Saturday, December 30, 2023

A Year in Review: 2023 / Current Reads / Recent Purchases & Bookish Loot

I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted by Kim of Caffeinated Book Reviewer and The Sunday Salon (TSS) hosted by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz  where participants recap our week, talk about what we are reading, share any new books that have come our way, and whatever else we want to talk about. I am also linking It's Monday! What Are you Reading? hosted by Kathryn of Book Date where readers talk about what they have been, are and will be reading.

I am linking up Stacking the Shelves hosted by Marlene of Reading Reality a meme in which participants share what new books came their way recently.  

Happy New Year! Or nearly so as I write this. We have plans to ring in the new year with friends, but first I wanted to check in and say hello. We had a nice Christmas, although we all felt the absence of my father-in-law. We were fortunate to have my mom, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law here for the holiday. There were lots of hugs shared.

It was an especially rough week at work, and I ended up taking a much needed mental health day this past Friday. Hopefully the long weekend will rejuvenate me somewhat. 

Two thousand twenty three has been quite the year with its ups and downs in life, reading and in blogging. I had high aspirations for my blogging and in catching up on reviews, but it wasn't meant to be. I suffered through a couple of major reading slumps, and yet I still managed to read quite a bit in the end and am happy with how things turned out. I read many great books, reading more from my TBR and blacklist than I anticipated. 

Thank you for your visits and comments this past year. It means so much to me. I am glad to be a part of this community and to be able to connect with you--whether through my blog or yours. I have enjoyed visiting with you and look forward to seeing what this coming year will bring us, both in books and in life. 

Some Fun Meaningless 2023 Reading Statistics:

Number Of Books Read: 75

Genres Read:
(Some of what I read falls under more than one genre. Here, I count them under the genre I most identified with the book. Also of note, my categorization of each book by sub-genre using broad definitions).

Mysteries/Suspense/Thrillers - 22
        Cozies (contemporary setting) - 8 (3 of  which had paranormal elements)
        Historical - 7
        Suspense/Thriller - 6
        Gothic - 1 
Fantasy - 20 (including 7 middle grade Fantasy novels)
Manga - 13
Fantasy - 11
Mystery/Thriller - 2
Nonfiction - 7
Memoir - 3 (2 of which were graphic novels)
History - 2 
Grammar - 1
Psychology/Child Development - 1
Fiction - 4
Poetry - 4 (1 novel in verse)
Romance - 3
Science Fiction - 2
DNF - 1 (not included in count)

Of the books I read, 4 were audiobook, 35 were e-books, and 36 were in print (hardcover or trade).

The longest book I read was Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities #7) by Shannon Messenger (848 pages) and the shortest was Mom, Can I Do My Laundry at Your House?: Poems from Your Adult Child by Olivia Roberts (64 pages).

A fun chart from Storygraph of the overall moods of the books I read in 2023 (moods not determined by me): 

I will be sharing my all around top ten favorite books read in 2023 Tuesday and hope you will stop in and see what they are! 

How did your reading 2023 year in reading turn out? 

2023 Goals

Let's take a look at how I did on the goals I set for myself in 2023: 

Declutter my bookshelves and organize my bookshelves ~ I went through all of my shelves as well as my daughter's. I sorted our books, reorganized my shelves, and donated several boxes of books to the local library this past year (the library staff were especially grateful for the children's books!). 

Read at least one nonfiction/fiction pairing ~ I read The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and Erin Kimmerle's We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys in September, both centered around the Dozier School for Boys. Both were exceptional reads.  

Continue catching up on my series reading project ~ A never-ending project considering how many series I am in the middle of and all the news ones I start. I do not mind though. I do love a good series!

Read a classic novel that has been on my to read list for longer than I can remember ~ This did not happen. I completely forgot this was one of my goals. 

Read at least three books my daughter recommends to me ~ I read seven of the Keeper of the Lost Cities books by Shannon Messenger, which is one of my daughter's favorite series. I have enjoyed it too. Admittedly, she was reluctant for me to read the series at first, but she came around. I also read Guts by Raina Telgemeier on request of my daughter, which I loved.

Complete my reading challenges for the year ~ I think I did fairly well with my 2023 reading challenges. Check out my results here

Read what I want, whether that be TBR books, review books, borrowed books or what have you ~ It was hard not to meet this goal considering it covered just about every book I read this year. 

Did you set any goals for this past year? How did you do?

