The Book Report December 2019

Posted January 1, 2020 by Shari in The Book Report / 18 Comments

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Welcome to The Book Report where we run down everything that happened in the month and update you on challenges, giveaways, reviews and more!

Shari’s Update

Happy Holidays! Hoping everyone had a great time with family and friends this year. Ready to ring in the New Year? Well I am! Saying goodbye to 2019 may just be a very happy event for me. Who knows what 2020 will bring. In 2019

  • Husband lost his job in March. Got a new job. Transferring to a new job on Jan. 1, 2020
  • Oldest daughter graduated from HS, moved into college three months later
  • Physical therapy for one kid and therapy for depression in one kid
  • Mom had open heart surgery and I spent a good six months taking care of her almost daily until I had to have surgery and couldn’t do it anymore. In June, she started hallucinating and making up stories that were not true. One was so brutal, that I had to step away and let my brother take care of her because she was violent attacking me in text messages. There is a lot more to all of this, but know that I don’t see this getting better in 2020.
  • Me…tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, worn out disc, bone spurs pushing into my spinal column, surgery to fix my vertabre, and probably more I am missing, but that sums up 2019 pretty good. My neck still hurts from time to time, my carpal tunnel just came back with a vengence and I haven’t walked in 2019 like I was at the end of 2018. I miss it!
  • Ordered carpet but they forgot to tell me I needed to make a deposit (delayed getting carpet), rotted flooring by our back doors almost had us with a carpetless living room for a graduation party. They fixed it for us in the end for less than $100.
  • Extended our driveway to have a place to park the kids cars and the guy left his equipment on the driveway when he asked me to move my truck. You guessed it. I didnt see it and ran it over – and he charged me the full price of the repair. He won’t be working for us any more. He also fixed the downspout line near the driveway.
  • Argument with a neighbor caused us put in a privacy fence over Christmas. They dug the posts and hit the new down spout drainage. They washed their hands of it until they figured out they never sent us all the paperwork. This is still on-going.
  • Started taking writing classes, have one book started, but I have stalled hard on it all. I have to decide if I want to be an author or a reviewer. I realized it was a conflict of interest to be both. Hard decisions abound. I may just write but never publish. Writing something is what I want to do. Publishing wasn’t totally part of that dream, but a nice side affect.

So that is a little highlight of the year. I left out a lot, but I also didn’t want to give you the laundry list of 2019.

Delighted Reader in 2019
  • I Dare You Events – we hosted three I Dare You Events where Sophia Rose Challenged me to read Thrillers and Sports Romance and I challenged her to read Paranormal Romance. We’re in talks to continue this in 2020 – check back soon.
  • The Great Pick Up Line – 2019 was the last year for this event. The last two years we have gotten lack luster involvement, so 2020 we are taking a break from it. Maybe in 2021 we will revamp it.
  • Challenges – we had a hiccup in our challenge tracking systems. I used an external system that went out of business with no notice. So unfortunately we hosted them, but had no way to track them or retrieve the information. We are revamping this for 2020 and the challenges are available here.  Along with adding a FB Group here
December 2019

December saw me complete all of my challenges but one. I am going to call this a victory as I haven’t been doing well on challenges in years past. I made myself read more as I found myself becoming more unhappy. Reading is my happy place and when things were getting overwhelming, I decided to stop on a few things and go back to what I loved the most. Reading.

December – My Reading Breakdown: 14 books read, 10 reviews posted, 9 purchased reads, 5 Kindle Unlimited reads.

Challenges

The Series That Never Ends: 7/7 – 100% done
Bad Boys of Romance: 30/30 – 100% done
Literary Pickers: 55/55 – 100% done
Books ‘N Tunes: 38/35 – 108% done
Review Writing: 76/75 –over 100% done
Reading Challenge: 118/100 – over 100% done
Audiobook Challenge: 9/5 – 170% done
New Release Challenge: 29/20 – 145% done

Try Something New Challenge: 36/35  over 100% done
Reading Challenge 101/100  over 100% done

Blogger Shame Challenge: 9/10 – 90%


Sophia Rose’s Update

Seasons Greetings, all!

My crazy list-driven self had to have all the holidaying chores done when Thanksgiving was barely in the rear-view window.  I mean there are four weeks between then and Christmas day. Why couldn’t I pace myself a little? Meanwhile, I became my usual UPS holiday rush widow self and see my husband if I happen to wake pre-dawn when he’s leaving or I’m still awake after midnight when he’s returning.  I assume he’s doing well since the food I make up for meals at work and home disappear and the laundry basket fills with clothes stinking of jet fuel and de-icing fluid (he works UPS Airport).  

But, it’s all good and now I’m settled in after all the big stuff is done to enjoy the festivities and the holidays themselves.  We had a lovely church Christmas Concert this evening and now I’m looking forward to the big family dinner with my husband’s large family at Grammy’s house.

Sophia's Cats

Incidentally, we are on day thirteen with no cat-tastrophes involving our two rascals and our Christmas decorations.  I’m beginning to relax into the knowledge that I got lucky with this pair about leaving alone the bright shinies and the tree.

