Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2020 Reading Stats

 Time for my 2020 Reading Recap. This may be slightly inaccurate as it is based upon my faulty sleep deprived memory! 

 How many books read in 2020? – 81! Which was 7 less than 2019.  My goal for 2020 was 60, so I succeeded that goal!

How many fiction and non-fiction? 8 non-fiction, which was 3 more than last year.  My favorite non-fiction I read was Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson.  I’ve been recommending this book to EVERYONE.  73 fiction books and out of those I have recommended Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner to many people!

Male/Female author ratio? 62 women (a few repeats), 12 men, and 1 that uses they/them pronouns.  Some authors I really enjoyed this year are Jason Reynolds, Dan Gemeinhart, Ruth Ware, and Jenny Han.

Which author was new to you in 2019 that you now want to read the entire works of? Ruth Ware or Helen Hoang.

Favorite book read in 2019?  Besides the two I mentioned before I also really enjoyed The Parker Inheritance, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Felix Ever After, The Kiss Quotient, Anxious People, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Giver of Stars, Burn Baby Burn, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Hate U Give.



Least favorite? Probably Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie or November Road by Lou Berney

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why? I think the only one I didn’t finish was Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.  The 9 year old and I started it together and then she finished it by herself and I meant to finish it and I never got back to it.  We own it, but I do plan on getting to it!

How many pages did you read? 26,152


How many books from the library? 64! Which is 11 more than last year. I’ve really utilized our library, especially since they finally eliminated late fees and no fees to reserve books!

How many books read did I purchase? I think 6 of these, not all last year.  I bought a TON of books, but mostly for the girls and gifts.

How many were gifts?  3 I think.

How many borrowed from others? I borrowed one from my mom.

How many were given to me for reviews? 3 and I won one of the books I read in a goodreads giveaway.

How many books read on kindle
? The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

Any re-reads? Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  My book club picked it and it was one of my favorites from when I read it.


Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading? United States, England, Ireland, Nigeria, France, Sweden, Iceland, Qatar, Germany, Australia, and Pakistan.



What states did you go through the page in your year of reading? New York, Michigan, Alaska, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, Alabama, Washington D.C. (calling it a state), South Carolina, Maine, Tennessee, Idaho, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, and Louisiana.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?  The Butterfly Garden, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and The Parker Inheritance.

Which author did you read the most of? 3, Charlaine Harris, 2 Susan Boyers, 2 Patricia Harman, 2 Linda Castillo, and 2 Nic Stone.

What was your best reading month? September.  I read 11 books then.

What was your worst reading month? May, I only read 2 books.


I seemed to average about 8 per month for the most part.

Top Ten Reading Moments of 2020


-      Having the 9 year old recommend books for me to read.

-      Reading on the porch.

-      Reading with both of my girls.

-      Talking about books with the 9 year old.

-      Discussing Educated with Book Club.

-      Making the cookie recipe in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder book

-      Discussing Amal Unbound with the nine year old

-      Reading my first graphic novel

-      Reserving books through my libraries pick up with NO CHARGE!!! (Big deal because it used to be 25 cents per hold!!!)

-      Have the one year old sing and dance to Down by the Bay 243434234 times

2020 Reading Goals - Revisited

Read 60 books. – Success! I read 81. 

2.   Read more books from my shelf and clear them out.  – This did not go so well.  With the ease of curbside pick ups and not charging for library holds, I read a TON of library books this year. 

3.   Write more about what I read. – FAIL.  FAIL FAIL FAIL.  I blame lack of sleep, a baby, and the pandemic.  Whoops. 



2021 Goals


1.   Read 60 Books

2.   Read 12 books from my shelves.

3.   Read 12 books that my friends have read.

4.   Read a biography of a president or first lady.

5.   Use Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge as a way to find books to read when I need one.

How many books did you read this year? Did you complete your 2020 reading goals? What are your goals for 2020? Which author did you read the most of? What was your most recommended book? What book do I NEED to read in 2021?

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January Intentions

 After the dumpster fire that has been 2020 and the political dumpster fire of the last four years, I'm ready for a reset.  I am taking January 2021 has a new beginning, probably followed by a lot of new beginnings after that but I needed a push and January 1st was the push.

I am breaking down some intentions I have for January.

The biggest that is taking the most effort is healthier choices time.  My intention for January is to drink 100 ounces of water a day and hit 10,000 steps a day.  So far I've checked that off every day.  I am keeping accountable to myself by recording in Fitbit and posting my completed steps on insta.

Reading wise I went through the year and put down some books that I want to complete during certain months, but with the caveat that if I get to them sooner, that's great, I just needed to work on clearing off some already purchased books and already chosen book club books.

For January, I need to complete Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlin, White Fragility, Nobody Will You This But Me (library dependent) and My life as Villainous by Laura Lippman.  

I also have a list that I'm tackling throughout the year and my first big project on there was locating a spot for my file cabinet that was homeless for a year and going through boxes in our storage area to throwing stuff away.  This I have started.

I am also back to meal planning on a monthly basis.

Here is what I have for this week.

