Sunday, January 14, 2018

December Wrap-Up


December is finally over and with it, 2017 has also come and gone.  It's kind of strange that a whole year has passed since the dreaded 2016... In any case, I'll be doing a whole year end wrap up in a week or so (when I get my life together enough to pull together ALL the stats).  For this post, I'll be focusing on the lovely month of December.



Statistics:

Number of Pages Read: 4,661

Total Books Read: 16
Rereads: 6
Reviews Posted: 7

Distribution of Ratings:
5 star: 8
4-4.5 star: 5
3-3.5 star: 3
2-2.5 star: 0
1-1.5 star: 0

Numbers of Authors Read: 8
Number of Series Book Read: 12
Number of Stand-Alones: 4

The Books:
Read:
The Good Girl - Mary Kubica (4.5) (Review to come)
Artemis - Andy Weir (5 - possibly subject to change) (Review)
The One and Only - Jennifer L. Armentrout (#4.5) (4) (Review to come)
Series Extras - Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant series) (4) (Review to come)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz (3.5) (Review)
Rebellion - Molly Patterson (5) (Review to come)
Cards on the Table - Agatha Christie (#15) (4.5) (Review)
Appointment with Death - Agatha Christie (#19) (3) (Review)
A Holiday for Murder - Agatha Christie (#20) (4) (Review)
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie (#22) (3) (Review to come)


This was an interesting month.  I've finally been able to get back into reading some non-rereads which is lovely but I still haven't entirely gotten out of my review slump.  Hence the many 'review to come's.  The Good Girl was a very good thriller.  It seem like something else entirely as you're going through the book, but then, once you get to the end, there's this major twist that turns everything you think you know on it's head.  It's gorgeous, really.  I have mixed feelings about Artemis.  When I first read it, I was blown away by the science (like in The Martian) but then, as I reread sections and read other reviews, I noticed that I had almost entirely ignored the fact of genuine character development.  There will be a new review out soon with a revised ratings and more of an explanation.  I came upon The One and Only and Series Extras almost entirely by accident.  I've been rereading the Covenant series by JLA and when I was going back and looking at the series on Goodreads, I found those two short stories!  They're both great additions to the series for any fan although they're necessary to the plot.  If you're looking for more of Aiden's POV, that's where you'll get it!  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was interesting, I'll give it that.  However, I found the whole point of it to be rather obscure and ambiguous.  It did give me a chance to practice my Spanish, though, and the cultural immersion is really poignant.  I read Rebellion after I heard the author would be having an event in my area and I'm so glad I did!  It weaves together four different stories that are connected by both theme and literal biological connections which I found was very interesting and fun to figure out as the novel progressed.  Cards on the Table is the first Agatha Christie book I read for winter break and it was an interesting one to start out with.  It isn't Christie's usual set-up but I found I enjoyed it nonetheless.  I followed that up with Appointment with Death which, admittedly, wasn't one of my favorite Christie novels.  It just wasn't very memorable for me and the ending was slightly disappointing.  A Holiday for Murder was slightly better.  There's a great twist at the end and even though it was slightly out of left field, it wasn't entirely inconceivable.  Sad Cypress was my last read of the month and again, it was just okay.  This one I didn't enjoy as much merely because everything seemed incredibly obvious to me which kind of took away a lot of enjoyment I normally get from Christie's books.


Rereads:
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers  (#1) (5) (Review)
Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas (#1) (5) (Review)
Half-Blood - Jennifer L. Armentrout (#1) (5) (Review)





Pure - Jennifer L. Armentrout (#2) (5) (Review to come)
Deity - Jennifer L. Armentrout (#3) (5) (Review to come)
Elixir - Jennifer L. Armentrout (#3.5) (5) (Review to come)


It was also an excellent month for rereads.  These are all some of my favorite books to reread.  Currently, I'm still rereading Apollyon (#4 in the Covenant series) but I'm hoping to finish rereading the series soon.  Of course, like HP, the ending is the saddest part.  I'm also rereading the Throne of Glass series right now.  I still haven't decided whether I'm going to adjust my ratings for any of the Covenant books but I don't think I will just yet.  I still enjoyed them and they have their own place in my heart.  Do take note, if you read these reviews, that I wrote them a very long time ago so they're a little less than eloquent!


Currently Reading:
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding - Agatha Christie (#35)


I'm currently on an Agatha Christie binge and I've been posting review round ups with three books each .  I don't know what it is about them but they're very addicting!  I've literally just picked this one up (I'm on the first page) so I have no impressions so far.