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On the book front, I’ve been a mad woman signing up for challenges.

I’m keeping up with the recently started COYER challenge which began December 1st and will crossover to the first week of March next year.  So far, I’ve been trying to finish up several already released ARCs so I’ll not be as stressed about outstanding reviews going into 2020.  There is a fun FFS- FOMO RAT that I’m to read books I missed in 2019 that starts today 12/15 and goes through 12/28. I’m giving it my best shot since there are several.  I’m just wrapping up one of my recommendation reads and have been able to set up a buddy read with Anne of Books Are My Heart for Feb 2020.

Speaking of Anne…

She’s hosting a fun year-long series group read for the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.  I’ve signed up to re-read through the series on audio (at least as much as I can) through my library.  Moon Called is the current book being read and will be discussed on Jan 3rd.  There are lots of fab giveaways with the participation.

Here’s the link if you’d like to check it out:  https://booksofmyheart.net/2019/12/06/read-along-giveaway-mercy-thompson-by-patricia-briggs/#comment-34782

December Reading Totals:  18 as of the fifteenth!

Reading Breakdown: 5 NetGalley (97%), 10 author/publisher requests, 3 TBR, 1 library, 1 Audible Escape, 7 audio, 6 new to me series, 2 end of series, 5 new to me authors, 4 new to me narrators

Romance Genre Breakdown: 3 suspense, 1 Paranormal, 1 Urban Fantasy, 1 Fantasy, 5 historical, 1 time travel, 5 contemporary,  1 western, 4 holiday, 1 sports, 1 cowboy

Books That STOOD OUT:

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh, her first thriller set in New Zealand with its slow-burn atmosphere was just right.

Wedding Bells and Deadly Spells by Danielle Garrett, shows this paranormal cozy series is just getting stronger with great character and romance growth.

Christmas in Silver Springs by Brenda Novak took me on a journey of growth over the holidays in a small town for an ex-con and a new divorcee.  Struck all the right notes.

Challenge Updates:

Most of my challenge updates will be listed in separate posts, but I did want to share that a few that were still outstanding when I put those posts together are now complete or much closer to the goal.

Hope your holidays are filled with joy!  Wishing you a Happy 2020!!!! 

This Month’s Reviews

Did you miss a review? No fear! Here’s what we wrote about.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Crystal
10 months ago

Happy New Year! It sounds like you’ve had a crazy year, Shari, and some big decisions up ahead. I hope that you find peace in this coming year. I’ve started seriously writing a novel this past year. I need to start finding a balance between writing and blogging too. Sophia, it’s great to hear you haven’t had any cat-tastrophes thus far. My family has stopped putting up Christmas decorations because our past dogs would find a way to get things tangled up. The COYER challenge sounds like something I need to do. I fell behind with ARCs when the new… Read more »

Sophia Rose
10 months ago
Reply to  Crystal

Thank you, Crystal! Happy New Year to you!

Took the Christmas decorations down and not one item messed with or broken. They did so well.
Oh yes, the COYER challenge is a nice one to stay on top of your electronic and audios. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
10 months ago

You’ve both had a lot this past year. Happy New Year! I wish you and your family a wonderful 2020!

Sophia Rose
10 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Thank you, Mary! Each year brings new life challenges for all of us that is for sure. 🙂

Lover of Romance
10 months ago

Happy New Year!!! It looks like it was especially a crazy month for you and your family Shari. Hope 2020 is much calmer and relaxed for you all. You deserve it. Cheers to a fabulous year of success, love and cheer for both of you. Lets conquer this year of 2020

Sophia Rose
10 months ago

Appreciate it, Renee! Yes, let’s grab 2020 with both hands. 🙂

Carole's Random Life in Books

Shari – You have had quite the year. I hope that 2020 brings good things your way.

Sophia Rose – I don’t think that I could do your husband’s job. I need my sleep and a bit of downtime. I hope you get to see him again soon.

You both had great reading months and did a great job with your challenges. I hope you have a great January!

Sophia Rose
10 months ago

If the weather cooperates and planes don’t break down, he usually gets plenty of sleep, but from Thanksgiving to the week after New Years… its nuts. 🙂

Thanks, Carole!

Greg
10 months ago

Happy New Year! Congrats on the challenges Shari- completing all but one is pretty dang good! Sounds like 2019 was a bit of a rough year but hoping 2020 is awesome for you! I’m hoping 2020 will be great too, 2019 wasn’t my favorite year either!

Sophia Rose, the holidays are so hectic at times aren’t they? It’s always nice to be able to relax and enjoy them after all the prep work and busyness. Hope you had a lovely New Year’s!

Anne’s Mercy Thompson event looks awesome.

Sophia Rose
10 months ago
Reply to  Greg

You said it, Greg! I had a few sleep in days and New Year’s Day was just quiet watching the parade, bowl games and eating left overs. Ahhhh.

Yes, that readalong is already fun times!

Carole Rae
10 months ago

What a year for sure!

Sophia Rose
10 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

We made it and now we have a new one to live out. Woohoo! 🙂