End of Year Wrap Up

It is nearly the end of the year–the end of a decade!–and I am so excited to discuss all of the books I have completed this year! Surprisingly, I managed to read over 70 books. However, I am beginning to focus more on the quality of books rather than the quantity.

I have compiled a list of topics; some are ones that I prepared and others are from the YouTube channel, Hailey in Bookland, because I adore her videos.

*Book posts mentioned: BOOK REVIEW- Ninth HouseBOOK REVIEW – The NightingaleBOOK REVIEW – Daisy Jones & The Six, July Wrap Up, August Wrap Up

Topics (in the order they are written in):

  • My favourite books that I have read this year
  • My least favourite books that I have read this year
  • Books that surprised me (positively)
  • Hyped books that I disliked
  • My most anticipated releases of 2019
  • Books that I am glad to have read/finally have read this year
  • Disappointments of 2019
  • DNFs of 2019
  • 2019 wrap up: overall opinions
  • Books I wish to prioritize in the new year
  • 2020 anticipated releases
  • Reading goals for 2020
  • Favourite Christmas songs, movies, and treats

Let’s get started!🎄

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My favourite books that I have read this year:

This year, I found two books that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Daisy Jones & The Six and The Nightingale are powerful, compelling stories.

  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid absorbs the reader in the thrilling time of rock ‘n’ roll with its equally intoxicating music and cast of characters. I continue to be utterly captivated by Daisy’s character. The scandalousness and wickedness of her–the drugs, the alcohol–were equally alluring, but more importantly, I appreciated her ability to be a maverick. Naturally, she recognized her wondrous beauty, but she was entirely indifferent to it; she preferred her appeal to lie in her songwriting rather than in her looks. She delighted in the possible feelings that she could ignite in others, that Daisy. Although I greatly admire her character, I also appreciate the other characters present. Taylor Jenkins Reid succeeded in creating a group of empowering women, who are all individualists in their own way. There are so many things I love about this story, but, more so, I applaud Reid’s ability to create two people who are able to grow and evolve without each other. Nowadays, all romance elements in fiction, I find, concentrate on how two people heal and mature when together. However, Billy and Daisy independently develop and recover. 
  • I first read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah towards the end of August and was blown away. Much like Daisy Jones, the female characters are valiant and empowering. The writing flows perfectly and the women are shown in a fearless and entirely selfless light, supporting one another while the men are off at war. This story is incredibly enlightening and all-consuming; it is atmospheric and flawlessly tells the story of two women enduring the distressing times of war in a quiet village in France. I wholeheartedly adore both of these novels, and I suggest you check them out!

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My least favourite books that I have read this year:

My reading this year has been strange. I have allowed myself to DNF books without feeling guilty, I’ve read several excellent books, but I have also read various books that have not been to my liking.

  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black is the third in The Cruel Prince trilogy. I recently read this last installment and was astonishingly underwhelmed. I recall gushing about The Cruel Prince and being wonderfully enticed by the treacherous and exciting realm of Faerie. However, I thought this book was irrelevant and unneeded. The plot in The Queen of Nothing was not one that demanded an entire other book, for it felt drawn out and dry. Alas, there’s always money to be made. Frankly, I found the writing in this book to be clumsy and rushed, the characters unusually monotonous, and most importantly, the magical element lost on me. It left me feeling… cold. Regrettably, I cannot say that I am displeased this trilogy has come to a close.
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore is the first in the Lorien Legacies series. I was required to read this for school and I hated it. Throughout the entire book, I found every single character to be exceedingly bland. Not only was there the alarming absence of female characters, but there was also the case of no biracial characters present. For these reasons, it is blatantly clear that this book was written by two white men; the portrayal of virtually the only woman was generic and objectifying. Admittedly, the premise of I Am Number Four was appealing, but the constant flow of entirely unauthentic subplots was tedious. The storyline itself was far from unique and felt like a mesh of various other ideas from numerous young adult sci-fi books. Overall, I Am Number Four fell absolutely flat for me; the characters were drab–igniting not a single spark in this book–and the premise was both tiresome and poorly written.
  • Red, White, and Royal Blue by Cassie McQuiston is a standalone adult romance. I am baffled by the number of five-star reviews on Goodreads for this novel. Strangely, I found the romance present utterly shallow and forced. I pasted above the post in which I rant about this book, so I will keep it concise for this one. The banter was laughable–the characters more so, the writing was terrible, and the political aspect was convoluted and questionable. To be blunt: I am still marvelling at the fact that this book was published and people adore it.
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is the first in the Charlotte Holmes series. Honestly, I have a very foggy memory concerning this read. Based on my one-star rating on Goodreads, I disliked this book immensely. I do recall it being boring and the characters uninteresting. I can assure you, I will definitely not be revisiting this series.

