Month In Review: July 2019

July turned out to be an uneventful month and with the cold winter weather I’ve been spending lots of time cooped up instead in the company of a steaming cup of tea or coffee, a purring cat and of course the obligatory book or my kindle. With the result I managed to read a LOT! More about that below… I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of the children’s book Física Hasta En La Sopa by Hernán Grecco early July through the Masa Crítica Argentina program at Babelio, and I had a lot of fun reading it! As it’s not on Goodreads I won’t count it toward my read books this year, but in case you are interested, you can find a full review (in Spanish) here.

I also enjoyed my time baking (featured below my fruit-custard pie and ‘sunset swirl’ lemon bites), preparing homemade stuffed pasta (sorrentinos!) to freeze and other kitchen related things… My second-favorite thing to do after reading. 😉 And some of the bulbs in our garden are having flowers early this year and I love the little touch of Spring in the air! ❤

Now to the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in July: 21
  • Total number of books read this year: 156
  • Total number of pages read in July: 7.970
  • Total number of pages read this year: 52.114

July turned out to be an excellent reading month despite another DNF, and I found myself not one, not two, but THREE new 5 star reads! On top of that, FOUR other fantastic titles were given the almost perfect rating… Oh yes, I definitely got lucky last month.

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Month In Review: June 2019


June turned out to be a cold, but busy month and I’m surprised I was able to read the amount I did. I guess being cooped up inside because of the cold winter weather does help me read more! I posted two weeks ago I was going light for the season, but so far I’ve still be able to post almost daily… You might have seen me around less on social media though and I’ve been bloghopping less as well, but I promise I’ll still be around! Here’s a photo of frenemies Delilah Bard and Jasmine to make up for my absence. 😉 ❤

I also had to scratch that creative bug last month, and I made myself a paperback booksleeve and crocheted two pairs of fingerless gloves as my hands are starting to freeze when I read or blog otherwise. xD I especially love how the gloves came out!

Now to the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in June: 22
  • Total number of books read this year: 135
  • Total number of pages read in June: 6.960
  • Total number of pages read this year: 44.144

June turned out to be a pretty good reading month. I didn’t get a new 5 star rating, but a whopping EIGHT books received an almost perfect rating. It’s going to be hard to pick just one favorite for the month! Sadly I did have another DNF and a few books received a lower rating, but overall I’m definitely happy with the books I was able to read.

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5 Star Favorites @bookouture @kimlslater @aharmon_author @paperfury @orendabooks @louisewriter

With the first six months of 2019 coming to an end, it’s time to talk favorites! I think some of you know by now that I hardly ever hand out the full five stars… And that a 4,5 star rating for me is basically what most would already consider a full 5 stars. I had a fantastic start of the year with no less than 28!! titles that received a 4,5 star rating. I’ll be showing them in the bottom of this post (except for one, as it was a Harry Potter reread); they all deserve the mention and are all excellent reads which I can highly recommend. But first things first. Because this post is about those magical books that simply blew me away. Stories that touched my heart, left me with a giant book hangover and made me wonder if I would ever recover. Yes, we are talking about the mythical 5 star reads, books that basically deserve all the stars and more and have earned its place in my hall of fame of all time favorites.

I had a total of five new titles that received the full 5 star rating in the first six months of 2019. They belong to a variety of genres and blew me away for different reasons, but what they all have in common is that they are absolutely fantastic titles and I cannot recommend them enough. Ready to see which titles made it to this list? In the order I’ve read them, as you won’t be able to make me pick favorites between these… 😉

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Best of… May 2019 @Orendabooks @nholten

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I had a LOT of fantastic reads in May, all worth mentioning so brace yourself for a long post. But there was one title that stood out above the rest, an easy choice for this month’s favorite. Did you guess already which one? Without further delay, May 2019’s favorite is… *drumroll*

Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech!! I can’t believe this is only my first experience with her work, but it most definitely won’t be my last. What an absolutely fantastic read!

What I said in my review:

“The writing style is absolutely wonderful of course, but it is the characters who steal the show in Call Me Star GirlLouise Beech should receive an award for being able to create such fascinating characters that are both flawed, strong and essentially unlikeable, but are able to win over your heart anyway.”

“Subtle twists and turns are incorporated in such a way that builds the tension and suspense without even realizing it; throwing new shocking information at you before you are getting comfortable with what you already know.”

