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…

Hello all you cool cats. Happy Book Day! Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books but also sharing my choices for Erin’s 14.0 Book Challenge (starting Jan. 1, 2021).

Mmk. Let’s get to the ONE (short) story I finished this month. Woof.

Zikora by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | ★★★★★/5 | Fiction; Short Story
Man… I love Adichie’s writing style. It sucks you in, it’s easy to comprehend, and she’s an incredible storyteller. I need to read some of her longer books. This one is 35 pages and it’s such a raw, true account of becoming a (single) mother. Plus the element of a fragile mother-daughter relationship. I read this at the perfect time- right before M turned one. It brought back all those emotions from the first few weeks.


If you’ve been around, you know. Or as the cool kids say, IYKYK. (The cool kids say that, right?)

Anyway, here are my picks for Erin’s Book Challenge. (Rules can be found here!)

| 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)


And there you have it. Likely another challenge I will attempt & fail, but that’s all part of the fun.

Have you read any of these? Did I list any favorites?
(I can’t believe I haven’t read ACOTAR yet. Fail on my part.)

What I Read…

Happy Book Day 📚 And happy sixth anniversary to Jana and Steph! Thank you both for hosting this awesome link-up month after month. Our community of readers wouldn’t exist without you two and I definitely wouldn’t have read some of the amazing books I have without you guys!

WordPress changed their layout and, as it turns out, I am not good at learning new things. Especially when I’m only blogging once or twice a month… Grrrr.

Enough whining. On to the books I’ve read.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
★★★★★/5; Contemporary Romance
There was something cute and relatable about this story. I haven’t read many romances about married couples- especially married couples with children. While it was sweet and playful, there were also some deep moments when characters reflected on childhood trauma, loss of one’s identity, and unresolved anger or fear. Nothing was super depressing or uncomfortably deep, but I found the characters more relatable and likable because of their flaws, imperfections, and histories. The twins were adorable, the sister was frustrating but sisterly, and the groups of friends were such a solid support systems for both Gavin & Thea. I love that the book club addressed chivalry vs. chauvinism… your wife/girlfriend/partner isn’t helpless but she wants to feel wanted. It’s a fun concept- men reading romance novels. Lol. I’m sure some do, but I think most would be as uncomfortable as Gavin- at least at first.
Read It? Yep.


That’s it. That’s all she wrote. I’m in the middle of four books right now and I have some Moo reads to share, but I’m already running late with this post soooooo… I’m wrapping it up.

Go read some other reader blogs that have their act more together than me 😉

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

What I Read…

Happy Happy Happy Book Day!

I’m going to throw in a shameless plug for my new book/travel instagram 🙂 If you’d like to follow along, I will be posting at To Read & To Roam (linked here!).

FINALLY linking up with the fabulous Jana & Steph today for Show Us Your Books!

I skipped the last few months because I’ve been a lazy reader & a lazy blogger.

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
★★★/5; Mystery
I was bored with the beginning of this book and was feeling a solid two stars… then it got better and by the end I was at four stars. So we landed at three. It’s a slow start; I guess most series starters are… but I was so close to quitting. I’ve been meaning to start this series for a while & I was determined to get through the first book. By the end I was glad I did!
Georgie is an adult woman with no clear path. Her family can’t afford to support her as a spinster but she’s horrified at the idea of marrying a distant royal relative, just to appease the Queen. She she takes it upon herself to move to London and winds up in the middle of a murder case. It was quite dull at first, but I guess Bowen was laying the groundwork. By the end I liked Georgie- but I don’t think this series is for me.
Read it? Maybe? But probably not.

A Danger Engagement by Ashley Weaver
★★★★/5; Mystery
Apparently I’m on a mystery kick right now.
I’m a big fan of Weaver’s Amory. I love her improving relationship with Milo, I love her spunk and determination and courage, & I love the flow of these mysteries. This is the sixth in the series and I’ve read them all, so obviously I’m a fan. This one was set in NYC in the 1930s with a sprinkle of mobsters and prohibition. I always judge mysteries on whether or not I solve it before the m/c (which I did, but just barely) and if the author gave me enough info to have done so without giving it all away. I don’t need to solve it, but I need to the clues to have been presented. Does that makes sense? I feel like that’s the true sign of a star mystery writer.
Read it? Yes, but start at the beginning of the series.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
★★★★★/5; Fantasy
I was afraid I wouldn’t like this one. The first in the series was awesome & I thought this one would lack. I wasn’t sucked in from the start, which made me worry even more. But before I hit page 50 I was hooked. I think many readers had beef with the changing personalities of Rhen & Harper, but this story focused on Grey & Lia Mara… so it seems natural and right that those two characters would view R&H differently than R&H view themselves… ya know? Also. I still love Grey. And Lia Mara, too. (She is the daughter of the enemy queen, fyi.)
I know a fantasy story (or any story) is good when I think about it outside of reading. And I imagine it like a tv show or movie that I can’t wait to get back to- then I have to remind myself that it’s a book, not a visual medium.
Once again, the ending has me going, “Ehhh….” but I felt that way after book #1 so I’m going to give the author and series the benefit of the doubt when moving on to book #3 (in freaking Jan. 2021 WHYYY).
Read it? Start at the beginning of the series.

M’s Favorite Reads

Truthfully, M is more into eating books than reading books… but we’ve gotten through a few without her nomming on the pages…

Bloom by Deborah Diesen, Mary Lundquist (illustrator)
M’s sweet and kind aunt sent her this beautiful book about plants & growing! (This is the same author who pens The Pout-Pout Fish books.)

Take Heart, My Child by Ainsley Earhardt, Kathryn Cristaldi, Jaime Kim (illustrator)
This book is a soft rhyming lullaby that is easy to read to M when we’re winding down. We have the board book and normal book, I think.
*Want to hear something fun? Ainsley & Katheryn were both on the name shortlist before we picked one for M.


Another challenge from Erin has begun. Here are my picks:

| 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)

And there we have it. A new book update 😉 What have you been reading?