Looking Back on My 2019 Reading & Blogging Goals

2019 is nearly over and coming up is the start of not just another year but a whole new decade. So before I began even talking about future plans for myself and my blog I want to look back at the reading and blogging goals I made at the beginning of the year and see what I achieved and I what I didn’t.

Here’s a link to that post if you’re interested in reading it.


Create a bookstagram – ✔️

Last February I created a bookish IG account which you can follow me @ savvy_reads

However from looking at my feed, most of you can observe that only posted 3 things last year. I simply felt lack of motivation to post anything and also comparing my posts to other peoples was a thing that made me not want to post at all. But 2020 is going to be very different.

Redesign my blog – ✔️

I’ve done this several times throughout 2019 because I’m not consistent with sticking to a theme/aesthetic. So I’m hoping in 2020 I’ll figure something out.

Participate in a blog tour – ✔️

YES and I’m actually surprised I actually got the opportunity to do not just one, but TWO of these in 2019. I had fun with all of them. I’ve also been invited to do some more in 2019 so I’m glad that this was a thing I accomplished.

Participate in Blogmas / Blogtober – ❌

Clearly since I barely posted anything during the last half of 2019. I just never felt compelled to do this since I hadn’t read much either.

Finish a Readathon – ❌

I came pretty close to finishing the Ghibli-a-Thon back in July (at least I think that’s when it was) but nevertheless, I failed it. I’ve decided not to participate in any read-a-thons for a while since I seem to fall victim to my mood reading habit.

Watch and review a book to movie/tv adaptation each month AND Read the book that it was based on –

A feature I wanted to do on my blog that I clearly never even started. Will I think about doing this in 2020? Who knows??? wink wink.

Put myself out there more on social media and interact more with other bloggers and authors – ✔️

Technically I did this and I’m proud for following more bloggers but my interaction level at last as the year went on plummeted. But I’m taking this win.

Also on my Twitter I’ve tried to be more active but I’ve mostly just RT shitty memes and whatever.

Blog hop more! – ✔️

Again, I technically did this but I never stuck with it during the rest of 2019.

Get to 200 followers! – ❌

I DID IT FOLKS. I hit 199 followers in 2019. I think its fitting to be honest.

Keep track of reading and blogging in my 2019 bullet journal – ❌

LOL My bullet journaling for 2019 ended in January when I just gave up because I wanted it to be Perfect. So then I just filled it with random doodles and notes.

Prioritize reading and reviewing ARCs – ❌ / ✔️

Yes and no because I prioritized my ARCs for blog tours but as for the other ARCs I never got around to most of them. Even ones I did read I never reviewed. So :/ Meh

Promote books better – ❌

I don’t know what it is because I guess nervous about promoting books because I don’t like the attention especially if the author notices it. But I know that’s good thing but like it flares my anxiety for some reason. But in 2020 I hope to do better and get over my own nonsense.

Read 40 books for my Goodreads challenge – ❌

*insert overused GOT meme*

I stopped keeping track of the books I read this year because there were plenty I started but gave up on and then some that took forever to read. I just had an awful reading year in 2019. I believe my GR 2019 reading challenge says I only read 9, I did read more than that I just never bothered to mark it down lol.

Read more historical fiction – ❌

Speaking of reading, I wanted to read some historical fiction and I ended reading more contemporaries and fantasy instead.

Read more sci-fi – ❌

I didn’t read any.

Make more discussions posts – ❌

I didn’t have it in my to make a discussion post since I’ve tried to write one and I see someone else do it better so I’ll just let the people who are good at that kind of thing do it. Does that mean that I’ll never do a discussion post? No because there are some things I do want to talk about eventually but for now I just don’t feel I’m up for it.

Write!!! + Participate in NaNoWriMo – ❌

I did technically write some, but it was mostly plot outlines and just random descriptions of stories and characters I have in my head. I also wanted to do NaNo but I don’t have a firm grasp of any of my WIPs.

Complete the PopSugar Reading + Book Riot Read Harder Challenges – ❌

Since I didn’t do much reading I failed at these two challenges. Also the books I did read only fit a few challenges. I just didn’t bother with these at a certan point.

Get more followers on Twitter – ✔️

I just hit 200 followers on Twitter recently. If you want to follow me there, here’s the link to that. Some of you may like me more or less than here but maybe we’ll be friends.


That’s that for my 2019 goals. Join me tomorrow-ish for a look at my 2020 goals. Let me know down below what your goals were for 2019 and if you achieved any or failed most of them like me.