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Books that surprised me (positively): 

  • Pachinko is a novel by Min Jin Lee. I read this book this month and am positively amazed by how much I loved it. I thought it absolutely brilliant. I found Pachinko incredibly enlightening, for it focused on Japan’s colonization of Korea and the impact that this settlement had on generations. I had yet to understand the effect that this colonization had.

I applaud Lee in her ability to clearly write about and explore several issues, such as history, social status, and gender inequality. Her characters are beautifully developed, their motives complicated and their behaviour even more so. That said, I did find it challenging to understand their reactions and responses, as I am in no way familiar with the culture. As jarring at times as that was, I do love how I can continue to ponder the big questions asked in this book.

I admire how every single one of the characters had different beliefs concerning Japan and Korea, whether they chose to ignore their ethnicity or were willing to loudly voice their opinions on various matters. Noa, for example, desperately wished to be seen as human, but people seemed only able to appreciate his being Korean. One character, specifically, could only acknowledge his race for their own justification and personal benefit. Noa, however, needed to be recognized for his humanity, for he felt–and truly was being–wholly dehumanized. I thought Lee did an excellent job at conveying how people merely observed Koreans for what they were, rather than who they were.

 I cannot tell you how much I learned from Pachinko and how much I enjoyed myself while reading it. The story was raw and compelling; it was electrifying. However, something that frustrated me so much about this novel was the incessant need to clarify that a woman was attractive and a man handsome. Lee wrote in an interview, “I am interested in the physicality of women who live their daily struggles with integrity; their beauty captivates those who know them.” I understand that she wanted to portray women who are having to work at the market to feed themselves and their family as beautiful in a different way; as she says, they are beautiful to those who know them, for their mind and internal beauty is very much appealing. However, throughout the novel, it became a theme: a new character was introduced and their prime attribute was their attractiveness. It became tiring, and, again, because I am in no way familiar with the culture of Korea and Japan, I could not tell if that was a characteristic that ought to be specified and noted.

I did love this book but I thought the romances being the focal point of the story was boring. Yes, the romances allowed us a look at many unique women and men and their distinct beliefs. But I strongly disliked how we were only able to learn more about a personality through a blooming romance. The concentration being on the love stories and the physical appearance of the characters really exhausted me. However, I did thoroughly enjoy reading Pachinko. I thought the omniscient narrator truly added an extra layer to the story, providing us with a more complex and detailed perspective of each character.

  • Let the Great World Spin is a novel by Colum McCann. After reading Pachinko, I picked this book up (recommended by my mom) and was wonderfully surprised. I adored reading this novel and have come to love several of the characters. Well, one in particular. (*Spoilers are coming up.*) I absolutely love Corrigan. I thought his character was beautifully written and portrayed. As much as his death pained me, it was essential to the story’s growth and evolution. However, only near the end of the narrative did I stop and acknowledge my attachment to Corrigan (I guess it formed as the story progressed). He was such a caring and soft character. These are a couple lines from the text: “Corrigan wanted other people’s pain. He didn’t want to deal with his own.” “Maybe he welcomed the complications: he had created them purely because he needed them to survive.” Corrigan found solace in caring for the elderly and providing a comfortable place for the women turning tricks on the streets. He was a loyal man and as the book progresses, the tales of numerous other characters assist us in understanding his behaviour and mind. He formed strong bonds with the women and the elderly people, and I truly think that dependance and trust meant quite a lot to him. That said, to be perfectly honest, I am still trying to grasp his character.

