2017 Books Recap

Tell the truth: was everyone dying because it took me a MONTH to get this written and posted? I’m sure. Obviously everyone loves this post. Oh, wait, is that just me? Too bad. My blog, my rules and I love this post. I get geekily excited about it year after year. Also, this is the fifth anniversary of the book blogging recap, so I feel like there shall be some fun ahead.

Alrighty, I could blather here for a while, but what’s the point? We all want the dirty deets, so let’s get right to it.

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2017 Statistics

Total number of books read in 2017: 225(!) (25% increase over 2016)

Average number of books read per month: 18.75

Average number of books read per week: 4.32

Month with the most books read: This goes to September and her 36 books. The most books I’ve ever read in a month is 37 (August of 2016) so this is a perfectly respectable, impressive total.

Month with the least books read: This is a tie between November and December and 3 books each.

Best book I read in 2017:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. Wow, I really struggled with this. When I read this book and finally put it down, I said out loud “that was the best book of the year” and it held for months, but then, along came Brigid Kemmerer and I was torn. I almost said a tie because they were both so good but I don’t want to start that. So I made the tough choice. And this book is incredible. It is so brilliantly written and incredibly moving and supremely touching. I love everything about it. And the fact that I met the author and he’s an awesome guy and signed my book doesn’t hurt either. He’s now on the must-read/auto-buy list. He’s that good. He is also the very first male to win in this coveted category, so cheers, Jeff Zentner, and thank you for this unbelievably good book.

Runners up for best book in 2017: (in not much order)

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. I seriously love this book so much I am disappointed it did not win, and wanted to create a second place category just for this book. Instead I am listing it first among the runners-up so it doesn’t get lost. This book blew me away. It is equally as good as this year’s champion and I am sad I read them both in the same year. Love this book.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne if you haven’t heard of this book I’d be surprised. It is everywhere and deservedly so. This book is amazing and funny and smart AND it is her first book ever! Imagine how great she’ll be in a few years. I bet she takes this category in a couple of years.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay is another very strong contender and if not for the three previous books could have won best of the year.

180 Seconds by Jessica Park, I sincerely loved this book. It is so well done and beautiful. Again, in a different year, this could easily have won.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. This is my dark horse pick. It isn’t romance but a swashbuckling adventure and I loved it. The sequel comes out this year and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Never Sweeter by Charlotte Stein. This story, my first by Charlotte Stein, really stuck with me. It was a dark and sometimes difficult read, but it ended up being a beautiful story.

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. I talk more about this historical romance in the most surprising category, where it did win, but what a great, fantastic book (and I just noticed that the first in this series, Because of Miss Bridgerton, was in this same category last year, I guess if you want historical, you cannot go wrong here.)

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne. This book is an installment in a series, the third and I loved every word. This is not a book I would expect to find on this list but it hung in there and I just couldn’t NOT give it a nod.

Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino. She appears in several categories this year and this is the only one that’s a good one. She also made this category last year with two of her books. And supposedly she has one coming out this year so I wouldn’t be surprised to find her here (or winning) next year.

The Knocked-Up Plan by Lauren Blakely. This is another book I wouldn’t have expected to see on this list. 1. Because the romantic comedy, while fun and easy to read aren’t typically stellar stories and 2. because I don’t like pregnancy storylines but, boy this book was awesome. And beating the stereotypes is reason alone to make the list.

Trust by Kylie Scott. I love Kylie Scott. I loved her rock star series, I love her bartender series and this was her first foray into YA. And you know what? I loved it, too. She’s just awesome. As long as she stays away from zombies (yep, tried those too, not even Kylie Scott could get me on board with zombies) she’s tops in my book.

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. Like the pirate king, this is a different sort of book. This one is about time traveling on a ship, through maps. It is an odd premise, but such an engrossing read. I loved it. I also liked its sequel but not quite as much as this one.

Worst book I read in 2017:

Thoughtless by SC Stephens. I have to say that this was on several lists as one of the best YA stories around. And I could not believe it. This is not only the worst book of the year but truly one of the worst books I have ever read. I mean, who did they pay off to get this title on so many lists?

