Top Ten Tuesday | Bookish Discoveries I Made in 2019

Oh hey, how’s it going? I haven’t done a TTT in a long while, but I thought, hey, I want to pick up blogging again, so why not do a TTT post once in a while?

If you don’t know what Top Ten Tuesday is, it’s a weekly event across book blogs, vlogs, etc., where we discuss our top ten of the topic picked for that week. It was originally started on The Broke and the Bookish, but has since moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s topic is all about bookish discoveries that I made in 2019, from authors to blogs, books to bookish merch. Here’s my top ten from last year.

10. Reading Planner

I had set up a reading planner for a few months and found it to be really fun, but hard to keep up with (I love the idea of planners, but using them? That’s a whole other story lol). So actually, for this year, I ordered the reading planner from Owlcrate and I can’t wait to use it! (Not sponsored!)

9. Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars Book Signing

I did a whole post on this book signing event, but it was so much fun! I always love going into Boston and exploring, especially when I go to my favorite independent bookstore, Brookline Booksmith. There’s such a calming yet fun atmosphere there. For the event there were several activities to do while waiting for Leigh to talk, and when she did she was so super funny! It was a great time despite the weather.

8. The Way of Kings by Brandson Sanderson audiobook is amazing

2019 was the year I finally finished listening to this audiobook. I had started it YEARS ago, but never got very far in it until I was driving a half hour to and from work every day and realized that sometimes I just didn’t want to listen to music for my commute. Solution? A 45 hour long audiobook filled with amazing characters, great narrators, fantastic and vivid world building, and, of course, a unique magic system that Sanderson is so good at exploring. I can’t wait to continue on to Words of Radiance in audiobook!

7. Libby and My Local Library

Okay, so my local library is really dinky and doesn’t have a huge selection of books that I would personally check out, BUT what’s cool is that I can go to any library in the county and check out books from any of those locations with my card! So cool!

Oh, and as for Libby, which is an app where you enter your location information, as well as your library card information, and you’re able to rent out e-books and audiobooks from your library, I found it to be super useful! I’m going to definitely be using it for my reading challenge this year in case I read some books not already on my shelf that I might not want to purchase just yet.

6. Not Being on Twitter

Okay, this might be a controversial one, but oh well because over the last six months I’ve deactivated Facebook as well as just stopped going onto Twitter, and let me tell you, it’s been doing wonders for my mental health. Twitter (not just book twitter, but the website as a whole) is just full of way too much negativity and I ain’t got time for that when I’m trying to heal from years of numbness and pain, you know? So as much as I miss the connectivity between people sometimes, I also don’t miss the drama and all of the other crap that came along with it.

If you’re finding that there’s too much negativity on any social media space, including around books, I hope you take the time to rest and step back from it for your own mental health.

5. I was featured on Novels & Waffles Bibliosmile Project

Image by Kat @ Novels and Waffles

Kat at Novels and Waffles asked on Twitter (before I left lol) if anyone would be interested in joining in this project, and I talked of my interest and so I was a guest on her blog! In this blog post I talked about five books that have impacted me over the years for one reason or another, so it’s a very sentimental post I wrote.

4. There’s Both Power and Longing in NOT Buying Books

So my husband and I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina over the summer for a new job for him (which he likes!), and I didn’t have a job lined up. In fact, I only had a seasonal job recently and I still don’t have anything lined up. We’re doing okay, kind of – taking care of the important stuff, of course – and as a result we had to cut out a lot of stuff from our lives. One of them, for me, was book buying. Now, I didn’t stop completely, but I did slow down A LOT. It’s actually been nice to know that my TBR pile didn’t grow for a long time (until I worked this past season at a book store, haha…ha…).

Part of me misses buying books because I’m excited in that moment, but the other part is like, “Girl, you want to unhaul a lot already on your shelves, so how about you focus on that first, yeah?”

3. Donating Books Feels Good

Seriously. There’s something freeing about freeing up space on your shelves. Now, this isn’t a new concept for me that I discovered in 2019 (I think I’ve been doing it since 2017/18), but I wanted to mention it because before we moved I donated another fifty books to my local library – including signed copies that I had gotten from book boxes. I just wasn’t interested in them, and frankly, I’d rather a library have it so others can read them if they want to.

I plan on continuing to donate this year as the need arises, which it probably will. I have some books on my shelves that have been there for years and I know that at this point in time in my life I’m either a) never going to read them, or b) read them and don’t want them on my shelf anymore.

