Welcome to December’s Monthly 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. As always, I link up with the Wrap Up Round Up, too! 

The Books

For Review/From Publishers:

This Is Not the Jess Show & This Is Not the Real World by Anna Carey

All the Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle

Galactic Fun Park by Mason Bell

Medusa by Jessie Burton & Olivia Lomenech Gill

Hugest of thanks to the publishers for these lovelies! 


Huge thanks to the publishers for these lovelies! 


Across the DesertOur Way Back to AlwaysHunting by StarsAurora’s EndThe Great Big OneInstructions for DancingThe Second Rebel

Okay look I started out awesome. Didn’t buy a thing! Until… I was informed that Barnes & Noble was selling all hardcovers for 50% off 😱


Gah ’twas a good month! Thanks to Lena for Luna kom Flokru and Any Sign of Life (I mean sure she bought them with my own money, but shh). Thanks to Amber for Me (Moth) and Alex, Approximately. Thanks to author Tara Goedjen for No Beauties or Monsters, and to the respective publishers for My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding, Heartbreak Symphony, Mirror Girls, Gold Mountain, Hollow Firesand Mercy Street

Shenanigans Since Last Time:

I read 15 books this month. Not too bad, eh?

Wow so this month was a reading roller-coaster, frankly. Some really great, some just… not. Reviews will be coming, of course! 

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. 

Yearly Recap/Up Next:

  • I read 178 books. This is the most books I have ever read in a year, still I have not managed to hit the ellusive 200. I blame having to go back to work, frankly. It ruined my reading mojo. Or something. This was also a very quality year, as you can see by my impossible choices for “best of”. Literally, these were all 5 full stars, and I had to cut out quite a few 5 star books. So, I’ll take it!
  • I posted not a lot. Look, blogging is hard. Life is too. I did jot down a few discussion post ideas for next year, so we’ll see. I did manage to bring back the Olympic Book Tag, which is a crowd favorite, and will be doing a winter Games one too!
  • Not a ton happened this year? Fun stuff, like Conageddon, was postponed/canceled because pandemic. So there was a lot of just… existing. Also, going back to work, which was rough. I like my current job better than my last one (I am working as a paraprofessional in an autism classroom) but I’d like it way better if it was at, say, noon.
  • For 2022, random.org has challenged me to read… 103 books. Honestly that is kind of rude? The whole point is for it to be low key, low stress. Ugh.

Things we need to talk about at this juncture:

  • December… happened. I was so looking forward to Christmas, but COVID had other plans. Namely, it decided to infect my dad, who was thrice-vaccinated and wears masks pretty much everywhere. So. That was that! And we all had the same symptoms as he did- sore throat, congestion, achy- but my mom and the kids and I all tested negative. We’re all fine, albeit grumpy, and very over anti-vaxxers. But before all that happened, the kids did get to see some lights and a Santa or two!

Have a great January and a wonderful 2022, loves! Let me know how your month was! Looking forward to anything coming up?

Posted December 31, 2021 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps / 33 Comments

33 responses to “Monthly (and Yearly!) Minutes at Midnight: December 2021

  1. Thanks for linking up my post, Shannon! It’s pretty crazy cool that you finished 178 books in ONE YEAR! That might be near impossible to me! Also, I am so sorry to hear about your dad! I wish him a speedy recovery!

    • Aw thanks! So, my honest goal IS to read one more book, tbh. But it stresses me out when I see the number on Goodreads, so I let random.org pick a book between 1 and one more than what I read last year. One year it gave me 9, that year was AWESOME 😂

  2. Congrats on reading so many books! I had one of my worst reading years ever. I won’t even hit 100 this year. I think it’s because I have a toddler and worked a zillion hours of overtime during the summer. My reading was rudely interrupted by work and children. I’m sorry you got sick. I hope you’re feeling better!

    • Aw thank you! I am so sorry you had such a rough year. Work will definitely do that, and toddlers will EXTRA definitely do that! In fairness, work and children are also why I can never read as much as I like too 😂 Hope your 2022 is starting off great!

  3. Happy New Year!!!

    178 books is wild! I wish I’d read a fraction of that! 🙂 But you did share a lot of good ones. Galactic Fun Park looks well, fun, and yay new Mike Chen!

    Sorry about your dad that sucks that he got sick. That you all did! I hope he’s doing better now…

    Nice pics! 🙂

    • Thanks, Happy New Year to you too! I feel like it’s all relative- like those people who read 500 books make me feel like a slacker, but then some people feel like I read a ton, etc etc. The point is, there is always someone who will read more- though I don’t think I’d even want to read 500 books tbh? I’d not remember a thing about any of them!

  4. Honestly, despite getting sick for 10 days in December, this was a pretty great month. I got through my finals with minimal panic, which is a win for me, and I even hosted a mini pizza party for one of the groups that I did a project with this semester, which was a lot of fun! I also managed to blog a nice amount considering I had finals, then got sick.

    Thank you so much for mentioning both of my discussions! I had such a fun time writing each of them, and I’m quite proud of the discussions they generated, so I appreciate you sharing them with even more readers!

