Adventure Log: December 2019 in Review

Happy 2020, friends! Welcome to my December 2019 wrap-up, and a bit of a branding tweak. I’ve changed my monthly recaps to Adventure Logs in keeping with my blog’s theme, which I fully intend on leaning into in 2020 & beyond!

December is a month where everyone reflects on the past eleven months (I originally typed ‘elven’ haha), looks forward to the new year, and scrambles to finish the goals they set for themselves. I was no exception. Overall, I am pretty proud of everything I accomplished in 2019, especially in light of everything going on IRL, even though I didn’t meet goals.

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Most of my spoons have been spent on the 2019 Bookish Reader’s Choice Awards, which has been a lot of work but also a lot of fun! In case you missed it, the winners were announced on December 31st! 🎉

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Reading

I read a total of 2,501 pages across 7 books in December. Which is just dismal, but I was pretty occupied with the Bookish Reader’s Choice Awards. And my slump reared its ugly head again: I only read maybe 8 days out of the month altogether.

I am still behind on reviews, but I hope to get them up on Goodreads at least in the next week to clean slate. (Two down as of right now!)

✨ As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!

My Favorite Read of December

Embrace Your Weird coverEmbrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity by Felicia Day was an unexpected delight.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t notice the tagline of the book when I downloaded my audiobook review copy from LibroFM. I just say “Felicia Day” and “Embrace Your Weird” and was like YES. But this book was not only fun, but really helpful!

Narrated by Felicia Day herself, this book is full of her special brand of quirky nerd and talks about tangible ways to try and combat the ways we hold ourselves back. Sure, it’s related to creativity but it honestly would be a great read for anyone struggling with anxiety, guilt, and procrastination in their lives.

Read my ALC Review

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All December Reads

ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *

  • * Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle #1) by Rosaria Muda – I literally took the entire month of December to finish this book, which is a good personification of my reading slump in action. But did I really enjoy this book!   |  📖  Full ARC review to come
  • * Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani – this book is so good, friends! Fast-paced and atmospheric, but also with characters you can’t help but love.   |  📖  Full ARC review 2/3/2020
  • My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) b/y Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows – Sometimes what you need to banish a book hangover is historical fantasy where Lady Jane Grey is married to a man who spends his days as a horse. My Lady Jane made me howl with laughter, but it also tackles issues of privilege, sexism, classism, and persecution.  |  📖 Full review
  • Prince Charming (Royals #1) by Rachel Hawkins – This was the December 2019 YA Book Club pick for Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore. It isn’t something I would have picked up on my own, but made for a fun evening read. This was a cute, fast, and fluffy read. Not a lot of depth but an enjoyable read… and if you are one for fake dating, enemies-to-lovers with biting British sarcasm, you’ll probably enjoy this one.
  • Her Royal Highness (Royals #2) by Rachel Hawkins – This book is a queer royal romance and I actually enjoyed this book more than Prince Charming. While there isn’t a lot of depth to the plot itself, the characters feel like real people with complex histories, and it is fun to dive a bit more in! I appreciate the world that Hawkins of crafting with the fictional book series that our characters enjoy and all the universe tie-ins. I’ve learned that the publisher won’t be continuing this series because it hasn’t sold well, which saddens me.
  • * A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier – After not reading at all for 8 days, this book called to me on Edelweiss when I was supposed to be writing my Anticipated Reads post. Despite the ARC ban, I downloaded it. BUT IT CURED MY SLUMP! It is such an adorable read, with a side of mystery and a tinge of maybe paranormal.   |  📖  Full ARC review 1/21/2020

Did Not Finish

  • None

December Statistics

Total Books Read: 7 | Total Pages Read: 2,501

Total Books Read in 2019: 91
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52 🎉

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ARC Mountain Update

I recently put myself on an ARC Ban (as of July 12, 2019), and back in July I wrote a post about the ban to hold me accountable, and I’m reporting on the mountain each month.

How am I doing? Well my “lololol but at least it’s just 2020 ARCs so 🙃” is no longer applicable because 2020 is here and I am now in a hell of my own making.

