Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Reads of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish back in June 2010. It is currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and, as is stated on the blog, it was “born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”

It’s the last day of 2019 and a great time to reflect on my past year of reading. According to Goodreads, my average rating for 2019 was 3.8, which tells me that I had a rather great reading year! I definitely did better than last year. Of course, I only read two books last year, soooo…

Considering that I read a lot of great books, it was hard to sit down and pick out the ten best books. There are so many I’d love to put on this list! In the spirit of the TTT, though, I’m gonna stick with ten. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are the books that I loved the most in 2019!

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Book Review: The Chestnut Man

Title: The Chestnut Man

Author: Søren Sveistrup

Translated by: Caroline Waight

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Source: Borrowed (library)

Rating: ★★★

One Sentence Synopsis

Two detectives who are stuck together are assigned to investigate a series of murders involving a creepy little stick figure.

Favorite Quote

Honestly, nothing that jumps to mind *shrug*

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In Other Words #7

Happy holidays, everyone! Christmas is officially over, but the holidays aren’t quite over yet. I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays thus far. I had one of the best Christmases I’ve had in a long while! But we’ll talk about that in a second. First, it’s time for a recap!

Last Week’s Posts

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My 2020 Reading Goals

2020 Main Reading Goal

It’s the end of December and the new year is knocking at the door. As happens every year, I’ve been reflecting about this past year and what I want to get out of next year. 2019 was the year that I really got back into reading. The year before, I could barely get through a book because my mind was just all over the place. In 2019, I actively decided that I wanted to rediscover my joy of reading and, I have to say, it has been a wonderful reading year! I read a lot of amazing books this year, I discovered the online bookish community, and I’m back to being excited by books!

Now that I’ve rekindled my love of the written word, I’ve decided to shift my focus for the next reading year. Our move this summer forced me to look through all my books and I realized just how many books I own that I haven’t even read. I filled an entire bookshelf with just unread books! And there’s still a box of books that I haven’t unpacked because one of bookcases was broken during the move, so there could be more unread books in there! Therefore, for 2020, I’ve decided my focus will be on digging into my owned TBR.

So what does this mean in practice? This means that I will only be reading books that I already own, whether that be physical books, e-books, or audiobooks. I will also be placing myself on a *dun dun DUN* book buying ban. The only way that I will be acquiring new books will be through Book of the Month club because I just can’t cancel my subscription, I love it too much! I will be limiting myself to limiting myself to picking one book and not getting add-ons which is gonna be freakin’ HARD, but I’m gonna try! The plan is that, by the end of the year, at least half of the books on my TBR bookshelf will no longer be unread. I want to make a significant dent in my owned TBR and I think I can do it!

Reading Challenges

Keeping in mind that I want to focus on reading books that I already own, I do want to attempt a couple of reading challenges, as well. First, I’m excited to do the PopSugar Reading Challenge again! I attempted this challenge in 2019 and did… okay? I finished quite a few of the prompts but kind of stopped keeping track so now I have no idea how many I actually finished, lol. But now ya girl has a blog where it will be much easier to track her challenges, so that shouldn’t be a problem *wink* The prompts can be seen below:

I’m also participating in the #StartOnYourShelfathon hosted by The Quiet Pond. It’s a readathon that is literally perfect for my 2020 reading goal! The purpose of the readathon is to focus on reading books that you already own. They can only be books you haven’t read before, though. No re-reads allowed! If you want to learn more about the #StartOnYourShelfathon, check out my post about it or head over to The Quiet Pond to get the real inside scoop.

I’m also planning on doing the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2020. I found out about this challenge when I was browsing reading journals on Amazon and came across the one made my Book Riot for the 2019 Read Harder Challenge. I, however, didn’t realize that it was for 2019 and bought it, so I suppose if I finish the prompts for 2020, I can attempt the 2019 prompts as well, lol. For a list of the prompts, click here. It will take you to the website were you can get a downloadable and editable PDF of all the challenge tasks!

2020 Side Goals

In addition to my main goal, I do have a couple of side goals I would like to focus on for next year. The first side goal I have is to focus on my ARCs and reading them in a timely fashion. I’ve gotten so behind and I really want to bring my Netgalley rating back up. Not to mention the fact that I feel so privileged for being able to receive these ARCs that I feel equally guilty when I don’t read and review as soon as I should. So I’m going to focus on finishing/reviewing ARCs before their release date or, barring that, at least within the month they are released.

My next side goal is to utilize my local library more often. When we lived in New Mexico, our library was a nice little place, but the selection was less than stellar. Though I still used the library, I started relying more on buying books to get to ones I really wanted to read. When we moved, one of the first things I did was go to our local library and get us a card. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I know my expectations were low. Thankfully, my expectations were blown out of the water! The selection at our new library is OUTRAGEOUS! And they are part of a larger library network so even if they don’t have a book, they have no problem getting it. It’s amazing! That being said, I want to utilize the library more for books that I would usually buy, especially new releases. I do plan on keeping a list of books that I really loved and buying once my self-imposed ban is lifted, but this will be a good way to stick to my goal, support my local library, and still read the new books I want to read. It’s a win-win-win!

