2021 A Year in Review

It’s been a long year, hasn’t it?

It’s been a long year, hasn’t it? Who would have ever thought that the pandemic would be still dragging on at this point? It’s been almost 2 full years of the pandemic and it has impacted every aspect of our lives. We started out the year with vaccinations being approved which made us all hope for a swift end to things. Alas! So many people have still not gotten vaccinated, which has enabled the virus to mutate and surge in waves. With the holidays currently running, another surge is expected as people travel home for the holidays.

So how has all this impacted you? For myself, I find that despite not being able to get out as much, I don’t have the time I’d like to have for myself. When I checked my blog stats, I posted a whopping 283 posts! That’s almost 1 post per day! But along the way, I discovered some things about the posts. I needed to put more of myself in them.

My husband’s take on all this was that I was overwhelming myself trying to do a post a day. So let me see about changing that. Now there will still be Lifestyle posts, in fact, I will have a guest post next week. I also want to start including some Blog Tour Posts on new books.

The main focus of the blog will still be on book reviews, but if I’m honest with myself, that doesn’t mean that I have to write all the reviews. I may flirt with reposting reviews from other blogs.

My year in books

I took a look at my GoodReads stats and was really surprised.

  • 424 books read
  • 70,867 pages read
  • Shortest book – 22 pages
  • Longest book – 1209 pages (Lord of the Rings)
  • Average length – 167 pages
  • Most popular book shelved – Lord of the Rings (414 people)
  • Average Rating – 4.23
  • Highest Rated on Good Reads – 4.95 (Submission by Delta James)
  • First Review of the Year – His Human Claim by Stella Rising
  • Last Review of the Year – Alien Conqueror by Sara Fields

I have to laugh at myself. These stats would have been very different if I had remembered to mark all the ones that I was REREADING again!

Last Thoughts

It’s been a long year for my house. My husband’s decreasing mobility has meant that I spend a lot more time caregiving than I do other things. Thanks to a visit from a friend from Ohio, I’ve started taking time for myself away from the house. Right now, I’m attending Country Church with a newly widowed friend on Saturday nights. When I can, I take a walk.

If you’ve found yourself serving as a caregiver for a loved one, remember to take time for yourself as well. It will make a world of difference for you.

Till next year!

Sandy, the Reluctant Retiree!

The Sunday Post #21-18

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

Welcome!

Welcome to another Sunday Post! If you are reading this, I included links to the book reviews from the past week. If you are listening to the podcast, I’ve included the entire book review post within this podcast. Enjoy people and let me know what you think!

Book Reviews from Last Week

Her Mad Dragon by Julia Mills

One lone dragon pulled from his mountain to save the clan he’s sworn fealty to and the only family he’s ever known.

One Grand Priestess, the most magical witch of her time, the leader of her kind, and a survivor of torture.

Two powerful beings, blessed by the Goddess, destined by the Universe… a couple unlike any other.

Can their combined magic, all the love that they have and a faith in all they hold dear be enough to defeat the evil that’s sworn to destroy them all?

How Are You Doing?

During this pandemic, my local ABC station has been playing a commercial that features this statement. Asked by different news staff, the emphasis changes from person to person. The point being that we can all get through this pandemic, together.

If you read Sunday’s post, then you are aware that my oldest daughter has been diagnosed with Covid-19. We both have Amazon’s Echo Shows, so I was checking in with her to see how she was doing. In doing so, I was reminded of another couple who are friends of ours.

Rebel Wolf by Anna Lowe

Sophie Wilkins — bookworm and smoothie chef extraordinaire — has moved to Maui for a reminder of all the beauty and love in the world. And love is what she gets from shy, retiring, and utterly gorgeous man she meets. Chase is everything her lonely heart has ever yearned for. He’s mysterious too, with a raw, animal intensity that appeals to a wild side she never knew she had.

Healing of the Wolf by Cherise Sinclair

A decade in captivity tore away all hope.

But Margery never lost her resolve to help the sick. The village she’d hoped to serve as banfasa, caring for the ill and injured, is long gone. Humans captured the young shifters and killed the adults. Finally rescued, she has a chance at her dreams—at least for meaningful work. With her leg crippled and her face scarred, she knows she has no hope of ever finding love.

The First Starfighter: Game 1 by Grace Goodwin

Starfighter Training Academy. It was just a game. The newest, hottest video game release of the year. Choose a role. Build the perfect hero who joins you on missions to save the Vega star system from the evil Queen Raya and her merciless Dark Fleet.

Wolf Unleashed by Heather Long

Change swept through the packs of North America, leaving in its wake seven packs where once only five stood. Old enemies still lurk, past hatreds fester, and the shadow of invaders linger. The challenge of diplomacy, evaluating the old laws, and instituting the new ones falls squarely on the shoulders of the pack Seconds. It’s a whole new world, and what took so long to construct…remains vulnerable.

It can happen anywhere.

Face it folks, when we are watching the evening news and they show neighborhoods where there has been some kind of crime, our first reaction is “that would never happen in my neighborhood.” It’s just human nature to assume that nothing bad ever happens around us. The truth is, it does.

I live in a very quiet neighborhood. The most exciting thing to happen here is when a nearby street was closed for repaving, and all the traffic was rerouted on to our street. This led to a lot more speeding than we normally see. Then this morning, something else occurred.

As I turned the corner from our trailer park on to the street, I was greeted with the sight of police tape across the street at the bike trail and the street was filled with police cars. Both from the city I live in, and the one that starts on the other side of the street. Now this was decidedly not a normal occurrence!

An admittedly nosy question to a police officer  yielded the story that it was still an active crime scene. For me, that was enough said. As I turned to go down the trail, a young woman who could barely keep herself together, walked up. She was a family member, and my heart hurt for her.

As I took Coco on her second walk. I noticed that the police presence had reduced. A question to the volunteer you see in this photo got me the information that the other officers had been sent home to get some sleep. In other words, this crime started sometime during the night. As I said before, this is a quiet area. Our peace had been shattered.

As the morning went on, other police officers arrived. Here’s the police photographer taking shots down the street.

The Mobile Command Center was a surprise. The local NBC affiliate was there talking with people. Surprisingly, a crew from Telemundo News was there. I didn’t know the family who was involved, but the Spanish crew was a wonderful addition

The next time you are tempted to think that crime couldn’t touch your neighborhood, think again. Look at the peaceful street behind the police vehicle. It could happen anywhere.

P.S.

The local news services reported later that this was a double homecide. Two older women, believed to be mother and daughter, were killed during the night. The suspect is a 19 year old man who climbed in a window and grabbed the sharpest kitchen knife he could find. It is believed to be a random attack.

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