Top Ten Tuesday – Horses, Dogs, Bees, Birds, and an Octopus

Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is books with animals on the cover. These are the first 10 I found on my shelves, both before and after. I snapped a few pics and then the wind had its way with my animal covers.

Books I read and loved

The Falconer by Elaine Clark McCarthy– such an unexpected little love story.

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova– magical realism is my jam.

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews– a fun beginning for this historical romance series.

Anything for You by Kristan Higgins– I adored the Blue Heron series.

Begin with a Bee and 50 Ways to Help Save the Bees– I love me some bees 🐝

Still to be read

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
When We Were Birds Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
The invincible Miss Cusp by Penny Haw
Once Upon a Wine by Beth Kendrick

3+ Books 1 Word – Pick My Next Book

I saw this challenge over on IG (OliviaReadsFiction) and decided to try it with my TBR piles.
My word is LIGHT

📔The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama
📗 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
📙 All the Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris
📘The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron

I’m going to let you all choose my book for next week. Which one should I start on Monday?

2022 Reading Stats & Reflection

What a reading year I’ve had! 417 books is my best year yet, quantitywise. I’m not sure about quality because I was reading so much and, you know, raising and teaching a kid and carving out time for a husband, and volunteering 🙂 I rolled over my book a day challenge from 2021 and made it until April 15 and also was a first round judge for the Cybils Awards and both of those things made this total high.

For the first time since I started blogging, I’m not choosing a top 10 for books or movies. I just don’t have it in me. I’m burned out. I did post my 5 star reads and that will have to suffice. I did do some statting (honestly, I’m making everything a verb these days, so why not?) and here’s what I found…

Books read 417

Publication year most read 2022 with 168 titles

Oldest Book Anatole & the Cat by Eve Titus (1957)

Non-fiction 286, Fiction 131

Top visited countries France (17), Canada (12), Australia (10)

Fave Covers

Continued series 9

New series 10

Trilogy read 1 (Darkness Rising by Kelley Armstrong)

Longest book Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught (708 pages)

Most read author Lemony Snicket with 9. Gage and I ready to start book 10 of the Series of Unfortunate Events books next week.

Favorite Books (Elementary Picture Books) (Middle School-YA) (Adult)

Okay, tell me your FAVORITE book of the year in the comments and I’ll add it to my 2023 reading list!

March Favorites

It’s always been my intent to have every book I read on here on the blog. When I started this way back in 2008 it was for the fun of the bookish community, but mainly I wanted to use it as an online book journal. As I read more and more, I haven’t been able to keep up here or on Instagram and I’m going to try and make that happen while acknowledging that living life is more important 🙂

With that said I read 38 books this month (117 for the year) and have continued by book a day goal. Here are my 5 adult favorites…

Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles

The Match by Harlan Coben

with an honorable mention to the quirky novella Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson

My 5 favorite kids books…all non-fiction

She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone and Marjorie Priceman

Just Like Beverly by Vicki Conrad and David Hohn

Planting Stories by Anika Aldamuy Denise and Paola Escobar

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor by Patricia Valdez and Felicita Sala

Jason and I have never told Gage he was diagnosed with PDD-nos when he was 2. We’ve discussed the different challenges he faces, but never the label as a whole. He’s 11 and it was time. Being me, I requested every book our library system had and Jason and I spent a few hours going through them, both of us shocked at how bad some of them were. I’m still a little miffed that some parent will read some of them to their typical kid and think that that’s what autism is. A post for another day. The ones pictured are the ones that pass the sniff test for Gage to read. We didn’t introduce all of these, but I have them on hand for when questions come. So far he’s only read one. He took the news better than we’d hoped and hasn’t seem to care too much. I hate labels because I find them a much too simple way to judge an individual and so far the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree 🙂

How was your reading month? Anything I need to read?

Top Ten – Adjectives in Title

I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately. I’m still reading a book a day, 107 total for the year so far, but haven’t had the time (or energy) to take pics for IG or post here. So, I thought participating in Top Ten Tuesday was a perfect way to spend some time 🙂

Top Ten Books with Adjectives in the Title is the prompt and here are the ten I chose, all women for Women’s History Month. Do you see a favorite in the stack? My favorite so far has been The Starless Sea, but there are still several I need to read.

📕American Wife by Curtis Settenfeld

📒The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – liked it

📗American Duchess by Karen Harper

📘An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – really liked it

📙The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag

📒The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

📗The Rooftop Party by Ellen Meister

📕The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – loved it

📘Shallow Waters by Anita Kopacz – really liked it

📙The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern – loved it

Do you see a favorite here?