Runners up for worst book in 2017: (in no order)

American Queen – Sierra Simone (This lost the crown by the very slimmest of margins)

The Way We Fall – Cassia Leo

Lucian Divine – Renee Carlino

Retrieval – Aly Martinez

Off-Base – Annabeth Albert

Some Kind of Hero – Suzanne Brockmann

The Story of Us – Tara Sivec

Total number of NEW books read: 219 (97.3% of books read this year, 2.6% increase over 2016)

Total rereads: 6 (2.7% of books read this year, 2.6% decrease from 2016)

Total number of standalone books (do not occur in a series): 74 (32.9% of books read in 2017, 2.2% increase from 2016)

Best series:

Hellcat Canyon Series by Julie Anne Long. This was a hotly contested category this year and I went back and forth, but ultimately, JAL won out because there is so much to love in the three books in this series but the thing I loved best is that each got better and I liked the third the most, which is rare enough in series writing. Plus, they are super funny, which I adore in a good romance.

Runners up for best series: (in no order)

Openly Series by Bill Konigsberg, I was very tempted to pick this as the winner as male authors don’t win much around here (although, best book of the year, Jeff Zentner!), and there was nothing to dislike in this series. If I had to rank, this would be my second favorite series of the year.

Love Unexpectedly Series by Lauren Layne, this could easily have been a winner as one of its books (Walk of Shame) made the best list this year. The final two books were excellent but the first two were just good, which is why it did not win.

Game On Series by Kristin Callihan, as a whole these are not books that will rock your world, but they are enjoyable books and I liked this series (which is ongoing) very much.

Royally Series by Emma Chase, a few years ago, I read a book by Emma Chase and hated it. Not just disliked, but hated, which crossed her off my read list. Then I kept reading about this series, it just kept dogging me until I finally gave in and tried the first, boy am I glad I gave her another chance! This is a great series, especially if you are (as I really, really, am) a fan of royalty in your books.

Most surprising book:

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn. What surprised me about this book is how very much I loved it. I mean, it’s Julia Quinn, and she has long been on my must-read list, as a matter of fact, she is the only historical author I still read religiously, but in general, I’m pretty much over the whole historical romance thing. Yet, this book is one of my favorites of the year. It is on the best list. I’ve gone so far as to recommend this series just to give people a chance to read this book. It is utterly delightful.

Runners up for most surprising book: (in no order)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, surprising mostly for the fact that I don’t read this sort of book but it crossed my path and caught my attention and I liked it. Enough that I will read the sequel this year. For the curious, it is about assassin nuns. Truth.

The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood, this was a surprise because of how I found it. It was my friends at Amazon who said “based upon your choices, try….” and this was at the top of the list. Unfortunately, I had recently just gotten some really bad books from Amazon and the list was based off that. And I’ve tried Amazon recs before and been disappointed. But in this, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a great read. Kudos Amazon.

Biggest disappointment:

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover, oh how I struggled with this. If you follow my reading habits at all, you know Colleen Hoover is at the top of my must read list. In fact, she is an auto-buy for me. That’s rare. I don’t buy that many books. Anyway, this came out and a year with a new Colleen Hoover book is always a good one. Until this one. I just couldn’t connect with this one. It’s not that it’s bad. It isn’t. She couldn’t write a bad book. But I couldn’t connect to the story and it didn’t, in my opinion, deliver the same oomph her other books bring. So while it is weird to list a book that I said was 3/5 stars as my biggest disappointment, every other book of hers has been 5/5 stars, without hesitation, so I guess that’s why. I wanted the oomph and was disappointed I didn’t get it.

Runners up for biggest disappointment: (in no order)

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren; so one of my favorite things to do is at the end of the year start looking at best of lists and read the best romance books of the year, if I haven’t already. Once those lists came out, they virtually ALL listed this book as the best romance of 2017. I had already read it and was just…meh about it. It’s not bad, but it certainly isn’t great. If you’re going to do office/hate-to-love romance, I feel that everyone will now compare you to The Hating Game (see best list) and this does not come close.

