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text 2016-01-02 17:46
December 2015 reviews


I almost forgot about my December 2015 collage. It's...a little crammed. If I counted correctly, I reviewed more things in December than in the previous 8 months combined. Most of it was post-vacation catch-up. Since the pics are so tiny, here are a few favorites.


Favorite Book Cover:


Champion of the Rose - Andrea K. Höst 


My love for this cover was a big part of the reason why this was the first book by this author that I tried. Unfortunately, the book itself was almost painful to get through. (ETA: I just figured out that this cover art was created by Julie Dillon, one of my favorite artists. No wonder it caught my eye!)


Favorite Graphic Novel (Manga, etc.) Covers:


Black Butler, Vol. 15 (Black Butler, #15) - Tomo Kimura,Yana Toboso  Milkyway Hitchhiking, Vol. 1 - HyeYoung Im,Sirial  Chi's Sweet Home, Vol. 11 - Kanata Konami,Ed Chavez  


I love Sebastian dressed up as housemaster, the cover for Milkyway Hitchhiking makes me think of a children's book, and annoyed Chi is adorable (actually, any kind of Chi is adorable).

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text 2016-01-01 05:50
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- December

So that's a wrap for December.  In keeping with my anal retentive need to keep to certain patterns, even with the 2015 wrap-up post, I still felt the need to post a monthly reading wrap-up.


I'm planning on reformatting my monthly reading wrap up posts for future postings (maybe), but only because I know I tend to get long-winded and try to add more details than necessary.  I'll probably just simplify things into "Books Read", "Books Reading", and "Books Planning to Read", or something like that, and then maybe do a few random book haul posts every so often.


I just wanted to finish out the full year without completely revamping my monthly wrap up posts because: Obsessive Compulsive Illogical Reasonings.


Anyway, as per usual, I've found my average number of books read per month and have accepted that I probably won't surpass that number unless miracles happen.  And I'm cool with that now--no more attempts at squeezing in more books to reach the 20+ range, especially if I want to find some time to write reviews and plan other bookish blog posts as well, or slack off and make multiple lists of which I may or may not use for future posts.


However, for all the blog writing I've been doing and all the list making and all the new years planning... I think I've done quite well for myself in my reading life for December.



Books Read


 Audio Book


Unexpected Gifts by Elena Aitken

Unexpected Endings by Elena Aitken (short story)

Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Mistletoe Mischief by Stacey Joy Netzel 


Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Out of Her League by Kaylea Cross

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

Slow Burn by Julie Garwood


The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

Kissing Santa Claus by Jill Shalvis (part of A Small Town Christmas anthology)

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Risky Christmas / A Romantic Suspense anthology -- Jill Sorenson, Jennifer Morey


Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr

Desert Heat by Cindy Gerard


What the Dead Know by Kylie Brant 


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -- audio book narrated by Simon Vance



Books Dropped/Put On Hold


Currently Reading



Reviews & Notable Posts

  • Reviews

Unexpected Gifts and Unexpected Endings by Elena Aitken

Taste Test by Kelly Fiore 

Mistletoe Mischief by Stacey Joy Netzel

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Out of Her League by Kaylea Cross

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis

Kissing Santa Claus by Jill Shalvis

Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis

Risky Christmas anthology -- Jill Sorenson, Jennifer Morey 

Packaged Review for Books I Read in 2015 

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr

Desert Heat by Cindy Gerard


  • Other Posts

2015 Reading Assignment Challenge -- November Report

Christmas with Dickens

First Impression: Risky Christmas -- Holiday Secrets

2016 Reading Assignment Challenge

2015 Reading Challenges Wrap-Up

2016 Mount TBR Reading Challenge

2016 Bookish Resolutions

2016 Reading Challenges

Merry Christmas to all!

My 2015 Year in Books!

My 2015 Year in Books @ Goodreads

Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 15


Reading Wrap-Up

18 books total were read in December.  I think I mostly made it because of the one audio book, two short stories, two novellas, and several short Christmas fluff pieces.  Okay, so not several, but enough that it added to my numbers this month.  And to be totally honest, with the exception of one book, the rest of the books I read in December were easy reads or reads that had me hooked enough to keep going.


  • Series I started reading in December:

Romancing Wisconsin by Stacey Joy Netzel

Suspense series by Kaylea Cross


  • Series I completed in December:



  • Series I have made progress on in December:

Corpus by Jessica Khoury

Buchanan-Renard-MacKenna by Julie Garwood

Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis

Mindhunters by Kylie Brant 


My favorite books read in December include The Sweetest Thing and Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis.  There was also A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens as my Christmastime "read"--a book I actually listened to as an audio book, narrated by Simon Vance that I really, really enjoyed.  Then there was Spinning Starlight that I enjoyed, but still have some reserves about.  Mistletoe Mischief by Stacey Joy Netzel was a surprisingly enjoyable short holiday read.


I was a bit disappointed in Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, if only because I hyped myself a little over than was necessary.  And I was surprisingly disappointed that Unexpected Gifts wasn't as fluffy and holiday romance-y as I'd wanted it to be--mainly because the book started out well, but then spiraled into "what the heck is going on here?" as the novella came to a close.  Sadly, I was also disappointed in Shadow Dance because I'd been under the impression that Julie Garwood's Buchanan-Renard books were getting better and more enjoyable with each installment--Shadow Dance was a step back.


