This is my 200th blog post. Yesterday also marked the 1 year anniversary of my first blog post back. I blogged for a brief period of time and then picked it up again later, and then my husband lost his job and our lives went in to a tail spin. The blog got dropped. Two and a half months in to no income my husband said I should get back to my blogging and I never looked back. Even while my husband was battling cancer and dying I still posted at least Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday every week. During the battle I posted every single day of February for birthday month and we were in the hospital for part of that. I am proud of my consistency. Thank you all for following me here. There are 273 of you at the time of writing this post.
This year has been the hardest and most challenging and most life changing of my life. I went from a wife and mother freelancing and homeschooling to a 32 year old widowed single mother just trying to get by. All in one year. I don’t know how I’m still alive honestly. But I am so glad you are all here to join me on this journey.
My reading goal for the year was to read 78 books. So far I have read 38 books. I am exactly on target to finish 78 by the end of the year. I really wanted to read more than the 136 I read last year, but with the cancer and death and what I’ll need to be able to take care of in the aftermath I don’t think that’s going to happen. But I am still on target to reach my official goal.
The Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag is one I did last year. There are 15 questions.
1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2019
I’ve given 14 of the 38 books I’ve read this year 5 stars. This is a toss up between And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and Kings of the Wyld. But I think I’m going to choose Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. This book made me feel every emotion but none more so than joy. It was the book I read as I watched my husband finish dying. It will always have a special place in my heart because of the happiness and mental escape it brought me as I struggled in real life.
2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019
The best sequel I’ve read would have to be In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire. I love this whole series.
3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the book I wish I had already read this year. My aunt that started the Gofundme for us actually ordered it for me and it should be here this afternoon. I can’t wait to dive in. I really enjoyed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and have heard such good things about this one as well.
4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
I have two choices for this one too, but I’ll go with The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. This is a sequel that takes place 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale.
5. Biggest disappointment
The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker. I don’t have a review of this book posted yet because it’s part of a color coded TRB and I still haven’t finished the last book in that set, but it’s coming soon hopefully. As a spoiler I only gave that book 2 stars.
6. Biggest surprise
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I assumed I would enjoy this book, but was expecting candy fiction the kind you find in the checkout at the grocery store and even people who don’t read on the regular find themselves picking up for the beach because they saw it on some talk show. And it was or could be, but it was so good and so complicated, not nearly as simple as I expected. I gave it 5 stars. There were so many elements of this story that the author brought back together and her writing kept me flipping pages faster and faster. I loved this book and have since ordered another of her books to read at some point soonish.
7. Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)
Fredrik Backman. I had read one of his books last year and really enjoyed it. I read three others of his back to back this year and it cemented him in my mind as my favorite author. Then I bought the rest of his books. I have four more to read. I’m a bit worried about the sadness while I am still early in to my grief journey. The sad is always balanced nicely with humor, but I may not be in an emotional state to feel the balance at this time. I can’t wait to finish his books and begin my rereads though. I plan to start my rereads with A Man Called Ove.
8. Newest fictional crush
Clay Cooper from Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. The way he interacted with his little girl made my heart hurt with missing my Jason and seeing him interact with our daughter.
9. Newest favorite character
Princess Magnolia AKA The Princess in Black from The Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale. These are fantastic little chapter books. My daughter and I loved them all. The Princess always has to fight monsters and send them back to Monster Land. The adventures are fun and cute. She slowly has her friends joining her in the monster battles. This is a wonderful series.
10. Book that made you cry
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman. This short little book is only 97 pages. It follows a grandfather and a grandson. The grandfather is losing his memories and his grandson is trying to help him keep the most important ones. This book hit me particularly hard as my husband’s memories were in the danger zone of disappearing due to the rapidly growing brain tumor.
11. Book that made you happy
As my husband would always say, I don’t read nearly enough happy books. I struggled to choose even one from the 38 I’ve read this year. But I’ve decided to choose The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Finding our favorite movie quotes and scenes within the pages of this book made me smile.
12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.
The Princess Bride is the only book and movie I’ve seen this year. I read at least one other thing that has been adapted, but I haven’t seen the show.
13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.
I have no idea. I don’t really consider what I write a review.
14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende. I could not leave this cover behind.
15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
Pretty much all of them. As a means of distraction and staying busy on the first day Pepper and I stayed at the apartment all day on our own after Jason’s death I added all of my physical books to my to be read shelf on Goodreads and I have 606 physical books that I haven’t read yet. Oh my goodness. I had better get reading. A few top priorities will be Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, From Scratch by Tembi Locke, Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, and It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine.
How are you doing on your reading goals for the year?