Monthly Catch Up #12 – December 2018

Well, hello there! How are you guys doing?

I survived Christmas, and I’m delighted to say, our friends have also survived my pumpkin pie I sent over with my other half to the dinner I ended up not attending on account having come down with some plague.

I’m usually quite confident in my pieing abilities, but this time what emerged from the oven was the stuff of nightmares. A half burned piece of horror.OM0G1WE Of course I had no time (or ingredients) to make a replacement. Classic. But this is what happens to people (me) who leave shit for the last moment, eh?

P.S. It was still yummier than anything else that was on offer apparently. I’m just being picky.

Considering all the books I read this year, I thought it will a much bigger pain in the ass to select my favourite 10, but as it turns out, I went through a lot of stuff I liked but wasn’t going nuts about. Yay, I guess?

Overall, I feel like most of the books I read this year were all right. I mean, look at my rating! 3.7!

To top it all, a few days ago my favourite Scandi author, Mons Kallentoft replied to my tweet on a thread discussing whether some authors tone down their poetic writing skills in order to appeal to more people. To me this question doesn’t even compute… I mean… Whaaa’? So I’m just melting into a puddle now, if you’ll excuse me…

* heart eyes *



Eight books. Some depressing, some hilarious, but what I’m happiest about, is that I finally finished Shift by Hugh Howie. I started it in July 2017, but it took me over a year to get around to it. It wasn’t bad, it just seemed pointless and kind of lackluster after the first book, Wool, which was pretty freakin’ awesome. It’s done now, though, so here’s to hoping the final book will not suck!


The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
Quite eerie, with lovely prose and an even pace, this book is the very definition of pleasant.

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan
A pretty straightforward mystery, set in Ireland.

S.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett
A gorgeous country side manor, a bunch of posh twats and a weekend full off blood sports. Recipe for a disaster, or a delicious thriller?

The Rumour by Lesley Kara
Small town gossip, child murderers and second chances.

The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday
A whiny serial killer chased by and unlikeable detective.
Fun Fact: one of the murder victims worked in The North Star, the pub I used to go to for drinks with my colleagues a few years ago.

Mince Pies, Apocalypse & 9 Christmas Mysteries

15 Books For Cold Winter Nights


Naughty Under the Blankie – Bad Reading Habits Tag

It’s the End of the Year #Tag

What’s On My Bookshelf? Mess, That’s What…

Crazy Lady with the Blankie Receives the Liebster Award

Atrocities Under the Blankie – The Naughty or Nice? #Tag

Squirming Under the Blankie – Out Of My Comfort Zone

sleepingbeautiesSleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze.

If they are awakened, and the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place.

The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease.

Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?

I’m not planning to participate in any particular challenge in 2019. My experience with the Popsugar Reading Challenge this year was not exactly pleasant, and I won’t subject myself to anything similar in the future.

That said, Annemieke @A Dance With Books created a fun challenge for fans of fantasy & sci-fi, and I’m just picking my way through her brilliant suggestions. I found some really cool books to add to my wish list.

I expect the December Madness at work to die down in a week or so, and hopefully work will return to something resembling bearable.

I look forward to seeing what you guys are up to!


  1. Sounds like you are feeling better, so that is good.

    Dang, 3.7 average rating? FOR THE YEAR!?!? I am incredibly jealous. I’ve calculated mine and am at 3.31. I’m pretty happy with that, as 3.25 is my baseline for a good year. I’ve only been keeping track for a couple of years but my highest only ever reached 3.46. So you can understand why I’m jealous. Congrats on that phracking awesome number!

    Good for you for not doing any challenges. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t do it. My only unofficial goals are to read 150 books and 50K pages. But I haven’t got that written down or keeping track with a challenge or anything. Totally “off the books” (ha!) so the pressure just isn’t there. I hope you find some good non-pressure’y ways to enjoy lots of reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you 🙂
      I think i was lucky with all the books i read this year. Last year i was on 3.8 😀

      Oh yes, off the book is the way to go then! 🙂 You do read quite a lot of books in a month, so 150 is a pretty sensible number for you i think 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, you had a good reading year! (Mine was really bad, I BARELY read ) And omg I can understand how it feels when your fav author replies to you !! I have been wanting to read beartown from a while, I hope I will get too it in 2019. And oh I hope you are better now ❤ Have a lovely 2019 !!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear you missed a party because of the lurgy, what a bummer. But I bet you used the time alone to read, right, like I would have? 😀 I too have decided not to set any reading goals for the year, I mean, look how disastrous that was for me this year? About 25 books read? 2019 will be a take it or leave it kind of year as I have plans with the new writing project, and getting that off the ground. Now I’m off to see what books Annemieke is recommending. 😀

