Happy Sunday! Finally I decided to accept my fate when it comes to my Goodreads statistics – a disaster. In 2020, my objective was to read and review 100 books. Well, I managed to have reviews up for 39 of them. Yes, I did read more than this, but as I was mentioning in one of my previous articles, if it not official, I am not counting it.
39 books read, with a total of 7,072 pages, according Goodreads is still something. I mean… I could have read way less right?! (no, I am a book reviewer, I need to read more, not less).
My shortest book had 55 pages and my longest 512 – The Raven and The Dove by Kaitlyn Davis (an amazing book, by the way – check out my review here). But wat surprised me was the average book length: 181 pages. I was expecting somewhere in the range of 230? Come on, I read medium size books…
Most popular and least popular books are no surprise. Honestly, I did not like Reble Heir that much and Outer Space and Its Colors is indeed a weird book.
Average rating: 4.3 stars. Let’s see if this year I am as generous (spoiler alert: I have just finished a 1 star book…)
There are currently 7 books marked as “Currently Reading” on my Goodreads page, 6 of which are completed since months and one that I have just started. I am not considering the 6 in this statistics but here are all the other 39:
For 2021 my goal is to read 120 books, which would mean 10 books per month in average. Seams doable. I would also like to improve my average page count and this can also be achieved, since I plan on reading at least 4 books that are more than 500 pages. Stick around to see how this goes 9I know I am curious 😀 )
Until next time, let me know in the comments below what is the longest book you’ve read in 2020 and if you have a number of books planned for 2021.
I am so nervous right now! This is my first TBR from 2021! I have 10 amazing books prepared for this month, one not yet received, but hopefully I will, soon. Without further words, here they are:
Detour (Beautiful Biker #1) by DD Prince
Déjà vu (Confessions of a Soul Book 1) by P.E. Chretien
Snowed in with the Billionaire by Lila Monroe
Lights Out (The Donington Racing Series #1) by Kat Ransom
Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist! (Confessions #1) by Kay Marie
Flawed (The Young and Privileged of Washington, DC, #1) by Vivian Kohlman
Blessing and Curse (Acrabha Stone Book 1) by J. Elias Epp
Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter
A Warlock’s Storm by Marie-Claude Bourque (if I receive the ARC)
Soothsayer by Kathryn Amurra
MOST EXCITED FOR…
Definitely I cannot wait to read “Lights Out”. Discovering Kat Ransom was the best thing that happened to me in 2020, when it comes to reading, so I am anxious to start her latest book. (bloody readding slump! I should have read it sooner!)
I PREDICT 5 STARS FOR…
“Lights Out” and “Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist!”, but also “Detour”.
NOT HIGH HOPES FOR…
I have three books here. “Blessing and Curse”, simply because lately it was difficult for me to read Fantasy. But I do want to read more in this genre this year, as part of my resolutions. “Soothsayer” it not so appealing to me, because of the cover. I don’t see the relationship between the cover and the blurb. I hope the saying “Looks can be deceiving” will apply here. “Déjà vu” is on the list because of its blurb – it’s confusing a bit.
“Matsushita Leadership” is one of the books my other half loved it last year and he has been asking me to read it for months now. I must finish it 😊
I am focusing on reading a minimum of 10 books per month, just to be on track with my Goodreads goal. But I do want to exceed this number. There are so many books out there that I did not manage to read last year or the years before and there are a lot more coming out this year. So looking forward to new amazing reads!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any reading plans for January or if you have read any of the books mentioned above.
New beginnings – that is what we all say when a new year knocks on the door. Since I have recently posted my bookish resolutions, I want to tell you a bit about my plans outside of reading.
Finish the sewing course (and all projects from the sewing course): I’ve started taking sewing classes since October and it has been a real challenge. I’ve learned that I am afraid to make mistakes and that I want to have each cut perfectly executed. I am a beginner, so this definitely doesn’t happen. Frustration sets in and emotional turmoil. But it is part of my development as a person and as a future seamstress.