Coming Up Next (tentative scheduling)

  • Tentative TBR for January




Book Haul / TBR Additions

  • Freebies:


  • Discount Deals:


  • Bought as New:


  • Audible:


  • Checked Out From the Library 



Final Thoughts

Aside from one or two books, December was actually filled with books I could really get into.  And when I can really get into a book, I automatically find time to read them no matter what else is going on.


So December was actually a very productive month for my bookish life.  On top of getting more books read than I've been able to do in a while, I've also been spending time planning my bookish activities for the new year:  choosing reading challenges, making lists, preparing more bookish spreadsheets for each reading challenge... in general, determining how I will go about blogging my bookish life in 2016.  I've even managed to format and post all of my reading challenge wrap-ups and yearly bookish wrap-up for 2015.


And then, in a final hurrah, I made the decision to participate in Bout of Books' January Read-a-thon; then I spent one evening formatting and planning all of my update posts.


I feel like I've accomplished a lot more in these last two weeks of December than I have for the past few months.  It's a good feeling.



Surprisingly, my plans for spending money on certain books and getting some bonus reward points and the like hasn't really followed through.  I haven't bought as many books as I'd been expecting to buy--not sure how I feel about that.  Though I DID do a brief freebie spree while looking for some cheap and fluffy holiday reads.


Here's to hoping that next month, and next year in general, will be a better one.  Although I'm already determined not to push myself too hard with books I can't get myself to enjoy.  I might work on being less stubborn and letting myself drop books if they just aren't working for me.


Previous Wrap-Ups

Reading Wrap Up:  2015 So Far (Jan., Feb., Mar.)

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- Looking Back at April

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- What Happened in May

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- So That Was June

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- Oh Sigh, July

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- And Now For August

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- September, September

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- Um... October

Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- November



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review 2016-01-01 04:38
Princess in Pink
Princess in Pink - Meg Cabot

This was a good book. There were parts that drove me nuts but I did enjoy this book. I also love the humor that I get out of these books. I can't wait to read the next!

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review 2015-12-31 05:30
Very Brief Thoughts: Desert Heat (novella)
Desert Heat: A Novella - Cindy Gerard

Desert Heat -- Cindy Gerard

**novella -- originally published as part of Rescue Me anthology alongside:

  • Tropical Heat by Cherry Adair
  • Atlanta Heat by Lora Leigh



I love Cindy Gerard!  A little Cindy Gerard novella to keep me over until I start reading her One-Eyed Jacks books in January (That's in two days!  Yes.  I'm on a schedule here.)


This was an enjoyable and fun, fast-paced read. Standard Cindy Gerard characters, bantering, sexy times, and suspense and action. A little on the formulaic Cindy Gerard Romantic Suspense-side, so it was predictable.


But I still loved it!  I'm not even certain that I'm able to dislike a Cindy Gerard book anymore.




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text 2015-12-29 15:41
Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 15

Bout of Books Bout of Books Read-a-thon Sign-Ups

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team



As part of my 2016 Bookish Resolutions, I DID say that I would try to participate in at least one read-a-thon for the 2016 year.  So, you know... why not this one?  I've seen the Bout of Books Read-a-thons floating around and have been interested for a while.  But I always feel like I'm too bogged down with Real Life activities to focus on reading.


Of course, there are no rules that dictate you must read during the entire time of a read-a-thon, so I might be able to swing this week-long one.  If I could manage some good reading during the Dewey's 24 Hour back in October, I should be okay with this one.




I honestly don't have any actual goals to complete for this read-a-thon aside from: Read as many books as I can manage.  I'm going to be participating in this read-a-thon in as laid back a fashion as I can.  I still have to work and have a lot of things planned for January already anyway, so I'm just going to feel my way around this Bout of Books Read-a-thon and see how I do before I try again and actually set some goals. However, I tend to be able to read around 4 books a week if I'm on a good roll.  Maybe I could set that as my goal.  Maybe not.



Read-a-thon Hopefuls


I have plans to start reading The Immortal Heights and The Apprentice at the beginning of January and may still be reading both books when the read-a-thon starts up.  So hopefully these two books will be finished within the week duration of Bout of Books. Followed by Frost is one of 48 of 2016 Reading Assignment books I will be reading in January and probably the second one I plan on reading for that challenge, which I feel I'll probably start reading that second week of January. And I just want to read Hungry Like the Wolf... for my own reasons.


(Clicking on the covers of each book will take you to the book's Goodreads page.)



I've been contemplating my next audio book and on a whim, just decided that I would like to listen to Let's Pretend This Never Happened, an autobiographical memoir by Jenny Lawson.  I bought it with an Audible credit months ago and haven't quite been in the mood for another autobiography since Neil Patrick Harris.  I might start into this one for January, and it'll spill into the Bout of Books Read-a-thon.



Links to Update posts

(coming soon -- subject to change)

The following post links are subject to change mainly because I don't know how often I will update on this read-a-thon during the week even if wishful thinking has me updating daily.  


We shall see how it all works out.


Bout of Books 15: Starting Day 1

Bout of Books 15: Day 1 Update

Bout of Books 15: Day 2 Update

Bout of Books 15: Day 3 Update

Bout of Books 15: Day 4 Update

Bout of Books 15: Day 5 Update

Bout of Books 15: Day 6 Update

Bout of Books 15: Day 7 Update and Overall Read-a-thon Wrap-Up




I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!



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