Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year 2023! (A Sunday/Monday Post)

Not only are we starting a new week, but we are starting a new year as well.  And, unlike most years, where I am kicking off the new year with reading challenges, I'm kicking off the new year with a Sunday/Monday post.

As usual, I'll be linking up to:

Sunday Post
Sunday Salon
Stacking the Shelves
Mailbox Monday
It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

When we last checked in, I was in northern California for Christmas.  I'm back home now.  I drove down Tuesday.  After saying that traffic wasn't usually an issue driving around Christmas, I got stuck in traffic for several hours.  Not anything like those stranded due to weather have faced, but it was still pretty frustrating.

Worked Wednesday through Friday, although we did get off a couple hours early on Friday, which was nice.

And I really need to get moving on writing reviews.  I haven't written any before Christmas, so I've got three books I need to review.  That isn't like me.  I'm going through Christmas time burnout.  I just don't want to do anything, which is usually a pretty good sign that I shouldn't do anything.

Of course, I'm also thinking about the year ahead and how I can ease up on my posting schedule a little.  I've posted something every day, sometimes more than one thing a day, for 10 years now without any real days off.  I need some down time.  Hopefully, I will figure out a way to do that this year.

Not that you'd know it from the reading challenges I signed up for this year.  I believe I signed up for 17.  Of course, I kept my commitments to them low.  Most of them are just things I will naturally do as I read this year anyway, but we'll see what happens with them.

So what reading challenges did I sign up for this year?  Here's the list:

Cruisin' Through the Cozies/Craving for Cozies (similar themes, so all the same books will count)
Cloak and Dagger
Calendar of Crime
Historical Fiction
Foodie Reads
Southern Literature
Finishing the Series
Mount TBR
Virtual Mount TBR
New Release
NetGalley and Edelweiss
52 Books in 52 Weeks
Reading by the Numbers
Coyer Chapter 1 (although I plan to sign up for the others as the year goes along)

As I said, that should keep me busy, although most of those will be easy for me to hit my goals.  All the posts for these will go live tomorrow.

About half of these are new to me, too.  The other half are the ones I did last year and I'm doing them again.

This Past Week on the Blog:

This Coming Week on the Blog:

Sunday - Happy New Year (You are here)
Monday - Reading Challenge Sign Up posts (multiple posts)
Tuesday - Fatal Fascinators by Jenn McKinlay
Wednesday and Beyond - That is a great question

Honestly, I don't have much planned beyond Tuesday yet.  And I need to write a couple of reviews, but I'm not sure which will be posted when.  Hopefully, I will at least get Gone for Gouda reviewed on Thursday.

Book Haul:

As expected, I got books for Christmas.

The one I didn't expect was Her Dying Day by Mindy Carlson.  It wasn't on my radar at all even though it's from a publisher I often read.  A friend got it for me.  She is friends with the author, which is cool.  It sounds good, too, so I'm very anxious to read it.

Yes, there are two non-fiction books in there.  I'm a fan of Matthew West's music, and I really love his song "The God Who Stays," so I was interested in reading the book.  Meanwhile, I thought Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck sounded like a lot of fun.

And I got two historical mysteries.  Both are set in England in the 1940's.  A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver is set during World War II, and The Right Sort of Man by Allison Montclair is set after the war has ended.

And because those books weren't enough, I stopped by Barnes and Nobel while they were having their 50% off hardcovers sale.  I was looking for a couple of books, but the only one they had in stock was Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn.  I've been hearing lots of great things about it, so I'm looking forward to reading it.

What I'm Currently Reading:

As I type this, I've just barely started Aerobics Can Be Deadly by Ryan Rivers.  I've had a lazy Saturday, not doing most of what I planned today, including reading and writing reviews.  I had hoped I might get it read over Saturday and Sunday and been ready to start my next book, Oh Danny Girl by C. Michele Dorsey on Monday.  But we'll see if that winds up happening or not.

Once again, Happy 2023!  Hope you have a great start to the year this week.


  1. Happy New Year, Mark! I hope you enjoy Killers of a Certain Age, I really loved it.

  2. I'm amazed to realize that you have posted every day for ten years. Wow. I've been thinking about how to rein in my blogging. This year is my fifteenth year, and I would like to step back a bit.

    Look at all those wonderful books you got for Christmas. I hope you enjoy the nonfiction. I liked Life on the Mississippi, but all the boat talk was a bit over my head.

    Here's a bit from a lovely old poem:

    "Ring out the old, ring in the new,
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true...

    Ring out a slowly dying cause,
    And ancient forms of party strife;
    Ring in the nobler modes of life,
    With sweeter manners, purer laws...

    Ring out false pride in place and blood,
    The civic slander and the spite;
    Ring in the love of truth and right,
    Ring in the common love of good."

    And a toast: Here's to a year of wonderful reads!

  3. Matthew West's book is on my radar as well! I hope you enjoy all of these. I have not finished my sign-up posts for reading challenges yet. I think doing the challenges is fine, it's the logging the results that start to get tedious! Good luck and have fun with all of them!

