Simply the Book Blog of a loyal servant and daughter to the King of kings.
Another year has somehow sped behind us! As I’m quite sure everyone with agree with and say themselves, it feels like we just welcomed 2018, but here we are at the close of it, 2019 on its heals.
As every year, 2018 has been full, with highs and lows, adventures and troubles, blessings and trials. And it has all grown us. I praise God for all He’s taught me this year, even though it meant a lot of rough patches.
Life preceded over blogging this year…I had some good several months there where I did author interviews and character spotlights each month which was really loads of fun and I enjoyed it so much. But as the rest of the year continued, time slipped away and I wasn’t able to organize blog posts as well. Computer problems never help with blogging either, and we had our fair share of that this past year too.
Of the author interviews, there were 7 total:
And 8 character introduction posts:
Books! What would a yearly wrap-up be without books? At least coming from me ;) At the beginning of 2018 I had hoped I’d be able to read 80 books, but knew that was probably a bit unrealistic, so I lowered it to 75. Then half the year went by and I realized I might not be able to make that goal either, so down to 70 it went. I didn’t want the goal to become a stresser, because reading is a very pleasurable thing, not a drag. I made that goal, and ended up making my previous goal too. I read a total of 77 books in 2018, equaling 20,293 pages, approximately. Goodreads kept track of it all for me, in addition to my book-notebook that I keep. If you wanted a more in-depth look at the books I read, you can check my goodreads wrap up here. :)
And as I always attempt to do, I have selected some of my favorite reads of 2018! That was a mighty hard task though, let me tell you. I love all de books. <3
And as last year, I have chosen my Top Twelve instead of ten or less, because that is just not realistic for me. ;) So without further ado…. My Top Twelve.
Twelve beautiful books – And yes, I realize that there are only eleven in the picture. That would be because the 12th is an ebook :) You can click on the titles below and they will lead you to my reviews of each one.
“The Masterpiece” by Francine Rivers
“Thief of Corinth” by Tessa Afshar
“An Hour Unspent” by Roseanna M. White
“A Light on the Hill” by Connilyn Cossette
“The Sea Before Us” by Sarah Sundin
“A Rumored Fortune” by Joanna Davidson Politano
“Storm Front” by Susan May Warren
“The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel
“Isaiah’s Daughter” by Mesu Andrews
“The Hunter and the Valley of Death” by Brennan McPhearson
“If Only It Were Yesterday” by A.M. Heath
“Through a Glass Darkly” by Jack Lewis Baillot
Annnnd because I am who I am, I have made an Honorable Mentions List. AND a very short list for my favorite short stories of the year :)
“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson
“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna M. White
“A Promise to Break” by Kathlyn Spurgeon
“Picking Daisy” by Valerie Howard
“Escape and Endurance” by Sarah Holman
“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette
“The Writing Desk” by Rachel Hauck
“The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond” by Jaime Jo Wright
“Finding The Magic” by Jack Lewis Baillot
“Shot at Love” by Sarah Loudin Thomas
“A Heart So Tender” by Debra E. Marvin
And that wraps up the year! Well, it wraps up this blog post. ;) Happy New Year, readers!! And THANK YOU for being a follower of my blog. It really does bless my heart, and even though I’m rather bad at posting frequently, I do appreciate each and every one of you! <3
Just an impromptu post here…
Does this quote resound with anyone else? I had it up at my graduation open house a few years ago because I love it. And it came to mind because I’ve been thinking about communication a fair bit lately, and so much of the time I wish I could have a sign on me that comes with a warning of some kind. ;) I struggle with expressing myself through verbal words, sometimes assuming the other person will automatically know what I am thinking or meant to say. Writing fiction comes so much more naturally to me, but I can’t speak in fiction. ;) I wish I could say that even communicating online came easily to me, but frankly, it does not. I over-analyze yet underestimate that what I say may not really express what I meant. So if I’ve spoken to any of you and you have no idea what I meant – don’t worry. It’s me, not you. XD
I’m comfortable when I write fiction. My current WIP’s main character is so much like me that I understand her probably better than any past character of mine. She’s socially awkward too. And I don’t say that in a cutesy way because while amusing, it is a struggle. I’ll say something (in life or online) and then regret it afterwards just because it probably didn’t make much sense. But I know that my God understands me. In my broken-speech, He sees the heart, and I rejoice in that. I think that is one of the reasons He blessed me with the ability to write stories, because it’s often there that I feel the most understood.
June was an extremely busy month – I felt that I barely had time to breathe sometimes. Summer began in earnest, though there were a few days of cooler weather tucked within the June days. Not as many as I would like, but then I would gladly have a longer Fall and Winter ;)
The heat really has been sweltering lately, and without air-conditioning…I feel like I’m going to melt away. Haha.
We started selling at our local farmer’s market again once a week, which has been going well, but takes up a lot of our time in prep-work. I’ve added to my necklaces – now in addition to the Pixie Dust and ‘Drink Me’ ones, I have some “Message in a Bottle” necklaces, “Dragon Scales”, and “Wishes”. They look pretty cute if I do so say myself. ;) I need to update the blog site I created for them at some point….
June was just filled with life-stuff, as usual. We got butcher chickens, and they are quickly becoming annoying and ugly. XD We got the garden in, and spent a whole day weeding (I got sunburned, of course), re-fenced the horse pasture (still need to add the wire line but so far the tape keeps Pepper and Adora in), and other life stuff happened.
I was happily introduced to the amazing movie, “The Greatest Showman”, and that has been a near-constant high. ;) It really is a remarkable movie, and probably shouldn’t even get me started on it… ;)
So! Among the busyness and constant running, I managed to actually read a decent amount this month. My sister and I read before bed each night, which helps immensely with that. ;)
If already reviewed, you can click on the covers to go there. :) I will have the remaining reviews posted soon, hopefully!
