I hope you’re having a great weekend. Today seemed like a good day to finally share my 2023 bookish goals! Now, a few of these goals are going to be holdovers from 2022 (*cough*), but I think the main goal of 2023 is trying not to do ALL THE THINGS. Ya girl just does not have the time. I’m also going to talk about my blogging goals and the reading challenges I’m planning on trying to complete this year.
That being said, let’s jump in!
In 2023, I’m trying not to set myself too many goals because I’m the type of person who beats herself up if she does not achieve some arbitrary goal that I made up in my head 😅😂 So I’m trying to be kind to 2024-Kerri’s mental health and set some achievable goals that are a little more ambiguous in nature. Only one hard number here, but it’s definitely something do-able and I can’t go a year without setting a Goodreads goal! So let me share my reading goals for 2023.
#1. Read 100 books
This is my one reading goal that actually has a number attached to it (not counting reading challenges, of course). This is also the highest I’ve ever set my Goodreads goal! I’ve read over 100 books the last two years and, with blogging and Netgalley, I think it’s something I can do again. Blog tours and ARCs have certainly upped my reading in recent years and I can’t imagine 2023 being any different. Still, seeing those triple digits makes me a little nervous 😅
#2. Read from my owned TBR as much as possible
This was a goal last year and it did not go well, lol. I got distracted by a lot of blog tours and new, shiny releases so I’m fairly certainly my owned TBR has grown rather than shrunk. I’m planning on cataloguing my owned TBR… soon. Looking at all the stacks around my bedroom and on my TBR bookshelf is daunting, to say the least, but I want to know where I’m starting so I can see how well I stick to this goal in 2023. I don’t have a specific number that I want to hit, or an amount I’d like to reduce my owned TBR by… I’m just hoping to end the year with less instead of more.
#3. Stay on top of Netgalley reads
Now, there’s definitely a number involved with this, but I’m not setting myself a specific number that I’m trying to achieve. I’m already pretty close to the recommended feedback ratio, so I’m not stressed about that. Mostly, I want to stay on top of my Netgalley reads instead of letting ARCs languish on my shelf until they are already published… heh.
We’re five days into the new year, so I figured I would finally, fully wrap up how my reading went in 2022. Honestly, last year was the year of four star reads and I wasn’t mad about it! I read so many really wonderful books and discovered some authors that I would love to continue to read. I started to dip my toe in the romance genre, I picked up a few books that I’ve been meaning to read for ages, and I actually finished a series!
That being said, let’s go ahead and get into my wrap up post!
In 2022, I read the most books I’ve ever read since I got back into reading as a hobby! It boggles my mind that I read 135 books and 41,950 pages. Like… what?! I’m not complaining though because I feel quite accomplished. I have to give props to rekindling my love for audiobooks and graphic novels. I’m hoping to continue this energy into the new year, though I think that I will be shocked if I get close to or surpass that number in 2023. We shall see!
The fact that the average length of the books I picked up was only 310 pages definitely helped me read the amount that I did, too. This was the year of short, quick reads, which I kind of needed because I was a busy bee in 2022. I think this average length also has to do with the fact that I read a lot more romance this year than I ever have before. Romances tend to be shorter than the fantasy books I usually read. Being a fan of epic, sweeping stories is both a blessing and a curse 😂 Romances also brought me so much joy in 2022, so I am most definitely continuing my exploration of the genre!
I told you that this was the year of four star reads and the fact that my average rating in 2022 was 4.1 stars proves my point! There were so many books I read that were incredible, but didn’t quite reach that five star mark. I mean, I still read 24 five star books this year, which is a great number, I think. So many new favorites! The fact that the rest of my reads were mostly still great makes me quite happy. Here’s hoping 2023 treats me just as well.
I’ve once again waited until it was almost next month to wrap up my reading for last month. This has become a trend 😬😅 Still, let my lateness not reflect on how my reading went in July. I read a ton of incredible reads last month and I’m excited to share them with you! Last month is also the first time I think ever that I read more audiobooks than physical books. I suppose I’m officially in my audiobook era.
Alright, let’s get to the post!
