Welcome to December’s Monthly Minutes at Midnight! And a (super quick) recap of 2018 overall. But really quick because no one likes this year, right?

 Here’s the deal: I’ll share the books I’ve obtained, posts of interest from others, giveaways I have happening, and just general random shenanigans. You know I love a shenanigan.  Also, covers all link to Goodreads, because I am awesome. 

The Books

For Review/From Publishers:

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith

Huge thanks to Scholastic and HMH!! 


Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster, St Martin’s, Harper, Tor, and Abrams for the review copies! 


Wow wee, do you see the self-control!?!  Alllll Kindle Deals! 


Where to even begin!? Thanks to Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books for The Seven Torments of Amy and CraigKel @ Booked Til Tuesday for the gift card that purchased Radium Girls and HamiltonMy parents for The Lying Woods and Get Well Soon, my brother and his girlfriend for An Absolutely Remarkable ThingDAW Books for Abandoned and Outpostauthor Sarah Beth Durst and Adventures in YA Publishing for Fire & Heistand Tor for Dark of the West!! (Is it just me, or did this sound like a list of Oscar Nominees? 🤔

Shenanigans Since Last Time:

I read 11 books this month. I have no idea how because at one point I was at like 4 and it was almost Christmas? Or seemed like it? Who can tell.

This was a funny month! I mostly either really liked or really didn’t like the books I read. Which is fun, let’s be real. Easier to write a review when you have many thoughts! Heck, I even DNFed a book for the first time in a year and a half! 

Giveaways: Click Here, or on Sidebar

Blogosphere Bulletin

Here are some of the loveliest/most entertaining/super helpful/just plain interesting posts I found this month! (December includes a ton of wrap ups and while they’re awesome, I just couldn’t include all the things because honestly I am tired.)

Fancy & New Since Last I Saw You!

I love looking at pretty covers! So here are some new ones that I have fallen in love with since our last update!

The cover for Here There are Monsters might be the old one, or it might be a new one, but I love it and it should be a gift to us.

Things we need to talk about at this juncture:

  • I achieved an actual Bookish Life Goal™! I was looking at the cover of a sequel this month (Abandoned) and… what do you know… that’s ME hanging out with all those legit sites! 😱

  • Been watching Travelers, and wow this show is so fun. Like, okay, I get mad when they don’t tell me anything, but then… it’s so good I cannot stop. Also can we please protect David and Grace, the most precious cinnamon roles of anytime? (Though after the ending… who/when/where is anyone even!?) 
  • The 100, ugh, come on Jason, feed us. Hiatusing sucks. I keep meaning to get my big wrap up post done too but… I have been failing. For the like, three people who care, I promise it’ll be soon(ish)! 
  • Bookish Games is BACK. This edition is “Bring Your Own Character”, and if you think I don’t have 39 different ideas, you’d be wrong. Sign ups happen on January 1st, so join me! 
  • Happy Holidays, friends! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate, and have the happiest of New Years!

And That’s a Wrap on 2018! 

I have read 146 books this year. It’s a little sad because I wanted to hit 150 but guys, it has been a year, so. I guess I can deal. A lot has happened this year, in the non-bookish realm, as well as bookish stuff! So let’s do a quick recap!

  • Life happened! Seriously, guys. This was A. TIME. Read about it here if you so desire!
  • I officially got divorced, woooo!
  • Had seriously the best time ever with my buds at ALA in NOLA.
  • I started working again, which is… less woo-worthy, but here we are.
  • I somehow managed to do Whatever the Hell I Want in regards to blogging. And it was a fabulous life choice, one I highly recommend. Maybe I will do a post about it in the new year!

2018 Books!

Cool kids like Cait do a whole post with stats and graphics of the books they have read! So as not to disappoint, I have done a few too, just to see what my reading year was like!

As For 2019…..

my goals are minimal. Because do you all remember how we have spent the last few years? “OMG so glad 201x is over, next year has to be better!” Well guess what, it wasn’t. And since we still have an actual pile of human feces “leading” our country, and half the population is racist, sexist, classist, homophobic pieces of garbage… look, I am keeping my expectations low.

  • Try to stay alive.
  • Blog, or like, not. Whatever. Ditto writing. And reading. (Though if I am being honest, I do want to do better about these things? But shhh, low expectations!)
  • VACATION. This is legit something I need from 2019.
  • Not live in a van down by the river. 
  • My Goodreads goal generator was kind to me this year! 9 books? I got this, at least!

There are like, tons of other things I’d love to see happen but… pessimism 🤷‍♀️

Raise your hand if you’re sorry to see 2018 go. Anyone? Anyone at all? 

And have a great January, and don’t die in 2019, loves!

Posted December 31, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps / 45 Comments

45 responses to “Monthly (and Yearly!) Minutes at Midnight: December 2018

  1. LOL your graphs. 🙂 🙂

    Also, totally am with you on the, yeah I’ll make some vague goals and do them or not or whatever who cares let’s get on with it kinda feeling.