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison (in the middle of)
The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff (just started)
The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan (beginning soon)

New to my shelves:
I treated myself to some books after recovering from COVID: 
Assistant to the Villain (#1) by Hannah Nicole Maehrer
Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo
Bookshops & Bonedust by Travel Baldree

Post-Holiday purchase:
Network Effect (Murderbot Diaries #5) by Martha Wells

Mouse made out this Christmas, finding several books under the tree: 
The Girl From the Other Side, Vol. 1 by Nagabe
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu Academy, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Hokami
Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 11 by Kamome Shirahama
Creepy Cat, Vol. 2 by Cotton Valent
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
Alone by Megan E. Feeman
Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure (Dork Diaries #15) by Rachel Renee Russell
Forever Twelve (The Evers #1) by Stacy McAnulty
The Grace of Wild Things by Heather Fawcett
Nic Blake and Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy  (#1) by Angie Thomas
The History Club: Duel Across Time, Vol. 1 by Bret Baier
Astrology for Teens by Anne Bullock

No books made it under the Christmas tree for me this year, but I did receive a new e-reader! 

I received a couple bookstore gift cards and took advantage and bought several books on sale with one:
Don't Look Now: and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier
Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley #18) by Elizabeth George
Nightbloom by Peace Adzo Medie
All the Things We Don't Talk About by Amy Feltman
The Golden Spider (Elemental Steampunk Chronicles #1) by Anne Renwick (free)
The History Bees (#1) by Maja Lunde
The Last Phone Booth in Manhattan by Beth Merlin & Danielle Modafferi
The Village Healer's Book of Cures by Jennifer Sherman Roberts
A Three Book Problem (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #7) by Vicki Delaney
Compulsory (Murderbot Diaries #0.5) by Martha Wells
How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
The Spy Coast (The Martini Club #1) by Tess Gerritsen
The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy (#1) by Megan Bannen
The Only Purple House in Town (Fix-It Witches #4) by Ann Aguirre
Home (Murderbot Diaries, #4.5) by Martha Wells
Holiday in Death (#7) by J.D. Robb
The Complete Mary Wiles Chronicles by Erin Bedford
Splinter by Jasper Hyde

One of my coworkers surprised me late last week with a very bookish gift: five journals with bookish quotes on the covers, five matching pens, and a book-themed book bag. 

What new books made it onto your shelf recently? Did you receive any bookish books this holiday season?

Gracie and I wish you a Happy 2024!

Nina and I hope you read many great books in the New Year!

I hope you have a great week ! Let me know what you have been reading!

© 2024, Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I love the look of the du Maurier book.

    Happy New Year!!! I love this community too. Hard to believe it's Dec 31st. Hope you have a great start to 2024! :):)

    1. Greg - Thank you! I hope you have a Happy New Year too.

      I have yet to read anything by du Maurier, can you believe it? I have a couple of her novels. Hopefully this will be the year.

    2. I haven't either! I think she wrote the story the Birds was based on and I love that movie, so I should try it :)

  2. Ah, love Bookshops & Bonedust! Hope you enjoy all the new books, but especially that one. XD

    Good job on your reading goals! I tried to keep mine simple, so I did pretty well; I need to finish just one more book.

    My weekly roundup!

    1. Nicky - Thank you! I still have the first one to read, but I hope to read them both this year. I know I will love both of them.

      I hope you were able to squeeze that last book in before the year was out. I plan to keep my goals simple again this year--and no reading challenges this time around. Thank you for visiting!

  3. I'm glad you had a good Christmas. Congrats on crushing your reading goal, and happy 2024!

  4. You've had a good reading year! I also have The Storm We Made on my TBR shelf and am looking forward to seeing what you think of it.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Helen - I hope we both enjoy The Storm We Made. Have a Happy New Year!

  5. You had a great reading year. You met almost all of your goals, and that's excellent, I think.

    I'm always delighted to receive anything bookish for Christmas. I love seeing all those journals and pens.

    1. Deb - I am surprised I did as well as I did with my goals, honestly. I came out okay. :-) I can't wait to use those journals and pens. Thank you for stopping by!

  6. Wendy you had an awesome reading year. I look forward to seeing your top picks for 2023. Happy New Year!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. Anne - I look forward to seeing what we all read this year. Thank you for visiting and Happy New Year!

  7. I'm glad you had a good Christmas. I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I've found Thanksgiving and Christmas to be the hardest now that both my parents are gone. I try to remember the good memories and I still miss them.

    I hope you have a fun new year celebration with your friends.

    1. Jenni Elyse - Thank you. We lost him the end of September and so it was an especially difficult holiday season for my husband, his mom and brother. We did a lot of reminiscing. Have a Happy New Year and thank you for stopping by!

