10 books I recently bought and haven’t read yet

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday post, a weekly list hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is “most recent additions to my bookshelf”. I debated whether to take this literally and talk about the books I recently acquired, or to go the digital route and feature my to-read shelf on Goodreads. As you can tell from the title of the post, I chose the physical bookshelf. I might start a series in which I talk about the books I’ve added to my digital shelves at some point as well.

2019 ended with a huge book haul for me. I’d been pretty balanced in my book buying and reading last year, until Amazon (Germany) had a huge sale in November/December. I bought around 30 books, although some of them were ones I had already read. All of the books on this list were bought during that sale, as hardcovers were around €4 and paperbacks at times €3. Isn’t that insane? Here are 10 books I bought in November and haven’t read yet.

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
I’ve been interested in this fantasy novel ever since it was announced. It’s quite a recent release as well, which is why I was surprised to see it in the sale. The only thing I’ve gathered from the synopsis is that the novel involves gods, men, and someone who needs to be cast from the throne. Sign me up.

The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) by N.K. Jemisin
In December of 2018, I read the first book in the Broken Earth trilogy and fell in love with the unique SFF novel. This was the perfect time to complete the set and buy the third book as well. Now I have all three, I can’t wait to continue and discover what will happen next.

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab
A novel that had been on my wishlist for absolute ages. V.E. Schwab is one of my favorite authors. I definitely want to read all of her published novels at some point in time. Vengeful is the sequel to Vicious, one of the most fascinating hero-villain stories I’ve read in a long time. I hope I won’t be disappointed by this one!

Death’s End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #3) by Cixin Liu
Another sequel… The reason I usually take ages to finish a series is because books are expensive and I never get around to buying the sequels. I borrowed the first book from the library (but also bought it in this same haul), and while the actual science in this science fiction series went way over my head, I still really enjoyed the reading experience. The second book wasn’t on sale but luckily my library has it.

The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad #2) by S.A. Chakraborty
I’ve talked about this book in my big books I’d like to read in 2020 post, because it’s one of my most anticipated reads at the moment. I absolutely adored the first novel in the series, The City of Brass. Everything about that book was incredible: the atmosphere, the characters, the relationships, the pacing… I can’t wait to find out what the sequel has in store for me.

Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry
This was a bit of an impulse purchase. I remember Chelsea (Chelsea Dolling Reads) talk about this contemporary novel, and being intrigued by it. All I know is that it’s about two girls who are tired of men controlling their lives, so they take their rage on the road.

I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
A nonfiction book? Who am I? I want to make a conscious effort in 2020 to read more nonfiction, because there are so many intriguing books and topics out there. This one is about the microbes within our bodies. It’s been on my to-read list for years. Time to finally read this!

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
Miracle Creek is a novel I want to go into completely blind. I don’t want to know what it’s about. It’s an adult mystery/thriller that I’ve seen appear on several “best of the year” lists. I hope it will make it to mine as well.

How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might know that Julian Winters’ last novel, Running With Lions, is one of my all-time favorite contemporary books. Obviously, that means that I have to read and own his latest book too! Seeing this in the sale felt like an early Christmas present.

Pulp by Robin Talley
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know much about Pulp. It’s a dual timeline novel  partly in the 1950s, when two girls are in love and one of them wants to be a writer, and recent times, in which a girl writes her senior project on 1950s lesbian pulp fiction.


Those are 10 of my latest book purchases! Have you read any of these? Which one should I read first? If you’d be interested in a post on my latest additions to my Goodreads shelves as well, don’t hesitate to let me know!

 

my favorite songs of 2019

You might remember that I usually include a music section in my monthly wrap ups, talking about the songs I listened to most or fell in love with during said month. Music is a huge part of my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Spotify subscription… I listen to music constantly: when I get ready, when I commute to work, during work, while cooking, while working out… There’s an appropriate song or playlist for everything. So I figured I would share some of my favorite songs of 2019. The ones that had an impact on my year, and I can vividly remember listening to on repeat.

