In a hurry? Skip below for the details of the challenges and giveaways… Make sure to follow the Reread-a-thon Twitter! @rereadathon2019 If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a competitive person. Mostly with myself, but I’m… More
There’s so much that I want to put in this week’s YouTube Tuesday, and I want to do it well, so this post will be slightly delayed from our normal 12 pm release.
See you soon!
My last few YouTube posts have been about BookTubers. Today, I’m going to go in a different direction and talk about a different subject: beauty vloggers!
Dani is a very personable beauty vlogger that I’ve been watching for the past several months. She has a very sweet and down-to-earth personality.
I’m pretty sure that I found her channel when searching for makeup videos for beginners (me, I suck at makeup, but occasionally want to get better at it). I enjoy the looks that she creates and feel that she explains them well. She also gives good do/don’t advice, as well as describes the pros and cons to different makeup products and formulas.
After watching several of her videos, I feel that I have enough information to know which brands I might want to try next for certain categories of makeup. For example, she is a fan of the Ofra line of highlighters, and they look really good in Dani’s videos, so I will likely buy from this brand when I am next shopping for a highlighter.
Tutorials are not the only kind of videos on her channel. She also has some general life vlogs about cleaning and decorating for Christmas, travel (Maldives, anyone?), hauls and reviews, and some chats about mental health.
Please let me know if there are any beauty vloggers that you enjoy watching!
My Goodreads Year in Books! <– You can click here to see Goodreads stats for me without my commentary. LOL!
Book and Page Stats
I beat my reading goal by 113%, which was nice. I wasn’t scrambling too hard at the end, even though I had a pretty big reading slump earlier in the year that could have thrown me off my game.
115 books translates into an average of 9.6 books per month; or one book every 3.2 days.
Below is a graphical representation of the number of books that I read per month. You can see that in the first half of the year, I wasn’t really reading too much. Still a decent pace, but for me, it was a slump. June – no books? Really? In August, I was introduced to BookTube and it reinvigorated my love for reading.
Looking at my reading trends over the past several years, you can see that in 2013, I had my biggest reading year, with 200 books read. My goddaughter was born in 2013, and I was reading and reviewing a *lot* of children’s books for her.
Looking at page counts over the past several years, you can see how I stopped reading so many short children’s books and started reading more adult or YA books. So, while I had read almost twice the number of books in 2013, my page count in 2018 is greater.
I don’t know why Goodreads has my page count as 33,843 in one graphic and 33,926 in another. Perhaps they are counting some of the pages in books that I have started and marked as “In Progress?”
For the sake of my calculations, I’ll use the smaller number of pages. I averaged 2,820 pages per month, and 93 pages per day.
My shortest book was one of my goddaughter, Gabby’s, books.
My longest book was “Winter’s Tale” that I felt like I listened to via Audible a lifetime ago. Was that really just last year?
My average book length was 294 pages, which is pretty good!
Star Rating Stats
These are my books broken down by star rating. I did give the majority of my reads 4 stars. They have to really move me to be given 5 stars. I give out 3 and 4 stars fairly easily, and feel a little bad about giving out a 2 or 1 star rating.
According to Goodreads built-in rating scale 2 is “OK” and 3 is “I like it,” but I tend to see 2s as more “meh/not for me” and 3s as more “it was OK.” For me to give out a 1 star, I have to really not like the book for some reason.
If you can see the little thumbnails, yes, I do have two copies of “The Martian” on my 5 star row. This is because I read a copy on my Kindle and I listened to the audiobook separately (not concurrently). I have now read “The Martian” about 29 times and my brother keeps trying to ban me from ever reading it again. So, I purchased the French translation copy, “Seul Sur Mars,” which should be arriving from Amazon France at the end of January 2019. 🙂 (Also, thanks to Emmmabooks for showing me that I can and should buy and read copies of my favorite books in multiple languages!)