February Favorites

I wish I had time to log in all of my February books, but this will have to do. You can see on the right the stack of picture books Gage and I read for Black History Month (plus 2 Van Gogh books). The back row were standouts for me.

❤️ The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson and EB White
❤️Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson and Christian Robinson
❤️A Children’s Introduction to African American History by Jabari Asim and Lynn Gaines 👉🏻 we used this 96 pager as our textbook for the month

You can see my list of adult reads on the left is considerably smaller. Still managed to have ones I loved just a little bit more.
❤️Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez 🖋 graphic novel
❤️Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
❤️The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

I’ve read 90 books this year and I’m in my 15th month of reading a book a day.

January favorites and February intentions

I’ve managed to keep my book a day streak alive! 31 books!

13 picture books
3 fiction
3 young adult
3 chapter books
2 non-fiction
2 contemporary romance
1 historical romance
1 thriller
1 historical fiction
1 kids graphic novel

Technically, I’ve read 13 more for Cybils Award judging, but since I can’t talk about them until judging is done and winners are announced, I’ll count them next month 🙂

My favorites

The Comfort Book
The Comfort Book by Mark Haig. I talked about it here.
The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London, #1)
The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews. I talked about it here.
Kelley Armstong’s Darkness Rising trilogy. I talked about it here.
Just Haven't Met You Yet
Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens. I haven’t even done any kind of review and to preserve my sanity this will have to serve as a recommendation. It’s a quirky, modern British romcom. I listened to this one and thought the meet cute aspect of it really worked. It delved into serious parent issues without ever feeling weighed down or losing its spark.
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters
Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama. Since I read so many picture books I should share my favorite one! I talked about it here.

Last February I read a book by an African American author every day for Black History Month. I found new authors I fell in love with, Jesmyn Ward, August Wilson, Beverly Jenkins, Octavia Butler…the list goes on.

So, I chose books from last year discoveries, plus a Toni Morrison, that I’m going to try and get to this month. In January I read 6 of the 8 I selected at the beginning of the month so we’ll see how I do with this 9.

I started by reading Jesmyn Ward’s Tulane graduation speech turned into the book Navigate Your Stars. It’s an inspirational story of her growing up believing that college meant success. What she found was that hard work and persistence led to success and that a college degree was no golden ticket. There was also personal reflection on how we often judge people and the circumstances they find themselves in and how this view can change over time if we make the effort to continue to grow. The illustrations were gorgeous. A great gift for graduates at any level.

Top Ten Tuesday – 2021 books on my shelves

So, today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is 2021 books that you still need to read and I NEED YOUR HELP!

The two books on top were both given to me last year and I started and then abandoned them fairly early on.

📕Are either Honey Girl or Once There Were Wolves must reads? 📕. Should I try again or give them away?

Other books that were published last year waiting to be read…

📒The Ex Hex (picked up from the local Buy Nothing group)
📗Everything We Didn’t Say (given to me by my mom)
📒The Actual Star (won in a Goodreads giveaway)
📗Fox and I (library cast off that I brought home)
📒The Mystery of Mrs. Christie (impulse buy when I was doing holiday shopping at Barnes & Noble)
📗The Presidents Daughter (picked up at the library sale)
📒The Duchess Countess (sent by publisher)
📗Sharing Ann’s Story (purchased because the Ann in the title is one of Jason’s extended family)

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

2021 Favorite Movies and Stats

I’m not going to lie, this wasn’t the best movie year for us. We didn’t get to the movie theater (although we did get to the drive-in for a double feature) and our choices were more of ‘what’s on Netflix that we can agree on in 5 minutes?’ than intentional viewing. We did binge lots of shows, but I wasn’t great about keeping track of those. Maybe next year.

49 movies (same as last year)

2021 was our most watched year with 12 movies, followed by 2020 with 8.

Gigi (1958) was the oldest movie we watched.

We watched the most movies in the month of May with 8.

I wrote 4 Book vs Movie posts (The Sun is Also a Star, Good Morning Midnight/The Midnight Sun, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Perfume)

The actress I saw the most was Awkwafina in 3 movies (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Jumanji: The Next Level, Crazy Rich Asians)

The two actors I saw the most of at 3 movies a piece were Mathias Schoenarts (A Little Chaos, Red Sparrow, Our Souls at Night) and Jack Black (Goosebumps, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level)

My Favorite Movies

BlackkKlansman, 2018
Mudbound (film).png
Mudbound, 2017
ALC poster.jpg
A Little Chaos, 2014
A couple hugs each other against a colorful Chinese fan background
Crazy Rich Asians, 2018

What was your favorite movie of the year?