Lucian Divine by Renee Carlino, note this book also appears on the worst of list. It’s that simple, this was not a good book. And Renee Carlino is on my must-read list, she is amazing…this was not.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I loved her Gods and Monsters trilogy and I was so excited for this new series, but I was left feeling a little blah. It’s not bad, there is certainly potential but it fell a little flat for me.

Total number of print books read in 2017: 40* (17.8% of books read this year, 1.2% INCREASE over 2016. *However, with the MN Book awards books, I read what I was given and this accounts for 23 of those print books and two electronic books, so this stat is slightly inflated)

Total number of electronic books read in 2017: 185 (82.2% of books read this year, 1.2% decrease from 2016 see note* above)

Most surprising statistic: I don’t see how I don’t go with “Total number of books read” I mean, TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE books. That is so surprising to me.

5th Anniversary Stats:

(in honor of this being the 5th Anniversary of the recap, here’s some fun stats.)

Total number of books read in 5 years: 879 (Wowza! that means for sure by the end of this year I’ll have read more than 1,000 books, in just over six years. That is nuts!)

Average number of books read per month: 14.65

Average number of books read per week: 3.38

Total number of NEW books read: 769 (87.5% of books I read are new books)

Total number of re-reads: 110 (12.5% of books I read I have read previously)

 

The five worst books I’ve read since 2013:

Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep

The Professional by Kresley Cole

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright

Thoughtless by SC Stephens

The five best books I’ve read since 2013: (this is some good company right here!)

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O’Keefe

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Honorable mentions (five selected books from all the runners-up):

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Monthly lists:

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Annual recaps:

2016 recap

2015 recap

2014 recap

2013 recap

And there you have it. My fifth annual recap of the books I read. Still love everything about it, including how long it takes me to prep and write this post (but I got it in before January ended!). Congratulations to all the winners. If you found yourself in a less than stellar category this year, don’t worry, just ask Kresley Cole who I think has charted in every single category, it’s easy to recover. She’s still aces in my book. For now, my fair readers, go forth and read!

 

 

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November 2017 Books

So here’s the thing, this has been the year I’ve read the most books. And I think, maybe, perhaps, I got a little burned out. November hit and I could not muster the energy to read. I’d tell myself…tomorrow. But the next day would come and all I really wanted to do was watch tv.

I don’t ever feel like anyone should be forced to read; I wouldn’t do that to others so I couldn’t do it to myself. Therefore, I didn’t read my first book until Thanksgiving. No, I’m not kidding. And as a result, this is a short list.

November: (3 books)

  1. Renegades – Marissa Meyer^
  2. Shacking Up – Helena Hunting^
  3. Hooking Up – Helena Hunting^

And that’s it! Can you even believe it?

Renegades is a superhero fantasy novel. I enjoyed it, but it was a bit slow. I felt like I was waiting the whole book for it to get going. But apparently there’s another coming, so maybe all that setup will pay off.

Next was my first foray into Helena Hunting. Shacking Up will be forever known as the tarantula book. Like I had to put it down and stop reading because it freaked me out. I did eventually pick it up again, but I had to skip ahead to the end of the chapter because of the giant fucking spider. *shudder*

Hooking Up is the follow up to that book, which is only mildly irritating because they weren’t listed as a series, though they clearly are, and I started this one first. It was super highly rated, and it started out fantastic, but sort of fizzled thereafter. Neither would be books I’d recommend.

And November was complete. I finished the month with 222 books. One more month to go, then our yearly wrap. You know how much I enjoy that post!

See you in the new year!

October 2017 Books

Well it is rapidly sprinting toward Thanksgiving and my reading is at an all-time low. I decided to take a look at the year in review and see if I can spot anything that I might have missed, when I realized I never blogged my October books.

Here we go.

