Sunday, December 29, 2019

My 2019 reading favorites and possible plans for 2020...

Don't we all like to look back and see what books we've enjoyed most or remembered best from the past year?  I know I do.  I shared my favorites pictured below at two different book group meetings in December.  And I also got a lot of good suggestions for future reading from others.  I enjoy reading the 'Top 10' lists that many publish, though I will say that I often have read none of the books that newspapers and magazines mention in their 'Top 10' articles.  I usually have read one or two on mystery-related lists.  However, in 2019, I stepped away from the newer books much of the time and was happy with that.  I no longer belong to Netgalley or Edelweiss and don't get advance copies of books.  I miss that a bit, but it became too much of a 'good' thing for me.  

I again did not keep very detailed statistics of my reading, though I always keep my reading journal in actual paper form.  I read 132 books this last year, a few less than the 138 I read in 2018.  Many were audiobooks and I enjoyed making my way through several mystery series.  Those included:

Alice Quentin books by Kate Rhodes
Lena Jones books by Betty Webb
Tracy Crosswhite books by Robert Dugoni
Harriet Truman quilting mysteries by Arlene Sachitano
Cormac Reilly books (two so far and new one in 2020) by Dervla McTiernan

I read a very few non-fiction books, but enjoyed the ones I completed.  And I did read a bit of regular fiction for book groups or just because.  My favorites in a few categories are below with one book my most favorite of the year (not a mystery amazingly).  

Favorite Non-Fiction 

by Lori Gottlieb

Favorite Mystery Series

by Dervla McTiernan

Favorite Afternoon Book Group Selection - 2019

by Lisa See

Favorite Mystery Book Group Selection - 2019

by Kate Quinn

Favorite Book of All Read in 2019

by Lisa See

So, what are my plans for 2020?  I don't really have any particularly.  I do want to possibly continue reading a few mystery series from beginning to end.  No guesses as to which ones, but I've been considering the coffeehouse books by Cleo Coyle, Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak books set in Alaska, and perhaps Donna Andrews' series featuring a bird in each title and Meg Langslow as a main character.  I've read several of each of those series and each are quite long now.  I'd love to catch up on them. 

I'll continue to be involved with the Mystery Book Group at the Spicewood Springs Branch of the Austin Public Library (my former workplace).  Our January selection is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.  I'll also read most of the books and try to attend most meetings of the Afternoon Book Group at the same branch library.  For that group, January is Toni Morrison Month and members will read something by her. 

As to blogging - well, I'll still be around.  Not sure exactly what it will look like here, but we'll see how motivated I get.  I seem to always be on a on-again-off-again pattern, but I read other blogs more faithfully than I write on my own.  Never fear that I won't be keeping up with what you are sharing.  You'll be able to see what I've read in my sidebar, even if I don't share my thoughts. 

Our lives continue here in Central Texas.  I enjoy volunteering at two libraries.  I'm still on my quest for the best health and have made good progress there.  I walk several miles most days and try to attend yoga class a couple of times a week.  My husband is still a few years away from retirement, but we have some trips planned for this year.  Our daughter and son-in-law live in our area and we have two sweet granddogs.  We have other family close and we enjoy good friends in our neighborhood and at our church.

Life is peaceful and joyful for me most of the time.  And you're all part of that.  I'll be wishing you a Happy New Year on Tuesday (with a picture that is not from my area of the world at all - ha!).  Take care of yourselves and your loved ones and I hope you can look for the joy in your own lives in 2020! 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas...with much peace and joy...

My wishes for the holiday season this year (which has been a crazy, busy one) are the same as last year, so I'll do a repeat...

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas....truly!  Wishing each and every one of you much 'Peace', 'Love', and 'Joy'.  I am very, very blessed to have each of you in my life and I'm hoping your holiday season is filled with good smells, good food, good fellowship, good feelings.  And if you're not in that sort of place right now...well...and sometimes we are not, I'm wishing you an extra measure of 'Peace'.  Happy Holidays - however you celebrate them!

From our house here in Texas (could you tell with my little snowman?) to yours...see you in 2020!