In 2016 I, like so many people out there set a list of goals, resolutions if you will. I also decided to set a reading goal for the very first time. I wanted to see if I could put a number to the amount of books I was going to read, as I never really keep count.
So being the planner that I am, I made an excel document, and typed up all the books I had already agreed on reading, and made a neat little list to keep track of my progression.
I set the goal to read 100 books in 1 year, and as I started off, it seemed like a pretty high goal, but an achievable one.
As the months past, I got the impression I was definitely going to make it. I even got a little crazy and embarked on a very adventurous and ambitious other project, but I’ll fill you in on that later.
Then life kicked in, at a much faster gear, and plastered me to my seat. I literally lost my bearing there for a minute. And with it I kind of went on auto-pilot, getting all the urgent matters done, but there was no time to read, blog, or relax much. When there was free time, it was filled in with collapsing on the sofa, and falling asleep almost instantly. I think I went about 6 weeks without reading a book, that hasn’t happened to me in the last 5 years.
With a little bit of an adjusted count, and a lot of reading over the holidays, I made it to 101 books in 1 year. I started on the 7th of January 2016, and I finished number 101 yesterday morning.
Here is a list of the books that stuck out the most this year, in the order of me reading them, not the ranking of my preference:
- Sparked by Sheena Snow: this was such a surprising read, as I never expected to like a book on robots and such. It sucked me in, had me reading until the wee hours of the morning, and I had hoped to reread it during the year upon completing my goal. I guess I’ll get to do that at a later point.
- That Girl Darcy by James Ramos: I love P&P and who knew a guy could get the inner workings of the female mind so well. Loved it!
- Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt: Sheralyn was one of the best discoveries of 2016 for me. I read all of her books I could get my hands on, and more will pop up in this list!
- The Crazy Girl’s Handbook: I loved this cute story. DelSheree just has a way with romance!
- Solsitce by Jane Redd: Loved it! I was hooked, and pleading for more. I was lucky to beta read the sequel, which is added in this list further on.
- The Stranger She Married by Donna Hatch: this book had my toes curling and me sighing out loud. I fell in love with Regency all over again, and devoured this one. What a treasure!!
- Four Chambers by Julie Wright: An amazing read. I cried during this one, it really had me experiencing it more than reading it.
- Convergence by Tenille Berezay: This was a great find. I am so glad I picked this beauty up. It was a treasure read!
- Chasing fireflies by Taylor Dean: I beta-read this last year, and I was honored Taylor decided to put a quote of yours truly on the back of this SPECTACULAR read! This might be my absolute favorite EVER!!! The story is amazing, the characters are so real, the male lead takes swoon worthy to a new level, it is beyond perfection.
- Lake Town by Jane Redd: The Sequel to Solstice, and will be releasing on March 1st. I love to beta-read J
- Rachel Laine by Jennifer Peel: This was my favorite read in the Women of Merryton series.
- The Host by Stephanie Meyer: I know, I know. But as much as the Twilight series is what she is most famous for, I am not such a big fan of that (definitely not the films). This book is her best work ever. It took me a while the first time I read it to get past the weirdness of it, but once you get into the story, there is some pretty loaded romance going on. This book really brings me to tears, as I can relate to Wanda and her willingness to sacrifice. I love this book and have read it probably 6-7 times. I try to get it in once a year, and am chuffed I got around to it this year. In case you are on the fence about this one, do not watch the movie to decide on the book. The movie is terrible, the casting atrocious, Hollywood got that completely wrong, just pick up the book, power on through the first part, and be amazed by what follows!
- There once were stars by Melanie McFalane: A SiFi jewel if ever there was one. I inhaled this book, it was that good!
- King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt: what can I say, AMAZING!!!
- Between Hope and the Highway by Charissa Stasny: I don’t like anything inspirational at all. This book was an exception to that rule. There was some very inspirational stuff in there, but nothing pushy, no preachiness, with delicious kisses and great romance.