October: (14 books)

  1. Without Merit – Colleen Hoover^
  2. Until it Fades – KA Tucker^
  3. Hollywood Scandal – Louise Bay^
  4. More Than This – Jay McLean^
  5. Wild at Whiskey Creek – Julie Anne Long^
  6. Dirty Dancing at Devil’s Leap – Julie Anne Long^
  7. Fear Me – BB Reid^
  8. If There’s No Tomorrow – Jennifer L. Armentrout^
  9. Where I Belong – J. Daniels^
  10. The Beauty of Us – Kristen Proby^
  11. Dream of Me – Quinn Loftis^
  12. On A Tuesday – Whitney G.^
  13. Until Friday Night – Abbi Glines^
  14. Under the Lights – Abbi Glines^

And there you have it folks. So much I can say here. Obviously, at well over 200 books on the year, I’ve been reading like a fiend, but, largely, these have all been good reads. On the whole that is. Then October hit. I started with a beloved favorite, Colleen Hoover and her new book. I actually waited to read it so it wouldn’t blend in with all the fabulous books of September. But I didn’t like it. Oh, I mean, it was fine. Perfectly good book and all that, but there is good and there is ColleenHooverGood. This was not the latter. At least IMO. My mother, a convert at my insistence says it was exactly that, ColleenHooverGood. It is possible that this book fell victim to The Oversell. Obviously, all my own fault, I have such high expectations for her that, well, it’s almost like she is set up to fail. I’ll have to wander through the quagmire of my mind for a solution because I just can’t go around hating on CH, she’s just too awesome.

Things just went downhill from there. Okay, that’s not really fair. The Julie Anne Long books were very enjoyable. But really, that’s pretty much it. I had high hopes for Dream of Me, and to be fair, it was a cute idea, but the story went stupid and ends on a cliffhanger and then I find out it was supposed to be a series but this is the only book she’s written and it’s been three years since this came out. So odds are that she won’t write the next one. Kind of killed my book buzz, you know?

So yeah, October was a book bust. But even those lackluster numbers got me to 219 books on the year, headed for a fantastical total of  263 books on the year. Oh my.

 

September 2017 Books

Ah, September, one of my favorite months of the year. Everything smells good outside in September, the smells of summer seamlessly blending into the smells of fall, which becomes its own scent. The weather is starting to change but it is still nice enough to enjoy reading outdoors in my swing. And tons of new and exciting books are released by the publishing industry.

Curiosity compelled me to go back and look at how many books I had read in the previous Septembers, since I’ve been recording. 2013, 19 books. 2014, 16 books. 2015, 13 books. 2016, 21 books.

Apparently I read a wholly respectable amount in September. Until this year. There was nothing respectable, but something irresistible in the air throughout the month. That’s the only explanation I have for this result.

September: (36 books)

  1. Good Girl – Lauren Layne^
  2. Love Story – Lauren Layne^
  3. Dating You/Hating You – Christina Lauren^
  4. After We Fall – Melanie Harlow^
  5. Ransom – Julie Garwood*
  6. A Kingdom of Dreams – Julie Garwood*
  7. Bully – Penelope Douglas^
  8. Whitney, My Love – Judith McNaught*
  9. Almost Heaven – Judith McNaught*
  10. Something Wonderful – Judith McNaught*
  11. The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell – Samantha James*
  12. Letters to the Lost – Brigid Kemmerer^
  13. The Problem with Forever – Jennifer L. Armentrout^
  14. Trust – Kylie Scott^
  15. Nowhere But Here – Katie McGarry^
  16. The Impossible Vastness of Us – Samantha Young^
  17. Perfect Chemistry – Simone Elkeles^
  18. Sweet Southern Trouble – Michele Summers^
  19. Wrong – Jana Aston^
  20. Hot as Puck – Lili Valente^
  21. Right – Jana Aston^
  22. Fling – Jana Aston^
  23. Times Square – Jana Aston^
  24. Not So New in Town – Michele Summers^
  25. Sweet Southern Bad Boy – Michele Summers^
  26. The Sea of Tranquility – Katja Millay^
  27. Punk 57 – Penelope Douglas^
  28. The Road that Leads to Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
  29. The Lies that Define Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
  30. The Game that Breaks Us – Micalea Smeltzer^
  31. Wish You Were Here – Renee Carlino^
  32. The Story of Us – Tara Sivec^
  33. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell^
  34. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell^
  35. Ten Tiny Breaths – KA Tucker^
  36. One Tiny Lie – KA Tucker^

Whew! That’s a long list. And you want to know something…? A super good one. As I look over this list there were definitely a lot of okay books, but nothing truly awful. The Story of Us by Tara Sivec was mind-numbingly boring and predictable and I didn’t care for the story or the characters of Punk 57, but they weren’t bad.