I appreciated Corrigan’s story being told from the perspective of his brother instead of himself, for it allows an outsider’s perspective to untangle Corrigan’s behaviour. I always love when we are handed a complicated character to try to unravel, their story told from another’s point of view. It makes for a much more intricate and interesting read.

Corrigan aside, the entirety of the story was fabulous. The characters were deeply layered, the writing chaotic at parts and polished at others. To touch on the writing briefly, I believe that McCann’s fluctuating writing patterns reflected the characters’ lives and mindsets. When chaotic, the characters’ thoughts are disorderly and perhaps confused; when refined, the characters’ thoughts are organized and composed. Of course, that is merely how I interpreted that to be, but I thought it extremely clever nonetheless.

My sole complaint about the novel is that I thought a few of the perspectives were not cohesive. The tightrope walker event had a significant impact on the lives of not only New Yorkers, but people across the world; he really brought people together, and that is what this book explores. However, I thought a couple of the chapters were irrelevant, as the characters present were not recurring, and so their stories felt incomplete. Anyway, like a lot of the adult books I am reading, I hope to revisit them with a new eye when I’m older. I am very grateful I decided upon reading this book!

  • Daisy Jones & The Six is a standalone by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I will say this: I only bought this book because I had heard a lot about it, and I am immensely grateful to that impulse.

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Hyped books that I disliked:

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo is the first book in the Alex Stern series. Formally a young adult writer, Bardugo has expanded her writing to begin a series targeted towards adults. However, as she has formed such a large young adult readership, a large portion of her readers have eagerly awaited the release of Ninth House. Being one of those passionate readers, I desperately wanted to read this novel, despite the numerous trigger warnings. This novel has been enormously hyped up, not to mention Stephen King’s pronouncement of it being the best fantasy book he has read in years. Much like everyone else, I began reading Ninth House feverishly. So as expected, it saddens me that I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as most people seemed to have. It’s not indifference that I feel; I genuinely am unhappy with the narrative. The story was convoluted, the characters underdeveloped and devoid of emotion. Personally, I thought the main character, Alex, had excellent potential. And yet it was absolutely wasted! The plot execution was dull and the characters even more so. It pains me to say that I am deeply disappointed by this read.
  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is a standalone historical fiction novel. I first read two of Ruta Sepetys’ historical fiction books in the summer and I didn’t particularly like either of them. However, I thought the idea of 1957 Madrid, Spain sounded interesting. Plus, the cover is warm and welcoming! So I was incredibly upset when I didn’t end up liking the book. While reading, I found it fairly enjoyable, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that I didn’t feel connected to either main character (or any character, for that matter). Ana’s only redeeming quality was her attractiveness, which was mentioned an uncountable number of times. Much like all of the books I struggle with, the characters were uninteresting and emotionless. As for the historical fiction aspect of the story, the information was not seamlessly integrated into the story. I think it is safe to say, Ruta Sepetys’ books do not work for me.

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My most anticipated releases of 2019:

