2 years. So I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read her second book before, it sounded right up my alley. And it was! I read this short book of essays in a single sitting. I absolutely flew through them and loved every second. And related to each and every word on every single page.  All book lovers should read this book! These are our people 😀

The Last RomanticsThis book was on the MMD Summer Reading Guide. It was available at my library and so I picked it up and took it on our summer vacation. And I hate to admit that I basically made my husband drive the entire way home because I was so caught up in this book. The actual contents of this one are super fuzzy to my memory (darn it – I should have blogged about this one at the time!), but I remember really loving this one.

Midnight in ChernobylOk. This one I finished a few days ago, so I remember it quite well! This is a non-fiction account of the Chernobyl accident. I wasn’t even a year old when Chernobyl happened, and my only information about it was basically a nuclear explosion where everything had to be deserted. But I had seen this one mentioned on my Goodreads feed and my library had it on the new shelf one day so I picked it up. I was not expecting to be so taken by this one. It reads so incredibly easy. And it’s so informative. And some of the details are simply chilling. The second chapter is very difficult and heavy on the science, but other than that it’s a super simple read. I even bought my father-in-law a copy for his Christmas gift. Everyone should give this one a shot!

Ask Again, YesThis one was another MMD Summer Reading Guide book. It was also a Book of the Month Club pick. Again, my memory is fuzzy on this one… but I did jot down a few notes after finishing, so I’ll just write those here: This was a great read! The story was raw and emotional. It unfolded slowly at first but it quickly picked up speed and I loved every minute of it!

The Silent PatientThis one was another Book of the Month Club pick that I picked up earlier in the year and then let it languish on my shelves. But I kept seeing literally everyone rave about it. So my curiosity drove me to pick this one up and I am so glad that it did. It definitely lived up to the hype! I was totally drawn into this book and read it in about two days. I just could not put it down. And let me just say … THAT TWIST! Ahh! If thrillers are your thing – read this one, it does not disappoint!!

A Woman is No ManAnd last but not least (I went in alphabetical order…) this one was another Book of the Month Club pick. I kind of went out on a limb when I chose this one. It did not sound at all like my kind of book. But for some reason it spoke to me. And then I let it sit on my shelves for a few months until it fit some Goodreads challenge call out I had and I decided to finally pick it up. I was not expecting to love it so much! The story gave me all.the.feels! It was heartbreaking but yet a very important story that needed to be told.

So there you have it… there’s my 2019 reading wrap-up. I really did have my best reading year in 2019. Not just in numbers … but also in quality. I branched out and read a lot of things that aren’t my “normal” reading. Of my 6 favorites, only 1 is a thriller – that’s crazy to me! But then I look back at my overall reading list and realize that while I did read a lot of thrillers (30 of them…), I read a lot of other genres as well. Contemporary fiction was a big genre for me this year. I even read (and gasp!…enjoyed) a few romance novels. And while I know that I’m never going to be as active on here as I once was (and to be honest… I don’t want to be), I hope to be able to pop in occasionally and update.

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.


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!

DNF Books, What Should I Read Next

DNF: The Verdict by Nick Stone


The Verdict

So this was my January pick for the What Should I Read Next event….. and I just couldn’t get into it. I read 72 pages over the course of the last week and a half and to be honest I had to force myself to read most of them. It wasn’t bad, in fact it was kind of interesting, but it was very wordy. Too wordy for my taste. I have a feeling that it’s a 500+ page book that probably should have only been 300ish pages. So I’m DNF’ing it for now. I’ll keep it on my shelf and perhaps come back to it at a later date, but right now it’s not the book for me.

End of Year Wrap-Up

Quick Recap of 2017

So we took off for a quick weekend get away to Savannah, Georgia Dec. 29-Jan 2. Because of that I never really got to take a good look at my 2017 book stats. I still didn’t go as in-depth as I normally do because I simply don’t have the time to sit down and get very in depth statistic wise. So … this is going to be a really quick recap.

In 2017, I read 63 books! That’s the most I’ve read in a year since 2011! Pre-kids, lol! I read 22,180 pages. That averages out to 5.25 books per month and 1,848 pages per month. My slowest reading months were February, September, and December with only finishing 3 books each month. June was my best reading month with 9 books finished. In Of those 63 books, only was non-fiction (boo!) I read mainly mystery/thriller books, but I did venture out a little into a few romances and two YA. My one non-fiction book was a true crime. I read 1 library book, e-books, and 10 review books.

The 8 e-books surprised me – e-reading is not my favorite format, but I did find that Barnes & Noble has a Serial Reads program, which basically gives you access to a free e-book each month. Some of them didn’t interest me, some got me out of my comfort zone.

Reading 63 books in a year is great … until you realize that you added 143 books to your shelves…. oops?! And I won’t tell you how many of those books I acquired I actually read in 2017 …. ::eyeroll::

I’d like to break it down even farther with male vs. female author and series stats, and a few other breakdowns that I find interesting, but I just simply don’t have the time for it.

