Thursday, January 2, 2020

Wrap-Up: December 2019

December Snapshots

1. Welp, I need a do-over. So, 2019 was not a great reading year for me. Usually I read around 100 books in a year. Last year, I only read 77, and 7 of them were picture books that I read to the baby. I think some of you book bloggers have superpowers. How do you have full-time jobs, babies, blogs, and read 100+ books? After a day of work and baby, I read about 4 pages and then fall asleep.

A graphic representation of my disappointment.

2. Okay, this probably didn’t help with my reading. Who watched His Dark Materials? I loved it, people! The season finale was epic. I want the next season right now, please. I also watched most of Downton Abbey in December. I liked that show, too, even though the angst was over-the-top at times. Everybody has SO MANY PROBLEMS! Also, I laughed at how a character died every time the writers wrote themselves into a corner and couldn’t get out of it. Everybody has SO MANY PROBLEMS, and they’re all solved with DEATH!

3. I gave you things! In December, I gave away a Book Depository shopping spree. The giveaway winner was Angela @ Musings Of A Literary Wanderer. A few people asked to see the winner’s shopping list, so these are the books that Angela chose:

Meet Me In Monaco by Hazel Gaynor
The Duke And I by Julia Quinn
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil Degrasse Tyson
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
A Column of Fire by Ken Follett
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

4. Christmas house, O Christmas house, how high is your electric bill? Some of the people in my neighborhood have a lot of Christmas spirit. A LOT. Check out the monstrosities I saw while walking the dog in December.

A flock of festive florescent wiener dogs?

You got a fence? You got a billboard.

I don't . . . I'm not even sure what's happening here. There was a speaker somewhere in this festiveness that was playing Christian church music.

Wayward Googlers

Here are a few amusing Google searches that led people to Read All The Things! last month. I’m sorry to the unfortunate souls who ended up here instead of finding what they were Googling for.

“amazon?” I wish. I’d be so rich if this was Amazon.
“Are scythe immortal.” Yes. Everybody in that world is immortal until a scythe murders them. That’s pretty much the whole premise of the series.
“After jeffrey ate the pizza.” I assume you’re asking about Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli? If you’re not, then your problems are probably too big for Google. After Jeffrey ate the pizza in Maniac Magee, he learned that he’s allergic to pizza. It sucks to be Jeffrey.

Books I Read

I finished 13 books in December, but don’t be too impressed. Seven of them are picture books that the baby got for Christmas. I gave up on one book because it’s too bleak for me right now.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Reread)
A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
Hello, Bugs! by Smriti Prasadam-Halls
First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Blindness by JosΓ© Saramago (DNF)
Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

Best Books Of December

I discovered that I don’t know how to compare a baby book to a not-baby book, so I made separate “best” lists for each of them.

3. Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell

1. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Reread)

Most-Viewed December Posts

All The Things!

Number of unread books on my TBR shelf = 54 books.

I’m currently reading = Best-Loved Folktales of the World by Joanna Cole.

What did you do in December?


  1. So cool that someone I know won your giveaway. Hooray for Angela! And hooray to you for such a generous giveaway. I say 77 books in a year is pretty awesome! I reached 99 but quite a chunk of those were audio books... and I listened when I couldn’t be physically reading a book. Without those I would have been way under your 77.

  2. Those picture books look delightful! I almost want kids just so I can read them.

    I live in the UK so Christmas lights aren't as big here, but me being American I didn't let that stop me. I went a little berserk, at least by UK standards. I'm dreading my electricity bill!

  3. Life has a way of intruding - but that's okay. Any number of books read is impressive. I still read pbs - and love them. Someday I hope one of mine is published,
    Lovely Christmas photos.
    Happy New Year - and a wonderful year of reading ahead!

  4. I'm curious about why you DNF'd Blindness, I plan on reading sometime.

  5. I think 77 books is impressive for all that you do, though! I'm so excited that Angela won your giveaway and I'm so into those books she chose. And wow is that last house picture with all those inflatables crazy! I can't imagine how much that costs to have it up every night, haha.

    Blindness is one book that I've been contemplating reading for years, but have never gotten around to it--looks like maybe that's been a good thing so far?

    I'm sort of excited about my sister's new baby because that means I can finally have a reason (other than just wanting to) to buy all those adorable picture books I always see so that I can read them to her.
    Hope you're enjoying the Best-Loved Folktales of the World book!

