Welcome to my first wrap-up of the new year! I set some specific challenges for myself for 2019, and I hate to admit that I have already failed (in a sense). Here are the books I wanted to tackle in January.
Book Club Selection (Science Fiction) The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Classic challenge)
- Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (Fantasy challenge)
The Magic of Fiction by Beth Hill (Self-study)
Technically, I did not read the science fiction selection for my book club this month since I was unable to attend the meeting (I was at a Metallica concert!). As you can see, once again, Joe Abercrombie has defeated me. Not for lack of wanting to complete this series, but I have mentioned before that now it feels intimidating. And, for reasons you’ll see in the next section, I got a bit distracted by the library. However, while it may have looked like I failed at my Fantasy challenge, another book met that criteria.
- To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace
- The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
- The Magic of Fiction by Beth Hill
- The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
- Isola Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher
- If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
- The Demon Hunter by David Belau
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
- Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
- Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
- Afar by Leila del Duca
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales Volume 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
I’ll admit to being one of those people happy with high reading numbers. This month was filled with several quick reads, including three graphic novels, a poetry collection, a short story, and a book written in verse. But not only did I read a lot of books, but I also managed to read a lot of books I loved. Nearly half of these were four and five stars. The standouts were Girl Made of Stars (a surprise), Skyward (Sanderson, so not a surprise), and Nevermoor. What a great reading month!
While not finishing the specific book I intended (Before They Are Hanged), I did manage to complete a fantasy novel I own. The Waking Fire was a dense, but beautifully written steampunk book. It wasn’t what I went in expecting, and to be honest, I am still not sure how I fully feel about it. The Magic of Fiction was a masterful piece of work that I think I’ll find incredibly helpful as I attempt to dive into the editing world. The Picture of Dorian Gray had a great plot, and I would have likely loved the book if it weren’t for the pages of nonsensical conversation or descriptions of jewels.
- Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
This month’s only DNF has nothing to do with the quality of the book. In fact, I picked it up because of so many rave reviews on BookTube. However, after the first couple of chapters, I did a little more digging. You see, while I generally can’t do scary books or movies anymore, sometimes, I can handle it. However, I don’t do gore. And apparently, this one gets pretty descriptive. I decided to just move along.
- Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
- Gates of Stone by Angus Macallan
Gates of Stone was on my list of most anticipated books of 2019. So color me shocked when I get a notification from NetGalley that I got approved for an ARC. I tweeted about how excited I was, and the author even responded! Now, since I don’t use Twitter much, I have no idea if this is a normal thing, but I was so excited! While I started it (and am enjoying it), I had a few other books I wanted to wrap up so I could give it my focus.
- Air Awakens by Elise Kova (Book Club Selection)
- The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (Classic challenge)
- Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak (Fantasy challenge)
- The Subversive Copy Editor by Carol Fisher Saller (Self-study)
February throws a wrench into my reading goals. But, I think the plans top it. My family and I will be in Disney World and visiting family for over a week. I might find some time to read while we travel, but the hotel room situation will be rough (little kids in the same room). With that said, I need to wrap up my “currently reading” and knock out my challenges. Wolfheart was a short and quick read I thought I could get through. While I was saving it for my Warcraft Read-through, let’s get real; it’s not happening (at least not anytime soon). I also have way too many books out from the library. I am asking for trouble.
- Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar
- And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
- Rose by Holly Webb
- The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi
- Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
- The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross
- Tarot by Marissa Kennerson
- The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
- Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Most of my new adds came from BookTube suggestions (like most months). This time I actually got one from Twitter, adding the book of an author I discovered thanks to her wonderful rant about comic books and why adults read them. I’m excited to pick these up, but I really need to come up with a prioritizing strategy.
In February, I’ll be neck deep in my final course for my copyediting certificate. My goals will mostly revolve around studying and research for starting my business. I need to make a master list of items I want to research and task myself with a new one every couple of days.
I will be continuing my studies of Mandarin (at a very slow pace), but I would like to increase the number of lessons I do per day. I am currently doing one quick lesson (maybe ten minutes) every weekday. I’d like to at least double that or spend around thirty minutes.
If I can find the time, I’d love to dive back into The Artist’s Way and tackle writing daily. It would be a challenge to find the time. It might mean, gasp, going to bed early in order to wake up early. It pains me to think about, but better sleep and more exercise are a big goal for me.
Oh, and to enjoy the heck out of Disney World with my boys! For one of them, it’s his first visit. I can’t wait to see his reaction in addition to the oldest finally figuring out where we are going on vacation.
What are you interested in reading for February? I’d love to hear about some of the books you read in January if for no other reason but to make my TBR pile even bigger!