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes: This book was everything I wanted it to be! It was space horror at it’s most spine-tingling. I loved the atmospheric writing, the characters you don’t know if you can trust, and how everything was explained in the end. I will say there were moments that dragged a teensy bit and the ending wrapped a little too neat, but I still had a great time with this one. ★★★★
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: Well, this book is definitely going on my list of ‘favorite classics’. This was such a weird, horrific time and I loved every minute of it! I enjoyed Oscar Wilde’s writing style and how he created such a compelling character that I also wanted to kick. The descriptions of things that I did not care about could get a bit out of hand, I have to admit. Still, this was an engaging and excellent read. ★★★★
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint: I finally read Ariadne and it was just as good as everyone has been saying! As Greek mythology retellings go, I thoroughly enjoyed how Saint centered Ariadne and her sister in a myth that usually sweeps them under the rug. I was completely engaged throughout the story an, even though I knew how it would end, I was riveted. I’m certainly interested in reading whatever else Jennifer Saint writes next! I need to get my hands on Elektra. ★★★★
Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie: I continued my Poirot reading last month and this was the first book I read. This was an interesting story with a intriguing mystery. I enjoyed all the characters, though never as much as Poirot himself. There was no Hastings, however, so that made me a little sad. But I liked the twists and turns in this story and how it all wrapped up in the end. ★★★★
Here I am, once again bringing you a very late monthly wrap up 😅 Perhaps in August I’ll get my act together, but, let’s be honest, probably not. This summer months have been busy and stressful and, though I’ve been reading quite a bit, I’ve been terrible at keeping track the way I used to that made making my monthly wrap up posts easier. So then I just put it off until I finally make myself sit down and do it, haha.
We’ve arrived at that point, so it’s time to tell you all about the books I read in June!
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James: This was my first Simone St. James and, though I enjoyed my time with it, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought they were intriguing and messed up and definitely interesting to follow. But this is a book that bounces back and forth between POVs and timelines and I found the timelines set in the past so intensely dull. Still, I enjoyed the spooky elements and the writing was good. That plus the great characters helped me pull through the duller chapters. ★★★
The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake: I went into this one unsure of how I was going to like it. I’m a fan of dark academia, but there are so many mixed reviews about this book! Thankfully, I fell on the side of loving it. The vibes were incredible, the characters were fascinating, and I loved the (admittedly convoluted sometimes) plot. There were moments were the writing felt a tad overwrought and boring, but those were few and far between. All in all, this was a wild ride and I’m eager to read the sequel. ★★★★
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan: Here’s another book that has a lot of mixed reviews. And, again, I ended up on the side of loving it! This book was absolutely beautiful, inside and out. The writing was stunning! Like, so beautiful there were passages I listened to over again because I just loved them so much. The plot is fast-paced and intriguing and the worldbuilding is fantastic! The best part of this book, however, is the characters, especially Xingye. She’s such a nuanced and fierce character to watch grow throughout the story. Definitely looking forward to the sequel! ★★★★
Son of Shadow by John Lenahan: I read this book for a blog tour hosted by The Write Reads. It’s a fantasy that is focused around Irish mythology and it was quite a bit of fun! I loved how this book was a fantasy with a very contemporary feel. And the land of Tir na Nog was enchanting to read in this book. I have to admit to feeling a little lost for most of the book because this is the first book in a new trilogy, but there’s an entire trilogy before this. It felt like I was missing a lot of information because I hadn’t read that series. Overall, though, I had a good time with this book. You can read my full review here. ★★★
I am, once again, woefully behind when it comes to writing reviews these days. 2022 has been a busy year with loads of change happening and I’ve found myself with less and less time to sit and write reviews. Though I’ve been reading a ton! Perhaps that is the problem 😂
That being said, I thought I would try and catch up with some of my reviews by talking about three books I’ve finished from one of the year long reading challenges I’m doing in 2022. I’ve not been doing great with my 22 in 2022TBR, but I’ve checked up a good amount from my 12 friends, 12 recommendations TBR! And, today, I’m going to finally review three of them.
Title: Battle Royal
Author: Lucy Parker
CW/TW: Death of a parent (past), abusive familial relationship, emotional abuse (past)
This was such a delightful read! It made me realize that food + romance may just be my thing, because I loved the backdrop of this sweet story. Two rival bakers competing to bake a royal wedding cake while also working together on a hit baking competition is apparently the recipe to win my heart, haha. Not only did I get a cute (and sometimes steamy) romance, but I got to drool over delicious sounding desserts at the same time. Win-win!
I truly enjoyed the chemistry between Sylvie and Dominic, though Sylvie is hands-down my favorite character. Sorry, Dominic… but she has an enchanted forest in her bakery’s basement! That’s a default win! They were both wonderfully written and complex characters, though, and I truly enjoyed getting to know them throughout this book. There were a few plot points that stretched the imagination, but, overall this was a charming and fun romance that left me smiling from ear to ear.