    Also, congrats on the book life goal acheivement. That is awesome. Here here!

  2. Haha, your reading graphs are the best. I have a spreadsheet full of bookish data that I have to analyze, and I’ve been procrastinating because that sounds like an ordeal. You got Spectacle! That book is one of my most-anticipated releases. I love the cover of Wilder Girls. I’m excited to read that one, too. Congrats on finishing 146 books. Happy 2019!

    • Aw thanks! I am seriously impressed with anyone who can make legitimate graphs and keeps actual stats all year long. Like you are on your organizational game and wow, teach me your ways!

      Yesss Spectacle looks SO good, doesn’t it? Fingers crossed! I literally JUST found out about Wilder Girls and wow I need it in my life! And thanks so much, happy 2019 to you, too!

  3. I’m also on a Travelers kick! I had never even heard of it before a week or two ago and now I’m almost caught up on the whole thing. I need assurances that there will be a season 4 because SO many amazing shows have been getting axed lately. My heart can only take so much!

    Getting blurbed is also a bookish goal of mine, so congratulations on achieving that! I hope you have a better year in 2019. Life can/will get crappy sometimes/most times, but there’s got to be a light at the end of the very dark and scary tunnel right? 🙂

    • Oh YAYYYY! And um seriously, if there is no Season 4… well, you’ll understand when you see the end! I HATE when shows get cancelled without the chance for closure. It makes me never want to try new ones again!

      Aw thanks so much! I hope you do one day too! And RIGHT? But I get scared to think that there IS hope because what if… there just isn’t?! Gahh.

  4. Molly Mortensen

    That is so awesome that you were mentioned in a blurb! I love Travelers! (Grace is probably my favorite character) And congrats on your reading goal. I only hit mine because I cheated. (With numerous shorts and manga)

  5. Beth W

    Effing hilarious as always! Good on ya for blitzing past your reading goals, and for getting quoted on an actual, published book. Wahooo! Vacation sounds like the best 2019 plan, in addition to living your authentic life, now that you’ve lost all that bad weight (congrats on the divorce). I’ll be adding Travelers to my to-watch list now…thanks!

  6. Lol, love your graphs and I probably should get reading the sentient whale book!
    Almost glad to see the back of 2018 although still plenty of crapness planned for the UK in 2019 sadly. We’re currently in a motorhome by the sea in Portugal and sorely tempted to stay here!! Fingers crossed for a better 2019 for everybody 🙂

    • Aw thank youuu! I actually really loved the sentient whale book hahah. UGH I feel you here in the US too. It is like… no end in sight, and it is so demoralizing, which I am sure you relate to. Hugs to you. Portugal sounds amazing, I wouldn’t blame you a bit for staying!

  7. Obscura and Dark Matter are excellent life choices, for sure. And the new Khoury book? Hmm.

    Is Cerulean good? And Wilder Girl- love the cover!

    Congrats again on your blurb!!! And happy New Year!!!

    *sentient whales*?

  8. The kind of books with words <– this made me actually cackle, but really, all your pie charts are fabulous. So, thank you for that. Hmmm, 9 books, are you up to reading THAT many books? Getting blurbed is really amazing. I am so proud of you. Here's to a new year!

  9. First off, how exciting that you randomly saw your quote on the back of a book. That would be amazing!! Secondly, your pie charts are the best of ever—way better than all the actual stats I’m trying to compile (I got all industrious and kept a spreadsheet this year). Here’s to a fantabulous 2019—this time I truly think it can only get better. You got this! 🙂

    • I did a double-take, like WHAT!? That is MEEEE!?!?! And awww thank you! To be fair, I am insanely impressed with anyone who can keep actual stats, because I am lucky that I remember to mark them as “read” on Goodreads 😂 And goodness, I hope you are right- and I also hope that 2019 is amazing for you, too ♥♥

  10. Kel

    That’s so AWESOME you’re on the back of a book, Shannon! And I love those charts, lol! I’m a little sad to see 2018 go in that there are a lot of unknowns ahead, and I like to know things, but overall happy to be moving forward. I hope 2019 is full of good things and happiness for you and the family!

    • Awww thanks!! Oh I feel you SO MUCH about the unknowns- it IS scary. Though I think (hope, anyway!) that nothing will be as ridiculous as 2018 was for me, in terms of unknowns hahah. Crap, did i just jinx myself? EEP. I hope all the unknowns end up being AWESOME new things for you- you deserve all the wonderfulness ♥♥

  11. WHOO for being one of those legit people featured on the back of a book! I randomly wondered what is Shannon up to, so I went to visit your blog. I’m sorry it hasn’t been a good year for you, I hope this one will be better! You also reminded me that I could catch up on The 100, and really what else did I expect from stopping by your blog. Happy New Year, Shannon!

