Statistics Survey 2014

Statistics Survey 2014

Umm, as soon as I saw tweets about a stats survey, I was like I AM IN.  I totally geek out on this stuff.  So… thanks to Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide and Andi of Andi’s ABCs for putting this together!


  1. Number of books under 250 pages (not including novellas): 6
  2. Number of books read between 400-449 pages: 10
  3. Number of books read between 450-499 pages: 6
  4. Number of books read over 500 pages: 4
  5. Number of books read over 1000 pages: 0
  6. Number of novellas read: 0
  7. Number of books that made you cry: No idea!  More than 1, less than 20?
  8. Number of books from a female POV: 34 (including some with multiple female POVs)
  9. Number of books from a male POV: 6 (including one with multiple male POVs)
  10. Number of alternating or multiple POVs: 27
  11. Number of DNFs (did not finish): 5
  12. Number of five star reads: 4
  13. Number of one/two star reads: 7 (I also included 2.5s)
  14. Number of authors met in 2014: 0
  15. Number of book events attended in 2014: Uhh, 2 or 3 if you count the library sale and story time
  16. Number of books you read in one day: Depends on how you define read in one day… I had 0 books started and finished on the same day, but 3 finished after one day (for example, started on the 1st, finished on the 2nd)
  17. Number of audiobooks: 10 (new record for me!)
  18. Number of 2015 books you have on pre-order: 0
  19. Number of re-reads: 2


  1. Book with the highest rating on Goodreads: Funnily enough, my least favorite book of the year, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, gets a 4.44 on Goodreads.
  2. Book with the lowest rating on Goodreads: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close has a ranking of 3.07… I gave it a 4.  Haha, I really don’t jibe with the Goodreads average, I guess.
  3. Book read furthest away from home (vacation reads?): Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe– read it while I was in NYC visiting my sister!
  4. Book that took you the longest to read: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill took me 29 days to read on audio
  5. Book that you personally connected with the most: Either Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close because it was such a perfect depiction of modern life in your 20s or Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty which just hit home in its depictions of parenthood, marriage, and friendship.
  6. Book that made you love the villain: Hmm, maybe Stay by Allie Larkin… by the end of the book, I understood some of the bad guys a little better
  7. Book you said you’d come back to but still haven’t picked up again: Eventide by Kent Haruf… couldn’t do it on audio and just haven’t felt like reading literary fiction much.
  8. Book you read waaaay before it’s publication date: N/A since I don’t do ARCs
  9. Book you read on your birthday: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
  10. Book with a character who shares your name: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith has a character named Elizabeth.
  11. Book you weren’t entirely truthful about when rating (Fluff up any ratings? Rated even though you didn’t finish?): Haha, I gave Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier a half-point boost (3.5 to 4) just because I love Marillier and don’t have the heart to not LOVE her books.
  12. Book you read in 2014 but already want to re-read: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, anything and everything by Sarra Manning… etc.
  13. Book you borrowed from a friend a long time ago and still have: I… don’t think I have any of these. (I hope.)
  14. Book by a foreign author/originally published in another country: I read a bunch of Liane Moriarty books and she’s Australian, so is Juliet Marillier.  And I read some British writers, too– Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling, Sarra Manning.  But nothing outside of the English-speaking world, unfortunately.
  15. Book you wish you could go back and read for the first time again: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  16. Most books read by one author this year: 3 books each for 4 different authors- Liane Moriarty, Sarra Manning, Rae Carson, and Juliet Marillier

Stat Survey This and That

  1. Happiest & saddest:
    Happiest- mmm, this is hard, I’d say the most joyful book (though it had a lot of angst) was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.
    Saddest- One Plus One by Jojo Moyes… so many things go wrong, but it was kind of hopeful sad if that makes sense
  2. Longest & shortest:
    Longest: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin at 801 pages
    Shortest: Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose at 133 pages
  3. Best & worst:
    Best: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
    Worst: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  4. First & last reads of 2014: First was a reread of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and the last was Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern.
  5. First & last books on your bookcase (1st book on the top left and last book on the bottom right):
    First- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
    Last- The Beatles Anthology (one of my husband’s books… we share shelves)
  6. The most disappointing & the biggest pleasant surprise:
    Most disappointing: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
    Most pleasant surprise: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  7. Bandwagon/fandom you joined & one you abandoned:
    Fandom Joined: Juliet Marillier… love her writing
    Fandom Abandoned: Mmm, I think I am done singing the praises of Erin McCarthy… I have only really liked one of her books, the others have been ridiculous.
  8. Most lenient & harshest ratings:
    Most lenient: I gave The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz a 3… but I didn’t really like it.  I inflated the rating because I felt it taught me something even if it was not enjoyable to read.
    Harshest: Hmm, maybe Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning? I gave it a 3.5 because it was a really depressing book, but when I reviewed it I found I probably liked it a lot better than just a slightly better than average book.
  9. Most hyped & furthest under the radar that you read:
    Most hyped: I read a lot of hyped stuff this year.  I’m going to go with Shadow and Bone.  SO MUCH GRISHA HYPE.
    Furthest Under the Radar: Uhhh, probably The Sundial by Shirley Jackson which was out of print for quite some time and definitely not one of her well-known works.

