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2019 Goals – Midyear Check-In!

Following from the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag, I thought it’ll be fun to have a look back at the goals I created at the beginning of the year, and find out where I am with them and whether I’ve been following them or just completely forgot them. Hope you enjoy!!

1/ Read 70 books. 100% COMPLETED

This was an easy smash! I’m currently on 74 books so it’s safe to say I did well with this goal! If I keep my pace going, I’m likely to double this goal by the end of the year, watch this space!

2/ Read more non-fiction. 50%

So far so good! I have stayed on track to read one non-fiction a month and I would continue this, not just to the end of the year but next year as well! I found that it’s add more substance to my reading months.

3/ Read books that have been on my TBR the longest.  30%

I’m slowly getting through these… there’s now 18 left from the beginning of my Goodreads account when there were 22 at the beginning of the year, so I am still kind of on track to reduce this to 50% (11 books). I could easily read 7 of these before the end of the year, the real question is whether I remember to add them to my TBR’s!

4/ Participate in 5 readathons. 100% COMPLETED

This was well done for sure! I’ve participated in Polarthon, Contemporary-athon, Mental Health-athon, Asian Readathon, Summerathon, 2 x Buzzword Readathons, OWL’s Magical Readathon, and currently participating in The Book Junkie Trials. So that’s 8 already! Many more to come in the rest of the year for sure, and I’ve been enjoying my time!

5/ Focus on reading Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. 30%

I’ve been slacking a bit here tbh, I still have 3 books from Jane Austen to finish, and I haven’t tackled any Thomas Hardy which is a shame. I would be reading more of them in the autumn/winter months, but I need to pick up the slack on this goal. If I finish Jane Austen’s, I might be tempted to move Thomas Hardy books into my goals for next year as he as considerably more books.

6/ Complete 4 series. 70%

So far I’ve completed the Grisha trilogy and Six of Crows duology, and on the last book of the Winternight trilogy. So I still need to start and finish one series, and finish another. So it is hopeful!

7/ Go back to monthly wrap-ups. 100% COMPLETED

I have been doing this and will be continuing for the rest of the year, I’m glad that I’ve gotten back a routine of monthly TBR’s and wrap-ups!

8/ Complete Popsugar Reading Challenge OR 52 Books Around the Year Challenge. 75%

I’ve been adding books throughout the year, and there’s only a handful of prompts which haven’t been completed, but I am certain I will complete at least one, if not both reading challenges!

 

So overall, I need to focus on my Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy reads, and also the books that have been on my Goodreads shelf the longest. I also need to focus on completing the last book of a series, and also starting/finishing another. All the other goals I’ve either completed or very confident that I will complete!

 

I hope you enjoyed my midyear check in! How are you guys doing for your reading goals this year? Have you been smashing them out or need a bit more TLC in the second half? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

Abbie xxxx

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MID-YEAR BOOK FREAK-OUT TAG 2019!

This is the first time I’m doing this tag, I have always enjoyed watching these tags on BookTube so I thought to do the same here! At the time of writing I’ve read 74 books so I’ve had a great reading year so far and I’m excited to get into the questions!

The tag had been done numerous times by pretty much everyone at some point, I tried to link the original tag but I couldn’t find it unfortunately.

 

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019?

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019?

I’ve read a fair amount of sequels (mainly from the same series) but I think it would be The Girl in The Tower by Katherine Arden, which is the second book in the Winternight TrilogyBut also Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

There’s quite a few I really want to get to, A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer and Middlegame by Seanan McGuire is still top. But now that I’ve read the Grishaverse, I now want to read King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2019?

5. Biggest Disappointment?

6. Biggest Surprise?

If I’m Being Honest was definitely a big surprise, I didn’t expect to have a contemporary romance as one of my favourite books of the year so far!

7. Favourite New Author?

I’d say Leigh Bardugo, because I really, really enjoyed all the Grishaverse books!