  • The Queen of Nothing is the third in The Cruel Prince fantasy trilogy by Holly Black. I had this marked on my calendar as soon as I finished reading the second, The Wicked King. However, as mentioned above, I was very much let down by this book.
  • Ninth House is the first in an adult fantasy series by Leigh Bardugo. Although this is under my most anticipated releases of 2019, I had only heard about this book a few months prior to its release… and yet I’m still counting it as anticipation, because those three or fourth months, about, were infused with excitement. Sadly, like The Queen of Nothing, this book was a disappointment for me. If you want a more in-depth review, I talked more about this book above and I have pasted the link to my full review above, as well.
  • Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi is the fifth in the Shatter Me series. As it happens, I did not end up reading this book this year. I first read the first four Shatter Me books two summers ago, I believe, as I had succumbed to my friend’s pressure. She adores Shatter Me, so I thought to give them a go. In the end, I didn’t end up feeling satisfied with the story all that much. None of the characters truly resonated with me and the story idea felt somewhat silly. However, I was most exasperated with the writing. The stylistic choice that Mafi used did not work for me, and simply drove me mad. So, I highly doubt I will continue on with this series, as, in part, I’ve become more allowing of myself: I don’t feel the need to read commercial fiction–or any fiction, for that matter–with the primary goal of checking off a box and having my reading count increase. With that said, I will not be continuing on with the Shatter Me series, I don’t think.

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Book I am glad to have read/finally have read this year:

  • The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife are the first and second books in His Dark Materials (a trilogy) by Philip Pullman. Both my parents have been urging me to pick up this trilogy for years now, and 2019 was finally the year… well, sort of. I ended up reading the first and second books and leaving the third unfinished. But I’ll talk about that in my DNFs of 2019. I wanted so much to fall in love with this trilogy, but I just couldn’t seem to find that same comfort and love as I have in Harry Potter. However, there are several genius creations in The Golden Compass that I am absolutely fascinated by. Firstly, I love how beautifully Pullman depicts the bond between daemon and person. That representation is akin to the irreplaceable bond between parent and child (and between animal and person in reality), both connections equally powerful and invaluable. Secondly, I am entirely enchanted by the concept of Dust. The ambiguity and obscurity of it is utterly captivating. 

Although I adore the concept of both the daemons and Dust (and the alethiometer!), there are numerous aspects of this trilogy that I dislike. The Golden Compass trilogy is targeted towards children, and yet I completely understand why Harry Potter, rather, attracted the attention of millions of children. Many of these distinctions are relevant to why I much prefer Harry Potter. For one, though the first book centres around Lyra, an eleven year-old girl, she is surrounded by adults. No child is going to find the lives of old male scholars entertaining. In Harry Potter, though, there is a large group of children (a school full of them!) that children can relate to.

For another, Pullman’s writing fully lacks irony and humour. I recognize that that is his writing style, but children, like myself, gravitate towards books that have a comical aspect to them. Although Pullman is very warm in his writing, he is humourless. There was such potential for Lyra’s daemon, Pantalaimon, to have a wicked sense of humour! And that brings up my next point: the characters. Despite the fact that I do find a few select characters compelling and intriguing, I do not like them nearly as much as I love the ones in Harry Potter. I merely find several of these characters to be somewhat underdeveloped or uninteresting. 

Aside from the characters, The Golden Compass trilogy lacks everything the Harry Potter series is composed of. The Wizarding World is so atmospheric, whereas the world(s) in The Golden Compass left me… cold, I would say. The cover of the first book (at least of my edition) evoked excitement and a yearning in me. However, I felt none of that longing when reading. I genuinely believe that the magical element was not sufficiently illustrated in The Golden Compass trilogy as it is in Harry Potter–or it was simply lost on me. Children love the idea of floating candles at Hogwarts; of flying on brooms and playing the sport Quidditch; of casting spells, each a distinct colour; of a map that displays the entire school and everyone’s whereabouts; of magical classes, such as Charms and Potions; of magical beasts, such as Hippogriffs and Thestrals; and of a school of such incredible magic! In all honesty, I do not think that, at the age I am and having read Harry Potter, The Golden Compass has that wholly fantastical quality to it. I am sorry, but four plus chapters of armoured bears and hot air balloons do not interest me (as it does my mom)! That said, as mentioned previously, I applaud the perceptiveness and intelligence that went into building the fantasy worlds; Pullman’s deep understanding of our world is evident, and masterfully seeped into the creation of his fictional worlds.