- The Trouble with Falling by Rachel Morgan: I read this when I was sick and going through a rough week. This hit the spot just right. This series is the perfect balance of feel-good, great storyline and HEA.
- Death Thieves by Julie Wright: Such a compelling tale, such imagination to come up with these ideas. I couldn’t get enough.
- The Book of Mormon: This will always and forever be on my list, and I read it every year. To find out why, click here.
- Failchild by Jaima Fixsen: Sweet Regency tale told in such eloquent language, had me turning page after page, and rooting for the HEA.
- The Wife Maker by Karey White. I have a little of a love/hate relationship with this series. I read the first book and fell in love with the concept after a few chapters. Then the ending just about did me in. I knew Charlotte and Angus were meant for each other, but for them to go through three books to get there… Do yourself the favor, and get the boxed set, and prepare to read it all soon after each other. I had such heartache having to wait to get to book three.
Now why on earth did I ever set such a crazy goal you are probably thinking,… By the time December rolled around, I was thinking the same thing. I could have kicked myself. But I am glad I made it.
I have learned of few things during 2016.
I learned that life isn’t about amounts of books, or kilo’s on the scale. Life is about doing the important things. Many times my books, my blogging was set aside to do what was important. Spending time with the kids, helping a friend in need, catching up on laundry (which is very important if you want to stay on top of things at home).
I also learned once again that balance is important. I had times when I forgot all about my own needs, and I turned into this mean, snippy, horrible person that wasn’t great to be around at all. And it was all my own fault for trying to move mountains when my reserves where running low or maybe even completely depleted.
I learned that I will not set a number to the amount of books I need to read in a year. At times I read to reach my goal, and it wasn’t even fun. I want to take the time to smell the roses, and not focus on numbers that aren’t important. I understand that certain goals are important, and the only way to know if you are reaching that goal, is to measure it with a number, but books, that isn’t about numbers.
I think I can look back on this year and see that is has been one of growth, and that makes me happy. I have left my comfort zone many times, and done things that were hard, new, and even scared me at times. That helped me to push myself, and grow. That brings me to the new and adventurous project I started in May of 2016 I think.
Now to understand this I need to back up here and fill you in on a little background info. I have this crazy friend Inge. She and I have been the best of friends for years. She is fun, wild, always telling the craziest stories, basically she is a barrel of laughs. She is also a great friend, someone who picks me up when I need it, who listens to me when I whine, and encourages me whenever I get a new idea. When I started blogging, she would read my stuff. I love her for that. She would complement my writing abilities, and encourage me to write more. She even thinks I have it in me to write a book. She kept telling me “You should write a book, you write so well, it would be a great success.” To which I would roll my eyes like a snooty teenager (I still have that skill down to a tee), and reply “I will when I have a great idea.” So that would always be our thing, she would say “You need to write a book”, and I would reply, after an eye roll my eleven-year-old hasn’t even mastered that well, and say, “Yeah, yeah, once I have a good idea.”
Well, in May of last year I had an idea, and started writing. It just came, and came, and after a rough few chapters, a few very encouraging words from some great friends (Thank you Taylor, Aubrey, Jen Bee!) I continued on. I had some hard moments, thoughts of inadequacy, doubts,…
I even had a hard time continuing with it after I ran into a snag along the way.
But after a lot of thought, I decided to just write the story these people have to say.
I can currently say I am at 43K, which is over half a novel’s worth, and the story is fully outlined. This is going to happen people.
This was definitely one of the most unexpected things to happen to me, and I am very excited to finish it, and share it with you all. I love the story, I love these people, and the tale they have to tell.
I will keep you posted about the book, and this year I promise to do better at posting regularly. I have so many reviews to share with you all.
