The Top Five Highest Rated Books According GoodReads on my owned TBR Stack, the 2020 Edition Wrap-Up

Well, that is a long title for a blog post.

Anyway, I have finally finished read all five of the books. It took more than a year for me to do it and I blame the year for this. 2020, you sucked and ruined all of my plans! Including my reading plans. In December I looked back and realized I had only read one of the books on this list. And rather than start all over again with these books, I decided to concentrate on on reading and finishing up this self styled challenge (inspired by Books and Lala on You tube) and finish it late. Click on this link to see my original post and plans. And here is a link to my Starred Rating System.

So, here is the list with the ratings and review information and my original comments in Bold followed by my rating and thoughts on average rating on GoodReads.:

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat. Average Rating:  4.53 Stars. 12,193 ratings. 1,084 reviews. I own a hard back copy of the book.

Okay, I really like this cookbook. It’s readable and lovely and full of good information that has improved my cooking. I give it 5 Stars. Samin Nosrat’s voice is so strong and fun to read. It really is like watching the Netflix series based on this cookbook. And the illustrations are just fantastic. So it totally makes sense to me that this book is highly rated on GoodReads. I’m looking forward to re-reading and trying the recipes in the coming months.

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Harry Potter & Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts Edited by David Baggett and Shawn E. Klein. Average Rating: 4.48 stars. 11,454 ratings. 92 reviews. I own the paperback.

Like all collections of essays, it’s a mixed bag. Some essays are great and others are….not. For me this was like reading 200 level college level philosophy course textbook. So I gave it only 2 Stars. As of the date in January 2020, this book only has 94 actual reviews, but 11,454 ratings. So, I suspect that true blue Harry Potter fans gave it 5 stars without bothering to read it. So, I think it’s an inflated rating.

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Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling. Average Ratings: 4.47. 6,330 ratings. 185 Reviews. The three titles included in this collection are Fantastic Beasts, Quidditch Through the Ages, & The Tales of Beedle the Bard. This is a hardback collection.

Another Harry Potter collection of stories. Except this time the books are by J.K. Rowling herself. And this are all books that are mentioned over and over again in the Harry Potter books. So It is not surprising that this collection is so highly rated. And I agree with the rating & give it 4 Stars. In spite of the rating for me, again, the books were a mixed bag. Fantastic Beasts & Beedle the Bard are great fun to read. But Quidditch Through the Ages was a boring and confusing. I really think Rowling had a difficult time figuring out quidditch and how it works in the books and it shows in Quidditch Through the Ages.

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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. Average Ratings 4.45 stars. 113,295 ratings. 13,568 reviews. I own a hardback. This is one of the books on my original list. Another hardback copy

I have put off reading this book because of the subject matter. It’s all about dealing with end of life issues with a person’s parents. And really, I think we all put that off until its almost too late I’m well into middle age and this topic is relevant to my life right now. So I agree with the rating for this book and give it 4 Stars. It’s full of helpful advice and good information about this topic. Is it a cheerful, happy read? No. But it is well written and accessible and full information we all need to know. It’s a book that i will keep and use as a reference in the future and will enthusiastically recommend.

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Broken Angels by Gemma Livero. Average Ratings: 4.44 stars. 9,587 ratings. 729 reviews. I won a Kindle copy a year or two ago? I really need to read and review this one. And it is the other book that was  on my original list in 2019.

I received this eBook as a GoodReads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

I DNF’d this Kindle book at 38%. And gave it 1 star. This book is Misery Lit. And I just can’t read it right now. So, yes. I disagree with the high rating of this one.

And that’s the highest rated books on my shelf in 2020. In the next week or two I should be finished reading the Five Lowest Rated books on my shelf according to GoodReads and will post about the experience of reading and comparing my rating to the average ratings.

What do you think? Have you read any of the books in my Highest Rated? If you’ve read them, do you agree with my rating? And do you have thoughts about the star ratings on GoodReads? So many people do! Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

February 2021 Wrap-Up

I had a good reading month, I think. I read a lot of books, had a mini Sarah MacLean re-readathon at the beginning of the month, and read a book which will end of up being one of my favorites reads of the year.

Total read: 17

Nonfiction: 1

Audio: 1

Re-Reads: 6

Male Authors: 1

Female Authors: 16

Diverse Authors: 1

Borrowed: 11

Favorite read:

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Disappointing Read:

That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam

Challenge Tasks Updates

Mt. TBR Challenge: 5

PopSugar Challenge: 12

Reading Women Challenge: 1

HB Reading Embrace: 3

Across The Web

I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts, but I think the most interesting and bookish one I’ve listened to lately is Old Gods of Appalachia. Rod, my husband, suggested listening to it. If you are interested in Southern Gothic stories, this podcast may be for you.

So, how was your February? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to leave links to your blog in the comments below.

Happy Reading, y’all.

