Year in Review

My Year in Books 2019


Goodreads reads

Cover Love

I think I like those blues and summer feel!


Most Surprising

Why? It’s a male author and I rarely read them. The cover is uninviting. The book is such fun and the heroine, a seventy something, is amazing. The writing is wonderful and while the story moves reasonably slowly it is still totally engaging.

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New to me Author to Love and Read More

Australian author Fiona Lowe.

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Her next one comes out soon and I intend buying it. Eyes on you bookshop in February!

Some Favourite Reads of 2019

There are a few more but I can’t go on and on.

First book in a Series I want to read more

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Best Book From A Series

To be honest all the books from my loved series were great, however I have a special love for the pay/changeling series so I will choose this one that came out in 2019.

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Top Audiobooks


Diverse Book I Loved

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Middle Grade Love

I just have to do a reread of Okay for Now by the same author. I left that book in my classroom when I retired from teaching. Now I need it again!

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YA I Need to Read More From

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Not For Me

Star ratings


Month in Review

December Wrap Up


Total books read this month: 11

Authors came from:

Britain: 1
USA: 9
Australia: 1

New to me authors:

Kim Michelle Richardson
Elizabeth Berg
Peter Heller
Rebecca Raisin

Reading Challenge Update:

I completed most of my challenges, however no challenges for 2020. I will be starting and hosting a new weekly Friday Five meme or link up. Never sure what they are meant to be called!

Oh and I will be doing Nicole’s Discussion Challenge because that’s writing not reading!!

Top Book for December

Difficult to pick, all good reads. These are the three I gave 5 stars.

Looking forward to reading in January 2020

Incoming Books for December


Yes I’ve read A Madness of Sunshine but I wanted my own paperback copy! Plus to support a favourite author too.

Library Books

From NetGalley

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Audio Books

Linking up with Nicole at Feed your Fiction Addiction


Reading challenge

What I Read for Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge 2019

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  1. A book you’ve been meaning to readThe Wednesday Wars  Gary D Schmidt And I am so happy to have finally gotten to this one. I loved it. Gary Schmidt writes wonderful middle grade fiction.
  2. A book about a topic that fascinates youHow Reading Changed my Life. Anne Quinden This had lots of thoughts about reading I could identify with. Not her lists though!  I’ll stick to my own.
  3. A book in the backlist of a favorite author.  Fox River.  Emilie Richards.  One I hadn’t read and while it was an older one I still enjoyed it.
  4. A book recommended to you by someone with great taste. The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay recommended by Katherine P from I Wish I Lived in a Library   Her review begins “Loved it” See for yourself. When she says that I sit up and take notice! This was definitely one of my favourites of 2019 and I am happy I have a copy sitting on my shelf.
  5. Book One by same author. Carmel Harrington  The Woman at 72 Derry Lane.
  6. Book Two by same author.  Carmel Harrington Every Time a Bell Rings
  7. Book Three by same author. Carmel Harrington. The Things I Should Have Told You.  Carmel Harrington is my new favourite Irish author, all her books are worth reading. Hope she has another in the near works ready for publishing.
  8. A book you chose for the cover  A Month of Sundays   Liz Byrski. This proved to be well worth reading and I have already another of hers now sitting on my shelf waiting to be read.
  9. A book by an author who is new to youThe Huntress. Kate Quinn. I thought this WW2 story was amazing if harrowing in parts.
  10. A book in translation  The Red Address Book. Sofia Lundberg. A beautiful, poignant story. It is the life of Doris – a 96 year old woman, now dying. But we meet all the people who were important to her. The people she loved. She had a hard life but she made the most of opportunities. I loved Jenny her great niece who insisted on being there for her and insisted on dignity and love for Doris.
  11. A book (genre) outside your comfort zone. Meet Me at the Museum Anne Youngson – epistolary fiction. This was slow paced but as it developed – interesting. What we see is a woman who has been deprived of genuine intimacy and she begins to find it in letters. ( It is often easier to be more real in the written word). Her marriage of forty years has been one of sacrifice and caring for the needs of others. If she is guilty of anything – she is guilty of not having her needs met. The ending is not detailed out, which is okay, because there is resolution in the way that she has come to know herself more deeply.
  12. A book published before you were born.  Enchanted April.  Elizabeth Arnim. Different to what I usually read, however the women were interesting and the setting idyllic. It also had me rushing off to find the movie and to watch it.

