Hello beautiful people!
People … it’s almost the end of 2019!! Seriously, how did that happen?! Mind you, I felt like the year went at a normal pace until mid-October … then it just FLEW by.
I’ve had such an amazing year both in the book blogging and bookstagram community. In comparison to previous years, I felt less stress about keeping on top of my accounts AND I feel as though I connected with so many more bloggers.
So thank you all for helping making 2019 such a phenomenal year. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!
Books I Read
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Brief Thoughts: “Hinton’s The Outsiders is such a powerful story — making this one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. For a book just around the 200 page mark, Hinton sure knows how to pull at those heartstrings and make readers really THINK about the major themes discussed. I cannot begin to express how much love I have for this story, one I truly hope many of you decide to pick up.”
Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Brief Thoughts: “Wibberley and Siegemund-Broka’s Always Never Yours is a powerful story about the importance of valuing oneself and learning to remove those walls we all tend to build for ourselves. The characters push past their fears and insecurities, learning to live in the moment rather than plan the future entirely. Looking for an adorable YA romance? This may be the one for you!“
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Book #1.5) by Mackenzi Lee
Brief Thoughts: “Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky is a HILARIOUS sequel, bringing readers the joy of seeing Monty and Percy’s relationship blossom even further. With comical interludes with characters from the prequel and emphasis on the beauty of diversity, Lee’s novella’s a beautiful and laugh-out-loud story full of memorable moments that will make you eager to read more of the Montague Siblings series!”
Favourite Posts of the Month
For once, I feel like I had at least SOME time to read all of your lovely posts! I still wish I had MORE time, since you all had such lovely prompts this month (I love a lot of the 2019 reflections and goals for 2020 posts)!
Meghan’s Whimsical Explorations & Reviews || Review: How to Hang a Witch & Haunting the Deep
My Bookish Dream || Spellsinger by Sebastien de Castell || Book Review
Ashes Books and Bobs || In Five Years – Review
Life of Chaz || Kings of the Wyld
The Paperback Piano || ‘The Ten Thousand Doors of January’ spoiler-free review!
Jack’s Bedtime Reading || Book Review: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
Drizzle & Hurricane Books || Blog Tour Review: Loveboat, Taipei, Abigail Hing Wen (+ INTL giveaway)
Bookish Wanderess || Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova | Blogmas Day 20
The Night is Dark and Full of Books || Run Away || A predictable thriller about a dad trying to save his daughter
Kristin Kraves Books || The Best Ten Non Fiction Books of 2019
Allisa White’s Book Blog || Sparkling YA Fantasy Debut || ARC Review: Woven in Moonlight
Truffle’s Literary Wonders || My 2020 Bookish Bullet Journal Setup
Goodreads Reading Challenge
I finished my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal! To be fair, I lowered it sometime in November to 50 books rather than 52, but I’m still very happy with my results this year!
Bookmark Your Thoughts Blog Updates
Hmmm … a lot of cleaning up and re-organization ha-ha! It took me about two to three days! I went back and updated a BUNCH (actually all) of my book reviews since I began blogging. Tiffany @ Read By Tiffany does this really cool thing in her reviews where she hyperlinks her genre tags so that you can find everything is a nice little home … so I really wanted to try that as well! It also allowed me time to update my tags, since some of them were a little much ha-ha!
I also really love how Alex @ Whimsy Pages and Marija @ Inside My Library Mind organize their reviews by age group and then my genre … so I mimicked something rather similar! Under Book Reviews, you will now find: Adult, Young Adult, Children’s Literature and Nonfiction. I know the last one isn’t an age group, but I like having a higher level category for it. Underneath are higher level genres. More specific items aren’t going to be displayed but books will be tagged to them. For instance, I won’t have a subject for Urban Fantasy under Fantasy but items will be tagged to both on the actual reviews! And yes … I had no idea where to place poetry, since it can be fictional and nonfiction … so it’s ALL going under nonfiction ha-ha!
My feature images have also been updated to better match the warmer tones I’m going for … which I had some great help with! Oh! And I actually deleted a few posts … from back in 2017. Not all of them, but some that either had little views or things that I wasn’t impressed with.
Lastly, I added two new sections. The first is Discussions under Features. I REALLY want to start doing more discussion posts, since they’re some of my favourite things to read yet I never write up my own! The other is a new challenge … the #StartOnYourShelfathon! The first post should be coming out sometime this week. I’m REALLY excited for it!
Personal Life Updates
Tis the holiday season … which means this cool person goes ALL OUT! I love the holidays, so I try my best to REALLY go explore and see all the fun events. A few parties with friends here and there, which have all been lots of fun! I’m also hosting the New Years party this evening, which will be full of food and games and fun!
One of my closet friends and old roommate decided to visit me in Ottawa for a couple of days before we both headed back to our families for the winter vacation time. We went to a Christmas Market, had lots of yummy food, visited some friends and just chilled with one another. She’s honestly my family more than my friend, so it was SO nice to have such an incredible visit!
There’s also this pretty cool guy who’s been recently introduced into my life … who I’m not going to expose to you all just yet (he deserves his privacy ha-ha). He’s actually the one who helped me with my feature image decisions (he’s a graphic designer, so this is PERFECT ha-ha). We’ve been having lots of fun with the winter activities: the European Christmas market, going Christmas shopping, going to Upper Canada Village for the Christmas event and much more. Honestly, it’s been amazing. He definitely puts some faith in humanity with how kind and caring he is. Okay … I’ll stop being mushy … but be jealous … he already knows me well, since my Christmas gifts were seeing the Upper Canada Village Christmas Lights AND a collection of poetry from the 1800’s … oh yes …
Going home was lovely, since being with my parents is always a great thing! Mom and I went to the spa, braved the malls and went for some nice winter walks! And Christmas Day with them was so lovely! We had cappucinos, turned the fireplace on, and opened presents! I also got to see other family members and friends!
Final Thoughts on 2019
I’m honestly so happy that 2019 has been the year that keeps on giving for me. There were a couple of rough years, making it kind of hard to see the beauty in humanity. But 2019 taught me that there’s still lots of beauty in the world and that life is such a precious and grand adventure!
You all have played a HUGE part in that as well, so thank you so much for being such a supportive and loving community! I can’t wait to get to know you all more in 2020 and many years to come!