December Wrap-Up and January Goals

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it’s 2019 already?! I feel like 2018 was both super long and super short. Some months dragged on and others went by within the blink of an eye. I have to admit that I’m pretty glad to be seeing the end of 2018.

It wasn’t a terrible year for me, not really. I went back to college, applied for university, got engaged, booked a holiday to Disney, and achieved some pretty amazing things in terms of my anxiety. I worked hard to conquer as many fears as I possibly could within the space of a year and I’m proud to say that I did. I managed to do things that I’ve never been able to do before thanks to my social anxiety, like going to a networking event on my own and going on a night out without my boyfriend, something I’ve only ever done once in the five years we’ve been together. I also achieved some pretty amazing things in terms of my OCD. I tried new food and I touched and emptied a bin for the first time in eight years and did it without a panic attack.

All in all, it was actually a pretty great year for me.

Yet, despite all of that, there was just something about 2018 that’s left a sour taste in my mouth… you know?

Anyway, let’s get onto one of my favourite subjects… BOOKS!

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2018 was the year that I picked up books again after a reading slump that lasted several years. You know this. I’ve talked about it before. And, boy, am I glad that I decided to start reading again! I missed it. I missed it in a way that I never knew you could miss something. My mental health stopped me reading for so long but picking books back up again has been the best thing for my mental health this year. It’s funny how that can happen, isn’t it?

According to Goodreads, I read 25 books in 2018. This is somewhat of a lie. It’s actually more. I read a few ARCs that aren’t an option on Goodreads yet so I wasn’t able to include them. For someone who started reading properly just before the summer, I feel like 25 books is a pretty decent amount to have achieved in six months. But it’s not about numbers. It’s about finding something you enjoy. It’s about being passionate about what you’re reading.

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My TBR for December was pretty ambitious. I’ve had two weeks off work due to Christmas & New Year and I honestly thought that I would have gotten to read more than I did but I was just so busy seeing family and having a mental breakdown (nothing new there 😂). I still have a week of my holiday left to go so hopefully I’ll get more reading in.

My TBR for December was:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Did I read all of those you ask? No. No, I did not. I did say it was ambitious!

I managed to read Six of Crows, ADSOM, and The Cruel Prince. I’ve started Strange the Dreamer, which I was initially loving, but now I’m having mixed feelings over. It’s a bit slow. I’m almost 200 pages in and nothing has really happened that much. I’m going to carry on reading it; I just hope it starts to pick up because I absolutely love the concept and character Lazlo. I’ve also started ACOTAR and I’m really enjoying that at the moment. I’m about 150 pages into it.

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My TBR for January – and 2019 in general – is going to be a bit different. Rather than just having a list of books I need to get through, I’m going to be a bit more strategic in tackling my TBR pile, which is why I’ve decided to choose just four books per month, with those being:

  • A book picked from a TBR jar

I’ve joined the Devour Your TBR group on Goodreads, which is a group hosted by Kathy from Books and Munches and Destiny from Howling Libraries (and you should definitely go and follow them both). The theme for January is the January Jam Jar, which is where you put the books you wanted to read in 2018 but never got around to in a jar. The book you pick from the jar is the book you’ll be reading. I’m really excited to give this a try and see what books I pick up.

In my TBR are the following books:

girls of paper and fire, natasha ngan, fantasy, ya, young adult, book, books, book blog, book blogger, blog, blogger, paperbackadventures, paperback adventures         the poppy war, r. f. kuang, r f kuang         thunderhead, the arc of a scythe, arc of a scythe, scythe, neal shusterman, young adult, ya, science fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, book, books, book blog, book blogger, blog, blogger, paperbackadventures, paperback adventures

a gathering of shadows, a darker shade of magic, adsom, v.e. schwab, victoria schwab, young adult, new adult, ya, na, fantasy, magic, magical, book, books, book blog, book blogger, blog, blogger, bookworm, bookdragon, paperbackadventures, paperback adventures          illuminae, jay kristoff, amie kaufman, young adult, ya, fantasy, science fiction, sci-fi, book, books, book blog, book blogger, blog, blogger, paperbackadventures, paperback adventures         turtles all the way down, john green, contemporary, young adult, ya, book, books, book blog, book blogger, blog, blogger, paperbackadventures, paperback adventures

And I’ve also got The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken in there too!