First Book of the Year


Oh yes time to pick that first book of the year. The one that sets the tone we hope for all the reading in 2019.

I have chosen one that is written about a woman who marries C. S. Lewis. I have seen this book well reviewed by other readers I respect and so it came into my hands from the library just in time to be my pick. I have started it as its the 1st of Jan here already, I have perused the back and all the research she has done for this book so feeling very positive about it.

I find it is a bit of a risk reading a fiction book about a real life person, some books in the past I haven’t liked what the author did with those people. However I like Patti Callahan’s books so I was willing to read.  I know nothing about her although of course like most I have read some of C. S. Lewis’ books and loved the movie Shadowlands. Hmm that makes me want to re-watch that movie.

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And a Very Happy New Year everyone.


Reading challenge

Audiobook Challenge 2019.

2019 Audiobook Challenge
So time to take on an audiobook challenge for 2019.
Read all the details over at Caffeinated Reviewer or Hot Listens.
Read all about the challenge on either of the links above.
I am going for the Binge Listener level again. 20 -30.
My aim is for 30 books for 2019. But anything close to 30 is good and as I always listen at a slow speed as I like to thoroughly enjoy each book.


  1. Tides of Honour narration – Fajar Al- Kaisi. 4 stars. Length: 12hrs 23 min
  2. The Dream Daughter – narration Susan Bennett.  5 stars.  Length 13 hrs 32 min
  3. Cowboy Seal Homecoming – narration Romy Nordinger. 3 stars. Length 10hrs 24min
  4. True Places  Sonja Yoerg – 4.5 star. Narration Lisa Flanagan 5 stars  Length 12hrs 15 min
  5. Royal Blood.  Rhys Bowen 3.5 stars. Narration Katherine Kellgren 5 stars. Length 9hrs 20 min
  6. The Moon Sister.   Lucinda Riley 4 stars. Narration Imogen Wilde 4.5 stars. Length 19 hrs 53 min
  7. The Woman at 72 Derry Lane.  Carmel Harrington. 5 stars. Narration Aoife McMahon 4.5 stars
  8. Come From Away by Genevieve Graham. 4 stars. Narrator Michelle Ferguson 4 stars. Length 8 hrs 2min
  9. The Goodbye Cafe by Mariah Stewart 5 stars.  Narrator Joy Osmanski 5 stars. Length 13hrs 42 min
  10. The Rosie Result   Graeme Simsion 5 stars.  Narrator Graeme Simsion 5 stars.  Length 8 hrs 17 min
  11. No Place I’d Rather Be.  Cathy Lamb 5 stars. Narrators Lisa Flanagan , Kate Reading 5 stars. 14hrs 55min
  12. Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe. Jenny Colgan 4 stars. Narrator Penelope Rawlins 5 stars. 9 hours 8 min.
  13. Southern Side of Paradise  Kirsty Woodson Harvey  4 stars Narrators:Janet Metzger. Rebekkah  Ross 5 stars.  Length 10 hrs 19 min
  14. The Bookshop Penelope Fitzgerald.   4 stars.  Narrator :Eve Karpf  5 stars. Length: 4hrs 6min
  15. The Mother-in-Law  Sally Hepworth 4 stars. Narrator: Casey Withoos 5 stars. Length:  8hrs 3min

Second Half of Year.