This year, my only 1 star was “Clear” by Jessica Park. It was good for the first 50 pages or so, then went off the rails in a bad way and had a horrible plot resolution. Horrible. Implausible and – are you serious? It took me forever to finish the book and I’m surprised that I slogged through. This doesn’t say anything about Jessica Park’s other books, which I have really enjoyed.
“Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes,” I just couldn’t get into. This isn’t to say that I might not pick it up at some point in the future and like it. I just wasn’t feeling it at the time. This is why I put it on my DNF shelf, but didn’t give it a star rating.
This sounds like a high average for me. But looking at the graphic, it looks like I lucked out with a pretty significantly high number of 5 star books. Also, the lack of 2 and 1 stars….
I wonder if I should adjust my scoring for next year and move some of my 2.5 stars down to 2?
The Popularity Contest
This did not surprise me. I thought ACOMAF was fantastic! 🙂
I was fairly surprised that “The Girl on the Train” was the most popular book on my shelf. I was *not* surprised about “Gabriella the Superhero,” as I had to add that title to the database. 🙂 Before “Gabriella,” by next Least Popular title was “Exploring Seeds” – a children’s non-fiction title that I picked up late in the summer when I thought that I was going to do the Harry Potter OWL and NEWT challenges (Herbology, yo!). Alas, I didn’t complete the challenges.
However, I did learn something about my reading habits: I am a mood reader. I will *not* read it if I do not “feel” like it at the time. This actually surprises me somewhat, since I am normally very competitive and generally find challenges to be compelling.
In fact, this changed the way I viewed my goals for 2019. This year, I am not going to sign up for a lot of very strict challenges (like PopSugar or the Quarterly YA challenges with 10 categories every 3 months).
I find that if I try to constrain what books I can read too much, I’ll end up not reading at all. So my goals are more fluid.
To help me reach my goals – and for a fun way for me to track my reading – I purchased “The Bookworm Life” planner from my friend, Monica. It is adorable! You can buy it from her on Etsy, using the link above. (She also has lots of adorable bookish stickers for your calendar, bullet journal, or planner!)
More Random Stats
- 48 authors I have read before, but 67 were new-to-me. (I counted the first book in a series as a new author and subsequent books as read-before.)
- I read 50 books across 27 different series. Of those, I’ve completed (as far as I know) 6 of the series, and would continue with 14 of the series. I really get attached to characters and worlds and like to live in them as long as I can, so series are really attractive to me.
- Asylum (1)
- Blood of Eden (1)*
- Breathing (4) – Completed.
- Bright Side (1) – Completed.
- Choose Your Own Adventure (1)
- A Court of Thorns and Roses (4) – Completed.
- Crazy Rich Asians (2)*
- Dash and Lily (1)*
- Disney’s Frozen (1)
- The Gender Game (7) – Completed.
- Hush, Hush (1)
- Illuminae Files (1)*
- Kitchen Princess (1)
- Lisbon’s Misadventures (1)
- Lux (3)*
- Malory Family (1)*
- Marked Men (2)*
- Origin (1)*
- The Raven Cycle (1)*
- The Selection (1) – Completed.
- Star Darlings (1)*
- Uglies (5) – Completed.
- The Vanderbeekers (1)
- Warcross (1)*
- Wayward Children (3)*
- Xanth (2)*
- You (1)*
- 65 books I own in some form vs. 50 books I borrowed or read as part of a subscription service (like Scribd or Kindle Unlimited).
- I re-read 7 books:
- 100 Ghosts by Doogie Horner (Super cute Halloween read)
- Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft (for A-Z challenge)
- The Magic of You by Johanna Lindsey (Fave from teen years)
- The Martian by Andy Wier (LOVE!)
- Once and Always by Judith McNaught (LOVE!)
- Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony (for A-Z challenge)
- Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony (for A-Z challenge)
- 18 books published in 2018.
A big thank you to Kayla from Books and Lala, who inspired me to spend *hours* making this long-winded blog post for y’all! I’m tired, but happy to see all my reading stats for 2018!
If you’ve made it this far, you’re a rock star! Please link your blog/vlog posts in comments, so I can see your end-of-year wrap up!
