Books I Have Read so Far in 2020

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So something I have for sure been doing while in quarantine is reading, not as much as I want to but still I’m reading. My goal is 36-40 books this year and I’m eleven in, I have a lot more reading to do this year. I have no specific genre that I read, I read mostly anything if we are being honest. A few years ago I read a lot of historical fiction and I burned myself out on that for a while, but other than that I actually really enjoy reading. 

            I read 32 books last year and 12 of t hose were read in December as I made a last ditch effort to reach my 35 book goal. I haven’t hit my book goal since 2017. My goal in 2018 was 35, I read 6. I have been tracking all the books I have read since 2016 and I wish I could say that I have read more than 116 in those four and a half years but here we are. In reality I would ideally be up around 50 books a year but life doesn’t work like that all the time.

            Okay getting away from the long winded introduction,  here are the books I have read so far in 2020:

Spending the Holidays with People I Want To Punch in The Throat by Jen Mann:

            I read this in one day, New Year’s Day actually, I do enjoy reading essays that people have written about events in their lives and bonus points if they are funny or something I can relate to. This book was hilarious to say the least and it makes me want to read her other collections of essays because I think they would be just as amusing.

Star Wars: Bloodlines by Claudia Gray:

            I am a relatively new Star Wars fan, I don’t read a lot of the novelizations, I read a lot of Doctor Who novelizations and even Marvel but Star Wars is still pretty new for me. I was in elementary school when the prequels came out and didn’t see any of them until I was in high school, I spent a weekend in 2018 watching all of the original trilogy and I have seen all of the new ones as well. I know that the new ones get a lot of hate, but I didn’t hate them but again; I’m new. The book was dense, I liked it; it was a pretty good lead up to the events that happen in The Force Awakens and it continues to reinforce the fact that Leia Organa is a certified bad ass. 

I’ve Got This Round by Mamrie Hart:

            Again, a book of essays. I like hearing people’s drunk stories because I don’t really have any of my own and I like it that way. Reading the things that other people get up to and are up to telling others about is amusing to me. Mamrie is a great story teller and she is a very funny entertainer, I used to watch her on YouTube when I was in college; not so much now but I still enjoyed reading the second one of her novels. If you like humor and alcohol fueled adventures this is for sure a good read for you. 

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes by Cory O’Brien: 

            I saw and excerpt of this on Tumblr probably four years ago and I bought the book because of it, I really like myths and stories of the like so reading an almost satirical telling of all of these really heavy myths; it’s just a lot of fun to read. It gives a different perspectives of all of those myths and it makes them a lot more fun to read. 

It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson:

            Like I said, I really like essays and I read his first book I Hate Myselfie in one day in December, I have been a Shane Dawson fan since 2012-2013 somewhere around there and rediscovered him in 2018. It was good and very honest throughout. 

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt:

            This book is going to be the oddity in this list and you may be saying, this seems like an off choice between two autobiographical novels. Well this we read for One School One Book and I couldn’t put it down. I work with elementary school kids and this book was a really feel good novel, it is a great story about overcoming, about embracing what makes us all different and that it doesn’t matter how we learn as long as someone is willing to take the time and figure out that maybe we all learn a little different and that doesn’t make us any less. 

Girl Logic by Iliza Shlesinger:

            I love Iliza’s comedy specials and her podcast is hilarious, the book was fine. I think I would have liked it better as an audiobook but I did enjoy reading it. I know that sometimes my girl Logic gets the best of me.

Mortal Arts (Lady Darby Mystery #2) by Anna Lee Huber:

            This is book 2, book one is That Anatomist’s Wife, it’s based in the late 1800’s in The United Kingdom, this one was in Scotland and once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I love mysteries, usually of the cozy variety but this one is a little more serious. It wove a vivid tale of how mental health care was drastically different in those times and how that affected the people who suffered with it. 

Lark! The Herald Angels Sing (Meg Langslow Mystery #24) by Donna Andrews:

            This is one of those cozy mysteries I was talking about. I have read every book in this series and I have loved every one. I am going to write a review on the first book for a post alter in the month, when I do I will link it here because this series was what inspired me to try my hand writing mystery. (it’ll happen one day but I think for now I will stick with fiction.) This is one of my favorite series by far though, I actually read the 19th book first because I wanted a Halloween mystery and then I went back and painstakingly tried to buy the rest of the series.

Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and The Secret of The Grande Chateau by: Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills:

            If you want a mystery novel that has just a touch of satire and enjoys breaking the fourth wall between the characters and the author as well as the outside world do I have a book suggestion for you. It does start a little slow but as you get wrapped up in the mystery it becomes compelling and overarchingly funny. It actually had me guessing who the culprit was until it was revealed; I never saw it coming. So good.

