I made a post a few months ago talking about my 2019 reading goals and how they were going. With two days left in 2019, I think it’s time to look back on the goals I’d set for myself and see how I did.
Read a book before I see the movie
Of all the books on my shelf I thought would satisfy this goal, The Girl on the Train is not the one I was expecting to read. I listened to the audiobook while I was organizing my bookshelves and I really enjoyed it. I appreciated the different narrations and I genuinely did not anticipate the ending. I was not a fan of the film adaptation – not just because they left out and/or changed a lot, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it even if I hadn’t read the book. Still, this has been on my TBR since it came out, I finally got around to it, I enjoyed it, and I’m going to need to pick up more Paula Hawkins.
Read a new release
I actually read more new releases this year than I usually do because I have a tendency to buy books as soon as they come out while the hype is strong and then get distracted reading things that have been on my shelf for a while. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but then more things sit on my shelf for a while before I get to them. When Daisy Jones and the Six came out, though, I knew I wanted to be able to jump on that hype train. It was so much deeper than I expected and I was completely swept away by the world of rock and roll. I immediately purchased The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I still haven’t read that yet.
Listen to a book I loved reading
I read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard last summer and I was hooked. I immediately ordered Glass Sword so I could continue the series, but then hurricane Florence hit (lol I’m listening to Florence + the Machine as I write this) and my Amazon order was delayed over a week. By the time it finally got to me I’d moved on and started reading something else, then promptly forgot the entire plot of Red Queen. I got the audiobook out from my library and listened to I can continue on with the series and, after getting about 30% of the way through the Glass Sword audiobook, I’m not sure I’ll continue. I’ve heard the last two books are much better, but I’m feeling disheartened.
Read a book by a minority
This also counts as a new release (I even preordered it!). Renée Ahdieh is a Korean-American author and the main character of The Beautiful, Celine Rousseau, is also of Korean descent. This book is dark and sultry and puts you right in the heart of 19th century New Orleans. It has creatures killing women and you don’t find out what they are until the end of the book and honestly this was exactly the paranormal book I was in the mood for. If you haven’t picked it up yet I seriously recommend you do so.
Read a bestseller
I was uncertain about all the hype for Again, But Better since I had heard reviews from all over the spectrum. I’ve been following Christine’s YouTube channel for probably like six years now so I was curious to finally read her debut novel. The main character is very much Christine and it feels a little like a daydream about her own life, but it was cute. I found myself bored at times and I thought it could have been shorter, but I did enjoy it overall. I think if you’re in the mood for a new adult novel where the main character goes to a foreign country, falls in love, loses touch, then goes back to find her love interest, read Just One Day by Gayle Forman instead.
Read something with a five-star rating
Going back and reviewing these goals, I realize I was a little ambiguous with this one. Something that has five stars on goodreads? Something I give five stars? I decided to go with the latter, and that’s The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale. Y’all, I devoured this book. This was another new release and so many people were talking about it when it was coming up but then as soon as it came out it seemed like it just disappeared. This is a dark, light fantasy tale inspired by the myth of Medusa and I couldn’t put it down. It’s lyrical and feels like a fairy tale and I strongly recommend this to anyone in the mood for something beautiful and creepy. Probably fans of Pan’s Labyrinth will love this.
Confession: when I did my reading goals update in August I totally forgot about Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive. I slowly made my way through this between March and May while I was working on my thesis for my Women’s and Gender Studies degree, among many other amazing works, but this was the only one I read from cover to cover. It’s so much fun, so accessible to every level of academic background, and is such a unique look on modern feminism. Unfortunately, this is the only nonfiction book I got around to reading in its entirety this year, but I plan to remedy that in 2020.
Read a best of 2018
This was my first read of the year and BOY was it a great way to kick off the year. Children of Blood and Bone is an own voices YA fantasy that’s heavily inspired by West African myth and culture. This book had a movie deal before it was even released and it’s such a unique magic system with amazing characters, a fast-paced plot, and a rich setting. I gave this four stars when I read it and I honestly can’t remember why? I think about it all the time and I just started the sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, so this series can both open and close my 2019.
Read a book I loved from years ago
I haven’t read anything by John Green since The Fault in Our Stars first came out and I guess I was just feeling like I needed a good cry because I went back and reread Ye Ole Looking for Alaska. It was just about as soon as I finished this read through that I saw they’re making a Hulu series about it and I have a lot of feelings about it, but I didn’t let that cloud my reread. This definitely has some problematic elements that don’t hold up very well today, but it was just the wave of nostalgia I was craving.
Marathon a series
I was intrigued by Ruined when I first got it on kindle, but I did not expect to fall in love with it the way I did. It sucked me in and just would not let go. I have a tendency to purchase the next book in a series as soon as I finish the first one and then never read it, but that was not the case here. I don’t think I’ve marathoned a series since the first time I read A Series of Unfortunate Events and it was such a great experience. My problem is that they tend to be too long and by the time I finish the first or even the second I’m ready to move on to something else and enter a different world, but this trilogy is exactly the right length to get you attached to the characters and hooked on the plot. This is a politically-driven dark YA fantasy. Let me reiterate, dark. There is a lot of gore and violence, so be warned.
The goals left incomplete are:
- Stop pretending I’ve read the book and actually do it
- Read the oldest thing on my TBR
- Finish a series I started a long time ago and never got around to finishing
Of all the goals I set for myself this year, I think I did pretty good! These challenges definitely inspired me to read things that I might not otherwise have read, but I kept them vague enough that I could pick books I was already interested in to fulfill them. I’m going to do a similar challenge for 2020 and I look forward to seeing how I do then!
Until next time!