Month In Review: February 2019

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This winter is finally starting to come to a close. Well, at least by the date anyways. Up here in Minnesota we are still having freezing cold weather and snow storms. I am so ready for spring. I’ve got cabin fever like crazy. Despite being almost constantly shut in the house, I didn’t read as many books as January. But I did read some great books. The last book I read was absolutely fantastic! I love Jeff Zentner’s writing so much. He always manages to make me laugh really hard and cry all in the same book. And this one, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnight Matinee, had references to the other two books and I love when authors do that with their books. I also finally got back into Philippa Gregory’s Plantagenet & Tudor novels. Probably one of my most favorite times in history to read about. I’m hoping I can continue reading the series and finally finish it this year sometime.

  • February 2019 Books Read: 7
  • 2019 Books Read: 18
  • February 2019 Pages Read: 3,053
  • 2019 Pages Read: 6,867

  1. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
  2. The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (#UnreadBOTMChallenge)
  3. The Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory (2019 Beat the Backlist)
  4. The White Princess by Philippa Gregory
  5. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (#UnreadBOTMChallenge)
  6. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
  7. Rayne & Delilah’s Midnight Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Favorite Book Read: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo AND Rayne & Delilah’s Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Least Favorite Book Read: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell


What books did you read in February? Any new favorites or books to recommend?

 

Month In Review: January 2019

Happy February everyone! I for one am glad January is over. That polar vortex last week was insane! We had windchills around -52 degrees F! I am so ready to be moving towards spring. But with the cold came lots of great reading time so I ended up reading 11 books this month. The last few months of 2018 were pretty slow for me so it felt good to get back up there.

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  • January 2019 Books Read: 11
  • 2019 Books Read: 11
  • January 2019 Pages Read: 3,814
  • 2019 Pages Read: 3,814

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  1. Sense and Sensibility graphic novel
  2. After You by Jojo Moyes
  3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  4. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  5. The Wicked King by Holly Black
  6. The Snow Bride by Debbie Macomber – ebook
  7. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden
  8. The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh – #unreadBOTMchallenge
  9. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker – #unreadBOTMchallenge
  10. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – #beatthebacklist2019
  11. Missoula by Jon Krakauer – #beatthebacklist2019

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Favorite Book Read: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Least Favorite Book Read: The Snow Bride by Debbie Macomber

This month I am planning on fitting in two more unread BOTM books as well as a re-read. I’m feeling pretty moody lately in the reading department so I’m not going to bother coming up with a TBR. I had started a re-read of Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover, which I love, but didn’t get very far because I just wasn’t in the mood to read it like I thought I was. And then my personalized copy of King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo came so I started reading that. It is really good so far.


What books did you read in January?

2019 Beat the Backlist

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Surprise! I’m going to do another reading challenge this year! I didn’t think I would be joining any other challenges this year but this one actually fits in perfectly with one of my goals this year so why not! Austine @ NovelKnight is hosting this great challenge. The goal of this challenge is to read books that have been on your TBR for awhile. Basically any book that was published 2018 or earlier is fair game. The challenge runs from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 so any book from your backlist read between those dates counts towards the challenge.

I already wanted to read a lot of the books that I’ve kept waiting on my shelves so I didn’t really have a set number or anything that I wanted to go with. So I just emptied one of my shelves and filled it up with different choices that I really want to read this year. Links go to Goodreads.

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I will also very loosely be marking off squares for this bingo card. I’m not going to go out of my way to fill in any squares but any book published pre-2019 that fulfills a square will be great.

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Are you participating in this challenge? Have you read any of the books on my list?

 

 

2019 Bookish Goals

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Hey everyone! I meant to post this days ago but as I was finishing putting the final touches on the post, everything got deleted with no way of getting it back. I got really frustrated so left it until I felt like rewriting everything all over again. So anyways, today I am going to post about my bookish goals for the new year.

  • Read 75 books – I had originally set my Goodreads goal for 100 books but after thinking about the number of books I’ve read the past two years, I wanted to lower that number to ease some of the pressure. I’ve often left off reading larger books because they take longer and I’ve felt like I needed to read shorter books to get more read as quickly as possible.
  • Re-read one book per quarter – The past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the books I’ve been wanting to re-read. This year I want to take some time to read some of those so I want to try and read at least one every three months.
  • Go to the library once per quarter – Growing up I spent A LOT of time going to the library and I loved it. I haven’t gone for a long time and really miss going. This year I want to take some time every few months to go to the library, browse, and check out a book or two.
  • Book buying ban – I am putting myself on a mostly no spend year this year, including books. I do have the exception of allowing myself the preorders I have for my favorite authors. But no more trips to Half Price Books or browsing Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
  • #UNREADBOTMCHALLENGE – This is a challenge I found out about through Instagram. January, February, March my goal will be to read two of my unread Book of the Month books. I will probably try to make my own goal to continue that throughout the year until I have them all read. I currently have 17 unread BOTM books. I had canceled my subscription awhile back because I wasn’t ever getting around to reading the books I picked out. I do love the subscription though and hope to subscribe again in the future.

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What are some of your bookish goals for this year?

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

34927828The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

440 Pages

Published February 6th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Summary: Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Review: This is the first time in a long time that I have actually felt like I’ve wanted to post a book review. I can’t even remember the last book I reviewed on this blog. I got this book last year from the Book of the Month Club but like most of the other books I got from that, it sat on my shelf unread.

For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination with Alaska and living life in the bush. Do I think I could live that way myself, HA probably not. I would miss certain things about the modern world too much. When I finally started reading this I wasn’t quite sure where it was going to go. I hadn’t read the summary for awhile so I mostly forgot what it was about, except that it was Alaska. It didn’t take me long to feel a kinship with the main character, Leni Allbright. She was so relatable and everything that happened to her really solidified my attachment to her.

I struggled so hard with the moments of abuse in this book. Not just because it was hard to read but because I wanted to reach through the pages and throttle Leni’s horrible father. I also found myself getting angry at her mother because it was clear to see she was never going to do anything to free herself and Leni. Don’t get me wrong, I know it isn’t her mother’s fault and that abusive relationships are hard to break free from, but that’s just how I felt in the moment. I don’t want to say too much more about it because… spoilers… so if you want to know how that whole situation goes down, you’ll have to read it for yourself.

I absolutely loved the secondary characters that Leni encountered in their new home. Especially Matthew Walker and Large Marge. They were so good to Leni and helped her in any possible way that they could.

My heart broke so many times for Leni throughout this book. She did not deserve all of the terrible things that happened to her, and neither did her mother. There were moments where I was so worried, I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat. This book was so well written, I felt like I was there in Kaneq. I had never read a Kristin Hannah book before but this book was so good I will definitely be on the lookout for more!

5 Stars