BTS – Dionysus

Let’s start with my most listened to song of 2019, shall we? I fell in love with this dynamic song from their latest album. It’s so energetic and gets me ready to take on the day. I find with BTS that it’s well worth listening to all the tracks on their album thoroughly, because I often find myself loving the other tracks more than the title track (not that I dislike Boy With Love, don’t worry).

A.C.E – Under Cover

The song that started my love for A.C.E. This song is so my style that I knew I would end up listening to it non-stop within the first few seconds. The combination of rock and hiphop is fantastic. Catch me listening to it on repeat in 2020 as well.

Taemin – Want

Listen, Taemin is the king of sexy songs. This came out in February 2019 and I still listen to it pretty much every day. It just doesn’t get boring! If you haven’t watched Taemin’s solo songs (which would surprise me), please do. You’re truly missing out.

Jonas Brothers – Sucker

It’s the return of the Jonas Brothers!! Need I say more? This video is so adorable as well, and it makes me happy to see how well these men have found their way in life. They are loved, happy, and making music together again. What more could a fan want?

BTS – Pied Piper

I know that this is not a 2019 release, yet I can’t leave it off the list. It’s another one of my most listened to songs of last year. I guess they did their job well, creating a song that you cannot resist 😉

MAMAMOO – Hip

Listen, these women are incapable of creating bad songs. They are so talented, work so hard, and deliver at every point in time. I might have a crush on every single member. Especially Wheein.

Angèle – Balance Ton Quoi

Angèle is a queen. This is an incredible song, both in terms of the music itself and the lyrics. If you don’t speak French, please turn on the English CC! You can’t miss out on the meanings in this feminist anthem. I wish I could have gone to her concert, but it sold out immediately. Next time!

ONEWE – Regulus

Ever since their debut Reminisce About All, I kept my eye out for this band. I adore bands, and I don’t know enough Korean ones. This song absolutely blew me away. It wasn’t what I expected whatsoever, yet it’s so good. I can’t wait for their next release, whenever that may be.

Stray Kids – Chronosaurus

Chronosaurus might be my favorite Stray Kids song to date. It’s so hauntingly beautiful. I absolutely love this group. They are not afraid to experiment with their songs and albums, sometimes resulting in a song that seems chaotic at first until its brilliance hits you like a brick.

Seventeen – FEAR

A more recent release, but another favorite from SEVENTEEN. I can’t wait to see these guys perform in March! Their songs are always epic, their choreographies growing more impressive with every comeback. They have never let me down.

DAY6 – Time of Our Life

DAY6 is one of my all-time favorite bands. They are also incapable of creating a bad song. I saw them live last January, and will see them live again this January. Worth every single cent, it was one of the best concerts of my life. It may seem ridiculous to you but one of the reasons I love this upbeat song so much is that they all seem so happy while performing.

ONE OK ROCK – Stand Out Fit In

Lindsey actually introduced me to ONE OK ROCK in one of her monthly wrap ups. I always look at her wrap ups because a) she’s one of my favorite bloggers and b) our taste in music is so similar. I was blown away by Stand Out Fit In, and proceeded to listen to their entire album (Eye of the Storm) on repeat. I love literally every song on there, and according to Spotify it is one of my most played albums of the year.


I have so many other songs I could have included here, but I tried to narrow it down a number close to 10. It ended up being 12, which I’m quite happy with. I think I want to create some more music related posts this year, maybe my favorite bands, solo artists, female artists, groups, male artists, etc. Please let me know if you’d be interested in that! I want to create the posts, but would feel kind of sad if no one actually cares. 

Which songs made your 2019? 

10 big books I’d like to read in 2020

I’m not participating in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, as I don’t feel like I have to contribute much to this week’s topic (bookish discoveries of 2019). Instead, I want to talk about 10 big books I want to read this year. Like many others, I find books over 500 pages quite intimidating. They take up a lot of time to read, and I don’t have much reading time at the moment. They’re a scary commitment. However, I do end up loving the majority of big books I read! So in 2020, I want to overcome that fear and read the following lengthy novels.

