Tag: reading wrap-up

My 2018 in Books

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Happy 2019 everyone! I’m jumping on the 2018 stats post bandwagon today mostly because I love reading stats. Do you track your reading stats? I would love to get more detailed info on my reading so please let me know how to do it below.

I set a goal of 100 books at the start of the year and read 110 which is pretty good. It’s a lot of books to talk about in a single post though so I’m just going to list them at the bottom and share my top and bottom 5 books and some stats. I LOVE stats!!! Bring on the charts!


Stats from Goodreads

(some books are missing because I don’t set them to read until after I review them)

Goodreads 2018 Stats 1 Elaine HowlinGoodreads 2018 Stats 2 Elaine HowlinGoodreads 2018 Stats 3 Elaine HowlinGoodreads 2018 Stats 4 Elaine Howlin

Started the year with a 3 star review and ended with a 3 star review. What does that say about my reading year…


Format

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Formats

  • Print – 14 books
  • eBook – 36 books
  • Audiobook – 60 books

Ownership

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Ownership

  • Own – 51 books
  • Borrow: Scribd – 41 books
  • Borrow: Library – 10 books
  • Borrow: NetGalley – 8 books

Top 3 Authors

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Top 3 Authors

  1. Kresley Cole – 10 books
  2. Seanan McGuire – 10 books
  3. Laurell K. Hamilton – 8 books

Male vs Female Authors

2018 Reading Stats Elaine Howlin Author Gender

  • Female – 86 books
  • Male – 21 books
  • N/A – 3 books

Top 5 Books


Bottom 5 Books

  • Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major ★★☆☆☆
  • RoomHate by Penelope Ward ★★☆☆☆
  • Nightlife by Rob Thurman ★★☆☆☆
  • Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost ★★☆☆☆
  • Dad Jokes? I Think You Mean Rad Jokes! by Elias Hill ★★☆☆☆

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The Book List 2018 Reading List and Stats Elaine Howlin Blog

The list is arranged as book title, author, date finished, genre, format, rating.

  1. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawernce – January 2nd, Classics, Paperback ★★★★☆
  2. Sunglasses After Dark by Nancy A. Collins – January 12th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★☆☆
  3. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – January 16th, YA Dystopia, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – January 25th, Fantasy, Paperback ★★★★★

  5. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire – January 27th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  6. Nightlife by Rob Thurman – January 28th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★☆☆☆
  7. MacRieve by Kresley Cole – January 28th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander – February 7th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  9. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – February 15th, Science Fiction, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  10. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – February 17th, Nonfiction, Audiobook ★★★★★
  11. Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – February 17th, Memoir, Audiobook ★★★★★
  12. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire – February 17th, YA Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  13. Dark Skye by Kresley Cole – February 19th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  14. The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – February 21t, Classic Mystery, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  15. An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde – February 21st, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  16. The Head That Wears a Crown: Speeches for Royal Men by William Shakespeare – February 25th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  17. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones – February 25th, Literary, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  18. The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole – Paranormal Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  19. Black Friday by Karen Chance – February 26th, Urban Fantasy, Online Short Story ★★★★☆
  20. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett – February 26th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  21. Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance – March 3rd, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  22. Wild Fire by Christine Feehan – March 4th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  23. Salomé by Oscar Wilde – March 5th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  24. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith – March 5th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★★★
  25. A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire – March 5th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★

