December Wrap-Up + January Reading Month (2018-19)

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!

Dec Wrap-Up 2018

What I Read

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.

Dec Read 2018

Highlights

  • 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.)

Memorable Posts


Anticipated Releases

  • 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

Jan Releases 2019

Tentative TBR

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.


Comments

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.

28 thoughts on “December Wrap-Up + January Reading Month (2018-19)

    1. Thank you, Justine! 😊 I’m definitely going to be finishing up that series in 2019. I bought the UK collector’s edition of Six of Crows solely based on the rave reviews literally everyone gives it! I hope you have a fabulous new year too! ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It looks like you had a great year in blogging! Congratulations! And I’m also really excited about A Curse So Dark and Lonely as I enjoyed Kemmerer’s other books–Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Krysta! I hope you, Briana and Pages Unbound have an amazing 2019! ♥️ I had no idea she had a backlist. This makes me even more excited! I’ve heard nothing but good things from bloggers who were lucky enough to receive ARCs so I hope it lives up to my expectations. 😊

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  2. I have… mixed emotions about 2018. Some things / events made it a challenging and frustrating year. But other parts were incredible, and they’ve given me so much hope and motivation for 2019. So that’s how I’m choosing to look at the start of the new year. 🙂 A lot of this will make more sense when I post my annual reflection / future plans post in 2 weeks.

    Reading-wise, I got through 3 books in December. Or, well, I’m hoping to finish the third one on New Year’s Eve! XD I read How Long Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin (short story collection that’s just as stunning as her novels) and Starless by Jacqueline Carey (OMG did I love that one!), and I’ve got about 200 pages left to go in Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak.

    As for my January TBR, I’m planning to start the year off with Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. After that, I’m not sure of the order of things, but other books I’m hoping to read next month are Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden and For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, completely forgot to wish you a Happy New Year, Nandini! I hope you have an amazing 2019 and are proud of everything you accomplished this past year. 🙂 And I hope you enjoy your first N.K. Jemisin read!

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    2. 2018 was a mixed year for me as well. I had a great blogging year even though there were a couple of things I wish I could’ve done better. But personally it was a very difficult year and towards the end I had to step back from the blog as well as social media and take some time out for myself. However, I couldn’t be more excited about 2019 because I want to put all the things I’ve learnt to good use. 😊

      I’m currently read How Long… and it’s my first by Jemisin. Even though I’m not a fan of short stories and have only read the first two, I’m already deeply in love. Your January TBR looks great and I hope you enjoy all of them! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: 2018 Wrap-up: The Year at Glance – Not Just Fiction

    1. Thanks a lot for creating it, Kaleena! 😊 Yes, I’m finding it super helpful. One of my goals is to be organised and plan my blog posts, so it’s helping me with that aspect quite a lot. 😄

      Yay, I’m so glad you’re interested! I’ll DM you about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Astonishing Color of After has been on my TBR for a little while – I think I should give it a priority boost! This post also makes me realize…I’ve been saying In an Absent Dream comes out on January 9 but you’re right, it’s actually the 8th! 😅 Best of luck with The Silmarillion this year! I hope this will be your year to enjoy it, but if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay too – you can only read it for the first time once 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks a lot, Jenna! ♥️ Yes, you should read Astonishing as soon as you can. It has a wonderful magical realism aspect to it that is rooted in Buddhist culture and it was so well done! It is one of the best debuts I’ve ever read and I’ve been recommending it to everyone. 😄 I’m highly anticipating In an Absent Dream and I can’t wait to dive into the magical world McGuire will be taking the readers to next. 😊

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  5. Ooh, I knew it had some magical realism (which I love) but I didn’t realize it had a connection to Buddhist culture, which is also something I have an interest in and enjoy reading about. I’m sure you will enjoy In An Absent Dream! I was impressed that it’s the fourth book in a series but still so amazing 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: 15 Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2019 (Jan-Jun) – Unputdownable Books

  7. Pingback: Author Chat with Roshani Chokshi – Unputdownable Books

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