Words of Radiance (Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson
Is this cheating? I’m actually currently reading this book, on page 108 as we speak. Considering that this book is 1310 pages long, that’s not very far into the story. I adore Brandon Sanderson’s works. He’s both fantastic at word building and character development, and I’m fairly certain this book will end up on my favorites of the year list.

The Mad Ship (Liveship Traders #2) by Robin Hobb
I started this series in 2017 (!!) and still haven’t continued. This book has 906 pages, which is why I haven’t read it yet. It’s scary when every book in a series is so long, even if I’m fairly certain I’ll adore it. I really need to continue the series though, before I forget everything that happened in book 1.

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy #1) by Jacqueline Carey
I’ve heard people rave about this book for absolute years, on every platform. This is one of the most praised fantasy trilogies, and I’m desperate to find out why. An adult fantasy novel about a women, written by a women, well-beloved, 901 pages long, and published in 2001? Interesting. Give it to me.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
I’m not ready to cry my eyes out. That’s why A Little Life is still on my shelf of unread books. I know I’m going to be devastated after finishing it, even though I have no idea what this novel is actually about. I want to go into this one blind, not knowing what to expect. It’s 720 pages long.

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang
The Poppy War was one of my favorite books of 2019, and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I’ve seen it on so many favorites of the year lists, elevating my expectations even more. This is an epic Chinese history-inspired fantasy series that doesn’t shy away from the brutality of war. This sequel is 654 pages long.

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
I picked this nonfiction book up in a secondhand bookstore last year because it had been on my to-read list for quite a long time. My knowledge of The Silk Road is very minimal, so I’m excited to dive into this one. It’s 636 pages long.

The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad #2) by S.A. Charkaborty
Another sequel to one of my favorite books of 2019 on this list! Clearly, I have loved long books before and quite a few have ended up on my favorites lists. The first book, The City of Brass, was one of the most atmospheric fantasy novels I have read in a long time. If you haven’t picked up the series, please do! While I’m excited for this novel, the 621 pages do intimidate me.

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey
I want to read more science fiction in 2020, specifically more space opera. Science fiction is a genre I’ve been slowly falling in love with the past 2 years. I’m excited to find out what it has to offer. I’d also like to watch the TV show adaptation of this series called The Expanse, but I need to read at least the first book before doing so! It’s 592 pages long.

The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #2) by Cixin Liu
I read the first book, The Three-Body Problem, in 2019 and definitely want to continue the series. While a lot of the physics talk went way over my head, it was one of the most fascinating novels I’d read in a while. It combines video games and VR with astrophysics and an alien race. Insane, isn’t it? I can’t wait to see what The Dark Forest brings, even though it’s 512 pages long.

The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne #1) by Brian Staveley
This book has probably been on my shelf, unread, since 2015 or 2016 which is kind of embarrassing. It’s a high fantasy novel, in which the emperor has just been murdered. His son, who is training for the empire’s deadliest fighting force also suffers several ‘accidents’, is also in danger. Then there is also the emperor’s daughter, who hunts for her father’s murderer and navigates court politics, and the heir to the empire who is studying in a remote monastery. It sounds SO GOOD, so why has this been on my shelf for so long? I have no idea. I need to read this 568 page long book in 2020. Someone hold me accountable.


Is this ambitious? Yes. Will I give it my all? Absolutely. These are all books I’m really excited to read, so I hope 2020 will be kind to me and give me the time to pick these up. Have you read any of these books? Which ones should I read first?

TV shows I completed or caught up on in 2019

Last year, I didn’t manage to watch as much TV as I would’ve wanted to. Especially towards the latter half of the year. I just didn’t have the time or energy to commit to a series. Looking back at my TV tracker however, I noticed that I managed to complete or catch up on more series than I thought I had. Here’s what I watched, and what I thought of it.

I started off 2019 by binge-watching Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. This might be the most adorable reality show I have ever seen. Mario Kondo seems like the kindest and most understanding person. If everyone in the world was a bit more like her, we would live in a better place.

