2019 · Long post · Wrap ups

January Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2020

It’s a new decade and this is what I read during the first month of this new decade ๐Ÿ™‚

With 5 books on my TBR for January and a need to mood read I felt I did quite well this month with 7 books. Though I didnt finish one of my TBR reads. I had a slow start but an exciting start as I started all the books at once. Not a wise move. I had better control later on but ‘later’ is the key word there.

I have moved the book purchase and ARC requests monitoring to the bottom of these posts along with a check of me reading a book for each of my shelves: physical and e-shelf.

Now let’s dive into the books I’ve read and have a deeper look a look at them.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Audiobook – Library

The Story:

Zachary Ezra Rawlins finds a labyrinth below the surface which houses a wast starless sea where stories are care for and maintained. Mysterious books with his own story in it surfaces and along with it people who wants to help and people who want to prevent Zachary for finding it.

My Opinion:

I’m new to Erin Morgenstern and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I loved the dreaminess of the story and the world. I love the concept of the books and the libraries. But I thought there was just a bit too many stories within stories. It got a bit tangled in the end. I’m still interested in reading The Night Circus though… one day.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

ARC – NetGalley

The Story:

Penny Lee is starting college on the other side of town to where she grew up. She goes without a social network or much luggage and leaves her annoying mother behind.

Sam is stuck. He bakes at a coffee shop, he sleeps there too, and owns nothing apart for $17 in his account. He still believes he is going to be a film director preferable of documentaries. Then his rich ex-girlfriend turns up with news.

Turns out Penny’s new room mate is Sam niece by marriage even though they are only a year apart. And things rolls on from there.

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this sweet story and did a full review here.

Lumberjanes #1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis,

E-comic – Prime reads, Kindle

The Story:

A comic following a group of girls at a Lumber Jane summer camp where weird things happens as they try to get certain badges like Out All Night badge.

My Opinion:

This is a cute and funny comic with mythical fantasy and crazy Camp owners. I might check out the series further but right now I have no interest.

Feathertide by Beth Crathwright

ARC – Netgalley

The Story:

A magical book set in a lagoon. It follows Marea who is searching for her dad. Her back is covered in bright orange feathers unlike her mother. The journey across the lagoon fin search for her father an the source of the feathers takes her through a series of moments that makes up who she ends up being.

My Opinion:

I did a full review which will be posted closer to publication date, but I struggled to make up my mind about this book. Some things annoyed me while other things I loved.

Children of Vengeance and Virtue (Children of Blood and Bone #2) by Tomi Adayemi

Audiobook – Library

The Story:

The sequel to Children of Blood and Bone follows Zelie and the two royals in their fight fo the kingdom after magic is reinstated.

My Opinion:

I’m not sure about this either. My most hated trope was in here: miscommunication. I wanted to yell at the characters, but at the same time I love the world and the magic and all that.

Ragged Alice by Gareth Powell

E-book – Owned

The Story:

A troubled detective returns to her hometown in Wales as a brutal murder is committed leading her into the path of her own mothers killer. DCI Holly Craig is not like other people though, she can see the worst in people soul, like a glimmer of something dark around their hearts. She knows when someone is hiding something or lying which makes her a great investigator but not so good in relationships.

My Opinion:

I love this story! It had everything I wanted apart from a sequel… DCI Holly Craig was my type of person and I enjoyed her narration. The paranormal part of the story starts out very subtle and I wondered for a while were it was and if it was there at all, bu then it picks up and finishes on a paranormal high! Highly recommended.

Iron and Smoke by Brandon Nolta

Physical book – Owned

The Story:

A Native American historical fantasy. Aquina Moore has been sent by the Eastern Council to the Western tribes as per Shoshaun request. Something dark is looming and Shoshoun are the only one raising awarness. But as a magi Aquina has felt something too , something not human looming on the horizon. The building of the railroad across the plains of america are adding cool iron to the laylines and the whites are more focused on money and progress than anything else. its up to Aquina and the Shoshouns to stop the strange darkness from spreading.

My Opinion:

Full review to come, but I really like this book!

Reading Challenge check:

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Before we delve into the book I read this month let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month: 
    • The Test

Available credit from last month; 0

Credit transferring over to next month: 1

  • Only request two ARC’s: 
    • There Will Come Darkness
    • Incendiary

Available credits from last month; 0

Credit transferring over to next month: 0

I didn’t fully manage to keep up with the credits from last month and credits transferred to next month counts by the end of the year. I think I was off by 2 on each. Maybe this year I’ll be a bit more on it..

I also had a goal of reading one book form my physical shelf and one books from my e-book shelf per month. None of these can involve 2020 acquired books and since its January nothing from December 2019. Based on all the books I read this month these are the once from my shelves:

  • Physical shelf
    • Iron and Smoke
  • E-Book shelf
    • The Danish Girl
    • LumberJanes

In other news, I started a new Instagram account for my garden journey @ivyssecretgarden if anyone is interested ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m loving every second of hard work!

That’s it!

Have you read any of these?

Of all of them I think Ragged Alice was my favourite. What was your favourite read this month?

Until next time; happy reading!

6 thoughts on “January Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2020

  1. COVAV and Emergency Contact are both physical TBRs for me. I’m super hyped for both but who knows when I will find time to pick them up ๐Ÿ™ˆ I really enjoyed the first Lumberjanes volume but the rest of the series was a little meh for me tbh. I’d be interested to see what you think of the next volume if you decide to pick it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found Emergency Contact a quick easy read so it shouldnโ€™t take too much of your time ๐Ÿ˜ COVAV is long so bear that in mind. I donโ€™t think I will pick up the next columns just yet and considering you said they were a bit meh, I kind of already feel the same. But weโ€™ll see ๐Ÿ˜Š


  2. I really want to read The Starless Sea! I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it, even though you didn’t love it. The Night Circus is one of my favourite books, so it’s obvious why I’m exited for this one! ๐Ÿ˜€ Lumberjanes is such a fun graphic novel series, witch really cute art and friendships.

    Liked by 1 person

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