  1. Between Georgia.  Joshilyn Jackson 4 stars Narration Joshilyn Jackson 5 stars. Length 9hrs 11min
  2. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters. Balli Kaur Jaswal.  4 stars. Narrator Ayasha Kala 4 stars.   Length 12 hours 44 min
  3. Evvie Drake Starts Over.  Linda Holmes.  5 stars.  Narration Julia Whelan 5 stars. Length 9hrs 6 min
  4. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Abbi Waxman 3.5 stars. Narration Jessica Preddy. 3 stars.  Length 9hrs 21 min.
  5. The Shell Seekers.  Rosamunde Pilcher   5 stars. Narration Hayley Atwell 5 stars. Length 19hrs 26min
  6. Connections in Death  J. D. Robb. 4 stars Narration Susan Ericksen 5 stars. Length 12hrs 19min
  7. The House on Tradd St.   Karen White. 4 stars. Narration: Aimée Bruneau. 13hrs 10min
  8. The Giver of Stars.  Jojo Moyes. 4.5 stars.  Narration Julia Whelan. 5 stars.  13hrs 52min
  9. Once a Marquess.  Courtenary Milan 4 stars. Narration Rosalyn Landor 4.5 stars. 8hr 58 min
  10. Words Get in the Way. Nan Rossitor 4 stars Narration Holly Cate 3 stars 6 hrs 29min
  11. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek 5 stars. Narration Katie Schorr 9 hrs 26 min

I am listening to Regretting You by Colleen Hoover and hope to have that to my tally my the end of 2019.  So that will be 27 which is a very good total for me! Happy with it.


Reading challenge

Connect Five Books Reading Challenge


Join me for 2019 in Connect Five – Books.

Let’s look at connections for books… what books link for some reason or another.

When you have five that connect in whatever way you are able to group them then link up. How might you do this?

  • Write and link up a blog post
  • Share the five books on Instagram and link up
  • Have a Goodreads shelf and link that up – this may be a little different but maybe use it in combination with a comment.
  • Or… if you belong to none of these places, share five books in a comment.

What’s the Challenge?

To look for connections between books you read. There will be  many connections that just float over our awareness. Let’s see can we raise that a bit, whether its fairly surface level or something deeper.


Here are some examples that might get you thinking! It’s not hard work, you don’t need to plan it out, just see what happens.

It could be ….

  • Five books of the same genre
  • Five books by the same author
  • Five books with a similar theme or issue being explored for example mother/daughter relationships
  • Five books from the same series
  • Five books you bought in 2018
  • Five books from the depths of your TBR
  • Five books with fabulous covers
  • Five debut books
  • Five new to you authors
  • Five books that weren’t for you.
  • Five books that really connect to your own life in some way.
  • Five books with the theme of friendship

And you can come up with ones you think of… there will be so many.


  • The five books connection cannot be too simple, for example five paperbacks or five ebooks or five women authors – unless of course you hardly ever read women authors. I could challenge myself and have a group though of five male authors because I hardly ever read male authors! Five USA authors would be rather simple, but it could be five USA authors from the same state.
  • A book can only be used once.
  • The books must be read in 2019.
  • Books can be carried over until you have five of something. It may take a few months to gather five of something.
  • You may have  many connections of five to link up . So if you have two groups of five then you can link up twice and so on within a month.
  • You may just link one group of five during the year sometime or many each month.
  • You don’t have to write a commitment post but if that helps to remind you then that is an excellent idea and any way you can share this challenge is welcomed. Use the hashtag  #connect5books2019


Each month I will post a link up on the last Wednesday of the month. The link up will be open until the  Tuesday before the last Wednesday of the next month. The first link will go up in January 30th 2019.  Link up at any time during that following month. And then we will roll on with each month.


The Bonus – A Giveaway

For those who have a five book connection and link up there will be a random prize draw for one reader who will win a book of their choice for that month from the Book Depository. The last link up will be posted in November and go through December. At the end of the year there will be one draw as well for all those who have participated during the year, –  a book of choice from the Book Depository.

And a Connect Five from 2018

Browsing through my reading from this year I can see a number of connects.

  1. Books that have quite a bit to do with books and libraries.

    Four are obvious, but Harry’s Trees includes a library that if it doesn’t get any funding it will close down – it has one very elderly but loyal volunteer librarian.

  2. Books that are about Christmas or the Spirit of Christmas.
  3. Books with a theme of family

    And it could have been possible if I was reading with more awareness that I could have collected books about family that deal with just sisters and brothers, or adoption, or marriage.  I could see a connection where children played a significant role in the plot but I’d already used Harry’s Trees in another connect so no go!