My Reading Goals for 2019

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a lovely New Year’s Eve and have enjoyed your time with family and friends over this past holiday season. I personally have to work today. Booo! But I thought I would share my 5 goals for my reading life in 2019.

First I would like to achieve my forever goal of reading 50 books in one year. I’ve never gotten beyond 41 in the past 3 years I have done the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I hope to at least get as closely as possible and have been collecting as many books and audio books as I can over the past several weeks.

My second goal is to read from my shelves more, both physically and from my Kindle shelf. I own many books like anyone else does that runs a book blog, but I’m not good at reading what I already own. I like to call it the “Oooh something shiny” problem, where I pick a book I already own only to immediately replace it with a book I find in a store. Thus, something shiny. It’s a costly habit I would very much like to break.

My third goal could seem counter productive to my second one (depending entirely on how you view it), however, I hope to concentrate more on what is on my TBR list already. Now I do tend to add more and more books nearly everyday to it, but the beauty of using something like Goodreads is I can sort my TBR from oldest to newest. Therefore, whatever I place on my list 5 years ago can show up first rather than the three new books I placed there this morning. It should help me to cross off items from my TBR and make more room for new ones.

I want to expand on the genres I read from. If you read my last post, My Top 10 Reads of 2018, then you’ll know that 2018 was the year of the Middle Grade novels. The genre I have chosen for this year is Biographies and Memoirs. I don’t read much nonfiction in general, other than the occasional historical book; but mostly I like my fiction novels because I like to escape when I read. I hope to find some pleasure in reading about other people’s lives and will continue to read them for years to come.

My last goal for 2019 is to find my perfect reading spot. Right now I read in two places, my bed on evenings and weekends and at my desk at work on my lunch break. I would love to have a place perfect for me that feels peaceful with as little distraction as possible. As it stands now, I’m constantly diverted from reading either by my iPad, TV, or the sounds of the office during my lunch hour. I’d even enjoy reading outside more, but it is January and Georgia is at the moment experience consistently rainy weather. So being outside will probably me more reserved for Spring and the later half of Fall.

That is my reading goals for the new year. I’d love to know if you have any, so please share in the comments below!

Happy Reading,

Meghan

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Top 10 Reads of 2018

I can’t believe this is the last day of 2018 already! I don’t know what happened to this year, but I feel like it ended faster than any other.

But what better way to recap the year than to list my 10 favorite books I read in 2018. This year I felt like I discovered many different things about myself as a reader, such as: I fell in love with Middle Grade fiction and learned that just because a book or book series is really popular doesn’t mean I will like it.

I feel like I had a pretty good reading year. I reached my reading goal of 40 (after lowering it from 45 when I realized I wasn’t going to make it). I also discovered new podcasts that focus on books and reading, which inevitably expanded my TBR list even further. And I hope all of this will motivate me to reach my reading goal in 2019. So without wasting anymore time here is my favorite reads in 2018.


10.

I found a guilty pleasure read in 2018, or should I say I found many. But the one that sticks out the most to me is Snow in Love. The title is cheesy and the plot is predictable, but I fell in love with YA Romances just as quickly as the main characters do. And who knew that you could find ones specifically focused around the winter season. I thought they only revolved around the summer time but I was clearly wrong. Also reading these at the beginning of the year really gave me a head start in my reading challenge and out of the winter blues.

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9.

This is the first of a few Middle Grade novels to make my top 10. Rick Riordan has written so many books that sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Originally I was going to continue on with the Percy Jackson series, but I read the first book at least seven years ago and was sure I would be lost just picking up where I left off without rereading from the beginning. The Sword of Summer was a kindle deal one day and so I figured that it was destined to be the next book by Riordan that I should read. This book was very funny and I laughed out loud a few times along the way. If you like Norse Mythology and Rick Riordan I would highly suggest this book.

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8.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab is a YA Fantasy/Dystopia novel that I couldn’t put down once I started. It was fast paced and gave me all the feels toward the end. I haven’t read Victoria Schwab before This Savage Song, but I would love to read more novels by her in the future.

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7.