🌟 I would give Tidying Up With Marie Kondo 4/5 stars

I then continued to binge-watch What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, which managed to climb up my list of favorite K-dramas I’ve seen so far. It’s about a boss who depends on his secretary for literally everything, until she tells him she is resigning. It was fun, sweet and adorable.

🌟 I would give What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim 4.5/5 stars

After that, I finally watched the last few episodes of Because This Is My First Life. While this drama wasn’t bad at all, and I rather enjoyed the performance of Jung So-min, this show failed to capture my attention. I liked it while watching but never felt like it was one I needed to return to.

🌟 I would give Because This Is My First Life 3/5 stars

Continuing the trend of binge-watching K-dramas, I went on to watch Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo which I really enjoyed. It’s a show centered around sports which is usually a true hit or miss for me. What I loved most about this show is that the female main character is a competitive weightlifter and the guy is a swimmer. A female weightlifter? YES PLEASE.

🌟 I would give Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo 4.5/5 stars

After finishing that one, I decided it was time to tackle one of the most beloved K-dramas of all time: Coffee Prince. This is about a girl who starts to work in a coffee shop, and falls in love with her boss. The only downside is that everyone thinks she’s a boy. What I loved most about this show is that it shows the guy recognizing his feelings for her and wanting a relationship, even though he thinks she’s a guy and always considered himself straight.

🌟 I would give Coffee Prince 4/5 stars

After all the Korean shows, I decided to go back home and watch a Belgian show. I watched the entire first season of De Luizenmoeder in one go, which is a comedic show centered around the life of parents and teachers in an elementary school. It’s absolutely hilarious, and so relatable!

🌟 I would give De Luizenmoeder 4.5/5 stars

Back to Korea we go, because I watched the Netflix show Romance Is a Bonus Book afterwards. This is a show I actually had to wait for, as Netflix released 2 episodes per week and I was hooked a few episodes in. I hadn’t watched a show weekly in months (years, even?) but I couldn’t help myself. Every episode just had to be watched immediately. This is a show about a woman who tries to join the workforce again after being a stay-at-home mom for years, now being divorced. It’s set in a publishing house, has a friends-to-lovers relationship and has healthy communication and little to no relationship drama. It’s perfect.

🌟 I would give Romance is a Bonus Book 5/5 stars

The previous show made me an enormous fan of Lee Jong-suk, so I immediately started watching one of his “older” shows, called WW – Two Worlds Apart is an action-packed show in which the main character’s father creates graphic novels. The world inside the graphic novels come to life, however, and whatever he writes happens. The main character falls into the story and saves the male character, which sets off a chain of reactions.

🌟 I would give W 4/5 stars

After Korea, I hopped over to China by watching Put Your Head On My Shoulder. This is definitely one of the most adorable romance shows I have ever watched. It’s about a girl who studies accounting in university but actually wants to work within marketing and advertising, and a physics student at the same university. They end up sharing an apartment so the girl can easily go to her part-time job, and fall in love. The soft boy easily wins over the “best friend” who took her for granted for years and I am LIVING for it.

🌟 I would give Put Your Head On My Shoulder 5/5 stars

Obviously, I couldn’t go through 2019 without watching the latest season of Stranger Things as soon as it was released. My love for this show is no secret, and I happened to adore season 3. I actually liked it better than season 2, although nothing can top the brilliance and atmosphere of season 1.

🌟 I would give Stranger Things Season 3 4.5/5 stars

Then, I watched the entire first season of Jinn. Jinn was a new Netflix release, and if I’m not mistaken, their first Arabic Original Show. I was excited to watch this because Netflix branching out of English shows and actors is always something I want to see. However, this show is kind of ridiculous. After watching it, I saw a lot of comments online that the Arabic speech and sentences in this show make no sense. That no one would actually speak like this. Then I found out that the writer is American. So no thank you.

