Reading In Winter has MOVED!

Hey my lovely readers!

As I’m sure you can tell, I am NO LONGER blogging at Reading In Winter! If you like what you saw here, you can now catch me over at A Little Time To Read where I blog about books, motherhood, and crafting — among other things. :) You can still read the archives of Reading In Winter but this location will no longer be updated.

I hope you will continue to follow me on my new blog!



2014 End of Year Book Survey

end of the year book survey

Normally, I don’t take part in book surveys. In the past few years leading up to baby, I read so many books that it was so hard to pick out my favourites of the year. Despite the fact that I started blogging to remember what I was reading, it was still a little difficult to remember anything with a reading amount that high. Now, this past year I only read 120 books (that number includes a handful of picture books, too. Don’t judge me.) so I felt it would be a lot more fun to look back. Not only because of the amount read, but I felt like I was a lot more selective about what I was reading since I didn’t have a ton of time to devote to reading.

So without further ado, here are my answers to the 2014 End of Year Book Survey, hosted by the awesome Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner!

2014 Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 121. I had originally set my reading goal at 75, then raised it to 100. Like I said, there were a handful of picture books in there, too, so I’m thinking 100 seems to remain an attainable goal.

Number of Re-Reads: Surprisingly, only one! I seem to reread Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins every year.

Genre You Read The Most From: This is something I really should be tracking in Goodreads — perhaps something to work on in 2015 — but just from glancing through the books I read, I’d have to go with Historical. Most likely Historical Romance … because they are awesome. Of course, if “graphic novel” were a genre, I’d have to say that since I read a LOT of those this year.

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

This one was SO HARD! I would have to go with Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, which was only the 9th book I read this year. It stuck with me throughout the whole year!

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

This is a tough one. I’d have to say Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. This book took FOREVER to come out and after loving her first two books I figured this one would be epic, but it just fizzled for me.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

I would have to say Second Star by Alyssa Scheinmel. It’s a retelling of Peter Pan, which I had no idea about as I was reading, but it worked so well once I realized what it was about! So, so good. I know it’s been a hit or miss for other people, but I thought it was beautiful.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

Again, Me Before You. And The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. And anything by Tessa Dare.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

Favourite series started this year has to be the A Year of Brides series by various authors. Each month (starting with December) focuses on a new relationship. They’re more like novellas, rather than full-length novels, but they’re all really charming and have loveable characters. A bit of a religious emphasis, but still really good. I’d also have to go with Tessa Dare’s new series Castles Ever After, which was so much fun! The sequel for that one is out now and I can’t wait to read it.

I didn’t read too many middle-of-the-series books this year, but I’d have to say that Drums of Autumn (the fourth book in the Outlander series) by Diana Gabaldon and the handful of Night Huntress books I read by Jeaniene Frost were the top sequels this year … both are guilty pleasure series! And so worth reading! Oh, and definitely Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally!

And the best series ender of 2014 would have to be The One by Kiera Cass! I’ve loved this series since book one, so I’m very happy that it ended how it did! I’m also excited to see that there will be a spin-off series!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Can’t keep this at just one …. Alyssa Scheinmel, Mary Landry, Allie Brennan, Sarah MacLean, Nina LaCour, Jojo Moyes … all amazing!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Hands down, Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. I’m pretty sure ALL of his books have made me uncomfortable.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Definitely Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Ha ha … probably Anna and the French Kiss, since I reread that EVERY year. I also think I might reread Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally … it was so good!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?

everything leads to you

11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Hands down, Don Tillman of The Rosie Project!! Once you meet him, you just can’t forget him!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour. And Second Star by Alyssa Scheinmel.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

Toss up between Where I Belong by Alan Doyle and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Both were written by musicians. One made me think about where I come from (and made me want to visit other beautiful parts of Canada!) and the other made me think about how afraid we are to ask for things … and how easy it is to just ask.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Hmm … Shanghai Girls by Lisa See is one of them. I had only read ONE of her books in the past, but I loved it so much that I had to buy more of her books, but I never did get around to reading them. Once I read this one I was reminded of how much I love her writing! Also, I’d say Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks … I had heard SO MANY great things about this series but never got around to reading it — unbelievable since I love historical romance!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”
Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

“There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected.”
Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

“I asked you here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Longest is definitely Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. Shortest is really hard to pick out since I read a lot of graphic novels and their length just can’t compare to that of novels …. maybe The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman?

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost …. not like it shocked me in a bad way, or because something was crazy, but I didn’t expect to love Spade so much!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Oh god, Bones and Cat all the way!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

This was a hard one for me since I loooooove romance in books! Looking back through my books, though, I’d have to say the relationship between Raina and her sister in Sisters …

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Hmmm … Roomies by Sara Zarr or Breathe Annie Breathe by Miranda Kenneally. Both write AWESOME books!

