Read This Week: STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco

IMG_0332February was a bit of a reading slump in that I only read two books, and both of those had been started in early to mid-January. So, I told myself I’d strive to make reading more important in March, and I definitely got off on the right foot by reading STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco.

I’ve had this book sitting on my TBR shelf for a year now, along with its sequel (which I’m currently reading) and am super happy I finally picked it up. It had elements of two other favorites of mine JACKABY by William Ritter and SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY by Susan Dennard.

This book had everything I look for in a YA; spunky protagonist, charming love interest, and interesting setting. I loved every second of this novel and ended up reading the bulk of it in two sittings over two days. It’s definitely safe to say this book has gotten me back onto reading, as I immediately started the sequel and want even more books like this one.

The protagonist, Audrey Rose, is sure of herself and what she wants from the very beginning of the story. She never wavers in her desires, but she still grows and learns in a journey I found immensely satisfying to read. She encounters problems and people that are equally as riveting.

Every character in this novel, no matter how much page time they get, felt genuine and furthered the story and Audrey Rose’s journey. I loved how her own worries and expectations seamlessly played into the mystery and the suspense, leaving me hooked.

I’m definitely glad I picked this one up and can’t wait to see what happens in HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA.


My 2017 Reading List

I was inspired to make a post about what I read in 2017 after reading Marissa Meyer’s 2017 Reading List. I must say that 2017 was the best reading year I’ve had in a while, which is to say that according to Goodreads I by far surpassed my yearly reading total for the entire time I’ve been keeping track.

I’m excited to keep the trend going in 2018, and I’ll be posting my 2018 reading goals pretty soon. For now I’ll be sharing my 2017 reading stats broken down into category and genre, along with my favorite book I read in that genre this year. For the full list of what I read and what I’m currently reading, check out my Goodreads.


Total Books Read: 47

The breakdown:

Young Adult: 20

Fantasy / Urban Fantasy: 13

By far my favorite YA books this year was the SOMETHING STRANGE & DEADLY series by Susan Dennard. I read this trilogy back in September and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

Contemporary: 7

Three of these seven books were me rereading the ALL FOR THE GAME trilogy by Nora Sakavic, so out of the four I read for the first time in 2017 I’m going to have to go with ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN by Jenny Han.

Middle Grade: 6

Five of these six was the PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS series by Rick Riordan, and the other was THE DREADFUL TALE OF PROSPER REDDING by Alexandra Bracken. I’m equally obsessed with both and am looking forward to continuing reading both authors in 2018.

Nonfiction: 5

Writing Craft: 3

I’m going to go with SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder as it was the most technically helpful of the three, though I enjoyed the storytelling and humor of all three.

Sports History: 1

The lone book in this category is THE MONTREAL CANADIENS by J. Alexander Poulton.

Crime/Science: 1

Another lonely category, this time consisting of THE SCIENCE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by E.J. Wagner.

Graphic Novels: 4

Another tie as this consists of two series I’m equally obsessed with. I read the first three volumes of LUMBERJANES and Vol. 1 of THE BACKSTAGERS.

Science Fiction: 3

I’m beginning to see a pattern. Once again there’s only two series in this category. I read the first two HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY books by Douglas Adams and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey.

Fantasy / Urban Fantasy: 3

This one is a tight race, but I’m going to go with a book I’ve wanted to read for years and finally got around to, which is GOOD OMENS by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Short Story Collections: 2

Since one of these was a reread of the all the Sherlock Holmes stories, I’ll stick with BECAUSE YOU LOVE TO HATE ME edited by Ameriie.

Fiction (mystery): 1

ARROWOOD by Mick Finlay.

Fiction (classic): 1

FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley

Poetry/Novels in Verse: 1

THINGS LEFT UNSAID by Stephanie Hemphill

Other: 1

CAT’S LETTERS TO SANTA by Bill Adler and Illustrated by Paul Bacon.


Setting a (Moderately) High 2017 Reading Goal

I’ve seen several posts already this year of people setting low or no reading goals for 2017 as a way of keeping the pressure off. I think that’s a great idea, but one I’ll be saving for personal use in future years.


My TBR shelf as of December 2016

Right now, I have close to 50 or 60 unread books on my bookshelf, and while that’s low for some people it’s pretty high for me. In an effort to resist spending money I don’t have, as I’ve just graduated college and don’t have a job yet, I’m setting my reading goal in an effort to force myself to read the books on my shelf.

If you check out my goodreads you’ll see my reading goal is actually only 40 books, because I’m not at my own apartment right now and haven’t counted the exact number of TBR books I have recently. So I went low, but the idea is that I’ll knock out the majority of that reading goal with books I already own, as well as some books I’ve borrowed from my sister and haven’t returned for more than a year (oops).

I will definitely end up buying more books. In fact, since setting that reading goal I’ve already used a gift card I got for Christmas to buy four books, and I have a lot of 2017 releases I’m looking forward to. I’m trying to keep blinders on though, and I’m having to remind myself that I can’t just walk into a Barnes and Noble “for fun” if I’m trying to save money.

As for the 40 book goal itself, it’s the highest reading goal I’ve ever set on goodreads, though I’m sure back in my middle school/high school days before I was keeping track I was reading a lot more than that in a year.


Books I’ve read each year (according to Goodreads), if you’re interested.

But I’ve also been making sure to remind myself that there’s no requirement for the number of books I read in a year. I want to read what I enjoy, whether that’s a popular book I’ve seen all over Youtube and Tumblr or a random book that’s already been on my shelves for years.

Hopefully y’all keep that in mind, too. A lot of what I’ve seen is that people feel the pressure of reading a lot and reading specific books, and I almost fell into that for a few months too, but I have to remind myself that I was a reader before I was ever aware of YouTube or Tumblr, and reading is a personal experience and is allowed to be treated as such. So, whether you’ve set your goal to 1 book or 100, I hope you’ll keep the focus on enjoying the reading experience, and remember you don’t have to meet any expectations other than your own.