🌟 I would give Jinn 2/5 stars

After watching Jinn, I finally gave in to my brother’s reminders to watch this show and I started La Casa de Papel (or Money Heist, for the English speakers). In Europe, La Casa de Papel is one of the most popular tv shows. The majority of people I know have watched it, and those who haven’t at least know about it. After watching a YouTube reaction video, it appears as if this is not very popular in the US? Which is RIDICULOUS because this is one of the best shows ever. Also, don’t watch the dubbed version. Just use subtitles. You need to listen to the original Spanish…

I never actually said what this show is about but it follows a group of people who have taken codenames (city names) and are robbing The National Mint in Madrid.

🌟 I would give La Casa de Papel 5/5 stars

After Spain, I went back to China to binge-watch Go Go Squid, another drama to add to the favorites list. This follows a talented computer major who falls for a CTF player /owner of a CTF club. At first, I wasn’t quite sure because she seemed to like him for no reason other than his appearance. After a while, though, I became so attached to all the characters! I’m not just talking about the two main characters but also about her best friends, the players in his club, etc. Their relationship turned out so sweet as well.

🌟 I would give Go Go Squid 4/5 stars.

Lastly, I watched seasons 3 of both Skam France and WTFock. Both are remakes of the original Norwegian show Skam, which I absolutely adored. WTFock is the Flemish adaptation (Belgian), which I was hesitant to watch. I’m not really used to watching shows in my own language, especially ones about teenagers, so I was afraid it would end up being cringy. I fell in love with both adaptations of season 3, however.

🌟 I would give both Skam France and WTFock 4/5 stars


Those are all the shows I either finished watching in 2019, or caught up on! Obviously, I watched a few more shows but haven’t completed them yet. I’m quite pleased with this years’ TV watching, I seem to have visited quite a few countries through TV.

What did you watch in 2019? Have you watched any of these shows?

most anticipated releases of 2020, part one

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a Top Ten Tuesday post, hasn’t it? It’s still being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can find all the information on the weekly posts here. This week, everyone will be talking about their most anticipated releases for the first half of 2020. So, what are mine?

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
I have never read an Anna-Marie McLemore book, but all of their novels are on my to-read list. Literally all I know about this book is that it has shoes that make you dance until you fall down dead. Sounds like an epic read to me… Plus, look at that cover! The covers for their books are always so gorgeous.

Release date: January 14

Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood by Anna Burke
Nottingham is on today’s list because it’s an LGBTQ+ retelling of Robin Hood in which Robin is a woman. Does that not sound like everything you’ve ever wanted in life??

Release date: January 21

Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood #1) by Kim Smejkal
I first clicked on this book because of the cover. It just screams “tattoo” to me. Combined with the tagline “one performance can change your destiny”, my curiosity was piqued. Apparently, this book includes tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater. It’s also marked as an LGBTQ+ book, although I have no idea what the rep in this book will be.

Release date: February 11th

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
Any N.K. Jemisin book will make it on my most anticipated list, because she writes the most incredible SFF books. This novel is about 5 New Yorkers who must come together to defend their city. In this world, every city has a soul. NYC has got 5. And every city has a dark side… THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. Give it to me already!

Release date: March 26th

Queen of Coins and Whispers by Helen Corcoran
Another fantasy novel, of course. This is my list, after all, and I make no excuses for choosing my favorite genre. Queen of Coins and Whispers follows a teenage queen who inherits her uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, and brings a new spymaster into the fold. Another LGBTQ+ novel on the list, and unless I’m sorely mistaken, another f/f read.

Release date: April 6th

The Silence of Bones by June Hur
To add some variety to this list, I added The Silence of Bones. This is a historical fiction and mystery novel, two genres I want to dive into more. It’s set in Joseon in 1800 (Korea), where a young girl needs to assist the police in the investigation of a politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

Release date: April 21st 

Fence: Rivals by C.S. Pacat
I’ve been waiting for the next Fences story for ages, so this one definitely makes the most anticipated list. If you haven’t read these graphic novels, I highly recommend them. It’s got friendships, competition, fencing, enemies to friends (to hopefully lovers), and everything you could ever need.

Release date: May 19th

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
The title and cover alone are enough to land this book on my to-read list. The synopsis is the reason it ended up on my most anticipated list though. “When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.”