My Most Anticipated 2019 Horror,Thrillers & Mysteries – Part One

2019

I thought I’d start this little series with some newly released and upcoming releases that sound perfect for Halloween. I did two posts like this last year and had fun with it. You can read part one here and part two here.

Feel free to add any of these to your TBR by clicking n on the titles which will take you to Goodreads!

THE BONE HOUSES BY EMILY LLOYD-JONES

Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

MY THOUGHTS

The cover is haunting first all. Skulls are always the perfect aesthetic for a spooky book. Apparently this features zombies or at least “the undead” and curses and I’m interested to see how this novel tackles zombies since there’s so many ways to use zombies.

THE TENTH GIRL BY SARA FARING

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

MY THOUGHTS

I think I was already sold by it being a “gothic psychological thriller” but the fact that its base in Patagonian myth seems like it’ll be a more refreshing tale. This is also an #ownvoices Latinx horror!

THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN BY A.J. HACKWITH

In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing—a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell … and Earth.

MY THOUGHTS

The premise is stands out to me. I mean, a library in Hell, characters unfinished stories emerging and probably causing chaos.

NINTH HOUSE BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

MY THOUGHTS

I’ve never read anything by Leigh Bardugo. I’ll admit the the hype for her Grishaverse series makes me intimidated to even begin reading them. But this one caught my eye because its not Grishverse related and its about secret societies in Yale. I know this will be a bit darker than what she’s known for but I enjoy reader darker stories sometimes. Also this already has TV deal so I really want to see if I like it before the show starts.

THE BEAUTIFUL BY RENEE AHDIEH

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

BEYOND THE BLACK DOOR BY A.M. STRICKLAND

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen …

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom …

MY THOUGHTS

This is one of my most hyped for the year. It’s got a villain romance, #ownvoices ace rep & demi-biromantic rep. Dark fantasy is thriving this year folks.

GRAVEMAIDENS BY KELLY COON

The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

MY THOUGHTS

I honestly haven’t look much into this because I want to go without knowing what I’m getting into. But it does sounds unique and compelling.

WINTERWOOD BY SHEA ERNSHAW

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

MY THOUGHTS

The Wicked Deep was so good that I had to immediately add Winterwood to my TBR. Shea Ernshaw’s stories are very atmospheric and I hope this one is as well. I think one of the best things a scary story can be atmospheric.

SONGS FROM THE DEEP BY KELLY POWELL

A girl searches for a killer on an island where deadly sirens lurk just beneath the waves in this gripping, atmospheric debut novel.

The sea holds many secrets.

Moira Alexander has always been fascinated by the deadly sirens who lurk along the shores of her island town. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. When a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure.

Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.

MY THOUGHTS

Speaking of atmospheric, this one also fascinates me. I’m loving that we’re getting more sea-related horror and SIRENS!


Anyways, those are some books that you should check this spooky szn. Feel free to add your thoughts on these books and other books from 2019 that are great for this season!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Ghibli-a-Thon TBR

Yesterday is the start of Ghibli-a-Thon, a Studio Ghibli themed read-a-thon starting today (June 10-June 16) So I’d like to share my TBR. You can find out more by following their Twitter account here.

Also since it’s Pride I picked out a few books that featured some queer representation.


POM POKO: READ THE GROUP BOOK

This is the group read and I’m very excited to read this one. I’m also going to listen to the audiobook. I love the movie as well so I might have to watch that after I read this.

WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE: CHOSEN FAMILY

One of the most anticipated books of 2019 for basically everyone. I’ve heard phenomenal words about this book and I can’t wait to be apart of that. This of course is a book that features a non-binary protagonist who is queer.

FROM UP ON POPPY HILL: YA ROMANCE

This sounds like the cute queer YA rom-com I’ve been wanting to read. This has is set at an amusement park and I love to read about characters getting summer jobs. Also there’s bi rep!

THE CAT RETURNS: PORTAL FANTASY

I’ve had this since it was released last year and I can’t believe I haven’t gotten around to reading it. This has some elements of portal fantasy but is more about the two characters leaving the portal world and facing the real world problems.

PORCO ROSSO: A CHARACTER UNDER A CURSE

I believe this book features a family curse, so that of course would effect Rosa herself. This is one of my most anticipated as well, and I found out the other day that this has bi rep so I’m here for it.

LAPUTA: A BOOK ON FRIENDSHIP

I’ve had my eye on this one for a while because it has murder and an odd friendship between the murderer’s daughter and the victim’s son. Also both of the characters are queer (although I’m not positive on what they identify as).


Wish me luck! – Sav