Wednesday, January 8, 2020

My Year in Books 2019

I had a goal of 150 books in 2019 and read 152. I have kept the same goal of 150 for this year.

The Numbers:
Pages: 39,272 (approximately)
E-books: 22
Print books:  6
Audiobooks:  124

This year’s favorite “The Way of Kings”, the first book in the Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson. I am definitely going to read all the books in this series in the coming year. On Good Reads, it was the highest rated book I read also. Very well deserved. Another new series for me, “The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie, was another favorite of mine that I intend to continue this year.

Favorite Reads of 2019:

I continued reading new books from several of my favorite series. “The Cat in the Stack” series by Miranda James, “Library Lovers” series by Jenn McKinlay, “Agatha Raisin” by MC Beaton, and “The Puzzle Lady” by Parnell Hall, are a few. Of course, I continued the “Mystic Bayou” and “Southern Eclectic” series by Molly Harper.

I listened to the first book in the “Super Powereds” series by Drew Hayes in 2018 and continued with books two and three in 2019. I am currently listening to book four – it is over 60 hours long – wish me luck!

New Series:
The “Crazy Rich Asians” trilogy by Kevin Kwan was a great series. I don’t know if more are planned, but I will continue reading them if they are written.

One of my favorite authors, Molly Harper, started a new series this year, “Sorcery & Society”. There are two books so far and I read them both.

Another of my favorite authors, Marissa Meyer, began the “Renegades” series. I have read the first two books and will read the third this year.

Stand-Alone Books (or at least so far, they are stand-alone):
“Circe” by Madeline Miller
“Fuzzy Nation” by John Scalzi

Non-Fiction favorites:
“Notorious RBG: The Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Cameron & Shana Knizhnik
“Chasing New Horizons” by Alan Stern & David Grinspoon

Thumbs Down:
Nothing stands out as being a totally bad read in 2019.

Monday, December 31, 2018

My Year in Books 2018

I had set a goal of 200 books this year and fell short. I only read 192. Too much binge Netflix watching! I set my goal at 150 for 2019. Hope I can make that!

The Numbers:

Pages: 53,390 (approximately)
E-books: 28
Print books:  11
Audiobooks:  153

Again, the big winner was audiobooks. My favorite book of the year was another re-read of "Ready Player One". I love the book and the movie came out this year, so of course I had to re-read it again. Another re-read of a favorite, "Good Omens" by  Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. I can't wait for the new TV series from this one. I hope it is as good as the book.

A new book I really liked was "Eliza and Her Monsters" by Francesca Zappia.

A new series for me that really stood out was a series of poems by Amanda Lovelace, "Women are Some Kind of Magic". I read two books in this series and I hope there are more to come.

Favorite Reads of 2018

I continued several series this year including "The Puzzle Lady" by Parnell Hall, "Cat in the Stacks" by Dean James and "Pendergast" by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

New series:
Molly Harper has two new series out. "Mystic Bayou" and "Southern Eclectic".
A new children's series I like is "Wizards of Once" by Cressida Crowell
"Girl From Everywhere" by Heidi Helwig
"Super Powereds" by Drew Hayes
"Illuminae Files" by Amie Caufman
"Maze Runner" by James Dashner

Stand Alone Books:
Didn't read many of these this year and the only one that really stands out is "Eliza and Her Monsters"

Favorite books revisited:

"Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke
"Robot" by Isaac Asimov 

Thumbs down to:

Only a couple that I really didn't like.
"Neuromancer" by William Gibson, winner of several awards and had great reviews. I just didn't care for it.
"Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for Ultrahuman Protection" by Alexander Krane sounded really good, but fell short.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Great American Read

(Updated October 26, after the final show)

PBS now has an 8 part series called "The Great American Read". The series description states that it explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through America's best-loved novels as chosen in a national survey.

Here is a list of the chosen books. The ones in bold are the ones I have read (71). Some of the series I did not finish for various reasons. Too many or grew boring (Outlander, Left Behind), too many years between installments (Game of Thrones), or I didn't realize it was really a series and I'm not sure if I read them all or not (Alex Cross Mysteries). Some of the ones I read, I wonder how they wound up on this list as "Great". How anyone could call "Flowers in the Attic" a good book, much less great is beyond me. I thought it was sick and disgusting. "Looking for Alaska", well lets just say anyone who reads John Green is just asking to be depressed. 

The others that I have read, were all memorable enough that I remember what they were about and, for the most part, liked. Some of these, actually most of the ones I've read, are among my personal favorites. "And Then There Were None" is my all-time favorite Agatha Christie. "Rebecca" is my favorite surprise ending. Everyone should read "The Handmaid's Tale", not for entertainment, but for the warning. "The Color Purple" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" for their lessons in racism. "Jane Eyre" is probably my all-time favorite high school required reading, "Siddhartha" in college. "Harry Potter" and "The Wheel of Time" I have read several times (yes, all 13 of the 1000 pages + "Wheel of Time" series, several times). "Ready Player One" is my current book and movie (very different) favorite. "Dune" was a great book, but one of the worst movie adaptations I've ever seen. One of my favorite book quotes is in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" ("42", if you have read the book, you will know what that refers to!) "The Stand" for its power of suggestion (Steve and I both got really sick during the first half of the book and all symptoms disappeared the last half, not kidding, that really happened).