Stat Survey Grab Bag

  1. Book you read that is red: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  2. Book you read that starts with M: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins and The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  3. Book you read that you may have hugged when you finished it: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  4. Book you read that you may have wanted to throw across a room: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Book that has the letters Q, X, or Z in the title (bonus for one of the words in the title beginning with those!): The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen and The Drake Equation by Heather Walsh
  6. Book that suffered some damage this year (food? water? ripped pages/cover? Ouch!): Umm, how about my Kindle Fire?  It got covered in fire extinguisher gunk after a minor kitchen fire.
  7. Food you craved while/after reading a certain book:  Chex Mix after reading Rainbow Rowell’s story in My True Love Gave to Me
  8. First book you read in 2015: It’ll probably be I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson.
  9. Number of books read that end with a 6 in the page count: 6!  How perfect is that?!

Stat Survey Blogging Life

  1. Number of posts in 2014: 65
  2. Number of reviews posted this year: 41 (some posts included reviews of multiple books, so more than 41 books reviewed!)
  3. First post of 2014: My review of We Are Water by Wally Lamb
  4. First review of 2014: We Are Water by Wally Lamb
  5. Last post of 2014: My 2014 End of Year Book Survey
  6. Last review of 2014: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
  7. Least coherent review: Hahaha, probably my review of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill.  I totally did not remember the book well enough to write a review of it.
  8. Review with the most views (regardless of post date): My review of Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt got the most views this year.  Anything that gets read in middle or high school classes always gets tons of search engine hits.  Come on, kids, do your own homework.
  9. Post with the most comments: My TTT for Top Ten Books I Read in 2014
  10. Post you wish you could re-write: Maybe my review of Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier.  I felt like I was overly harsh in it, when I actually mostly loved the book.
  11. Most popular post this year (that was posted in 2014): My review of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (for some reason the spambots love this post and also the kids not wanting to do their own homework)

December 2014 Roundup

December was a good month for this little blog.  I did a bunch of organizational tasks, got caught up on reviews (most of which are scheduled for next month), and went on a hold request spree at the library.  I actually have gone back to reading some YA after taking a several month hiatus and you know, when I don’t burn out on it, I actually like YA.  Even contemporary.  Go figure.

Books Read:

Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier

Stay by Allie Larkin (audio)

Can’t Buy Me Love by Molly O’Keefe

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

In the Works: I’m in the middle of both I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling and I’m listening to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas on audio.  These are all books that have taken some effort to get into for me, but I will finish them all.  And soon!  I have a couple books on hold from the library I need to get to, too, most notably Mortal Heart, the final book in the His Fair Assassin series.  And once I get through some of that stuff I need to get to work on the Read Harder Challenge that I was crazy enough to take on (more on this, probably, eventually).



2014 End of Year Book Survey

Thank you so much to Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner for creating this survey every year.  It is one of the highlights of my blogging year!



Number Of Books You Read:


Number of Re-Reads:


Genre You Read The Most From:

General Fiction


1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

I’m going to limit myself to just one and say Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

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

I’m going to say Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.  It was totally up my alley in terms of neat worldbuilding, a female hero, and political intrigue, but the characters fell flat for me and it ended up being a bit of a dud as a result.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?