    • I just read the Shattering Stigmas post you linked to, but I can’t comment over there, so here goes:

      I’m so sorry about everything that happened. Realizing that someone you thought you knew is capable of things you had never imagined they would do is one of the worst things to experience, because you don’t only lose trust in them, but sometimes you lose trust in yourself and your ability to judge people. I can’t imagine having to worry about your children and their reaction to having their whole life turned upside down on top of that, and I’m incredibly sorry you’re having to deal with that experience. I hope you and your family get through this challenging time and come out with new strength at the other end. You’re strong and kind and brave for sharing this and making the resolution to be kinder to yourself (which, coincidentally, is also my New Year’s resolution). Sending lots of hugs to you and hoping your situation has improved somewhat since writing the other post!

      • First, catch up on The 100 so we can chat about it!

        Second, I MISS YOU! I am so glad you stopped by- it has been too long, please come back!!

        Third. Thank you SO much ♥♥♥ That really is the thing- the trust in the person is one thing, but losing the trust in your own ability to determine who is not a complete garbage person is rough. Because yeah, you then feel like it’s *got* to be your fault that you didn’t know it, or something- even though logically, of course that isn’t true. And I definitely hope we are both better able to take care of ourselves this year- we both deserve it!

  12. Love your charts, so funny! Congrats also on making it to the back of a book, so fun! Are you really only going to commit to 9 books for 2019?? I think try to stay alive is a good goal for 2019. 🙂

  13. That is so cool about the blurb! That is one of my goals for in the future. The closest I have so far is a thank you in one author’s book, a credit for winning a title contest for another author’s short story, and then a picture of mine in a biography about an author. I’m still hopeful for a blurb some day! Of course, to do that, I probably need to get my reviews done earlier! So cool! Wicked Saints is one that I’m waiting to get a copy of. Hoping to do a stats post sometime later this month maybe. You can check out my Top 10 books of 2018 post HERE.

    • Awww thank yoU! And I hope you do, too- it was such an amazing surprise, and an honor really! I feel you about reviews though, it is a struggle and a half, isn’t it? Hope you get Wicked Saints too- I have heard such good things, and I am trying to hold off until a little closer to the release but it is HARD.

  14. Your pie graphs are perfect. And yes, I too read 1% books with sentient whales, because I will always read anything Patrick Ness decides to grace us with.

    The first 8 e-arc covers are amazing, and so varied! (The last two, kind of blah.)

    And okay, I also just read the Shattering Stigma post and wanted to let you know that it CAN and DOES happen to people who are wonderful, because why the hell would you even think to suspect that kind of thing? I’ve got a friend who’s ex is in jail for stuff he did to her daughter, and I 100% would have left my kids alone with him. I am in awe of you for continuing to blog and read while dealing with all that shit. What a horrendous amount of upheaval.

    I also had a family-exploding event in 2018 that means we are now 3 at home instead of 4. It involves kids, not adults, so I can’t really share on a public forum, but I was a mess all winter and spring. 2019 can’t be any worse than 2018.

    Let’s hope it’s better.

    • Awww thanks! And RIGHT? Same! I love him SO MUCH, he is a genius. I also agree with you completely about the eARC covers, I don’t like the whole “shadow girl” thing, weirds me out.

      AW Wendy, thank you SO much ♥♥♥ I think that is it- our minds don’t work like that because we are NOT monsters, you know? I am sorry for your friend and her daughter, too. It’s not an easy road. My kids were just identified as legally being victims of the crime, since he wanted them to hide it and did it around them, so it’s just… ugh. And now, I will be moving in like a month so… ha, wish me luck!

      Aw no, sweetie I am SO SORRY. I want to give you all the hugs, and I hope that you are doing better. If you ever want to talk privately, please feel free to reach out. I cannot even fathom what you must be feeling, especially involving children. If you need me I am here ♥♥

      And yes, please, please let 2019 be better. So far it’s just… weirder, if Twitter is any indication ha.

  15. Ahhh Last of Her Name, I can’t wait to hear what you think about that one, it sounds so good and I loved Jessica Khoury’s The Forbidden Wish so much 🙂
    I’m curious to hear what you thought of Enchantée, I thought it had potential, but I found it a little slow to get through :/
    I love the covers of Blood Heir and Wilder Girls, they look SO GOOD!
    YAY for doing whatever the hell you want with blogging, I definitely want a blog post about that, because I need to know how to do that haha 🙂
    AND AHHHHHHHW WOW congratulations on being quoted on a book, that is GOALS and it is so amazing, I’m so happy for you <3
    I hope that January is treating you well so far! <3

  16. Danielle Hammelef

    I’ve been hearing amazing things about the Mike Chen book so I added that to my must read list for 2019. I’m hoping my library gets a copy or I’ll have to request it. I have Enchantee ARC, but haven’t dug down to it yet from my current promised review books. It sounds unique and fun to me.

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