Goals

Year in Review | 2019 Final Check-In

Year in Review!

Hello and welcome to my little review of 2019. I love these types of posts, being able to reflect and look back on what you have accomplished. This post will be broken down into two parts, the first being reviewing my goals and the second will be my yearly stats, which will be taken from the data given on December 29th. So, with all of that information being packed into this post, lets jump right into it.


Goals

  1. ✔️Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. ✔️Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. ✔️Read 50 books
  4. ✔️Read 30,000 pages
  5. ✔️Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. ✔️Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. ✔️Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. ✔️Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. ✔️Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist

Yearly Reading Stats

Books Read: 106

Pages Read: 38, 421

Nonfiction: 17

Fiction: 89

Money Saved Using Library:

Average Rating: 4.0

Shortest Book: Quidditch Through the Ages

Longest Book: Death Note All-in-One

Most Popular:Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Least Popular: Independence Haul and the Liberty Bell

Highest Rated on Goodreads: Good Omens

If you would like to see all of the books I read in 2019, you can find all that information over on goodreads here: Bookish Luna’s Year in Review.


Yearly Blog Stats

Views: 13,872

Comments:1,226

Followers: 783

Likes: 3,724

Posts: 148

 


How did you do with your 2019 goals?

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Hauls

Book Haul | Last One of 2019

BookHaul12:17

Welcome to my last haul of 2019, I still cannot believe I am writing that. Anyway, before the year finished up I wanted to post my book haul from the second half of December, I went a little over board with my holiday money and used my gift cards well. From this point on I am officially back on my Read 5, Buy 1, which if you want to learn anything about, you can do so here: Read 5, Buy 1 Series. Anyway, here are the books I added to my owned TBR! 


American Dirt was a hand me down from a friend, I am so thankful for! I have been seeing so many people saying great things.  Girl Woman, Other is a book I am very excited to get to, I feel like it is going to be heart wrenching and powerful, it was also awarded The Man Booker Prize 2019. Civil War Wives is a non-fiction I am excited to jump into, it was an area that was much overlooked in my education and I wish to explore it further. Were the Crawdads Sing has been recommended to me so many times I lost count. Some of these you will be seeing in upcoming series, so keep an eye out!

The Girls of Gettysburg is along the same line as Civil War Wives, I really want to dive into the lives of women who witnessed or partook in the Civil War. It really was overlooked and I know there is a lot to explore. Agatha Christie collection was from my Coffee and a Classic Box, sadly the last one I will be getting. I loved the box, but I needed to make some cuts and save some more money. I will miss it greatly. I will say, I am happy to end with this box because Agatha Christie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Last in this picture is Mythos, I have been on a huge myth swing as of late so I needed to add another one to my TBR.

Here is a Celestial Atlas I picked up and I am in love with. It is so beautiful with stories about all the constellations. Next is a very short book no mourning in the 1800s, I have always been intrigued with how society deals with this topic and how it has evolved so when I saw this I added it to my pile. It also gives me Caitlin Doughty vibes and I just love her books and her youtube channel called Ask a Mortician.

Here are a few more Shakespeare plays I am adding to my collection and for the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, which I went on about in my post Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you want to join in on the fun I created a goodreads group or you can just follow along on my blog. In January I will be reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


What books did you acquire during the month of December?

Have you read any of these books? Do you think I will like them?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | December 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to the last wrap up of 2019. It is hard to believe that New Years Eve is right around the corner and 2020 is about to begin, a new year and decade. Anyway, I wanted to wrap up my reading  year and take this time to wish everyone a wonderful, safe, and happy New Year. I hope all your dreams and goals come true for each and everyone of you. Now, on to the books!


Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1)Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful read, when I opened it I stayed up past my bed time on multiple occasions. I loved the setting and time period this is set in. I also really enjoyed the cast of characters. I am so happy that this is a series.

View all my reviews


Quidditch Through the AgesQuidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fun way to jump into the HP world without reading the entire series for the 6th time. I do love seeing these books around, it really makes you feel like you are in the wizarding world being able to read books that existed within it.

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Strange PlanetStrange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this as a gift from my friend, we always send these comic back and forth to one another so it was the perfect gift. If you enjoy the illustrators work already you will continue to enjoy these quirky aliens. I read this fairly quickly and it was got a few giggles out of me. Great book to flip through now and again.

