Hello, dear readers! Hope you’re having a wonderful time on the last weekend of the year. Who else is excited for the new year? I have so many plans that I mean to execute (I shared some of them in this post) and I really hope I can carve out time every day to work towards all my goals. Before I start building castles in the air for January already, I’m going to recap how I fared on the last month of the year. November and December seem to have been slow months for me, but they share some remarkable differences, mostly in the quality of the books I read. Without further ado, let me give you all the juicy details!
Again for December, I have so far only managed to read 4 books. I’m quite unlikely to finish more, although I wanted to get to 2 more. I’m quite likely to be busy planning out 2019 or celebrating the new year to get much done. As I’d said in the November wrap-up post, I had started 2 books that I couldn’t finish in that month. On the first day of December, I was done with The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan. It turned out to be my favourite read of the month and will definitely make it to my ‘Best of 2018’ list! It was such an emotional and powerful read that broke my soul apart and pieced it back together again. The next book I finished was Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill. This was a very short book that contained poetry and short prose with a different take on the classic fairytales. It was a wonderful read and I’d rather the young adults of today read Gills’ version than the antiquated stories of old. However, it requires the reader to be familiar with the classic ones in order to fully appreciate the author’s version, so I couldn’t give it a full 5 stars. I could only finish another book by the time Christmas came around – Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. While world-building is definitely its finest point, I found the writing to be repetitive and dense. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story enough to give it 5 stars, especially because of all the nods and references to Indian culture and history. My buddy reader, Justine @ I Should Read That finished almost a week before me, but I’m glad she shares the same opinion. Her initial thoughts can be found in this post on her blog. Finally, I sat down and finished Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. I switched between the hardcover and audio version because I couldn’t bring the physical copy with me everywhere. It was a classic YA romp with a lot of tropes but the humour, the strong characters who made a lovely team and the amazing action sequences won me over enough to give it 5 stars! This has made me very curious to check out Bardugo’s other works, especially the Six of Crows duology because I think her style is really going to appeal to me.
- I’m very close to reaching 12k views this year, which means an average of 1k views per month. A huge thanks to all the lovely people who viewed, appreciated and shared my content!
- I hit 650+ followers on the blog as well as Twitter! Again, I’d like to thank everyone who subscribed to this little blog and for following me on social media. I hope you decide to stay and enjoy all the exciting content I have in store for you next year!
- I surpassed my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year by reading 61/52 books, which implies more than 1 book a week and I’m really happy with my effort.
- I announced the support group for Indian book bloggers, Book Dragons India in this post. I’m grateful to each and every soul who has joined hands with me. I hope that I can make it worth your while! (If you’re an Indian book blogger looking to join us, please leave a comment below or DM me on any of social media.)
- I also started a the sci-fi + fantasy book club aiming to read works exclusively written by diverse authors, Stars and Sorcery. Our January 2019 pick is Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. (Anybody with a Twitter account can join in, so if this sounds intriguing, let me know and I’ll add you to the ranks.)
- Kaleena @ Reader Voracious shared her 2019 book blogger spreadsheet that makes planning out blog content as well as keeping track of your reading so simple! It’s an excellent resource that I’m using myself, so I highly recommend checking it out. This is actually a November post but I couldn’t help but include it as I didn’t have this section in my previous wrap-up post.
- Charvi @ Not Just Fiction came up with 11 books to get you started with YA in a variety of different genres. I trust her with my life, so I trust that her choices will be perfect as well because as I was going through the list, I realised I hadn’t read so many! I’ll get to fixing that in 2019 hopefully!
- Evelina @ Avalinah’s Books continues to publish super helpful posts and this time it’s an interview with an actual publicist who offers book bloggers advice on how to request for ARCs, the unicorns of the book blogging world. This is the kind of post that I have bookmarked for future use because I’m sure I’ll need to refer to it time and again.
- Briana and Krysta @ Pages Unbound share 18 books to curl up with this Christmas and while the holiday itself is over, I still think they are relevant recommendations for the entirety of the winter season or you could just put them on your TBR to read next Christmas!
- Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice has already rounded up her favourites of 2018 and the list features amazing books by diverse authors that I think everyone should add to their TBRs, including myself.
- The Girl King by Mimi Yu (January 8th: US release, January 10th: UK) – this diverse book tells the tale of two princess fighting the patriarchy in their own ways
- In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire (January 8th: US release) – the fourth instalment in The Wayward Children series, it follows the adventures of the beloved character Lundy in the world of logic and order where she believes she belongs
- Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (January 8th: US release) – the second mystery book from the acclaimed YA crime author about a homecoming turned deadly and a new girl discovering the secrets of a small town
- The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (January 15th: US release) – this highly praised story featuring an amazing diverse cast promises a treasure hunt full of puzzles that keep you guessing set in 19th century Paris
- Firestarter by Tara Sim (January 15th: US release) – the third and final book in the Timekeeper series is all about giant clocktowers that control time and the deadly sequence of events that unfold when one of them becomes faulty
- The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan (January 29th: US release) – this heart-earming middle grade debut is about a Bengali-Muslim girl trying to balance her parents’ expectations while discovering her true identity
- A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (January 29th: US release) – the first in a new and exciting series, this is described as a dark and enchanting Beauty and the Beast retelling
On my immediate TBR are 3 books I started in 2018 but can’t finish before the new year. The first is God’s Forsaken by David Brevik, which has been featured on too many TBRs, so this will be my number one priority. Next up is a short story collection by the most celebrated fantasy author of the moment, How Long ’til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin. I’m hoping this will serve as a good gateway into her other acclaimed works. Last but not the least is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor but I need to be in the perfect mood to pick it up and tear through it. Of course I’m also going to be reading Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan along with my book club friends. In 2019, I have taken up more than I can handle with regard to book clubs, so two more on my TBR thanks to them is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larson for the Banned Book Club and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu for Books and Boba. My long-term 2019 project will be The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien that I started way back in March 2018 but I’m determined to finish by the end of next year.
How has this month gone by for you? Have you already posted your year in review post? If so, link it below so I can check it out! Which book from 2018 are you carrying forward to 2019? Let me know in the comments section below.