  26. An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire – March 6th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  27. Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire – March 7th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  28. One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire – March 8th, Urban Fantasy ★★★★★
  29. Mammy Walsh’s A-Z of the Walsh Family by Marian Keyes – March 10th, Humour, Audiobook ★★★★★
  30. Herding Cats by Sarah Anderson – March 14th, Comic Humour, eBook ★★★★★
  31. Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire – March 17th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  32. Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands – March 18th, Paranormal Romance ★★★☆☆
  33. Asking For It by Louise O’Neill – March 27th, YA Contemporary, Paperback ★★★★★
  34. The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness by David & Stephen Flynn – April 4th, Cook Book, Hardback ★★★★★
  35. Room Hate by Penelope Ward – April 4th, Contemporary Romance, Audiobook  ★★☆☆
  36. Wicked Cravings by Suzanne Wright – April 5th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  37. Dad Jokes? I Think You Mean Rad Jokes by Elias Hill – April 5th, Comic Humour, eBooks ★★★☆☆
  38. Vegan 100 by Gaz Oakley – April 10th, Cook Book, eBook ★★★★★
  39. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal – April 10th, Contemporary, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  40. Manfried the Man by Caitlin Major – April 11th, Comic Humour, eBook ★★☆☆☆
  41. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire – April 11th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  42. Braving the Elements by K.F. Breene – April 13th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  43. Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell – April 13, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  44. Veggie Burger Atelier by Nina Olsson – April 15th, Cook Book, eBook ★★★★★
  45. On the Edge by Ilona Andrews – April 18th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  46. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon – April 28th, Comic Urban Fantasy, Paperback ★★★★☆
  47. Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd – May 7th, Comic Humour, eBook ★★★★★
  48. My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran – May 7th, Historical Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  49. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Campbell – May 7th, Comic Nonfiction, eBook ★★★☆☆
  50. Rockabilly/Psychobilly: An Art Anthology by Jamie Kendall – May 8th, Art, eBook ★★★★★

  51. Afterburn & Aftershock by Sylvia Day – June 4th, Contemporary Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  52. Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare – June 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  53. Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews – June 4th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  54. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – June 4th, Contemporary Romance, eBook ★★★★★
  55. Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare – June 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  56. Falling for a Dancer by Deirdre Purcell – June 17th, Historical, Paperback ★★★★★
  57. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – June 17th, Self Help, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  58. The Virgin and the Gypsy and Other Stories by D.H. Lawrence – June 17th, Classic Short Stories, Hardcover ★★★☆☆
  59. Nadiya’s Family Favourites by Nadiya Hussain – June 24th, Cook Book, Hardcover ★★★★★
  60. Only for the Weekend by Ella Sheridan – June 29th, Erotica, eBook ★★★☆☆
  61. Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 7th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  62. The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne by Margery Brady – July 9th, Nonfiction, Hardcover ★★★★☆
  63. The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 17th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  64. Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 18th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  65. The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 18th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  66. Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 19th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  67. The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 25th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  68. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene – July 26th, Classics, eBook ★★★★☆
  69. Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton – July 29th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  70. Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton – August 1st, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  71. The Professional by Kresley Cole – August 2nd, Erotica, eBook ★★★★☆
  72. The Second Sex (extracts) by Simone de Beauvoir – August 2nd, Feminism, Paperback ★★★★☆

  73. Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole – August 5th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  74. Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance – August 6th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  75. Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance – August 13th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  76. Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews – August 17th. Science Fiction, eBook ★★★★★
  77. One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews – August 19th, Science Fiction, eBook ★★★★★
  78. Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost – August 20th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★☆☆☆
  79. Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole – August 28th, Paranormal Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  80. Shadowed Souls by Jim Butcher – August 31st, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★☆
  81. The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken – September 1st, Contemporary Romance, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  82. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – September 4th, Fantasy, Paperback ★★★☆☆
  83. Dragon’s Claw by Karen Chance – September 27th, Urban Fantasy, eBook ★★★★★
  84. The Price of Pleasure by Kresley Cole – October 10th, Historical Romance, eBook ★★★★☆
  85. I Am Heathcliff by Kate Mosse – October 11th, Short Stories, Audiobook ★★★★★
  86. How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb – October 18th, Memoir, Audiobook ★★★★★
  87. A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde – October 26th, Classic Play, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  88. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell – October 31st, Classic Romance, Paperback ★★★★☆
  89. Red Queen by Elizabeth Aveyard – November 3rd, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★☆
  90. When a Scot Ties the Know by Tessa Dare – November 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  91. Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare – November 4th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  92. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole – November 7th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★☆
  93. Racing Hearts: First Heat by Ruth Gowan – November 9th, Contemporary Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  94. Endless Knight by Kresley Cole – November 9th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★★
  95. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – November 10th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  96. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – November 12th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★★★
  97. A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare – November 14th, Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  98. Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire – November 20th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★
  99. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – November 24th, Classic, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  100. The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire – November 25th, Urban Fantasy, Audiobook ★★★★★

