Hello and welcome the the 756th day of January 2020. We’re rapidly approaching the end of the month, so it’s time for a wrap up! Join me in a coffee whilst I reflect on my January reading?
This week I’m still drinking last week’s delightful Kenyan Steampunk coffee at home. However, we’ve recently been away in Edinburgh for a few days, so I’m going to tell you about the coffee I drank there instead because it was lush and I regret not bringing a bag home. After a long walk along the Water of Leith Walkway, we stopped off at Fortitude Coffee in Edinburgh City Centre and enjoyed an Ethiopian filter coffee, the Banko Gotiti Natural. It was brilliant with tasting notes of bergamot, blackberry and rosewater. It’s currently out of stock online but if you find yourself in Edinburgh you should definitely pay them a visit.
This first month of the year has been off to a rocky start really. We’ve been ill, we’ve had a relative in hospital and I started working full time (on a temporary basis) for the first time in 8 years, which is all to say I have been exhausted. I haven’t read nearly as much as I’d have liked to this month, but it’s definitely been a month of quality reads for me (which is unsurprising since I chose my own TBR).
I’ve decided to make a few little changes to my wrap ups for 2020. I’m adding my little Goodreads reviews alongside the books I read, with links to my reviews where I have written them at the time of posting (I want to say I’ll go back and update these but I think we all know that’s not true). I’ve also done away with my TBR section because I never get the maths right and I share my hauls elsewhere; I’ve also made reducing my TBR one of my challenges this year so it would be a bit redundant. I’m also adding a little section for bookish things I’m looking forward to in the coming month. I hope you like it.
Books Read: 6
Pages Read: 2,868
- The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: Brilliant, beautifully written, and mind blowing. Very much a book for bookish people, where stories are everything. I’ll be thinking about this one for a good while
- Tilly and the Lost Fairytales by Anna James: Another brilliant adventure for Tilly and Oskar. I loved that this book was a little darker and involved more traditional fairytales and some Underlibrary politics. Excited for more in this series!
- Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson: Another brilliant book from Amy Wilson. I adored the forest setting and the magic system in this one. I loved the friendships and the family too. This is a brilliant read. Stella is a new favourite character. Definitely recommend.
- The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes: Absolutely loved this. One of the best (if not the best) cult book I’ve ever read.
- Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Zombies by Katie and Kevin Tsang: Another amazing book from Katie and Kevin. S and I adored this one and it’s our new favourite in the series.
Four and a Half Stars
- One of Us is Next by Karen McManus: I don’t think I will ever be over that ending. Brilliant sequel to One of Us is Lying. What a rollercoaster read.
- The High Lord by Trudi Canavan: A brilliant ending to the Black Magician trilogy. Not at all what I expected and turned everything I thought about this world on its head. This is filled with twists and turns that kept me hooked until that shocker of an end. This series will take me a while to recover from.
Did Not Finish
- The Liar’s Daughter by Claire Allan: This book has a gripping start and I loved the writing style, but had to DNF because there is a focus on child abuse and sexual assault which are not things I read about.
- I Could Be You by Sheila Buglar: I DNF this one because I just couldn’t get on with either of the main characters and unfortunately the plot wasn’t enough to carry me more than a quarter of the way through this one.
I haven’t joined any official challenges yet this year. I decided to just focus on reading some things I wanted to to kick off 2020. However, I have set myself three little reading challenges for this year.
Goodreads: 7/175 I have set my Goodreads Challenge at 175 books again. I exceeded this in 2019 reading 193 books, but I think that’s an excessive amount of books to try to beat, and I need to focus on things other than just devouring books this year, like sleeping.
Conquering Mount Ted: My TBR (affectionately known as Mount Ted) is 198 books high at the time of writing this. I want to reduce this to 100 books or under in 2020 so each month I will be holding myself accountable here. As things stand at the time of writing this post I have
Steph’s Books: By my latest count I have 7 of Steph’s books in my house. This is an ever changing number as Steph and I frequently swap books we’ve read, but I want to keep track of them because some of these have been here for a VERY long time. I read 2 this month (Minnow Bly and One of Us is Next) making it 5/7 that I now need to read.
This is my new little section where I am going to share any upcoming bookish events for the following month, and my most anticipated reads for that month.
In February I have two events in Newcastle : Alice Oseman is coming up to celebrate the release of Heartstopper 3, and later in the month David Levithan, Ryan La Sala and Lisa Williamson will be in my local Waterstones! I am very excited for both of these events.
Some of the books I’m looking forward to being released next month are (links go to Goodreads info):
- Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Seed.
- Heartstopper Volume 3 by Alice Oseman
- Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
- Darkwhispers by Vashti Hardy
- A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison
If you made it through this, please do let me know what you thought of my changes and if you’d like to see me add anything else or get rid of anything in these wrap ups?