Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Tackling The TBR Year-In-Review | 2019

Here is it, the day I have been waiting for! I am looking at the data for the first time and I am so, SO happy about how successful this first round was. I hope to be just as successful in 2020!

1-1-19: I started the year with 4,323 books on my TBR...

...I added 555 books I couldn't resist...

...removed 1,397 books I no longer wanted to read...

...and I DNF-ed 82 books I lost interest in...

...Plus I read a total of 278 books from the TBR...

...On 12-31-19: I am ending the year with 3,165 books on my TBR!

That's a reduction of 1,158 books.


Not too bad at all, if I do say so myself.

Is your TBR a problem for you? If so, join me and track your weekly progress too. Here's to more reading in 2020.

Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

2019 Reading Goals | Success and...Not So Much

After careful consideration, and the realization that some of my goals last year were simply not going to happen (helloooo presidents!), I am choosing to be a bit more realistic in 2019.

That's what I thought anyway. Turns out, some goals were still not realistic. AT. ALL.


1. Finish My Book - This is my #1 priority. It was for a good long while last year, but I did get discouraged at times with the barriers in my way, some of which I don't know how to overcome. But I am going to finish up the first draft and get it submitted, because I can't move on to the next step if I stay in the same place!


The book is not done. There's progress, but it is not finished. And a new book on Eleanor of Aquitaine is coming out in the US soon and has already been published in the UK (I think) so it kind of has be thinking, what's the point? Blech. But I will get out of this funk and back to writing in 2020.


2. Read 250 Books - Let's be honest here, I can't not read every day and setting the goal so low last year was a bad move on my part. I will continue to be more selective in which books I will review, but that is doable.


I read a total of 408 books this year. This includes chapter books I read with Eleanor, mainly Magic Tree House, Greetings From Somewhere, and Super Hero High. However, my own total is 278.


3. Participate in Memes and Features Again - The start of this school year was absolutely awful, for a variety of reasons. I was so burned out, all I wanted to do was go home, snuggle my babe and play, then read read read after she went to bed. I did not do much with my blog at all and in 2019 I feel like that can change. I won't be doing EVERY feature EVERY week, but it will be nice to be involved again. One that I plan to start in January is a 'Tackling the TBR' type feature. This will definitely help me to focus on the books I have, and try to whittle down that list from 3,914 to something a little less scary. There may also be some on my Kindle that I forgot to add to my TBR, so a better estimate is probably over 4,000. As you can see, this personal challenge is desperately needed.


I did well with this goal and participated regularly in all of my faves - Top Ten Tuesday, Books From the Backlog, First Line Friday, Stacking the Shelves, My Year In Books, and State of the ARC. I added Tackling the TBR, and overall was very active throughout the year, which lead to making many new book blogger friends. Eleanor even got in on the action, by writing a few of her own reviews for Eleanor Says. I did not do a single Would You Rather in 2019, and will be changing that in 2020.


4. Don't Let ARCs Get Out Of Control - Seems easy, doesn't it? Well, it's not! Especially when you have publishers sending you treasures all the time, and get easily suckered into perusing NetGalley for hours. Evelina @ Avalinah's Books will definitely help again this year!


Slowly but surely I was able to get this in control and keep it that way. Evelina took a break from blogging in August (but is back now, hooray!), so I have not done a new State of the ARC since then, but I still managed to hang on and I think part of my success with this was not wanting my TBR to spiral again.


5. Make PROGRESS on My President Reading Goal - And who knows, maybe with the pressure off of having to read about ALL of them, I will be more inclined to do so.


I read a ton of books about President Obama because this last year especially has been such a clusterfuck and I miss having an adult in the White House who actually understood how to be a president. Otherwise, I did not make great gains in this area in regards to a wider variety of presidents. I feel like 2020 will be much better for this goal.