Click here for my full review

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Month In Review: May 2019

May turned out to be another busy month and I’m actually surprised that I was able to read the amount I did. I’m still not sure how that happened! I won two Instagram giveaways (first time that ever happened!) and they arrived in time for the bookhaul post I shared on Saturday. A spoiler of what I got below together with my crochet puppy Manchee.

But May was basically mostly about baking for me, as I had promised to prepare all the desserts for our niece’s fifteenth birthday (similar importance as a ‘sweet sixteen’ in the US). Things were going to be kept informal, but I wanted to make a variety of sweets anyway… Since I love baking in the first place, and it was a great excuse to try new things. 😉 Below a few photos! The first is of a three-layer birthday cake I made from scratch, which definitely came out better than expected even though it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. On the right a variety of cupcakes with buttercream decoration (banana-chocolate, coconut-pineapple and vanilla-cream cheese flavored). Below a photo on how part of the dessert table was set up, where you can see the other things I made including fudgy brownie bites with mint buttercream, brownie and vanilla cakepops and Argentinian alfajores (sandwich cookies with dulce de leche) in three different colors.

I definitely had a lot of fun making all of these, although I ended up exhausted after four days of baking. xD And with the weather being pretty shitty and cold, I ended up catching a virus that same night of the birthday and I’ve been struggling with the flu ever since. Fingers crossed it will be gone soon! I definitely see lots of curling up under a blanket with a steaming cup of tea or coffee in the near future.

Now to the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in May: 23
  • Total number of books read this year: 113
  • Total number of pages read in May: 7.234
  • Total number of pages read this year: 37.184

May turned out to be a pretty good reading month. Not only did I get a new 5 star read, but I also had a further 7! books with an almost perfect rating! Four books did end up having a very low rating and sadly I had another DNF, but overall I’m still happy with the books I was able to read.

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January-April 2019: The Numbers

Call me a nerd, but I do love my graphics posts! I first started properly keeping track of my reads in Excel back in 2016, making it possible to finally put together some graphics. I’ve done a bunch of ‘The Numbers’ posts over time, including my 20162017 and 2018 posts, and it has been revealing interesting things about my reading habits. So why stop? 😉 This post will be all about the first four months of 2019. Let’s talk nerdy and see what my numbers were like, shall we?

First of all some quick facts. In the first four months of 2019 I have read no less than 90 books with a total page count of 29.950 pages; an average of about 333 pages per book. This is way more than I expected and if I keep it up I will actually break my 2018 record… Although I don’t think that will actually happen. The average rating is 3,55 stars, which the same as in 2018 so I guess not too bad. No less than 19 books had a 4,5 or 5 star rating and 30 books received a rating 3 stars or below… Which means I enjoyed reading about 67% of the books during the year. Not that bad at all, even though the number is lower than I would have hoped. Another fun fact: 37 of the 90 books I’ve read so far were actually ARCs; about 41% of the total. This is really close to my goal to keep that ratio below 40%, so I’m quite happy with that!

And now some graphics for those who like them as much as I do. 😉

This graphic above explains exactly why my average rating ended up being quite high… About 54% of the books I read had a 4 star rating or above! About 16% received a 2,5 star rating or below, which explains why my average rating isn’t that high either. Still, I’m definitely happy with these numbers.

I already knew I haven’t been reading a lot of Middle Grade, but I really should try to get a few more titles in… And it shows I still read more Adult than YA, although the amount of YA titles did go up a little compared to 2018.

One of the things I’ve been trying to do is read more books by male authors, because somehow I always seem to be reading more books my female authors (even though I never base my choice of books on the gender of the author). Sadly, things are even worse than in 2018… I really need to step up my game here.

I’m surprised to see I’ve been discovering way more new authors than reading books by authors I’ve read before in the first four months of 2019… Not a bad thing necessarily, as I love discovering new authors, but I want to go back to old favorites in the upcoming months as well.

These numbers are not a surprise as I normally prefer reading the original story, but with a lot of languages I don’t exactly have a choice. 😉 It’s interesting to see what a whopping 7% or 6 books were actually translations so far this year!

I thought it was interesting to keep track of the author nationalities… The mayority of my reads were between UK and US authors (no surprise here), but I’m happy to see quite a few other countries on here as well.

This is what the previous graphic looks like on a map! The countries in orange represent the nationalities of the authors I was able to read so far in 2019.

And here is another map, this time around of the different settings I managed to travel to with the help of the books I read during the first four months of 2019. In case you are wondering how I’m able to create the maps; I’m using this page.