Added to my collection:
Isn’t that cover of “Anne of Avonlea” stunning? And I found it at a Free Little Library! So cute.
Oh and see that little Paris lamp to the right? I found that at a garage sale and was so thrilled because I’ve been wanting an Eiffel Tower figurine thing and this is perfect. :)
Main Monday Posts from June:
Devotional Type Post: “It’s Okay”
Jesus Calling // Quest for Leviathan // Among the Poppies // Enchanting Nicholette // The Orphan’s Wish // A Breath of Hope // Trust and Obey //
On this fine Monday, I thought I would take a page from “The Heart Between Us” by Lindsay Harrel, and share my own sort of Bucket List. I’ve never actually really made one before, but I thought it might make a rather fun blog post. ^.^ So, enjoy reading some things I would like to do one day! In no particular order. :) And if you feel so inspired, please do share your own bucket list either in the comments or in your own blog post and share the link with me – I’d love to read it!
Raechel’s Bucket List
Publish a Book
Meet my best friend for the first time
Get married/raise children
Visit India and experience life there (and buy a sari :) )
Have my own personal library
Visit Russia, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Scotland, just because these are all amazing places
Attend an old-fashioned ball
Ride on a train
Explore a castle in Ireland
Own and ride a dragon ;)
So, obviously that is only a small list, but given more time I’m certain I could name a few more things I want to do. In on odd way, I’m not a huge future-planner. I like day-to-day plans, but for the future…it’s not something I think of much. I figure that what will happen, will happen. It’s in God’s hands. :) But it is fun to dream isn’t it?
(In case you missed it, I interviewed Lindsay Harrel at the beginning of this month, and shared a character introduction for one of her characters, as well as reviewed the book. You can check those out here: Interview Character Introduction Review )
Thanks for reading! Are any of my items on your own bucket list? :)
Yeah, I know. I should’ve resisted it. Too easy, right? But I just couldn’t. Not when it is just asking for it….I mean, it’s MAY. ;)
Which is now over. The beginning of the month was fair, temperature wise, but towards the middle and end it turned scorching hot…I’m dreaming of winter. ;)
This month consisted of reading, a visit to a park with family and extended family (wherein I remembered the joys of swinging. So freeing!), yard and garden work, and some more reading in between. Besides the heat, it was enjoyable. :) Not without its trials, but what life is?
The books I read:
– I read a couple more stories in this collection.
The first three you can click on to read my review, the next two have reviews that will be posted soon, same for “Enchanting Nicholette”, and the SMW books – my reviews are on Goodreads. :)
Books added to my already-too-big collection:
Three are review books, one is from Tyndale Rewards (where you can sign up to earn points towards FREE books! <3), a couple were book-swaps, and the rest were garage-sale and library sale finds, besides “Ain’t Misbehavin'” which I purchased on a FB group. :)
Yep. What else can I say than that I love books?
May Post Sum Up:
And posted about the GDPR news HERE, and also reviewed “Judah’s Wife” HERE.
And a Cover Reveal HERE.
And here’s to June, right? May we survive the heat. ;)
How was your May, readers? Any exciting news to share? Books read? Feel free to comment and we can chat!
A while ago, Shantelle at Between the Pages of this Bookish Life, tagged me, and I am now finally getting around to posting my answers. ^.^ Thanks, Shantelle!
So, here we go!
Hello! And surprise – this post is actually being posted while it’s still March!! I must say, I’m rather impressed with myself. ;) Just kidding.
So, March. We had the lovely opportunity of visiting the Aquarium this month, and met up with some friends there too, which was very nice. We all enjoyed ourselves, and it was a very good time. :) I’m still sad the Aquarium no longer allows visitors to pet the stingrays as they have in years past, but what can you do?
In our spare time, my Mum, younger sister, and I have been watching Season Six of Little House on the Prairie. If you’re familiar with that show, you’ll already know that’s when Almanzo enters the scene. ;) I love watching Laura Ingalls try to prove she’s not a little girl anymore, and fail horribly at doing so… ^.^ Though I will admit there are a couple episodes I am not fond of because of the unrealisticness of them…the writers just want drama (and no, not the original book author, Laura herself. The tv show writers). But anywho!
I read quite a bit this month, which was nice:
Clicking on their covers will lead you to my review of the book. (The one without a cover is “Pop Tops and Smiley Faces” by Ann Naedele”). All of them have been reviewed, except for “A Light on the Hill”, which will be posted soon! :)
My favourite of the month? It’d be a close tie between “The Sea Before Us” and “A Light on the Hill”. Both so good and highly recommended!!
I got a few books this month. Unfortunately our camera also decided to stop working this month, so I couldn’t take pictures. But here are the books I got:
I requested my last review copy from Blogging for Books (the Karen Barnett book). I’m so sad that BfB is closing its doors. That was one of my top favourite review-programs, and my first – good ol’ Blogging for Books is what started me into my reviewing journey! <3
So yes, quite a few…needless to say, I don’t have much book-spending money at the moment. ;) But it was all worth it. BetterWorldBooks has fair prices and free shipping which is amazing. The condition of the books are often a bit rough, but still readable!
Have you read any of these books?
I also was super pleased to review a Booksleeve this month, and you’ll see it in future pictures too, because it’s just so cute!
As for other blog posts…
March 5th//Author Interview with MacKenzie Morganthal
March 12th//Character Introduction – Haley Hampton
March 19th// “Yet” devotional post
And there were also some book-reviews posted between the Mondays. :)
Be on the lookout for a new Author Interview Post this Monday!! It’s a great one too :D
How was your March, friends? Happy Passover/Resurrection Day :)