6. REVIEWS! I have to do better with this, to stay current. I have let myself get super far behind, as you can see on my Upcoming Review page. It isn't just a little, I am SUPER far behind. I did make progress over the last month though, as there used to be nearly 60 books on the list. My goal is to get this down to ten, and never have more than ten waiting - less if I can!


If you have seen recent posts like this one and this one, you know what a gigantic, colossal failure this was. I have well over 100 reviews waiting and my plan to knock out a few dozen over Christmas break has been stifled by all the eating and sleeping I am doing while being at home with family.


You'd think I would be more bothered by the massive failures of some of these goals but honestly, I'm not. At the end of the day, all that really matters is that Eleanor and I read every single day. I am so thankful that I have a child who loves reading as much as I do, and has blossomed into a little book dragon.

I have a few goals for myself in 2020, so be on the look-out for that post soon. And if you have reading goals of your own, let me know in the comments, or leave a link to your own post and I will be sure to visit.

Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

Tackling the TBR Week 48: Dec 22 - Dec 31, 2019

Basically, I have a huge TBR and often end up reading new books that are not even on my list, instead of trying to whittle down the list that continues to balloon on Goodreads. I am going to make a real effort to get those books read instead of always grabbing new ones and thus never making a dent in the physical and digital stacks I already have. It will also gives me a chance to take a good look at my list and see if there are ones I'm no longer interested in. I will be posting on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and the last day of the month.

I know what you must be thinking, "How can you only be at 48 weeks, there are 52!" and that is true. However, I only posted this four times a month, so the last post of each month always had more than seven days' worth of stats.

Previous Week's TBR Total: 3,188

Currently Reading: 7

Books Added to TBR: 4

Books Removed from TBR: 17

Books Read: 6

Books DNF-ed: 6

Duplicates Removed: 0

New TBR Total: 3,165

Not too bad for my final week of the year! I am currently working on my year-end post and will have the comparisons up later tonight.

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Double Feature | My Year in Books and Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2019

My year in books
I read 98,538 pages across 408 books
(Keep in mind, I included chapter books that I read with my six year old daughter. This was mainly Magic Tree House, Super Hero High, and Greetings From Somewhere. I would guess that my own actual total was around 300+. Unfortunately this aspect also dragged down my book-length average so I do not have an accurate number for that.)
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The shortest book I read was this year, 32 pages (for a NetGalley ARC, otherwise I do not count picture books.) You Are Your Strong by Danielle Dufayet

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Scarface and the Untouchable by Max Allan Collins
The longest book I read this year, 752 pages

Average book length: 242 pages


The most popular book I read in 2019, with 402,856 people

Becoming by Michelle ObamaImg temp desktop 2xWomen of the Bible and Contemporary Women of Faith by Jacqueline George

The least popular book I read in 2019, with two other people


Small Time Crime by A.W. Hartoin The highest rated books I read this year is another Mercy Watts gem, which currently has a 4.82 average.


My average rating for 2019 is 3.8 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐


My very first review (On Goodreads) of the year was for a book about one of my favorite childhood books Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy by Anne Boyd Rioux

My last review (on Goodreads) for the year was for this one, which I live-Tweeted as I was reading, because it was absurd and ridiculous and had absolutely no factual accuracy to speak of49188337. sy475
If you care to look, the on-going commentary after finishing the book, and all the aforementioned Tweets, can be found HERE. If you are unfamiliar with all the hub-bub about this, or confused as to why I would live-Tweet an 800+ page book that is terrible, check out this video by KirkpattieCake. Enjoy!


Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is my best reads of 2019. This was a really interesting year, in which a ton of my very first reads in 2019 were suuuuuper good. I also read some really shitty drivel that made me want to poor bleach in my eyes just to unsee it, but that's a whole different post, which I will not actually write because it would be mean.

The only order here is chronological, from January up to this very moment. All received five stars, and I gushed about them either on my blog, or in my head thinking up reviews I fully intend to write...eventually.

BEST OF 2019
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Happy Reading!

(*There were actually quite a few middle grade spooky stories that I rated five stars, but I did not show them all here.)