How is it already May?? I feel like April flew by and I’m not ready for it to already be the fifth month of 2022. We’re already almost halfway through the year! Still, with as fast as the month went, I still somehow managed to one of my best reading months of the year, so far. Dare I say, one of my best reading months ever. I managed to read 19 books last month. NINETEEN BOOKS! That is definitely a new personal record! On top of that, I also have 5 five star reads. Like, what?!
I fully credit two things for how great my reading was last month: rediscovering the wonderful world of audiobooks and the incredible Magical Readathon hosted by G @ Book Roast. Seriously, I had so much fun participating in the Orilium Spring Equinox round of the Magical Readathon. I managed to complete all the classes my character needed for her chosen calling, plus six additional side quests. G did a fantastic job of building a creative and fun readathon and I’m excited to participate again in the fall!
Alright, enough stalling… let’s talk about all the great books I read in the month of April.
Dread Wood by Jennifer Killick: I read this for a The Write Reads blog tour and found myself loving this creepy middle grade horror! If you’re not a fan of spiders, I would maybe steer clear. Otherwise, this was a fast-paced, properly spooky story that had me on the edge of my seat. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman: The printed version of Amanda Gorman’s incredibly compelling inauguration speech was just as moving as watching it live. It was profound; a rallying cry for a country that was finally getting a smidge of hope. And that’s what the tone of this poem was, overall… hopeful. I adored it. ★★★★★
Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica: This was my first Mary Kubica book, but it certainly won’t be my last! I loved this twisty, suburban mystery. I thought the characters were intriguing and the twists had my mouth hanging open! There was one plot point that felt a little out of left field, but, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. ★★★★
Scorpica by G.R. Macallister: I was given an e-ARC of this book on Netgalley. I knew nothing about it until the publicist emailed me, but, once I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read the book. I’m glad I gave it a go, too, because I ended up being sucked into this world! Slow on plot, but tons of great character building, which I love. And all the tangled political maneuverings were a definite bonus, as well. You can find my full review here. ★★★★
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: This contemporary romance was SO STINKIN’ CUTE! I mean, it dealt with some heavier topics, like emotional abuse and stalker behavior, so know that before diving in. But the romance between Tiff and Leon was absolutely everything I could have wanted and more. They are so cute and made this book a joy to read. ★★★★
The Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie: I was truly in my audiobook era during April and used that mojo to try and catch up with a Poirot readalong. Still not quite there, but I did manage to read two last month and they ended up being two of the more enjoyable ones! This was probably my favorite of the two because I enjoyed the set up much more. A little sad that Poirot wasn’t a big part of this book, but, overall, I had a ton of fun with it! ★★★★
Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie: This was the other Poirot novel I read in April and, though I enjoyed it, it definitely wasn’t as good as Three Act Tragedy. I do love a locked room (or plane, in this case) mystery and this delivered! My only sticking point with this one was that the big reveal felt so underwhelming. There was more Poirot in this one, though, so he made up for it. ★★★★
May Day by Josie Jaffrey: This was another blog tour read, this time for the first place winner of last year’s Book Bloggers Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA). I can see why this book won first place because it was a wild ride! Who knew that all you needed to do to get me to like a vampire novel was to make the vampires detectives 😂 This was a gruesome and intricate mystery that definitely left me wanting to pick up the next book. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
We made it through another month of 2022! I feel like March went by super fast which was not at all what I wanted, haha. I feel like I got nothing done because the month just slipped through my fingers! At the same time, I’ve been unusually stressed with nothing added to my daily routine that would explain all the stress. It was a weird month, y’all. Here’s hoping April will be a bit more chill.
In the reading department, I read quite a few books but not nearly the amount I was hoping to achieve. I only read a few books from my Magical Readathon and WomenInMyth-Athon TBRs, but I still had a lot of fun participating in both! I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I still managed to read nine books. Nine books in one month would have made me from a few years ago die of shock! And the quality of those books what top tier. I had three five star reads last month! I gotta remind myself of these things when I’m being too down on myself for how much I read. After all, it’s quality not quantity that counts.
Anyways, let’s get into all the books I read in the month of March!
Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page
Book: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir/illustrated by Myisha Haynes
Thoughts: This was such a cute, fun graphic novel! It’s a retelling of Anne of Green Gables, which I haven’t read. Still, I know a bit about the character of Anne and I think this duo captured her spirit to a T! The art is beautiful, the story was touching, and I had a blast reading it. You can read my full review here.
