End of Year Wrap-Up

2013 Wrap Up: The Challenges

Reading challenges. I love them yet I hate them. I find it extremely difficult to resist signing up for challenges even though I know I will never complete them.

So for 2013 I tried to keep the number of challenges I joined down. (Easier said than done) I only signed up for 5 challenges.

2013eclecticreader I always like the sound of this challenge. I participated in 2012 as well. And I still have yet to complete the darned thing! Oh well I still enjoy it!

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

Translated Fiction
Historical Mystery –  A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate by Susanna Calkins 
Romantic Suspense – The Seventh Victim by Mary Burton
Made Into a Movie
New Adult
Urban Fantasy
Memoir – We Were There by Allen Childs, MD 
Action Adventure – Iceberg by Clive Cussler
Published in 2013 – The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon

Off the Shelf This one is the bane of my existence. I always have such good intentions when I join any type of TBR challenge. I mean, seriously … have you seen my shelves? Anyways, I didn’t do as well as I wanted, but I didn’t do too shabby either.

I completed 17 out of 30 books for 56% done.

  1. Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath
  2. Iceberg by Clive Cussler
  3. The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
  4. Transfer of Power by Vince Flynn
  5. So Close the Hand of Death by J.T. Ellison
  6. Motion to Suppress by Perri O’Shaughnessy
  7. The Third Option by Vince Flynn
  8. The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly 
  9. Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter
  10. Hour Game by David Baldacci
  11. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris 
  12. Shadow Prey by John Sandford
  13. 11th Hour by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
  14. Hawke by Ted Bell
  15. The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell
  16. Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
  17. The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly

RIP8main200 Okay so I’ve always seen this challenge every fall and for whatever reason I had never joined it. Stupid me. I had a lot of fun with this one and I look forward to it next year!!

I read 6 books, but was only required to finish 4 so I completed this challenge!

  1. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  2. Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen
  3. Darkness First by James Hayman
  4. The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton
  5. Shadow Prey by John Sandford
  6. 11th Hour by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Sequel Challenge What a fun challenge. The idea is to read any book after the first book in a series. I used it mainly to read the second book (darn you “First in a Series” challenge that I did two years in a row!) but also read a couple of books that were later in the individual series.

I read 7 out of 7 books, thus completing this challenge.

  1. Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath
  2. The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
  3. The Third Option by Vince Flynn
  4. Hour Game by David Baldacci
  5. Last To Die by Tess Gerritsen
  6. Shadow Prey by John Sandford
  7. 11th Hour by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

What's in a Name6 Why, why, why can I never seem to finish this challenge? I almost always have books that will fit the categories, but for whatever reason I never seem to complete it. *Sigh*

I read 3 of the required 6 books for 50% done.

  1. Up or Down (Or equivalent)
  2. Something found in a kitchen – Bloody Mary by J.A. Konrath
  3. Party or celebration
  4. Fire (or equivalent) – Arctic Fire by Paul Byers
  5. An emotion
  6. Lost or Found (or equivalent) – Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
End of Year Wrap-Up

2013 Wrap Up: By the Numbers

Well here it is another year gone by! Where are they going anyway? It’s like I blink and New Year’s is upon me again. And it’s gotten a million times worse ever since having Garrett. Very sad indeed.

Anyways, this year I’m going to break things down in regards to my yearly statistics into multiple posts to keep things easier.

In this first installment I’m going to be breaking down some of the statistics. (I’m a geek and love stats!)

So … in total I read 51 books this year. Of those books 48 were fiction and 2 were non-fiction. Every year I’m so disappointed in myself for not reading more non-fiction. But then I never seem to make more of an effort to read more non-fiction either.

Those books were:

From my shelves: 19
From the Library: 2
Review Copies: 30

E-Book: 12
Print: 39

I read a total of 18,442 pages.

Ratings ratings ratings. I was quite stingy with 5 star ratings this year. Not entirely surprising, but I was a little pickier this year.

  • DNF: 5
  • 1: 0
  • 2: 0
  • 3: 4
  • 3.5: 16
  • 4: 22
  • 4.5: 6
  • 5: 3

Page breakdowns. I always enjoy seeing the breakdown of the pages. Not surprising, I only read very few books that were over 500 pages (I don’t have time for that anymore … short and sweet is what I need! Ha!)

  • 0-200: 1
  • 201-300: 11
  • 301-400: 25
  • 401-500: 10
  • 500+: 4

So the longest book I read this year was: Hawke by Ted Bell (596p)
And the shortest book I read this year was: We Were There by Allen Childs, MD (192p)

Publication years. I am amazed at just how many books I read that were published in 2013! Usually the number of new releases I read is relatively low for me. I didn’t realize just how many new releases I did read. This excites me in one way and yet it also saddens me. I will never get through all the backlists I want to at this rate!