Civil War by Stuart Moore:

            I love Marvel, I have the Civil War comic and I have read it so I knew what was coming but I like reading the novelizations because it allows for more detail and the ability for someone to visualize it without looking at pictures. It is nothing like Civil War the film which is one of my favorite Marvel movies, the only real similarity is the Registration Act, that’s about it. If you see them as completely separate entities they are both great. There are a lot more characters in the comic and novel but you know, studio licensing. 

            I hope to tell you more of the books that I read this year because, books. There isn’t much else I have to say in this post so I will see everyone in a few says with a new post.

            Stay safe, stay healthy,

            -MJ 

March Favorites

Sorry I disappeared again and missed an upload, my space bar stopped working last weekend so I had to take it to get fixed for the second time in a month…so much fun. That meant however that I didn’t have the ability to post on my usual day because I didn’t have my usual computer.

            Though guess who’s back, back again, MJ’s back, tell your friends. No seriously though, I am hoping for no more laptop issues so I can actually have a routine posting schedule. I’m trying, I really am.

            March favorites though, I had a few not as many as usual but still some great items that I found myself reaching for a lot in the month of March. 

            My parents were gone for a little over a week in March visiting family in the north and I was tasked with poodle care, they are both cute and I love them even though they were both pains in my butt for different reasons. It was nice just hanging out with them for such an extended period of time. By the end of it I was just really excited to go home and sleep in my own bed, alone, with no poodles in sight. They lived with me last year while my parent’s house was being finished so I spent a lot of time with them from May to the end of October when they moved about half an hour north west from where I live, it’s only like 15 miles but because the roads are so twisty it takes a lot longer to get there. 

            One thing for sure that was one of my favorites in late February and early March, even into this month was my Chromebook, I had a rocky start with it because I was sold a piece of software I couldn’t use and that was a mess but I am over it. The store I bought the computer from I probably won’t step into for a while because they made me feel like I had been had. It really came in handy when I didn’t have my regular laptop and I am a huge fan of it because I can use it as a laptop and a tablet. So convenient, I have been a Mac user for over a decade now but it’s kind of nice to have a second operating system on hand just in case. 

            Next was my facial oil, now I don’t use it every day because my skin is pretty acne prone and I noticed that when I add more oil to it I have a lot more breakout days. I was using Derma Deli’s Pumpkin Seed oil but it was too much for my skin even using it once every other day. So in February I switched over to Pacifica’s Super Flower, I do like it more it is not as oily as ones I have used in the past and I can use it slightly more often as long as I mix it in with my moisturizer. I know that’s not what you are supposed to do but that seems to be the only way that it will work and I don’t have major breakout issues. 

            I am trying to eat better this year, some days are easier than others in that department but I am also a person who snacks, I don’t know why but I do, stress eating and all of that. I found however that I really like prepackaged seaweed snacks and I am lucky enough to have an Asian market within 15 minutes of where I live. They are crunchy and not too many calories so it’s like chips but not as bad for you. You for sure have to like the taste of seaweed though and I know people who don’t so if you like seaweed I suggest you find some, I usually get mine at Wal Mart or Target but the Asian market has a much bigger selection of brands. 

            Last but not least, I have been on a cozy mystery kick this year, they are the only books that I have actually read, I’m on my 11thbook of the year and they have all been by two authors. The one that was one of my favorites last month was Carol J. Perry, I finally caught up with her Witch City Mysteries series and I couldn’t put them down, they are really fun and easy to read and they keep you guessing on “who done it” it adds an element of magic and witchcraft in a beautiful way where it’s not overbearing on how magic it is but it is used as a tool to help solve crimes. I just really enjoy the series, her main character is fiery and multi-talented with a cat sidekick and I love it so much. 

            If you are looking for cozy mystery recommendations I would suggest the Meg Langslow series from Donna Andrews, they are bird themed titles and that’s hilarious, or the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke and they are all baking themed, that is the series that I am currently reading. Though I need catch up with the three or four new books from Donna Andrews. I like reading cozy mysteries because they make great beach reads or reads during a break in your day, I read them while I am on the stationary bike and I find that when I get to the “good part” at the end of the book where the heroine or hero is in danger that I get my best workout times.

            I have so many books to read but I am on my mystery kick at the moment, a few years ago it was post 1900 pre World War 1 British period literature so I get on kicks and read ten or 15 books in the same vein and then get sick of them. 

            So that’s it for my March favorites, nothing really all that groundbreaking but I enjoyed them.

            Did you have any favorites in March? Got any book suggestions? 

            I’ll see everyone on Saturday for a new post!

            -MJ