I’ve found that there are so many people/channels that I’ve been enjoying on YouTube, so I would like to share my picks with you on a more regular basis. So, I’m going to be posting some of my favorites on what I will call YouTube Tuesday!
Today, I would like to introduce you to the first BookTube content creator that I started following: Kayla from Booksandlala.
I love how structured Kayla/Lala’s channel is. She typically starts every month with her TBR list and closes the month with a wrap-up video that goes over what she actually read and her thoughts about them.
She also does a fair amount of vlogging, where we get to know her better, and a fair number of readathons (which I appreciate, as it inspires my competitive nature to participate as well, with the result of expanding my reading diversity).
Her haul videos are dangerous, as they always lead me to want to buy far more books than I can read in a month. Watch with caution! But one of the best things about Kayla is that she often buys her books from a resale shop or some online stores like Book Outlet, which sells books at a discounted price. TBH, I started shopping on Book Outlet because of Kayla and I’ve filled at least 3 shelves on my bookcase already from them!
She also films a lot of tag videos, which are videos which are meant to be re-created by different people answering the same set of questions or doing the same challenges. I love the viewer participation that this fosters.
I’ve only discovered her channel midway through 2018, thanks to Monica (IG: @plan_with_monica; Etsy: PeanutButterTaco), but I’ve already watched nearly the complete body of work so far, if that tells you anything about how enjoyable her content is. 🙂
I’m publishing this post just as the ball is making its descent on New Year’s Eve, since I want to give myself as much time as possible to finish my reading goals that I set back in January. I’ll have a separate post to talk about how well I fulfilled my 2018 bookish goals, as well as talk about my goals for 2019.
This month, I read 12 books, with a total of 3,983 pages!
That’s about 128 pages/day.
- 1 ★★★★★
- 7 ★★★★
- 4 ★★★
- 0 ★★
- 0 ★
- 1 Children’s books vs. 11 YA/Adult
- 7 E-books/Audio vs. 5 Physical books
- My Kindle’s Reading Insights tell me that I’m in the middle of a reading streak 17 weeks long.
- I read 22 days on my Kindle in November, but only 14 days in December (which seems odd, since I’ve had about a month off work).
- 0 e-ARCs; 0 Library books; 7 Owned books; 4 Subscription books; 1 book that I bought as a gift and read first 🙂
I’ve added the book reviews as links below, to try and shorten the length of the monthly wrap-up posts, and hopefully encourage me to post them as I finish reading throughout the month, instead of waiting and having a pile to do all at once. Let me know what you think of the new format in the comments. Thanks!
- The Gender Plan by Bella Forrest
- “I’m sorry if that doesn’t make me strong in your book, but I don’t care. I don’t exist for your approval.”
- The Gender End by Bella Forrest
- I haven’t written a review for this series yet, but I enjoyed it. There were times where it was a little slow, or had battle scenes that dragged on for too long in excruciating detail, but overall, it had good world building and was a fun time.
- Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
- No review for this one yet, either. I kinda suck this month.
- I rated it 3/5 stars. The first half or so was pretty slow and uneventful, but the second half was decent.
- A lot of people compare this to Harry Potter, but it was missing a bit of the awe and wonder that the Harry Potter series invoked in me.
- Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent
- 4/5 stars. This was a really interesting read.
- Being prior Navy, I enjoy reading about naval military stories. Combine this with my fascination for Shark Week, and you have this book.
- I was glad that, although the subtitle is about the exoneration of the captain, the book focused more on the crew, the incident, and their time in the water, and not so much on the legal proceedings.
- Rome by Jay Crownover
- Nash by Jay Crownover
- Gabriella the Superhero by Eric James
- Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony
- Verity by Colleen Hoover
- The Queen: History in an Hour by Sinead Fitzgibbon
- Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony
- Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft
December TBR Books I Didn’t Get To
- A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood
- This one I had borrowed from the library, and I ran out of time before I had to return it. Our library is going to be closed for renovations for much of January, so I wasn’t able to renew it. I did mark in my Goodreads where I left off, so that I’ll be able to pick it back up later (which is one of the great things about a short story compilation).