The main genre is basically the most dominant genre I think each book belongs to. As always mystery/thriller/horror is the biggest group (there’s truly no surprise there for those who follow my blog!). I like how most other dominant genres are well spread out though; it looks like I read a truly eclectic mix of books during the first four months of 2019.

A new graphic! I decided to start keeping track of the POV in each story… And a surprising amount of stories ended up having more than one POV where both genders are represented.

This average rating graphic is quite a shock… Although I’m aware a lot of genres have received lower ratings. It seems I have been super lucky with my historical fiction reads which received a whopping 4,08 rating. Next up is fantasy with another excellent 3,86 rating… Mystery/thriller/crime still did good with a 3,67 rating. Science fiction/dystopia and non fiction/memoir were really low with a 2,71 rating and 3 rating respectively. I’m actually quite shocked by the lowish ratings of the genres in general, but I guess it’s due to two DNF (0 rating) and other low reads I sadly had in in the first four months of 2019.

It turns out I’ve been reading even more stand-alones than last year! I’m not that surprised though… As much as I love reading series, I tend to neglect them with the result of a huge pile of unfinished series collecting dust. And there is no such problem with stand-alones! 😉 I do want to finish a bunch of those unfinished series in the rest of 2019 though.

Finally an improvement! I joined the Beat The Backlist challenge again to help me read older titles, and it seems to work… 34% of the books I picked up were published in 2016 or before, and a total of 64% of the books were published before 2019! I seem to be able to finally balance out those ARCs and backlist titles better.

Last graphic: as always most books I’ve read have between 300 and 399 pages, which seems to be a pretty good number and a  sign of a story that’s not too short and not too long. There are exceptions of course; some stories are just too complex to be told in under 400 pages… I’m happy to have read more longer books compared to 2018! A total of 18% of my books had over 400 pages.

Tired of numbers yet? I know I am! That’s it for this post… Happy reading everyone!


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Best of… April 2019 @peterswanson3 @amazonpub @theravenangel

I had originally decided to include this new feature in my monthly wrap ups, but I just felt there were too many facts squeezed into one little post and the whole purpose of putting my favorite reads in the spotlight was lost. So this is me giving those favorites their well deserved extra attention! I had no new 5 star reads in April, but I did have three titles that came pretty darn close and all three were fantastic. Picking just one winner was so SO hard! But I did it, so without further delay, April 2019’s favorite is… *drumroll*

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson!! I’m definitely happy I joined the @criminallygoodbookclub on Instagram and read this story… It doesn’t happen often that a story manages to surprise me this much. What a read!

What I said in my review:

Before She Knew Him is well written, suspenseful and has an enormous plot twist bomb towards the end that will leave you with your mouth hanging wide open.”

“This story also packs a HUGE surprise you won’t see coming at all… And I love it when a story is able to mislead me so well I actually yelled ‘WHAT?!?!’ when I stumbled across the reveal. If you enjoy the genre, Before She Knew Him is definitely a story not to miss.”

Click here for my full review

Two other stories received an almost perfect rating, one historical fiction read with a hint of the surreal set in Mexico and the other a mythology retelling set before the Troyan War. In the order I’ve read them:

What I said in my review:

“With an air of the writing style of Gabriel Garcia MarquezThe Murmur Of Bees tells us the story of a wealthy land owner family and how the appearance of the mysterious Simonopio both saved and changed their lives forever. The writing is lush and wonderful and will truly transport you to a different time and country… It’s a story of love, joy, sadness and desperation; a story of different generations, family and a country damaged by war and the 1918 influenza outbreak. ”

“Both Simonopio and his bees and the folklore tales incorporated into stories are incorporated in such a way that they create a perfect balance with the rest of the plot and they give The Murmur Of Bees an unique touch. The result is a complex and enchanting story and a journey any fan of the genre will enjoy undertaking.”

Click here for my full review

What I said in my review:

“I loved the fact that the story doesn’t focus on just one character, but instead offers us multiple views and stories to treasure. This givesSong Of Sacrifice a multidimensional and rich feel and definitely added to my positive experience with this story. Gods and humans alike play a role in this story, and I think descriptions and historical setting are spot on.”

Song Of Sacrifice is part of a series, and book one doesn’t actually get to the point of the Troyan war yet, but reading about the (lesser known) years leading up to the war is just as fascinating. Fans of historical fiction and Greek mythology retellings will love spending time with this story.”

Click here for my full review

Have you read any of these titles above? What did you think of them? What were your favorite reads in April?


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