Movies:
Christmas in Evergreen
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Mulan
A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song
Get Smart
Safe Haven
Roman Holiday
Marry Me At Christmas
A December Bride
Arrival
The Hunt for Red October
Mulan 2
Clear and Present Danger
A Christmas Prince
Bridget Jones's Diary
American Made
American Assassin
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
2 Guns
The Greatest Showman



As you can probably tell, this month was a great month for movies.  A couple of these are rewatches (Mulan, Mulan 2, Safe Haven, Christmas Vacation, The Hunt for Red October, and Clear and Present Danger) but the rest were my first time seeing them.  I'm not going to go into too much detail, but my favorite movie this month has to be The Greatest Showman.  If you haven't seen it yet, it's completely worth it to see it in theaters with the big screen and surround sound.  The visuals and the soundtrack are beautiful.  Another favorite was Arrival.  Again, the visuals and the soundtrack are wonderful and the cinematography is gorgeous.  Roman Holiday is a nice, cutesy old black and white movie.  Bridget Jones's Diary is hilarious and it's perfect for a girl's night in!  The two Hallmark movies were equally cutesy and perfect for the Christmas season.  A Christmas Prince is as laughable as you've been hearing.  There are some seriously questionable practices going on but it actually makes it kind of ridiculously hilarious.  American Made, American Assassin, and 2 Guns were all adequate action movies.  My favorite out of the three would have to be American Made.  I didn't love them, but they were pretty good.  Get Smart was pretty funny and the cast is an interesting combination.


On the Blog:

50/50 Friday:
50/50 Friday (61): Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in November
50/50 Friday (62): Newest/Oldest Book You Own
50/50 Friday (63): Favorite/Least Favorite Sidekick
50/50 Friday (64): Favorite/Least Favorite Christmas-Themed Book
50/50 Friday (65): Favorite/Least Favorite Christmas/Winter-Related Trope

Wrap Ups:
November Wrap-Up

Music Mondays:
Music Monday (7)

Reviews:
Review: Artemis by Andy Weir
English Course Mini Review Round Up: Part 1
English Course Review Round Up: Part 2
English Course Review Round Up: Part 3

A Guide:
A Guide: The Wonders of Images


Life Updates:
As for TV shows that I've been loving, I've mostly been sticking to Criminal Minds and Pretty Little Liars.  Because of all this reading and movie watching, there hasn't been too much time for TV watching.  I'm currently starting season 6 of Pretty Little Liars and I'm in the middle of season 8 of Criminal Minds.

I officially finished my third semester of college right at the end of December and my final exams went better than I could have hoped!  I ended up with a 4.0 (the highest you can get) for the semester which is excellent and exactly what I needed.  Now, I just need to worry about scholarships and such so I can pay for my next year of university.  I'm not able to work over winter break (where I worked in the summer didn't want me back for the month so I'll be dallying about the house, seeing friends, knitting, sewing, reading, and watching Netflix.

I've been listening to so much new music I'm going to just do another Music Monday this Monday!  As an overview, though, I've been loving The Greatest Showman's soundtrack, the Les Mis soundtrack, the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack, and Taylor Swift's new album, Reputation.

Mostly, I spent the month studying and spending time with family for the holiday's!



I hope your December was just as great as mine!  Have you read any of these books or seen any of these movies?  What did you think of them?  Do you have a preference between watching movies or TV shows?  I hope you all have a lovely January!

8 comments:

  1. Wow, it seems like it has been a great month for rereads! I absolutely loved JLA's Deity series, and I always remember Covenant as one of my favorite series finales. I haven't read anything by Agatha Christie, but I should definitely start now. Happy January!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. It has! I don't know what it is about December, but during the beginning of the month, I was a reread machine. Yes, that series finale is so wonderful! Heartbreaking, but wonderful :) Thanks for stopping by, Rachel!

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  2. Holy cow, Laura! You accomplished so much this month. It makes my December look pathetic in comparison. Even with some novellas in the mix that’s a ton of reading. And all those movies? I’m impressed. My the list and tb”watched” lists are so out of control and some how I don’t ever get to them.
    Have a great new year! Oh, and I’d love a review of The Good Girl.

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    1. Haha well it helped that I was home and had basically nothing to do except prepare my gifts for Christmas! I also kind of panicked because I was so far from meeting my Goodreads goal... My movie and TV show list are so out of control, too! I have so many on both my Amazon and Netflix lists and I'm trying to get to them, but there are always more movies to watch. Hopefully I'll have the time to write that review asap! Thanks for stopping by, Jenny, and I hope you had a great new year too!

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  3. Wow - you read so much! That's amazing! I STILL haven't read Throne of Glass...I'm so behind. XD

    Congrats on getting a 4.0 - THAT'S INCREDIBLE!

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    1. Haha well it helps that I have a whole month with not a whole lot to do! If it helps, I haven't read basically ANY of the fabulous new releases that came out last year or a lot of older popular series so I'm making 2018 my year for catching up.

      Thank you! Hopefully it'll happen again next semester! Thanks for stopping by, Kyra :)

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  4. Hey Laura! Doing a bit of a catch up after being away and I'm glad to see you ended the year on a high. Congrats!

    I'm also loving the Greatest Showman soundtrack although I haven't seen the movie yet.

    Hope to catch up with you soon!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Di! I'm glad to see that you're back!

      Right, it's such a great soundtrack! I mostly loved the movie for the music and the visuals (mostly because the plot wasn't really entirely accurate which is understandable but is still a knock against it).

      Thanks for stopping by, Di!

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