Where do I begin with Pride and Prejudice? First I’ll start with I’m sorry to myself that it took me so long to read it. I love a love story and Pride and Prejudice is one of the all time greatest love stories out there. But now I can say I have read it and as soon as I finished I knew this would be a book that I will read at least once a year going forward.

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6.

If there is any author I have heard the most in 2018 it would be Louise Penny. Up until this year I had never heard of the mystery author, but decided to give in. Still Life is the first in a very long series that centers around a French Canadian Detective named Gamache. I believe that one of her books will always make it on my list to read in the fall.

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5.

Whimsical is the best way I would describe Caraval. It’s how I like my fantasies best. Magical and full of wonder. I enjoyed Caraval so much I pre-ordered the second book, Legendary, in the series at the beginning of 2018. I don’t usually pre-order many things, but I wanted to go back into the world of Caraval as soon as I was able.

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4.

Classics were a new category for me to dive into this past year. There are many I feel I have missed out on as a kid and I’m trying to catch up on most of them now. The Chronicles of Narnia has been at the top of my TBR list for a long time. I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and it was everything I wanted it to be and more. I plan to read them slowly, so I’m taking my time and putting off reading the next book in the series for as long as possible.

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3.

I didn’t get into the whole Hamilton craze. In fact, if a song were to come on from the musical I wouldn’t know a single word from it. Reading a book, however, from the fictionalized point of view from his wife, Eliza Hamilton, is one way to get me interested. My Dear Hamilton is the second book by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. There other novel was America’s First Daughter about Patsy Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter. Each book tells the tale of how America came to be established through the eyes of the women who witnessed it and influenced it. My Dear Hamilton gives me a great appreciation for all that Eliza Hamilton went through to make sure her husband didn’t die in vein.

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2.

Lemons, oh Lemons. The heart of this book is exceptional. I wasn’t expecting it at all when I bought it. I thought it would just be about two kids spending their summer vacation hunting down Bigfoot, but I was so wrong. If there is any book I were to give to everyone it would be Lemons.

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1.

I seem to always find my favorite book each year at the very end. Nevermoor did not disprove that theory. Morrigan Crow was one of, if not my favorite character this year. It is such a fantastic book that even though it is classified as being Middle Grade I believe everyone of all ages would fall love with Nevermoor.

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Well that concludes my final post for 2018. I’m excited to see what books I’ll get my hands on in 2019, and I hope to be able to read much more than I have ever done before. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. And be careful!

Happy Reading,

Meghan

TBR Thursday: Into Thin Air

Lately I’ve been really into podcasts, particularly the What Should I Read Next podcast with Anne Bogel. And as I’ve been listening and catching up on old episodes, Into Thin Air comes up a lot. I mean a lot, a lot. So because so many different guest on this podcast keep bring up this book I thought I might give it a try. It isn’t typically something I read and if I saw it in a book store I might completely look over it, but that is why I want to give Into Thin Air a chance. Hopefully it introduces me to a whole other genre of books I’ve never invested much reading time into and helps me get out of a bad reading slump I’ve been in all Summer long.

Have you ever read a book recommended to that you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up really loving it? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Reading,

Meghan

My Dear Hamilton: Book Review

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“I was someone before I met Alexander Hamilton. Not someone famous or important or with a learned philosophical understanding of all that was at stake in our revolution. Not a warrior or a philosopher or statesman. But I was a patriot.” –Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, My Dear Hamilton

Title: My Dear Hamilton

Authors:  Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publish Date:  April 3rd, 2018

Reading Format: Paperback

Summary:

 My Dear Hamilton follows the life of Eliza Hamilton.  The book is a fictional biographical look at one of America’s founding Mothers and wife of Alexander Hamilton.

Review:

 I was highly anticipating this book when I saw that it was coming out in the Spring of this year.  I actually wasn’t waiting in anticipation because of the whole Hamilton craze that is happening right now, but rather because I loved the authors first book together America’s First Daughter.  And I’ll just go ahead and say that My Dear Hamilton did not disappoint.