Dare to sew from Burda: I love the designs in this magazine and there are some that are easy to perform, with my current knowledge. I just need to have the guts to do it!
Start promoting my sewing business: I’ve been spending a lot of time planning than doing the actual job. It is high time I started putting my ideas on paper. Now!
Start a planner for my sewing activities: again, OneNote is a savior here. I was mentioning in my Bookish Resolutions for 2021 that I am using OneNote for my blog as well and it will be my choice for sewing as well.
Knit more: I’ve been crocheting for a while now. I am not an expert, far from it. But I want to try knitting as well. My mom knits and she makes some beautiful sweaters. I want to learn as well:)
Charity donations: I want to give more. There are people out there who need our help, as little as it may be, it still is something. Sewing, knitting or crocheting for charity are also an idea.
Be more organized at home and at work: this applies not only to closets and drawers, but also to my time dedicated to other activities. I need to put my sh..adows together
Be more relaxed at the office (or quit): this is probably the most difficult thing to achieve.
Complete the tasks on time: uh, this one is also though to accomplish. This applies both to my sewing activities and my job.
Stick to the plan!
As usual, I am trying to push myself over the limits. But this is because mine are pretty low at the moment and I know I can do better. 2021 will be full of challenges and new projects. Hopefully I will be able to stick to my ideas and put them to practice.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any personal goals (the ones that can be shared, obviously). Until tomorrow, happy reading !
A new year, new beginning, new chapter in the big book of life – that’s what we all say!
Take a moment to remember all the good things that 2020 offered you, however small and insignificant they may be. Bad things are there so that we can appreciate the better ones more, right?
I wish you all a 2021 filled only with goodness and kindness, with joy, with love and energy to accomplish your plans and fulfill those new year resolutions (we all make them, even if we don’t admit it). To all the bookish community out there, here’s to many great books!
Another year has passed. After all the good and the not so good that 2020 has brought us, it is time to look forward with confidence and determination.
Yup, I have started this article like a politician 🙂 as you all have seen, I have not been on top of my game in 2020. I would like to blame it all on my job, but if I am honest, it was not only that (it does play the major role though). In the end, it doesn’t matter. My blog still stands, my love for reading is there and it is a powerful motivation.
So I am very anxious to start the new year with new goals which I plan to achieve (this time) 🙂
Be organized: finally I have found a tool (OneNote) that is extremely useful for what I have in mind and I have been using it for a while. I want to keep using it and be more organized.
Be more active on social media: as I was mentioning many times, the bookish community is amazing. Every time I interacted, I was met with kindness and I love that. I love having a group of friends with whom to talk about books.
Read 100 books: according to my reviews posted on Goodreads, I have read way less this year. I know there are many books I have finished but not reviewed, but…if it’s not official, I am not counting it here. So I intend to read and review officially 100 books. For the record, my Goodreads goal is 120.
Lear more about beta reading and editing: beta reading is something that I like doing and it is also something that at the moment I am doing without a defined structure. I have a plan drafted, but it needs improving. As for editing, it will help my own articles and it will help my beta reading. No harm in learning more.
Have better diversity in my articles: my blog is mainly focused on reviews. Well, I want more. I want to discuss characters, themes, chapters, spoilers… there is a lot more I could write about and I want to do it in 2021. I want us to talk more and I want you to get the best from my blog.
Be more involved in the bookish community: this is where I say that I want to be more involved in readathons and bookish challenges. I said that last year too and …. didn’t happen. 2nd time is the charm? (Hopefully I don’t have to wait until the 3rd)
Promote more (books and authors): I read a lot, this is clear. But I talk very little about the books and some of them deserve a lot more than just a review.
Try to read more Fantasy: I used to love YA and Fantasy, but I got so wrapped up in Romance that I forgot about anything else. This needs to change. Slowly and with courage, but it needs to change.
Post daily: I have a lot to write about, so the ideas are there. I need to invest more time, I need to go back to point 1 of this list and also follow point 10.
Stick to the plan!
Reading is amazing. It has been one of my anchors in 2020 and it has been my refuge for the last 9 years at least. With this in mind, let’s start the first TBR from 2021 – subject for my next article.