4 Stuffed Pepper Casserole, salad

5 Chicken Fajitas, guacamole/chips, pineapple

6 eggs, bacon, baked potatoes, oranges, broccoli

7 orange chicken (Costco), broccoli

8 pizza (takeout)

We usually decide weekend meals on the fly. We have a freezer in the basement full of stuff and my husband usually cooks on the weekend, which equals steak or beef something!

Do you have any intentions for January? How are you keeping yourself accountable?

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2020 Books Read Meme

 I first came across this book meme in 2018 and decided to play along! Feel free to do so yourself!

Describe yourself: The Searcher

How do you feel? Mrs. Everything

Describe where you currently live: Snow Blind

If you could go anywhere...? Butterfly Bayou

Favorite form of transportation: Silver Sparrow

Your best friend is: The Last Mrs. Parrish

You and your friends are: The Mothers

What's the weather like? Ask Again, Yes

Your favorite time of day is: Stargazing

What is life for you? Everything Beautiful in It's Time

You fear: Burn Baby Burn

Best advice: Look Both Ways

Thought for the day:  Look Alive Twenty-Five

How you would like to die: Educated

If you don't want to do the whole list, please humor me with the following...  You and your friends are?  How do you feel ? Best advice?

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lowcountry Boughs of Holly


Tis the season for people to be picking up Christmas reads! I tend to not flock to seasonally based books (movies are another thing, which was a new obsession last year) only in that season.  If it sounds good, I'll pick it up in April, or July, most of the time right after the season/holiday, because I will not conform.  I don't like being told what to do, even when no one gives a poop.  Okay, okay, I'm a rebel who follows rules.  But only the rules I've determined are okay.

I started reading Lowcountry Boughs of Holly by Susan Boyer, two days before Christmas.  And then underestimated the amount of stuff I had to do, because I was certain I'd wrap it up by Christmas.  Alas, I finished it the day after Christmas!

It is the 10th book in the Liza Talbot series.  I haven't read all of them, but the ones I've picked up I've enjoyed! They are cozy mysteries set in South Carolina.  Liz is a private investigator with her husband Nate, and she gets a little help from her deceased childhood best friend.  These books are not meant to be serious!

In this Christmas time based book, Liz and Nate are investigating the death of a Santa Clause following the annual Santa Boat Parade.  They are led back to past characters (but I don't remember them and I'm not sure if I read the book they were in, however this didn't make the book hard to follow) and boy, were they entertaining! Rich people drama!

There is a wayward reindeer, delicious descriptions of Liz's Momma's food, and actions packed with the help of some mysterious powers to be! If you are looking for a light read or a series to get started on, the Liz Talbot series is for you!

Does your town have any holiday traditions? Do you enjoy reading books set in the South?

Description: It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Private Investigator Liz Talbot is struggling to feel festive. She hasn’t seen her best friend, Colleen, in weeks and fears she may never see her again in this life. Meanwhile Nate, Liz’s husband and partner, is spending money like he prints it in the attic on a mysterious family Christmas celebration. Liz’s nerves are shot, and she hasn’t even decked a single hall. But there’s simply no time to fret.

On a morning beach run, Liz spots a wooden rowboat run aground with Santa inside. Did Old Saint Nick have too much eggnog at the boat parade? No indeedy—Santa’s been shot. And he’s none other than C.C. Bounetheau, patriarch of one of Charleston’s wealthiest families.

Liz and Nate already unwrapped quite a few family secrets while searching for the Bounetheau’s missing granddaughter last year—enough to make them swear to steer forever clear of the entire clan. But as Mr. Bounetheau’s body is found in Stella Maris, and Liz and Nate are the police chief’s on-call detectives, they’re on the case.

With no shortage of suspects, Liz and Nate dash to find a killer who may be working his or her way down a naughty list.

Spend Christmas in the Lowcountry with the Talbot family and their friends in Susan M. Boyer’s latest Southern charmer, Lowcountry Boughs of Holly. Tis the season for merry mayhem!

I received this book for free from the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Currently: December

 Reading:  Everything Beautiful in Its Time by Jenna Bush Hager

Loving:  having my family safe at home with me for at least one more day

Feeling: blah, not really into the holiday spirit this year.

Anticipating not even sure anymore.

Grateful: My people are healthy and safe.

Working: Christmas cards, finalizing Christmas gifts.. wondering how I am going to wrap.

Listening: Hallmark movies in the background for the most part.

Watching: Hallmark and other Christmas movies...

Wishing: for a vaccine that all can safely get sooner than later... 

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

Monday, December 7, 2020

Holiday Board Book Recommendations 2020 Edition

 Tis the season of what do I get her/him/he/she/they/everyone.  I thought I'd share a few of the board books that we have enjoyed this last year.

A is for Awesome is such a great shero alphabet book.  It mentions women who are famous from A-Z and my 9 year old loves reading it and using it as a point of looking up information on some of the women shared.

On the Night You were Born is such a sweet book about how everyone is so very excited on the night the child is born.  It was my oldests and she LOVES reading it to her sister.

