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Thursday, 31 December 2020

Top Ten Fiction Books 2020

Top Ten Fiction Books 2020

It has been a different year for us all. This year I read about 15% fewer books than my average over the last three years. And even a bigger drop if you look at this quarter. But since reading and reviewing books is my hobby, I am grateful to have been able to read 317 books this year. And have reviews written for all the books read. The year by the numbers:

317 Books Read
222 received 5/5 Stars.
272 books read for the first.
172 Non-Fiction
145 Fiction

Here are my top ten fiction books of 2020.

Top Ten Fiction Books:
2. Books by Fiorella de Maria
3. Dex Hollister Series - Karina Fabian
4. Unsparked Series - Corinna Turner
6. Dragon Assassin Series - Arthur Slade
9. Jim Sano - Father Tom Fitzpatrick Series
11. Short fiction by Cedar Sanderson

Bonus:
Mandy Lamb Series - Corinna Turner
Stay With Me Series - Carolyn Astfalk

There were so many great fiction books that I read this year. A few new authors, and some long standing favorites. My reading has been up over each of the last few years. I attribute in part to Brandon Vogt’s course Read More Books Now, removing all games but 1 brain game from my devices. I was commuting to work on a bus and read on the bus every day. But being 2020 everything is topsy-turvy. I read less books this year. But I managed to write reviews for all books read for the first time. 

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are sometimes in the bonus section. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list.  


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2020 
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

317 - 2020 
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996



Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2020

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2020

It has been a different year for us all. This year I read about 15% fewer books than my average over the last three years. And even a bigger drop if you look at this quarter. But since reading and reviewing books is my hobby, I am grateful to have been able to read 317 books this year. And have reviews written for all the books read. The year by the numbers:

317 Books Read
222 received 5/5 Stars.
272 books read for the first.
172 Non-Fiction
145 Fiction

Here are my top ten non-fiction books of 2020.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

Bonus:

My reading has been up over each of the last few years. Which I attribute in part to Brandon Vogt’s course Read More Books Now, removing all games but 1 brain game from my devices. And I was commuting to work on a bus and read on the bus every day. But being 2020 everything is topsy-turvy. I read less books this year. But I managed to write reviews for all books read for the first time.

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are sometimes in the bonus section. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list.  


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2020 
Top Ten Fiction Books 2020
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

317 - 2020 
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996



Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Fourth Quarter 2020

It has been a different year for us all. This year I read about 15% fewer books than my average over the last three years. And even a bigger drop if you look at this quarter. But since reading and reviewing books is my hobby, I am grateful to have been able to read 317 books this year. And 65 of them this quarter. Of those 65 read 53 received 5/5 stars. And 53 were first time reads. And out of those 46 there were 34 fiction and 12 non-fiction. Part of the imbalance is due to reading most days with my youngest two and they have reached the point where they are reading much faster. 

Without further ado or preamble here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter of 2020.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:
8. Books by William Lawson

Bonus:

Top Ten Fiction Books:
3. Jim Sano - Father Tom Fitzpatrick Series
5. Corinna Turner’s Books:
7. Karina Fabian’s books:
8. Short fiction by Cedar Sanderson

Bonus:
Arthur Slade Dragon Assassins
Downfall

My reading has been up over each of the last few years. I attribute part of it to Brandon Vogt’s course Read More Books Now, removing all games but 1 brain game from my devices. And I was commuting to work on a bus and read on the bus every day. But being 2020 everything is topsy-turvy. I read less books this year. But I managed to write reviews for all books read for the first time. 

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are in the bonus section. It was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2020 
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

317 - 2020 
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996



Monday, 28 December 2020

Fortress of the Stone Dragon - Tracey West and Matt Loveridge - Dragon Masters Book 17

Fortress of the Stone Dragon 
Dragon Masters Book 17
Tracey West (Author)
Matt Loveridge (Illustrator)
Scholastic
ISBN 9781338540314
eISBN 9781338540338
ASIN B081SWW4F3


Wow, we are all caught up. When we finished this volume, we went to open the next. But alas It does not come out for almost three months to the day. My youngest daughter was really struck by the cliff-hanger ending to this one. But she thinks it is perfect. If it was not a cliff-hanger in three months she might not return to the series. But because it is we have already ordered the eBook and it will deliver the day it releases. This is an excellent book in a great series. 