  • 2013: 26
  • 2000-2012: 17
  • 1990s: 7
  • 1970s: 1

Authors are important too! I always like to see how the author breakdown shakes out. And you know what surprised me this year? The amount of new-to-me authors I read this year. It wasn’t something I was necessarily aiming for, but I am quite pleased because I found a few new favorites!

  • Male Authors: 23
  • Female Authors: 23
  • New to Me Authors: 33 <– I’m still in shock by that number!
  • Authors Read Multiple Times:
    • Michael Connelly
    • J.T. Ellison
    • Vince Flynn
    • Charlaine Harris
DNF Books

2013 DNF #3: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

The Body Finder
by Kimberly Derting

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 327
Format: Print

Blurb: When a murder is committed it leaves a unique echo … on both the victim and the killer. Most people are unaware of these echoes but Violet Ambrose has always been able to sense them.

Now that Violet’s town is in the thralls of a serial killer the echoes of the local girls he has murdered are haunting her.

The only shining light is Violet’s best friend Jay. She’s started falling for him and his fierce protectiveness gives her hope that he may feel the same…

This was at the top of my RIP VIII list. It was on my Paperbackswap wish list for quite some time. And then it sat on my shelf for a while too after I received it. So I was definitely excited to getting to this book. But, I just couldn’t get into it. I made it to page 62 and realized that not only had it taken me 3 days to get there, but that I really wasn’t all that interested in this book. It’s just not for me and I’m giving up on it.

And now I’m onto my next book … the first Sookie book 🙂

DNF Books

2013 DNF #2: Bossypants by Tina Fey

by Tina Fey

Copyright: 2011
Pages: 275
Format: Print

Blurb: Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to the final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

I got this book from the library in the hopes of using it for the humor section of the Eclectic Reader challenge. It’s an understatement to say that this book is beyond bad. It just is not the right book for me. I like Tina Fey, a lot. But for some reason this book was  just bland. I flew through 50 pages without blinking an eye and then set it aside. And I never wanted to pick it back up. Want to know why? The writing was so atrocious I almost couldn’t stand it. This book may be for you, but it’s definitely not the one for me.

DNF Books

2013 DNF #1: Silent Partner by Jonathan Kellerman

Silent Partner
by Jonathan Kellerman

Copyright: 1989
Pages: 484
Format: Print

Blurb: At a party for a controversial Los Angeles sex therapist, Alex Delaware encounters a face from his own past – Sharon Ransom, an exquisite, alluring lover who left him abruptly more than a decade earlier. Sharon now hints that she desperately needs help, but Alex evades her. The next day she is dead, an apparent suicide.

Driven by guilt and sadness, Alex plunges into the maze of Sharon’s life – a journey that will take him through the pleasure palaces of California’s ultrarich, into the alleyways of the mind, where childhood terrors still hold sway.

Here’s the deal – I got 180 pages into this book and just couldn’t make myself go any further. I knew there was sex therapy involved based on the blurb, but I had no idea just how detailed things would get. I’m not easily offended by sex in books, but this one was just a little too much in my opinion. I kept waiting and waiting, trying to figure out where the book would go, but I eventually realized that there would be no way I would even want to write a review if I pushed through to the end and that it wasn’t really worth it to continue reading a book I wasn’t in to. There are plenty of other books on my shelves, plenty other Alex Delaware books. I’m just going to let this one go.

Have any of you ever read this book? What was your opinion of it?

End of Year Wrap-Up

2012 Reading in Review

In 2012 I might not have read a lot of books, but I read some pretty darn good ones.

To briefly recap, I read 34 books in total.

I read 13,360 pages. That’s an average of 392.94 pages per book.

I read 5 e-books; the rest were print copies.

I read 14 review books.

The longest book I read was 579 pages – Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell.

The shortest book I read was 128 pages – Death by Bourbon by Abigail Keam.

Since I didn’t have a very large reading list to choose from, I only picked a Top 6 Favorite Reads this year. In alphabetical order:

  1. The Prophet by Ethan Cross
  2. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
  3. Betrayal by Gregg Olsen
  4. Rules of Prey by John Sandford
  5. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  6. The Intercept by Dick Wolf


End of Year Wrap-Up, READING CHALLENGES 2012

Wrapping Up My 2012 Challenges

Wow … I still can’t believe that we are just a few short days from 2013! And I haven’t done anything in regards to my yearly reading statistics/favorites/new challenges/old challenges, etc. Ugh. There’s just not enough time in the day anymore. It never stops. Of course getting the flu earlier in the week did not help one bit. Honestly, I may just only do a Top 10 reads this year – no one really needs to know all the other junk I always include – plus I don’t have the time or energy to sit down and calculate it all up like I have in the past.