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Mongomery. I don’t actually read a lot of books based on suggestions, but I’m pretty sure Anne over at Creativity’s Corner told me to read this one at some point. It was a Canadian classic, so I just HAD to read it! I don’t know why I waited so long!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

So tough. Can I say Will from Me Before You? Or Don from The Rosie Project? Or Spade from First Drop of Crimson? I get a LOT of fictional crushes.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion!

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

This one was tough … I’d have to say Such Wicked Intent by Kenneth Oppel. The books in this series are just so gothic and dark!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Definitely the Binky the Space Cat series by Ashley Spires and The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks. Both were so cute!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Again, Me Before You. And a book RARELY makes me cry!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Can I just say that I found some really, really great Canadian graphic novels this year? From Ashley Spires’s Binky the Space Cat to Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods to Faith Erin Hicks’s The Adventures of Superhero Girl … all were so much fun to read and I’m impressed by the amazing Canadian talent!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

And the award goes to … Me Before You! Again!

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

Hmm … I think one of my favourites was Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. COMPLETELY different from what I thought it would be! I’ll also throw in Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters which was just a crazy, crazy book.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I’m sad to say, but the whole idea of Gayle Forman’s Just One Night just ticked me off right from the beginning. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the second book in the series, but I felt like she wrote this one just to appease fans who weren’t happy about the second book. It makes me mad just thinking about it!

blogging bookish life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?   

My favourite book blog discovered this year is no longer in existence! I loved Finley Jane’s Gone to the Library … SUCH a cute blog and a great blogger, but sadly she hung up her hat a few months ago. :(

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?   

No idea … I really don’t keep track of my best reviews written, but I do think this review was kind of snarky.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?  

Is it sad that I’m saying my 2015 challenge post about Canada? Lately I’ve been trying to read more and more Canada so I decided to have something fun and unique for a Canadian reading challenge! It was so much fun writing this post, trying to make it as widespread across the country as I could make it.

I’d also have to say my Love Letter to Amanda Palmer was super fun to write!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?  

Oh gosh, I don’t think I participated in any author or book events this year! I did have a few fun things I did on my blog, like Book & A Cuppa, as well as Graphic Novel Week.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?  

When Amanda Palmer retweeted my post:

amanda palmer shares my blog post

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?  

My post about whatever happened to originality in book blogging — apparently that one hit a nerve with a lot of people!

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?  

My post about book timing … I thought it might have resonated with more people!

8. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Nothing really … it’s sad, I know, but I just haven’t been looking for new bookish sites or stores! I’ve been trying to at least read and that takes enough energy!

9.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yes! I not only completed my reading goal of 85 books, but I also completed my Book Bingo Reading Challenge! I really didn’t expect to get that one done!

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?    

Oh there were LOTS! I think two of my really highly anticipated ones include Into the Still Blue, the third book in the Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi. Also, Mortal Heart by R. L. LaFevers, the third book in the His Fair Assassin series. I love BOTH of these series and don’t know why I’m still putting off reading the final books!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?  

Definitely Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen! I LOVE her books! Also Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova. Oh, and definitely The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?    

I am TERRIBLE with a question like this since I rarely track new authors until I hear about them … I’ve seen The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi on a few lists and I think it looks pretty good!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?  

Probably The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson … I love that series!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?  

Oh gosh, I’d love to get organized! Or at least figure out some kind of system for tracking the books I buy/read/am gifted/etc. that is doable. I’ve tried doing different spreadsheets and whatnot in the past and I never keep up with it. I even forget to add books on Goodreads sometimes.

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: 

Ha ha … nope, can’t answer this one since I haven’t been reading any ARCs lately!

Whew! That took a LOT longer than I thought it would — it took 4 days to write! If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading about my bookish and blogging life in 2014! I hope 2015 is even more memorable. :)


Happy New Year, a rant about bookish problems, and my bookish goals for the New Year

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from little ol’ me at Reading In Winter!

2014 was a bit of a different year for me because I had my new little guy (well, new as of 2013). I didn’t know what kind of time I would have for blogging so I prepared a CRAPload of posts to schedule since I assumed I’d have NO time for blogging.

Well, halfway through the year that got thrown out the window because I was itching to blog, but had no open spots to blog in!


