January 18, 2022 04:35 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During December, I read four full-length novels, three short stories/novellas and one children’s book. All of them rated four stars or higher, but only one received the full five stars from me to be featured here. As it happens it was the children’s book, which is a heartwarming, middle-grade, holiday story about a little homeless puppy who goes around town, saving lives, helping people in need, and spreading Christmas cheer during the holiday season. I loved how the puppy is still able to give love and help the townspeople to feel better, even though he is so very lonely himself after getting lost from his canine family. I found this to be a great object lesson for humans in that if we can rise above our own hurts and find the love in our hearts to help others, it might just make us feel better too, not to mention it was a great example of the real spirit of Christmas.
Tags: Nicholas Edwards
January 18, 2022 04:00 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
It’s January, which means that it’s time once again for my annual Best of the Year giveaway. Ever since I started my review site, The Hope Chest Reviews, in 2008, I’ve been posting a Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. As always, I have an eclectic group of books on it from a wide variety of genres. Since I’m a romance writer and nearly life-long romance reader, my focus is mostly on romance, but I also have a nice selection of other books, including fantasy, YA, children’s, biography/memoirs, and non-fiction. I'm a pretty slow reader, so I rarely have time to read books when they're released, although sometimes I do. That being the case, I compile the list from the books I read during the previous year. This makes for a well-rounded list of brand new titles, mixed with older ones, and a little bit of everything in between.
I read nearly seventy books and novellas in 2021, and just over half of them made it to my keeper shelf, meaning that they earned 4.5 to 5 stars from me. These are the books that make my “Best of …” lists in the individual genres. I've also nominated books in a wide variety of other categories, including best characters, best quotes, and best covers. I hope you'll check out my full list and perhaps find your next great read.