The book is all told from Eliza’s perspective and it begins during the American revolution, and before she meets her husband Alexander Hamilton, and moves through the different stages of her life up to her later years.  Before I read this book there wasn’t a whole lot I knew about Eliza Hamilton other than who her famous husband was.  My Dear Hamilton changed all that for me.  Even though this is a fictional book, Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie did such a wonderful job with their research. The novel entwines the tragic and beautiful parts of Eliza and Alexander’s love story quite well.  And delves into them as both a couple and individuals so that Eliza shines throughout the story rather than being diminished to the background of Alexander’s life,  which is why I chose the quote from the book above.  During each of my reviews I try to use a quote under the cover of the book to showcase the story.  Kind of like a small highlight to lure you into the book review.  This particular quote stood out to me more than the others I have chosen in the past and I think that is in large part to the fact that Eliza Hamilton as a character has stood out to me the most this year in my reading.  She was a profound woman who existed in a time that history likes to write out, so I’m grateful that My Dear Hamilton tries to rectify that by not only making Eliza the main character but also by taking the time to research her and the other women during the Revolution.

I highly recommend reading My Dear Hamilton as well as their other book America’s First Daughter.

Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars

 

Happy Reading,

Meghan

June Wrap Up 2018

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I didn’t read as much as I thought I would last month.  I took a week long vacation around my birthday on the 15th, but only managed to read halfway through one book.  I suppose I ended up being busier than I thought I would be at the beach because I was under the impression that I could at least finish three books plus whatever else I might buy while I was there.  However, I did read two books and i started two others.  I’m currently debating adding what I’m reading at the moment into my monthly wrap ups but I’ve decided to include it in this one; so if you like seeing what I’m reading lately please let me know!

And now here are the books I read in June of 2018:

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Sleeping Giants By Sylvain Neuvel was a surprisingly good book.  And I don’t say that because I expected it to be bad, but rather that I almost never read Science Fiction novels.  This is the first in a trilogy series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book.  Expect a book review coming soon!

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If you didn’t read my last blog post then you may be wondering why I read a Sweet Valley High novel.  Well for starters I feel like there are classic book series that I missed out on growing up because I wasn’t invested in reading as much as I am today so I’ve been trying to experience them now; and also I had an idea to do a series here on my blog chronicling myself going through the entire series.  From what I have researched there are, I believe, about 140 books in the Sweet Valley High series so it would be almost a three year project if I read one book a week.  I was hoping to have others join me but I didn’t get a large response on my survey, though I did still create a goodreads group if you’d still like to join me.  I’ve only read the first book so far and it isn’t too late to join!


Onto the new section!

I don’t know how many people are like this when it comes to reading, but I typically read at least two or three books at a time.  Usually the books I read at the same time have to be different in genre and/or story line because I’ll tend to get characters mixed up otherwise, and at the moment I’m reading one Young Adult novel and a Urban Fantasy novel:

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Both books I’ve owned for a while now and I’m liking each one so far.  I will admit that I thought I would be done with I’ll Meet You There by now but It is a little darker than I was expecting it to be which is causing me to read it slower than normal.  Other than that I hope to have them both read by the end of this month.

I’d really love to hear what all you have read recently or are reading currently.  Please let me know in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Meghan

May Wrap Up 2018

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So last month I didn’t read as much as I have in the past but that is mainly to do with the fact that for May I read a book with over 600 pages.  This is the biggest book I have read all year and it reminded me why I don’t usually read such large novels as I tend to be a slow reader and it did take me almost all month to finish it. But enough with all that,  here is what I read in May 2018:

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Hope you had a more successful month in reading.  Though I did enjoy both books so maybe less is more in this case.

Happy Reading,

Meghan

TBR Thursday: My Lady Jane

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It’s a historical fiction novel with a comical twist about actually people a looooonnnnnggg time ago.  Quite frankly what else could you need in a book?  For myself personally not really anything else but it is a book that requires a certain craving behind it.  You know?

Like if I were looking to cry over a beautiful love story then I would assume that My Lady Jane wouldn’t be what I was looking for (though you know what they say when you assume…).

Basically what I’m getting at is I just haven’t found myself in the mood to read this book yet.  I’ve literally read the first 10 pages several times but then I usually end up reading something else because I know I want to read it I just haven’t been in the right mind space to do it yet.

But I will do it eventually.  Hopefully!

Happy Reading,

Meghan