Top Ten Tuesday

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Time for a new Top Ten Tuesday, that fun weekly meme hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the them is “Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020”

As I checked out the lists at Goodreads, I realized that many of my favourite authors were expecting a new book to be published this year. So, I decided to alter the theme slightly to:

10 New Romance Books (Any Genre) I’m Looking forward to Reading this Year

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The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

 

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Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

 

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Daring and the Duke by Sarah MacLean

 

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Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

 

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The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

 

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A Favor for a Favor by Helena Hunting

 

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A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones

 

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The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

 

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Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker

 

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The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

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It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme “It’s Monday! What are You Reading“, at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.
What I Read Last Week

A brand new year (and decade) and I’ve started fairly well, reading several books from my TBR list from last week.

I read 5 books: an historical romance, a contemporary romance, a mystery/thriller and 2 women’s fiction.

Here are the books I read:

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How to Walk Away by Katherine Center I got so caught up in this amazing story

 

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The Dinner by Herman Koch It was a disturbing read, almost a DNF but needed it to complete the Pospsugar Reading Challenge

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman A very enjoyable read

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Secrets of the Chocolate House by Paula Brackston (2nd in her series) Such a great series, with fantastic research by author and well-developed characters.

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The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez Almost let reviews stop me from finishing, but in the end read it and enjoyed it.

 

What I’m Reading Now

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
How the Dukes Stole Christmas – historica romance anthology
Not Another New Year’s by Christie Ridgway

 

What’s Up Next
Determined to read these books in January!

The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

 

Connect Five Friday

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Today begins the newly revised Connect Five Challenge, hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. With this low key, weekly meme, Connect Five Friday,  we are encouraged to share connections of 5 things – whether books read or wanting to be read, movies or whatever you wish.

My connections are to 5 series I plan to read this year – some I have to finish or ones I’ve been wanting to read for a while.

Series to Read in 2020

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1. Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. I still wonder that I have never read any of this series, although I have watched the movie.

 

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2. Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. I have loved this series and need to read the last three books: Glass Houses, Kingdom of the Blind, A Better Man.

 

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3. 2 series by Leigh Bardugo: Six of Crows, Shadow and Bones. I love fantasy and can’t wait to read these.

 

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4. Folk of the Air series by Holly Black. So many great reviews of her fantasy series – have to read it.

 

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5. The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvatter. I finally read Scorpio Races last year and now I need to read this intriguing fantasy series by her.

 

What 5 things can you connect? The fun is definitely in the chase to find those connections.

 

My OLW

                           Welcome 2020

2020 is a brand-new year and begins a new decade. It is also the opportunity to begin anew with a word that will carry me through this year.
Ali Edwards, with her year-long course, started me on the journey of choosing that One Little Word rather than make resolutions.
Here are the words I have focused on over the years:
2010 – YES
2011 – Balance
2012 – Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)
2013 – JOY
2014 – Embrace
2015 – Bloom
2016 – Shine
2017 – Cultivate
2018 – MORE
2019 – Focus

Each word seemed to fit the need I had for that year, some more than others. I had hoped Focus would force me to zone into what needed to be done and what I wanted to do. But it wasn’t as effective as I had hoped.
So, I started searching for a word that would allow me to return to some of the words I have had and capture some of their power.

I discovered a book at the library last month, read it and knew I had my word and my path for the year. Yes, I am retired but there is still so much I want to do.
The book was “Refire! Don’t Retire. Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life” by Ken Blanchard and Morton Schaevtz. It was filled with questions to look at what I wanted.
As they said:
To refire is to approach life with gusto. It’s to see each day as an opportunity for adventure and learning. It’s to infuse passion and zest into every are of your life.”

This was it – my OLW – my path forward, an approach to life, living with zest, gusto, adventure, enthusiasm.
Refire will be my OLW for 2020.

I even created a new canvas to hang in my work room

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What is your OLW?

December Reading Round-Up

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Hard to believe we are just hours away from the end of 2019 and the beginning of not only a new year but also a new decade.