As a family we really, really, really love these books! A few years ago, I read the first eight books of this series to my son. My youngest daughter really enjoyed it and the three of us read them. This year my youngest has been reading them to me. And now we are all caught up. This year we found out that my nephew has been reading them and was only 1 book ahead of us. He is reading the physical books and We are reading the eBook editions. This is another great story in a wonderful series. My youngest daughter is insistent that we will read the whole series. And she has spent her reading challenge money buying all the kindle editions that are available. And when we finished this one we found out there are three more announced already. That will bring the series to 20 stories and one special edition volume, Griffith’s Guide for Dragon Masters.

This series builds book upon book. But each is written well enough that they can be read on their own. But as a series it is fantastic. We see characters come in and out of the stories. Characters change from bad to good. And we get to watch Drake and the dragon masters at Bracken and around the world work together to protect each other, their kingdoms and the whole world. But the stories really do focus around Drake, his dragon Worm. And their role in these adventures.

In this one the story the work of cleaning up all the dark magicians that were released from Maldred’s trap continues. The team gets a call from help from old friends. And are off to fight one of the most powerful wizards in the world. We meet the Stone Dragon, its master and find out it has a special power. But Astrid has learned not only how to steal Dragon’s powers but how to use them herself.

This is the second volume illustrated by Matt Loveridge. There are several illustrators across the series. The illustrations keep a consistent feel and look. But Each artist leaves their own mark on the books they work on. Some illustrations stand alone and some wrap around the text and span two-page spreads. 

This is another excellent read in a great series. These are awesome books for young readers, but also entertaining enough for older readers. I am continually impressed with the staying power of this series. After multiple reads over several years I still really enjoy returning to the Dragon Masters, as do my children. And look forward too many more reads in this series, as my daughter is insistent, she will read them all to me! And she insisted we give it 5/5 stars! And she loved the cliff-hanger ending. It is a great read in a wonderful series!

Dragon Master Books:
1. Rise of the Earth Dragon
2. Saving the Sun Dragon
3. Secret of the Water Dragon
4. Power of the Fire Dragon
5. Song of the Poison Dragon

6. Flight of the Moon Dragon
7. Search for the Lightning Dragon
20. Howl of the Wind Dragon
21. Bloom of the Flower Dragon 
...
...

















Sunday, 27 December 2020

The Monks Make Amends - Sylvia Dorham and Christopher Tupa

The Monks Make Amends 
Christopher Tupa (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781505117905


I read the first book in this series 4 years ago, The Monk’s Daily Bread, and never got around to reviewing it. I plan to go back and read it again just for that purpose. The day this one arrived I read it twice. Well actually my 10-year-old read it to me and then later my 12 year old read it to me. This is a wonderful little picture book. The book reminds me of both Tales of a Magic Monastery by Theophane the Monk and The Case of the Haunted Chapel by Karen Kelly Boyce and Sue Anderson Gioulis Sisters of the Last Straw Book 1 but geared for younger readers. 

The book is set in a monastery is guided by Father Abbot. One day he notices that something is off. There are monks who are angry, and monks who are mad. And this is making Father Abbot very sad. He must find a way to figure out what happened and what can be done about it.

The illustrations are wonderful. The story is fun. All three of us give it a solid 5/5 stars. We plan to go back and reread the first book, The Monk’s Daily Bread, and really look forward to the next one, The Monk’s Stormy Night. A great picture book in what is shaping up to be a great series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!  