Until next time, let me know below what are your reading goals for 2021 as I would love to know 😉 Happy Reading!
I’ve been MIA for a while, longer than expected or intended. Unfortunately work became unbearable these past couple of months and I was struggling opening up a book, or even touching the keyboard to write. I’ve stressed myself to a point I was not able to rest (and I still do) and no book could help me forget about it.
So I’ve experienced the most awful reading slump I’ve ever had to deal with. I could not, for the love of God, find a book to keep my interest longer than 3 minutes. After the first few pages, I would switch to a game similar to Candy Crush. My mind would not allow me to focus on anything else. Psychologically, it was painful and it still is. I know I should seek professional help in these situations and I am very aware that with every emotional crisis it gets harder to come back, but so far I can still face them.
After slowly recovering from this ugly phase, I have a few advices that worked for me and that maybe would work for you as well:
Admit you have a problem: this is the beginning of any healing process. I admitted I had a problem concentrating on my reading which, initially fueled my stress levels even more. E-mails were piling up, deadlines were not met. I was a failure! Ok, fine. What was I going to do about it? I took a step back and decided to ride the wave for a while.
Keep reading: it may not be the next book on your TBR, but at least continue reading. I read articles online and even a non-fiction book. I read cooking books, magazines, anything that would keep me connected to reading
Start doing something else: draw, play games, do random stuff. My sewing classes kept my mind away from my reading slump and thus I avoided becoming even more pessimistic or absorbed by it.
Watch Booktube: believe me, this actually works. You may not be in the mood to read a book or to read book reviews, but hearing someone else talk about books or show off their recent purchases is great! It made me so eager to buy books and talk about them. My favorite booktubes became my inspiration. And I will talk about them soon on my blog.
Start planning your comeback: it doesn’t have to be strong, it doesn’t have to be all at once. Plan, write articles and see how that go. So far, for me it looks good.
Well my friends, this is all I wanted to share with you at the moment. Reading slumps are ugly as hell, mental blockage is ugly as hell, but there are some simple steps to take to find the light again. Let me know in the comments below how did you deal with your last reading slump, if you have experienced one, and how long it lasted.
My “interview” with bosshole supreme was anything but normal.
He picked the worst day ever to chase me off my favorite park bench.
I retaliated with a spray of cinnamon latte all over his Italian shoes.
Then—for some unholy reason—Magnus Heron offered me a job.
Even his name sounds like a piece of work.
Guess what? He is.
But when you’re single, broke, and barely surviving in Chicago, you hop on the gift horse offering a six-figure salary and ride.
I picked the stallion on a one-way trip to hell.
It’s not the impossibly long hours working under Grump-zilla.
It’s not the fact that he’s snarly, demanding, horribly rich, and chiseled.
It’s not even the pesky way he makes me blush every flipping time we’re together.
Mag is my boss. I’m his lowly assistant. Some rules are carved in stone.
That’s my mantra until we’re sharing a sunset too beautiful for life.
Alone with wandering lips, whispered secrets, and disaster in the making.
The plan was simple: punch the clock, get paid, and keep hating my boss.
What’s the blueprint when the office grump brings me to my knees?
Full-length enemies-to-lovers romance with the banter, intrigue, and slow-burn love worthy of a Happily Ever After. The bossman from Hades meets the hellion he totally can’t stand—until he can’t live without her.
This was such an amazing read! I loved this book with all my heart and I would reread it times and times again. It made me laugh, it made me immerse completely into the story and the romance was very very good.
<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Sabrina is all that Magnus needs from the first pages. After another failed job, she finds herself accepting the position of Assistant CEO at Heron Communications, precisely for the arrogant guy she meets in one of her worst days. Little did she expect to make an impression on THE Magnus Heron (of whom she knows nothing about). With no experience in such an important position, she is determined to succeed and face the crazy hours her boss asks from her. As for Magnus, he is constantly fighting his attraction for the best assistant he ever had. Still, things have a way of getting out of control.Sabrina is all that Magnus needs from the first pages. After another failed job, she finds herself accepting the position of Assistant CEO at Heron Communications, precisely for the arrogant guy she meets in one of her worst days. Little did she expect to make an impression on THE Magnus Heron (of whom she knows nothing about). With no experience in such an important position, she is determined to succeed and face the crazy hours her boss asks from her. As for Magnus, he is constantly fighting his attraction for the best assistant he ever had. Still, things have a way of getting out of control.