  • My Brilliant Friend is the first book in The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. Once again, this was a recommendation from my mom. I am very pleased to have read this novel, as it introduced me to an entirely new world of fiction. The cultural aspect was very intriguing, as were the characters. The mysteriousness of Lila (one of the main girls) was like nothing I have ever read before; it was utterly bewildering. However, I found it challenging to grasp what was being discussed and explored in the novel, so I will certainly be continuing with the series when I am older. (Also, those dolls creeped me out.)
  • Romeo and Juliet is a play by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is the first classic I have ever read and… let’s just say, it was an experience. I was very surprised at how much I was able to understand without a book to interpret the language. No matter how unentertaining and maddening it was for me to read and attempt to decode the speech, I am delighted I was able to have that experience of reading an absolute classic at a young age.

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Disappointments of 2019:

  • Salt to the Sea is a historical fiction novel by Ruta Sepetys. I read this book in August on a whim after ordering the author’s other book, Between Shades of Gray (both books are discussed in my August Wrap Up). Unfortunately, the characters in this book did not interest me and I was left feeling cold–a feeling one does not usually experience after reading historical fiction. However, much like Tahereh Mafi, I just could not tolerate her writing; it was awfully melodramatic, which is absolutely unneeded when discussing matters of great distress. As always, I am fascinated by the subjects I learn about when reading historical fiction. Yet I wish there was more to this book than the devastation, for it cannot be considered a novel when all there is to it are facts. Similar to Between Shades of Gray, Salt to the Sea felt like a horrifying history lesson rather than a work of fiction.
  • A Conjuring of Light is the third in the A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab. I read this trilogy in June of this year and was amazed by the love I felt for the characters and story. Of course, my taste in books has grown and evolved since then, but I can recall many of my initial thoughts.

The main characters in this book are so authentic and genuine. Lila is an audacious aspiring pirate, who is profoundly independent. Kell, on the other hand, is such an intriguing male lead; he is not your traditional Byronic Hero, which I love.

The world-building was fantastic and the idea of a Red, White, Grey, and Black London is incredible! Nevertheless, the reason A Conjuring of Light is under my disappointments for the year is because I remember disliking the premise. I was attracted to the characters and to the worlds in this series. The premise, however, was an afterthought. Granted, I thought the plot in the first book was adequate, but the third book was disastrous. The second book being my favourite (I awarded it 5/5 stars!), I was thrilled when I began reading the finale. And yet, I became bored; it was far too long–exceeding six hundred pages–and the story dragged on. I have no complaints regarding the characters, but I purely became uninterested when the plot became the focal point of the story. However, I do love this trilogy a lot and I am sure to revisit it at some point.

  • Vicious is the first in the Vicious series by V.E. Schwab. 
  • Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a standalone by Becky Albertalli. I have written about these two books in my July Wrap Up, so if you would like to read about my thoughts, I have pasted the link above.

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DNFs of 2019:

  • The Amulet of Samarkand is the first book in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. I got to around page 70 and decided to put this one down. I simply found the story much too masculine. I read the Lockwood and Co. series (save for the last book–I have yet to read that one) a few years ago, and loved them. However, this book wasn’t for me at the moment. Maybe I will choose to revisit it next year.
  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a novel by Stuart Turton. Similar to The Amulet of Samarkand, I thought the story was cosiderably male-oriented and masculine. I found the characters uninteresting and indistinct. I was also appalled by one scene that included fat-phobia and body-shaming. Overall, this book was definitely not for me. I was not invested in any of the characters, not to mention the plot, and I honestly couldn’t have cared less who the murderer was.
  • The Night Circus is a novel by Erin Morgenstern. I merely found this book boring. The premise was captivating, but the execution lifeless.
  • A Reaper at the Gates is the third in the An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir. I decided against finishing this book around half way. I was not attached to any of the characters–after having read the previous two books–and I was tired of the storyline.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing is a novel by Delia Owens. Honestly, I am not sure why I purchased this book. It was another one of my spontaneous buys and I just found it boring.
  • The Great Alone is a novel by Kristin Hannah. I was so excited to read another of Hannah’s work, as I greatly adored The Nightingale. However, like all of my other DNFs, I discontinued this book due to boredom and lack of interest in the characters. I also realized the premise did not fascinate me. Of course, this realization occurred after I had bought the book and began reading it…😤🙄
  • The Amber Spyglass is the final book in The Golden Compass trilogy by Philip Pullman. The aspects of this trilogy that exasperated me continued in this book, naturally. Unfortunately, I couldn’t persist with a five hundred plus paged book. At various points throughout the narrative, I felt incredibly bored; strangely, I felt as if I was being forced to read it. I never want to feel obligated to read a book, so I chose to take a break from it. However, I hope to revisit The Amber Spyglass next year!
  • City of Girls is a novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. Unfortunately, I began reading this book a few weeks ago and was not satisfied. I found it very derivative, as I found it startlingly similar to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Also, I was not enthused by the frequent use of italics–it drove me insane. I find it so frustrating when authors overuse italics, because they become meaningless. Overall, I could not continue on with this book, as it reminded me significantly of Evelyn Hugo.

