Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | December 2018

Monthly Wrap Up

The last wrap up of 2018, I just cannot believe it. Soon I will be starting my reading back at 0 and trying to reach my yearly goals. But, I have to say I ended the year on such a high-note I think 2019 is going to be a wonderful reading year. I read a lot of books I have been meaning to and some I absolutely loved. I also made it to a point where I have read all of the book I have owned for over a year. I have never been to that point before so I am very excited about it and I am going to do my best to keep it that way. So, without more of a delay I am going to share the books I read this month. Some of these books were featured in my post, Middle Mark | December 2018, so some of these are a recap.

DividerBooks I Finished

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

4stars

The first book I read this month was Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Overall I really liked this book more than I thought I would. If you want a more detailed review you can find that here: Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful

4stars

Alice Hoffman has never disappointed me.I have previously read Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic by her this year and I loved the books. This book was no different, her focus was on family, but in a different way this time around. I was really invested in this story, so much in fact I read this in a single day. It was great breaking at times and other times I smiled as I read. It really was a beautiful emotional rollercoaster.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

I have to admit I did not fully read this book. I ended up DNFing this about 20% through. It was not a bad book, it just was one I was not really feeling so I did not want to push myself all the way through it. It was an interesting story set up and such. I ended up passing this book on to my friends daughter who is getting into horror.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River2stars

This is the 4th Christopher Isherwood book I have read over the years and this one was eh. While, it is not my favorite of his works, my favorite is Christopher and His Kind, I still enjoyed the writing and the ride he puts you on. If you have ever read one of his books you will know that his writing style is unique. You feel like you are drifting along on a ride watching the main character.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains

5stars

So I read this as a buddy read with some amazing ladies and I have to admit I ended up finishing it earlier than planned. The first reason being is the writing and how it is organized. I really enjoyed how the story flowed and the sections had some very good cliffhangers so I had no choice but to continue. I really enjoyed how detailed this was and how the story is told between two time periods. I highly suggest this thriller/mystery to everyone. A lot of people compare this to The Secret History, but I think I actually prefer this book over that one. Controversial? Maybe, but it is true.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

4stars

I finally read Down There on a Visit and I did enjoy it overall. As I have said 1000 times, his writing style is so enjoyable I think he could write about anything and I would enjoy it to some extent. I really enjoyed how this was broken down into sections based off of the main characters life. Also, this wrap up proves the point that you will not always love every book by an author you love and that is okay.

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

5starsI absolutely loved this book! It was hilarious and at times just made me shake my head. It is fun learning about some of the funny and creepy things that happen to librarians while working. The regulars, the weird interactions, hilarious things said by children. I loved how this was organized by topic and the introductions to each section really added to it as well. If this author came out with another book I would pick it up without thinking.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls

4stars

I really loved how this book was set up in the past and more presents. It was a thriller/ghost story that went throughout time and if you know me anything with some ghosts is a win. The writing was so rich I was able to visualize everything with ease. I really enjoyed the fictional history the author created, it really felt genuine and not forced. I also enjoyed the time periods she used in telling this story, it added a lot to the plot, but also gives a nod to the strides our society has taken to be more understanding, but also why we need to continue to be more understanding. The only reason this did not get 5 stars was because I was one thing coming, but the rest of it was a complete surprise.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

2stars

I really just think anthologies in general are just not for me. I am always disappointed because I want more. The mix of medium and the stories that were written well, but they are just too short.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

4starsI cannot believe I have finished this book! I was totally thinking this read would follow me into 2019, but I pulled a late night because this book serious hooked me. I totally understand why this is considered a favorite by many. I may or may not have read the last 300 pages in one sitting. This is a very interesting horror book that is is more creepy than outright scary. It seems like it is more a mind game than anything else. I really enjoyed how this unorthodox book was put together and how it was more than one story. It was refreshing to read something so different. I will mention I tried to read this when I was in middle school, when it first came out. I am glad I never finished it then, because I know I would not have appreciated it as much. There are layers and layers and you need to dissect this book a little bit.

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery and Other Stories

4stars

I finally read The Lottery and Other Stories and I am so happy that I did. I read right through this collection in a single day. There is something about Jackson’s writing that is just hypnotizing to me. While most of these stories are very short, some only 3 pages. She packs a lot into those 3 pages. Her writing always has layers and leaves you thinking. I highly suggest this if you enjoy reading short stories that at times are creepy or just a little jabs at society in the 1950s.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

3stars

I felt like Under the Dome was the adult version of Lord of the Flies. I read Lord of the Flies when I was in high school and I HATED it. I can’t pinpoint why I hated it, but I was so bored by it and I just couldn’t get into any of it. Under the Dome I could get into though. Right off the bat big things happen that just hook you and the way that the cut off from society was well done, even thought it was really out there. I will say there were some points where I was bored and I just wanted to find out what was happening with another group of characters. For that reason I drifted in and out of caring about the story.

DividerWhat is the last book you have read?

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TBR

December TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to my December TBR… the last TBR of the year. I cannot believe I am typing those words. But, here we are none the less. This month I am not focusing on numbers to meeting goals or anything like that. I just want to read some books I have been wanting to get to and I have been putting off because they are slow burners or larger in size. So I am excited for these end of the year reads.

