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!

Leigh Bardugo Book Signing | King of Scars Book Tour

That’s right, my peeps: I went to Leigh Bardugo‘s book signing for King of Scars at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA on January 30th, and it was a great time!

So I happened to be perusing Twitter one day some time in December and saw that Leigh was going on a book tour for King of Scars. Well, authors don’t always come to my state, so I was like, “There’s no way she’s going to come here.”

And then I looked on her website and, lo and behold, there was a tour stop date listed for not only my state, but also for my favorite independent bookstore. Of course I had to go! I’d be stupid not to. (Plus it was my half day at work, so I didn’t have to rush around to get out to the Boston area on time).

So I drove to Alewife, which is a parking garage in the city, and took the train in (which I love doing; I’m such a tourist). Mind you, the polar vortex was coming in that night, so I knew it was going to be cold, but wasn’t expecting what came once I left the store. Anyway, I’m enjoying my trip in, and I get there about quarter after 5PM, which was when people could line up to get in.

I saw a few cosplays as I made my way around toward the end of the line… which was wrapped around the block and down the street a bit. Fun stuff.

It might not look like a long line, but trust me, in 10 degree Fahrenheit weather standing outside for over a half hour? It was long enough.

So once I finally got into the store, the way they had the lines sectioned was by group: group one had green wristbands and were guaranteed seats downstairs where the Q&A and signing would be, the blue wristbands would be in the standing section of the downstairs, and then orange bands would be in a line upstairs, but still hear all of the event going on and such.

I got a blue wristband, which meant I got to stand in the back for when the event took place. Whoop whoop!

So when I finally get into the store and grab my book, there were SO many people! It was crazy! The photo doesn’t really do justice to show how many people were in there, but it was a lot.

There were stations set up around the store where you could find out which Grisha Order you fall into, as well as pins that correspond to the orders (and a Darkling one). I took the little quiz on the card and discovered I’m Etheralki! (I was secretly hoping for Corporalki, but I’ll take this one, too.) My heart says I’d be an inferni, but I’d probably be more useful as a tidemaker, who knows? I also took one of each pin because, well, why not?

If you want to take the fun little quiz yourself, here’s the card! I posted the questions below it.

Tally up the amount of A’s, B’s, and C’s, and then check to see whether you’re a member of the Corporalki, Ehteralki, or Materialki!

Mostly A’s: Corporalki, the Order of the Living and the Dead.
Mostly B’s: Etherealki, the Order of Summoners.
Mostly C’s: Materialki, the Order of Fabrikators.

The next two stations included a polaroid that you could take against a King of Scars backdrop, and then have it taped into the passport you could get at the station after that! I thought it was really nifty, and you can use the passport at other Leigh Bardugo events and get the stamp that corresponds to that event! Pretty exciting, not gonna lie.

So then I go downstairs and I’m waiting for the event to start, and, well, let me just show you where I was and how quickly it filled up:

Yeah… I was at the very back by the employee door. It was fine, though, because Leigh actually walked out from behind me through that door, and all of us in that area were awestruck and I said hello, and she said hello back, and I was super fangirling internally at that point. XD It was great.

So then the Q&A starts and it was so much fun! The staff did a great job of maintaining the crowd and having the event run smoothly, and Leigh was so funny! She’s got a great personality, and even when she speaks it’s like she’s telling a story. We laughed, we gasped, we made sure that no spoilers were given (one almost was for Crooked Kingdom, but Leigh asked if there were still people that haven’t read it ((aka me and a few others)), so she refrained from saying anything too spoilerly, thank god).

It was a really fun time. I ended up getting King of Scars signed and personalized, as well as Leigh’s other new release, The Severed Moon: A Year-Long Journal of Magic, which is a journal that consists of prompts and quotes for 365 days to spark your creativity in writing, and I also got my passport signed.

And even though I didn’t get these signed, I also bought the paperbacks of the Shadow and Bone trilogy in the new covers because I think they’re gorgeous and I’ve been debating with myself for months on whether or not I should get them, soooooo, here were are.

All-in-all, it was a very fun event and I had a really great time. I plan on finishing Six of Crows soon, then Crooked Kingdom, and then jump into King of Scars.

Let’s Chat!

Have you been to a book signing recently? How was your experience? Are you excited to read King of Scars? Which Grisha Order do you belong in based on the quiz? Let me know all of the things!