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2019 wrap up: overall thoughts:

  • I am incredibly satisfied with my reading this year. I am delighted to have found pleasure in reading historical fiction, which has lead to my learning about various periods of history.
  • I am glad to have broadened my horizon by choosing historical fiction and becoming more absorbed in adult fiction.
  • I have grown as a reviewer, as my tastes have developed considerably since last year.
  • As much as I have found comfort in reading well-written adult books this year, it is bittersweet. It saddens me that I am gradually finding young adult fiction unrewarding and dissatisfying. Young adult fiction (fantasy, in particular) has been such a huge part of my life over the past several years, and, for that, I will always be grateful. However, it is time to become more dependant on adult fiction. But I will always return to YA and continue reading it (plus, I am hoping to go to Bookcon in the coming year, which is a convention focused on young adult fiction, so I better not run away from it quite yet)!
  • 2019 was the first year I got Goodreads. I found an entire community of readers who share the same interest as me. However, after setting a reading goal, I found myself more and more concerned with the number of books being read. I was beginning to compare myself to others on the platform; I was quite frankly obsessive. Granted, it wasn’t as severe as it might sound, but I did frequent the site primarily because I wanted to ensure that I was reading more books than others. Seeing that large number made me feel so good; it validated me. And I hate that. I hate how much I relied on a site for self-worth. For that reason, I have since deleted Goodreads and have stopped worrying about the amount of books I’m reading. This year, I allowed myself to DNF (“did not finish”) books, and it has been so liberating. As mentioned above, I DNF’d 8 books this year without guilt! 2019 has been a rollercoaster of a year in terms of reading. I am so excited to see how my reading matures in the new year!

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Books I wish to prioritize in the new year:

Truthfully, I don’t have a lengthy list of books that I feel I have to read in the new year. After I finish a book, I carefully choose the next one I wish to read. However, there are a few books I currently want to read in 2020.

  •  I have got to read The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I might get kicked out of my house if I do not finish this trilogy.
  • I kind of wanted to read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood for the experience, but it might be too scarring. I’ll have to see about that.
  • A few months ago, I was captivated by The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. But I know that it is a very long book, so I would have to be willing to begin a book of over 700 pages. That takes dedication.
  • Me Before You is the first in the series by Jojo Moyes. I thought this would be a fun, post-holiday read, because it seems like an amusing romance story. Although I rarely read in this genre, I have seen the movie and thought it might be an enjoyable, light read. However, I read a couple chapters online and was not quite impressed, so I might end up bowing out of this one.
  • Lastly, I have been hoping to read The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I have been especially interested in historical fiction (as you may have noticed), so I imagine this is well suited for me. I am excited to see what this book brings to the table!

