December 2019 Month-in-Review and Year-in-Review

Welcome to 2020!  Let’s take one last look back at 2019.

I announced a couple of months ago that I would be taking a slight step back from blogging.  True to my word, I only published eight posts in December.  That is a sustainable pace (some months may run closer to the four posts I published in November), but I am gratified that I didn’t succumb to the blogger’s curse of falling off the Earth entirely.  I also cut way back on my social media use (only 39 tweets in December!).  My work and family life show no signs of slowing down, so the lighter pace should be expected to continue through 2020.

Family-wise, no-angel is almost two years old.  She is roughly the scale and build of a left tackle and serves as the enforcer for the yard boss in her daycare class, intimidating even the kids from the next class up.  I am gratified to see that she is book-curious, even if she cannot yet read and only knows the numbers “2” (in the proper order) and “5” (viewed by her as more of a free agent).  Last night I tried to take a toy from her in an effort to wind down bath time, and she curled away and said “No, mine!” in a Gollum voice, so I think reading The Hobbit to her in the womb is paying dividends.  We hosted both sides of the family for Christmas and survived.  We are taking no-angel to Asia for a big family vacation this summer, which will (1) be a chance to stay locked in a very small area with a toddler for 12+ hours and (2) be no-angel’s first chance to meet the Aussie wing of my wife’s family.

Professionally, 2019 was odd in some ways.  I endured a few setbacks.  Well, not really setbacks, but a bit of running in place.  Wasted effort.  Nonetheless, I feel great about my career at the moment.  I am working extremely hard, but I am being rewarded for it and the potential for the future is there.  I am more fulfilled professionally than I have ever been.  I can’t say that I am in the least stressful place I have ever been, work-wise, but it is mostly good stress, and the despised boredom and lack of apparent opportunity that defined my professional life in my 20s is gone.

Part of the fundamental changes to my blogging is not paying attention to stats, which push a blogger toward regular and repeated posting.  But I did check in as I prepared this post, and I am gratified to see blog views at Every Day Should Be Tuesday were still up over 2018 despite my publishing far fewer posts.  This month I will post a little more here than I have been.  I look forward to participating in Vintage SF Month again and have several vintage SF books sitting on my shelf that have been read but not reviewed.  I am going to pick one more vintage SF book to read this month, although I probably won’t review it before January 31.  It will probably be a Jack Vance or Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  I will post bookish resolutions for 2020 in the next few weeks as well.

no-angel picked Swift and Zelazny books for Vintage SF Month

Reading-wise, I finished 89 books in 2019.  89 books is good enough for my third most books read in last nine years.*  I read 29,547 pages in 2019, which is also good for third-most in last 9 years.  More importantly, I was able to whittle Mount TBR down by 8 books from beginning of 2019!  It might not sound like much, but I had been in the habit of increasing my Mount TBR by closer to that each month for a while.

 

December Reviews

 

Top 5 Posts at Every Day Should Be Tuesday for 2019

 

Top 5 Posts of Hillbilly Highways for 2019

 

Books acquired

  • VC: An American History by Tom Nicholas
  • Bright Steel by Miles Cameron
  • The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918-1919 by James Carl Nelson

 

Books started

  • The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Bright Steel by Miles Cameron
  • VC: An American History by Tom Nicholas
  • Queen of the Martian Catacombs by Leigh Brackett
  • This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

 

Books finished

  • Green River Rising by Tim Willocks
  • The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Teaching with Cases: A Practical Guide by Espen Anderson and Bill Schiano
  • Bright Steel by Miles Cameron
  • Queen of the Martian Catacombs by Leigh Brackett
  • This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

 

Mount TBR Counter

  • December: -3
  • Year-to-date: -8

 

*For reasons I cannot discern, Goodreads switched my books read number from 90 to 89 recently.  If I in fact read 90 books, that is good enough to tie for second-most books read in the past nine years.  If you are wondering “why nine years?”, the answer is that I started using Goodreads nine years ago.

About H.P.

Blogs on books at Every Day Should Be Tuesday (speculative fiction) and Hillbilly Highways (country noir and nonfiction). https://everydayshouldbetuesday.wordpress.com/ https://hillbillyhighways.wordpress.com/
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4 Responses to December 2019 Month-in-Review and Year-in-Review

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Well, I heard that Tom Brady isn’t retiring this year, so if No-Angel can get in some quick growth regimens, she might be able to take over for him. Quarterbacks are much better than left tackles and then she could support you in your dotage 😉

    Best of luck with the long plane ride…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tammy says:

    No-angel is adorable😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bormgans says:

    89 books: how do you manage with small children???

    Liked by 1 person

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