I did well with most of my challenges and was able to complete most. I’ve included info on my favourites here.

It’s time to share what I have been reading this past month.
The total read for December was 38 books with the following breakdown:
Fantasy /Paranormal – 1
Historical Romance– 5
Romance – 10
Women’s Fiction -3
Non-fiction – 3
Memoir – 1
Picture books – 8
Humour – 1
Mystery – 3
Thriller – 1
(Diverse books – 3)
I decided this year to record in more detail where the books originated – from the library, on my TBR shelves, an e-book, bought /gifted or a charity read (Bought from a charity store). Here’s the breakdown
Library reads – 24
TBR books –5
E-books – 8
Charity reads – 1

Here are the books read for my favourite challenges:

Popsugar Ultimate Reading Challenge (Through Goodreads) Hallelujah! I completed the regular section of the challenge – all 40 books. But I was reading right to the end of the month to complete it. I was short 2 books to complete the Advanced section. Oh well. C’est la vie.
Here the books I read this month to complete this challenge:
#3 – Book by a musician – Feeding My Mother by Jann Arden
#23 – set in Scandinavia – And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
#24- Takes place in one day – The Dinner by Herman Koch
34- Revolves around a puzzle or game – The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

52 Books in 52 Weeks
I needed 6 books to finish this challenge but I did it! 6 books to finish this challenge but I did it! Yeah!
Here are the books read:
#7- memoir by someone you admire -– Feeding My Mother by Jann Arden
#11- published in year graduated – If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, Why Am I in the Pits? By Erma Bombeck
#19- Gothic fiction –Too Tempting to Resist by Erica Ridley
#23 – True Crime – Newtown by Matthew Lysiak
#33- book about a cult – The Cult Child by Vennie Kocsis
#38 – allegorical book – The Curious Snowflake by James C. Struck

Monthly Key Word Challenge
I chose “Christmas” as the key words this month and read 3 books:
Christmas in Christmas in Winter Valley by Jodie Thomas
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber
Christmas on Mistletoe Lane by Annie Rains
With these last books, I completed this challenge!

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was to read a book you had meant to read all year.
Newtown by Matthew Lysiak
With this last book, I completed this challenge!

Beyond the Bookends
The theme was “Sherlock Holmes adaptation”
The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes by Leonard Goldberg
With this last book, I completed this challenge!

Diversify Your Reading
The genre was “Fantasy”:
Dark Descent by Nicole R. Taylor

With this last book, I completed this challenge!

Connect Five
I post a separate post on any Connect Five books I read each month. In December, my connections were:
Kisses, Wild, Wicked, Date
Check here.

Favourite Reads
Once again, this was an excellent month for reading books that I rated a number of books a 5 at Goodreads.
My top 10 though were:

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Newtown by Matthew Lysiak

Feeding My Mother by Jann Arden

The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros

No Judgements by Meg Cabot

Refire! Don’t Retire by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz

Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith

Chasing Rainbows by Mona Ingram

Black in White by J.C. Andrijeski

Lisa Kleypas: Devil in Spring, Hello Stranger, Devil’s Daughter

 

2020 Resolutions
I have joined the 2020 Bookish Resolutions Challenge and have set my goals for reading for the New Year (check here for my post with links to the challenge):

Reading Goals
• Complete 10 reading challenges this year
• Read 400 books over all – (at least 100 to be pbs and mg novels)
• Read at least 50 books that I already own
• Read 50 non-fiction books, including books on writing and creativity
*Create my own syllabus for reading women authors and some fantasy series

Writing Goals
• Finish at least one writing project a season
• Write 500 words per day
• Enter a writing competition
• Complete a writing course (online or in person)

 

I am linking with the following:

Monthly Wrap-up (At Feed Your Fiction Addiction)

Best of the Bunch(at A Cocoon of Books)

Spread the Love(at As Told by Tina)

 

Happy New Year everyone! May 2020 be filled with awesome reading!