Release date: June 9th

The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1) by Namina Forna
I know I mention this constantly in this post, but this cover!! It’s so gorgeous. The Gilded Ones is a West-African inspired feminist fantasy, in which Deka goes through the blood ceremony that will determine whether she becomes part of her village or not. Only, her blood runs gold – the color of impurity. Then she becomes a warrior? I don’t know, it just sounds too good to be true.

Release date: May 26th

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho
It’s kind of embarrassing of me to put a Zen Cho novel on this list if I’ve had one of her books for years and still haven’t read it, but I’m sticking with it. The synopsis got me with the first line: “A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there.” I’m in. I’ll buy a copy. Immediately. Then I saw it described as a found family wuxia fantasy, which truly solidified its place on my list.

Release date: June 23rd


These are 10 of my most anticipated reads for the first half of 2020! I’m definitely going to make a part 2 – and possibly 3 – of this. I had such a hard time narrowing it down to only 10 as there are so many exciting books being published!

Which books are you looking forward to?

my favorite reads of 2019

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen these favorites before. That’s because I made a thread of my favorite reads of 2019 on there because I couldn’t find the will to actually write a blog post about it. For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, don’t wish to, or don’t have a Twitter account, here’s my list compiled in a blog post.

These are in no particular order! I couldn’t pick a favorite from these whatsoever. I adored all of these books for different reasons, and they all deserve an equal place in my list. Let’s get started.

The City of Brass (Daevabad #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
This fantasy novel brought back my love for the genre. It’s such an atmospheric and captivating read! I ended up binge-reading the book in only a few sittings simply because I didn’t want to put it down.

Here’s my description of this book on Twitter:
⭐ made me fall in love with fantasy novels all over again
⭐ couldn’t put this down, I was attached to it until it was done
⭐ gorgeous, atmospheric, fantastic

Fence volumes 1, 2 and 3 by C.S. Pacat
Did I read all three volumes in one go? Yes. Have I been desperate for the next volume ever since? YES. This is an adorable series about a boy who competes to join the fencing team at a private school so he can become the best and show the father who left him for a new family. It’s got adorable friendships and what I’m hoping will become an epic romance.

Twitter description
⭐ fantastic group of characters
⭐ boys fencing team and competitions
⭐ slow-burn romance
⭐ LGBTQ+

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
I’m so grateful to Destiny for putting this author on my radar, because I hadn’t enjoyed a romance book as much as I did this one in a long time. This restored my faith in the entire genre. Yes, it’s that good.

Twitter description
⭐ comic book/webcomic creator and Chris Evans (more or less…)
⭐ #ownvoices
⭐ black, plus-sized, autistic main character
⭐ healthy relationships and communication, yes!!

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
I can’t believe it took me so long to read Noteworthy because it might be one of my all-time favorite YA contemporaries. It’s about a girl who disguises as a guy to join the all-male a cappella group in her school because she can’t get the lead role in a musical as an Alto 2. There’s SO much to love about this book, and I’ll gladly redirect you to my full review of it.

Twitter description
⭐ girl disguises as guy and joins all-male a cappella group
⭐ Chinese-American, bisexual MC
#ownvoices
⭐ discussion of gender/sexuality

I Hear the Sunspot by Yuki Fumino
The reason I fell in love with manga this year. I saw this series on an app (translated) and proceeded to buy paperbacks of it immediately, then binge-reading them all. I screamed about this series to literally everyone, and if you haven’t read them yet PLEASE DO.

Twitter description:
⭐ made me fall in love with manga
⭐ LGBTQ+ contemporary
⭐ disability rep: hard of hearing MC
⭐ so adorable!!
⭐ got way too invested in this and stayed up too late to read it

The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco
I know I’ve been talking about this YA fantasy trilogy for literal years, yet here I am doing so once more. I won’t stop until everyone has read it. This Asian-inspired fantasy series centers around a girl who discovers she’s a Dark Asha (“bone witch”) when she accidentally raises her brother from the dead.