When it comes to the action, this is a slow-burn romance. Our characters have time to know each other and to win watch other’s confidence. If Brina is closer to an open book, Magnus has sides he is not willing to shed light upon so easy. She is so determined to prove her worth and to prove to her boss she can be a trusted employee. I loved this about her. I loved the way she kept her professional attitude (for the best part of the novel) and how she did not let Magnus push her around. I admire Magnus as well, for the way he manages his business and how he manages to keep the respect of his employees.
At some point, things change between them. All it takes in one small step and a beautiful sunset. But Magnus has to let the past go and also he has secrets to face. If Brina will be there for him personally and professionally… it remains for you to uncover.
Indeed, there are moments of miscommunication, she is sometimes acting like a spoiled child. Her best friend as well. But these items make this book a little less dull and a little more fun. And I had fun.
Suffice to say I read it in one sitting (yes, one sitting! ) I could not put it down. It’s addictive and heart-warming. I hope you’ll enjoy it at least as much as I did.
Until next time, Happy Reading!
Cover Review: I am not such a big fan of the cover. I see Magnus a bit less … gentle. I would have preferred a more “corporate” cover.
Favorite Quote: I have so many to many to mention here, but I’ll stick with:
“Garlic wards off evil spirits and vampires. Like my boss, for one.”
About The Author
Nicole Snow is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author. She found her love of writing by hashing out love scenes on lunch breaks and plotting her great escape from boardrooms. Her work roared onto the indie romance scene in 2014 with her Grizzlies MC series.
Since then Snow aims for the very best in growly, heart-of-gold alpha heroes, unbelievable suspense, and swoon storms aplenty.
Current fan favorites include her Enguard Protectors series, accidental love novels, plus long beloved MC romance thrillers like the Grizzlies and Deadly Pistols.
Source: received from the Author in exchange for an honest review
A time for love can’t be more deadly…
Julia Leonardi thought she put her past behind her. The widow of a mobster, all she wants is to steer clear of the criminal elements. Then she meets Domenico Bonacci…
Dom is handsome, charming, and intense. The world knows him as a prominent businessman, but Julia sees him as everything she fought to escape.
Once the scion of a powerful Mafia family Dom left the world of organized crime after his father’s death. And he swore he would never go back.
No matter how hard she tries, Julia can’t seem to ignore the powerful spark of attraction between them and her growing feelings for him. But when Dom’s shady past catches up with him, the two forbidden lovers find themselves trapped in a deadly game.
Will Dom renege on his vow and lose the woman he loves, or he will manage to break free of his past for once and for all?
I was mentioning in one of my previous reviews that I have not read as many mafia romances as I would have liked. Well, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of “A Favor for a Favor” from the author and what a great read it has been! I was captivated from the opening scene and I could not put it down. It was an addictive read.
The story is told on the third person, from our main characters’ perspective. This was refreshing and somewhat help me have the full picture. Julia has done her best to be as far away from the Mafia world as possible. After losing her husband in mysterious ways, she is now focused on making her business a success. However, a family incident brings her to Domenico Bonacci’s club. Their first encounter is fiery, to say the least, with both characters trying to act as bold as possible. True emotions will quickly come to light however.
I loved how Julia and Dom interacted, but especially how he was trying to mix his own affairs with convincing Julia of his feelings. I would divide the story in two parts. The first one is mixing romance, action and politics with Dom being on top of both. I see him as the center of the book, with Julia being more of a love interest. The second part is centered more on the political side. Both parts are entertaining and kept me on the edge.