I had so much fun blogging this past year and was happy to see that I could work it into my life, along with all the other new things that had come along! I’m really hoping that 2015 will be even BETTER with blogging! Maybe I can finally get my mojo back. :)

Anyway, with the new year comes so many problems for me. Here are just a few:

1. My Haphazard Bookshelves

So, this past year I went through a few phases in my home library. I went from wanting to do the different coloured book spines thing … which didn’t really pan out. Then I decided to divide my books by books read and books unread … which basically led to books being piled on top of one another. When I wanted to find something it was such a chore, since I knew that I *owned* the book, but I couldn’t find the damn thing. So happy my husband took over all the childrearing on Tuesday so I could give my library a good cleaning and organizing! I boxed up a bunch of my non-fiction books that were just taking up space and tried to work out some better storage for my tea stuff which was also taking up a lot of space. All my books are alphabetical again, which I love!

Of course, I could’ve done this over the span of a week or so, but I was DETERMINED to get it done before the new year so I could concentrate on reading!

2. The Dilemma That is The First Book of the Year

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO FIND THAT FIRST BOOK?!? I have a *lot* of books at the ready — close to 700, if you include everything on my ereaders — yet it took a good week to decide what book should be that first read of the year, since I feel like that book sets the precidence for the WHOLE year!

What have my previous first books been?

2012 – Night Road by Kristin Hannah (So, so good!)
2013 – Shark Bait (Grab Your Pole) by Jenn Cooksley (Very cute!)
2014 – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (AWESOME!)

This year, I KNEW I couldn’t go wrong with this one:

the body electric

I LOVE Beth Revis, so I’m really hoping this one doesn’t disappoint!

3. Yeah, I Love Physical Books, But Everything Else Must Be Ready!

So yeah, I have over 300 physical books to read at home, but I had to be sure that both of my ereaders were charged, too. Not like their charge is going to last the whole year, but it seems like whenever I go to read a book on either of them, the battery is dead. This year I will be determined to keep them charged at all times!

Not only that, but I went through ALL of my physical books AND my ereaders and made a spreadsheet of everything I need to read. I plan to print it out and have it at the ready! That way, when I’m on my ereader, or finding a book on my shelf, I don’t have to fuss about going online to see if the book I want to read is the first or second in a series, or the fifth or ninth … I can just go to my spreadsheet and look it up! Simple.

I’ve been likening the new year to a new school year … everything has to be charged, my book journal (which I hope to keep this year) must be ready with freshly sharpened pencils, my books have to be in order and the shelves cleaned, spreadsheets have to be all ready to go … it’s exciting!

4. And Speaking of Keeping Things Charged, The Blog Must Be Ready! 

In the past week or so, I had been working on the same two books (finally managed to fit in one more book at the end of the month!), so in our TV time, when I wasn’t crocheting, of course, I’d be updating the blog! Making sure my archives were all up to date, all my other pages were up to date, making sure I had my menus ready for the new year, and making sure that I had anything for 2015 at the ready! It’s funny because last year I wanted to have everything planned and scheduled and now this year I’ll be going more by the seat of my pants … and I’m looking forward to it!

5. And Lastly, The Bookish Resolution I Make Every Year … 

BUY LESS BOOKS! Is it ever possible? I do love my local library, but I am TERRIBLE with the 3 week thing. Not only that, but I have a LOT of books, like I said, here that I can read, so why bother right now? I did preorder a bunch of new releases from next year, but I really hope to buy a lot less this year. I don’t need to have months where I buy 30+ books, but I could range it from 2-5. I mean, that’s MUCH more doable.

Of course, I say this every year and never ever keep it, so all I can do is try, right?

On the same note, I want to add that I am going to try my darndest to JUST SAY NO! To review books, that is! I actually didn’t do too bad this past year, but goshdarnit, I like reading what I want when I want and I feel like review books just mess up that plan and make me anxious. I may make exceptions if it’s something I’m really, really, really looking forward to, but then I might just preorder a finished copy.

My 2015 Reading Goals

Read 100 books

Keep on top of the blog once a week (at least!)

Find the time to read — even if it’s just a few minutes a day!

Interact with my blogging friends on social media more! Devote at least 10 minutes a day to interaction and not just reading what everyone else is saying.

Devote at least 10-20 minutes to blog reading and replying.

Keep my home library organized!!

When I love a book, I will share, share, share it!

Read more Canada! Try to accomplish at least one of my Canada challenges.

Take time to NOT read if I want to — play the piano, or crochet, or take a nap! Spend time playing with the boy, or cuddling with the husband, or even learning a new recipe!

Read more with my little boy! Devote at least 20 minutes of daytime hours to reading (since he gets lots of stories before bed, too).

What are some of the problems you have as a reader when the new year hits? Do you have any bookish goals for 2015?