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Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

This is the oldest book I have on my owned TBR. I am slowly trying to get through my backlist of books so I can get my TBR to only a few months behind instead of a year. I started reading this when I did the #Blogoween | Try A Chapter October 2018 and I really enjoyed the first chapter so I am looking forward to reading it this month.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

I have wanted to read more Christopher Isherwood book for some time, but I have not given myself the chance. So I decided that I want to read not only this book. but the next book on the list as well. This book is like four stories in one and it is semi autographical because the author puts four characters that are meant to be him, but not quite.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River

Like I said about the above book I have been wanting to read more of his works. So this one of a two brothers at odds. Once is living two lives and the other can’t seem to decide how he feels about the whole thing because he says two different thing. So I am curious to see how this family comes to terms or does not. Divider

What are you reading this month?

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TBR

#Blogoween | Try A Chapter October 2018

LetsTalk12:17

Hello everyone so once again I am ignoring a #blogoween prompt. I am sorry about this, but I thought it would be fun to do a Try a Chapter with books that would be perfect to read during this spooky time of the year. So I went through my TBR and picked up some books that I have had for some time that had to do with horror, witches, or ghosts in some way. I hope you enjoy this Halloween themed edition!

Previous Posts: Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter April 2018Try a Chapter | August 2017, and Try a Chapter | June 2017.

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The Books

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

  • goodreads rating: 3.66
  • pages: 513
  • genre: Horror

Outcome: I read a total of 14 pages, which is actually kinda short for a Stephen King chapter. The first chapter is really setting up the story and introducing the main character and fills us in on her recent live events. Overall, I think it was a good start to the novel and I think I will really enjoy reading it. So, I am going to be keeping this book.

Revival by Stephen King

Revival

  • goodreads rating: 3.76
  • pages: 405
  • genre: Horror

Outcome: I read about 5 pages, and I was already wanting to skip around and see what would happen. For me this is a bad sign. While I do want to see what happens, I only cared about what the guy did, not the aftermath or repercussions, which is the whole point. So because I already wanted to skip around I am going to be unhauling this book.

Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Gerald's Game

  • goodreads rating: 3.48
  • pages: 468
  • genre: Horror/Thriller

Outcome: So I read about 30 some odd pages of this book. I will say I didn’t ever read the description of this book. When I first discovered reading King I just kinda bought a ton of his books without really reading the descriptions. So if I had I would never have bought it. So I am unhauling this book. It is NOT for me in anyway. x

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List

  • goodreads rating: 3.84
  • pages: 273
  • genre: Fiction/Magical Realism

Outcome: I read 14 pages of this book and I can see that I will pick up another book by this author from the library, but I don’t know if I would buy another book by this author. I thought her writing was beautiful, but the plot just isn’t exciting to me. I think if the desciprion sounds like something up your alley you will love this book, I am actually going to be sending it to my cousin as a present. So I am unhauling/gifting this book.

Insomnia by Stephen King

Insomnia

  • goodreads rating: 3.81
  • pages: 912
  • genre: Horror/Fiction

Outcome: I read about 15 or odd pages of this one and it was a very slow build that didn’t really pull me in a lot. So I don’t think I would really like reading anymore of this novel. So I am going to be unhauling it. I do think for those who enjoy a slow burn kinda book this would be great one for you.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep

  • goodreads rating: 3.85
  • pages: 308
  • genre: YA/Paranormal

Outcome: I read 13 pages of this book and I wanted to read more almost instantly. I love that there is a bit of folklore and “history” poured into the book so early on. I am also getting Sanderson sister vibes mainly because there are 3 witch sisters. I am going to be keeping this book and reading it hopefully this month since it is Halloween season, but I feel like it would be great to read in the next few months as well.

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What do you think about unhauling books? What is your TBR currently?

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TBR

January TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Hello January! I love setting my TBR for the first month out of the year. I feel like it is going to set the tone for the following months. I am excited about each and every one of these books. If you have read any of these books let me know what you thoughts. Without anymore delay here is my January TBR!

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

18302455

Lisey Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a twenty-five-year marriage of profound, sometimes frightening intimacy. Scott was a celebrated, award-winning, novelist. And a complex man. Lisey knew there was a dark place where her husband ventured to face his demons. Boo’ya Moon is what Scott called it; a realm that both terrified and healed him, that could eat him alive or give him the ideas he needed to write and live. Now, it’s Lisey’s turn to face her husband’s demons. And what begins as a widow’s effort to sort through her husband’s effects, becomes a perilous journey into the heart of darkness

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

18302455

In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While she was there, she began to understand the fate that awaited the Jewish families who were unable to leave. Soon she reached out to the trapped families, going from door to door and asking them to trust her with their young children. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings.

But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept a secret list buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On it were the names and true identities of these Jewish children, recorded so their families could find them after the war. She could not know that more than ninety percent of their families would perish.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

18302455

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

18302455

I am participating in a buddy read of The Secret History by Donna Tartt with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and last but not least Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!  Check them out, they are so kind and have awesome blogs.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.


I know my TBR is a bit short, but I wanted to keep the pressure off and leave room for myself to pick books based upon my mood. I have learned over the past year or so that sticking to longer TBRs are just not for me. I do better with small goals where I can always go above and beyond if I feel like it.


What are you reading this month?

Do you use a TBR or a mood reader?

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