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

Brandon from If I’m Being Honest, or Jordy from Girl Against the Universe. They are the sweetest guys, and nerdy. *SWOON*

9. Newest Favourite Character?

By far it is Nina from Six of Crows, and Vasilisa from the Winternight books is a close second.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

Becoming by Michelle Obama made me cry. Several times. Happy and sad tears.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo made me feel really happy, because of the growth of the main character and all she managed to achieve. Also, Book Love by Debbie Tung made me smile so much!

12. Favourite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

I would say more of Book-To-TV adaptation… Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and also The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

13. Favourite Review You’ve Written This Year?

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

All of them..? But I need to finish Jane Austen’s books, I have Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility to read. I also want to get to some of the series I have, such as Arc of a Scythe, Three Dark Crowns, Truthwitch, The Last Namsara, Red Sister, etc, etc…

 


 

I hope you enjoyed this tag! If you want to also do this then I tag you to do so!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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12 Books To Read in 2019!

I understand this is quite late to be posted now that it’s near the end of January, but I kind decided that I want to tick off the books I complete from this list. I had started drafting this at the start of the year and intended to keep as a draft, but I though ‘why not?’. They are the books I want to prioritise this year because I was planning to read them last year but didn’t get around to them, or they’re books I’ve had for a long time and need to finally get to. I have no excuse for not have already read these, mainly just putting things off or simply didn’t have enough time last year. But if all goes well, all these books (or at least a majority) of these will be crossed off! When I review my reading in the middle of the year, we’ll see how I’ve done etc.

 

380879121/ VICIOUS by V. E. Schwab

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Want to read all V. E. Schwab’s published works
  • It’s V. E. f***ing Schwab!
  • Deals with power and whether it creates super heroes or villains
  • Fantastic reviews from other’s I trust
  • I’ve bought the exclusive editions of the duology so I have to read it!

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Shear laziness
  • Other books getting in the way
  • High expectations from author after loving ADSOM series

 

289541892/ SCYTHE by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Had it on my TBR for AGES!
  • Set in a world where we have conquered death so we need assigned killers to keep the population under control
  • Fantastic reviews

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Forgetting to get to it
  • Other books getting in the way

 

236773413/ WE ARE THE ANTS by Shaun David Hutchinson

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Fantastic reviews
  • Hard-hitting which deals with important issues
  • Been on TBR for over a year
  • Described as Donnie Darko with LGBT and aliens

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Intimidated by the fantastic reviews
  • Predicted 5 star read
  • Been trying to de-hype the book so my expectations aren’t too high

 

157436504/ THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Steifvater

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Popular and well-loved series
  • Got the entire series so able to binge through the entire thing
  • Been on TBR for over a year
  • I’m possibly the only person in history to have not read this series yet

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • I might not love it as much as everyone else does
  • I take ages getting through series
  • Intimidated by it’s popularity

 

254938535/ THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Katherine Arden *update* read: 5/5 stars!

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Fantastic reviews
  • Based on Russian folklore
  • I love atmospheric books
  • Been on TBR for over a year

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Intimidated by the fantastic reviews
  • Predicted 5 star read
  • Waiting for the perfect time to pick this up (winter)
  • Been trying to de-hype the book so my expectations aren’t too high

 

358871816/ THE POPPY WAR by R. F. Kuang

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Fantastic reviews from those I trust
  • Military historical fiction set in China
  • A very dark, grim book
  • Has no romance

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Need to be in the right mood for it
  • Predicted 5 star read
  • Over 500 pages
  • Dense fantasy

 

357959877/ BAD ROMANCE by Heather Demetrios *update* read: 5/5 stars!