Oh …. I guess I should have somewhat of a favorite reads list too, huh?! Okay … well, I did read 63 books, but I was quite stingy with my ratings this year. According to Goodreads, I only gave out 2 5-star ratings this year…. wow! And looking back, yeah, I’d still give those 2 books 5-star ratings. So this year, I only came up with 7 best of the best reads.

Absolute PowerCity of BoneseenyHer Last BreathLacy EyeNYPD RedWinter Prey

Well, I guess that’s all I’ve got for now ….. I’ve already finished my first read of 2018 and will be posting a review of that later this week. I’ve also got a few other posts scheduled. I hope to finish the review book I’m reading to get that review posted. I’m also reading Final Girls by Riley Sager and I’m 132 pages into it and it’s fantastic!!

End of Year Wrap-Up

2014 Wrap-Up: My Top Reads

Here we are once again at the end of another year … where does the time go anymore? I blink and another year has passed! Guess that’s what happens when you get older….

Anyway, I find it harder and harder each year to put together a list of my “top reads.” I don’t waste my time on books I hate. Some are obviously better than others, but I read so many good books every year, it’s really hard to come up with this list year after year.

As a general rule, I can tell throughout the year what books will make this list. I have to admit, that there are only a few of these that I can say I *knew* would make this list immediately after finishing them.

So without further ado … here’s my top reads of 2014:

(Alphabetically by author … clicking on image will take you to my review)

One KickKilling FloorFather of FearA Time to KillPrecious ThingLITTLE GIRL LOST_cover imageThe Weight of BloodIf I Can't Have YouThe AccidentEyes of Prey


End of Year Wrap-Up

2014 Wrap Up: The Series’

Book series. If you are a faithful follower you know I am obsessed. It’s kind of ridiculous, actually.

And I am painfully behind in 98% of the series that I enjoy.

I’m just going to do a quick run-down of the series that I worked on this year. (No reviews are linked, just the cover images.)

LITTLE GIRL LOST_cover imageThe HostageSeparation of PowerThe ExecutionFade AwayWatching the Dark8484d-sound-broken-glass-deborah-crombie-coverClub DeadDuke City SplitChildren of the RevolutionStorm FrontThe Paris VendettaCritical DamageNew York DeadSomeone You KnowThe Kafka SocietyKilling FloorDirtTrunk MusicThe CompetitionOne KickFather of FearPrivate #1 SuspectExecutive PowerI Hunt KillersRyderDead to the WorldEyes of Prey

That’s only …. 28 books.

From … 23 different series.

And I only started … 12 new series.


End of Year Wrap-Up

2013 Wrap Up: The Challenges

Reading Challenges … the bane of my existence. Okay, not really … but I find them difficult to resist and even harder to complete! Oh well. I did horrible with my challenges this year (only completing 1 out of the 5 I signed up for……)
eclecticchallenge2014_300 This challenge always interests me. I’ve participated in 2012, 2013 and 2014. And I have yet to finish the darned thing!

I completed 5 out of 12 books for 42% done.


Award Winning – Fade Away by Myron Bolitar (won the Edgar Award)
True Crime (Non Fiction) – If I Can’t Have You: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children by Gregg Olsen & Rebecca Morris
Romantic Comedy
Alternate History Fiction – The Blonde by Anna Godbersen
Graphic Novel
Cosy Mystery Fiction
Gothic Fiction
War/Military Fiction – The Hostage by W.E.B. Griffin
Medical Thriller Fiction
Travel (Non Fiction)
Published in 2014 – The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon


I have always been hesitant to sign up for this challenge because you have to make a list and stick to it. I’m very much a mood reader and I have trouble with challenges that require set reading. But for whatever reason, I wanted to try it this year. I didn’t do *too* bad, but I could have done a lot better…..

I completed 7 out of 12 books for 58%


  1. The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl (which has been on my shelf since 2007, no joke)
  2. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
  3. The Hostage by W.E.B. Griffin
  4. The Hunt for Atlantis by Andy McDermott
  5. New York Dead by Stuart Woods
  6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  7. Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
  8. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
  9. Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
  10. Killing Floor by Lee Child
  11. The Paris Vendetta by Steve Berry
  12. Bye Bye, Baby by Max Allan Collins


  1. Mallory’s Oracle by Carol O’Connell
  2. McNally’s Secret by Lawrence Sanders

challenge_2014whatsinaname2I have participated in this one almost every year … ever since Annie was still hosting it! And once again I failed to complete it.

I finished 3 out of 5 books for 60%.

lavinia-portraitRIP92751And finally, I once again signed up for the RIP Challenge. I technically finished this challenge, but only with the minimum 4 books that I signed up for. I would have preferred to read more than that, but it’s okay … it’s still a completed challenge!

