I can’t believe 2019 is over already! This year absolutely flew by, I feel like I looked up and all of a sudden it was December. This year I spent some time trying to find balance – between my work and home life and my reading and time spent with my husband / family. There’s always room for more improvement but I did the best I could this year. As the year draws to a close there is more than ever developing at work and I’m hoping I’ll be able to overcome the challenges I face there. I’m also hoping to spend time where I can continuing to read – and not only read some great books published in 2020 but also read more off my backlog and from my personal library.
So anyways! On to the meat of this post – to recap on the goals list that I had set for 2019:
- Participate in certain reading challenges:
- ARC August Check! I participated in ARC August 2019 and got a lot of ARC’s read – see my posts on this challenge here
- Bout of Books Challenges (2)
- BOB 24 January 2019 Check! I participated in this one, though I didn’t find it as productive as the May one so I’m cutting it from the list in 2020. See my posts on this challenge here
- BOB 25 May 2019 Check! I participated in this one, see my posts on this challenge here
- Bookish Bingo challenges! I’d like to participate in bingo challenges for certain months for fun: February, June, September and October Half check – I ended up participating for February and October but couldn’t fit it into the other months
- Bookish 2019 Reading Challenge – 52 Ways to Kill Your TBR! Check! Read a few on the list, though not as many as I wanted. See my posts on this challenge here
- Keep reading my backlog list! Check! I used the 52 Ways to Kill Your TBR reading challenge to start tackling some of my backlog lists – hoping to continue hacking at these lists over the next year!
- Also read some of the books I own (there are too many) Check! I read probably a handful of books that I own, though I bought a lot more – oh well!
- And some personal goals! Lose weight, focus on healthier eating, exercise more often, more time at home, more time with Kris, and finish some house projects! Mostly check – I wasn’t really great with most of these but, again, did the best I could. Hoping to make more progress in 2020.
As I mentioned with finding balance, I think I was able to mete out a good amount of time for myself to read this year. I also discovered PODCASTS this year, which are fantastic and they’ve really helped me develop my knowledge (and my TBR list) within the romance genre. I’m hoping to have a post up within the next week or so on what podcasts I’ve been listening to and what I’ve enjoyed so far. Any readers who have a favorite podcast definitely let me know, I’m always interested in checking out a new one! I also attended a couple book related events this year (including KissCon New England), all of which I enjoyed immensely. I just love being able to talk about books and listen to people talk about books and everything related to that. I’m hoping to make it to an RWA or other romance writers conference sometime soon.
In looking back on my year of reading this year, I was able to read a comparable amount related to previous years. Below is a chart of the books I read by month this year vs previous years:
I also really like the functionality of the Goodreads Year in Books summary for giving an overview of what happened during my year for reading. I don’t record 100% of the books I read on here so it doesn’t always match up with my own figures but I love having all the covers in one place, it makes for a neat graphic.
And just for fun! Here are a few of my favorites from 2019:
Favorite Reads from 2019
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – 5.0 stars
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – 4.75 stars
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night (OMG IAD IS THE BEST!) by Kresley Cole – 5.0 stars
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – 4.75 stars
Favorite New Series
Pretty obviously this is the Immortals After Dark series. I have mentioned this series in a number of posts, it is bananas (to coin Sarah MacLean’s term) and amazing and a roller coaster of awesome. I would definitely recommend it if you haven’t read it already!
(Obviously) Fated Mates is great. I love the IAD discussions but also love the interstitial episodes where Sarah and Jen talk about recommended reads. I’ve also really been enjoying Learning the Tropes (Erin and Clayton are hilarious!) and Not Your Mom’s Romance Book Club (I love their back and forths and Ellen and her Mom remind me so much of me and my mom!).
Best New Author I Read in 2019
Has to be Helen Hoang – I should have read The Kiss Quotient last year but didn’t get to it til this year after I read The Bride Test. Both are amazing books and I’m so impressed by her writing and her as a person! I can’t wait for the next book!
Here we close out the 2019 year and we look ahead to the New Year!!
Looking ahead to 2020 I can not help but be less hopeful than I was last year. I have found it hard to find enough time to devote myself to both blogging and reading while also doing everything else I need to do. So I’m hoping to change that this year. Slow down with my tasks and actually enjoy them and expand on them. I’m hoping to rediscover my hope in some areas and create happiness where I’m able. Overall I’m looking to be a little more creative and do a little more writing outside of my comfortable review box I’ve narrowed myself to. I used to really enjoy the “Top Ten Tuesday” posts and the “Waiting on Wednesday” posts I did in the past. My schedule has been squeezed so tight in recent years that I haven’t made time to do them but I’d like to dabble a little more in these again this year. There are so many different fun activities within the land of book bloggers and I’m hoping to find some of that fun again this year!
Looking ahead to 2020, here are some of the goals I plan to achieve:
- Participate in certain reading challenges:
- ARC August
- Bout of Books Challenge – BOB 25 (May 2020)
- Bookish Bingo challenges! I’d like to participate in bingo challenges for certain months for fun: February and October. I don’t think that the Bookish site is doing Book Bingo sheets anymore but I’m hoping I can find another site that has one for these two months.
- Keep reading my backlog list! At least one book per month
- Keep reading from my personal library! At least one book per month
- Write at least one non-review and non-blog tour post a month – can be one of the structured posts like Top Ten Tuesday or it can be informative or whatever I feel like!
I wish everyone strength and happiness in 2020, Happy Reading!