Welcome 2022: Reading Plans for the Year

It’s now been 2022 for a few days now, and I wanted to do a post on a few books I wanted to read, goals I have, and more for 2022! This post is basically just miscellaneous beginning-of-year things, but I figured I may as well write it. Let’s get into it!

The Goodreads Reading Challenge

I started doing the Goodreads reading challenge in 2020 for the first time, when I actually started using Goodreads more. Personally, I don’t actually pay much attention to this throughout the year; it’s just something for me to keep in the corner of my brain. I have, for the past two years, set my goal to 100 books, and though I surpassed that goal easily both times, I’m going to keep it at 100 this year, too. First of all 100 is just a nice round number and I like it, but second of all because we were in a pandemic and in quarantine for the last two years, and though the quarantine was not fun, it did allow me a lot more time for reading. Since in person school has started this year, I’ve had much less time for reading, so I actually think that 100 books is a very reasonable goal for me right now.

Books I want to read in 2022

Last year, I published a post where I named 21 books that I wanted to read in 2021. It was a pretty interesting post, with a lot of great books on there, but I’ve decided not to do that again for two reasons. First of all, I only actually ended up reading 10 of the books on that list. I am absolutely terrible at sticking to TBRs, and the fact that I had an entire 365 days to read 21 books (especially given that in all, I read 157 books in 2021) really proves that. The other reason that I didn’t want to do this list again is because I think that it mostly ended up being a lot of books that are popular and/or very hyped, and so it was more books that I felt like I SHOULD read, but not books that I necessarily wanted to read. Obviously, there are a lot of books that I do want to read, out there, but I’m just awful at thinking of them off the top of my head, and more often than not, the books that I want to read are ones that I see somewhere and then immediately go off to request from the library.
So, instead of writing an entire post about the books I want to read, I just thought I’d share a few books that I’m really excited to pick up. Not any fixed number, just however many books there ends up being.

  • What We Devour by Linsey Miller. This one, I honestly just want to read because of the ace rep, which I’m super excited for! Unfortunately, I’ve seen some less than glowing reviews about this book, so we’ll see what I think.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. This is a book that it seems like everyone knows about by now, because it was all the hype last year. I finally got this one for Christmas this year, so I’m excited to read it!
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo. Another one that people seem to love! And I’m really interested in this; I don’t read much historical fiction, but I find that I really enjoy it, so I hope this one’s great, too!
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Honestly, that goodreads summary covers so much, I don’t really know where to start. But I’m excited for the indigenous rep, and it sounds like a great mystery as well!
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao. I’ve seen this one EVERYWHERE, and I’m super excited for it, I can’t wait to pick it up!

Anticipated Releases

I do not pay as close attention to upcoming releases as a lot of other people do, so this is going to be another pretty short list, but there are several upcoming releases that I’m very excited for, so I thought I’d share them here, as well!
(By the way, I’d highly suggest you go check out the post that May @Forever and Everly did on upcoming releases, it’s a much more comprehensive list than mine!)

  • Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor. Rosiee Thor is an author that I’ve followed for a while now, and I’ve talked to her a bit as well, and I am SO excited for her second book! I mean, people say it has a 1920’s vibe, plus there’s magic (that you drink, if I remember correctly?) and overtaking the rich, so…what more could you need? (oh plus it’s queer, very very queer)
  • Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie. I’ve heard about this book so much that I’m honestly surprised it’s not already published? It’s a debut book about a girl who starts to question her sexuality and I’ve read many reviews already that say it’s wonderful, so I really cannot wait for this one.
  • Loveless by Alice Oseman. Technically Loveless is already published in some places, but it comes out in the US on March 1 (though the release date has been pushed back several times so who knows if this is true). And I am SO EXCITED to finally hold this wonderful book in my hands!!! (by the way – thoughts on the US cover? I’m really not sure what to think).
  • Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, by Meg Long. I actually don’t know very much about this book, but it sounds really interesting and unique. Plus, dogsledding! We don’t see that in books very often!
  • Icebreaker by AL Graziadei. Queer sports will ALWAYS be something for me to be excited for, and I’m especially excited for this one because it’s about professional sports, and there are very few out people in professional sports (in men’s professional sports)
  • Aces Wild by Amanda DeWitt (no cover yet). This book has an entire cast of asexual characters. Plus, it’s a heist book, and the main character is described as ‘modern asexual Kaz Brekker.’ What more could I need?
  • Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore (no cover yet). I am SO excited about this book, because I read Gatsby earlier this (school) year and have been trying to get my hands on Gatsby retellings now (of which there are very few). And this one has transgender Nick AND transgender Gatsby.