January 2021 Wrap-Up

Good grief, it’s the middle of February and I’ve not posted my January Wrap-Up. It seems I’m already failing at keeping this years resolutions. Well, that isn’t unusual for me. Anyway. I plan on posting more about my reading on this blog this year, and I’m off to a fabulous start.

My reading in January went well, I think. I did spend some time re-reading books, but, you know it’s winter and a comforting re-read of a favorite is always fun for me. I also managed to read a couple of books for The High/Low Challenge I set for myself. I didn’t complete it last year, and want to finish it this year. I also spent January deciding which challenges to participate in during the year. This year I decided to work on the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, Reading Women Challenge, Heaving Bosoms Reading Embrace, and Mt.TBR Reading Challenge 2021. As usual, I’m using these challenges to read books that own as of January 30, 2020. I’m trying to focus on reading all of the books I own, both physical and digital. Of course, I plan on participating in readathons during the coming year, too.

Speaking of readathons, I’ve already completed one readathon January 4-10. I read Three books during it and participated in the 30 minute Sprints. And I have to say that those sprints inspired me to keep sprinting 3 or 4 days a week after the readathon was over. Ive been using that time to read books that I’m struggling to read for the High/Low Challenge. I have such a reading block when it comes to some of the books on those lists. And sprinting through those books helps.

I did want to write something about the Mt. TBR Challenge hosted by the blog My Reader’s Block. This challenge is designed to help readers read their owned books. And different mountain peaks equal the number of owned TBR books you plan to read during the year. I decided to attempt Mount Blanc, which is 24 books. To learn more about this challenge and its rules, be sure to click on the link above.

Okay, enough chat, here are my stats for the month of January.

Stats:

Total Books Read: 12

Written by Men: 4

Written by Women:10

Nonfiction: 2

Diverse Authors: 3

Re-Reads: 3

Borrowed: 9

Mt. TBR Challenge: 3

Favorite Book of the Month: Devil in Winter . Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent & Evie forever.

Most Disappointing: The Fallen & Rapture books 1&2 in Hades Castle Trilogy. This is a serial and that wasn’t clear to me when I started reading the first book. And I really don’t like serials because in many, including this one, the plot doesn’t move much. A lot of just running around in circles for the characters, going nowhere at all. I won’t be finishing the series. #YMMV.

So that was my January reading. How did your January go? Let me know in the comments and leave a link to you wrap-up so I can poke around on your blog.

Happy Reading, y’all.

2020’s Reading Wrap-Up

Well, 2020 was something.

It’s something I don’t necessarily want to think about anytime soon. And for that reason, I think, looking back at my reading year has been…difficult. Not because I didn’t have a good reading year; I did. It’s just that I’m just so tired of the last year and everything having to do with it I’m ready to move on to the new one. Consequently, the 2020 Wrap-Up has been put off so many times that I feel I must put it up today or give up on it altogether.

So, rather than give it up, this years wrap up will be down and dirty. Here it is:

GoodReads 2020 Reading Challenge

My GoodReads Year in Books

Okay, here are some of the highlights:

Favorite: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Most Disappointing: The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller

Best audio book: Jennifer Ehle reading Pride and Prejudice on You Tube or her Instagram account.

Okay, with that I’m closing the door on 2020. In a few weeks and months I’ll probably open the door, and look back, and write more about my reading during 2020, but not today.

How was your reading year? Did you go through a slump or was it your best year ever? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s to a better year, y’all! And Happy Reading.

Reading and Knitting

After putting knitting aside for a couple of years, I’ve decided to take it back up again. 2020 has been a hell of year for getting folks to take up crafting of all sorts, don’t you think? I started with a nice dishcloth pattern, and then moved on to an super simple afghan (still in progress), and eventually, after looking at knitting videos on You tube, I started an asymmetrical shawl. And all of this happened in the space of two months. So far, I’ve been knitting in the evening while I’m watching TV or listening to podcasts. But it occurred to me that I could be knitting and listening to audio books as well. I follow a number of bookstagrammers who do just that, so I decided to join them. So, as we move into the end of this dumpster fire of year and in to the new one, I plan to continue knitting and listening to audio books.

I do have a question for all my knitting and reading folks out there. Do any of you knit and read a physical or eBook at the same time? Is it possible to do both and not drop every other stitch? Let me know in the comments below. Also, do you have any listening recommendations for me? Or even narrators? I know from reading book blogs and bookstagram there are a lot of favorites out there. If you are interested in the free patterns for my projects, let me know below and I’ll post the links.

Here are some links to the podcasts I’ve listened to while knitting this past year:

Your Wrong About 

Fated Mates

You Must Remember This

Happy Reading, y’all!

October & November 2020 Wrap-Up

Like most of this year, my reading experience over the last couple of months has been something.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m glad this year is coming closer to an end.

Anyway, here are my reading stats for the last two months.

