2020 wasn’t a very good year. I’m sure most of you would agree with that for a variety of reasons. My reading (and blogging) suffered quite a bit during the year as the stress kept me from being able concentrate. I’ve heard that’s pretty common and I did find ways to relax with other creative hobbies.
The questions is did I reach my annual goal of 50 books…?
💫Not A Star
Example: ⭐⭐⭐💫💫 = a 3 Star Book
- The Tailor of Gloucester ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 – A children’s classic, and a very sweet tale of a Tailor who gets help from an unexpected place. However, a little long and wordy for a bedtime read.
- Jasmine Green Rescues a Piglet Called Truffle ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – We loved this sweet story about a girl who rescues the runt pig of a litter and nurses it back to health. A lot of good vocabulary from farming and veterinary medicine makes the book educational too.
- Firefly: The Unification War Part 1 ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 – Good artwork, but a convoluted plot that ultimately is fairly forgettable.
- Overheated ⭐💫💫💫💫 – A booklet my Grandmother gave me to read. More of a philosophical essay on how Christians should approach climate change and any divisiveness it causes.
- Berenstain Bears Dino Dig ⭐⭐⭐💫💫 – A Christmas gift for our future paleontologist. Not a very educational book about dinos’ or a very good Berenstain Bears story either. We read it once shelved it and haven’t picked it up again.
- One Dark Throne ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- This series is such a good, twisty, fun fantasy series. One Dark Throne picks up from the cliff-hanger ending in the first book and runs away with the story.
- Two Dark Reigns ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- Wow, it just keeps getting better. The story continues to excite, thrill and surprise. I really got attached to the characters and the world building.
- Neversea (my review) ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫- I’ve got mixed emotions about this one. I loved the idea of a Little Mermaid/ Peter Pan mash up, but the author have since rebranded it and removed the fairy tale references.
- Colorless ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- Loved it and I want more of this intriguing world. Yet it seems that this book and it’s world have been abandoned by their author. I feel like there is so much more depth that could be explored about the Magicians, the Iconoclasts, and those that can move through paintings to the realm of the gods.
- Conan Broadsword Legacy: 3 short stories ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫- Conan is cheesy pretty much anyway you cut it. These short stories give you a view into the larger world of Conan the King. They are full of danger and magic and don’t take themselves too seriously.
- Fangs and Fennel⭐⭐⭐⭐💫- I openly admit that urban fantasy is not my favorite subgenre, but these Venom books have been entertaining. I think the little bit of Greek mythology thrown in and the tongue and cheek humor help make them more enjoyable.
- Onion John ⭐⭐⭐💫💫 – As I’m reading through the Newbery Award books I’m finding that not every book resonates with me. Onion John is certainly one of those. The story made me feel a little uneasy, but maybe it was meant to. A story of good intentions going wrong, and misunderstanding contentment for poverty.
- Five Dark Fates ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- Wow! I know… I know. I used that on the previous book in the series. This series kept up the intensity and the twist kept coming. A very well written fantasy series.
- The Last Unicorn ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- I loved it, but I never quiet understood what this book was supposed to be. Was it fantasy? Fairy Tale? Satire? Humor? What ever it was the book really seemed self-aware. More than anything I think this book is about fantasy and fairy troupes and what a good writer can do with them.
- Rosie Stronger then Steel ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- A lovely children’s picture book about women’s contributions to WWII. Sweet pictures and a lot of good information make this a great book to introduce this historical concept.
- Tom Sawyer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Who doesn’t love Tom Sawyer? The nine year old and I read this aloud for bedtimes over several months. She was constantly wanting to play Tom & Huck during that time. The reason it’s a classic is because it’s easy to get swept away in the story.
- Tide (my review) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- A fun fantasy adventure story. Tide takes you into a fantasy world both familiar and new. A strong determined heroine adds to the delight.
- Feast of Phantoms ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- I really need to write a full review on this book! A new steampunk/supernatural adventure from one of my favorite authors Kat Ross. A book I finished with a cry of “More! More!” A very promising start to a new world, new magic system and so many mysteries to be unveiled.
- 39 Clues #1: Mazes of Bones ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫- Another bedtime read aloud. A interesting book, but not a very good read aloud. The mystery of the 39 Clues and what they lead to is sprinkled with history and geography, which I thought was great for the 10 year old.
- Tomo #1: I Was an Eight Grade Ninja ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – A Christian manga/graphic novel series. After reading the first one the 10 year old wanted the rest of the series immediately. Great art for a kids manga, I wish there were more books like this.
- Buried in Angst ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- Buried in Angst shows the fallout from the events in Angst. Which answered a very intriguing question; When the story is over and the hero’s win, and the enemy is banished what then? Surely world shattering events have consequences. Author David J. Pedersen does a great job of exploring that idea in this book.
This is part 1 of 2 of my reading wrap up for 2020. Come back to see if I reached my goal of 50 books for the year.