  101. Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – November 29th, YA Dystopia, eBook ★★★☆☆
  102. Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt – November 29th, Historical Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  103. The Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost – November 26th, Paranormal Romance, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  104. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb – November 30th, Historical Fiction, Audiobook ★★★★★
  105. I Thee Wed by Amanda Quick – December 1st, Historical Romance, Mystery, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  106. Wicked Widow by Amanda Quick – December 2nd, Historical Romance, Mystery, Audiobook ★★★★☆
  107. Voyeur by Fiona Cole – December 3rd, Contemporary Romance, eBook ★★★☆☆
  108. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood – December 13th, Cosy Mystery, Historical, Audiobook ★★★☆☆
  109. Murphy’s Law by Rhys Bowen – December 15th, Cosy Mystery, Historical, Audiobook  ★★★★☆
  110. Death of Riley by Rhys Bowen – December 21st, Cosy Mystery, Historical, Audiobook ★★★★☆

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How was your reading year?

I used Online Chart Tool to create my graphs

December Wrap Up

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

I had such a wonderful December filled with family, friends and LOTS of delicious food. I’m pretty sad I no longer have an excuse to add the auld drop of Baileys to my coffee but it’s time to get back to normal now anyway.

How was your holiday season?

With all the family fun I got very little reading done and what I did read were mostly audiobooks.

I’m still slowly reading The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje (since November) I’m enjoying it but I hope to finish it up in January.

eBooks

Voyeur by Fiona Cole ★★★★☆

Contemporary Romance, Erotica

I think 3.5 stars for this one. Voyeur follows Oaklyn and Callum who are college student and teacher. Oaklyn is desperate for a job in order to pay for college and on the advice of a friend gets a job in Voyeur, a club where clients can watch people having sex and/or masturbating. Unbeknownst to Oaklyn, her new teacher Callum is a regular of the club. Callum has some issues that make a normal relationship very difficult and becomes slightly obsessed with Oaklyn… or infatuated if you want to be a bit nicer. I actually really enjoyed this story but it dragged a bit.

Audiobooks

I Thee Wed (Vanza #2) by Amanda Quick ★★★★☆

Historical Romance, Mystery

My first Amanda Quick book and I am now a fan. I didn’t realise this would have a mystery in it (suits me perfectly since I’m doing Cloak and Dagger Christmas). I love when historical romances have a mystery in them as well.

This book follows Emma and Edison who are attending an event in a country house. Emma is a lady’s companion at the party when circumstances lead her to being assistant to Edison in his investigations for a book of arcane potions he believes was stolen by one of the guests.

Wicked Widow (Vanza #3) by Amanda Quick ★★★★★

Historical Romance, Mystery

Loved this one! Here we follow Madeline and Artemis  who are being plagued by the apparent ghost of Madeline’s husband. The husband everyone believes she murdered. The ghost wrecks havoc with Artemis’s plans for revenge on the men responsible for the death of his lover so the two team up to discover who the ghost is and what he’s after.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1) by Kerry Greenwood ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

I thought I would enjoy this more since I really like the TV show but there’s something about Phryne in this that annoys me. She’s a little bit of a Mary-Sue… The woman can do anything including dance like a professional, have the perfect body and solve crimes. It was a bit much but still enjoyable. I’ll keep going with the series and see if Phryne calms down a bit.

Murphy’s Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

This was really enjoyable even if it was a bit unrealistic. That’s totally fine for a cosy mystery though. It should be more enjoyable and fun to read than gritty and real.