  8. Love the review of your reading stats. I have The Bandit Queens on my TBR--it's in a very big stack of books I own but haven't read! :)

    1. Sarah - I am loving The Bandit Queens so far. It's so good! I hope you like it when you get to it! Thank you for visiting!

  9. Wow, Wendy, what a great bookish haul, and the gift from your co-worker are fabulous! I have not done my end of the year posts yet, but I am amazed you took the time to break your books into genres! Happy New Year!!!

    1. Cindy - Thank you! I do love spending gift cards. :-) I was so surprised and touched by my coworkers gift. I guess my love for reading is well known. I would have broken down the fantasy into subgenres, but I wasn't sure what to label a couple of them and decided just to leave it be. Haha. I hope you have a Happy New Year too! Thank you for stopping by!

  10. I only just started book blogging again a little over a month ago, but I feel the same as you! I feel so privileged to be a part of this community and I feel so welcome even though I've only been participating a month. I hope to get to know you and everyone else better as we move into a new year! Have a wonderful new year!

    1. Haze - I am glad you are blogging! I always miss the blogging community when I'm away. You have a great blog and I look forward to getting to know you too. Thank you for visiting and have a happy New Year!

  11. I didn't get any books at Christmas either but there are several I might break down and buy. I do love meaningless bookish statistics! Compiling them and reading them are such fun. I hope you have a happy New Year!

    1. Katherine - It's hard to resist picking up a new book here or there. It is fun to put together reading stats. I like to compare them to years past to see any changes in my reading patterns. I hope you have a happy New Year too!

  12. I really love all your goals. I need to clean and organize my bookshelves badly - I may just make that a January goal for myself! Happy reading this week!
    My Sunday Post :)

    1. Hannah - Thank you! I am back to needing to cleaning up my bookshelves again with new books I've taken in since I re-organized and culled, but it's not as bad as it was. What I really need to do now is finally get my daughter her new bookshelves so her books aren't overflowing like they are now. Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a good week too!

  13. Replies
    1. Anne - Thank you. :-) I hope you have a happy New Year too!

  14. Glad you had a great reading year! Let's hope we both have a better reading year in 2024!

    Here’s my Sunday Post

    Rabbit Ears Book Blog: WORLD’S WEIRDEST BOOK BLOG!

  15. 75 books with a couple of reading slumps is great. And congrats on the new ereader!

    1. Mark - I was surprised, honestly, with how much I read considering. I am enjoying my new e-reader. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

  16. Enjoy all your finds and a very happy New Year

    1. Mystica - Thank you! I hope you have a happy New Year too!

  17. It was a successful year in reading for you. Happy New Year.

    1. Nise' - Yes, I feel like it was. :-) Thank you for visiting and have a happy New Year too!

  18. Great looking assortment of new books. I got a couple of Amazon Gift cards this Christmas too. Come see my week here. Happy reading and Happy New Year!

    1. Kathy - Thank you! I hope they will all be good. :-) Thank you for stopping by and have a happy New Year!

  19. Happy new year! Losses make these times of year tough. Glad to hear you had family with you.

    Lots of great books on your list. Congratulations on your goals and reading. Wishing you a new year filled with good books and blessings.

    1. Cheryl - Thank you. I am glad we could all be together, especially with this being the first without my father-in-law.

      Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a Happy New Year as well.

  20. I did hit my overall reading goal. I did a crummy job tracking my reading, which was a goal of mine. I'm glad you had a nice holiday. I hope this week back to work isn't too stressful

    1. Victoria - But you wrote a book which is even more awesome. :-) Here's to hoping this week is an easy one at work, thank you. Thank you for stopping by!

  21. Happy New Year Wendy! Can''t wait to see what you post during the year!

  22. You had another good reading year. And that's a fun pie chart, like the moods! What kind of e-reader did you get? I got a kindle fire last year which works well. :-) Happy reading in 2024!

    1. Susan - Isn't it fun? I use Storygraph just for that mood pie chart. Haha. I got the Nook Glowlight for Christmas. I have a Kindle Oasis already (and it's my favorite), but my very first e-reader, years ago, was a Nook which has long since died, and it'll be nice to be able to read my Nook books on an actual Nook and not my phone or tablet. Thank you for visiting!

  23. Here's wishing you a year filled with a lot of joy! That was such a thoughtful gift from your co-worker. I haven't signed up on Storygraph yet but really like the pie chart! Way to go on meeting your reading goal and reading such a variety of genres.

    1. Iliana - I was really touched by my coworker's gift. Thank you for stopping by! I hope you have a great year too.


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