I did do a fair amount of rereads this month, I decided to reread every book that I have given a five star rating to and see if it holds up. The Secret Passion of Simon Blackwell is the only one that hasn’t, I dropped it from a five to a four. Still a good book, but not as perfect as I recall.

As for new books, some interesting stuff. Eleanor & Park was a book that caused a huge divisive issue of censorship when it came out. I finally got around to reading it and was surprised. It’s a good book, but not a great one, and I found nothing offensive about it. I abhor censorship anyway, but sometimes I’m at least able to stretch myself to understand the whys of it. Not in this case.

I also read Fangirl, which was interesting because I really did not like that book when I started reading it. There was something off-putting about it and I almost stopped, but I didn’t and at some point I really started to like it. That doesn’t happen often. It ended up being a really good story.

After We Fall by Melanie Harlow I just loved. LOVED. Great book. The Problem with Forever and Trust were also excellent reads. Wrong and Ten Tiny Breaths were likewise very good books.

Then, oh then, is Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer. When I finished reading it I was floored. And sad. Floored because it is excellent; sad because I felt that I read the best book of the year in March (Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner) and then along comes this story. In any other year, if I hadn’t read Goodbye Days, there is not a doubt in my mind that this would be the best book of the year. Honestly, it was so good it could still be the best of the year. I kind of wish I hadn’t read it until 2018 so I didn’t have to make this heart wrenching choice.

THEN, somehow, I randomly pick up a book called The Sea of Tranquility. And HOLY GUACAMOLE, that could be the best book of the year! So now I have three solid entries and I read two of them in the same month, mere days apart?!?!

And then, AND THEN, Renee Carlino had a new book out. Wish You Were Here. I was seriously concerned it would be another contender. It wasn’t. It’s very very good, no doubt, but it doesn’t play at that level.

What is this world coming to? Just kidding. I’m thrilled, honestly that these books were so good. It’s better to have too many “best books” than none at all I suppose.

And we see how it all shakes out come January.

As far as totals, Ransom, a reread, was my 175th book of the year. I finished that and my goal in the first week of September. By the end of the month I had read 206 books. This is now the highest total ever (since I started recording), with 194 being the previous high. So, this is the first time I’ve read more than 200 books in a year. And somehow I accomplished it by the end of September. Three months to go and I am on pace to complete 275 books. I mean, wowza. Stay tuned!

 

August 2017 Books

So here’s the thing, August in Minnesota was bizarrely cold. August is usually blisteringly hot and humid and oppressive and while I don’t enjoy that weather, per se, I do enjoy it as someone who likes to read outside. LOVES to read outside. I can sit up half the night reading and it is warm and perfect for swinging away. However, this particular August, by the time the sun went down I was needing long pants, long sleeves, and my sweatshirt. And several nights I had to bring a blanket as well! Honestly, there was more than one night when I was shivering in my swing and wondering why I can’t be normal and just go inside? But knowing that fall is imminent and my days of outdoor reading are numbered for 2017, I wouldn’t give up.

That dogged determination led me to a stellar month of reading.

August: (32 books)

