Tuesday, hey, how are ya? Also, wow, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a Top Ten post! Where the heck have I been?! Oh, well, you know, parenting and house-wifin’ and doing the work thang. But 2020 is about to become my biatch when it comes to blogging and reading and engaging with all of you beautiful bloggers out there! (Just wait, you’ll see.)
Without dallying too much, I just wanted to say that if you’ve stuck around my blog for the past 14 months (or even less), YOU ROCK! I hope to be more present on here and make new friends and just overall feel like a part of the community, rather than just someone lingering in doorways. I have fresh new ideas for this place floating in my head, and I hope you’re around to see them! Thank you again for your allegiance to my virtual headspace! 🙌🏻
bookish discoveries made in 2019
So, “bookish discoveries” – what exactly does that entail? Honestly, it’s a pretty vague topic. It could just mean BOOKS you’ve discovered (super boring, right?), or certain authors, or even book bloggers, bookish apps, websites, or products. I’m going to throw in a little bit of everything, I think, in order to make it to ten. 😉
My favorite discovery of all things bookish in 2019 was this iOS app: Bookly. It’s a wonderful tool that I use daily, guys. You add book information to it – for example, as pictured, I’m currently reading The Wicked King – and when you’re reading your book, you click the blue button that says ‘continue reading’, and it tracks the time you read the book. It also calculates your reading speed and shows you how long it’ll take to finish the book! You can set goals (as you can see, I failed my last one, though, oooopsies 🙈), you can see stats, and it’s just all around my favorite app right now.
2. the dynamic duo that is amie kaufman + jay kristoff
I’m way late to board this train, but I read Aurora Rising this year (twice, technically, because I also listened to the audiobook) and holy cake! This brainchild of Kaufman and Kristoff enamored me – the adventure, the character dynamics, that otherworldliness of it. I just loved it so much. Even the small insta-love we got with Kal and Aurora. I’m eagerly awaiting May for the sequel (although May brings other things,
like my 30th birthday, I’d be willing to forfeit my last months in my 20’s to have this book in my clutches right now).
Why did I just discover Book Outlet??? This online store is a game changer. I can buy books from the comfort of my home and pajamas, and they are cheap!!! It’s like going to Half Price Books, except I don’t have to leave home. And they are delivered to me. For Christmas, I bought myself like 10 books and it was under $40. I was in Heaven. And now I’m writing about while simultaneously browsing for new books
that I don’t need to add to my bookshelves. 🤪
Another blogger (and crap, I can’t remember who posted about it!) introduced me to the world of Scribd. It’s like an e-library for your phone, for less than $10/month. I have multiple titles saved, as well as audiobooks (like The Starless Sea, The Guinevere Deception, and one I literally just downloaded: Children of Blood and Bone!) It’s
immensely better than Audible, although I utilize that, too, because Scribd doesn’t have all of the audiobooks – but it definitely has a admirable selection.
Another app! Lots of bookish apps that I discovered last year. Libby is basically an app that borrows books and audiobooks from your local library. I’m using it now to borrow The Wicked King (and you can choose whether to read it in the Libby app, or with your Kindle app – I, personally, chose Kindle) and I’ve used it to read Meddling Kids and Far Far Away.
6. Steve West’s voice
I’m floundering a bit here. But I’m currently listening to the Muse of Nightmares audiobook, and woooow. This narrator – Steve freaking West – has the sexiest voice my ears have ever had the pleasure of hearing. He also voiced Kal in the Aurora Rising audiobook, and that was my very first taste of Steve West-dom. I’m a fan for life now. (He isn’t bad-looking, either! Google him. Do it now. You’re welcome.)
7. house of salt and sorrows by erin a. craig
Okay, now that I’m out of bookish discoveries that aren’t books… it’s time to talk about books. My first great read of 2019 was House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. Aside from Aurora Rising, this was probably one of the best 5-star reads that I can think of off the top of my head. Like, years from now, when I think of ‘books I read in 2019’, those two will instantly pop into my head above everything else. I was on vacation, early in April, when I was reading my eARC. I just remember laying out in the sun, feeling super warm and rested as I read it, but feeling goosebumps and creeped out at the same time. If Craig’s writing continues to have this effect on me with future work, she may quickly become a favorite author. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!
8. sorcery of thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Okay, okay, this one will ALSO be on the short list of books that instantly spring to mind when future me reminisces on my 2019 reading year. If you haven’t read Sorcery of Thorns yet… can I even acknowledge that you exist? It’s hard saying. This book was pure magic, and An Enchantment of Ravens is sitting on my shelf patiently waiting to be read, and if I’m being honestly I’m really sadI haven’t made time for it yet. A lot of people have said it isn’t as good? But I can’t just do it dirty like that and not even try. But anyway, back to Sorcery – I DEMAND YOU READ THIS BOOK IF YOU HAVE NOT. If you ignore my will, I will cast a curse on you that will take away your fingers. Why take the chance, right? Good talk.
9. cassandra clare’s Mortal Instruments series starter
2019 was also the year I first tried a Cassandra Clare book. I was slightly forced by my co-teacher to read it (because I slightly forced her to read A Court of Thorns and Roses and its sequels, so it was a fair trade-off I think) but I can’t really say I fell in love with it. (Hey I never said these bookish discoveries were going to be GOOD discoveries, did I?) So I read City of Bones, and like… it was cool. It was a good read, but I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series. I really only cared about Jace and Clary’s dynamic – the other characters fell flat for me – and then that grenade they tossed on me at the end about Jace and Clary’s connection? Nope. No thanks. ✋🏻🚫
10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Yep, I jumped on this bandwagon as well before 2019 was up. I was pleasantly surprised! Jude isn’t exactly a flawless hero like most protagonists are, and her love interest is wicked, and it oddly fills a hole in heart that I wasn’t really aware of. I’m rooting for them, despite their flaws. I did rate The Cruel Prince 4 stars, because some things were confusing to me (I don’t usually read stories fused by fairie lore, so that’s really a point against me, isn’t it?) but overall, I really liked it and decided to continue the series. I’m halfway through The Wicked King, and it’s highly likely that I’ll continue to read Queen of Nothing after it’s over.
What bookish discoveries did you make in 2019? Did we make any of the same discoveries perchance?
I’m linking up my post to Top Ten Tuesday!