What’s your goodreads reading challenge goal? Have you read any of the books I want to read this year? What are some releases that you’re looking forwards to?

4 Bookish Resolutions for the New Year

We’re just about at the New Year, and I thought that I’d do a post about a few things I want to do–related to books–beginning in 2022. They’re things that I’ve seen on other people’s blogs and wanted to try out, or just things that I think would make my own reading experience much more enjoyable.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!

1. Keep better track of my reads.

With the end of the year comes many many year in review book posts, full of beautiful little graphs and charts and other awesome looking graphics. If you read my last post, my five favorite books of 2021, you’ll already have heard this story, but I’ll tell it again. When I first saw these last year, as my first December in blogging approached, I thought they looked so cool and organized and really wanted to do it myself. I made a spread sheet, I put the different categories in, I was all ready to go.

I got exactly four books into that spreadsheet before I gave up.

I’m just not good at keeping up with these things, and that’s definitely something that I’d like to improve in 2022. I’ve thought about it, and while I don’t think that a spreadsheet will be the best way for me to keep track of (given the aforementioned), I think I want to try using a google forms. I’d create a google forms for myself, and then when I finished a book, I’d enter it into the form, which would keep all my data right there and I think would be easier for me to continue with. We’ll see if this approach works, and I guess you all will know by the time the end of 2022 rolls around. Given how fast time has been going by, that really shouldn’t be too far away.

2. Only write reviews when you want to

I feel like when you have a book blog, and when you have goodreads, and basically just when you read a lot and are active in the book community, you feel semi pressured to write reviews. After I finish a book, and I jump on goodreads to mark it as read and rate it, I feel like I need to give more than just a rating, I need to tell people what I actually thought of it. But honestly, writing reviews can be exhausting at times for me. If I’ve read a book and rated it 3 or 4 stars, like I thought it was meh or I enjoyed it but didn’t think it was utterly, totally mind blowing, I don’t want to sit there and review it. Sure, I enjoyed things about it. Or maybe there were some things that I didn’t enjoy. But I just don’t have strong enough opinions about every single book to want to write two or three paragraphs about all of them.

And so one of my resolutions is just that…I shouldn’t. I don’t want to spend time doing something that isn’t enjoyable to me and, honestly, is affecting how I like books, too. When I finish a book, I don’t want to dread having to go over to goodreads just to see that book sitting on my ‘currently reading’ shelf, waiting for me to review it. I’ll review the books I want, and if I don’t want to, I’ll rate them, maybe leave a one sentence review, and other than that…what I thought about the book doesn’t have to be broadcast to the world, does it?

3. DNF more books

Seems like a bit of a weird resolution but honestly…I don’t DNF enough books. I always feel obligated to read through an entire book, I mean if I’ve started it, or if I’ve gotten halfway through, I should finish it!!! What’s the point in reading a book half read! And sometimes, I really do want to find out what happens, not because I’m interested in it but because I want to know if it might get any better. But really, why should I waste time reading books that I’m not enjoying? There’s so many other books out there that I WILL enjoy, and by taking the time to read one book (and slowly, usually, since I’m not going to be as eager to pick it up if I don’t enjoy it), I’m taking away from the time I have to read those other books that I might enjoy more.

4. Follow more blogs

This one’s less of a bookish resolution and more of a blog resolution, but since my blog is a book blog, I guess it fits. I’ve been wanting to do this basically forever, in fact so much that last month I wrote a post and introduced a page all about a way that I’m trying to follow more blogs. But it is in fact still something that I am working towards so I really hope that I’m able to hop out of my shell a little more and find some amazing new people in the bookish blog community in 2022!

What are some of your bookish resolutions for 2022? What did you think of mine? Do we have any in common?

It’s my Blogiversary!!!

You all probably read the title, but I’m just going to say it again:
It’s
My
Blogiversary.

One year ago today, I launched my blog. I wrote my first post (which was extremely cringey but isn’t that true for everyone?). I have been writing on this blog for an entire year, posting my thoughts, my favorites, the books I didn’t like so much, discussion posts, so much more! And I am so grateful for it.