2. My Reading Tastes Are Changing

That’s right! I’m both surprised and not surprised at all, honestly. As I’ve been getting older I’ve been noticing that my reading tastes are starting to gravitate towards older content – aka, not YA or middle grade. Actually, strike the middle grade one because, well, spoilers, I love it so far (thank you Rick Riordan), but as I’m now 28 I want to read more content about characters in my age group (which, for me, is college age to about 35).

This is in no way me dissing YA, by the way. I will absolutely still be reading YA because I still enjoy the genre, but I also find myself wanting to consume more adult and new adult books. This discovery, in particular, felt right to me, and even though I was a little nervous to talk about it, I’m not so much anymore. Anyone else feel this way?

1 . Middle Grade Books are SO FUN

Okay, so I’ve really only read the Percy Jackson series in 2019 (for the first time and I LOVE IT!), but as a way to dip my toes into middle grade? FANTASTIC! I want to spread myself as much as possible in my reading life, and so reading books for younger kids is a great way to do so.

Of all of the bookish discoveries I made in 2019, I think this one is my favorite just because there’s so much to discover in middle grade and to see these books through the eyes of the younger generation. That’s how I see it, at least.

Let’s chat!

What bookish discoveries did you make in 2019? What is your most memorable one? Let me know!

January TBR

What’s this? What’s this? There’s books waiting to be read~ What’s this? It’s this month’s TBR!

Okay, corny song aside, I haven’t done one of these in… years. Since 2015, to be exact (at least for monthly TBRs. I’ve since made challenge TBRs). I stopped because I often found myself not actually reading the books in said TBR because I’m such a mood reader, but this year I want to try to set a goal and actually achieve it.

So, the other day I posted my list for the POPSUGAR 2020 Reading Challenge, and I’m definitely going to stick to that list for most of my reading. There are some books I want to read that aren’t on my list, but are on my shelves, so yeah.

Since there’s roughly four weeks per month, I want to aim to read one book per week, so these TBRs will have (at least) four books listed for me to read. This isn’t including all of the webcomics and other stories I keep up with online, mind you, but just novels/manga/comics that I hope to read.

I’m going to attempt to read three books from the main list for the challenge, and then one book from the advanced list each month.

I’ve also included a bonus book in each month because there are books that I’ve been reading for way too long and just need to finish, or I started last year and still need to finish.

Okay, enough rambling, here’s my TBR for January!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Bonus book!

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

Remembrance by Rita Woods – Challenge prompt: A book that’s published in 2020

Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there.

Ohio, present day. An elderly woman who is more than she seems warns against rising racism as a young woman grapples with her life.

Haiti, 1791, on the brink of revolution. When the slave Abigail is forced from her children to take her mistress to safety, she discovers New Orleans has its own powers.

1857 New Orleansa city of unrest: Following tragedy, house girl Margot is sold just before her 18th birthday and her promised freedom. Desperate, she escapes and chases a whisper…. Remembrance.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar – Challenge prompt: A book written by a trans or non-binary author

The story of two girls living eight hundred years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker.

It is the summer of 2011, and Nour has just lost her father to cancer. Her mother, a cartographer who creates unusual, hand-painted maps, decides to move Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. But the country Nour’s mother once knew is changing, and it isn’t long before protests and shelling threaten their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to choose: stay and risk more violence or flee as refugees across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety. As their journey becomes more and more challenging, Nour’s idea of home becomes a dream she struggles to remember and a hope she cannot live without.

More than eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya, sixteen and a widow’s daughter, knows she must do something to help her impoverished mother. Restless and longing to see the world, she leaves home to seek her fortune. Disguising herself as a boy named Rami, she becomes an apprentice to al-Idrisi, who has been commissioned by King Roger II of Sicily to create a map of the world. In his employ, Rawiya embarks on an epic journey across the Middle East and the north of Africa where she encounters ferocious mythical beasts, epic battles, and real historical figures.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – Challenge prompt: A book with a great first line

The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Advanced challenge prompt: A book written by an author in their 20s.

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


That’s all I have for this month! I’m excited to see what this month of reading brings and to see how these challenges push me to read books I never would have thought to pick up otherwise (probably).

Let’s chat!

What are your reading goals for this month? Any book in particular you’re excited to read? Anything on my list catch your eye? Let me know!

POPSUGAR 2020 Reading Challenge

Image source: POPSUGAR Photography

Hey! So I wanted to make a list of books I hope to read this year that can fit the categories for the POPSUGAR reading challenge. I don’t have all of the prompts filled as I might find other books to fit the prompts, plus I’m giving myself options since my goal is to read 25 books this year, not 52. (But if I do all of these challenges, then yay for me!)

