February Wrap Up



This month I read 8 books for a total of 2,490 pages and an average of 89 pages per day. I’m pleased with how Austen Month wrapped up – in addition to 7 Austen-inspired books, I tackled one of my genre switch up books (romance) and watched four movies. Overall I’m very pleased with the books I read, but Austenland reigns supreme.


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
First Sentence: Well before his arrival in Cincinnati, everyone knew that Chip Bingley was looking for a wife.

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope
First Sentence: From their windows – their high, generous Georgian windows – the view was, they all agreed, spectacular.

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
First Sentence: Emma Woodhouse’s father was brought into this world, blinking and confused, on one of those final nail-biting days of the Cuban Missle Crisis.
Notable Quote: “Never underestimate the capacity of the human mind for ignorance.”

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
First Sentence: Would it kill you to be here before noon?

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
First Sentence: It was generally agreed by female residents of Meryton that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longbourn had been fortunate in the disposal in marriage of four of their five daughters.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Jane Austen: A Life by Carol Shields
First Sentence: In the autumn of 1996 my daughter, the writer Anne Giardini, and I traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to present a joint paper at the Jane Austen Society of North America, an organization that comprises of some of the world’s most respected Austen scholars, as well as rank amateurs like ourselves.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
First Sentence: Each of us has a private Austen.

Austenland by Shannon Hale
First Sentence: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her.
Notable Quote: “Why was the judgment of the disapproving so valuable? Who said that their good opinions tended to be any more rational than those of generally pleasant people.”


Becoming Jane
Death Comes to Pemberley

December and 2016 Wrap Up



In December I read a whopping 18 books (thanks to my last minute Saga binge) for a total of 4,868 pages and an average of 157 pages per day. My favorite book this month was Illuminae, but that’s because I’m not counting The Hobbit, which I’ve decided I’ll re-read every December.

I’m going to skip the cover pictures this time because I have a lot of info to get through (and because I’m lazy and I’m not sure if I really need them in these wrap ups.)


Good Behavior by Blake Crouch
First Sentence: Letty Dobesh, five weeks out of a nine-month bit for felony theft at Fluvanna Correctional Center, straightened the red wig over her short auburn hair, adjusted the oversized Jimmy Choo sunglasses she’d lifted out of a locker two days ago at the Asheville Racquet Club, and handed a twenty-spot to the cabbie.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
First Sentence: So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.-
Notable Quote: “I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.”

Snakes & Stones by Lisa Fowler
First Sentence: There hasn’t been a traveling salesman in this neck of the woods in more than two years; that’s what some in the crowd are saying.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: My name is Uhtred. (He’s used this as a first sentence in The Last Kingdom as well)

Warriors of The Storm by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: There was fire in the night.

The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss
First Sentence: I have always been an appalling judge of character.

Wandmaker by Ed Masessa
First Sentence: Henry Leach the Eighth held the want between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand with a delicate touch.

The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthorn & Kira Breed-Wrisley
First Sentence: He sees me.

The Books of Elsewhere: The Second Spy by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: If you believe that death is about to spring upon you at any moment, you won’t spend much time watching television.

Lick by Kylie Scott
First Sentence: I woke up on the bathroom floor.

Reviews to come:

Gilded Cage by Vic James
First Sentence: She heard the motorbike first, then the galloping horse – two distant points of noise in the darkness, converging on her as she ran.

Re-reads, no reviews:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
First Sentence: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
Saga volumes 1-6 by Brian K. Vaughan


I read a ton these last four months and managed to read 120 books this year – surpassing my goal of 112 far more than I expected. I was initially blown away by this, but then I looked at my spreadsheet for last year and found I also read 120 books. ;D

30 of those books met my ‘dusty bookshelf’ challenge, which is respectable but not as high a number as I hoped for.

I read 33,871 pages in total (about 2k higher than last year) and an average of 93 pages per day. My monthly average was 10 books and 2,822 pages. December was my best month for total books and pages, largely due to the fact that on the 31st I planted my ass on the couch and read all six volumes of Saga.

Taking a look at some stats from Goodreads, the shortest book I read was The Liszts at 40 pages and the longest was Symbiont at 608 pages. The most popular book I read was The Hobbit with 2,185,073 other readers (holy shit) and the least popular was Devi volume 1 with only 2 other readers. My average rating given was 3.5 stars and the highest rated book I read was Saga volume 2 with a 4.58 star average.

