2020 in Books and Other Worldly Things

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I set a goal to read 125 books for the year 2020, which was 25 fewer books than the number I finished in 2019. I went lower because I knew I’d be finishing my fourth novel in 2020. Little did I know that a pandemic would hit the world a mere two months later and that the year would be the strangest on record for me.

While I didn’t meet my reading goal, I did manage to finish 116 books, which is great.  If you’re interested in seeing my reviews of these novels and the others I’ve read in the past, you can check out my Goodreads page here. Here are my top 15 books for the year, all of which I rated at five stars for different reasons for each of these amazing works.

  1. The Stand by Stephen King.
  2. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
  3. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds.
  4. The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts.
  5. We Are Not Free by Traci Chee.
  6. It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne.
  7. Bloodline by Jess Lourey.
  8. The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos.
  9. Find Layla by Meg Elison.
  10. Anything Once by Meka James.
  11. A Whisper of Smoke by Angela Hoke.
  12. White Out by Danielle Girard.
  13. Raising Boys to Be Good Men: A Parent’s Guide to Bringing up Happy Sons in a World Filled with Toxic Masculinity by Aaron Gouveia.
  14. This Won’t End Well by Camile Pagán.
  15. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo.

Also, in 2020, COVID-19 hit the world hard. It started slowly and then grew exponentially, just as the experts predicted. On March 17, 2020, my children’s schools went virtual, and so did my employer, luckily. All I can say is that I did my best to help them with schoolwork while keeping up with my own work and sometimes my sanity. Continue reading

101 random things about me

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I have been terrible about writing blog posts this year for many reasons that might sound like excuses. I launched my own publishing imprint, published my second novel, worked significantly on my third novel, prepared my first novel for republication under the new imprint, read 101 books as of December 8 and held down a full-time day job in addition to spending quality time with my family. 

Instead of starting a narrative blog post, I thought I would share 101 random facts about myself to help my readers know me as a person a.k.a. a weird woman who sees all things through the eyes of a writer. These tidbits are in the order in which they came to my mind. I hope you enjoy reading.

Two Years of Updates: Reading, Writing, and other creative outlets

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I feel like this is a confession. My name is Brandi. I’m a writer, and it’s been two months since I last published a blog post. It’s my longest gap since launching this site two years ago. Has it really been that long?

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on where I was in life two years ago. I was just starting to write again because of a burning desire inside I could no longer ignore. I was haunted by past heartache from which I’d never properly healed. I was depressed, anxious, restless and an insomniac. I was also exhausted from the “perfect” facade I’d been presenting that was finally crushing me. Continue reading