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2020 anticipated releases:

  • I am so thrilled that I am able to return to the Shadowhunter universe in 2020. Chain of Gold is the first in The Last Hours series by Cassandra Clare. I am nervous with anticipation, because I certainly do not want to dislike this book. As expected, I do not enjoy the same types of books as I did a year or two ago, so it is left to question how much I will appreciate this new addition.
  • I normally find out about new releases a month or two in advance (whoops), so I only have two books that I am anxiously expecting. The second is The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson. This upcoming installment will finalize the Truly Devious trilogy. I absolutely adored reading the first two books in this mystery series, so I have high hopes for the conclusion. As the new year draws nearer and 2020 begins, I will likely discover further new releases, but for the time being, I have only these two marked on my calendar.

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2020 reading goals:

  • I would like to continue reading historical fiction, as I would like to maintain that exposure to various periods of history.
  • I would like to carry on reading adult fiction.
  • I would like to read books that ask big questions. This is associated with adult fiction, and I think I’d find it enriching to read books that I am able to take a moment and ponder. I thought greatly about this point after reading Pachinko. The line, “History has failed us, but no matter,” truly stuck with me.
  • Lastly, I would like to stop agonizing over the amount of time it is taking me to read a book, the number of books I have been reading, and the number of books my friends have been reading. I want to get to the point where I am perfectly fine with going a few days before picking up another book. Honestly, I need to lower my self-expectations.

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Favourite Christmas songs, movies, and treats:

As a fun way to conclude the final post of the year, I thought I would do a few holiday-themed topics!

Truthfully, I am not particularly fond of festive music. However, there are a couple songs I do enjoy..

These are the three Christmas songs I listen to each year:

  • If you know me, then you know that I adore Katy Perry. So, of course, I had to include her one and only Christmas song, Cozy Little Christmas. I don’t think it’s one of her greatest, but it’s undoubtedly catchy. The video, on the other hand, was spectacular. AND THE BLACK HAIR RETURNED!
  • Personally, I rather dislike Ariana Grande. I find that her voice sounds intoxicated and overproduced, but I do like a few of her Christmas songs. Santa Baby, featuring Liz Gillies, is one of my go-to Christmas songs. Besides, it’s Cat and Jade, who are two of my favourite Victorious characters (excluding Trina, who’s my number one).
  • Finally, I listen to Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande each year. It’s a bop.

These are the holiday movies I enjoy watching:

  • When I was younger, we would watch The Polar Express every single Christmas. Thankfully, we have moved on.
  • I have yet to this year, but I imagine we will be watching Home Alone over the Christmas holidays. And I am exceptionally excited! This classic is such a delightful movie that I look forward to watching annually.
  • Elf! I love this movie. Much like Home Alone, it is hilarious. The comical element pleases me every time we watch both of these movies.
  • And lastly, another comedy, Christmas with the Cranks. I only discovered this movie a year or two ago, and I am so glad I did. It is extremely amusing. The tanning lady gets me every time.

Finally, the holiday treats I most enjoy:

  • Hot chocolate is greatly favoured in my household. When it starts to get chilly, we bring out the packaged powder (because we’re not that fancy). It’s even better when you have a nice mug to use, such as a Harry Potter one.😉
  • Candy canes are my second favourite treat. The jumbo ones are the best, though.
  • And lastly, gingerbread! I remember doing several gingerbread-decorating events when I was littler. They were always a fun time, because I would eat the toppings and graham crackers while making the house. I’m pretty sure I ate more toppings than were actually added to the structure.

I hope you enjoyed this chaotic blog post, and I will see you in 2020!

Happy holidays!🎉

ava

 

 

2 thoughts on “End of Year Wrap Up”

  1. 70 books in one year is impressive – I need to speed-read from now until New Year’s Eve to get to my 30-book goal. Some great recommendations in here for next year’s reading goals, though!

    I highly recommend The Handmaid’s Tale. The subject matter is brutal, but the language is so poetic that most of the true horrors are not in what the narrator says, but in what she cannot bring herself to describe.

    Like

    1. I hope you achieve your reading goal! You still have over a week left. As for The Handmaid’s Tale, thank you. I think you have sold me on that one.

      Like

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