I won’t necessarily be reading these in the order listed, either, since I’m such a mood reader. I also picked as many books as I could already on my shelves, on my kindle, or on audible that I already own.

So anyway, here’s the official list with my choices for books, and here’s where you can find their pretty printable list on their site!

2020 Challenge – Regular prompts

1. A book that’s published in 2020Remembrance by Rita Woods
2. A book by a trans or nonbinary authorThe Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar
3. A book with a great first lineAn Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
4. A book about a book clubThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
5. A book set in a city that has hosted the OlympicsThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
6. A bildungsromanThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
7. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closedAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (I had my husband pick with his eyes closed)
8. A book with an upside-down image on the coverGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
9. A book with a mapThe City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
10. A book recommended by your favorite blog, vlog, podcast, or online book clubThe Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
11. An anthologyThe Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
12. A book that passes the Bechdel testJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
13. A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to itRenegades by Marissa Meyer
14. A book by an author with flora or fauna in their nameThe Wicked King by Holly Black
15. A book about or involving social mediaTweet Cute by Emma Lord
16. A book that has a book on the coverPersuasion by Jane Austen
17. A medical thrillerThe Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
18. A book with a made-up languageWords of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
19. A book set in a country beginning with “C”Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
20. A book you picked because the title caught your attentionThe Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
21. A book published the month of your birthdayThe Color Project by Sierra Abrams
22. A book about or by a woman in STEMHidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
23. A book that won an award in 2019Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
24. A book on a subject you know nothing aboutThe Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might by Courtney Weber
25. A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphicsA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
26. A book with a pun in the titleDying to Please by Linda Howard
27. A book featuring one of the seven deadly sinsPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
28. A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI characterWires and Nerves vol 1 by Marissa Meyer
29. A book with a bird on the coverThis Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
30. A fiction or nonfiction book about a world leaderBecoming by Michelle Obama
31. A book with “gold,” “silver,” or “bronze” in the titleThe Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
32. A book by a WOCThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
33. A book with at least a four-star rating on GoodreadsThe Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
34. A book you meant to read in 2019Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
35. A book with a three-word titleWink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
36. A book with a pink coverThe Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
37. A WesternVengeance Road by Erin Bowman
38. A book by or about a journalistNext Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
39. Read a banned book during Banned Books WeekThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexi
40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge – 2017: Involving a mythical creature – A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

2020 Challenge – Advanced prompts

1. A book written by an author in their 20sSorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
2. A book with “20” or “twenty” in the titleTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
3. A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancement (a nod to 20/20 vision)All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
4. A book set in the 1920sMemoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
5. A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 OlympicsPachinko by Min Jin Lee
6. A book by an author who has written more than 20 booksVision in White by Nora Roberts
7. A book with more than 20 letters in its titleThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
8. A book published in the 20th centuryNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman
9. A book from a series with more than 20 booksNoragami vol 21 by Adachitoka
10. A book with a main character in their 20sMagic Slays by Ilona Andrews

And that’s it! Those are the 50 books I hope to read in 2020, but my overall reading goal is to read 25 books, so if I read half of this list, I’ll consider that a win.

Let’s chat!

What are some of your reading goals for 2020? What book would you read that takes place in Japan? Or what about a book about or by a woman in STEM? Let me know!

2019 End of Year Survey

Every year I do this survey created by Jamie of The Perpetual Page Turner, and so, to continue tradition, here we are again!

**2019 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 17
Number of Re-Reads: 6?
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2019?

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – This book touched and reached the darkest parts of my heart and mind as I could relate so much to the grief this boy had for his mother. It was hands down my favorite book of the year and I’m so incredibly glad to have given it the chance it deserved. You can check out my full review here.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Chase by Elle Kennedy – As far as guilty pleasures go, the romance series that Elle Kennedy has written were some of my favorites that I’ve read in a long time, so naturally I was excited to read about one of the main character’s sister from the previous series in this novel, but alas, I found her quite aggravating. I mean, there’s a lot of sex in these books, which I’m fine with, but man, sometimes there was just a bit too much sex drive even for me. You can check out my full review here.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – I didn’t except to enjoy this as much as I did, but I did enjoy it! Although some of it was kind of boring and dragged on, the romance was adorable and the finding out about ones was great. You can check out my full review here.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Since having a seasonal bookstore job, I’ve recommended a few books, including things like the Grisha trilogy, The Starless Sea, the Mortal Instruments series, etc. And they’ve gotten them, so yeah!

 5. Best series you started in 2019? Best Sequel of 2019? Best Series Ender of 2019?

Best series started: Fushigi Yuugi by Yuu Watase – this is a reread for me as I’ve read this entire series multiple times when I was a teen, and it’s just been super nostalgic for me.