I reached 107% of my goal and Goodreads’ message to me is: Congratulations! You’re really good at reading, and probably a lot of other things, too!

I am certainly good at devoting a lot of my spare time to reading and I aim to continue that this year! Happy reading to you all!

November Wrap Up



This month I read 10 books for a total of 2,705 pages and an average of 90 pages per day. I read some great books this month, but unfortunately a couple were really boring and terrible (reviews coming later this month on those stinkers.)


Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
First Sentence: On the third night after the day her father died, Liesl saw a ghost.
Notable Quotes: “People need other people to feel things for them. It gets lonely to feel things all by yourself.”
“When people were afraid, they did not always do what they knew to be right. They turned away. They closed their eyes. They said, tomorrow, tomorrow, perhaps, I’ll do something about it. And they said that until they died.”

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

The Book of Elsewhere: Spellbound by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: Everyone who lived in the big stone house on Linden Street eventually went insane.

Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo
First Sentence: We had not made landfall in more than fourteen years.

The Liszts by Kyo Maclear
First Sentence: The Liszts made list.

Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: “Every day is ordinary,” Father Willibald said, “until it isn’t.”

The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: A dark sky.

Dingo by Charles de Lint
First Sentence: No one likes to think it of their father, but there are days when I can’t help but feel that somehow I got stuck with the biggest loster of all loser dads.
Notable Quote: “But that’s the problem with words. Once you let them out of your mouth, there’s no taking them back again.”

Reviews to come:

After Alice by Gregory Maguire
First Sentence: Were there a god in charge of story – I mean one cut to Old Testament specifics, some hybrid of Zeus and Father Christmas – such a creature, such a diety, might be looking down upon a day opening in Oxford, England, a bit past the half-way mark of the 19th century.

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
First Sentence: This morning on planet Earth, there are one thousand, six hundred, and eighty-six enhanced, gifted, or otherwise-superpowered persons.

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
First Sentence: There are three suns in the sky ad it is the last day of autumn – perhaps forever.

October Wrap Up



Holy shit! This month I read 16 books for a total of 4,115 pages and an average of 133 pages per day! This is my highest number of books and pages read all year. And I can tell you that’s because I really did little else other than read (aside from working and sleeping of course). I read a lot of great books this month – I loved revisiting the Unicorn trilogy and was pleasantly surprised by The Regional Office is Under Attack! and The Haunted House Project.


Black Unicorn
by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: The first thing Tanaquil saw almost every morning on waking was her mother’s face.

Gold Unicorn
by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: Tanaquil’s mind was on higher things: the three flights of stairs that still lay ahead of her.

Red Unicorn
by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: The first thing Tanaquil saw almost every morning on waking was the face of the man she loved.

Book of Elsewhere: The Shadows
by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: Mrs. McMartin was definitely dead.

Devi vol 1
by Shekhar Kapur

The Haunted House Project
by Tricia Clasen (review up later today)
First Sentence: I knock on the door three times and then lean in close, listening for the rustle of the bedspread or the thud of feet hitting the floor.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
by Helen Fielding  (there’s also a video on my IG of my thoughts on this, but sadly, I couldn’t get it to link properly)
First Sentence: Hurrah!

Sword Song
by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: Darkness.

Bad Girls Throughout History
by Ann Shen

The Burning Land
by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: Not long ago I was in some monastery.

Reviews to come:

Every Heart a Doorway
by Seanan McGuire
First Sentence: The girls were never present for the entrance interviews.

Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
First Sentence: “So,” said the young priest, “I think that I’m the man you’re looking for.”
Notable Quote: “All we do all day long is deal with our own problems, handle our own shit some way or other, It felt nice, for a little while, to be dealing with someone else’s shit instead of my own.”

The Wangs vs The World
by Jade Chang
First Sentence: Charles Wang was mad at America.
Notable Quote: “The people of the world could be divided into two groups: those who used all of their chances, and those who stood still through opportunity after opportunity waiting for a moment that would never be perfect.”

The Regional Office is Under Attack!
by Manuel Gonzales
First Sentence: If you were wealthy, but extremely so, and you were in the market for a lavish adventurous getaway, one that might require the retainer of sherpas – in the event that you came across a mountain you wished to scale – as well as a hot air balloon and balloon crew in case, well, that came up, too, the desire, if you will, to hot-air-balloon over the glacial formations off the southern coast of Chile, then you could hardly do better than to contact the staff at the Morrison World Travel Concern.