  1. Beauty and the Mustache – Penny Reid^
  2. Ninja at First Sight – Penny Reid^
  3. Happily Ever Ninja – Penny Reid^
  4. Dating-ish – Penny Reid^
  5. The Sure Thing – Marie Harte^
  6. Alex – Sawyer Bennett^
  7. Garrett – Sawyer Bennett^
  8. Zack – Sawyer Bennett^
  9. The Player – Claire Contreras^
  10. Ryker – Sawyer Bennett^
  11. Hawke – Sawyer Bennett^
  12. Wired – Julie Garwood^
  13. Off Base – Annabeth Albert^
  14. Barely Breathing – Pamela Clare^
  15. Find My Way Home – Michele Summers^
  16. Made for Us – Samantha Chase^
  17. Love Walks In – Samantha Chase^
  18. Always My Girl – Samantha Chase^
  19. This is Our Song – Samantha Chase^
  20. A Sky Full of Stars – Samantha Chase^
  21. Hot in Hellcat Canyon – Julie Anne Long^
  22. The Rule Book – Jennifer Blackwood^
  23. The Rule Maker – Jennifer Blackwood^
  24. Easy Nights – Kristen Proby^
  25. One More Kiss – Samantha Chase^
  26. Never Loved – Charlotte Stein^
  27. Never Better – Charlotte Stein^
  28. Breathless in Love – Bella Andre^
  29. Absinthe – Winter Renshaw^
  30. Country Nights – Winter Renshaw^
  31. Beard In Mind – Penny Reid^
  32. Some Kind of Hero – Suzanne Brockmann^

 

So that’s a bunch of books. And most of them were even pretty good. A couple of stinkers, notably Off Base, The Sure Thing, The Player, and, regrettably, Wired by one of my all time favorite authors, Julie Garwood. She hasn’t written a winner in so long it actually makes me want to cry when I think about it, so I try not to and keep hoping for the best.

Here are the standouts for the month. Dating-ish by Penny Reid, this is the penultimate book in her Knitting in the City series and, wow, is this by far my favorite. I’m surprised when books get so much better toward the end but this one did. I just adored it and it makes the whole series seem more worthwhile. I’m really looking forward to the finale (hopefully that sentiment won’t come back to bite me in the ass) due out early next year. I very much enjoyed Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long, I have always enjoyed her historicals, but was eager for her first foray into contemporary, so are many people I think as the library wait was long and I am still waiting for the next two, but this was great. I also really enjoyed The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood, which was a recommendation by Amazon (thanks Amazon!) and it was awesome. Great story. Most of the rest are very good, too, but just not outstanding.

Finally we end with the last book of the month. This is book 17 of Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series. I started reading these years ago, like she was on book 6 I think, and this was before I understood I don’t care for romantic suspense as a genre. So I stopped reading them. Then this one came out and I liked the synopsis and thought, “why not?” and read the thing. Well, READ is probably a bit strong. I really don’t like romantic suspense and found myself skipping all the suspense stuff in favor of the romance stuff. If you like that sort of thing, (MOM), then this might be a good series for you, Brockmann is a great writer and tells a well-crafted story, I just don’t care. All the B plots detract from the good stuff, in my opinion. So this is my reminder to myself to just…stop. Stop picking these up thinking “maybe this one will be different” because they never are.

And there you have it, my August books. When I finished this month I was at 170 books, five shy of my annual predicted total, so I feel good about my chances. I’m currently on pace to read 255 books this year. While I do not expect to keep up that pace, I will definitely beat my guess, so if you bet on me, then kudos, go buy a new book.

July 2017 Books

Okay, now that July officially ended only three days ago, I’m feeling much more on track. I’m surprised at how much I read in July, given the holiday, various and sundry to-dos and events, and a family vacation. Yet, I must have been reading constantly during the moments I wasn’t with friends and family. Alright, well, I pretty much always read constantly when I’m not with friends or family. That should stop surprising me at some point.

July Books (16 books)

  1. Blurred Lines – Lauren Layne^
  2. Royally Screwed – Emma Chase^
  3. Royally Matched – Emma Chase^
  4. Royally Raised – Emma Chase^
  5. Royal Scandal – Marquita Valentine^
  6. Royal Affair – Marquita Valentine^
  7. Walk of Shame – Lauren Layne^
  8. Now That It’s You – Tawna Fenske^
  9. Edge of Chaos – Molly E. Lee^
  10. After All – Karina Halle^
  11. Hello Forever – Sarina Bowen^
  12. Way Down Deep – Charlotte Stein^
  13. Sex Symbol – Laurelin Paige^
  14. Dream of Me – Gaelen Foley & Jaz Kennedy^
  15. Friends Without Benefits – Penny Reid^
  16. Love Hacked – Penny Reid^

