2017 Annual Wrap-Up

How many books did you read and did you meet or beat your own personal goal?
I read 173 books (plus 20 short stories/kids books I read to the boys or pre-read for Adrian for school). I always set my initial goal at 52, then double it. After I passed 104, I kept setting new goals that were prime numbers (since 2017 is a prime number) just above the number of books I have already read. I ended up setting my goal at 173 and had to cram in a lot of reading at the end of the year to meet it.

What story stayed with you a long time, left you wanting more or needing time to digest?
Aaru by David Meredith. The author actually contacted me on Twitter to ask me to read his book. I am so glad he did! I still think about the implications of being able to “save” someone to a hard drive so they never really die and all the questions that brings up (are they alive? what make you you?) sometimes and it’s been a few months since I read the book.

What are some quotes that made you laugh?
“I’m homeschooled,” Jameson observed. “Can I just give myself A’s too?” (Absolution by Karen McQuestion)

“If by that you mean that I dislike celebrity magazines, prefer food to anorexia, refuse to watch TV shows about models, and hate the color pink, then yes. I am proud to be not really a girl.” (Let it Snow by John Green)

I glanced at my mother and wondered if she recalled my exact age. (“You Look Like That Girl…” by Lisa Jakub

My favorite type of physical activity usually involved reading or watching a movie. The Black Masquerade by Andrea Pearson

Top 5 Books of the Year
Aaru by David Meredith
Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algeo
The Only Witness by Pamela Beason
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Upstairs at the White House by JB West

Bottom 5 Books of the Year
Zera and the Green Man by Sandra Knauf
Wulf the Saxon by GA Henty
Traditional Irish Fairy Tales by James Stephens
God’s Battalions by Rodney Stark
Ultraviolet by RJ Anderson

How many books are in your To Read pile right now?
523

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Sunset Over Montana by Andrea Kate Pearson

When Jim meets Wendy, he just knows she’s the one. Unfortunately, her mother is determined that he is definitely not going to marry her daughter and insists Wendy go to Boston to complete a two-year commitment playing in a string quartet.

Sunset Over Montana is a freebie short story that goes along with the Shadow Valley series. It’s a sweet, clean romance telling the story of how the parents at the Shadow Valley Ranch got together. I highly recommend it to people who enjoy the Shadow Valley series.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 173 (this book is not counted toward annual total)
Pages Read in 2017: 46,035
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I like the series

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Richard III by William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s histories, Richard III tells of King Richard III’s rise to power and reign. The Dover Thrift Edition includes extremely useful explanatory footnotes. I highly recommend reading this version.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 173
Pages Read in 2017: 45,997
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for This School Year

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Storms Over Montana by Andrea Kate Pearson

Preston thinks he’s hiring a man to be his assistant, but, instead, Emma, the girl who completely broke his heart 15 years before, shows up. When she turns out to really know her stuff when it comes to training horses, he realizes he must learn to work with her, but the bigger question is, will he be able to forgive her and let his heart feel once again.

Storms Over Montana, the second Shadow Valley book, is a sweet, clean romance. Emma’s story was very compelling. I could barely put the book down, finishing it in two sittings. The ending was perfect. I highly recommend this book to people who enjoy a nice, old-fashioned romance.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 172
Pages Read in 2017: 45,883
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I liked the first book

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The Black Masquerade by Andrea Pearson

It is time for Lizzie to lead the effigy back to the manor in England causing the Hounds to be drawn to her. In between hunting Hounds, she has to worry about the Fire Vampires and the men in her life, too.

The Black Masquerade, the second of the Koven Chronicles, is absolutely amazing. Lizzie is a really fun character. There is so much action and the ending was a complete shock. I very highly recommend reading it to people who like fantasy and awesomely strong female characters (but read the first book first)!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 171
Pages Read in 2017: 45,789
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: I love the series

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The Red Keep by Allen French

Conan, upon hearing that the Sauval have killed all but his last brother, sets out to seek revenge. In the process, he must defend his friend Anne’s Red Keep.

On occasion The Red Keep was very exciting, but much of the time it dragged and just didn’t keep my attention. I found my mind wandering often and had to remind myself to focus. I don’t really recommend this book, but I wouldn’t say not to read it either.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 170
Pages Read in 2017: 45,649
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-Reading for Fritz for This School Year

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Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Jacob places an advertisement for a new wife and a mother for his children. Sarah responds that she will come for a month to see if she will fit their family.

I first read Sarah, Plain and Tall when I was in third grade. I loved it then and I still love it today. It was lovely to introduce it to my boys. The story is slow and gentle and beautiful. I highly recommend it to people of all ages!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 169
Pages Read in 2017: 45,261
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Bedtime Story for the Boys

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