But tonight I’m just going to do a quick one post wrap up of the 3 challenges I participated in this year. Unfortunately, I only successfully completed one of those challenges. But that’s okay – I had a lot of fun either way.

Here goes:

First up is The Eclectic Reader Challenge. I actually completed 75% of this challenge, and to be completely honest with you, the four genres that I was unable to finish (Literary Fiction/Fantasy/Horror/Classic) were the ones that I knew I would have trouble filling when I originally signed up. So I’m happy with how far I got.

Literary Fiction
Crime/Mystery Fiction – Drop Shot by Harlan Coben
Romantic Fiction – Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb
Historical Fiction – Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews
Young Adult – Betrayal by Gregg Olsen
Science Fiction – DiSemblance by Shanae Branham
Non Fiction – Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Thriller /Suspense – The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry
Your favourite genre – Crime/Mystery Fiction: Damage by John Lescroart

Next up is the Mystery & Suspense Challenge. Let me be completely honest here – this is the easiest challenge in the world for me. Mystery and Suspense books are my absolute favorites. It makes up the majority of my reading. So it would be almost impossible for me to not complete this challenge. I originally signed up for 12 books, but I ended up reading 24 – very happy 🙂

  1. The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry
  2. Drop Shot by Harlan Coben
  3. Damage by John Lescroart
  4. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  5. Don’t Scream by Wendy Corsi Stuab
  6. The Immortals by J.T. Ellison
  7. The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver
  8. Split Second by David Baldacci
  9. Stolen Prey by John Sandford
  10. The Pawn by Steven James
  11. Tick Tock by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
  12. The Wrong Man by David Ellis
  13. Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb
  14. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
  15. Sly Fox by Judge Jeanine Pirro
  16. Blowback by Brad Thor
  17. DiSemblance by Shanae Branham
  18. The Lincoln Conspiracy by Timothy L. O’Brien
  19. Betrayal by Gregg Olsen
  20. Takedown by Brad Thor
  21. The Prophet by Ethan Cross
  22. Rules of Prey by John Sandford
  23. Father Night by Eric Van Lustbader
  24. The Intercept by Dick Wolf

And finally – Off the Shelf. *Sigh* I really am kind of disappointed with this one. I knew I was taking a big chance when I signed up for 30 books (having a baby definitely puts a damper on reading), but I was determined to clear off my shelves. Okay, so I managed 15 – that’s 50% of my goal. Not bad. But definitely not where I would have preferred to end the year.

  1. The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry
  2. Drop Shot by Harlan Coben
  3. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
  4. Don’t Scream by Wendy Corsi Staub
  5. The Immortals by J.T. Ellison
  6. Golden Buddha by Clive Cussler & Craig Dirgo
  7. The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver
  8. Split Second by David Baldacci
  9. Under Cover of Daylight by James W. Hall
  10. The Pawn by Steven James
  11. Tick Tock by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
  12. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
  13. Blowback by Brad Thor
  14. Takedown by Brad Thor
  15. Rules of Prey by John Sandford

So there you have it. There’s my quick wrap-up. I’ve already got my eye on some of the 2013 challenges. But I’m definitely going to try to control myself again this year. I hate setting myself up for disappointment. I’ve been considering not signing up for some of them, just trying to do them myself, without completely committing to them. But there are a couple out there that I am definitely signing up for – keep checking back for that info 🙂

End of Year Wrap-Up, Reading Statistics

2011 … By the Numbers

Okay, so I know I’m incredibly late. But the holidays were insane around here for us and then we took off to Florida for our babymoon. Now that I’m home and have had a little time to rest up I’m ready to sit down and share with everyone what my reading looked like in 2011. In the years past I have just given you a bunch of different numbers. This year I’m going for a more pretty look, complete with graphs and charts! If it overwhelms you, I apologize now. I’m just trying something new out. So without further ado, drumroll please…..

In 2011, I completed 64 books. Overall, I am very pleased with that number. I had a whirlwind year complete with a trip to Alaska in May and a positive pregnancy test in September. As you will soon see, my reading dipped unbelievably after September … mid-October is when the nausea set in for me and reading was the last thing on my mind – then the holidays hit. Well, you all know how life works 🙂

I made a chart showing how my reading broke down month by month. As I stated above, I was doing really well until October 🙂 The green lines indicate the number of pages read, and if you look way at the bottom, just above the months, you can see the number of books read.

