What I Read…

I skipped last month because I only had one book read. This month I have two total so WATCH OUT WORLD.

Linking up with Steph and Jana today for some book talk! #ShowUsYourBooks

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett | Mystery | ★★★/5
I’ve never seen this film, but I still “saw” this entire novel play out in my head in black and white. I don’t know what compelled me to pick this one up, but I enjoy a classic mystery. It was ok. Honestly, there were no likable characters, haha. But I think they’re all supposed to be a little seedy. Murder, theft, lies, double-crossing… All the things that made the 20s/30s what they were. Lol

One and Only: The Freedom of… by Lauren Sandler | Nonfiction | ★★★★/5
I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but the podcast I occasionally listen to recommended this book (& then interviewed the author). It was most definitely informative, but it’s written by an only child who has an only child… so I wouldn’t call it objective. That said, I learned a lot and I was able to use facts and take time to reflect upon my own feelings. If you’re on the fence about children or the number of children you’d like, this is a good book to add to your shelf.

Moo Reads!

Moo asked me to share some of her recent favorites, too.

Babies on the Farm by Ginger Swift
M is starting to recognize and care about the sounds animals make- especially farm animals. This book is very cute & follows the cutest little baby goats.

Disney Baby My ABCs by Walt Disney Co.
I love that each letter/flap works independently so M can pick which ones to lift and we don’t have to go in order. (I think when you learn letters in order you run the risk of HAVING to say them in order.) I dislike that the crocodile is associated with the C on the cover but he’s NOT the character for the C inside. Small complaint, but it gets me every time.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
I know this is a beloved book by many (and probably hated by many, too, lol). We got it from Dolly Parton’s program. I love this story. I love the rhyming and the fact that mama llama lays down the law and tells little llama to cool it. Haha.

I’m in the middle of two other books and patiently waiting for my library to give me a long-awaited one… so maybe next month I’ll have two more books. Or THREE if I’m feeling crazy.

What I Read…

I set a very low goal of 15 books this year because a) I’m trying to be realistic and b) I need that little high of accomplishment when I finish #15. Currently I’ve read 4.

Linking up with Jana and Steph today for Show Us Your Books!

The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine* | Domestic Thriller | ★★★/5
I don’t read many thrillers, but my book club picked this one. I didn’t hate it and I didn’t figure it out- I’d say I got 25% solved before the big reveal. I adored the kids. I was confused about the good guys and bad guys (in a good thriller-y way). At times the writing was a little stranger and the timelines felt flubbed, but I was invested and it passed the time just fine. *the author is actually a pen name for two sisters

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss | Romance | ★★★/5
I put this book on hold at the library in late November but it didn’t come to me until last month. (I hate reading Christmas books after Christmas.) This was a not-so-steamy, Hallmark-cute, very predictable romance. I would say it passed the time just fine and would’ve been v adorable to read a week before the holidays. Kate was kind of dramatic in her big decision making, but romance-heroines often are… It was cute; I’d recommend it as a holiday read.

I didn’t make any progress with my book challenge so I’m not going to bother copying and pasting it, lol.

What did you read this month?

What I Read…

Every time I show up here I make excuses for why I’ve been absent, but I don’t have any excuse today. Sometimes I’m here and sometimes I’m not… I appreciate that when I show up you guys usually do, too.

Enough jibber jabber. On to the books.

Finally linking up with Steph and Jana today for Show Us Your Books! It’s my first one this year!

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore | Historical Romance | ★★/5
I know I’m in the minority, but I didn’t love this one. I thought the duke was aggressive and fickle and unpleasant. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE a grumpy suitor, but this guy had an air of superiority that took him way too long to get over. And Annabelle was super uncreative when it came to escaping or fixing her circumstances. These two dingbats killed it for me.

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton | Historical Fiction | ★★★/5
I wasn’t head over heels for this one like I thought I’d be, but dammit I love the way Crichton writes. He effortlessly makes you root for the bad guys. (And in Jurassic Park he made me HATE the bad guys, lol.) This was a little boring and not what I was expecting. It was like a period drama you’d turn on, watch 2 or 3 episodes, and forget about for another week or so until you had some down time. (Aka, not binge-worthy.)


Book Challenge by Erin 14.0

| 5 p | Freebie: The Unhoneymooners (Christina Lauren)
| 10 p | You’ve been meaning to re-read: HP & the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
| 10 p | The first book of a series you’ve never read: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Maas)
| 15 p | Mostly green and/or pink cover art: The World of Lore: Wicked Mortals (Mahnke)
| 20 p | A male relationship word in the title: The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers (Mullen)
| 20 p | Set in a place on your bucket list: Bringing Down the Duke (Dunmore)
| 25 p | Reminds you of 2020: A Vow So Bold & Deadly (Kemmerer) – dark, I know.
| 30 p | Written by an LGBTQIA+ author: Red, White & Royal Blue (McQuiston)
| 30 p | The name of a bird in the title: The Maltese Falcon (Hammett)
| 35 p | Protagonist has a questionable profession: The Great Train Robbery (Crichton)

55 points total

What did you read this month?

What I Read… 2020 Recap

I don’t have a lot to show for this year… Reading wasn’t a top priority this year & that’s ok. I averaged about 1 book per month- ending the year with 13 reads. I usually strive for three books a month so needless to say I did not meet my GR goals 😂

I’m linking up with Jana and Steph today for the Show Us Your Books yearend recap. I am so grateful for these ladies and this community of book lovers that they have built! It’s one of my favorite parts of my blog world.

