Welcome to December’s Monthly (and YEARLY) Minutes at Midnight!

 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:

Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

Keystone by Katie Delahanty 

Hugest of thanks to Page Street Kids & Entangled!! 


Huge thanks to like, these 500 amazing publishers that there are just too many to name because someone went overboard!!


I treated myself to the OwlCrate Signed The Toll because of course I did. And also, I needed The Last Beginning so.


Hugest of thanks to Amber for the Christmas gifts of Teeth and The Bird and the BladeAnd thanks to the lovely trader who traded me Seven Endless Forests!

Shenanigans Since Last Time:

I read 16 books this month. Which just shocked the crap out of me because… how!?! Who knows but it’s pretty awesome.

Most of these were really freaking good. I’d say at least three 5-stars? And one new all-time favorite (again, at least). So. Good stuff! (And okay, a few minor disappointments but the good overshadows the bad, yay!) 

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!

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!

Pretty covers are pretty. And these are goddamn glorious

Things we need to talk about at this juncture/End of the Year Recap:

  • I read more books this year than I have in any other year (156!!) And that is while working full-time and raising two kids completely alone. Well done, if I do say so myself. How many books am I bound to next year for Goodreads? Apparently Random.org was good to me again this year, wooo!
  • 2019 was bananas. I mean, see the above full-time job and raising two kids totally solo! But then add in all kinds of other stuff! Like, I moved! My kitchen caught aflame! My kids went through all kinds of upheaval, my grandma passed away, my brother got married. I won Bookish Games, The 100 was awesome, and I am going to Unity Days. Look, this decade was… something. And I’m not sorry it’s over. (And please don’t be “that guy” who tries to argue that 2020 is still part of the teens; it isn’t. No one will think of it as such, regardless of historical usage. That’s not a thing anymore, sorry.) I plan to do some kind of 2020 post soon, so stay tuned for that! 
  • Speaking of Unity Days and staying tuned… do. In three weeks, I will be on my way to Vancouver!! I am beyond excited, and kind of floored that this is a thing that is actually happening. And since I am going as Presskru, there will be tons of stuff coming up about it! 
  • Christmas has come and gone and it was nice! I mean, not having work is always nice, and obviously the kids were kind of ridiculously excited, so it was a pretty good one! Hope everyone else who celebrates had a great one too, and if you don’t celebrate I hope you had a good week!

Have a great January, and Happy 2020, loves!

Posted December 31, 2019 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps / 37 Comments


37 responses to “Monthly (and YEARLY) Minutes at Midnight: December 2019

  1. So many of these are new to me. Girls With Razor Hearts though- I will be clearing my schedule when that bad boy comes out. How was the new Mike chen?? Also Jeff Vandermeer- I read Annihilation and it was so weird! Wondering about his other stuff!

    Unity Days is coming up fast! You must be, like, beyond excited! 🙂 And Presskru… woot can’t wait to see all the fun stuff!!

    Happy New Year!!!!!

    • Dude. I told you that the Mike Chen book was the best book I read in 2019! So very very good! I loved it and you need it. It;s coming out in less than two weeks so. Get on it!

      So funny, I knew I’d heard of Jeff VanderMeer but I couldn’t place where, but that’s it! It looks interesting and weird which is fun. Did you see the Annihilation movie? I have heard it was good (better than the book, mayhaps? ?)

      I am getting SO excited but also kind of panicked like “CRAP I need all new clothes, I cannot meet them in my REGULAR clothes!” bwhahah. I think I am supposed to post something BEFORE I go too, so if you have ANY suggestions… well I beg you to share them ?

  2. AHH so many exciting e-ARCS you’ve got here! I can’t WAIT to read You Say it First and When You Were Everything, and I am pumped to start the Girls with Sharp Sticks series, hopefully soon, it sounds incredible.
    I am amazed by how much you managed to read in the last month too, yay! What did you think of Wildfire? I’ve been very curious about that one 🙂
    I hope you’ll have a beautiful end of the year, Shannon and a very happy new year <3

    • Ohhh yes I LOVED Girls WIth Sharp Sticks, hence my need to read Book 2! I hope you enjoy it too!