I’m going to go with After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  I saw some love for this book and figured it would be ok, but didn’t expect it to be so smart and so fresh and with such well-developed family relationships.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Probably Unsticky by Sarra Manning.  Or maybe Rainbow Rowell’s books.  I had success with the people I pushed those on.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Oh gosh, I read/started so many good series this year!  The best series I started was probably the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier.  The best sequel was probably The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith in the Cormoran Strike series.  And the best series ender goes to The Bitter Kingdom from the Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

I’m going to go with Liane Moriarty here.  Loved all three of her books that I read this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

This is a hard question this year as I mostly read within my comfort zone.  I guess I’ll have to go with Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty.  I don’t read a whole lot of non-fiction, and particularly didn’t this year (only 2).  But I really enjoyed this memoir about death and the funeral industry.

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

I’m going to go with Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas.  I raced through that book and it was a thriller, so yeah, it was thrilling.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Maybe It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning or Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close.  I will eventually reread Daughter of the Forest, but still have a book (books?) left in that series to finish out before I do that.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

I can’t decide between these two covers, so I declare a tie between Nowhere But Home and Ask the Passengers.


11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Either Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest or Cormoran Strike from The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm.  I’m having a tough time choosing because I love them both.  Sorcha for her courage and resilience and hope and Strike for his intelligence and gruffness.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

I’m going to have to go with Benediction by Kent Haruf.  Love his bare, sparse writing style and how it reflects the setting and characters in his books.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

This is a hard question… I think I will go with The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  I think of it often when women’s reproductive rights come into the news.  It has cautioned me against taking certain freedoms for granted, I think.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?

Also The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood… I’ve been wanting to read it since my dystopia craze back in late 2011/early 2012.  And, of course, it was great!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

I love that my Kindle Paperwhite saves all my “clippings” so I’ve actually got a few for this question this year!

“A Yankees hat, the only thing marring her golden beauty.” –Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins (because I totally agree that one cannot be beautiful in a Yankees cap)

“…we should live like we smoke–inhale the present and exhale the past.” –Faking It by Cora Carmack (because yes, we should live more like that)

“Motherhood is complicated, I decide.  You can tell a kid not to use ‘fuck’ all you want, but that doesn’t mean it will change anything, that he’ll actually listen.” –The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch (because this is the scary truth about parenting)

“It didn’t matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.” –The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (because, duh, books)

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose comes in at 133 pages or 3 hours and 38 minutes on audio

Longest: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin at a whopping 801 pages, 801 tedious painful neverending pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

I’m probably going to have to say Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas here.  It was a real twisty, turny book with an ending that left me with questions.

18. OTP (One True Pairing) OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

So, this means the best romantic relationship, right?  I’m going to go with Liadan and Bran from Son of the Shadows.  I liked the romance in that book quite a bit.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I loved Lauren’s relationships with her mom and siblings in After I Do.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

I’m going to go with It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning.  I really love her books!

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

I read Boomerang by Noelle August solely based on a Goodreads recommendation from Brandyn.  It was cute!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

I’m not big on the fictional crushes, but I guess I will go with either Alex from Stay by Allie Larkin or Cormoran Strike.  Alex because of his awesome 90s shaggy hair and Strike because I always have a crush on the grumpy smart guy, ok?

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

The only 2014 debut I read this year was The Queen of the Tearling, but I actually liked it and have high hopes for the rest of the series, so I’m alright with calling it the best.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

In terms of fantasy worldbuilding, I’m going to say Daughter of the Forest for its very vivid Irish fairytale feel.  In terms of vivid realistic settings, I’d say Benediction for its sparse, plains feel and also Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe for its desert setting.  Because I love both the plains and the desert… that makes me a total Texan, huh?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

I’d have to say I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.  It was just a fun, cute read.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

I have a really hard time remembering this stuff.  I either cry a lot or never, based on my horrible memory for this question, but I’m pretty sure I teared up at One Plus One by Jojo Moyes.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

I’d have to say The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty.  This is one of her books that I haven’t heard much of anything about, but it has really stuck with me.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Oh gosh.  I think this is asking about a really emotional read?  Because I think A Game of Thrones crushed my soul, but more in the I can’t believe I’ve spent 800 pages reading this trash sort of way.  As for an emotionally crushing read, umm, maybe Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty?  It was pretty weighty in parts, but not relentlessly so.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

I’m going to have to go with Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut.  Vonnegut is pretty unique and I haven’t read a whole lot of deconstructed narrative stuff in fiction.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Probably Outlander or maybe A Game of Thrones.  Both do the gratuitous sex and violence thing to the point of excess.  And both were REALLY long.  And it was frustrating that neither even came close to living up to the hype.



1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?