**2020 Reading Stats**

Number of Books Read: 13
Number of Rereads: 0
Most Read Genre: Mystery

best-YA-books-2014

Best Book You Read In 2020?

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love But Didn’t?

Frogkisser by Garth Nix

 Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

The Seven and A Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

 Favorite new author you discovered in 2020?

Lucy Foley

 Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020?

I just love the way this one looks… A little ominous, a little festive, a little haunting. Yet so simple.

Most memorable character of 2020?

Zikora (from Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2020?

75 pages (The Mermaids Melt at Dawn by Grendolyn Peach Soleil) and 505 pages (Hardcastle)

OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Lia Mara & Grey from A Heart So Fierce and Broken.

Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Emily’s (I *think* that’s her name) relationship with the girls from Gloss in The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes by Elissa R. Sloan

Favorite Book You Read in 2020 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

A Dangerous Engagement by Ashley Weaver

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020?

Not new- still in love with Grey (A Heart So…)

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London by Penrose Halson

looking-ahead-books-2015

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2020 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2021?

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2021 (non-debut)?

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2021?

Hoping to read more than 13 books this coming year, lol.

Survey borrowed & altered from Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Now for my charts…

Not my best year for reading, but I also know it’s not my absolute worst.

What did you read this year?

Life According to Steph

What I Read…

Happy Book Day! 📚 💛

I’ve noticed a pattern over the last few years where I read a bunch during the first half of the year, then fall off the wagon. This year it seems kind of opposite. Then again, nothing about this year is normal so that makes total sense. *shrug*

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller
★★★★/5; Fiction, Women’s Lit
This book was good, but it didn’t stick with me. I would label it as slightly predictable, too. An enjoyable and fairly light read, Olivia was a fun and flawed main character. All the supporting characters were fabulous, as was the setting. There were parts of the story that felt trite, but I looked forward to picking up where I left off each time and it was a nice story to get lost in- thus the four start rating. Are there deeper, more profound books in the world? Of course. But this was a perfect quaran-read. Also, the food descriptions made me D R O O L.
Read it? Sure, if you’re looking for something light. And you’re not on a diet 😉

The Guest List by Lucy Foley
★★★★★/5; Mystery, thriller
Man… every bit as good as people said it was. I love me a good locked room mystery. I felt for Jules and Hannah and Olivia at different times. And I easily hated the men- a true “boys will be boys” theme going on there. Grrrrr. Readers on GR noted some continuity issues- and I noticed some, too- but I could look past it for the sake of story. *shrug* When I read mysteries I’m always reading suspiciously and carefully to try and solve the crime. I figured out someone’s true identity before the end, but I didn’t solve the murder. I was as shocked as the victim. And I really loved that we didn’t know who the victim was until the last few chapters! I’m adding The Hunting Party to my library holds now!
Read it? Yeah!
*I have to know. Did anyone else notice the switched groomsmen in the bog? Hannah said that two of them found her, but then a few chapters later it was different groomsmen that mentioned finding her. A few readers on GR noticed, too. 

The Mermaids Melt at Dawn by Grendolyn Peach Soleil
★★★★/5; Fantasty/folklore
This is slightly difficult to review because it’s my sister-in-law’s sister’s book. Here’s what I said on Goodreads:

How to describe a book so rich in imagery? The Mermaids Melt at Dawn is a descriptive story about a rowdy Cajun man on a hunt to understand and tame the wild monsters that plague his family history. It weaves soft and beautiful French undertones with bold and brash bayou flavor. On top of that, a strong mythical and Cretan story comes to life and grabs the reader, pulling them down into the deep, dark, fantastically terrifying ocean from which the mermaids swim.

I really enjoyed this book, but it’s not something I would’ve found & read on my own. It’s very whimsical, magical, and folklore-y. Every time I’d start reading I’d think, ‘This isn’t for me’ but then I’d read one more paragraph and get lost in her whimsical world.
Read it? If it sounds like something you’d like, absolutely.

M’s Favorite Reads

*I mentioned last time that M is into eating and shaking books right now. Two of these are cloth books and linked to baby stores since GR doesn’t have them, lol.

Buddy Dog’s Busy Day – A Taggies Adventure
Or as we call it, “Bristol Dog’s Busy Day” lol

Peek-a-Boo Forest – Lamaze

Disney Princess The Little Book of Big Ideas
The girth of this book is a little inconvenient, but I love all the learning and colors. Minus Ariel. Stupid Ariel. LOL

Little One, God Made You Special by Amy Warren Hilliker, Polona Lovsin (illustrator)
Such an adorable little book.


Erin’s Challenge 13.0

| 5 p | Freebie: Coldhearted Boss (Grey)
| 10 p | Starts with “S”: Salt to the Sea (Sepetys)
| 10 p | A preposition in the title: The Marriage Bureau: The True Story of How Two Matchmakers Arranged Love in Wartime London (Halson)
| 15 p | An odd number in a series: The Bromance Book Club (Adams #1)
| 20 p | Set in a different country than yours: Bringing Down the Duke (Dunmore)
| 20 p | Female officer/detective: Murder at the Vicarage (Christie)
| 25 p | An immigrant as a m/c: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ford)
| 30 p | Words in the title… “anything”: Anything You Can Do (Grey)
| 30 p | October themed: HP & the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) – witches
| 35 p | Words in the title… “city” & “county”: The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living (Miller)

I have 35 out of 200 points.


What did you read this month?

Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books!

Life According to Steph