Sunday Post #8 | Happy New Year

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Happy New Year to everyone! I know many people are happy to have 2020 behind them, but I am holding off on that sentiment until restrictions are a thing of the past. I will definitely celebrate having all these restrictions lifted and not having to think twice before running errands for the family or visiting family and friends – that day will be the start of a new year worth celebrating 🥳🍾🥂🎉

Everything has been quiet on the home front. We’ve already put away our Christmas decorations because the cats were driving us crazy with climbing on the tree and chomping on the lights. They refused to just let it be.

Since my in-laws were not here for Christmas this year – I decided to hide the my daughters’ gifts and provide a clue to the next gift on the one they found. This was a great way to stretch out Christmas morning and not focus on what was missing.

I also celebrated my anniversary last week. It was a big one but not THE BIG ONE. That one won’t be for a long while yet 🙂 We’ve gotten in the habit of going to The Melting Pot for our anniversary because their gluten free options are phenomenal, it is a quiet leisurely dinner, and the atmosphere is just perfect for it. We didn’t go out this year, but we were able to bring The Melting Pot to us with the cheese and chocolate fondues of our choice plus a salad. And the girls ordered from Door Dash and had their dinner in their rec room to give us alone time.

How was your week? Did you make any changes to how you celebrated the holidays or were you able to enjoy as you normally would?

My Book/Book Blog Year in Review

It has been a stellar year for my bookblog – 493% growth in views, 341% growth in visitors, and a whopping 922% growth in comments. Those figures simply astound me. I have no words.

My Goodreads’ Reading Goal for 2020 was 104 books. I read 153 books (Goodreads didn’t include my last book in this number but did at the bottom of the screen), though I’m still keeping 104 books as my goal for 2021. My average star rating was 4.4 – which means I either enjoyed most of the books I read or I am very nice when giving star ratings or maybe a bit of both 🙂 Also, I read more than 47, 289 pages!!!!

The only blog changes that I am making this year (that I know about – it’s always hard to predict these things where I’m concerned) are tweaks like I updated to a new WordPress theme but kept my blog theme of beach reading (which happens to be my absolute favorite place to read), I have been playing around with some post graphics, and I’m going to redo my about me section to explain why the theme of beach reading. So just fine tuning. Unless or until I have a brainstorm. It has happened before. 🙂

Randomhouse UK has Serpentine by Jonathan Kellerman as Read Now and I think I remember reading another book in this series, so I snatched this book up.

Description

The electrifying new Alex Delaware thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Ellie Barker is a self-made millionaire by the age of forty, and is obsessed with reopening the coldest of cases: the decades-old death of the mother she never knew. She hires LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis to help.

Twenty-five years ago Ellie’s mother was found with a bullet in her head in a torched Cadillac that has overturned on infamously treacherous Mulholland Drive. No physical evidence, no witnesses, no apparent motive. And a slew of detectives have already worked the job and failed.

This is a case that calls for the insight of brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. And as he and Sturgis begin digging, the mist begins to lift. There are too many coincidences. Facts turn out to be anything but. And as they soon discover, very real threats are lurking in the present…


Bad Habits by Flynn Meaney (Penguin UK) is a The Write Reads blog tour book. It looks funny – even the cover, so I’m looking forward to this read.

Description

Hilarious, bold, sparky and surprising, this is the funniest feminist book you’ll read all year.

Alex is a rebel with a purple fauxhawk and biker boots.

St Mary’s Catholic School is a strict boarding school where she’s currently trapped.

Despite trying everything she can to get expelled, she’s still stuck with the nuns, the prudish attitude and the sexism.

Fed up with life inside the hallowed halls of St. Mary’s, Alex decides to take matters into her own hands. She’s going to stage the school’s first ever production of The Vagina Monologues.

Which may be a challenge, as no one else at St Mary’s can even bear to say the word ‘vagina’ out loud…

A must-read for fans of Holly Smale, Derry Girls and Sex Education.


The town I live in has town reads every year and this year, they picked 4 books from 4 different genres. The YA choice is one that is definitely on my radar so I put myself on the library waitlist for it. It just came through yesterday and I can’t wait to dig in. I’m also looking forward to seeing what activities they have with this book!