The Final Results:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Outlander (Series)
  3. Harry Potter (Series)
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. Charlotte's Web
  8. Little Women
  9. Chronicles of Narnia
  10. Jane Eyre
  11. Anne of Green Gables
  12. Grapes of Wrath
  13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  14. Book Thief
  15. Great Gatsby
  16. The Help
  17. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  18. 1984
  19. And Then There Were None
  20. Atlas Shrugged
  21. Wuthering Heights
  22. Lonesome Dove
  23. Pillars of the Earth
  24. Stand
  25. Rebecca
  26. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  27. Color Purple
  28. Alice in Wonderland
  29. Great Expectations
  30. Catcher in the Rye
  31. Where the Red Fern Grows
  32. Outsiders
  33. The Da Vinci Code
  34. The Handmaid's Tale
  35. Dune
  36. The Little Prince
  37. Call of the Wild
  38. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  39. The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy
  40. The Hunger Games
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo
  42. The Joy Luck Club
  43. Frankenstein
  44. The Giver
  45. Memoirs of a Geisha
  46. Moby Dick
  47. Catch 22
  48. Game of Thrones (series)
  49. Foundation (series)
  50. War and Peace
  51. Their Eyes Were Watching God
  52. Jurassic Park
  53. The Godfather
  54. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  55. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  56. The Notebook
  57. The Shack
  58. A Confederacy of Dunces
  59. The Hunt for Red October
  60. Beloved
  61. The Martian
  62. The Wheel of Time (series)
  63. Siddhartha
  64. Crime and Punishment
  65. The Sun Also Rises
  66. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
  67. A Separate Peace
  68. Don Quixote
  69. The Lovely Bones
  70. The Alchemist
  71. Hatchet (series)
  72. Invisible Man
  73. The Twilight Saga (series)
  74. Tales of the City (series)
  75. Gulliver's Travels
  76. **Ready Player One**
  77. Left Behind (series)
  78. Gone Girl
  79. Watchers
  80. The Pilgrim's Progress
  81. Alex Cross Mysteries (series)
  82. Things Fall Apart
  83. Heart of Darkness
  84. Gilead
  85. Flowers in the Attic
  86. Fifty Shades of Grey
  87. The Sirens of Titan
  88. This Present Darkness
  89. Americanah
  90. Another Country
  91. Bless Me, Ultima
  92. Looking for Alaska
  93. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  94. Swan Song
  95. Mind Invaders
  96. White Teeth
  97. Ghost
  98. The Coldest Winter Ever
  99. The Intuitionist
  100. Dona Barbara

Sunday, December 31, 2017

My Year in Books 2017

By the Numbers:

Pages: 70,649 (approximate)
E-books: 30
Print Books: 13
Audiobooks: 186

My most very favorite book of the year was a re-read, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I love that book!
There is a tie for my favorite new read of 2017: Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi and All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.

Favorite Reads of 2017

I'm still enjoying a few series: Parnell Hall's Puzzle Lady, Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin, Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles, How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell and JR Rain's Vampire for Hire.

New series I liked are: 
Magic 2.0 by Scott Meyer
Bear in the Backseat Bks 1&2 by Kim DeLozier & Carolyn Jourdan
Elfhome by Wen Spencer
Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Interdependency by John Scalzi
Broken Earth by NK Jemisin
Fred the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes
Bobiverse by Dennis E. Taylor
Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire

Stand Alone Books:
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi
View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg
Way Station by Clifford D. Simak
The City by Clifford D. Simak
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Greyhound by Steffan Piper
Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A Revisit to:
Midnight, Texas series by Charlaine Harris
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Thumbs down to:
Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas
Temperance Brennan #1: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs (believe it or not I like the TV series better!)
Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
Gather Round the Sound by Audible
Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (did not finish)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon

Several of my book reading friends have participated in this in the past. I thought I would give it a try this year. October 21st I should be driving back from a wedding, so there should be a lot of good audiobook listening time. Not sure what the book will be yet. It will have to be something Steve will want to listen to as well.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

According to BBC - Top 100 Books to Read

I got this off Facebook a while back and thought I'd post it here. I have to admit, I've never even heard of some of this books. Are they all supposed to be classics?

The Top 100 Books....According to the BBC

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.  

- Bold those books you've read in their entirety.
- Italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read only an excerpt.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte 

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 

6 The Bible 

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte 

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell 

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman 

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck 

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis 

34 Emma -Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel 

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas 

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

75 Ulysses - James Joyce 

76 The Inferno - Dante

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell 

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I have just spent the last hour looking back over this blog. I started it in 2007?? I started it as a Rune & Tarot study, not a book thing?? I had a lot of fun things back then that I don't now :(  Instead of using Facebook, I did the quizzes and tests and which character are you here instead of there. I actually wrote longer book reviews. I wrote about movies and TV series. I was much more fun in 2007-2008, lol.