I’ve been awful at reading other blogs this year.  I don’t really have a good answer here.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

Probably my review of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I didn’t post a whole lot of these this year, but I this that my Top Ten Tuesday about why I love reading and blogging was a good one for reflecting on why we read and why we blog.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

How about my library’s book sale?  I had a lot of fun and found a ton of books this year.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Getting my mom to read books!  She’s never been a big reader, but I have lent her a few this year and she actually liked and finished them!  It always feels great to pair people with the right books for them.

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

By views, my most popular post written this year is my review of The Handmaid’s Tale.

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I’m going to say my review of Daughter of the Forest, but mostly because you should probably read this book.

8. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Audible.  I have been doing audiobooks through the Overdrive app for a while, but my library’s selection leaves something to be desired.  I tried Audible this fall and love it.  The app is so much nicer than Overdrive’s, the selection of books is (of course) better, and the customer service was good (the time I contacted them).

9.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

No challenges, but some goals… to read 60 books (which I did) and to read at least 25 e-books or e-audiobooks (which I also did).  I also wanted to read 1 classic (which I did) and participate in Dewey’s Readathon, which unfortunately didn’t happen in 2014.



1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

Hahaha, I have never actually read a book that I have answered in this question.  But hey, let’s just go along with the ruse that I’m totally going to get to that copy of Rebecca that’s been sitting on my shelf (and been the answer to this question in 2012 and 2013) in 2015.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

I’m going to go with Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer.  It’s already getting good buzz, I have liked most of her past works, AND the plot sounds exactly like the sort of book I will like (a lady getting her life together on all fronts).

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I’m really horrible at reading debuts and I usually read them accidentally.  How about Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard?  That sounds interesting and up my alley fantasy-wise.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

They haven’t released anything about the next Cormoran Strike novel, but if there is one in 2015 it will be that.  If not, I see the sequel to The Queen of the Tearling is coming out next summer.  So that.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Keep on keeping on!  I’ve been blogging for almost three years now… it has its ups and downs, but as long as I keep on reading, I’m happy.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

None.  I don’t do ARCs, so I won’t be reading any 2015 releases until 2015!

November 2014 Roundup

I don’t think I ever posted an October roundup, so I will add those books to my list down below.

To be honest, blogging hasn’t been on my mind much lately.  I’ve been reading plenty, just not been particularly inspired to review anything in a looooong time. I like to review everything I read, but that is always too high of an expectation so I fall behind and just never find myself catching back up because I’m so behind.  Maybe I will get my act back together soon.  End of year posts are my FAVORITE posts of the whole year to write and we are finally getting closer to those.  Perhaps that will inspire me to get writing!

Books Read (October):

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins

Wild Child by Molly O’Keefe

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty (audio)

Believe by Erin McCarthy

Books Read (November):

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (audio)

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (audio)

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

In the Works: I’m currently reading Juliet Marillier’s latest book, Dreamer’s Pool.  I’m liking it, but a little confused why I requested it when I still haven’t finished the Sevenwaters series yet.  I think it was a case of new book grabby hands, which I’ve been suffering from lately.  I am listening to Bad Feminist on audiobook, but I am not sure I will finish it.  It’s not really what I expected (more memoir than I realized) and I just bought a couple of sale books off Audible that are sounding more promising right now.

I’ve got a ton of books on hold or checked out from the library waiting for me to read.  I hope I actually get some reading time with the holidays coming up… it used to be a guarantee, but I never know how things are going to go with a toddler around.  Hopefully this little blog will be a little more active, too, in the coming month!



September 2014 Roundup

Well, I have been on quite the reading spree lately.  I finished EIGHT books in September, which is twice as many as I usually do, so wow.  I’m three books ahead on my Goodreads goal now, so I guess it’s time to pick up some massive epic fantasy tome now, huh?  Anyways, been on a bit of a chick lit jag and since chick lit is one of my mainstays, it’s been a lot of fun finding some new authors to follow.

I am waaaaaaaay behind on reviews and haven’t been feeling the motivation to catch up.  Eventually I will, I’m sure, though it might be mini-reviews at this point.

Books Read:

Boomerang by Noelle August

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

In the Works: I just finished another Liane Moriarty book (like 10 minutes ago), so I’m in between reads at the moment.  I’ve got a couple checked out from the library, so I’ll either start How To Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer or These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf next.  I’m also impatiently waiting for my next Audible credit so I can start another audiobook!

What’s new with you?