Twitter description
⭐ the finale I’ve been waiting for!!
⭐ made me cry on public transport
⭐ catch me rereading this soon
⭐ if you haven’t read this Asian fantasy about a bone witch, what are you doing??

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba
After reading I Hear the Sunspot, I wanted to truly dive into the world of manga. And what better way to start than by reading some of the most iconic manga in existence? Death Note did not disappoint whatsoever. I binge-read all the volumes, was absolutely glued to the pages.

Twitter description
⭐ binge-read the entire manga
⭐ teenager with God complex, killing people by writing their name in a notebook
⭐ watch him spiral out of control
⭐ what is right or wrong?
⭐ L!!

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
After tackling Death Note, I jumped over to Fullmetal Alchemist. Once again, I absolutely fell in love with the manga and read the entirety of it in a matter of months. I’m quite proud of that accomplishment, as there are 27 volumes of FMA!

Twitter description:
⭐ also binge-read the entire manga
⭐ adorable brothers
⭐ characters you will become too attached to
⭐ alchemy!
⭐ just two boys trying to get their bodies back

The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang
THIS NOVELLA! I’ve already recommended it to multiple people who have added it to their list of books to buy. While this is not a novella that is entirely unknown, it hurts me to see so few people in the bookish community mention it. Maybe I’m just not following the right people? Anyway, if you want an SFF read and LGBTQ+ representation, you need to pick this up. J.Y. Yang is brilliant, and I will read everything they write.

Twitter description:
⭐ EPIC fantasy novella
⭐ people born without gender, confirm gender themselves whenever it becomes clear to them
⭐ twins!
⭐ rebellion
⭐ literally everything you could ever want

Our Dreams at Dusk volume 1 by Yuhki Kamatani
An #ownvoices LGBTQ+ novel from a non-binary author? Sign me the hell up. And look at that artwork!! I don’t even know what to say about this manga because I’ve only read a few volumes and feel like it’s far more character-centered than plot-centered. All I can tell you is that you need this in your life.

Twitter description:
⭐ LGBTQ+ manga
⭐ about a boy finding a safe space
⭐ exploring gender and sexuality
⭐ adorable!! gorgeous drawings!!
⭐ author is non-binary

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller
This YA contemporary novel made me so angry. I was hurt and filled with rage and indignation. This is the story of a girl in the US who discovers she’s pregnant and wants to get an abortion. She can only do so with legal permission though, which she doesn’t receive. Abortion is illegal in her state, prompting her to go on a road trip with friends to get the procedure.

Twitter description
⭐ heartbreaking coming-of-age story
⭐ girl has to go on “roadtrip” to get an abortion
⭐ friendship
⭐ such an important read!!

The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang
I put off reading this fantasy novel for quite a while because I was intimidated by it. I knew I’d probably end up loving it, but wasn’t sure whether I was ready for that. That sounds absolutely ridiculous, I know, but I hope at least one of you can relate. I should never have put this one off because it was incredible.

Twitter description
⭐ fantasy novel inspired by China/Chinese history
⭐ engrossing, captivating and mind-blowing
⭐ brutal
⭐ main character who is neither good nor bad

The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
I finally did it. I read the first book in the series in 2015, then decided to put off reading the sequel for so long I forgot what happened in book 1, making me even more “scared” to continue reading. As this is the favorite series of one of the best people in my life, I decided it was time to buckle up and re-read the first book so I could continue the series. I read them quite quickly, considering the size of the books, and ADORED THEM. This series is SO GOOD.

Twitter description:
⭐ epic sequel to an already incredible first novel
⭐ keeps taking me on a surprising journey
⭐ too attached to the characters already…
⭐ can’t recommend it enough


Those were my favorite reads of 2019! Have you read any of these books?
Which books made your favorites list?

What I plan on reading in January

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m sure you neither noticed nor cared that I have been gone for a while, so I’ll keep the explanation short. In 2019, I lost my passion for blogging somewhat and started exploring other areas of my life, including workout classes, language learning, a buys full-time job and a lot of traveling. While I am still doing all those things, I caught myself making reading plans again lately.