Best sequel: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – as this is my first time reading the Percy Jackson series, I’ve been highly enjoying the story and books, and this sequel was super fun and exciting with the stakes being higher. You can check out my full review here.

Best series ender: I haven’t read one yet this year, so… lol

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?

Probably Patrick Ness. I loved A Monster Calls so much, so I’d love to give his other books a try, too!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day – I read her first book earlier this year, and I’m still reading this one because it’s an activity book, but it’s so fun to just write and create with abandon. It’s something I need because I’m too focused on making things perfect that I need to be able to let go and be more loose with creativity.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson was definitely unputdownable, epic, action-packed, and thrilling. As an epic high fantasy there was just so much put into the world and the characters that I wanted to know what was going to happen next. It was a really great book, for sure. If you want to check out my full review, click here!

 9. Book You Read In 2019 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Risk by Elle Kennedy – This next installment in the Briar U arc was so much more enjoyable for me, and it had a lot more in depth real moments that I was much more drawn to than The Chase. If anything, I’d reread this one for the angst, steamy bits, and that great hate-to-love dynamic I love haha! You can check out my full review here.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?

I have three favorites, don’t judge me lol

11. Most memorable character of 2019?

The cast of characters from Fushigi Yuugi just because I know them so well and love them so much lol

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2019?

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I love Laini Taylor’s writing so much, and this book is so lyrical and magical in its execution. I seriously love how beautifully it’s written.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2019?

Forever and always talking about A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness because this book means so much to me. A book about grief and how it can manifest into the world – not just internally, but externally, too.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read? 

The Percy Jackson series… Just like the Harry Potter series, I seriously missed out on some awesome books during my childhood lol I’m trying to make up for it in my adult years.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2019?

And that’s how you go on. You lay laughter over the dark parts. The more dark parts, the more you have to laugh. With defiance, with abandon, with hysteria, any way you can.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?

Shortest book: Fushigi Yuugi volume 4: Bandit – 189 pages

Longest book: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – 45 hours 37 minutes of audiobook (physical book is actually 1007 pages long, including appendix stuff)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Have I mentioned The Way of Kings, because my mouth dropped open so many times throughout listening to the audiobook that it was crazy. I also laughed out loud, cheered, grew angry, etc, with the audiobook. It was a really great experience.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Hades and Persephone foreverrrrrrrrrrr~ Lore Olympus is an amazing webcomic series and I want everyone to go read it. Go. Now. Do it.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

I loved the dynamic between the characters in The Way of Kings. Everyone was connected in some way through different people, so even if they didn’t meet in this volume, there was still a larger overarching connectedness between everyone that I loved seeing. The web grows bigger, my friends.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2019 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

As I’ve stated before, I loved her first series of the students at Briar University, and this book in the Briar U arc was super good.

21. Best Book You Read In 2019 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

This was the literal most hyped book I read this year, and it was really good, so thank you everyone across all social media platforms lol

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2019?

I quite liked Rook from An Enchantment of Ravens, not gonna lie. An immortal faerie lord who wants to learn more about humans and not just look at them like they’re objects for his own gain? Yes, please.

23. Best 2019 debut you read?

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

My dudes, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson was so immersive in its design from top to bottom. The way Sanderson writes his settings and worlds is second to none, I swear. From towering spires to rocky cliffs to war camps, small townships, and high storms. Oh man, it’s such an amazingly vivid world.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Lore Olympus, Castle Swimmer, The Four of Them, Plain Boy and Prince, to name a few, are all webcomics and all freaking good and adorable.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2019?

A Monster Calls actually made me cry at the end, so, yeah.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is one I haven’t finished yet, but it’s one that sucked me in pretty quickly and held onto me until I hit a reading slump earlier this year. It’s a book set in England with an American witch, a British vampire, forbidden romance, dark secrets, and mystery. It’s really good! I’d seen it pop up a lot whenever I was browsing books on Amazon, so I decided to give it a go and am glad I did.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

I mean, none of the books or comics I’ve read have crushed my soul, so… I don’t really have an answer.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2019?

I read this autobiography by Felicia Day, and since I generally don’t read biographies of any kind, this was definitely the most unique in that aspect. But also, her book Embrace Your Weird is unique because it’s a book that makes you draw in it, create around it, rip out pages, cut things out, etc. I really like her as a writer!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

*insert the bad shit that happened in Lore Olympus that has the entire fandom pissed off with good reason* 😀

book-blogging

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2019?