Thank-yous

First of all, I wanted to thank some amazing bloggers who have helped introduce me to the blogging community, who are wonderful people and who I’ve gotten to know over the year!

The first person I need to thank is, of course, Katie @Whispering Pages. Katie has helped me so, so much with my blog. A year ago, I was actually pretty unsure about creating a blog because I had formerly had one with two of my friends, but I wanted to make my own. Katie was the person who encouraged me to go out there and start one, so I am forever grateful for her! And, of course, her blogging content is AMAZING so please go check out her blog and give her some serious love! (Also I miss you please post again I miss your posts!)

Next, I’m thanking April @Booked Till Midnight. I’ve gotten to know April super well in the past year and she is just the best person! I love all our conversations, from the ones in the comments to ones over emails, the ones that are absolutely out there and the ones that we intended to be serious blogging-business, but dissolved into just talking about whatever we wanted!

Cherelle @A Bolt Out of the Book is basically the sweetest book blogger around. She’s always eager to give tips to bloggers and help out however she can, and her blog is just fabulous!

Ahaana @Windows to Worlds has amazing posts and her blog is beautiful! She is a wonderful person who is super fun to talk to! It is always a delight to see her comments on my blog because she is always so cheery and excited!

Madeline @The Bookish Mutant. Madeline was one of the first bloggers I found on wordpress and one of the first blogs that I followed and so I really think that her blog, and her following me (she was one of my first followers I believe!) was what really got me into the blogging community!

Now, I’m aware that I only shouted out five people and I’m aware that there are so many more people out there whose blogs I love and who I love talking to! Here are some other people who have helped me so much on my blogging journey, whose posts I’ve loved, whose comments are amazing, and who I am so grateful to have met!

Saniya @Sunnyside Reviews for following my blog pretty early on and commenting on all my posts / Riddhi @Whispering Pages for noticing me when I was just a newbie blogger and you were, like, super versed with the blogging world (okay I don’t know how true this is but it sure seemed that way when I was new) / Rania @Rania’s Rambling Reads for talking on and on and ON about Julie and the Phantoms in the comments of my posts! I’m still here if you ever want to discuss more theories! / Ritz @Living Loving Reading For having amazing posts and awesome comments! / Susana @Susana Loves Books for agreeing with me about She Drives Me Crazy even though everyone else thinks that it’s a great book (haha!) / Ashmita @The Fictional Journal for being just the happiest person with the brightest comments that make my day! / Lilly @Lilly’s Little Library for being my goodreads friend even before my blog existed! / Maria @The Character Study for having super awesome posts! (also you should get a trophy for your posts actually being good when you first started your blog–most everyone’s are really cringey!)/ May @Forever and Everly for just being an inspiration to bloggers everywhere! I’m always so excited when I see your posts in my reader.

If I forgot to mention you, that is absolutely my fault and I am so sorry–I’m terrible at remembering things like this! Know that you mean just as much as everyone else listed here to me.

Blog Statistics:

I am going to include my blog statistics here for my own knowledge, so I can track how my blog grows over the years. This is not in any way me bragging, it is for myself!

Follows: 273 (258 wordpress, 15 email followers)
Posts: 63
Views: 6,976
Visitors: 2,399
Likes: 1,654
Comments: 1,376

Some of my favorite posts:

Over my first year of blogging, I wrote 63 posts. Some of them were terrible (aka, the first few months and all my book reviews until about 3 months ago). Some of them, I loved. Let’s look at a few of my favorite posts.

Please note: I selected these posts that I enjoyed based on content only. Some of the posts, from closer to the beginning of blogging, have some weird font colors or different graphics than I now use.