Fish Girl
by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli

Henry Hunter & The Beast of Snagov
by John Matthews
First Sentence: The first time I saw Henry Hunter he was hanging by his fingertips from the windowsill of the principal’s office.

September Wrap Up



This month I read 12 books (the most this year) for a total of 2,708 pages and an average of 90 pages per day. My favorite read this month was Cold-Forged Flame but Beacon 23 was also up there for me, as well as my re-read of Bridget Jones’s Diary.


The Dream Stealer by Gregory Maguire
First Sentence: The night is dark, and the wind is high and strong and smells of snow: so gather close around the fire, my little friends, and I will tell you a tale of Baba Yaga the witch.

A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder
First Sentence: The river flows.

Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan
First Sentence: The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm.

Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith
First Sentence: This was my last glimpse of Marrow Island before the boat pulled away: brown and green uniforms clustered on the beach, tramping up the hill to the chapel and through the trees to the cottages of Marrow Colony.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

The Empress of Bright Moon by Weina Dai Randel
First Sentence: Would he die tonight?

The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: These days I look at twenty-year-olds and think they are pathetically young, scarcely weaned from their mothers’ tits, but whenI was twenty I considered myself a full grown man.

Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock

by Gregory Maguire
First Sentence: On an island so far north that it snowed from September to April, a boy named Frederick kept himself warm by keeping a secret.

Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: I wanted darkness.

Reviews to come:

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
First Sentence: Two o’clock was missing.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
First Sentence: I will not: drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.
Notable Quotes: “It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It’s  like being named Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting ‘Cathy’ and banging your head against a tree.”
“There’s nothing worse than people telling you you look tired. They might as well have done with it and say you look like five kinds of shit.”

Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey
First Sentence: They don’t prepare you for the little noises.

August Wrap Up



In August I read 7 books, for a total of 2,502 pages and an average of 81 pages per day. I exceeded my page count from last month, but at this point, I would need to read 12 books a month to reach my goal and unless I get into some graphic novels (which I might), I’m not sure I’ll make that goal. But that’s ok! I read a few excellent books this month, but I’d have to say Chimera was my favorite.


The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: My name is Uhtred.

Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
First Sentence: Depending on your temperament, you may be either pleased or puzzles to see that I have chosen to include my time upon the Basilisk in my memoirs.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint
First Sentence: The town of Fernwillow was the picturesque consequence of centuries of unplanned and disordered growth.
Notable Quote: “I’m not angry. Just…a little sad that the world has touched us in such a way that we can’t look on such a thing and appreciate its wonder and its beauty without seeking some practical use for it.”

His Monkey Wife by John Collier
First Sentence: If thou be’st born to strange sights and if you don’t mind picking your way through the untidy tropics of this, the globe, and this, the heart, in order to behold them, come with me into the highly coloured Bargain Basement Toy Bazaar of the Upper Congo.

Chimera by Mira Grant
First Sentence: The recording quality is low, filled with static and choppy artifacts left over from the transcription process.

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel
First Sentence: The day my future was foretold, I was just five years old.

Reviews to come:


The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar
First Sentence: Orphan came down to see the old man by the Thames.

October Wrap Up



This month I only read 6 books, for a total of 1,496 pages and an average of 48 pages per day. This is the least amount of pages I’ve read in a month, however, I’ve now read over 100 books this year, so I’m well on my way to meet my 110 book goal!

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio
First Sentence: Warren the 13th tiptoed across the roof of the Warren Hotel, and the old slate tiles clattered like bones.

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: “It has now been more than eight months since the girl went missing.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
First Sentence: At the height of the long wet summer of the seventy-seventh year of Sendovani, the Theifmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.
Challenge: A book with more than 500 pages

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: On the hilltop above the harbor stands the huge square building that used to be the barracks for the Turkish army, but is now home to Hell on Earth.

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: “Mister Sherlock, I’m that glad to see you, I am, and that obliged…”
Notable Quote: “You cannot be a mother without first being a person; family, husband and children should not be allowed, as is so often the case, to steal a woman’s selfhood and her dreams.”

