2020

We’re back to the roaring 20’s and I am so honestly thrilled that 2019 is officially in the past.

It was a really tough year for me where I was kicked a lot during the times when I was down, but there were good times too. I went to my first blogger events, I took my mom to see Michelle Obama on her birthday, I got an apartment all to myself! But the tough times weigh heavily still so I’m very excited to be moving past them.

Now that it’s 2020, the start of a new decade means it’s time to set some goals regardless of whether or not I actually complete them. For my GoodReads Reading Challenge, I want to read 65 books at least and unhaul any and all books I don’t finish. I have a bad habit of putting books down and saying “Now just isn’t the right time for this book” and not picking them back up. Well no more! Life is too short and my shelves are too jammed for books that don’t interest me. The same goes for ARCs. I have so many ARCs that I was dying to get my hands on, and yet they all still sit on my shelf. I don’t plan on doing much “influencer” blogging this year, at least not until I can get through the ARCs that I already have.

I want to have a more regular posting schedule on my blog, and I’ve got a relaxed schedule all planned out in my bullet journal to stay on top of it all. So stay tuned for weekly reviews every Wednesday with a manga feature on Mondays!

In personal goals, I want to quit smoking and use the money I’ll save to get a cat. I want to finish writing my book. I want to really live my life as myself, for myself, and stop being so concerned with how other people see me. I try way too hard to try and make other people happy or to get them to like me without taking care of myself. It’s time I think about how I want to live MY life and let’s hope a brand new decade will help me do that.

So here’s to 2020 and all the lovely books I’ll have to share with you all! Below is the list of books I’m hoping to read this January!

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May Wrap-Up: When Mental Health Gets You Down

I had set a big reading goal for May, to read all 10 of the Star Wars: X-Wing Series books. But with work and life wreaking havoc on my mental health, that didn’t happen.

I read one book this month and that was the first X-Wing book, Rogue Squadron.

June for me is set to be an even rougher month (for reasons that can be explained in this post from last year) but I’m going to do my best to get through a reasonable list of books of all genres to keep myself from getting sucked into an even bigger reading slump.

The number of books I read is so directly connected to my mental health it’s probably strange, but I do want to make up for being something of a vegetable this month. My goal is four books to actually finish even if the list is longer than that.

June TBR List:

  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1) by Lee Child
  • The Assassin’s Blade (Throne of Glass #0.5) by Sarah J. Maas
  • Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
  • The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh
  • The Curse of the Werepenguin by Allan Woodrow
  • The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow (audiobook)

I’m also doing a two-man bookclub with a good friend of mine and we’ll be reading through A Song of Ice and Fire together so even if I don’t finish it this month, I’ll be reading Game of Thrones this month as well.

Tell me what you’re reading this month!

Don’t Fear The Big Books

One of the big focuses readers have these days is the Goodreads Challenge Tracker. Every year, countless lovers of books set their annual goals for how may books they want to read, some only setting a goal of a single book to take the pressure off, and some challenging themselves with goals of 100 books or more. For some, these triple-digit goals are commonplace, but for many, they’re a threatening presence of trying to measure up to others.

I’m someone who sets large goals and I am also someone who ends up feeling pressured to read said goals. It can be really hard to ignore this pressure that isn’t even there! No one is judging people for how much or how little they read on Goodreads, but knowing that doesn’t always make a difference.

This year I’ve dropped my goal from 100 to 80, and I’ve just dropped it again to 75.

But this isn’t about TBR lists or reading goals, it’s about being intimidated by large books.

The point of mentioning the Goodreads Challenge, is that my fear of books that are over 500+ pages take longer to read and then I end up behind schedule to reach my goals. I always feel like I’m on a tight deadline when I’m really not. Reading isn’t a race.

The thing with large books, especially fantasy or science fiction novels, is that they can also be complicated, slowing down reading times to make sure everything makes sense and leaving time to look at maps, or pronunciation guides, or timeline breakdowns, or even a cast list. There’s work involved when it comes to a lot of larger books which can also be an intimidating factor.

But what I’m trying my best to get at is that it’s okay to take your time. It’s okay to book a big book down for a minute to read something quick. Make a bigger book your “before bed” read where you only read x number of pages before turning out the lights. Read it with a friend to help motivate you through it! There are so many big books that are amazing and worth the effort it takes to read them.

What are some big books you’ve always wanted to get to but been too worried about getting through it? Let me know in the comments!


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March Wrap-Up and April Goals

March wasn’t a very good month.

I let my anxiety get the best of me and as a result I made a lot of mistakes and wasted a lot of my own time. I only finished one of the several books I was hoping to get to and really only read three books total. Not the best in terms of my usual.

