Wrap-up and TBR banner with a selection of books with red spines

January '19 wrap-up and February TBR

Good morning bookworms!
So… it is at this point in time that I realise that 11 challenges is going to create a SUPER LONG monthly wrap-up post. How did this not occur to me until now? What I am going to trial this month is my usual monthly wrap-up (and TBR) post, and then a secondary challenges progress post (coming out soon). Let’s see how long this lasts for!

January wrap-up

I had a stellar reading month, despite travelling a LOT. In fact, I’m going to give you some small stats on how much I traveled this month.
Car: 1536km / 954.4miles
Planes: 2 (approx 1200km) (it would have been 1500km to drive)
Buses: 2 (approx 160km)
Trains: 2 (approx 160km)
Trams: 4 (I probably could have walked, but it’s a fun stat! Also I’m lazy…)
Also, traveling is EXHAUSTING.
Girl being carried on suitcase
I also went to 1 zoo, 3 wineries, 2 pools (it’s summer here don’t forget), and 1 ocean (the Pacific) (although I guess, ‘technically’ it’s the Bass Strait). I also went to 6 bookshops and 1 market that had A WHOLE SHED FOR BOOKS. *dies* Annnnnnd, as you could see from yesterday’s post, I got a lot of books.
In terms of reading though, I read *drumroll* 14 books. WOOT! I’m here to start the year off right. Also, I know I can’t keep this up now that I’m back at work, so I’m pretty happy about the headstart I got for the year!

Book

Author

Series

Format

Rating (/5)

Saga Vol 1 Brian K Vaughan Saga (#1) Graphic Novel

4

Becoming His Monster Amelia Hutchins Playing With Monsters (#3) eBook

2

How (Not) To Kiss A Beast Elizabeth A. Reeves Cindy Eller (#3) eBook

3.5

The Wicked King Holly Black The Folk of the Air (#2) Paperback

5

How (Not) To Kiss a Ghost Elizabeth A. Reeves Cindy Eller (#4) eBook

3.5

How (Not) To Play With Magic Elizabeth A. Reeves Cindy Eller (#0.5) eBook

2.5

A Curse So Dark and Lonely Brigid Kemmerer A Curse So Dark and Lonely (#1) Paperback

5

The Summer of Jordi Perez Amy Spalding Hardcover

4

Autoboyography Christina Lauren Hardcover

4

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Jessica Townsend Nevermoor (#1) Hardcover

5

Anna and the French Kiss Stephanie Perkins Anna and the French Kiss (#1) Paperback

4.5

Hunted Meagan Spooner Paperback

4

Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery Kurtis J Wiebe Rat Queens (#1) Graphic Novel

4

Wyrd Sisters Terry Pratchett Discworld Paperback

4.5

 
Top reads obviously go to The Wicked King, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and Nevermoor. ALL FIVE STARS (and so many tears for the first two ๐Ÿ˜ญ).

February TBR

Uhhhh, well. I’ve decided I need some laughs in my life. I also need to catch up on Discworld books, buddy reads and (despite that I just got them) the trilogy by Nora Sakavic that EVERYONE IN MY LIFE SAYS I NEED, so this is my tentative TBR for February:

  • The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
  • The Raven King by Nora Sakavic
  • The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic
  • Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (buddy read)
  • Pyramidsย by Terry Pratchettย (Discworld read-a-thon)
  • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  • The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman


FYI, if I put off Coraline forever, it’s because I’m terrified of thriller/horror books. You see, I have an overactive imagination. I once played Dead Island (a zombie game) for three days with a friend (admittedly it was about 12 hours per day) and then I started having zombie nightmares. These lasted for almost a month, and by the end I was so sleep deprived my boyfriend at the time (now hubby) banned me from playing or watching anything with zombies in it ever again. I do own Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion though. OH MY F*CK. I just found another pile of books that isn’t on my Backlist list. That’s TWENTY more books I own that I haven’t read (FYI, Warm Bodies is in this pile).

Blog wrap-up

I don’t usually say anything about my blog stats. The reason for that is that I consider myself a VERY small-time fry, fed to krill-size fish, in an ocean-sized pond (I mean, I had less than 200 subscribers at the end of Dec). However, I did an experiment in January. I posted every single day because I wanted to see if that would make a difference in my engagement scores. AND IT TOTALLY DID.
blogengagementstats
What you can see in the above graph (thank you WordPress stats) is that on average, when I was posting 5-10 times per month, I was getting about 300 views. Now, I work about 60 hours per week on average. In an office. Writing papers, managing budgets, and all sorts of corporate-type stuff (I don’t really like to talk about my job here). However, I was on leave for most of January (I went back to work on Tue 29 Jan), and so I had a fair bit of spare time to catch up on reading and writing reviews, and IT WAS SO NICE. But the best part was, I got to really be involved in the bookish community. I was blog hopping and genuinely interacting.
I posted better posts (as in my writing was more relaxed, and more ‘me’). I posted consistently. I posted on instagram and twitter more frequently. I started catching up on my goodreads account. I actually read ARCs before they were due (and I rarely even request ARCs). I got to visit all of you, and like and comment on your posts too. I even put GIFS in posts and cracked jokes. I DID PIE CHARTS. Basically, what happened was, I allowed myself to be me online, and I really liked it. And I think maybe you guys did too? I AM ONE WITH THE FORCE, AND THE FORCE IS WITH ME.
So, I think I’m going to try and keep it up for as long as possible! I hope you stay with me. Also, please don’t hate me if I do drop off (I love my job but it kind of sucks, but I’m attempting to have a work/life/blog balance this year). There may be things that mess with me this year โ€“ we are currently in the middle of buying a house interstate, so we will also be moving at some stage, possibly doing renovations, etc. But reading will always be a consistent, even if I have to put books in storage at some point (*hyperventilates just thinking about it*), and I hope blogging will too.
Thanks for liking me! Sorry this post is so long! (And I didn’t even do the 11 challenges wrap-up!!)
Until next time, happy reading! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ“š

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