As much as I loved the characters and the plot, I must mention that it was a bit difficult to keep track of all the families and connections. It would have been easier having like a genealogy tree with each member belonging to which family or fraction. At some point I was a little lost among all the political interests. Another thing that made me decrease my rating was the ending. For how well the biggest part of the plot was developed, I would have expected a more complex ending, with more action.
Overall, this was a great debut novel. Nat Chelloni is a fantastic writer and I cannot wait to read more from the series. I think I have an idea of who we will have next, but let’s see if I’m right 🙂 Keep your eyes out for this book, as well as the next ones, I’ll sure be doing that 🙂
Until next time, happy reading!
Cover Review: Here is where I may have an issue. I am not very fond of the cover. It does remind me of old mafia movies but it’s too much like those old ones. Dom is the center of the cover, Julia comes in a small corner – I would expect her to be at his side though. The colors are aligned and create a balanced image.
About The Author
Nat Chelloni is a TV personality, a screenwriter, a film critic, an avid book reader across all genres, and now a published author of a debut novel A Favor For a Favor.
Source: Received from the author, in exchange for an honest review
Type: ARC, e-copy
She’s a reminder of everything he lost.
He can’t escape the darkness.
Unlocking the past can only end in heartbreak.
Cancer stole everything from Jilly. Now she’s taking her life back by force, choosing an unconventional path to motherhood, and gambling it all to purchase the farm she’s always dreamed of. Her reclusive neighbor might be a jerk, but that’s a minor problem. Until her foster kids turn it into a major problem…
Noah likes being alone. It’s safer that way. But his new neighbor—who happens to be his former rival—has no boundaries and it isn’t long before she starts stirring up his past—a past that’s better left forgotten.
The third and final book in the Sutter’s Hollow series is the best, in my opinion! I read these books in the same month and now all the pieces fall together in a beautiful complete picture. Finally, we get Jilly and Noah’s story and I am so happy the author decided to bring them together.
Both have scars from their past but, while one is trying to move forward and create a future, the other is stuck in a place that can provide a limited comfort. It takes three misbehaving children to give a little push in the right direction.
The story is one full of emotion. Jilly has had to deal with cancer and, after surviving is battle, she now wants to continue her life and adopt the three little (not so) angles that are currently living with her. Noah, on the other hand, still deals with the consequences of an accident that happened years ago, the accident that took away his sight. He lives isolated from the world and refuses contact with almost everyone. Their connection is so beautiful and the way their relationship evolves feels so natural. I really really enjoyed this book!
The author addressed three important themes with this book: we have a cancer survivor that learned to cope with her illness. We have Noah’s sigh issues and we how he learned to adapt and live a life as close to normal as possible. Additionally, we have the adoption of the three kids and how they try to adapt to a new home, struggling to attach themselves or not to their new potential family. Throughout all these themes there is an optimistic tone in just the right amount.
I must mention the only thing that made me give 4 stars to this book. And it’s the same reason I decreased my rating in the previous ones also: I don’t think that Noah received the proper closure for the accident. I believe this conflict (it’s not a real conflict, more like a turning point in our main characters’ lives) was not resolved for cord, Callum or Noah.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed “The Cowgirl Next Door” the most from the series. It’s a book with a lot of emotional baggage, that deals with significant themes, but with a lovely love story. The entire Sutter’s Hollow series has beautiful stories and it’s a great series if you want to relax with three beautiful couples.
Cover Review: I like the cover. We see the consistency with the small-town background, even if I would have imagined Noah and Jilly a little different. But overall, I like it.
About The Author
Lacy Williams wishes her writing career was more like what you see on Hallmark movies: dreamy brainstorming from a French chateau or a few minutes at the computer in a million-dollar New York City penthouse. In reality, she’s up before the sun, putting words on the page before her kids wake up for the day. Those early-morning and late-night writing sessions add up, and Lacy has published fifty books in almost a decade, first with a big five publisher and then as an indie author. When she needs to refill the well, you can find Lacy birdwatching, gardening, biking with the kiddos, or walking the dog. Find tons of bonus scenes and reader extras by becoming a VIP reader at www.lacywilliams.net/vip .