And my last very, very, VERY side goal is to try and read at least one classic a month. I say it’s a very side goal because classics and I don’t tend to get along very well. I want to try and change that, but I also don’t want to throw myself into a rut by trying to force my way through a book just because it’s a “classic”. What I’m going to attempt to do is pick out classics that are recommended to me by people who’s tastes I trust. Maybe then I can avoid picking anything up that will bore me to tears. I also won’t be upset if I don’t meet this goal, but I definitely want to give it a try!

Alright, that’s all my goals for 2020! I think it’s just the right amount of ambitious and I’m really excited to start cutting down on my owned TBR. I see a bright reading year up ahead!

Do you have any reading goals for 2020? Let me know about them in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Book Blogger Hop: Dec 27 – Jan 2

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Crazy-For-Books and is currently being hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Every Friday, a new question is posted for book bloggers to answer in the coming week. The purpose of the hop is connection and community. You can discover new blogs to follow, new books to read, and you may end up with some new followers, as well!

This Week’s Question

Image by Coffee Addicted Writer
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Book Review: Magic for Liars

Title: Magic for Liars

Author: Sarah Gailey

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Source: Won! (Thanks to Tor.com)

Rating: ★★★

One Sentence Synopsis

Ivy Gamble is a private detective who is hired on by the magical school where her magical twin, Tabitha, works to solve a very strange case.

Favorite Quote

“People didn’t stick because I was made of fucking Teflon. I’d always told myself that it was better that way, that being alone was easier. That I wasn’t a coward for easing my way out of friendships before they could really start.”

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope to Find Under the Christmas Tree

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish back in June 2010. It is currently hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and, as is stated on the blog, it was “born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.”

Happy Christmas Eve, y’all! I actually have the day off and I’m planning on doing a lot of relaxing with the family and just generally being lazy af. I still have presents to wrap because I’m a slacker. I’ll get to it once the kids are distracted. They’ve been on a Star Wars binge since we went and saw the newest movie, so perhaps I’ll switch on Disney+ and take advantage of that time for some intense wrapping.

Speaking of presents, this week’s TTT is all about what books you hope to find wrapped prettily beneath your Christmas tree. Now, I don’t tend to ask for books for Christmas. Weird, right? It’s probably the control freak in me, but I would rather get a gift card to, say, Barnes & Noble so I can buy whatever I’m feeling at the moment. I can also never think of a specific book I want when someone asks me because I want SO MANY BOOKS! In the spirit of this TTT, though, let’s say I finally got my stuff together and asked for some books I’ve been dying to read. Here’s my list in no particular order!

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My First 2020 Readathon: #StartOnYourShelfathon!

Image by The Quiet Pond

As 2019 rolls to a close, I’ve been contemplating my reading plans for 2020. I’ve mentioned before that I have an entire bookshelf full of books that I own but have not read. I’ve also mentioned that I’ve thought about making my 2020 TBR consist entirely of books I already own. So, when I stumbled across the #StartOnYourShelfathon over at The Quiet Pond, it’s like the fates were aligning!

The goal of this readathon is to read books that you already own, but have not read. Perfect, right?! Now, these have to be books that you have not read before (no re-reads allowed). That defintiely won’t be an issue for me as I’m not big on re-reading books. I’m just excited because this readathon fits into my goals so well!

On top of that, though, there’s an adorable story to go along with the readathon. Castor, an adorable sloth who is also a Star Collector, has misplaced his stars and is trying to reconstruct his map. Every book you read counts as a new star to add to Castor’s collection. You can download star maps and give yourself an amateur star collector name and it’s all just the cutest! Please go check out the announcement/rules post over on The Quiet Pond because they explain it much better than I ever will.

Now that I’ve announced that I will be participating, I’m also supposed to announce my goals and my TBR. Since I’m planning on doing most of my 2020 reading from my bookshelf overflowing with unread books, I went ahead and made a shelf on Goodreads with all of those books! Which came out to exactly 100 books! There is no way I’m reading 100 books in a year! Especially with some of the beasties I have sitting on that shelf…

Looking at you, Priory of the Orange Tree.

This year, I beat my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 50 books by quite a bit (I’m currently sitting at 77 books read!) so I’m planning on bumping that up. I’m thinking I’m going to move it up to 60 books so as not to freak myself out and hope to blow it out of the park, as well! With that being said, I think I’m going to set my goal for this readathon to the same amount. That would be over half of my TBR bookshelf!

Obviously, I’m not going to make a list of 60 books from my shelf because I would be typing all night. Instead I’ll just leave you a link to my TBR bookshelf on Goodreads.

Alright! We have a goal: 60 books from my TBR bookshelf in 2020! I think this is an attainable goal and I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally put a dent into my owned TBR pile. If you think the #StartOnYourShelfathon sounds interesting, again, you should definitely check out the post over on The Quiet Pond! Let’s help Castor get his stars back!

Are you planning on joining in on this readathon? Do you have a ton of owned books that you haven’t read like me? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

In Other Words #6

Another week has gone by and it’s time to start anew. This past week was rather chill compared to the prior one, which I enjoyed! Especially considering we have a major holiday coming up next week. But, before I dive too deep into that, let’s do the weekly wrap up!

Last Week’s Posts

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Book Blogger Hop: Dec 20 – 26

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Crazy-For-Books and is currently being hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Every Friday, a new question is posted for book bloggers to answer in the coming week. The purpose of the hop is connection and community. You can discover new blogs to follow, new books to read, and you may end up with some new followers, as well!

This Week’s Question

Image by Coffee Addicted Writer
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