Pre-2020 ARCs: 16 (read 1)
2020 ARCs:
24 (read 2)
Finished in December:
3 (Fireborne, Seven Deadly Shadows, A Castle in the Clouds)
ARC Reviews to Write: 2 (Fireborne, A Castle in the Clouds)

I’ve joined Destiny @ Howling Libraries’ #ARCApocalypse readathon and you can expect a more detailed TBR of my ARCs at some point.

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Awesome Community Posts

I didn’t really blog hop last month, but here are some posts and challenges that caught my attention in December.

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2020 Stats Template

In case you missed it, my 2020 Book Blogger / Reader Spreadsheet template was released last month! This is honestly the best version yet and I am so proud of it; I hope it serves you well!

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Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! I hope that you had a fantastic December, let me know how your month went in the comments below!

spacer_wLet’s go on another /adventure together!

19 Comments

  1. Jess

    January 5, 2020 at 12:51 PM

    Reading is reading and you were super busy this month so I think you did fantastic. I’m surprised to see your romances listed and can’t wait to see if you do reviews!

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 10:29 AM

      Hahaha, yea I didn’t hide them! I did review them both on Goodreads but it will be awhile, if ever, they pop up on the blog due to the mountain of reviews I need to get through.

  2. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    January 6, 2020 at 2:24 AM

    December was the month where reading slump attacked me too ahaha I could barely finish the books I’m reading! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed Seven Deadly Shadows, can’t wait to read it next 🙂

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 10:30 AM

      I am so sorry to hear you were slumpin’ in December. I hope it’s gone now! Seven Deadly Shadows was so good, I hope you enjoy it as well!@

  3. Charvi

    January 6, 2020 at 5:24 AM

    Omg you read Seven Deadly Shadows? I’m super psyched for that one and can’t wait for its release! Congratulations on a good month and thank you so much for holding the bookish awards, they were amazing <3

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 10:31 AM

      I DID AND IT IS SO GOOD, CHARVI! I am on the blog tour for it, so my review will be up on February 4. Thanks so much for participating in the awards and happy reading to you!

  4. Gerry

    January 6, 2020 at 11:17 AM

    I love your stats Kal, I honestly think they make my mouth water. I don’t know what that says about me, probably nothing good!

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 10:32 AM

      If it is bad, don’t worry… I have the same affliction!

  5. Lisa @ waytoofantasy

    January 6, 2020 at 2:46 PM

    Great month, Kal! I’ve started using your spreadsheet and I love it, thanks for that resource!

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 10:33 AM

      I think December was one of the better months I had last year with everything, and I hope that means things are going to improve this year. Because I am bored. LOL. Yay for the spreadsheet, I am honored because you track your stuff on your own usually!

  6. Gayathri

    January 7, 2020 at 5:56 AM

    I loved your excel template, once again. 7 books in a month is not bad at all. If it were I would be shouting from the top of the mountain. But you do you, Kal. Have a great new year!

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 10:43 AM

      Thank you, Gayathri! And you are right, 7 books is amazing and I really need to stop chastizing myself for not being able to read as much as others ~even though I no longer work and do nothing all day every day~. I have a lot of guilt to work through, lol. Happy New Year!!!

  7. Kat @ Novels & Waffles

    January 8, 2020 at 2:25 PM

    Seven Deadly Shadows is one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, so I’m SO GLAD to hear that you loved it!

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 11:15 AM

      It was such a good read, and I actually thought of you while reading it — I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it when you read it!

  8. Ahana Rao

    January 9, 2020 at 6:40 AM

    Kal, you’re killing this already! ♥️♥️♥️♥️ Have a lovely lovely year ahead filled with fantastic books with well done POVs, good pace, lovely world-building and lots of approvals! ♥️♥️♥️

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 11:16 AM

      Thank you so much, Ahana, and I wish the same for you in 2020 & beyond!

  9. Lauren

    January 9, 2020 at 3:06 PM

    Kal i am so proud of you for everything youve achieved last year. Heres to 2020

    1. Kal

      January 10, 2020 at 11:25 AM

      Oh my GOD thank you so much, bb! *hugs* I love you so much and hope 2020 is amazingggg

  10. Haley

    January 13, 2020 at 3:17 AM

    Seeing your ARC status update, I feel a spiritual connection to you now. I just wanted to say that.

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