Book: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Thoughts: Well, this was quite a thrill to read! From the very beginning, I was invested in Priya and Malini’s stories. They are incredibly well-written and compelling characters that made me want to keep reading. Beyond them, the lush world-building and the intriguing politics had me absolutely captivated. I’m excited for the next book in this series!
Book: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
Thoughts: This book took me by surprise! I got it in my Book of the Month box and signed up for a blog tour simply because I liked the cover. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the tour, it probably would have languished on my shelves for awhile. I’m so glad it didn’t, though, because it absolutely blew me away! You can read my full review here.
I know, I know. It’s already the middle of March and I’m just now doing my February wrap up. Imma be honest with you… I apparently had a dream that I had already finished this post and it was out on the internet for all to read. Then, I started questioning myself, looked it up, and realized that my subconscious thinks I’m far more on top of things than I actually am. Really, just a snapshot of how my brain has been working this path month. Like a sloth crawling through molasses up in here *taps head*
Anyhoo! Now that I’ve realized my mistake, it’s time to go over all the wonderful books I read last month. It was a pretty incredible reading month, especially considering it’s the shortest month of the year. I read a lot of books for me and a lot of quality books, at that! So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page
Book: Revenge of the Beast by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Thoughts: This was just as much fun as the first book in the series! I loved watching Ebenezer and Bethany bond even more. I also loved watching them learn more about friendship and what it is to be a ‘do-gooder’. I read this for a The Write Reads tour and you can read my full thoughts here.
Book: False Value by Ben Aaronovitch
Thoughts: Another gem in the Rivers of London series and this one finally reached the full five stars for me! I think this book really shows how much Peter has grown over the course of this series. I also loved all the tech talk and, of course, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy references! I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.
Book: Noor by Nnedi Okorafor
Thoughts: Another novella by Dr. Okorafor that I truly enjoyed! I think I liked Remote Control a smidge more, but this was a great read, as well. I loved how it examines topics like misogyny and how people treat those they see as ‘other’. This was a quick, engaging read and I enjoyed discovering all its layers.
Now that we’re solidly into the second month of 2022, I figured it was time to do my reading wrap up for the first month. I had a pretty decent month of reading in January! I didn’t read a lot of books, but the quality was certainly top notch. I also finally watched Encanto and it kind of took over my life for a little bit. Not that that has anything to do with my reading, but there have definitely been days I chose watching Encanto again over reading a book so… maybe it does?
Either way, let’s start of by going over what books I did read in January 2022!
Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page
Book: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Thoughts: I kicked off the year with quite a banger! I finally read These Violent Delights and I absolutely loved it. It was an action-packed, emotional beginning to what is promising to be an epic reimagining of Romeo & Juliet. I loved the vivid feel of the world and Juliette was incredible character. Roma was pretty alright, too, lol. I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Book: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Thoughts: I did it, y’all. I caved to the peer pressure and I read The Love Hypothesis. I’m happy to report that I really enjoyed it, as well! Was a tad be unrealistic? Sure. But did I have a lot of fun while reading it? Absolutely! Also, Olive needs better friends, I’m just saying. The amount of cringey things she did just because her best friend kept pushing her into PDA situations was just… yikes. Still, this was a fun read and I’m glad I picked it up.
Book: Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
Thoughts: This was an interesting horror novella that would have been much better if the ghost had been more present. Which is saying something, since the ghost is quite murderous! I just did not care about any of the characters in this book. The spooky stuff, however, was on point! Give me more of that and I would’ve been happy. Overall, this was a good, quick read.
If you spend anytime in the online bookish community, you probably already know what this post is about. You probably saw a certain graphic floating around the internet at the beginning of 2022. If not, let me give you a peek at the beautiful template made by @shadowbooker over on Instagram!
This graphic/challenge prompts you to read 12 books that have been recommended to you by 12 friends. It sounded like fun (and was literally everywhere), so I figured I would give it a shot! So, through a mix of both online and IRL friends and family, I cobbled together a TBR of twelve recommendations that I wish to read in 2022.
My 12 Challenge
First, I want to say “Thank you!” to everyone who gave me a recommendation! I made sure to ask for books beyond my usual SFF realm and y’all certainly delivered. I think I have a good mix of SFF, mystery/thriller, and romance going on here and that’s exactly what I asked for. I do love my fantasy and science fiction, but 2022 feels like a good year to try and branch out a little more. That being said, let’s take a look at the books that I ended up choosing from all your wonderful recommendations ❤