  4. Thanks for the nice wishes on my blog and I hope you have a wonderful year with great books. I started thinning back the reviews and mostly doing mine on Goodreads. I like the sound of the Finish the Series Challenge.

  5. I hope 2023 is a great year for you and that you enjoy all the books and everything else that you enjoy doing in life! Happy New Year!

  6. 17 challenges and posting every day for 10 years?! You deserve a break (or at least a reduced posting schedule). :-) I think you are really going to enjoy Killers of a Certain Age.

  7. I got a copy of Life on the Mississippi, too... we'll see which one of us gets to it first! Happy New Year!

  8. Ugh traffic, but as you said, not stranded due to weather. Glad you made it to and from safely. I hit that after 10 years and added a guest blogger 2-3 Wednesdays a month, completely stopped posting on Saturdays and dropped Fridays during the summer.

  9. I am so hopelessly behind on reviews. Like, we are taking a couple hundred. I read to destress and there was a lot of stress at the end of 2022!

  10. Happy New Year! I've been thinking about cutting back on blog posts, too, but I probably won't succeed. Wow, 17 challenges! Good luck with them. I do find challenges to be enjoyable. Have a great week!

  11. I thought I was nuts signing up for 13 challenges - 17 is so ambitious! However, you clearly have a system for choosing and succeeding on your challenges which is exciting. I've joined a few of those as well, so I'm sure we'll be seeing each other often through the weeks/months. Happy Reading in 2023.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  12. I'm on the waitlist for Killers of a Certain Age and I can't wait. Good luck with all your challenges! I'm terrible at linking up with challenges so I basically just do Goodreads challenge and some of my own goals but I love seeing what everyone else does. Have a great week and happy New Year!

  13. I fell behind with posting too, but I think I'm back on schedule starting yesterday. In a normal week I usually post five days a week. Wednesdays and Thursdays are typically the only days I don't post. I am participating in Cruisin' Through the Cozies as well, but on my blog instead of on Goodreads this year. Enjoy the ride and have a great year! :-)

  14. Wow! Good luck with your challenges!

    Happy New Year.

  15. Mark, I hear you on feeling Christmas burnout. You are wise to listen to your body! I hope you can figure out a better posting schedule that will give you a break. It's no fun when it starts to feel like a burden.

    I loved both A Peculiar Combination and The Right Sort of Man. I think they both made my favorites list last year and others in the series this year.

    Happy 2023!

  16. I try to post 3x a week. I do a review on Monday and Friday, and share an excerpt from a book on Wednesday. It's helped me out a lot, especially when I'm in reading ruts.

  17. Ugh...I hate traffic. Hope you have a good year!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  18. Great variety in the books you received! I'd like to read more nonfiction this week but we shall see... Have a good week and Happy New Year!
    Mary @Bookfan

  19. Wow you are ready for some many book challenges in 2023!!

  20. I strongly support easing your posting schedule! When I was a "real" book blog (as opposed to just doing one wrap up post a week), I ended up getting burned out and it was no good! Blogging should be something the brings you joy. Have a great week! - Melinda @ A Web of Stories

  21. So many challenges! You also got a number of books that I've read or have on my stacks. Even though I'm avoiding WWII, I have Ashley Weaver's book since I've enjoyed others by her. I like that Montclair series too. Come see my week here. Happy reading and Happy New Year!

  22. Posting every day is BIG. I think you'll like the Deanna Raybourn book, for me a little too much murder but very well written.

  23. Happy New Year!
    Congrats, one of your books made it as my first addition to my TBR on 2023! (Life on the Mississippi).
    If you like scifi, this book I just got is so so good:

  24. Wow! You've posted something EVERY DAY for 10 years. That's amazing. I can't see why you feel burned out. Good luck figuring how to deal with that in 2023.

  25. I am glad you made it hope safely and before the storms hit. My brother's power was out for 23 hours and the highway and streets are all flooded around where he lives in Northern California. I was glad for all the rain we saw here in Southern California but am relieved it wasn't as bad for us as it was for those up north.

    Good luck with all your challenges! I am going to be doing a few of those too.

    I hope you enjoy your new books! I read A Peculiar Combination and really enjoyed it.

    I hope you have a Happy New Year, Mark.

  26. I want to embroider this onto a small wang hanging, "I just don't want to do anything, which is usually a pretty good sign that I shouldn't do anything."
    I sometimes find posting once a week overwhelming. I can't imagine every day for 10 years! No wonder you need a break.
    I'm planning on reading less books this year, so looking at all your challenges exhausts me just reading them. Of course, I haven't finished my MustReadIn2023 lists so I could very well be biting off more than I can chew.

  27. Glad your travels were safe. Wow- every day for 15 years is a lot. I have been 13 years and I am looking at slowing down also. You have so many challenges - I checked the Virtual TBR and had to laugh... as if we don't have enough books on hand!
    Your new books look good. I like the two non-fiction. Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

  28. Wow, 17 reading challenges. That's a lot. I was going to recommend my Poetry Reading Challenge, but you may not have the time, though there are 2 easy options on the list that you could consider.


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