      UGH so Marie. I *thought* I was falling in love with Wildfire. I was legit going to rate it 5 stars and throw it on my Favorites list. And then the last 20% or so just TANKED and I have never been more disappointed with a book ever. So I mean, maybe it’s just ME- the writing is really good and the book is SO emotive. But the last fifth or so was just. UGH. I honestly hope it;s revamped before publication, I am THAT angry about it.

  3. aww this is AMAZING and omg, you totally ruled this year with all of the life-things happening AND reading so much AND raising your amazing kids and working and doing a billion things ???a queen, I admire you so much, and pretty sure you deserve extra cake and books for this?? Seems a logical idea. And argh more pretty books I need to add to my TBR ? 2020 is the year I’ll be broke.

    • Aw CAIT that is so sweet of you my goodness, you brought a happy tear to my eye ♥♥♥ I will absolutely accept cake and books though ? And seriously I feel like I am going to be broke too because I don;t think I’ll be able to go to ANY book events so I’ll have to like, Idk, BUY them all, or some such barbarism ?

  4. Molly Mortensen

    156 books! How?!? Sounds like it was one crazy year for you. I hope that your next one is much better! Looks like you had a lovely Christmas. ♥️

  5. Congrats on reading a ton of books! This year, I got a new full-time job and a new baby. My reading really suffered for it. I read a bunch of picture books in December to make my Goodreads total look less sad. I’m glad you were able to keep reading with all the craziness going on. Have fun in Vancouver! Happy 2020!

    • Bwhaha I LOVE that you used picture books! I read at LEAST 3 a day and I know I could and should count them, but I cannot bring myself to, yet anyway. I DO count the chapter books I read with the kids though! Thank you so much, and happy 2020 to you too!

  6. I LOVE the holiday card. You all are a terribly cute family. Look at you, taking the changes and challenges as they come and conquering them. *applause, applause* Change is hard, but you adapted and are doing a fantastic job. I am very jealous you have Kit Sweetly. I just feel like me and that book would be a good combination. I hope it, and all your new books, are great. And, thanks for sharing my post. XOXO Happy New Year!

  7. Beth W

    As a former employee of Medieval Times, though never a knight (thank goodness), I’m very curious about The Life and Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly. Although, TBH, I can’t wait to hear what you think about all of those…which are now on my GR TBR. Ack! 😀

    I’m so excited about your 2020 opportunities, including being Presskru! I need to actually coordinate with you on when you’ll be free to meet up for coffee or something. At this point, I won’t be attending (*sad trombone*) BUT I’ll be getting to spend time with my husband, which almost never happens outside of grocery shopping, so yay! But my priority is meeting you!

    I’m glad Christmas went smoothly, with no family drama (phew!), and that Christmas card is adorable….though I admit I was expecting something themed along The 100. 😉
    Good luck with your 2020 GR reading challenge! Piece of cake, right?

    • Omg I genuinely want to hear ALLLL the stories about your days working at Medieval Times! Bwhahah sorry about your TBR but then also not, because misery DOES love company ?

      YESSS we need to meet up for SURE! I am sad you won’t be attending too (mostly because TWO people can be in pictures and I was absolutely going to invite you to crash mine, and if something changes the offer obviously still stands!) but I am SO EXCITED to see yoou! And very glad that you actually get to see your husband ?

      Bwhahha well, if I ever get a card made just for internet purposes, maybe I’ll make the Smol Humans dress up like the Blake Siblings and I can be….. Idk, Kane ? And thank you!! Yes, luckily the “challenge” is easy peasy, though I always challenge myself “unofficially” to beat the year before which is so DUMB and apparently even NOT tracking it doesn’t stop me!

  8. Congrats on reading 16 books in December! That’s exciting 🙂 I read fewer books in December, but a few were larger sized “adult” fantasies – so I’ll take it. I still need to read Thunderhead, so I can read The Toll. I’ve heard great things about both books! It sounds like 2019 had some crazy happenings. Best of wishes with 2020!