Now that I’m looking back, this was not a terrific reading month. It was okay, sure, I mean, any month with a new Sarina Bowen is good for me, but a lot of these books are wholly forgettable. As in I read them a month or less ago and I still can’t remember anything about them. Yet, nothing was truly terrible. I did not like Sex Symbol. Not a worst book, just not good. And there was good, for sure. Hello Forever was good, but, again, Sarina Bowen. I finally dove into the Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid, which I waited too long to read, given my love for Neanderthal Seeks Human, and enjoyed it. I really liked Walk of Shame. It was surprising how much I liked it. And I was super shocked by how much I enjoyed Way Down Deep. A romance where the two characters literally never meet. Go figure. And yet, I loved it. So, some gems, but not a truly standout reading month.

At the end of July I had completed 138 books, putting me on pace to read 237 books this year. We shall see how it goes. We’ve just dipped into August, which is usually a big month of reading for me. See you in a month!

June 2017 Books

I’m basically just plowing through these lists now, just to get back on track. We finally hit summer and I got a new swing and intended to wow you with my outdoor reading, but then the weather got wonky and it didn’t go as planned, but I think I still managed okay.

June books (29 books)

  1. The Duff – Kody Keplinger^
  2. Geekerella – Ashley Poston^
  3. When It’s Real – Erin Watt^
  4. Pipe Dreams – Sarina Bowen^
  5. Buns – Alice Clayton^
  6. Famous in Love – Rebecca Serle^
  7. Truly, Madly, Famously – Rebecca Serle^
  8. The Hook-up – Kristen Callihan^
  9. The Friend Zone – Kristen Callihan^
  10. The Game Plan – Kristen Callihan^
  11. The Hot Shot – Kristen Callihan^
  12. Come Away With Me – Kristen Proby^
  13. Left Drowning – Jessica Park^
  14. Thoughtless – SC Stephens^
  15. The Debt – Karina Halle^
  16. Before I Ever Met You – Karina Halle^
  17. Steadfast – Sarina Bowen^
  18. Louder than Love – Jessica Topper^
  19. Love to Hate You – Anna Permoli^
  20. The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband – Julia Quinn^
  21. Lost Without You – Molly O’Keefe^
  22. Where I Belong – Molly O’Keefe^
  23. The Knocked Up Plan – Lauren Blakely^
  24. Hot Mess – Emily Goodwin^
  25. Twice Burned – Emily Goodwin^
  26. Easy Magic – Kristen Proby^
  27. Strong Enough – Melanie Harlow & David Romanov^
  28. The Rocker that Holds Me – Terri Anne Browning^
  29. The Rocker that Savors Me – Terri Anne Browning^

And there’s June. A lot of goodness here, but mixed with a lot of crap, which is probably to be expected by 29 books in 30 days. Here’s the good: Geekerella, an adorably geeky take on the Cinderella classic. When It’s Real, Erin Watt is quickly becoming a go-to author for me. Liked this even more than the Royals series. Buns, because, well, Alice Clayton’s humor. The Kristen Callihan series is good if you like sports romance, which I do. This one is football and enjoyable. Karina Halle is on my must read list and I enjoyed these both. The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband is a favorite. This is a stellar new series by a beloved author and she, again, knocked it out of the park.

Molly O’Keefe started a new series after her wildly successful (with me at least) series Everything I Left Unsaid, which is also the name of the first book, AND the best book of the year for me in 2015. This was a bit of a letdown. Good, yes, but in comparison they left me wanting.

The Knocked Up Plan. I really like Lauren Blakely’s humor as well. What I don’t like are books about pregnancy and babies, etc. Yet this one? Blew me away. I loved everything about it.

The one from the dark side that pops out was Thoughtless by SC Stephens. Let me just say this. I HOPE this is the worst book I read all year. I shudder to think there are worse out there.

And there you have it, a worthy June. I ended the month with a grand total of 122 books, and, as you know, July 1st marks the halfway point. Which means that I was on pace to read a whopping 244 books this year. Yowza.

July is coming….but tomorrow. I need to organize my thoughts. Stay tuned…