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Honest and raw book about abusive relationships
  • Protagonist is looking in hindsight at the relationship turning sour
  • Unique premise, haven’t seen many books on abusive relationships
  • Can be relatable to personal experiences

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Want to read around February or Summer time
  • Predicted 5 star read
  • Can be relatable to personal experiences

 

306537198/ HUNTED by Meagan Spooner *update* read: 3/5 stars

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Been on my TBR for a very long time
  • Retelling of Beauty & The Beast, a favourite of mine
  • A standalone fantasy

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Polarising views
  • Prone to overlooking the book at times
  • Had on Kindle initially, but now got the Hardcover which means I should get to it quicker

 

339582309/ FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie C. Dao

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Been on my TBR for a very long time
  • East Asian reimagining of The Evil Queen
  • Dark book following an antagonist
  • Final book in duology released last year

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Polarising views
  • Prone to overlooking the book at times
  • Waiting for the best time to pick it up

 

1916185210/ THE FIFTH SEASON by N. K. Jemisin

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Been on my TBR for a very long time
  • Fantastic reviews
  • Have the whole trilogy on my shelf
  • Interesting premise; post-apocalyptic mixed with fantasy

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Intimidated by reviews
  • Predicted 5 star book
  • Want to be in the right mood to pick it up

 

2974892511/ STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Fantastic reviews
  • Very popular
  • Interesting premise following a librarian searching for a forgotten city
  • Own both special edition books in the duology

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Did not enjoy Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  • Intimidated by popularity
  • Over 500 pages, in both books
  • Worried I won’t like it as much as everyone else

 

3518131412/ HEART OF IRON by Ashley Poston

Goodreads

Why I’m Prioritising:

  • Been wanting to read in 2018
  • Described as Anastasia in Space
  • A diverse read
  • Praised from reviewers with similar reading tastes

Why I’ve Put it Off:

  • Polarising views
  • Prone to overlooking the book at times
  • First in a series, second not released yet

 

 

So fingers crossed I get to these books this year at last! I really want to try and reduce the physical books on my TBR this year, and this would be one of the steps to take to do such that! Have any of you read these books? Any you recommend I get to first? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!

 

Abbie xxxx

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Books Which Have Been on my TBR the Longest!

After my 2019 reading goals post, I mentioned that I wish to read some of the books that I’ve had on my TBR the longest. I officially started my Goodreads page on 8th August 2016, and there are some books which I added on that day which are still sitting there… safe to say that I need to read some of these! Here is the list of those books that I added to my TBR on the first day.


Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Emma by Jane Austen
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
Persuasion by Jane Austen
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Atonement by Ian McEwan
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

So lets see if I actually manage to read any of these books! I do want to make it a priority to get this list down, and many of these also double up with some of my other reading goals and also challenges for the year long reading challenges I’m trying to get through! So fingers crossed!

 

So which of these books have you read? Any you recommend that I prioritise? Are there many books that have been on your TBR’s for a silly amount of time like me? And if so, what are your plans to try and reduce that? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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2019 Reading Goals!

I’m not even going to attempt to review my reading goals for 2018, I know for certain that I only finished one, and that was the Goodreads Reading Challenge of 70 books. But I’m more motivated than ever to go for it next year, and will also set more reasonable goals for myself, so here goes!


1/ Read 70 books.

I’m gonna keep my Goodreads goal the same as last year, I felt it matched my reading pace quite well and still gave me a good feeling when I surpassed it. It’s a good number to meet and still realistic! Even though I always try to read more than my goal, just reaching 70 would still feel like an achievement if I didn’t complete anything else (prime example was the last year!)

2/ Read more non-fiction.

I have a ton of non-fiction on my TBR which I’m excited to get to, but non-fiction always feels intimidating. They always take a lot longer to read than a standard fiction novel. But I’m gonna set myself the target of 10 non-fiction books, which already sounds daunting, but I’m gonna try my damn hardest!

3/ Read books that have been on my TBR the longest.

I’m going to create a post which shows the books which have been on my TBR the longest, i.e. since I started my Goodreads page. There’s quite a few (22 to be exact on 8th August 2016 – the day I officially created my Goodreads page) so if I can narrow that list by 50% I’d be happy.

4/ Participate in 5 readathons.

I’m pretty certain that I had easily completed this goal last year, so I’ve added it again to this year as I just love participating in readathons! I’ve stuck at 5 to cover the majority of the big events, i.e. Summer, Haloween, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Cramathon etc. So I still want to spread out my readathons throughout the year again, but to be honest, I’ve participated in almost all the readathons I had seen announced the past year, so I’m positive I’ll continue doing that!