Of the 64 books I read, 61 were fiction and 3 were non-fiction. Not really all that pleased with that breakdown. I  need to read more non-fiction. I enjoy non-fiction, I love true crime and good history books. I just don’t read a lot of them any more because I’m usually looking for an escape. Maybe I can read a little more non-fiction in 2012. A girl can hope, right?

When I sat down and tried to look back over my reading list as a whole, I realized that I didn’t really read a lot of books that would make my top 10 list. I was a little disappointed by that.
So this year, I only have a Top 7 Favorite Reads list.

I started a new page on my blog for 2011. I was determined to track how many books came into my house throughout the year. Boy was I insane to do that. I am actually a little embarrassed at the number that did come in (197), especially when you compare that number to the number of books I actually managed to read for the year! Anyway, here’s a chart showing the breakdown of the books that came into my house in 2011:

Obviously, I went a little nuts in March and July. In March I posted a ton of books onto Paperbackswap and got a lot of Box-of-Books swap requests as a result. And I obviously have a control issue when it comes to pushing that “decline” button. In July I went to the library book sale and I had a big box swap come in from a friend on one of my Yahoo groups.

My next logical question was where on earth did these books come from? For this question, I created a pie chart:
Obviously most of my books came from Paperbackswap’s Box-of-Books feature. This really doesn’t surprise me at all. I know I’m addicted to that, but for $8 a year and postage I can swap unlimited without points. Can’t hardly beat that in my opinion. Plus the more you swap at a time the more you save on postage. It’s kind of a win-win situation for me! I honestly didn’t spend a whole lot on buying new books, I try to avoid bookstores as much as possible simply because I have no self-control. The amount of review books that I accepted in 2011 was way down. I became extremely selective. And I will be even more so in 2012 considering I’m probably not going to accept any review books – unless they are authors I have previously read and enjoyed.

Finally I’m going to finish with a quick by the numbers breakdown of how I rated my books, the page count breakdown and the publication year breakdown.

So there it is. That’s about all I have to share with everyone. I could have made a few more entries, but I think this adequately sums up my 2011 reading.

Now I’m off to read …. I only have about 150 more pages before I finish my first book of 2012!! Happy reading everyone!

DNF Books

2011 DNF #4 – What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen

What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper
by Paula Marantz Cohen

Copyright: 2010
Pages: 341
Format: Print

Blurb:  An invalid for most her life, Alice James is quite used to people underestimating her. And she generally doesn’t mind. But this time she is not about to let things alone. Yes, her brother Henry may be a famous author, and her other brother William a rising star in the new field of psychology. But when they all find themselves quite unusually involved in the chase for a most vile new murderer – one who goes by the chilling name of Jack the Ripper – Alice is certain of two things: No one could be more suited to gather evidence about the nature of the killer than her brothers. But it anyone is going to correctly examine the evidence and solve the case it will have to be up to her.

I’m actually very disappointed that I couldn’t get into this book. I waited on the PBS wishlist for quite some time for this book and was so looking forward to it. I don’t know what it was about it, I just didn’t like it. I only got about 75 pages into it and decided that I was uninterested. I thought about putting it aside and coming back to it later, but I figured it was only a 50-50 chance that I would actually pick it back up, so I’m DNFing it for the year.

DNF Books

2011 DNF #3 – Undercurrents by Ridley Pearson

by Ridley Pearson

Copyright: 1988
Pages: 435
Format: Print

Blurb: Seattle is a city paralyzed by fear. A serial killer is loose on its streets. And as each new victim surfaces – chest slashed, eyes taped open – the tide of panic rises. Driven by guilt and frustration, too exhausted to consider stopping, Detective Lou Boldt thinks he’s finally gotten the break he needs to end the Cross Killer’s twisted spree. But each new clue contradicts another. And each new corpse mocks Boldt’s efforts. To fathom the silent tale told by the latest corpse washed up in Puget Sound, Boldt has to go beyond every state-of-the-art method at his disposal. But as he gets closer to the truth, he travels deeper into the tortured mind of a relentless killer … into the depths of his own fear … and into a whirlpool of madness more frightening than his worst nightmares.

This is the second time that I have tried to read this book and failed. So I figure that this book must not be for me. I have read a Ridley Pearson book in the past, Beyond Recognition, and I remember really enjoying it. But this book definitely does not make the cut in my opinion. It just wasn’t for me.