Books by Sylvia Dorham:
The Monks Series:
The Monk’s Daily Bread

Other Books:
Rosana: A Modern Retelling of the Book of Ruth
Jewel
The Book of Names: An Accounting of What Might Have Been
Avoiding The Octopus








Saturday, 26 December 2020

Call of the Sound Dragon - Tracey West and Daniel Griffo - Dragon Masters Book 16

Call of the Sound Dragon
Dragon Masters Book 16
Tracey West (Author)
Matt Loveridge (Illustrator)
Scholastic
ISBN 9781338540284
eISBN 9781338540307
ASIN B07Z7BVBR2


This is the 24th time I have read a Dragon Masters Book, and it show no sigh of slowing. The only thing that is going to slow us down is when we hit the end of the published stories and have to wait 3 or 4 months for the next one to release. To be honest I was thankful when my youngest wanted to return to these books. Seventeen of those reads have been in the last 6 months. As a family we love these books! A few years ago, I read the first eight books of this series to my son. Then his interest waned. I had purchased three of them but did not get around to reading them myself. Then my youngest wanted to return to them and we started over again. This year we also found out that my nephews have been reading them and that he was only 1 book ahead of us. He is reading the physical books and we are reading the eBook editions. This is another fun story in a great series. It is one of my daughters favorites. My youngest daughter is insistent that we will read the whole series. And she has spent her reading challenge money buying all the kindle editions that are available. Including Griffin’s Guide for Dragon Masters.

This series continues to have staying power. I have read some of the stories 4 or 5 times now. And have been reading them for over 4 years. And I still enjoy the stories as do my children. My son who thought he had outgrown these stories has been sitting in and listening to his sister read them to me. It is also great to know that my brother’s family loves them as much as ours. It is fascinating to watch the kids interact and compare notes about the books that they are both reading. And to predict what will happen next based on the endings of the book, or title of the next as we queue it up. 

One of the great things about this series is that it is a true series. In that each story builds upon the last. The stories are strong enough to be read on their own, but as a whole we get to watch the growth of the group as they come together as a team and learn to work together and support each other. We see some characters come in and out of the stories. At the end there is usually a hint, or a hook for the next story. 

In this adventure we travel to the land of Remus and we meet new dragon master named Tessa and her dragon Sono. We are informed upon their meeting that:

“Drake stared at the new dragon. A wavey pattern of rainbow colors rippled across her scales. She had 4 legs and no wings.”

Both the dragon and master have a bit of a hippy look and feel to them. And my daughter loved the cover and pictures of the two. This volume is illustrated by Matt Loveridge, who also illustrated volume 14. The illustrator seems to change every book or two, and this is the first time I recall an illustrator skipping a volume and then returning. The illustrations keep a consistent feel and look. But each artist leaves their own mark on the books they work on. Some illustrations stand alone and some wrap around the text and span two-page spreads.

In this volume the team is trying to stop a wizard battle. And it appears to be one of the riskiest adventures they have been on yet. One of the team is turned into a duck and not at all happy about it. But to find out which one you will need to read the book. They also have what appears to be an impossible task, to get a gem from the center of an unbreakable rock. This is the first time that we have encountered a Dragon Master with a physical disability. And what they do to overcome and compensate for it. It is great to have such a character in the story. And We hope it is sings of things to come. My daughter was looking forward to sharing with a classmate who has the same condition. And we hope she will get interested in these awesome books. 

This is another great read in a really fun series. This one was not as dark as the last few, but we know that more trials are yet to come. They are fun books for readers both young and young at heart. They can be enjoyed multiple times. I am impressed with the staying power of this series. Even after multiple reads over several years I still really enjoy returning to the Dragon Masters. And look forward too many more reads in this series, as my daughter is insistent, she will read them all to me! This book was given a quick and solid it 5/5 stars from my daughter and I would have given it 4. We had a long discussion about why and settled on 5 for the review. A great read in an excellent series.

Dragon Master Books:
1. Rise of the Earth Dragon
2. Saving the Sun Dragon
3. Secret of the Water Dragon
4. Power of the Fire Dragon
5. Song of the Poison Dragon

6. Flight of the Moon Dragon
7. Search for the Lightning Dragon
20. Howl of the Wind Dragon
21. Bloom of the Flower Dragon 
...
...