    I’m sorry your Christmas plans didn’t go as you hoped, but here’s to a much better year in 2022!

  5. Johanna Burton

    Oh man, I’m so jealous of the won/gifted/traded section! Thanks so much for all of the content you’ve put out this year, I don’t think there has been a post yet I haven’t loved! Wishing you all the best in the New Year!

  6. December started off nice for me too, and then you know…we talked about it. LOL Being sick sucks. I hope your family is all on the mend though!

    Yay for having such an awesome reading year. Mine was definitely better than I thought it was going to be. hah


    • Aw thank you, and I hope you are doing better too! Can all the sickness just… not? We’ve all had more than enough now, right? After all this we should be set for at least a decade 😂 Is… is that not how that works? Glad you had a good reading year, too! Hopefully this one will be decent, too!

  7. “I like my current job better than my last one (I am working as a paraprofessional in an autism classroom) but I’d like it way better if it was at, say, noon.”
    LOL, that’s what I keep asking: “Who the hell invented mornings?”. Jokes aside, yours sounds like a tough job, though it must also be rewarding.

    Boo Covid! I hope your dad has recovered by now. And at least the kids have gotten a taste of Christmas!

    “I did jot down a few discussion post ideas for next year, so we’ll see.”
    Looking forward to those!

    Happy new year Shannon!

    • Dude. You have no idea- especially when I come home from THOSE kids to handle my OWN kids hahah. And yes, luckily the Covid was fairly mild for him! And thank you, I hope I actually follow through with said discussions bwhaha. Hope you are having a wonderful new year too!

  8. Congrats on far surpassing your Goodreads goal! That is very impressive especially considering you went back to work.

    Hope you are all healthy and have a Happy New Year!

  9. Kel

    Happy 2022! Sorry Christmas turned out that way, but hopefully the kids still got some fun times and good memories. Hope you’re all feeling better!

  10. I feel like I say this every time you post a haul, but I am insanely jealous. I am eager to see how Jess’ story ends and really looking forward to the new Mangle book. The new Jenn Bennett too!! You are blessed by the ARC gods. I, am not. Beware of that Yoon book. I was ugly crying from it. The new Moreno book looks fun too. I was hoping my library would have it by now. Maybe at some point this year. Sorry to hear covid got your dad. I wear masks, I sanitize, I am vaccinated. The virus gonna get us, but at least with the vaccination the chances are good that it will be mild. I just am hoping we reach endemic levels this year

  11. So many fun sounding books! I’m nearly drooling here. And it looks like you read some good ones this past month too.

    I love how you pick your goal for Goodreads. LOL That is too funny. I was telling my husband last night I wasn’t sure what number I was going to go for this year–he said I should bump my goal up to 11 since I set it to 10 last year.

    I am sorry COVID struck. I tested negative when I had my nasty cold last night, but there’s a part of me that still wonders if I had COVID. Will it always be like that when we get sick now? It seems like a lot of my coworkers were exposed over the holidays and a couple have tested positive.

    I hope you have a great January and Happy New Year!

  12. Seeing Always Jane reminds me that I definitely want to read more Jenn Bennett this year.

    So sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he’s doing much better. And the rest of you, too. Yeah, I’m so sick of hearing the anti-vax crap. It’s like, if you’re not concerned about getting it yourself, aren’t you even concerned about spreading it to your family? You’re okay with that risk? I will never understand it.

  13. I hope your Dad is loads better now, and I’m glad the rest of you are safe! Breakthrough omicron is frightening…in many ways, December felt like March/April 2020 all over again.

    I think you need to ditch random.org and just set your TBR challenge to 1 book. That way, you’re always winning, just winning more and more as *you* want to.

  14. 178 books!! That is phenomenal! Sorry to hear you were all sick, and I hope you’re all better. Thankfully we made it through Christmas before things started ramping up again here in Texas. I’m so over the anti-vaxxers, too! Happy New Year! <3

  15. Oh, I missed that B&N sale – I saw other people saying they were buying lots from B&N, but I didn’t realize why. Guess that’s what I get for not being inquisitive enough. LOL! I’m glad that everyone but your dad ended up testing negative for COVID. Hope he’s feeling healthy again!

  16. Ahh yay congrats on reading so many books, that’s incredible! I have All the right reasons on my TBR, I’m excited to hear what you think of it, it sounds really great.
    I hope you and your family are doing better, sending you all the love! <3 <3

  17. Look at all those beautiful books! *.* I wish I could have enjoyed the B&N sales, but they no longer ship to my country. Congrats on reading 178 books. =D

    Damn you, covid. I hope your dad is doing better — I got covid a year ago, and I still have some memory issues.

    Happy readings!

  18. Danielle Hammelef

    I’m so sorry your dad got COVID as a break through case! Thank you for sharing the adorable Christmas photos. I also bought Aurora’s End and Across the Desert during B&N 50% sale. Of course, I also bought others, including She Wouldn’t Change a Thing (because I loved the excerpt and because you loved it). I hope your New Year has started off well!

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