  6. Well AJ my secret with work, kids, dogs etc is ...commuting! It does wonder for my reading stats to take the train and readwalk the rest of my travel for about 4 hours a day! I hope you'll get your mojo back in 2020 ;-)

  7. Look at that! Angela won your giveaway. Well, if it couldn't be me, at least it's someone I know. Yeah! It's the quality, not the quantity of your reading, when you have a lot to juggle. I commend you on multitasking. Spending time with the baby and getting some books in for your reading challenge. Well done!

  8. Thank you again so much, Aj! You cannot imagine how excited I was when I got your email! Looking forward to reading all my new books!

    77 is a great total! It's probably more than 99% of adults read this year!

    I loved Downton Abbey but it always seemed like they spent so much time on little dramas and the big things got glossed over.

    We have Christmas lights on our house, not a ton but enough, but because we don't have those big inflatables or lights covering every inch of our house, my in-laws were really disappointed when they came over. Oh well - they're not paying our electric bill!

  9. This seemed like such a difficult year for many people! <3 Wishing you a 2020 filled with more self-care time and reading :) I LOVE the photos of all the christmas lights!!

  10. Blindness is awfully bleak...I love it, I think it's excellent, but it's not the type of thing one gets super excited about picking back up and diving into. I hope you find your way back to it eventually, I really do think it's worth it!

  11. It always amazes me how involved some of the Christmas displays get! I didn't read as many books in 2019 either, I was a serious sacker towards the end of the year but oh well. Hope your new year is starting off well! :)

  12. As soon as our shops get back to normal after the sales chaos I'm going to go to the shopping centre for a clothes shop and browse around. I don't enjoy shopping but I will be stopping at a bookstore so I'm determined to buy something! Hopefully we'll both have a good reading year ahead!

  13. I love your pics and sense of humor. Why does the family have light-up Minions. with Church music?
    You read quite a lot for someone with a baby. I am now retired and I still only read a bit more than you. Enjoy your TBR for the new year!

  14. omg I'm cracking up at some of those light displays πŸ˜‚they're um...enthusiastically festive? (And super weird.) But yay for getting any reading done! I don't know how people balance life and work and kids and jobs and family and BOOKS as well. Sometimes I can't fit in reading and I'm just ??? what am I even doing with myself. πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚

  15. I've been meaning to read Eliza and her Monsters for ages. It sounds so good!
    I loved His Dark Materials :)

  16. Well, for about a week I battled a head cold which had the most unfortunate timing--right before Christmas! That's what I did--and two quick trips to North Carolina. I hope your New Year will be joyous and prosperous.

  17. I love Angela's shopping list---she bought such an interesting assortment of books! (And, of course, I highly approve of any shopping list that includes Neal Shusterman.) Love the pics of the Christmas lights---the one with the church music seems ... interesting. I really want to watch His Dark Materials, but I need to read the books first!!!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  18. I thoroughly enjoyed Blindness. What powerful moment when you realize why the car is not moving at the green light.

  19. I think 77 books is great, especially considering how busy you were this summer. Angela's shopping list looks great. Thanks again for hosting such a generous giveaway. :) Oh and glad to hear His Dark Materials is good. I love Lin-Manuel Miranda so I really want to watch it but haven't had time yet.

  20. I have to agree that some bloggers seem to have super powers. I am only able to read as many books as I do because I can listen to books at work. I don't think I read a book for a few years when my kids were tiny. I just didn't have anything left at the end of the day. I think that 77 books is amazing and I am super impressed by the fact that your tbr shelf only has 54 books on it. I loved your photos. I hope you have a wonderful January!

  21. I'm amazed by bloggers able to read 100 books already, I think you did AMAZING with your reading this year. It's so hard when there are just so many things to do and real life to handle, too.
    I really need to watch His Dark Materials, the books are some of my favorites ever <3

  22. Thank you for the photos of the houses, ha ha. We had one of those up the street from our last house. The Ex called it the Kitschmas house. πŸ˜†

    I love Brooklyn's stocking on the fire place and your tree was so pretty. πŸŽ„

  23. 77 is an impressive number of don't beat yourself up over that one! I've been wanting to read both Eliza and Her Monsters and Almost Midnight so I'm glad to see you enjoyed them both!!

  24. It can be so hard to do all the things, and read all the things at the same time right? But we just do what we can and as long as you are enjoying what you read, then I think you're doing fantastically :D I am glad you had a good Christmas as well!

  25. 77 books is really excellent for a year! Especially when you have adulting to do. I forgot about Sheep in a Jeep! Nancy Shaw is a local author and I enjoyed meeting her when she was publishing the sheep books. My tastes in Christmas decorations lean towards twinkling lights and not the plastic stuff that appears gaudy to me. I hope your 2020 is going well.