  1. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
  2. Ryder by Nick Pengelley
  3. Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne
  4. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
End of Year Wrap-Up, Favorite Books

2013 Wrap Up: My top reads of the year

I find this list getting harder and harder to put together each and every year. Why? Because I read so much awesome stuff that I never know where to start. Ha, not really. It’s more because I just plain can’t decide, lol.

In the order that I read them this year (clicking on the cover will take you to my review):

The One I Left Behind This was my first read of 2013 and I knew the moment I finished it that it would undoubtedly make my top reads at the end of the year. It’s actually a book that I remember quite vividly – and that is saying a lot for me. I still highly recommend this book and I am giddy with excitement that I have an e-galley of Ms. McMahon’s 2014 release, The Winter People!



The Aviator's Wife I so fell in love with this book. It was just amazing. I can’t even begin to explain my feelings on this one. It’s another one that I knew once I finished it that it would be making this list (and I read it in January!). It’s just a beautifully written book and I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it.



The Boleyn King This was one of those impulse requests on Edelweiss. I don’t know why it initially interested me, but I know that I was intrigued throughout the entire book. And two words: That. Cliffhanger! AAH! I’m bummed because I managed to score an e-galley of the second book in the trilogy on NetGalley, but I let it expire before I could get to it … oh well, guess I’ll have to buy that one in the future so I can find out what happens next! Definitely a great historical fiction that I highly recommend!

If You Were Here This was my first time reading an Alafair Burke book (don’t ask me why) so I was uber-excited when I was approached by TLC Book Tours to be a part of the blog tour for this book. And what a fun roller coaster ride of a book it is! The characters are so well-developed you would have thought they were part of a long-running series. It has definitely made me excited to read more from Ms. Burke in my future!

Reconstructing Amelia The only thing I can say about this book … READ IT! It is so powerful and engaging. It’s just amazing. It was so real and thought-provoking. Every parent should read this book. Every teenager and pre-teen should read this book. And then discuss, discuss, discuss. There is so much to this book that needs to be talked about. Highly recommended.


The Widows of Braxton County When I was originally pitched this book I immediately jumped on it. I liked the idea of the family secrets theme that it promised. And what family secrets they were! Wow! The book switched back and forth between Kate in the present day and Hannah some 100 years before. On the same farm. Dealing with some very similar situations. If you like deep family secrets you will probably like this book. I know I enjoyed it a lot.


The Never List I saw this book somewhere online and knew I had to read it. I was just thrilled that my library had a copy with only 1 person ahead of me on the wait list. And let me tell you, it’s a story that will suck you in and spit you back out when you finish it. It would probably be a tough read for some people, but I never felt as if the author took any over-the-top gratuitous descriptions about what the characters went through. And the way that it was so similar to what happened in Cleveland this year … just creepy!


Dead Until Dark Why did I not start this series ages ago? What is wrong with me? Well at least I’ve started it and am looking forward to seeing what happens with Sookie. My review of this one was short and sweet because I assume everyone and their brother has already read this book. If not, I definitely recommend you giving it a shot. It’s a fun read that I really enjoyed.


The Edge of Normal I was sent an invitation to download this one on NetGalley. Boy was that the best random, unsolicited e-galley I’ve been sent in a long time! (Maybe ever?!) It’s such a dark book. And the characters, you will be so intrigued by them. I think that Ms. Norton can definitely carve a nice spot in the crime genre for herself if she so chooses. Highly recommended.



Living Dead in Dallas Surprised to see this one here? I was a little bit, too. But honestly, I think I enjoyed the second installment of the Sookie series even more than I did the first. It was a little darker and grittier than the first book. But oh so very intriguing. And it makes me kick myself for not having the 3rd book already on my shelf! Either way, as I stated in the blurb for the first Sookie book, I’m sure everyone has already read these books, but I’m new to the party and thoroughly enjoying them! Once again, give it a shot if you haven’t already!

End of Year Wrap-Up

2013 Wrap Up: The Series’

Book series. If you are a faithful follower you know I am obsessed. It’s like being with friends over and over again. I love it. I live for it.

And I am painfully behind in 98% of the series that I enjoy.

I’m just going to do a quick run-down of the series that I worked on this year. (No reviews are linked, just the cover images.)

Bloody Mary Iceberg The Black Ice Transfer of Power So Close the Hand of Death Untold Damage The Boleyn King Motion to Suppress Deadly Harvest The Third Option The Concrete Blonde Stranded Blindsighted Where All The Dead Lie Hour Game Dead Until Dark Last to Die Shadow Prey 11th Hour Hawke The Scarpetta Factor Living Dead in Dallas The Last Coyote

Just so you know … thats 23 books.

Oh, you know … there’s only 18 different series in that collage.

So, yeah…. I started 8 new series.

Just. What. I. Needed.

But that’s okay … maybe next year I will make even more progress 🙂