I’ve actually really pulled away from the book world in the last year, but I do have a couple of new favorite booktubers that I enjoy watching:

Rachael Marie’s Book Journey

PeaceLoveBooksxo

Codie’s Book Corner

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2019?

Do I Have That Book? | Challenge

This was a really fun post to make because I got my husband involved to help me find all of these books, and luckily we found one for each question (even if it did take a while lol).

3. Favorite bookish related photo(s) you took in 2019?

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

The Leigh Bardugo signing at Brookline Booksmith in Boston was so fun and Leigh herself was such a delight! You can read about my whole experience here!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2019?

Participating in challenges and tags again was really fun. I know I haven’t blogged much the last few years, but I still try to post when I can and when I have enough energy to do so. So I really enjoyed the Do I Have This Book? challenge and also attempting (and failing) to participate in readathons like the Medievalathon and the Book Junkie Trials.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

I’ve been emotionally and mentally drained for years now due to my mom’s dementia diagnosis a few years back, plus work stress, moving states, etc. So reading and blogging have been put so far back on the back burner that I oftentimes don’t think about it anymore. I still keep up with comics, though, because I’ve learned to rely upon visual stimulation to bring about happiness into my life. It’s been a rough time, friends, but I’m slowly starting to piece myself back together and get back into the hobby of reading for fun again.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 had the most views, as far as I could tell by my stats. I might also be looking at the wrong figure lol

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

2020 Reading Goals & Challenges – this is my way of dedicating myself to reading, albeit a slow one, plus I just like hearing about and seeing other peoples’ goals (even if they don’t stick to them lol).

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

The bookstore I work at currently is an independent book store, which is cool, and the staff is very friendly and stuff. I don’t plan on staying there past the season, but the store itself is also cute. Plus, you know, supporting a small business is awesome.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I’ve completed one goal from last year, which was to have half or more of the books I read already exist on my shelf, which, thanks to my manga, I completed that goal! …that’s it. Didn’t reach any other reading or personal goals this year. Oh well.

looking-ahead-books-2015

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2019 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2020?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I will finish it, goddamn it.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2020 (non-debut)?

Even though I’ll only be on the second book in this massive series, I’m excited for the fourth volume of the Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson! One day I’ll get to read it. One day…

3. 2020 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I haven’t been keeping up to date with releases and stuff, so if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2020?

Other than the one I mentioned above, again, I haven’t been keeping super up to date with things, so… I don’t really have one.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2020?

Actually post more consistently again than once every few months would be cool.

6. A 2020 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Haven’t read any yet, but I have a few arcs from work of books coming out in December and January.

The Way of Kings | Book Review

Title: The Way of Kings
Series: The Stormlight Archive #1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Tor Books
Publish Date: August 31, 2010
Genre: Epic, High Fantasy
Pages: 1007
Format: Audiobook (45 hours 37 minutes long)

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the 10 consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Wars were fought for them, and won by them. One such war rages on the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where 10 armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

Where do I even begin with this epic high fantasy? Well, I guess I start off by saying that I absolutely loved it, and that it’s now one of my favorites of all time.

This book was rich in setting. The world that Sanderson wrote was complex, immersive, and dimensional. The descriptions often transported me to the locations described as though I were watching a movie in my head. From the high storms to the chulls to the arrows, stormlight, and more, I felt that this world was highly immersive and well thought out.

As for the characters, there were so many to follow, but each had their own thread to add to this overarching story. From a soldier turned slave, a young woman who steals from a princess to help her family, to a war general with many mysteries in his past, as well as his present, to many more, these characters felt alive and human. The farther the story went on, the more I wanted to know about them.

I hope to see a lot more character growth in all of the characters because this world and the story surrounding them is so vast that it’s hard to imagine what they might end up going through at some point. There’s still so many questions to have answered, and I’m sure even more questions will come as the series continues on.

One thing I definitely loved was how Sanderson had many mini-arcs that each character was placed in, then a grander arc that they were all in, and then an even bigger arc that encompassed everything they were all going through, how the events that were taking place would affect them and the world, and how the possibly to stop it might come into play. It was so complex, but I found myself loving the threads to follow to see where they would lead.

As far as the audiobook itself goes, the narrators – Michael Kramer and Kate Reading – did an amazing job giving emotion to these characters and world, including doing different voices for each of the characters. The quality was really good, and I’m glad to see they’re continuing to be the narrators for the series.

As an epic high fantasy, I definitely recommend this book. It was long, yes, but there was just so much depth and many times where I laughed, cheered, yelled, gasped, and more that I would do it again to see if there was anything I might have missed. If you’re looking to get into a large fantasy series, this might be the one for you.

★★★★★