Description

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

In case you missed any of my posts last week, you can find them here:

This week, I am resuming my normal posts

  • Tuesday (1/5): Book Review | Bone Canyon by Lee Goldberg (Mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
  • Wednesday (1/6): WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday (1/7): Book Review | Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg (mystery ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)
  • Friday (1/8): Book Blogger Hop: What upcoming books are you intrigued to read in 2021?

His Dark Materials finished this week and, if you watch it or are going to – here’s a tip for you – watch through the credits of the last episode. They give a teaser short scene for next season that will blow your mind. I only happened to see it because I didn’t have anything else to turn to, so I let it run while we were talking about it and boom! We were all stunned. HBO has done an amazing job with this adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s series, so much so that I want to reread the books.

How was your week? Did you read, watch, or do anything fun?

30 Replies to “Sunday Post #8 | Happy New Year”

  1. Happy new year, Tessa. I like the new theme. I was thinking of tweaking mine.
    Alex and Milo combination had been a fav of mine in the early years. I was wondering if I should pick this one up. So tempted

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Serpentine looks good but I haven’t started it yet. I’m looking forward to it and if you have the space in your schedule, I’d say go for it 😊

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  2. I also don’t know ahead if I am making changes on my blog, they are all done at the spur of the moment. I will hop on to see more about the beach reading theme. Have a great new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy new Year! I love the sound of the hunt for gifts it sounds like a lot of fun. I love your the new look of your blog. I want to do something with my main graphic and change my theme as well, but can’t quite find what I want at the moment. I guess I’ll just have to keep looking until I come across something I like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I do – just search through the themes and try them out to see what it will look like and how many options it has. It’s like a rainy day activity- lol. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy new year (a better year, let’s hope) and happy belated anniversary ! I’m leaving my Christmas decorations a little longer – they’re out of reach of the cats ^^ I need to watch the Dark materials series, I read the first two books (adored the first, the second left me in doubt), thanks for the tip 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The third is better than the second. Much better! And it is a wonderful show to binge watch ❤️ Cheers!

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  5. Happy New Year! I fell asleep watching a movie on New Year’s Eve, however, I did wake up around 11:30. So! I did see the New Year arrive. Someone in our neighborhood set off firecrackers at midnight.
    It’s cold here, so we’ve been saying close to the home fire.
    Serpentine sounds amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Someone set off fireworks here too and it sounded like it was right outside our bedroom window. I didn’t bother to go look though. I was too tired 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Definitely going to put Bad Habits under my TBR list. Thanks for the post Tessa 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on those wonderful blog stats! 😊 And I totally understand not celebrating the new year quite yet. I’m starting it off in a better place mentally than last year, but I’m also holding off until restrictions are lifted. Like you said, that would be a celebration.
    Have a great reading week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those stats just amaze me. And I can’t wait to let off the fireworks on the day when we are no longer in a “phase” ( NCs restrictions were done in phases and labeled as such). Have a wonderful week!

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  8. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year! I’m also a bit skeptical about that last one, Tessa, but I’m hopeful that a competent administration will get vaccinations rolling and things will start looking up! You had a great year of reading and blogging and I’m not surprised that your stats are booming. Let’s cross our fingers for 2021. Wishing you good health, prosperity, and plenty of things to smile about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! I will keep my fingers crossed for a speedy distribution but I have a feeling it will be sometime this summer before we start to feel the effects – like having the restrictions lifted. I hope your 2021 is absolutely fabulous ❤️

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  9. Happy New Year to you too, Tessa! 🎆 I am glad you were able to enjoy a quieter holiday and anniversary. My holiday was very different, as I would usual travel to the south coast to spend it with my mum and that side of the family. Our current restrictions stopped that and then I tested positive for Covid, so I spent it all at home in isolation. Oh well, it was a great excuse to stay in bed and re-watch all the Harry Potter films and many more films and TV shows, more than I could name here! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you didn’t have it too bad. Glad you were able to make the best of quarantine. Happy New Year!

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  10. Happy New Year and a happy belated anniversary. Looks like you had a pretty awesome reading year!!

    Bad Habits will be my next read as I’m too taking part in the blog tour too, can’t wait, looks like a fun read.

    Happy Reading!!❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to give it a go. Happy New Year and always happy reading 😊

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