- So far, it is rating about 3/5 stars. The stories are well done for the most part, but unfortunately the time periods are not ones that capture my interest.
- Rerouting by Fr. John Riccardo
- Since this one contains a lot of self-reflection questions, I wanted to hold off on just reading straight through this one until I had the proper time and attention to give it and answer all the questions as I go.
- When I do pick it up again, I think I’ll create a new series of blog posts where I can talk about my ideas, reactions, and answers to the reflection questions.
- I jokingly said that I refuse to read a book by Fr. John without it having been autographed for me. And I haven’t yet had this one autographed. LOL!
- The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
- This one was an interesting concept, but was a little slow when I set it down a month or so ago and I became distracted by other, shinier, books.
- Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
- This was another library book that time ran out on.
- I hadn’t gotten too far into the story. I think the main character had met one person and gone out of her room once.
- Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
- I just never made it to this book.
- My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins
- Since this anthology has 12 stories, I thought it would be best to read one story per day for the 12 Days of Christmas. So, it should be finished early in January.
- What Light by Jay Asher
- I just never made it to this book.
- The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood
- This book was selected for Monica’s book club, and in my typical fashion, I had only read 1/2 of the book by the designated day. When I also was unable to make the book club meeting, I set aside the book for a little while.
- It was a *really* good story when I set it aside, so I am looking forward to picking it back up again.
Jesus-Shock by Peter Kreeft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a very well-reasoned book. Dr. Kreeft is able to make his points in a very accessible fashion, weaving together Scripture, anecdotes, humor, logic, and reader participation into a convincing and entertaining catechism. His main point is that you can be angered, scared, terrified, or overjoyed by Jesus, but you can’t truly be bored by Him.
I re-read this book as part of an A-Z Reading Challenge tonight, on the last night of 2018. After re-reading, I think I would upgrade my star rating to 4.5/5 stars. Dr. Kreeft really did a great job giving us a new perspective while at the same time keeping us interested.
View all my reviews
Xone of Contention by Piers Anthony
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a solid Xanth novel. The main characters were not my favorites, but they had good redemptive arcs and a decent adventure. They were a little flatter and more boring than a typical set of Xanth characters, but perhaps that it okay or even intentional, as they are Mundane characters.
The addition of the kids – DeMonica, Demon Ted, Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm – were cute to see.
View all my reviews
The Queen: History In An Hour by Sinead Fitzgibbon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was part of a series called “History in an Hour” and understandably is a very quick, abridged look at the life of Queen Elizabeth II. For all of its brevity, I think it was well done and interesting.
I would be interested in reading their other offerings. I think they would provide a good jumping off point for historical studies.
View all my reviews
Verity by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow! This was such a compelling read! I read it in two sittings, 25% on 12/8 and the rest this morning on 12/30/18. Likeable characters? Yes. Detestable characters? Yes. So much twistedness, that the book is finished and my eyes are still bugged out, asking myself, “What just happened?” At different parts of the book, I felt that any character could be the ultimate villain of the story. As a reader, it’s uncomfortable to not know who to trust and who to root for.
Colleen Hoover’s books typically mess with my heart and my emotions. This time, she was able to mess with my mind.
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Zombie Lover by Piers Anthony
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I selected this book to re-read so that I could complete my A-Z Reading Challenge (I’m going my titles only). I had re-read another Xanth book recently, only to be disappointed. It didn’t have the same fun and enjoyment that I had remembered from my childhood.
However, this time around, I appreciated the clever puns and fun, fluffy adventure. Breanna, the main protagonist in this book, had a great story arc and had a lot of personal growth throughout the narrative. There were a lot of side plots and foreshadowing that wrapped up nicely in the end. There was a lot of older, beloved characters who made an appearance, so that long-time fans could have something to look forward to. That being said, even though this is the 22nd Xanth novel, it could easily be read as a standalone.
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