October: 16 books

November: 10 books

The rest of the stats are a combination of both months.

Physical Books: 2

eBooks/Kindle: 23

Diverse Authors: 5

Women: 26

Men: 0

Borrowed: 20

Re-Reads: 1

DNF: 1

Own: 10

TBR: 2

Well, that was my reading over the last two months. How was your reading this fall? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

I love the readathon. I really do. That’s why its difficult to admit that this readathon was one of the least successful readathons I’ve had in a long time. And the reason it was such a mess is I choose books that just didn’t work for me on that day. 

Here are my stats for the day:

Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts Ed. by David Baggett & Shawn E. Klein : read for 2 1/2 hours, 70 pages, DNF. 

Whiskey by Bruce Holbert. Read for 2 hours, 98 pages, DNF.

Breaking the Billionaires Rules by Annika Martin,  read for 1 hour and 15 minutes, 80 pages.  (I started reading this a few days prior to the readathon, so I’m not counting as a fully finished book the day of.)

A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum.  read 8 hours and 42 minutes. 337 pages. Finished.

I stopped reading and went to bed at 19 and 1/2 hour mark.

Total pages read for the readtahon: 591 pages.

Links to other readathons I’ve participated in previously:

October 2020

April 2020

24 in 48 Readathon

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Be sure to let me know in comments how your readathon weekend went.

Happy Reading, y’all.

Dewey’s Updates

Closing Survey

  1. How would you assess your reading overall? Not good. I had a very difficult time with the books I chose for this readathon.
  2. Did you have a strategy, and if so, did you stick to it? I sort of did, but didn’t stick to it due to my book choice issues.
  3. What was your favorite snack? Snacks were fine. But really no favorite snackage.
  4. Wanna volunteer for our next event? Stay tuned for the recap post!

Opening Survey!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Utah, USA


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I’m not sure? I think I need more coffee to answer this question.


3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Right now, the croissants baking in my oven.


4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m just someone who loves reading and love participating in all reading activities.


5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I think the one thing I want to do this time is spend more time cheering on other readers today and participate in more fun challenges.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

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Tomorrow is the big day! I have to say that Dewey’s Readathon in October is my favorite time to do a readathon. If you you are unfamiliar with this readathon and would like to participate, here is a link to the official page where you can read all the particulars of this readathon and about the history.  It’s a lot of fun and I highly recommend playing along with us.

If you would like follow along with my progress and the challenges I am participating in tomorrow, here are the links:

You can find me on Twitter here

You can find me on Instagram here

And I will post here on my blog every six hours or so, and when I bow out of the readathon.

My reading plan for this is to read only books that count toward any of the book challenges I’m participating in this year. It’s getting towards the end of the year and I want to complete as many tasks as possible.

So, that’s my plan for readathon. Are you joing us for this day of reading fun? If so let me know in the comments so I can find you and cheer you on during the day.

Happy Readathon, y’all!

Quickie Book Review: Mexican Gothic

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Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Published:

Length: 302 pages

Genre: Gothic/Horror

Source: My subscription to Book of the Month Club

Stars: 4 Stars

This cover! I think it’s just gorgeous.

Summary:

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find – her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

For some reason, my reading journey this year took me to the Gothic novels section of the bookshelf. I started out in January with a newly released Gothic style novel. And, you know, even though it is marketed as a Gothic novel, it just isn’t as Gothic as I would like.

Luckily for me, this book came to my attention in the late winter. And I couldn’t wait to read it. And, as you will see in this review I really liked this book. 

Like:

This is a classic Gothic novel. It hits every trope, and I love that. There is a bit of a feminist twist that I love and it leans of the true horror of 19th century colonialism, too. And it is creepy as can be.Things seen from the corner of the eye. Weird dreams that linger at the edge of consciousness.   The writing is so evocative, too.  I can almost smell the rot and decay of the house and surrounding land. It’s really perfect for a Halloween read.  

And I have to say that I kike the heroine, Noemí, a lot. She is a kick ass, save herself and everyone she loves kind of woman. We need more of these types in literature today.

Not so much:

I have to say that there is a section where the pacing slows. And it feels as if the plot is just spinning it’s wheels. But when it gets going again the pace picks up and sends you right on down the road to the final conflict.

What I’ll remember:

What I will remember is how the author pays homage to many 19th and early 20th century Gothic and feminist novels. Jane Eyre and The Yellow Wallpaper and Rebecca. And this book really has Rebecca vibes. And that’s a good thing, because I do love Rebecca. 

Would I recommend?

Yes! It’s a feminist/own voices twist on an old trope that updates it and pays homage to those stories that have come before. Plus, Fall is upon us and Halloween is creeping near, and this book would be a perfect eerie Fall or October read.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you read this book? Do you agree with my thoughts on it? Let me know. I love seeing what people think about the books I read. 

Happy Reading, y’all.