August 2014 Roundup

Ugh, August.  I think it’s my least favorite month of the year.  Too hot to do anything coupled with back to school insanity.  Reading-wise, it wasn’t a terrible month in that I finished 5 books.  But then I realize that I spent most of the month reading Outlander, which was not really fun for me.  I don’t know why I keep buying these gargantuan books being made into TV shows thinking I will like them.  I don’t.  (See also: Game of Thrones)  I had a rash of book buying this month, between my library’s book sale, Kindle deals, and a trip to Half Price Books to sell off some old books (and you know, buy some new ones while I wait).  I’ve been a much bigger book buyer this year than in years past.  My Kindle Paperwhite is so much better to read on that if money were no object I’d read on it exclusively.

Blog-wise, I’ve got a couple more reviews scheduled, but need to get in gear and review my last month’s worth of reading.  I haven’t had many quiet moments at work to draft posts lately, but we are fast approaching slow season, so soon, hopefully.  I’ve actually been getting a relatively high amount of blog traffic and review requests lately (for me, anyways).  I guess my one backlist review a week strategy is actually catching on?  I wish I had time to read other blogs more.  Or to write posts besides reviews.  Someday.  Maybe.

Books Read:

Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (audio)

Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose (audio)

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning

In the Works: I am currently reading a book I picked up at the library sale, Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick, an author I first tried earlier this year and wanted to keep an eye out for.  Mostly I’m reading it because it is short and after Outlander, all I want to do is read short books.  I’m in between audiobooks.  I’ve been thinking about getting an Audible subscription, but I can’t find anyone who has one to share their experience with me.  Hint hint.  

How’s your reading going?  What else is new?  What am I missing out on by slacking on blog-reading?



The Pressure to Read

I’ve been thinking a little bit lately about what my life would be like if I stopped keeping track of what I read.  If I stopped having a target number of books to read for a year.  If I let myself just read without any record-keeping or Goodreads goals or spreadsheet to tell me how many pages I’ve read in a year or what percentage of my books were authored by men.

Obviously, keeping track of my reads is something I opted to do.  I started keeping a spreadsheet of what I read and regularly updating my Goodreads account back in 2012, around the same time I started this blog.  It was neat to be able to go back and see what I’ve read and how much and how fast I could read and also to have some more overall statistics, like what are my preferred genres or how many backlist books do I actually read.  It was fun to have a goal and to challenge myself to try new genres or to read more.  And well, in the blogging world, if you don’t keep track of what you read, then how in the heck do you remember what you’re going to review or what to recommend to someone?  Really, the last two and a half years of my reading and blogging life have kind of depended on me filling in my spreadsheet and updating my Goodreads goals.  It it actually something I love to do after finishing a book.

But lately I am feeling the flip side of keeping track of it all and having goals.  It’s fun for me most of the time, but other times I find myself saying utterly ridiculous things like “I should be reading right now” or “this 500 page book is going to put behind my reading goal” or “gosh, I can’t have another lunch date this week, I NEED to be keeping up with my book.”  Yeah, utterly ridiculous in that I am putting some sort of pressure on myself to keep up with a goal that affects only me and that I’m not necessarily allowing myself to read whatever I want, whenever I want (which is one of my main priorities when it comes to books) and I actually want to blow people off and be antisocial because I feel some sort of obligation to read.  It’s hard for me to even call reading an obligation because I enjoy it, but maybe I am at a point where the other things I’ve added to my reading life (Goodreads, blogging, spreadsheets, goals) are taking away from my enjoyment.

I have been feeling an overwhelming sense that something has got to give in my life.  I don’t know what.  I don’t know why.  I just know that my desire to keep up with everything makes me more miserable than letting something go would.

How do you manage the “pressure” to read?  Do you keep Goodreads goals?  Will my world end if I stop keeping track of what I read?

July 2014 Roundup

This is kind of embarrassing.  I didn’t really realize a month had ended and I needed to do a roundup until I read someone else’s July wrap post and realized it is August.  July was a fun and busy month.  We started the month by going on vacation.  We left the baby with her grandma for 3 days and went to St. Louis to watch baseball, drink beer, sleep in, and eat meals without another human (or dogs) mooching off our plates.  Then we spent a couple days back at my mother-in-law’s doing the family visit thing.  It was so nice to get a vacation, but it wasn’t long enough.  (Are they ever?)  And I ended the month with a very busy week of single momming, social events, and work nonsense.  Somehow I found a way to read 5 books and to more or less enjoy them.  I still am hung up on fantasy, but got distracted trying to finish a couple of the books I’d pre-ordered earlier in the summer.  Blog-wise, I am finally almost caught up on writing reviews and reading slow enough I might actually catch up before I finish another book!

