T10T: Bookish Discoveries In 2019

Happy Tuesday!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about bookish discoveries I made in 2019. From authors to books to apps and blogs, I discovered so much when I became part of the bookish community last year and here are some of my favorites!

1. DNF-ing

While I only really DNF’d a few books in 2019, I usually made myself suffer through books I wasn’t enjoying  until I realized I didn’t actually have to. I know what it sounds like: “Reader learns she doesn’t have to read if she doesn’t want to”, but I always thought that a book would get better and would hold out hope until the very bitter end, where I was usually disappointed anyway.

2. Book Clubs

2019 was the year I found and joined the book club I’m very fond of, Pages and Prose! I could tell you how amazing, incredible and welcoming this book club is and I still couldn’t tell you enough great things about it. It’s a wonderful community with even more wonderful people that I look forward to chatting with every day.

So, I cannot express how joining a book club within the book community, or even just a discussion group, can make the experience all the more worthwhile.

3. Audiobooks and Ebooks

Last year, I also discovered audiobooks and started using some audiobook sites, like Libby and Audible

Incorporating audiobooks into my reading repertoire allowed me to read more by fitting reading into other parts of my day, like driving or working out, and created a more lively reading experience that I’ve found I really enjoy.

I also started reading more ebooks. I love ebooks. From the usual reasons people give, like being able to carry hundreds of books on one, small device, to just having a wider access to books. I love shopping for ebook deals because it allows me to read a book and support an author while on a budget.

4. Reading Trackers

I use reading trackers rather broadly, because I mean pretty much everything from spreadsheets I threw together to using Goodreads to track how many books I read throughout the year. While I do have some/a lot of issues and reservations about Goodreads, I like to use it to see what my friends are reading and see how my reading stats pan out at the end of the year.

I do also want to use more spreadsheets to track my reading, spending, and more as the year goes on. I have a few that I want to test out and get a feel for to potentially use throughout the year.

But, one app I will definitely be using is the My Library app. As far as I know, the app is only available on Android/Google Play, but it’s a way to catalog a personal library that also offers statistics with read and unread books. I used to just keep a spreadsheet, but I feel like this will make the entire process so much easier.

5. Book Sleeves

I know this feels a little bit like an obvious one, too (and not all that much of a ‘discovery’, either), but I never really thought about buying, or even making my own, book sleeves for my books until I saw people using them when I joined Book Twitter. I remember making them out of paper bags for textbooks (a different kind of sleeve, sure, but still a sleeve) to protect them from whatever it was middle schoolers and teenagers put their books through, but I hadn’t thought of doing the same for my own personal library.

While having a book sleeve isn’t a necessity–you can definitely travel with and preserve your books just fine without them–I like to use them if I’m travelling with a book that’s either not mine or one I want to keep in really good condition. Books should look like however you think books should look like, and if keeping them in new or like-new condition is what you want to do, book sleeves can be a great way of doing so while also adding some style.

That’s all I have for this post. What are some of your favorite discoveries you made this past year?

Thanks for reading!

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T10T: Anticipated 2020 Releases

Happy Tuesday, friends!

This Top Ten Tuesday is all about highly anticipated new releases for the first half of 2020, and while I made it a goal to be more mindful and careful about how much money I’m spending on books, I do have a few books I really am looking forward to in 2020.

Some of these are sequels to books I read in 2018 and 2019, while others are from authors I’ve read from before that I’m looking forward to reading more from. They’re in no particular order, but they’re all being released before the middle of July in 2020!

  1. Clap When You Land; Elizabeth Acevedo
  2. Dark and Deepest Red; Anna-Marie McLemore
  3. The Hand on the Wall; Maureen Johnson
  4. Home Before Dark; Riley Sager
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes; Suzanne Collins
  6. The Sun Down Motel; Simone St. James
  7. Where Dreams Descend; Janella Angeles
  8. Malorie; Josh Malerman
  9. Take a Hint, Dani Brown; Talia Hibber
  10. The Glass Hotel; Emily St. John Mandel

What are some 2020 releases you’re looking forward to?

Thanks for reading!
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#StartOnYourShelfathon Announcement

Hello friends!

A few months back, I put together a cute little TBR jar that sat right on my bookshelf and pretty much collected dust. My intent was to use the TBR jar to not only diversify what books I was choosing each month, but to also finally finish all the books on my bookshelf.

While I didn’t exactly accomplish this in 2019 (I’m pretty sure the number of books I haven’t read still outnumber the ones I have), it is something I want to start to focus on in 2020.

And that’s where the #StartOnYourShelfathon comes in.

In efforts to actually get things done and finally tackle my backlist/TBR, I’m participate the #StartOnYourShelfathon. Created by The Quiet Pond, the #StartOnYourShelfathon, the goal of the year-long readathon is to inspire readers to tackle their shelves, whittle down that ever-growing stack of books to be read, and read as many unread books as you can, all the while collecting stars to help Castor, the Star Collector.

The readathon lasts from Dec. 13, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2020, but I’m starting in January because it just worked out a little better for me. For more information on the readathon, including star maps, constellations and templates, head on over here!

Readathon Goals

One of the things I already really love about this readathon is how versatile and flexible it is. You can really set whatever goals you want to and go at your own pace. Whether it’s to read every book on your shelf before the end of the year or whatever feels right for you, the options are pretty much endless.

I, for one, know that I probably won’t be able to go the entire year without buying a single book, but I would like to be more mindful about the books I do buy and start to use other resources more often. So, for this year, I’m going to limit try and limit myself to one new purchase a month while utilizing the library as much as I can.