That being said I also came to the conclusion that even wrap-up posts put a lot of pressure on me to be reading as often as I can be, which isn’t always realistic. Instead what I need to focus on is writing reviews when I finish the books I’m reading (oops).

I’m hoping things can quiet down a bit come April, and that I can focus on staying away from screens and get through some of the heftier books with the help of Audible (which I am loving right now). This is also why I’m breaking my own small-TBR rule and picking a bunch of things so here’s the list!

  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas — as part of the read-a-long this month
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama — switching between Audible and the physical copy of the book every few chapters
  • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan — officially out tomorrow (April 2, 2019)
  • Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon — will be using Audible for this beast that I wasn’t able to get to in March
  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King
  • The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling — officially out April 19, 2019! Thanks to the author for my ARC
  • Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey — for the next IGTV episode of Fantasy Flashback (watch the first episode here, the transcript/written review is coming soon)

So that’s it for now! Lots of reading to do to make up for the missteps in March. What are you reading this month?


 

March Goals

It’s March 1st and therefore time for some March goals!

Reading Goals

There are three books that I want to get to this month but won’t be upset if I only get through two of them since one of them is a BEAST of a book.

  1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas – I had a bunch of fun reading the first book last month, and I can’t wait to meet more of the characters in this delightful world.
  2. The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry – I’ve collected the majority of my grandfather’s favourite novels over the years, but have never given my grandmother’s favourites a chance. Anne Perry is one of her favourites of all time and she loaned me a copy of this last month so I’m hoping this month I can read it so we can talk it over together.
  3. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I am over-the-moon excited for this beast of a book, and being over 800+ pages, it’s gonna be a doozy of a read but I am up for the challenge. Definitely planning to get through this one piece by piece before bed every night and focusing on hitting a page count each night rather than going by chapters.

Ban Goal

I have accumulated a massive collection of books being hoarded in my room despite 99% of my personal library being in storage. Because of this, I’m saying that I need to read at least half of all of these books before I buy any more.

I’m also limiting my requests on NetGalley as I’m also struggling to keep up with those as well as physical books (both in my collection and from the library).

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to stick to this ban, but I’m hoping that with upcoming costs for college come September (yes, I am going back to school!) I’ll at least have some more motivation to stick to it.

Personal Goals

Some personal goals I have this month end up looking like more of a to-do list. I’m hoping to find a new family doctor, a new therapist to help manage the symptoms of my BPD that I’m struggling with, and to do more writing. I also want to legit take better care of myself by cutting out junk food as much as possible to start and therefore improving the state of my skin.

I also want to try and find a day job that’s better suited to my personality but that one is a little lower on the list than the rest.

I really just want to make March the month that I take real steps towards being more of an adult and less of a floundering attempt of an adult.


This is what I’ve got for March. What goals do you have?

February Wrap-Up

February has been a bit of a rough month, but I’ve made it through and did a decent amount of reading at the same time!

While I didn’t meet my reading goal in terms of books I hoped to finish, and I also lowered my GoodReads goal from 100 down to 80, I’m proud of what I was able to read despite the things in my personal life I’m dealing with. Not to mention I did end up reading two out of three of my goal books (Six of Crows and Throne of Glass).

So far this puts me at 16/80 books read this year and I’d say that’s not too shabby!

How did you do this February?


Finished Books

  1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells
  3. A Victorian Flower Dictionary by Mandy Kirkby
  4. Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
  5. the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace
  6. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  7. The Strange Case of Moderate Extremists by Alexander McCall Smith

In-Progress

  1. Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James
  2. The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
  3. Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Did Not Finish

  1. Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Coles
  2. Some Girls Bind by Rory James
  3. Limetown by Cote Smith

February TBR

Happy February 1st, everyone! January was a tough month for a lot of us, but we’re still here! (Even if we are half frozen because of the polar vortex).

For February, I’m hosting a read-a-long for the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas, with fun photo prompt challenges and prizes for the best photos! You can find more of that here.

I’m also giving myself a smaller TBR goal for the month as I am very much a mood reader and assigning books that would fill my whole month never works out. So here are the three books I am making sure I read this month.

  1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – I have never read this series before, hence why I thought a read-a-long would be fun, and because of that read-a-long, I should probably be reading it right? Haha!
  2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Nikolai is very much the fictional love of my life so King of Scars was my most anticipated read of the year. However, my biggest confession to make is I never read the Six of Crows duology. I’m hoping to get through this and Crooked Kingdom this month, but we’ll just wait to see if I can do that.
  3. Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James – One of the most highly anticipated books of the 2019, I received an ARC a few months ago but was so distracted I couldn’t give it my full attention. I’m hoping to read the finished copy once my pre-order comes in but if it comes late, I still have the ARC to read. It’s a beast of a book but a truly incredible narrative.

What books are on your TBR this month? Or do you set a TBR at all? Let me know in the comments!