Saga vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughan

September Wrap Up



In  September I read 8 books for a total of 2,280 pages and an average of 76 pages per day. I read four review books this month, and while two of them were incredibly disappointing (terrible really), I enjoyed the other two. Also, I’ve read 95 books so far this year and only need to read 15 more to meet my goal! Granted, I haven’t made as much progress reading my old books, as I’ve only read 19 of the 40 book goal I set for myself (old books being anything not purchased within the last 6 months or so).

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
First Sentence: Charlie Asher walked the Earth like an ant walks on the surface of water, as if the slightest misstep might send him plummeting through the surface to be sucked to the depths below.
Notable Quote: “Most of us don’t live our lives with one, integrated self that meets the world, we’re a whole bunch of selves.”

Yolo Juliet by Brett Wright
First Sentence: Mornin’, cuz!

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
First Sentence: 1. Congratulations, you have been chosen to act as Death, it’sa dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Lumiere by Jacqueline Garlick
First Sentence: A brass mechanical elephant strides towards me, glinting gold in the amber setting sun.

Solarversia by Toby Downton
First Sentence: The minute Nova Negrahnu heard about Solarversia she wa convinced she was going to love it with ever ounce of her being.

The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris
First Sentence: Contemporary culture has embraced superheroes in a major way.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: “We would not be in this deplorable situation,” declares the younger and taller of the two men in the small club-room, “if you had not tried to bully her into boarding school!”

The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: Lunatics have no common sense, thinks the matron, but then, that’s what deranges the faculties, isn’t it, lack of common sense?

This month I didn’t really feel that any of the books I read fit my remaining challenge requirements. Though I almost pegged Lumeiere with “a book with bad reviews,” really, any book in the history of forever has bad reviews and Lumiere has a pretty high average on Amazon and Goodreads. I also almost put Yolo Juliet for my play…

Austen Month Wrap Up



I read 10 books for a total of 2,287 pages and an average of 82 pages per day. This month, my focus was Jane Austen, and while I didn’t reach my goal of 5 novels, I’m happy with what I achieved. In hindsight, I did pick the shortest month of the year, and her novels are not “quick reads” so having two of them to read did slow me down. But I did a little catching up on my collection and I plan to focus on reading the other works I have over the next few months.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
First Sentence: About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of  Mansfield Park, in the country of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank f a baronet’s lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.
Challenge: A book more than 100 years old

Y The Last Man: Safeword by Brian K. Vaughan

Y The Last Man: Ring of Truth by Brian K. Vaughan

Y The Last Man: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan

Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster
First Sentence: The news that nearby Netherfield Park has been let to a man of above five thousand pounds a year greatly pleases your mother, who is utterly convinced that this will immediately enhance the prospects of one or another of her daughters marrying well.
Challenge: A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit (yes, a Jane Austen novel!)

Y The Last Man: Paper Dolls by Brian K. Vaughan

Y The Last Man: Kimono Dragons by Brian K. Vaughan

Y The Last Man: Motherland by Brian K. Vaughan

Y The Last Man: Whys & Wherefores by Brian K. Vaughan

Emma by Jane Austen
First Sentence: Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed  to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Challenge: A book that became a movie

In addition to the books I read, to further Austen-ize my life, I watched a couple of movies: Mansfield Park and Emma

I also put together a couple of Austen related posts: Why I like Jane Austen and Austen Recommendations 

And of course I featured copies of Pride and Prejudice for my first Judging A Book post this month.

I really enjoyed focusing so much on Jane Austen’s work and I think this month helped deepen my appreciation for her work and the works it has inspired.

November Wrap Up



In November I read 9 books for a total of 2,540 pages and averaged 85 pages per day. Four of them were review books and my favorite was probably The Martian, though I also really loved Homeland and Horns.

Horns by Joe Hill

Pride & Promiscuity by Arielle Eckstut

Amphigorey Also by Edward Gorey

Homeland by Cory Doctorow
Notable Quotes:
“Move one step in the direction of your goal. Remember that you can change direction to maneuver around obstacles.”
“If you’re not prepared to learn from the teachers that life gives you, you’ll always be ignorant.”

Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan

The Genome by Sergei Lukyanenko

What-The-Dickens by Gregory Maguire
Notable Quotes:
“Belief in something, anything, may or may not make you a better person – depending on what that belief is – but it can make you different.”

C.O.W.L. vol 1 by Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel

The Martian by Andy Weir