5/ Focus on reading Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen.

This slightly correlates with goal #3 because there’s quite a few Hardy and Austen books that have been on my TBR since the beginning, I just want more of a focus on these authors as they are closest to home (Dorset/Hampshire) and I feel I need to have read at least the majority of their books. I had a goal similar to this last year which was to read all their works, and that was I bit too much of a push. So my focus is just to read ‘more’ of them.

6/ Complete 4 series.

I had this goal last year, and failed big time. I’m still in the middle of the Lunar Chronicles which I wanted to finish this year. There are a large number of series I want to read/re-read next year, which I will put into a separate post as I already have a list of those I’m eager to get to. I am also including duologies in this list, to give me a bit of a chance!

7/ Go back to monthly wrap-ups.

I started the year quite strongly in my wrap-ups of every 5 books, and that did take off the pressure of monthly TBR’s. but I easily lost track of the books I read and it was harder to catch-up after a while. So I’m gonna attempt monthly wrap-up’s and hopefully stick to a good routine of TBR’s and wrap-ups.

8/ Complete Popsugar Reading Challenge OR 52 Books Around the Year Challenge.

I might be setting my sights too high perhaps? But I have spent a fair bit of time researching and there’s a lot of books I’m anticipating which fit into the year long challenges. I will also be doubling up with some of them so I’m not forcing myself to read a book for each of the prompts. Doubling up makes it feel more fun and more feasible, so I might stand a better chance of completing!


So what are your reading plans for 2019? Any similar to these? I’d love to know!

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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Authors I Want to Read More in 2019

Another little challenge I want to make for myself next year! There are books I have loved so much that I decided to make a conscious effort to read more from said author. This has occurred with many books I have read, and there are some where I have managed to read more. However this list is focusing on all of the authors that I wish to have read all the books on my TBR as of how and want to have read, some are achievable, and others will take a lot more time (I’m looking at you, Stephen King). Hope you enjoy!

 

 

V.E. SchwabV. E. Schwab

Books on TBR: 9

Read: 3

After I read A Darker Shade of Magic, I knew instantly that V. E. Schwab will be an auto-buy author for me. I have indeed bought all her published books, but need to read them! She also has so many exciting things coming out in the next couple of years, so I want to at least read her current published books before they start coming out!

 

 

Jane AustenJane Austen

Books on TBR: 10

Read: 3

A classic author that I feel that I should’ve already read. But alas I have only read one novel and a few short publications. I had it as a goal last year to read all the published novels (which I failed at), so I want to carry it on to next year as well. Fingers crossed I actually achieve it, or at least read a couple more of her books!!

 

 

Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman

Books on TBR: 15

Read: 5

I absolutely love Neil Gaiman’s books, I have read most of the well-known ones but I want all of them! I’m not too keen to pick up the graphic novels as they’re not necessarily my thing, but all the books I do want to read! I am yet to rate a Neil Gaiman book less than 4 stars so I do have high hopes for the rest!

 

 

Marissa MeyerMarissa Meyer

Books on TBR: 6

Read: 2

I am still making my way through the Lunar Chronicles, so I do have active plans to read her books, more so than any of the other authors on this list. I also want to pick up the other books she’s published outside this series. I love her writing so I have a feeling I’d love the other books she has written. If I don’t get to any other authors, I want to at least finish the Lunar Chronicles next year!

 

 

Thomas HardyThomas Hardy

Books on TBR: 13

Read: 3

Thomas Hardy is a beloved author who lived in the same town as me (long time ago, obviously!), so I feel it more of an obligation to read all his published books. I have read some of his books in school, but none since. Classics do still intimidate me, hence why I haven’t read any since. But I still want to encourage myself to pick up his books.

 

 

Jenn BennettJenn Bennett

Books on TBR: 3

Read: 1

I absolutely loved Alex, Approximately and have wanted to pick up her books ever since. But I read this back in 2016, and I still haven’t picked any up. They all sound like books I will love, so I have no idea why I’ve left them so long. She also has a new book coming out later in 2019 which I like the sound of, and hopefully that would give me a push to read her books!