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Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and MonstersGreat Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters by Nikita Gill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great collection of poetry from Nikita Gill. I loved that fact she took inspiration from Goddesses, it really felt powerful. Even though she used these well explored characters, she really made them her own. She is still one of the few poets that I genuinely enjoy reading.

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Currently Reading 2

I am currently in the middle of The Fiery Cross  by Diana Gabaldon, it is the 5th book in this series. Since it is so far into the series I don’t want to say to much, but I am enjoying what I have read so far. This is a series I take my time to read, they are truly tomes.

Next on my currently reading list is The Morrigan by Courtney Weber. I picked this up about a week ago and I really am enjoying reading the myths surrounding this goddess. The writing is really well done and the author seems very well researched on not just her own feelings, but feelings of others when talking about this goddess.


Middle Mark Books 2


Wow, I managed to read 11 books this month. I am honestly very surprised since I was in such a slump in Novemeber, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be doing any reading at all this month.

What was your favorite read of the month or year?

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Goals

Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to a little my little chat about one of my goals for 2020. In the past I have been adamant about hating Shakespeare. I never enjoyed any of his plays that I read, I found them dull and just boring honestly. But, the last time I read one of his works, any of this works honestly, I was always told to read them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but even though I am a book lover and avid reader, the fastest way to not get me to read a book is to make it required. I hate being told what to read. In fact, I didn’t read this much until I went to college, high school made me hate reading because they were never anything that interested me. Now, that is an entire other discussion I can get into another time. For now, let’s get back to Shakespeare.

So, I am not sure why, but I want to give Ol’ Shakespeare  another go and see if my tastes have either changed or simply not making his work required changed me view.

While going to my local indie bookstore I was looking at the classics, my go to there for some reason and I saw a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays. For some reason the idea for this challenge hit me. Currently, I think this is a wonderful idea. In the future, past me might be a huge jerk. Only time will tell. So, this is my plan, every month I will read 1 Shakespeare and review it. Nice and simple right? Wrong, I honestly have no idea what plays might be interesting. I picked up the ones pictured above because A Midsummers Night Dream was one I was able to tolerate reading all those moons ago and the second, Twelfth Night I have never even heard of and I thought I would give it a go.

So, there is my year long classics challenge for myself. If you have a favorite play or work by him please comment below the name and why you liked it. I could really use the help!

Also, I will be starting off with reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to those who voted for the first month! Also, please feel free to join me in this challenge. It would be a ton of fun to read along with you! In fact, I created a goodreads group so we can all connect and you can see which plays are coming up, you can find that group here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.


Which one of Shakespeare works did you enjoy reading?

Which one did you detest?

Have you read any of his works?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Christmas Traditions

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Hello and welcome to another blogmas post, I am so surprised I have actually stayed with my plan of 12 days of blogmas and the time is almost over already. Time flies when you are having fun! Earlier in blogmas I shared some of my favorite memories surrounds the holidays, Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Holiday Memories, well now I want to share some of my favorite traditions.


My favorite tradition would have to be cuddling into bed with a hot cup of cocoa on Christmas Eve and watching some of my favorite Christmas movies. I wrote up an entire post of the ones I love watch on the Eve and the day of, Blogmas | Lists | My Favorite Christmas Movies. There is nothing like relaxing and getting cozy with a heart warming movie. Then at midnight my boyfriend and I open our presents from one another, so it is technically Christmas, but we are the only ones awake and is it just so fun having our own mini Christmas in our own little world. We save all the rest for the morning with the immediate family.

The next tradition that really sticks out to me would be breakfast with my family after all the excitement of opening presents. It is just so wonderful to sit around the table, have fun, talk, and just be around one another without having to run off to this place or another. We always have the same breakfast eggs, bacon, english muffins, and delicious coffee. The coffee is very important because my extended family comes over for dinner so we have a lot of cooking to do. But, even with that breakfast feels so relaxed and nice. It is also at this time we usually take a family picture together to save the memory for us all.

My last favorite tradition is Christmas dinner with my extended family, I don’t see them often enough so I really love just sitting around and spending time with them. Our food is different every year, but we are always together and that is what I value very much.


What traditions do you have for the holidays?

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Lists & Recommendations

Blogmas | Lists | My Favorite Christmas Movies

Lists

Hello and welcome to another blogmas post. Today I am going to be sharing some of my favorite Christmas movies that I love watching on Christmas Eve, which at this point is right around the corner. Since I was young I have always gotten hot cocoa on Christmas Eve, snuggled into bed and watched a few Christmas movies. It is just my own little ritual or tradition. It just puts me right in the mood to spend time with family and come together. Any who, on to the movies!