Here we follow Molly Murphy in 1901 making her way from Ireland to New York. When she arrives she gets entangled in a murder on Ellis Island and must clear her name and the name of her friend. The reason I found it a bit unrealistic is because Molly is very independent and has very trouble running around New York investigating a murder by herself.

I really loved the language in the book. It’s the best Irish dialogue written from a non-Irish person I’ve read.

Death of Riley (Molly Murphy Mysteries #2) by Rhys Bowen ★★★★☆

Historical, Cosy Mystery

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first but it was still very good. In this one Molly gets a job working for a private investigator but he ends up murdered and she sets herself the task of finding out who done it


So that was it for December. I was in a tizzy over what book to bring to my parents for Christmas week and in the end I had no time to read anyway!

I’ll hopefully read a bit more in January. What was your favourite read in December?

Books Read in September

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc., #1)The Princess BrideDragon's Claw (Dorina Basarab #4.5)

This is probably the shortest wrap-up I’ve ever written! I spent the first 2 weeks of September getting ready to spend the last 2 weeks of the month visiting Glenmore and Venice. Venice was definitely the more glamorous of the two 😉 So very little reading time but a great month.

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc., #1)The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken ★★★☆☆

A contemporary romance about a college guy who has started a matchmaking service for women with his friend. Business is very good until he breaks Wingman Inc.’s number one rule and falls for a client.

This was ok. Not an amazing story and I wasn’t too keen on the main male character. He was a bit too much of a fan of himself and the book as a whole was very tropey.

Ticks all the boxes for contemporary romance formula fiction so if you’re into that you will probably enjoy this.

Though it’s certainly not the best romance book I’ve read I did enjoy it enough to read the whole thing and I will most likely read the next book in the series.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

The Princess Bride by Willian Goldman Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
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The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride by William Goldman ★★★☆☆

The story of a man revising a book his father read to him as a child and that actual story. I have to admit I prefer the movie. The version of Goldman depicted in the book isn’t really a nice guy and his popping up during the story of Buttercup and Westley got annoying. I like how it’s done in the movie with the sick boy and his grandfather reading to him. That features in the book but it’s minor.

Actually, it would be better with none of that stuff and just be the adventure story of Buttercup and Westley. That story is great and a lot of fun to read.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Dragon's Claw (Dorina Basarab #4.5)Dragon’s Claw by Karen Chance ★★★★★

Another excellent addition to the Dorina Basarab series. Chance just keeps hitting them out of the park! Dragon’s Claw is a novella set after the fourth book in the series Shadow’s Bane with an awesome appearance by Pritkin from the Cassie books!!! I seriously got so excited when he showed up cause we got to see what he’s like after the events of Ride the Storm. We also get to see how Dory is doing with her vampire nature being a lot more dominant and more humorous scenes with Marlowe.

Loved it!!

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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DNF

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield

I stopped reading this after 107 pages (of 320). I’d expect a book to be getting into the meat of the story by then but nothing seemed to be really happening here so I dropped it out of boredom.

Bellman & BlackSynopsis: Bellman & Black is a heart-thumpingly perfect ghost story, beautifully and irresistibly written, its ratcheting tension exquisitely calibrated line by line. Its hero is William Bellman, who, as a boy of 10, killed a shiny black rook with a catapult, and who grew up to be someone, his neighbours think, who “could go to the good or the bad.” And indeed, although William Bellman’s life at first seems blessed—he has a happy marriage to a beautiful woman, becomes father to a brood of bright, strong children, and thrives in business—one by one, people around him die. And at each funeral, he is startled to see a strange man in black, smiling at him. At first, the dead are distant relatives, but eventually his own children die, and then his wife, leaving behind only one child, his favourite, Dora. Unhinged by grief, William gets drunk and stumbles to his wife’s fresh grave—and who should be there waiting, but the smiling stranger in black. The stranger has a proposition for William—a mysterious business called “Bellman & Black” . . .


Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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