Books Read:

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (audio)

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

In the Works: I am currently reading Son of the Shadow, the second in Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters Trilogy and very much enjoying it.  I think I might have found a new favorite author.  I will save my expounding on that point for my review of Daughter of the Forest, though.  I am listening to Code Name Verity which is beautifully-written, but kind of boring.  I don’t really have future reading plans other than to finish out the Sevenwaters Trilogy.  Marillier’s books are BIG so they take a couple weeks to read, which means my reading pace this month is going to be embarrassingly slow.  Also, classes start at the end of August and I work at a university so work is going to be insane.  I am going to miss my quiet Student Union reading spot on my lunch breaks, but Fall is always a special time on campus.  Watching the new students getting settled in makes me a happy student services employee.  Anyways, here’s to hoping I don’t get TOO far behind on my Goodreads goal this coming month.


June 2014 Roundup

June was not a bad month reading or blogging-wise, but also not spectacular.  I’ve been on a bit of a fantasy kick lately, which is a new thing for me, but I realized I kind of dig the political intrigue and the badass heroines.  I really can’t think of anything else to say about June.  It was a pretty average month all around.

Books Read:

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (audio)

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

In the Works: I just started Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, continuing with my YA fantasy kick.  I am intrigued to see where things go in this world and hey, all three books are published so if I am dying to know what happens next I can actually find out.  I’m also listening to All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill on audiobook because I love the free books through Audio Sync.  We are going on vacation this week, so I will either get a ton of reading done or be so busy that I read nothing.  My plan is to focus on Shadow and Bone and All Fall Down (the Jennifer Weiner novel I have sitting on my Kindle) for my vacation and if I somehow finish both of those… I will start either Siege and Storm or Jojo Moyes’s latest, One Plus One.  When I get home, Landline by Rainbow Rowell should be waiting for me.  I’m really excited for that one, since I have loved everything else she’s ever written.  It should be a month of good books, if only I can make the time to read them!


May 2014 Roundup

Sigh.  I have finally hit that point of the year where I have been too busy/too lazy/too caught up in other things to blog.  I am like 6 reviews behind, which, yikes.  I finished some of those books like 6 weeks ago… I want to catch up, but when I get behind like that I find it reallllllly hard to find the motivation to sit down and write even one review.  It is really easy to fall off the regular-posting train.  But hey, what I like about hobbies is that I can devote as much time to them as I want and drop them and pick them back up as I need to.

Anywho, reading-wise I’ve been doing ok.  Only three books in May, but there were several family events this month and a lot of illness in my household, so reading was not top priority.  Also, fantasy books take me forever to finish, so I spent way too long reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  I have been having something of a YA moment again, which is fun.  It is nice to read books that the book blogging community is familiar with and well, I like good YA, I really, really do.

Books Read:

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

In the Works: I am currently reading The Crown of Embers, which is the sequel to The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  It is better than the first book and way more action-packed… I assume I will be tracking down The Bitter Kingdom shortly after this one.  I have a short stack of library books checked out for myself– a couple chick lit authors I wanted to try and a Marcus Sedgwick book I remembered seeing on Goodreads.  I also bought myself a few books for my birthday– All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner (I can’t not autobuy her books, I guess), Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (it was $1.99 for the ebook!), and I preordered Landline by Rainbow Rowell (another autobuy author for me).  There are also several other books coming out this summer that I am super-pumped for, namely Herman Koch’s latest English translation, Summer House with Swimming Pool, and Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land, which comes out in August.  Basically, I have lots and lots I want to read this summer.  I hope I can squeeze it all in!

Blog-wise… well, maybe this post will motivate me to get caught up on reviews.  I don’t really have anything else planned because, really, do I ever?

Life-wise… my 5th anniversary is this week (time really has flown by) and husband and I are going to a baseball game this weekend to celebrate (this is how baseball fans celebrate major life events).  My child is wild and crazy and into absolutely everything.  Toddlers are exhausting.  Fun, but exhausting.  One awesome thing is she is really starting to show a love of books.  She plays with them all the time and likes to carry one over and crawl up into my lap for a story.  Now that will make a book blogging mama’s heart melt!