A Year Without A Santa Clause

Image result for A Year Without A Santa Claus

This is my absolute go to Christmas movie. It was first aired in the 1970s, so it is quite old, but for me it really shines. With characters like Mother Nature, Heat Miser, Snow Miser, and Mrs. Clause to name a few, they couldn’t go wrong. It is also stop motion so it has a really fun look to it. One I miss with all the computer generated cartoons. This tells the story of a burnt out Santa Clause that feels like no one appreciates his hard work year after year, he decides to just take a year off since no one believes anymore. The story follows a few elves and a few friends on an adventure to prove Santa wrong.


The Santa Clause

Image result for the santa clause

This one also have a soft spot in my heart, it was the first Christmas movie I have ever seen in the theater. It originally played in the 1990s, It tells the story of a man who accidentally kills Santa Clause and becomes the man himself while celebrating Christmas Eve with his son. This takes them on an adventure to the North Pole and the court room. It is a comedy and Tim Allen always makes me laugh.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Image result for the grinch who stole christmas movie

Now, this one is one I am very particular about, I only enjoy the one rreleased in 2000, which starred Jim Carrey. I remember when this came out and LOVING it right away. His acting and facial expressions really sold me. I also loved how they did the sets and costume designs. I remember I even had a Cindy Lou Who doll I loved this movie so much and I think it is still packed away someone safe. I will even admit I watched this movie in the middle of the summer because I loved it so much. Also, can we just talk about the adorable puppy Max? How could anyone throw him out?! The Grinch’s heart is bigger than any who, who discarded him to the top of Mount Crumpit.


Little Women 

Image result for little women 1994

I am also very particular about this one as well, I only enjoy the 1994 movie staring Winona Ryder. The three scene I love watching and feel like Christmas to me are when their father returns home from the war, Beth gets that lovely piano, and the girls playing with Lori in the snow. It is just a heart warming story I can get lost in at Christmas and every time of the year. It is my favorite book and I just adore how it feels like a cozy home to me. Also, I will admit I have not seen the one released this year, I still don’t know if I want to. I am worried they will ruin Professor Bhaer.


What is your favorite Christmas Movie?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | What I Want From Blogging

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to this little discussion post! Since it is nearing the end of the year and my wordpress renewal went through I wanted to take this time and reflect on what I truly want from blogging and to check in and see if my motivation for it has changed since I started writing and posting on here.


So, when I first started blogging I was still in college and I had a very different way of life. A lot of the people I went to school with loved to read, but no longer really had the time to read due to our heavy reading loads. My degree was reading and critique heavy, so it is understandable that a lot of my peers didn’t want to pick up a book over reading a text and determining if it biased and how and if sources are right and so on. I on the other hand went to books to relax and still read a decent amount, but not as much as I do now.

I started to blog because I saw other book blogs online and I wanted to jump in on the conversation. I wanted to chat and gush about books I loved and hear what others had to say about their favorite reads of the year, month or in general. I feel like this is why a lot of us started our book blogs, if I am wrong please feel free to correct me.

Now, many years later and out of college my life has changed a lot. I actually have more time to read if I feel like it, I don’t pressure myself to read. If book blogging every did that to me I would honestly walk away. Reading in my hobby and how I enjoy my time, if anything stops that from happening outside of the dreaded book slump, Hello November 2019 Slump I am looking at you, I would stop. Now, I still am here to talk books and hear about others gush about books. I still want to talk to bloggers, I even started a twitter since I started blogging and I am on there all the time.

But, the question is, do I want more? The honest answer is yes. I would love to start a book club or a podcast of sorts. I feel like these would support my overall goal for blogging, connecting and talking books with awesome people. I know reading a blog is not always doable and bookclubs and podcasts are a wonderful alternate option. I also want to have more discussion posts like this, sometimes just reading information about what a person is reading or doing isn’t always inviting to comment on, but preficit it by saying “Let’S Talk”, it seems way more inviting.

Overall, I just want to find new ways to connect to you, my readers and fellow book lovers.


If you blog what do you want out of blogging? Have you ever blogged?

Do you still blog or have you stopped? If you stopped what were the reasons? 

