Hey hey, it’s MJ,
Something I learned last year was that I read a lot of books. A lot more than I usually do and I enjoy reading, I always knew that. Here’s the thing though; I only had six parts to this series last year because I did it every other month. There was a problem with that, some months I read 3 or 4 books or 9 but in December when I read like 14 and that means that my longest post was either part 4 or part 6 and that is a lot of books to cram into one post when I know it’s a lot to read. You can still go back and see what I read last year and proof that once I finish my TBR I solely become a mood reader is proved at the end of the year, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.
I am 100% aware of how long those posts were and I was not expecting to have posts that long. I was expecting to read 45 books and then I read over 70 and here we are in another year and this year my TBR goal alone is 50, plus my 12 Book of The Month books, and any other books that I want to read throughout the year so I have a lot of books planned this year. I know people who can read 100 books in a year and that boggles my mind.
So, this year I am going to be doing monthly posts about my reading habits. Y’all are going to be seeing a lot of book content and that’s just where I am right now. I love the fact that my blog while is lifestyle, lifestyle can literally be anything so here we are, on brand, on theme.
Like last year I have some TBR pile goals and I am going to do the break down first and as always there will be a tracker at the bottom because by now y’all know how much I love to track like everything, well I like to track things that probably aren’t super important to most, but I enjoy it. I am also keeping a Book Bullet Journal this year and you can see some of the content of that in the Intro post I did that is linked just above.
What do I plan on reading this year? Most of the books that are in these categories come from my current collection or books I bought in 2021. I have a lot of books and I am trying to dwindle my current collection before buying more. I have had a lot of them for a long enough time that they aren’t really my genre faves anymore, so I might as well read them and unhaul them if I don’t enjoy them.
Fiction: This is my largest category because let’s be honest, I read a lot more fiction than non-fiction and that’s just my scene so it’s okay.
– 10 General Fiction, this has not changed from last year, I just doubled the number of books in it and that is going to be a common theme. I also feel like when you say general it’s more contemporary or whatever I want to read that doesn’t fit into other categories.
– 10 Sci-Fi/ Fantasy, most of them are fantasy and about half of my planned Free Choice this year are also fantasy. It is very clear to me what my favorite genre outside of cozy mystery is.
– 10 Historical Fiction, self-explanatory, I have a lot of historical fiction in my collection and I have for a while so reading them sooner rather than later is probably a good idea on my part.
– 2 Thrillers, I actually really liked reading thrillers last year, but I don’t have enough in my collection to want to read more than two.
– 14 Free Choice, this is my flex category of books that I want to read that I can’t or don’t want to fit into a category, I thought this would be mostly cozies, but I ended up picking up several books last year that I really want to read as well as leaving some spots open for books coming out this year that I am waiting on.
– 2 Autobiographies/Biographies/Memoirs, I just like to read about people, usually about people who I find really funny and this year is no different.
– 2 general non-fiction, one is a teaching related book the other is something fun and that is just want I want with non-fiction.
Book of the Month:
– 12, I mean, it’s going to be 12 there because that’s how many months are in the year, so it’ll just be my 12 BotM books.
Let’s get started! Also, this year because I am a literal idiot and didn’t do it last year (I might go back and augment every single post with the ratings), I am going to put my rating next to each book because why not?
Midnight Spells Murder by Mary Angela (3.5/5)
This was the Once Upon a Book Club pick for Halloween of 2021, I got it on New Year’s Eve because well, shipping is awful right now and I didn’t want to wait to read it. It was a quick read, not my favorite cozy but the gifts that came with it were super fun. I probably will write a whole post on it at some point. It’s the second in the series so I was just a touch lost but it was good. The ending felt rushed to me which is weird for a cozy but this one was only like 203 pages which is also on the short side for books that I usually read. That is all fine, my longest book this year is like 700 something pages from my TBR so here we are. This one was a little magic and it was fun.
The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman (4/5)
Well, I read The Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable in like 2016 and it is about the same apartment in Paris, I was a little worried when I realized that this was the same context because I didn’t end up really liking The Paris Apartment. This one was amazing; I loved the story how it switched by Marthe from the 1880’s to the present of the 1940’s and Solange who is her granddaughter living in the 1940’s. My favorite thing about all of this is that it’s a real place and a real painting that was discovered in like 2010 which is super interesting to me. This story was complex and vivid and I really enjoyed it throughout my reading.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (5/5)
I could not put it down, I read half the book in one day and it kind of broke me. It broke my heart just a little bit like all the best books do. I loved this book, I want I Remember You tattooed on me, I loved the characters and the story so much. It hurt, so much of it hurt but this book is one of those that will go on my favorite shelf. I love the writing style, the imagery, and how real it all feels to be trapped in the world where someone doesn’t remember you. I get it. I totally get it and I would love to read it again without knowing how it ends. There were so many moments where I was holding my breath and yelling at nothing because of what was going on. This book wrapped me up like a hug, a hug that is just a little too tight but you don’t want to let go because it feels good because you just need a good hug.
Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins (3.6/5)
I wrote a whole post about it and that will come out next because this was my first Book of the Month book for 2022, it was good, a little beach read thriller that went from 0-60 in like ten pages and left me with a few dozen questions. I am not going to spoil it but it felt very much like Clue to me but on a deserted island in the Pacific not a manor house.
The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne (3/5)
It was cute, I enjoyed it but I guessed the ending about 45 pages in. Which is frustrating because it hit a lot of those cliches and I walked into this book really looking forward to it and if I would have read it in 2014 or 2013 when I bought it; I probably would have been head over heels for it. It’s not so much that anymore, a prince to come and sweep you off your feet and then pretty much give up whatever for you. (I did that like touch because normally it’s the other way around.) I cannot judge a book in 2022 standards that was written in 2012 and it was cute but it left too many threads undone for me. It was made very clear that her sister had done something but you don’t find out what that is until about 45 pages to the end, maybe later and I felt like that rushed it, that it was just thrown in as a plot point. Her being normal, not super thin, a little weird, all of those were plot points to be almost mocked and I understand because of the royal aspect, but that was a lot for me.
Buffering by Hannah Hart (3.5/5)
I bought this when it came out and I watched a lot more YouTube at the time, I also loved My Drunk Kitchen. My tastes have changed since then and that’s okay. It was a good book, it talked a lot about struggling with mental health and as someone who deals with that one the daily, I get it. I have moved away from certain creators on the internet and that’s totally cool, I wanted to get it read and I did. This is just a book that’s not meant for me and that is also okay. It’s meant for a lot of other people and I hope those people find it.
Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto (4/5)
This book was good, it was a lot though. I love a good time travel book and the crack in the wall very much reminded me of Doctor Who. I was totally cool with that. I did like all the twists and turns and everything that happened throughout. There was a huge plot twist that made the end of the book worth it, I was for sure going to say that I didn’t like the ending but it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed the read and I did like how it went, it ended happily and its own way. It was a really quick read and that is not a bad thing but there were moments where I was slightly confused, also really sad.
In the Shadow of Paris by Claude Izner (3/5)
I was so confused, it’s my own fault because this is not the first in the series. It’s a mystery and it was fine but I know very little about 1890’s Paris. Also, the perspective shifted so many times I was getting lost. Not every book is for everybody and I know that, this one is not really for me. It was fine but I had no idea who did it until it was very suddenly revealed and I was even more confused because I just wasn’t keeping up with the story. I couldn’t keep up with who was talking at some points because there would just be a paragraph space and it would switch perspectives only to switch to someone else a page later. Not my favorite book and that’s okay. I could go back and read the rest of the series but I don’t want to, it was just a little too much for me.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr (3.6/5)
I wanted to watch the series so bad when it came out because it sounded so cool. I enjoyed the book it was just dense like a lot of turn of the century based literature is, it was written in the 1990’s so it’s not like it’s that old. It was a good story with compelling characters and I enjoyed it. It was a lot, but most books are a lot. It was a gruesome story for sure and that threw me for a few moments but this book took me almost a week to read. For me it’s usually about three days to read a book but this one took some time. It had some amazing treatment of mental health and psychopathy from that time period, not a lot was known about the human brain and reading it through the lens of today it was fascinating.
I was hoping to have one more on here, but that was just not the case. It will be the first one on my February post and it’s a good one. I promise, if you are into fantasy and murder plots, it’s for you.
I only read nine books in January, I mean compared to last January I think I only read three or four, I shouldn’t complain about reading nine books but I have seen people on the internet who read like 20 in a month and I am like “How?” I also have a full-time teaching job and you know writing that I do so I don’t have the undivided attention that some people do for reading. I also don’t have the attention span or the want for sleep deprivation to stay up all night and read books anymore like I did when I was younger.
This post was supposed to come out sooner, but I wanted to try and finish a book and then we had some snow so I wasn’t home to take the pictures, so this is coming out later than planned, oops! I also was not home because it snowed so I was snowed in at my parent’s house and this idiot didn’t take any pictures before she left her apartment, so it’s quite a bit later than planned!
I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.
Let’s Keep Track Shall We?:
General Fiction: 1/10 (The Runaway Princess)
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 1/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
Historical: 2/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris)
Thriller: 1/2 (The Alienist)
Free Choice: 1/14 (Love and Gravity)
Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (Buffering)
General Non-Fiction: /2
Book of The Month: 1/12 (Reckless Girls)
Extras: 1/? (Midnight Spells Murder)