  • The Future was Now, By JR Harber (Book Rant). This review remains the only book rant I have written on my blog to this day. I wrote it a while ago, as you can probably tell by the difference of the featured image, but I still really enjoyed reading most of it when I went back to look for my favorite posts, and think it really shows my dislike of the book. It was super fun to write, when I just filtered all my annoyance from this book into a review.
  • The 2020 Book Tag (Original Tag). This is the first and only tag I have ever created, but let me tell you, I’m very proud of it. The prompts follow some of the events of 2020, which we all know was an absolutely bonkers year, and overall it was just a very fun tag. Contrary to what it seems like most people believed, this tag is not one that you have to do within the end of 2020–the prompts just follow 2020! So, despite the fact that it’s nearly September of 2021, you can absolutely still do this tag (if you aren’t terrified of looking back at 2020).
  • Thoughts on Teens in YA (discussion). This was my second discussion post, I believe (and the first was amazing, too! It was a collab between myself and April @Booked Till Midnight on Retellings!) and it was a very interesting one, in my opinion. I looked at what makes a good teenage protagonist and what some YA writers don’t do well when writing their protagonists. Being a teen is a very interesting part of life and some (adult) authors who write YA don’t always portray teens as the age they actually are!
  • Why Aro/Ace spec characters are so important in books (discussion). This is probably my top favorite post. I wrote this one back in June, for pride month, and it is such an important post, for me. It discusses why characters who are on the aromantic and asexual spectrum are so important to include in books, as well as providing definitions for a few (of many) sexualities that are on the aromantic and asexual spectrum. Please please please check it out if you haven’t already! (I swear this is the only post of mine that I will literally beg you to check out, but this one was very personal to me and I think it will be very educational to a lot of other people, so it would mean so much for you to read it!)
  • People you See at Bookstores (I have no idea what category this goes in). This one was 100% the most fun post that I have written on my blog! I studied the many different types of bookstore-goers there are–that is, how different people have different ways of studying bookstores. It’s a totally light and fun post that I hope you get a LOT of enjoyment out of, because I sure did when writing it!
  • Sports in Books (discussion). This was the first post in a collection of two of them, and the other one was also fun, but this one was definitely my favorite (find the other post, a list of books with sports, here)! I discussed why sports aren’t in books as often as it seems like they should be, given the impact in sports around the world, and why it’s important for sports books to be diverse.

It seems like a lot of people have a feedback form in their blogiversaries, but I’ve decided not to do that because I’m lazy and I’m rushing to write this. However, I’d absolutely love to hear what you think of my blog, the good, the bad, etc. in the comments section! I am aware that this does not give an option to answer anonymously (unless you make another wordpress account and respond in the comments with that one–but that seems like a lot of work. If you really want to, though!) and I may in future posts put a feedback form up for this purpose. Thank you for all your feedback if you participated!

I just realized how short this post was! I’m planning on doing another post about what blogging taught me in a week or so (depending on when I can write it) so hopefully that’s a bit of a blogiversary-celebration. Until then, this is going to be all!

When’s your blogiversary? Do you have any feedback for me? And what do you think of my favorite posts? Thank you all so much for following me, and being with me on this journey and supporting me through it all! I literally couldn’t have done it without you and I love you all so much!

TBR for Beyond the Story Challenge

Some of you may have seen my Beyond the Story challenge post a few days ago. I will post my TBR here!

Week one: Judge a book by its cover

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while, in fact I own it, but I have never read it. I’ve heard a lot of people tell me it’s good, but it has a rather odd summary so that may be part of the reason that I didn’t want to pick it up. This book has both the word star in the title and an AMAZING cover but I’m reading it for its cover because seriously, its cover is the best I’ve ever seen.

Week two: Star of the story

Scavange the Stars by Tara Sim

I have also heard really great things about this book! In fact, I’ve been meaning to read it for a while but I never got around to it so I’ll be reading it now. There are extremely mixed reviews and it only has a 3.58 average star rating but it sounds very good.

Week three: You Name It

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Well, the character’s name starts with E (Elisabeth) just like mine (a name that I won’t reveal) so here we go! It’s been on my tbr for a while but never near the top, sorta just hovering near the bottom so we’ll see how I like it.

Week Four: Great Minds Think Alike

Forest of Souls, by Lori M. Lee

Alright, so I may be stretching just a liiiittle bit for this one. Here’s why: I haven’t read the book that the author who is reading Forest of Souls wrote. In fact, the author’s book hasn’t even come out yet! But I fell in love with Ashley Shuttleworth’s book as soon as I read the first sentence of the premise. I mean seriously, go here, read this, tell me that you don’t think that’s right up my alley. So I am proclaiming this author my favorite author in advance and their book better not disappoint.

And that’s my tbr for this challenge! Want to share your own tbr? Make a blog post about it and shout out my blog, or just put a comment on either this post or the original post about the challenge! I hope you enjoy!