    • Aw thanks so much! And hey, as long as the books were good, it doesn’t even matter how many, right!? Oh YES definitely read ALL the Shusterman. I am jealous because I have to wait until his next book comes out this year ? Hope you have a wonderful 2020 as well!

  9. So many pretty books. *.* I haven’t heard of The Empress of Salt and Fortune before, but it seems quite interesting. Aww, thank you for sharing my post. <3 Congrats on reading 156 books. I don't know how you did it with so much stuff going on (you need to tell me your secret), but you're a super-reader.

    I hope you've a nice time in Vancouver.

    Happy New Year!
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    • So my secret is really that I got a Kindle Paperwhite and I can now read in a bubble bath ? Gives me like, an extra 30 minutes a day of reading, woo! And I won’t lie to you, I absolutely read when I think I can get away with it at work- if my kids are watching a movie or something, it works well haha.

      And thank you SO much! Happy New Year to you, too!

  10. Happy New Year, Shannon! I’m happy you had a good Christmas, and I admire you for all the changes you have dealt with and mastered this year. It’s tough to deal with so much and do it solo as well, so I’m glad you have a lot of positive things and stuff to look forward to as well. I didn’t realize your kitchen caught aflame, that sounds scary. What happened there? May 2020 be a fantastic year for you and bring lots of love, luck, happiness and fun.

    • AWWW Vlora! That is so very sweet of you! ♥♥♥ So yeah it was less than TWO MONTHS after we moved in, I was baking some chicken, and suddenly the smoke alarm went off! I opened the stove, thinking something may have like, fell onto the bottom, you know? And when I opened it, the whole damn thing was aflame! ? I got the kids out and called 911, and the fire department confined most of the damage to the kitchen THANK GOODNESS. Heroes, they are. I got a new kitchen, eventually, so that was the bright side! And thank you, I hope you have a phenomenal 2020 as well!

  11. I’m looking forward to the new one from Katie Cotugno. I usually enjoy hers. And the new one by Mike Chen sounds fantastic.

    Lots of changes for you in 2019. Some sad, obviously, but I hope some prove to be good in the long run. Love the Christmas card! Too cute! 🙂

  12. What a year you had. I hope this year is better for you. Enjoy the books. Some really pretty books covers I see there. If you like you check out my wrap up post for the December: https://nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2019/12/monthly-wrap-up-december-2019.html and or my yearly Wrap up: https://nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2019/12/yearly-wrap-up-2019-year.html or you can check out my 20 Best Books of a Decade:https://nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2019/12/20-best-books-of-decade-2010-2019.html

  13. Kel

    Major congrats on surviving the decade! You definitely had an eventful one (to put it mildly), but I’m so glad you and the kids are doing well and everybody’s happy and healthy now. Have the BEST time at Unity Days, and take all the pictures!! (And I am convinced low Goodreads goals are the key to preserving reading motivation and normal blood pressure, so 35 is excellent.)

    • Aw thank youuu ♥♥ And right you are, eventful is kind of the perfect word ? I will get as many pictures as I possibly can! They have all KINDS of rules about it, but I paid for more pictures than I care to admit, so you’ll see SOMETHING hahha. And since I am Presskru, I am contractually obligated to post them ?? (And I feel you SO MUCH with the Goodreads goal! I wish I actually LISTENED to the 35, but alas! )

  14. You have certainly been through so much this year and I am sincerely hoping that 2020 will be an amazing year for you and bring all the goodness you way possible <3 I hope you have all the fun at Unity Days and I am liking the looks of all these new books as well!

  15. Danielle Hammelef

    2019 was definitely not a ho-hum year for you at all. You made it through because you are strong and I admire you for it. I’m reading A Beginning at the End (1/2 done) by Mike Chen–after reading his first book last year, I became a huge fan. I requested this book from the library and am the first to read. Loving it!

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