Music Is....  this book is so delightful and fun to read with expression.  My 1 year old LOVES music and her body immediately starts to dance when you say the word music.  She loves this book.  And I love the illustrations.

Down By the Bay is another hold over from the oldest that the youngest requests far more often than her big sister did.  She loves music and this book REQUIRES you to sing it, of course. :)

Your Baby's first word will be Dada is a love here as well.   My 1 year old is obsessed with her DADA and this book is meant to be read with a lot of DADAs, yelled with expression.  

Alfie and Bet's ABC book is one of my favorite ABC books for kids because it has more unusual words for A-Z, and as the most often reader of the books, I appreciate talking about more unique objects than the typical ball, cow, cat, etc...

Little Blue Truck is just a sweet tale of helping each other out. A little wordy but just a good good story!

Goodnight Moon is an old classic and I probably like it more than either of my kids requests it, but I just love it!

Colorful World: Sea find what's different is nicely illustrated and is good for pointing out how things are different and about different colors.

Good Night Michigan is a fun book that talks about a boy and girl traveling around the state for the day and includes fun touristy things to see and do in the Mitten state.  Other states have their own versions and I've been known to send them out to friends as baby gifts

ABC what Can she Be? Is an awesome book we just got for the one year olds birthday.  I love that it talks about professions that you can be when you grow up and doesn't include a lot of the stereotypical professions that women are usually suggested to be.  LOVE.

Okay, so pretty much all of Vashti Harrison's books are needed in your child's library. LOVE LOVE LOVE.  And I also love listening to my oldest read these to her sister.

Tomie's Little Mother Goose is a cute condensed version of nursery rhymes for little ones.  It's my favorite out of the few we own.

What boards were wins in your household this year? What books are on your childs wish list? What books do your kids love to hear but you can't stand to read?? (Mine would be Corduroy shhhh)

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

November Reads!

November Reads! 5 of the 8 I read I gave 5 stars.  It was a really good reading month. 

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman was a page turner.  I love Backman’s humor in his writing.  If you haven’t read any of his books, I’d recommend starting with Beartown and then go from there.  I haven’t been disappointed yet, and I haven’t finished all of them.  He also has really good insight on human nature and I find myself nodding along to his wisdom sprinkled throughout.

Caste: Origins of our Discontent by Isabel WIlkerson is the history book you need.  She lays out how race in America is a caste system and compares it to the Indian caste system.  There are a lot of truth bombs in here and history, you probably did not learn in school.  It also spells it out for anyone that hasn’t realized that America treats black people worse than how the Nazi’s treated the Jews.  FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS.  The Nazi’s deemed some ways Americans legally treated black people AS TOO STRICT.  Also know that the murder of Jewish people WAS HORRENDOUS AND AWFUL AND SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN OR DIMINISHED.  People are terrible.

The Parker Inheritance is a middle grade novel that both the 9 year old and me devoured and loved.  It is so much fun to discuss books with your kid, let me tell you! Candice spends the summer at her grandma’s old house and finds out a family secret.  She and her new friend spend the summer solving this puzzle in secret, learning of the towns racist past and trying to salvage his grandma's tattered reputation.

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is also a page turner that YOU HAVE TO PICK UP.  Also middle grade, and the 9 year old also high recommends.  Coyote and Rodeo travel the United States on their 2003 school bus and decide destinations on whims and where the road takes you.  They meet an incredible cast of travelers as Coyote hurries Rodeo across the country on a time sensitive secret mission.

One by One by Ruth Ware is ALSO a page turner.  This was my first book by Ruth Ware and it will not be my last! A tech company takes a group trip to a posh chalet in the mountains.  All is not well and one by one, they die.  Who in the group is the murderer? How can they get help? Will time run out? Small clues throughout made it fun for me to guess who did it!

Snow Blind is a the first in a series of a new police officer in Iceland. I saw the prefer of the newest of the series and it sounded interesting so I picked this one up first. It was okay. I'm not sure I will continue on. I probably will just to see if the second book shakes off some of the first book ehs.

The Butterfly Garden by Chip St Clair is Chip's memoir about growing up on the run with his father who was a child murderer. He had an awful childhood full of abuse and terrible parents. He had no idea they moved so much because his dad was a killer. It took until he was an adult with a steady relationship with a very helpful woman that he is able to step back and figure things out. It was an interesting story, and a very quick read.

Wilder Girls is a young adult novel about an all girls school that is overtaken by "The Tox." and all the occupants of the school are put into quarartine. Maybe not the best time to read this one, but it was a quick read and talked about the different effects the Tox had on the girls on the island, the animals and the plant life.

What books did you read in November that you’d recommend?

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Currently: October

Reading:  Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Loving:  how much the 9 year old loves reading.  She's currently reading The Parker Inheritance.

Feeling: rage. tired. so flipping tired.

Anticipating more anxiety?

Grateful: I am able to stay home with my 'baby.'

Working: on text banking, hoping it helps.

Listening: podcasts. all out of date. but true crime and politics.

Watching: Schitts Creek, Murder She Wrote..

Wishing: for a new president. taking more senate seats. shutting up the idiots.

What are you reading?  What are you listening to?