    Have a great time with the New Year celebrations, and all the best for 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, they’re now saying it will be warmer, but there’s a storm heading our way. It just started snowing here. So maybe people will turn up, maybe not. Either way, we have the sherry bottle! 😉 Stay warm. ❤

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I tried so hard to like Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King, but in the end I just couldn’t finish. It was my very first foray into Stephen King too, perhaps I should try one of his classics first like IT or The Stand? I hope you enjoy it more than I did anyway, I look forward to hearing your thoughts about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, sorry to hear it didn’t work for you.
      I’m possibly the worst person to ask, because I loved everything he wrote.
      But yes, the books he wrote in the past are quite different. Sleeping beauties was also co-written with his son, so yea, it’s different.
      IT is really good, quite graphic tho.
      Stand is great, one of my favourites. It’s post apocalyptic tho, so if that kind of thing stresses you out (like it does me) maybe don’t start with that one 😀
      The Dark Tower series is awesome, if you like fantasy vibes.
      Duma Key is a great ghost story.
      11.22.63. if you like a bit of time travel & history.
      Salem’s Lot is the coolest vampire story, and i don’t even like vampires.
      Needful Things – small town vibes, and super sinister villain 😀


      1. Thanks very much, that’s a great help haha. I love vampires so defo Salems Lot then. I’ve heard big things about The Stand so looks like I have at least two to add to the reading list then!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I do like the sound of that pie for some reason though. I’m assuming you’re just being super harsh about your own creation. 😛 And that’s super cool that the author replied to a comment you made about him! Pretty epic year you had here and I do hope 2019 has many great surprises, the good kind, for you, Norrie. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh no, my bf was ill as well, there’s so many bugs out and about. Hope you are feeling better. And lol to that baking story, that pretty much summarises my cooking attempts as well. I always say it’s the intention that counts… 😂😂😂 Great to hear the pie was edible though!

    I’m totally skipping 2019 challenges as well, including pledging any books etc… my whimsical self will thank me for it I reckon.

    Nice reading list by the way! And big thumbs up for that twitter exchange!! 😊👌

    Happy New Year Norrie! 🥳 🎉🎉🎉 Here’s to another awesome year full of great books, thrilling mysteries and lots of fun. 🍷xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good plan! Whimsy all the way!
      I will set a number on goodreads i know i can achieve, cuz i find it a good way to remember tracking what i read and then i can get the lovely stats at the end of the year 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great article!

    I bought in a Dark, Dark Woods forever ago and still haven’t read it yet. Hoping to read it in 2019. I heard there was going to be a movie adaptation but I haven’t heard anything about that recently so who knows, LoL.

    Still currently reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Hoping to read Love, Simon next.

    Hope you feel better soon and Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear about the Popsugar experience – I do not really have a challenge either, but I might take a look at challenges for inspiration. And yay for surviving Christmas! All I did was watch films and TV, and I did not actually read a lot in December.

    But I want to read Sleeping Beauties too – especially since a local publishing house got the book and is spamming my instagram with this book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, same! I enjoy checking out other people’s list for the challenges, just to find new stuff to read 😀

      Your december sounds like a perfect hibernating time. I do like that 🙂

      I read the first chapter of Sleeping Beauties so far, but it’s looking good!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Winters is somewhere in my pile and Sleeping Beauties sounds like a book I NEED to read.

    Seems like a pretty decent reading month, especially given the holidays!

    Such a bummer when the next book in a series falls flat. If it’s a trilogy, I’ll usually go to the next book because the end is near and I’ve already put in so much time. Longer than a trilogy and it might put me off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, defo. The first book was soooo good, so I’m hoping the third will be the same.

      Sleeping Beauties is pretty cool. Still haven’t finished it tho. I read very slowly when i read hardbacks cuz can’t find a comfy position w them, so reading some kindle stuff parallel too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can surely relate to that. If I’m reading a print book (hardback or paperback), I’ve always got a Kindle book going as well. Used to be because I don’t take electronics in the bathtub, now it’s because holding a physical book makes my hands hurt something fierce.

        Liked by 1 person

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