 

 

Liane MoriartyLiane Moriarty

Published: 7

Read: 1

I wouldn’t have put this author on this list in I hadn’t read Big Little Lies earlier this year. I was really impressed and did enjoy her writing, so I have since bought most of her books with the intention of getting through them eventually. I feel I will pick up something of hers in Spring/Summer.

 

 

Stephen KingStephen King

Books on TBR: 46

Read: 7

It’ll take me a lot longer to get through all the Stephen King books on my TBR, I’m not gonna lie! But I definitely want to make more of a dent into those books. I have read some of the famous titles a long time ago, and haven’t really picked up any since! I have had books on TBR’s this year, and I’ve also bought some of the recent releases. So I just need a bit more of a push to pick them up. Especially as some of them are really intimidating, and also I need to be in the right mood to enjoy Stephen King’s books.

 

So what reading plans have you got for the new year? What authors do you wish to read more from? Any of these authors you enjoy? And if so, which books would you recommend me reading above all others? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx

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Booktubers I Discovered and LOVED in 2018!

Amongst everything else this year, I was keen to discover more Booktubers, mainly because of my reading tastes developing and wanting more of a variety of opinions and tastes. I’m still following and loving many other Booktubers, so the following Booktubers are one’s that I only discovered this past year, and are still loving their content, hopefully to give them a bit of love and also introduce you to other Booktubers that you may not have discovered yet! So here goes!

 

Books With ChloeImage result for australia

Chloe I discovered around the Springtime and instantly fell in love with her positivity and enthusiasm. She manages to read so many books, I’m always envious! Non book-related, but her make-up/hair always looks gorgeous and her vlogs are always enjoyable! And she’s also a fellow Potterhead and has an adorable accent!

 

Image result for britain flagBecca and The Books

I love the way Becca articulates herself in her videos, and she just seems like such a down-to-earth, sweet person. Becca is also honest and hilarious, especially in vlogs! She reads a fair amount of YA books, in particular fantasy books. She also has a bookish body butter and candle shop, Grace and Honey, and it is fabulous!

 

myreadingisoddImage result for canada flag

I have major hair envy for Natasha. She tends to read a lot of Stephen King and a lot of books I wouldn’t have picked up my myself, but Natasha makes them sound interesting! I  also love how she does a TBR star-jar every month! I always watch her Stephen King Sundays, and she recommends books that are not all crazy hyped!

 

Image result for canada flagyerabooknerdzoe

How have I only just discovered a Potterhead Booktuber this year?! Zoe is absolutely hilarious and she mainly reads fantasy books. Her editing and creativity is amazing and I always enjoy any video I watch of hers! I have a feeling I will enjoy her videos around the Magical Readathons next year!

 

 

saidthestoryImage result for canada flag

Ashley and I seem to have quite a similar reading taste, so her reviews I tend to listen to the most. A lot of books she reviews are books I wouldn’t usually pick up, but she makes them sound so interesting so I’m always eager to pick those up! She such a likeable person and her video ideas such as You Choose TBR are so great!

 

Novel InkImage result for us flag

Madalyn is a recent discovery but I have binged her videos and blog. I feel like she and I will get on incredibly well if we knew each other in real life! She presents herself and articulates herself very well and her reviews are always insightful. Her reading tastes seem to span across many genres so not only are there books that I’m interested in, but also ones in genres I usually don’t pick up, especially adult books and diverse reads! Also, she just seems very funny and a kind, down-to-earth person!

 

Bookishly NerdyImage result for us flag

Kelsey has only started her Booktube channel earlier this year and she has nearly 300 subscribers. I think she is doing incredibly well as a new Booktuber and I’m excited about her future, I already love her content and the way she articulates herself. We have quite similar reading tastes and I find her hilarious! She is also a Potterhead!

 

So there’s a bunch of new Booktubers I’ve recently discovered and loved! Hopefully you’ll also be able to discover new Booktubers and content! What Booktubers would you recommend I check out? I’d love to know!

 

THANKS FOR READING!!

Abbie xxxx