January is always a month that feels like it goes on forever, am I right? The past few days at work my colleague has been saying some iteration of “how is it still January,” and I am reminded how last January felt like 84 years.
This has been a good month for me overall, I am always fueled with positive energy into the New Year, and it doesn’t hurt that my birthday is in January. I have been actively working on bettering my mental health and splitting my time better between my hobbies and friends, and it’s been lovely getting out with my friends now and again!
January brought me a twenty-one (21!!!) day reading slump. I started off my new year with Sadie, and I think a combination of a book hangover and an anticipated ARC not being my cup of tea brought it on. I only read five books in January (and one DNF), but that’s okay by me because it was nice to just succumb to the slump without guilt for once! ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted above by an asterisk *
- Sadie by Courtney Summers – this book was beautiful and heart-rending and so incredibly important. I loved this book more than I ever could have expected and I still think of it quite often. Hand’s down my favorite read of the month. | 📖 Read my full review
- Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen – this debut was such an enjoyable and sad read for me! I love time travel stories but was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this one, especially because it felt like more of a contemporary with sci-fi elements more than anything. [YARC] | 📖 Read my full review
- If You’re Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser – This is such an important story about friendships fading and how social media can make that harder, but it is also about love and never giving up on people. I went from being on pins and needles (I honestly stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish this book *yawn*) to laughing out loud; Loutzenhiser does a great job of cutting the tension with the character’s dialog and sarcastic humor. Also I just need to say that Logan’s little sister Bee is an icon. | 📖 Full Review to Come February 12
- The Haunting of Henderson Close by Catherine Cavendish – What a fantastically atmospheric ghost story! I love tales of the supernatural even though I am a total skeptic about it. Interestingly enough, my one unexplained ghost experience happened on a ghost tour in the Underground Vaults in Edinburgh, so I was extra excited for this one! While the character’s backstories and initial conversations felt disjointed at first, the story definitely shines with building tension and crafting a truly spooky read. | 📖 Read my full review
DNF – Did Not Finish
- * Savage Species by Jonathan Janz – believe me, no one is more surprised than I am that I DNF’d a Janz novel considering I loved the four previous books of his that I’ve read. This one just wasn’t for me. The horror genre is not only about fear but also delving into the depths of depravity, addressing that uncomfortable feeling head-on. One of the things that I like about Janz’s work is his juxtaposition between supernatural and human monsters and making you question who the real monsters are. Unfortunately, all of the characters are kind of horrible & I didn’t like them, which made it tough for me to care about what was happening to them. From the abusive, cheating, and controlling husband to the porno-addicted Native American that lives in the park and just so happens to have knowledge on the creatures, I was honestly just wasn’t enjoying myself.
Total Books Read in January: 5
Total Books Read in 2019: 5
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52
Since I didn’t read for 21 days of the month, I spent a good amount of my free time playing video games in January.
- Don’t Starve Together: had a few more sessions with my friend Eva, but we kind of haven’t played since lightning struck and lit our entire farm on fire.
- Don’t Starve: I’ve been playing the base game a LOT this past month, though! It’s a lot of fun and my current game I am currently at like 26 days and have been afraid to play it for a week.
- Sunless Skies: I’m a Kickstarter Backer and got early access to the full build of the game (released on January 31!), and my goodness is this game fun! It’s the spiritual successor to Sunless Sea, which I talked about last month, and just incredibly atmospheric. I love the changes they made to legacy and gameplay, and they way the worldbuilding develops here is just awesome. 12/10 would recommend.
- Coloring Pixels: I picked up this game in a recent HumbleBundle, and have been playing it when I have insomnia, which honestly is so soothing and helpful for me!
Are you on Steam? Feel free to add me as a friend, I am kalventure on Steam! I am always down for a game of Town of Salem, DST, or Uno, so hit me up!
Awesome Community Posts
Here are some amazing posts that you have missed from the blogosphere this month!
- Becky @ Uptown Oracle posted a fantastic SEO Guide for Beginners
- Sam @ Fictionally Sam started a new series called Genre in Depth and friends, I already loved my Wonder Twin but her post on Science Fiction is incredible.
- Kathy @ Books and Munches is hosting a fantasy reading challenge for February!
- Did you miss the announcement of the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge?! If so, definitely check out these posts from the hosts: Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads, CW @ The Quiet Pond, Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, and Shealea @ Shut Up Shealea
- If you are wanting to learn some HTML tips to jazz up your posts, Karlita @ Tale Out Loud is here to help you! This Basic HTML Tutorial is for anyone, even on the free WordPress plan!
- The Annual Blogger Bash is back and the 2019 award categories have been announced! Nominations open up on February 1 (yesterday!)
- Briana @ Pages Unbound posted a really good discussion about the miscategorization of adult books as YA and possible reasons that it happens. What are your thoughts on this?
- If you are struggling for post ideas, Jess @ Beaucoupbooks posted 30 Bookish Blog post Ideas you should check out!
- Becky @ Uptown Oracle also posted a great guide on SEO Post Optimization that is so incredibly helpful!
- Author Tasha Suri posted a fantastic and important guide on creative commons graphics and how to find free images to use for book aesthetics without getting in legal trouble.
Thank you everyone so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me in January! I absolutely love being a part of the book blogging community and am so incredibly thankful.
I hope that you had a fantastic January, let me know how your month went in the comments below!