Even though I haven’t blogged in a while, I’ve still been reading. Mood reading, that is. Now, I find myself wanting to try challenges, TBRs and more again. So here I am, in January of 2020, writing a blog post. I won’t promise that I’ll post regularly again.

Last year, I fell in love with the “Wheel of TBR” videos on Cody’s channel. They give her direction to read yet allow her to pick the books to fit the given prompt at the same time. I decided to try the same for the first month of 2020. As I’ve been reading less the past few months, and have a busy month ahead, I decided to spin the wheel 5 times.

1: read an #ownvoices book

how to be remy cameron

Spin 1 gave me the prompt to read an own voices novel. Since I recently bought How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters, I figured that’d be the perfect read to kick off the year. I adored the author’s previous novel, Running With Lions, and can’t wait to read more of his work.

Synopsis
Everyone on campus knows Remy Cameron. He’s the out-and-gay, super-likable guy that people admire for his confidence. The only person who may not know Remy that well is Remy himself. So when he is assigned to write an essay describing himself, he goes on a journey to reconcile the labels that people have attached to him, and get to know the real Remy Cameron.

2: randomized read

de vrouw die door het vuur gingThe second spin of the wheel ended up on “randomized read” which means I have to go to my Goodreads TBR shelf and sort the books at random. The first one to pop up is the one I have to read.

The book selected was De Vrouw Die Door Het Vuur Ging by Manda Scott. This is a translated version, the original (English) title is Into the Fire.

I was a tad discouraged when I saw this pop up, because this book seems absolutely huge. I know Goodreads says it “only” has 500 pages but for some reason it seems like a lot more to me.

Synopsis
February 2014: Police Capitaine Inés Picaut is called out to investigate a blaze in the old town of Orléans. This is the fourth in a series of increasingly brutal arson attacks, and at the centre of the conflagration lies a body. 

September 1429: Joan of Arc is in the process of turning the tide of The Hundred Years’ War. English troops have Orléans under siege, and Tomas Rustbeard, the Duke of Bedford’s most accomplished agent, finally has her in his sights. But he knows that killing ‘The Maid’ – the apparently illiterate peasant girl who nonetheless has an unmatched sense of military strategy and can ride a warhorse in battle – is not enough. 

3: read your highest rated book

words of radianceWhen spin number 3 landed on “highest rated book”, I wanted to jump out the window. Why? Simply because I knew that the highest rated book on my shelf is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, the sequel to The Way of Kings.

Remember when I mentioned I had a busy month ahead a few paragraphs ago? Yeah. Apparently, now I have to find time to read a 1000+ page book too.

I am really excited about this book though. I adored the first novel in the series and I can’t wait to find out more about the world and get to know the characters better. I’m already way too attached to everyone we met in book 1 (especially Kaladin). I’m also secretly happy this TBR made me pick this up because I don’t want to wait 5 years before continuing the series.

4: pick a short read

silver in the woodThank you, wheel, for blessing me with a short read after putting Words of Radiance on my list for the month! I’m so grateful.

In the same order in which I purchased How to Be Remy Cameron, I bought  Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh. The perfect choice for this prompt, as it’s only 112 pages long. I was already quite excited to read this, and then I saw it on Destiny (Howling Libraries) favorite reads of 2019 list…

Synopsis
There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.

When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.

5: read a classic

little womenAnother prompt that terrifies me… To be honest, that’s the point of using the wheel: encouraging me to pick up the books I’ve been putting off for a while or might not pick from my shelf on my own.

I actually only have two unread classics so my choices were limited. After hearing so many people rave about the new movie, I decided to go for Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

I have never read this book nor have I watched an adaptation of the story. I’m excited to find out what this book is actually about!

Synopsis
Here are talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War.


That’s it! Those are the books I’m hoping to read this month. I think the wheel was a tad unkind to me, leaving me with these long books to finish, but I’m genuinely excited about all these reads. I hope I’ll have a good reading month with these picks.

Have you read any of these books? What are you planning to read in January?