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!

20 Facts About Me

Oh hi, you lovely people! It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, so I thought, “why not do an updated ‘facts about me’ post?” So that’s what I’m going to do today!

I’m not going to talk about the ones that were in my Top Ten Tuesday post, or my 25 Bookish Facts About Me post, but instead talk about ten new bookish facts and ten non-bookish facts. Why not?

Here we go~!

Bookish

1. Since I started blogging, I’ve been to the following author signings: Jodi Meadows & Erica Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, Maggie Steifvater, and Leigh Bardugo. Each of the events were super fun and I highly recommend going to one if you’re able to!

2. I’ve been super into webcomics the last few years, hence my lack of book reviews and content. They’re easy to dive into and where I’m a visual person, the illustrations help me to escape into those worlds. You can check out my most recent recommendations here!

3. I’ve been listening to Brandon Sanderson’s audiobook for The Way of Kings for months now… it’s 45+ hours long… It’s fine… But my fact is that, because of this audiobook and The Kiss of Deception, I’ve definitely warmed up to audiobooks as a medium for myself much more and have since bought more books to read in this form!

4. So before we moved, my workplace was throwing away this hutch that was in an office, and I said I’d take it home and turn it into a bookshelf. Lo and behold, when I got home, my husband surprised me with another bookshelf that same day… so… I told my dad he can sell the hutch or keep it if he wants to because I didn’t have a use for it anymore lol

5. My reading tastes are changing, bit by bit. I’ve been noticing this for a while now, that I’m gravitating toward more adult reads than YA reads. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course! I believe I’m looking for more relatable content, but I’m not going to stop reading YA – or MG now that I’m into the Percy Jackson series! – anytime soon.

6. I’ve started a reading/bookish bullet journal! August will be my second month using it, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve tried – and failed – two or three times to use an actual bullet journal, but my life is not that exciting so as to really need one, you know? So I started this bookish bullet journal and I love it! I’m playing around with the format and what I want to include in it and such, but there’s still plenty of flexibility with it. I’ll do a post about it soon.

7. I’m trying to get back into reading novels. Like I said earlier, I’ve been into reading webcomics like nobody’s business the last few years, and that’s due to life circumstances and depression that caused me to stop reading novels. But I’m trying to reintroduce myself to them bit by bit. I think the readathons I’m participating in are helping a bit.

8. Speaking of readathons, I love how many are popping up, but I realized that I need to focus on one readathon at a time. I’m amazed at how I see people participating in three or more at the same time, and I’m just like, “Are ya a wizard or something!?” I get overwhelmed easily, so for August I’ll only be participating in one readathon – the Disney-a-thon!

9. I’ve unhauled and donated soooo many books over the last two years. I didn’t realize just how many books I bought purely for the hype or because I was super interested at the time, but then grew out of it as time went on. And yet I still have no room on my shelves…

10. I’ve been buying a lot more ebooks lately so I can 1) put my kindle to good use and get my money’s worth lol, and 2) they’re cheaper and more convenient.

Non-Bookish

1. My husband and I moved! We moved to North Carolina at the beginning of July, and my dudes, it’s hot af here. Like. Why is it so humid all the time? Whyyyyyyy I miss my cooler Massachusetts weather. *cry* We moved because he got a job with a company that’s widespread so he’ll be an electrician’s apprentice.

2. I got two more tattoos! They’re both on my left forearm and done on the same day. The one at the top is the four elements (from the top going clockwise): air, water, fire, earth, and the center is spirit, and the lines that connect everything together. And then my constellation of Leo!

3. My husband and I have been together for 11 years this year, and married for five of them this year, too. CRAZY.

4. I’ve been getting more into spirituality lately again, and so I’ve been picking up tarot and oracle cards and learning to read them. I’ve gotten a lot of conversations from them for myself and a lot of guidance, so that’s been nice.

5. I went to Anime Boston earlier this year and cosplayed as casual Uraraka Ochako! (She’s a character from the hit manga/anime My Hero Academia.) It was super fun and I wish I could go again next year, but I don’t see that happening. I went by myself, too, which wasn’t as fun because it’s great going to conventions with others for the experience and fun times with one another, but I still had a good time. We also got to see MIYAVI live again (we had seen him in early 2018) and he was SO GREAT! He played a bunch of new songs off of his album that hadn’t been released yet and it was just so good!

6. Speaking of concerts, my husband and I also went to the Love Yourself tour for BTS last year in September in CANADA! We met up with some friends up there and it was such a blast! The boys were great and we had a great time. We also got to go to the Jingle Ball concert and see artists like Camilla Cabello, Sean Mendes, and Monsta X! Both concerts were great.

7. I’ve written a bunch of fanfiction of one of my all time favorite couples (non-canon): Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako from My Hero Academia. I fell hard into this fandom and this ship, and I just had to write (and draw) my own stories about them. If you want to check out my works, here’s my AO3 for you to peruse. I’m pretty proud of them as I’ve gone on, to be honest. I’ve even been part of a zine and wrote a story for it, and so I have some of my work out there in the world! It’s cool!

8. I have a RedBubble shop now. I’ve got a few different anime prints available of fan art I’ve done, so check it out! I hope to do more in the future. It was a big leap for me, and I’ve had a few sales, which is nice! But yeah, you can see some of my favorite ships and characters. I’ll definitely draw some more as time goes on! Not strictly related to anime, but other things, too.

9. I fell in love with the online show Critical Role. It’s a DnD show where “a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons” (to quote Matthew Mercer). I had never had much interest in DnD before. I had joined a campaign with some close friends, but we quickly stopped because it just wasn’t fun at the time (the campaign got revamped a year later but then, you know, life happened so we stopped again). And my husband had tried to show me this show before, but I was determined at the time to not like it. Don’t ask me why lol

And then, one day, I was sitting around last summer and was like, “Oh, they started a second campaign? They’re not too far into it… Okay, I’ll give this a chance.” And so I started watching campaign two, episode one, and I was hooked. I’ve caught up with the current campaign and have been watching the liveshows for months now (hello 10PM start time and 1:30AM end time lol), every week on Thursdays (unless cancelled or moved).

I fell in love with not only the characters that are being played, but also the voice actors themselves, and also with the game that is Dungeons & Dragons. It’s crazy! I haven’t had much opportunity to play, but I’ve got dice, I’ve got some characters, and I’m ready to go!

(I also got these beautiful posters – with one of them signed by the cast – and I love them so much! *cries forever*)

Sorry for the crappy lighting. The other light was reflecting off of the glass a lot more. But the one of the Might Nein on the right is signed by the cast!

You can check out Critical Role on either YouTube (click here to catch up with campaign one, which is what I’m doing, or click here to catch up with campaign two) or on Twitch (which is where they do their livestreams each week). Mind you, each episode is usually over 3 hours long, so keep that in mind when watching them!

10. I started to get into wearing wigs! Let me tell you, they’re so fun to wear! As of this post, I have a total of seven wigs. Here’s some pics to show them off because I love them. I just find them fun, and they don’t damage your hair like regular dye and bleach does, so if you want to wear one one day, and then have different color the next, you can!


Aaaaaannndddd… that’s it! I had a hard time trying to figure out what to say about myself, let me tell you lol But I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me!

Let’s Chat!

Tell me one bookish fact about yourself and one non-bookish fact that you’re comfortable sharing! I want to learn more about you guys, so tell me about yourselves! ^^