In case you are interested in the full list, here it is. Happy reading!
|2||A Healing Spirit||Melissa A Hanson|
|3,4,5,6,7,8||Under the Mistletoe||Timeless|
|9||Twelve days in December||Michele Paige Holmes|
|10||Not always Happenstance||Rachael Anderson|
|12||That girl Darcy||James Ramos|
|13||Man of her Dreams||Sue Barr|
|14,15,16||A Midwinter Ball||Heidi Ashworth, Annette Lyon and Michele Paige Holmes|
|18||Trouble Magnet||DelSheree Gladden|
|19||The Catalyst||DelSheree Gladden|
|20||Broken things to mend||Karey White|
|21||If we were a Movie||Kelly Oram|
|22||The Crazy Girl’s Handbook||DelSheree Gladden|
|23||The Passionate One||J Lewis|
|24,25,26,27,28,29||Mail Order Bride||Anthology|
|30||Legally Wedded||Jennifer Griffith|
|31||The Resillient One||C. Checketts|
|32||Taylor Lynne||Jennifer Peel|
|33||House Without Lies||Rachel Branton|
|34||The (Re)Model Marriage||Maria Hoagland|
|36||First Light||Michele Paige Holmes|
|37||The stranger she married||Donna Hatch|
|38||Marry Your Billionaire: A Modern Cinderella||C.J. Ananya|
|39||Love is Come||HB Moore|
|41||Four Chambers POM||Julie Wright|
|42||O’er The River Liffey||Heidi Ashworth|
|43||Beyond the Rising Tide||Sarah Beard|
|45||Chasing Fireflies||Taylor Dean|
|46||Lake Town||Jane Redd|
|47||Rachel Laine||Jennifer Peel|
|48||Me before You||Jojo Moyes|
|49||Pianos and Promises – Christopher and Jaime||Jennifer Peel|
|50||The Host||Stephanie Meyer|
|51||A Faerie’s Curse||Rachel Morgan|
|52||Heart of the Ocean||HB Moore|
|53,54,55||Summer House Party||Timeless Romance Anthology|
|56,57,58,59,60,61||Road Trip||Timeless Romance Anthology|
|62||Dear Jane||Rachel Ward|
|63||I am Delilah||Josi Kilpack|
|64||The Villain||Nicole May Abbey|
|65||The woman he married||Julie Ford|
|66||Fresh Starts||Kimberly Krey|
|68||Pianos and Promises – Beck and Call||Jennifer Peel|
|69||Between Heaven and Earth||Michele Paige Holmes|
|70||Accidently Me||Kim Karras|
|71||Cupid’s Quest||Lori Soard|
|72||There Once Were Stars||Melanie McFalane|
|73||The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook||DelSheree Gladden|
|74||Boyfriend by the book||Laura Briggs|
|75||Always You||Ruth Roberts|
|76||King Of the Friend Zone||Sheralyn Pratt|
|77||Pianos and Promises – Cole and Jilian||Jennifer Peel|
|78||The fall of Lord Drayson||Rachael Anderson|
|79||How I met your brother||Janette Rallison|
|80||To Move the world||Regina Sirois|
|81||That thing formerly known as my life||Sally Johnson|
|82||Between Hope and The Highway||Charissa Stasny|
|83||Marie and Mr Bee||Margaret Welwood|
|84||The Keep||Tenille Berezay|
|85||The trouble with falling||Rachel Morgan|
|86||Blue eyes and other teenage hazards||Janette Rallison|
|87||Love Right||Rebecca Rode – Stormy Kisses Sweet Sassy Antology|
|88||Waves of Deceit||Donna Weaver – Stormy Kisses Sweet Sassy Antology|
|89||Back to You||Jo Noelle – Stormy Kisses Sweet Sassy Antology|
|90||Book of Mormon||LDS|
|92||Death Thieves||Julie Wright|
|94||Walk of Infamy||Sheralyn Pratt|
|95||Saints and Sinners||Josi Kilpack|
|96||Teachings of Presidents: Howard W Hunter||LDS|
|97||The Perfect Christmas||Jennifer Moore|
|98||Memory’s Edge||DelSheree Gladden|
|99||The Christmas Box||Richard Paul Evans|
|100||The Match Maker||Karey White|
|101||The Wife Maker||Karey White|