  • A classic book

Is it bad that I’ve never read a classic book, not even when I was in school? We tried reading Of Mice and Men when I was in Year 9 but the class never got past the first chapter. I’ve never read The Great Gatsby. Never read Pride and Prejudice. I’ve never read Wuthering Heights. I’ve never read Jane Eyre. I’ve never read The Catcher in the Rye. You can name any classic book and I’ve never read it. So I want to change that. I’m going to attempt to read the classics. I’m not sure how I’m going to get on with the writing styles or the characters but I’m excited to give it a go!

  • An ARC

Hands up who else is behind on ARCs! 🙋🏻‍♀️

I’m going to attempt to tackle my growing list of ARCs by choosing at least one to read a month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to read more than one throughout the month, but if I aim for one then at least I’m still bringing the number of ARCs I need to read down.

  • A re-read

I’m taking part in a read-along of the Harry Potter series, hosted by Noura from The Perks of Being Noura. Harry Potter is my all time favourite and I’ve been wanting to re-read the whole series again for a while now. If you’re not following Noura THEN WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?! Haha, in all seriousness, Noura is so sweet and deserves a follow.

So that’s how I’m tackling my January TBR and I’m actually so excited to get started on it!

How was your 2018? What books did you love that you read last year? What books are you hoping to read in 2019? 

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12 Comments

    1. I’ve read a little more of it now and things are finally starting to happen so I’m hoping this pace continues! I really want to see what everyone else sees from it so hopefully! Aw, thank you so much! It’s extremely hard and I don’t really think a lot of people understand just how difficult it really is, but any step forward you take, no matter how small, is an achievement that you should be proud of. If you ever need anything, I’m always here ❤️

  1. Oh doll, congratulations on the massive strides you took with your mental health in 2018 – I’m cheering you on! And I love the TBR jam jar idea, I think I’ll have to give that a go, too!
    If it helps you feel less isolated in the world of bookworms, I’d barely touched the classics before last year. 2018 for me was the year I started tackling all of the books I “should” have read already, including pretty much all the ones you mentioned (Pride And Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, The Catcher In The Rye, etc.) I’ve got reviews for a lot of them up on my blog now, if you need help picking which one to start with. I promise they’re not as scary as you think they’re going to be! 😉👍🏼 Can’t wait to see how you go!

    1. Thank you so much!!
      The jam jar idea is working so well at the moment that I might keep using it because there is no way I’m going to be able to prioritise my books haha! Ooh, I’m glad I’m not the only one – everywhere I look, everyone seems to have read the classics and loved them. Yay, I’ll definitely be checking out your reviews soon, I have no idea where to start, there’s just so many haha!

  2. Honestly, that TBR looks AMAZING! I’ve heard great things about all those books so now I’m excited to see how you’ll feel about them! From those I’ve only read Illuminae and it’s a 5-star, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
    Also, congrats on getting back into reading! I stopped reading books for 5 years and got back to it this year, so I can relate to how you feel about missing something you didn’t even knew you were missing, but the moment you get back into it it’s like a piece that was missing got into place again.

    1. Ooh, I’m glad to hear that Illuminae was a 5-star read from you! I’ve only heard good things about it so I’m super excited to start reading it.
      Aw, thank you!! Yes, exactly, that’s what it’s like. Congrats to you for getting back into reading as well, picking books back up again is one of the best feelings!

    1. I’m so excited to read them all, so glad the choice was taken out of my hands with the jam jar idea otherwise I’d never have been able to pick 😂

    1. I’ve heard so many things about both those books, I’m so excited to get started! Hope you enjoy The Poppy War!

  3. I’m so happy to hear that 2018 has been a great year for you and congratulations on your engagement, and yay for conquering the world with your anxiety. That’s honestly so amazing and something to be very proud of. You’re doing amazing <3
    I hope you'll love Turtles, I really, really enjoyed this one <3 Happy reading and have a fantastic year! <3

    1. Thank you so much! 💖
      I’ve started Turtles now and really loving it so far. Aza is such a relatable character to me and I adore her so much, can’t wait to read more!
      Hope you have a fantastic year also!

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