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Disappointing Books of 2019

LetsTalk12:17Hello and welcome to the most disspointing read of 2019 for me persnoally. Earlier this week I talked about the best I have read, which ended up being a list of nearly 10, this one thankfully is quite a bit shorter. If you want to see my favorites you can find that here: Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019. Anyway, onto my most disappointing reads of 2019.


Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have a pretty negative relationship with Shakespeare at this point because I have already read his works while bing forced and for me personally, if you force me to read something as a mood reader, I am not going to like it. I am going to be giving his works more of a chance in the future, but I did not enjoy this one at all. I was bored and just wanted it to end.
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SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.

It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.

I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.

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The Secret History of Twin PeaksThe Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am giving this book 2.5 stars. I found this tale to be interesting, but at times I found the font to be a real pain in the butt to read (hand written notes in script and sometimes really messy handwriting). I also found that the description misled me a little bit, I thought it was going to focus mainly on one thing, but jumped around a bit. I will say I enjoyed the mixing of fiction and facts to create this story, it really added to the feeling of this book.

If you enjoy reading novels that are made up of a bunch of documents, alien stories, or stories following research I think you will like this.
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The Favorite DaughterThe Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The main reason I personally did not enjoy this was due to the narrator. I could not take more than a half an hour at a time listening to her. I am not really sure what to say, the idea is really interesting, but for me this is a case of a really annoying narrator.
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The Woman in the DarkThe Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am kind of struggling to pin point why this book didn’t blow me out of the water. I think the main reason is because I was able to predict a lot of what happened from very early in the book. I think once I made an assumption and it started to be proven correct I was just kinda meh about it.

I think if you have not read a lot of thrillers this is a great place to start. It is shocking and has quite layers to it. The writing style itself is good and it flowed for sure. One thing I really liked is the fact that I was debating throughout that maybe this is actually happening or it isn’t happening at all. What is reality?
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So there you have it the five books that utterly disappointed me in 2019. I am happy to say that this list is short because a majority of my reads from 2019 were three stars and up. It is nice to finally be in a reading spot where I really know my taste and I am not just buying books because they are popular or hyped anymore.

What was your most disappointing read of 2019?

Did you like any of the books I listed here?

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Lists & Recommendations

Blogmas | Lists | Favorite Christmas Quotes

Lists

Hello and welcome to another blogmas post! Today’s post is going to be a very short and sweet post where I let you know some of my favorite Christmas and Holiday quotes. I hope you enjoy a least one of them. Some are heartfelt and some are funny.


“Kindness is is like snow, It beautifies everything is covers” – Kahlil Gibran

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall” – Larry Wilde

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness” – Helen Keller

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas lights – Maya Angelou

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Chrsitmas Day. Don’t clean it too quickly” – Andy Rooney

I don’t think Christmas is necessarily about things. It’s about being good to one another” -Carrie Fisher

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor” -Charles Dickens


Do you have a favorite holiday quote or a quote from holiday story?

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Lists & Recommendations

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019

LetsTalk12:17This year I have read some pretty amazing books, I have found quite a few new favorite authors, series and stand alone novels that I really want to share with everyone. At the point of writing this, I have read 103 books this year, a lot more than I thought I would. So it was difficult to narrow down my choices down to 5, but I did manage to keep this list under 10, so that’s good. Anyway, on to thee top books I read in 2019! P.S. my favorite book of 2019 is at the bottom of the list, as they say, “Last, but not least!”


Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

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Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.

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Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: Suicide
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The Tea Dragon Society (Tea Dragon, #1)The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute graphic novel with a very sweet message to it. On top of the wonderfully cute story, the illustration style was beautiful and just perfect for this story. If you enjoy happy feeling, cute, and wholesome stories I feel like you would really enjoy this graphic novel. The only downside was I think it was kinda rushed and I would have loved to know more about the lessons and the society.
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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took.
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The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.
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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.
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The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this work is very different from what King normally writes, but I enjoyed it so much. I think it was a combination of where I read this book and just the way it was presented. I feel like I will be thinking about The Colorado Kid trying to picture Stephenie today. Anyway, I am glad King look at those news clippings and thought of this story. It really is interesting and makes you think.
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Favorite Book of 2019!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

Update: as the end of 2019 has come to an end, I have realized that I have read this book two times this year and I often want to read it a third. It truly has a great friendship, a wonderfully inventive storyline, and great humor. This is my favorite book I have read in 2019.
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What was your favorite read or reads of 2019?

Do you have a book you think I should read next year?

Are any of these books on your list?

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