Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, This Is My December Wrap Up!

Posted December 31, 2018 by Amber in Checking In / 0 Comments


Happy December, loves.

This is it.  This is the end of the year, and fresh with good memories and bad ones – joy and regret.  This is the final push to reach our reading and writing and blogging goals.  I’ll be doing a proper 2018 wrap up tomorrow, but suffice it to say that things went well this year, at least as far as reading goes!

I hope everyone has had a marvelous holiday season!  For myself, I am exhausted and excited for the year to be swinging to an end.  The holidays are always delightful, but tiring, don’t you think?


I expected to pull in a few books this month – December is an excellent time for book buying!  Everywhere has coupons and many books are discounted, so the haul is a bit… hefty in December.  January is also going to be UNREAL because I ordered so many books on ThriftBooks that are slowly making their way to me.

I was also surprised and pleased to get Netgalley ARCs of Wicked SaintsImmortal Code, and Enchantée.  I just finished Enchantée and even though the review won’t drop until the end of next month – I LOVED it.

Another surprise – a friend of mine sent me a copy of Ten Days in a Madhouse that was just collecting dust on her shelf!  I’m so excited to read this one and very grateful. 🙂 Nellie Bly as a person fascinates me.  And remember?  I was just talking about how I might have to buy myself that one for Christmas.  Thanks, Kate! <3



Misery / ★★★★★ – I saw this movie a long time ago, and I wasn’t expecting to get so immersed in Misery.  It’s twisted and dark and deeply uncomfortable, but a very good read – if a bit mortifying.  The book is even more twisty than the movie!

Heartless / ★★★★ Loves.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this book.  Heartless has EVERYTHING from Wonderland I could have wanted, with careful world-building, good characters, and an excellent storyline.  I’ve ranted before about how much difficulty I have finding a decent Alice in Wonderland retelling… and this one is FANTASTIC.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing / ★★★★ – While overall An Absolutely Remarkable Thing wasn’t my cup of tea, I can’t argue that it was immensely well-written.  I actually LOVED the concept and I loved the story, I just didn’t love April May.  I’d have ADORED this book from Maya’s POV.  I think this is an awesome example of contemporary science-fiction and whole-heartedly recommend it.


I am still so exhausted from NaNoWriMo, I haven’t done much fiction writing.  I’ve been writing little ficlets every day because I enjoy doing that, and it helps me find backstory for my various characters, but otherwise, I’m just trying to recover?  I don’t think I’ve ever written so many words so quickly.  Near the end of the month, I started plugged away at a wormhole-centric contemporary YA sci-fi that is one of my manuscripts that I go back to every once in a while, but no significant progress there, maybe a chapter?

Meanwhile, I hope to start editing the story in January, if everything goes according to plan.  We’ll see!


The other day, I went through and put in placeholder posts for all the Top Ten Tuesdays and Book Blogger Hops that have been already scheduled for 2019.  My calendar looks so hopeful, with lots of little drafts just waiting to be written!

Obviously the blog hasn’t been very exciting this month – it took me about two weeks to recover from NaNoWriMo and that was a rough push to getting back into the swing of things.


Favorite Post: 10 Warm & Cozy Winter Reading Tips

What I learned from the fact you guys loved this post so much is that a lot of my followers must live in places like me, where it’s cold!  An overall favorite between both Instagram and directly on the blog is that people love fuzzy socks!  Frankly, I can’t blame you guys.  I need more fuzzy socks in my life.

Favorite Review:  Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I am so, so excited to see y’all loved this book as much as I did!  It’s my first Marissa Meyer book, and I’m now a fan.  I already own Cinder and Renegades, and I’ve heard nothing about wonderful things about both of those as well.  Really, I’m just so happy to have found an Alice in Wonderland retelling that is so excellent.


I have been absolutely delighted to have done minimal amounts of extraordinary things this month!  We got together with some friends we love but rarely see (why tho) and had lunch and played this fabulous game called Cheating Moth.  It’s one I’d like to have, even though we so rarely have social gatherings ourselves.  Partially because I discovered… I’m pretty good at it. 🙂  In all seriousness, this couple is amazing and I need to make the initiative to see them more next year.

We also went to see a light display at a local speedway, and it was incredibly underwhelming, but the light tunnels felt like warp speed in Star Trek and Star Wars, so I was a fan.

Otherwise, it’s been the regular family Christmas gatherings and whatnot for social stuff.  … Also, I got the new Super Smash Brothers game?  I’ve been spending a lot of time on that.  I’m actually wretched at it, but I love it.  Matt and I are struggling to unlock the fighters?  Right now, I think we have… 15?  Maybe?  And we have played/failed for an embarassing amount of time. Since I first wrote this, we’ve discovered “Challenger’s Approach” and HEY LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY NEW CHARACTERS.

OKAY HERE’S THE THING.  My favorite fighter is Pit?  And I did get to battle Pit for an unlock early on and I FAILED.  So I’m stuck switching between Marth and Pikachu and Zelda and in which version of this game exactly did Zelda lose Sheik mode?  We are not amused.  Also I’ve logged the most hours on Smash Bros. 64 so, erm, yeah I’m out of date. … … … I need more IRL friends guys, all I do is read books and play video games.


It’s a whole new year, which means that next month you can expect to see a lot of annual wrap ups.  Off the top of my head, I can tell you that there’s going to be a blogging goals section like I did this year.  I like doing this to keep myself accountable – how many did I hit, how many did I miss?  I honestly haven’t even thought about that post in a while, so, um, we’ll see.  There’s also a 2018 Reading Wrap Up and I want to do a post looking at the 2018 Debut Authors Challenge I participated in.

Okay, but aside from all the compilations and stats, I want to do some discussion posts and I’ve already been contemplating one talking a little about world-building in fantasy and what makes a good immersive fantasy, and what breaks the illusion.  Both Heartless and The Queen’s Rising have me thinking about this, and I’ve got a great Book Blogger Hop prompt next month that can fit in with this. 🙂

Also, I’m contemplating adding a few sections to this monthly wrap up – a “Best of Bookstagram” bit where I cross post my top 3 photos for the month, and two featured sections – one featured blog and one featured bookstagram.  What do you think?


How was your December?

What do you think about adding the three new sections?

Did you do anything special this month for Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, etc.?

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