Aside from that, here are a few of my goals for the #StartOnYourShelfathon!

  • Redo, and actually use, my TBR Jar to pick out six to ten books to read each month.
  • Read at least five physical books off my TBR each month, and at least one audiobook and e-book a month
  • Do monthly updates and check ins with the star maps

 

What are some books you want to tackle this year? Are you planning on participating in the #StartOnYourShelfathon?

Thanks for reading!

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Boy Band-a-Thon Reading Goals

It’s a new year, a new readathon, but definitely not a new debate. It’s the Boy Band-a-Thon. Created by Val at JBreatheNBooks, Whitney at LifeWHITMe, Shantall at LaFlorDeJalisco and Lorryn at readingparent, the Boy Band-a-Thon sets out to settle the Backstreet Boy vs. NSync debate once and for all!

While I loved both bands growing up, I’m participating in the Boy Band-a-Thon with Team BSB.

Though there are prompts for this readathon, any book read this month counts toward my team! Which is super exciting, because the majority of my TBR is centered around books I’m reading for my Finishing What I Started post. I wasn’t going to post a readathon for that post, mainly because I didn’t know which ones I was actually going to be able to get to and didn’t want to set myself up for trying to accomplish something and then being let down, but I figure if I post one TBR that has books from both lists, it’ll encourage me to actually finish them.

 

Some of these books fit prompts, others don’t, but I’m really looking forward to this readathon. I’m hoping to write up weekly wrap ups to mark my progress throughout the month, and I’m going to do my best to actually hold myself to it.

For more information on this readathon, check out the Twitter page here for everything you need to dive into this readathon.

Thanks for reading!
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Finishing What I Started: January Reading Goals

Happy January! It’s the first of the year, which means it’s time for my first monthly reading list of the new year!

Though I’m still toying with how I want to build my monthly reading lists for the new year, I knew that I wanted to focus on actually beating my backlist like I said I was going to last year, and making some headway in beating Stephen King’s bibliography. While this list won’t have any of Stephen King’s works on it, it’ll absolutely have a whole bunch of books from my backlist.

Aside from beating my backlist and chipping away at an intimidating bibliography, I have another goal I really wanted to tackle this year: finishing series I started in January.

This is something I’ve been meaning to do lately, ever since I realized that while I had started several series in 2019 (the answer may shock you), I hadn’t actually finished…any of them. Not a single one. Exactly how many, you may ask?

Eleven. That I can count. That I remember starting and have marked as read this year on Goodreads. So there may be some wiggle room on that number.

But, regardless, I endeavored to make my first reading list of the month about finishing series, or at least making some headway. There will probably be well over 10 books on this list, so I’m going to focus on the ones I have immediately on my shelf  before I start looking at getting books from the library. Right now, the list is organized by series I’m currently most excited to get to, but it’s definitely not a written-in-stone commitment.

With that, here’s the list! Continue reading “Finishing What I Started: January Reading Goals”

Weekly Wrap Up | Dec. 1 – Dec. 8

I’m pretty sure that somewhere I promised to do a weekly reading update, and lo and behold, here we are. I had two main goals this month: read the thrillers nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards and complete the Winter Magical Readathon.

So, this will be a very short update because I have made precious little headway in either of those things.

Goodreads Choice Awards

I know that the “read Goodreads Choice Award nominees” has been the theme of several videos and challenges. I know I first saw it in booksandlala’s video in 2018. It definitely got me thinking about how Goodreads selects its nominees, and if they’re worth as much hype as they’re given. So, I wanted to try it out for myself once the main nominees were announced.

If you wanna know more about the books I chose and why, check out my December Reading Plans post. There is really no rhyme or reason why I chose those books other than they were the ones I was interested in that were nominated that I hadn’t read yet. I probably could’ve gone more in-depth and been more analytical, but this is what I decided on: a reading challenge with absolutely no statistical weight comprised of thrillers I was interested in.

I read The Test by Sylvain Neuvel and Lock Every Door by Riley Sager this week, scratching two books off the list. I had every intention of reading more, but the week just got wildly busy very fast. So, while I’m a little bummed I didn’t get to read as much as I wanted to, I know that trying to cram in reading if I’m not feeling it will only breed resentment for whatever it is I’m reading.

I will hopefully be posting a review of Lock Every Door sometime this week, but if you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll know how I rated it (hint: I really liked it). It was definitely a gut reaction, so my rating might change, and while I definitely enjoyed it, I’m not sure how I feel about it compared to Sager’s other works.

2019 Winter Magical Readathon

Because this week was more hectic than I initially anticipated, I ended up not finishing Ace of Shades this week and really only started it this afternoon.

I also kinda broke the rules a little bit by going through to Chapter Two when I hadn’t actually finished Chapter One (whoops), so I’m just going to redo it once I actually finish Ace of Shades. Which will, hopefully, be this week.

So, that’s about it. I read two books and accidentally flubbed a readathon, so all in all, it’s just been one of those weeks. But, tomorrow is a new day and I’m hoping it’ll be a little calmer than this past week’s been.

Thanks for reading!

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End of the Year Book Tag

Hello friends!

Is this post a few minutes late for Blogmas Day Two? Mayhaps. Are we going to pretend it wasn’t and just carry on like it’s on time? Potentially. The point is that I wrote most of this before midnight, so I’m gonna go ahead and count it.

Anyway, I was looking for some fun book tags to do and saw this tag floating around on the book community, so I wanted to give it a go. I did some digging, and I believe it was created by Ariel Bisset. It sounded like a really fun, short tag so let’s give it a whirl! Continue reading “End of the Year Book Tag”