2019 – A Year in Review

Wow! We’re finally at the end of 2019! It’s been a mammoth yr for me to tell you the least! Over the year I’ve:

  • Migrated my blog to self-hosted (gives me way more control)
  • Learnt how to use Elementor (that’s a website building tool) and made some changes along the way
  • Put maybe half my books into my book database
  • Upgraded my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (the government raised the minimum requirements)
  • Started and completed the Diploma of Training Design and Development (more specialist area of training with higher standards)
  • Set up a minimum viable site for my business (and partially set up a better version, still need to finish that!)
  • Been to a few conferences since I’ve never been to any before
  • Got through 12 months of owning a rental property (this is still super exciting for me)
  • Ended my contract in preparation for launching my business in the new yr! (so excited yet so terrified!)

Now into some more bookish related things! I’ll start off with a run down of what’s happened on my blog before going into what Goodreads has to say about my reading this yr.

I just want to quickly wrap up the Reindeer Readathon before moving on!

I managed to get 3 books read in the final week and a half of December, one of which I read in the hours leading up to having to go out to ring in the new yr.

This is the one that held me up in Week 3. I really struggled to read this one but I managed to get there in the end!

I’ll have a full review coming out in January.

I really enjoyed this one. It was good fun and had such great themes in it.

I’ll have a full review coming out in January.

I smashed this one out on December 31st and kept telling my partners family (we were all staying down at Phillip Island at the time) that I needed to finish this so at least I’d only miss out on one prompt for the Readathon.

Luckily they left me to it so you’ll see a review in the coming months.

Total points I achieved for Team Nutcracker: 140

in 2019 I published:

  • 90 reviews of which only 6 were from books I’ve owned since 2018 or earlier…
  • 33 discussions including wrap ups, tags, promos and author interviews

I honestly can’t believe how many books I’ve been able to read and review this yr! So many people that I talk to when they ask how many books I read a week, or how many reviews I release a week are shocked when I say read almost 2 books a week.

How many books did I actually read this yr?

So I started my first book of the yr early on the morning of New Years Day (I luckily finished the previous book in the afternoon of New Years Eve) so it’s actually gonna be an accurate number!

To remind you, I wanted to read 65 books. Now I’d smashed that by the time I went to Vietnam in August so I figured I should increase it. But for the purposes of this review I’m leaving that goal at 65.

DRUM ROLL!!!

I have now read 102! I’ve almost doubled my original goal!

Ok… maybe not quite doubled. But it sounds cool to say doubled.

Onto the cute stats Goodreads gave me!

I told you you need to go and read this book now!

Time for some other bookish things I want to share with you!

I wanted to share some of my favourite books with you from the year based on a few key themes. I’ve also linked in my reviews so you can check those out while you’re here.

A novel I couldn’t stop thinking about

At the end of Summer was a novel brought to me by Rach Random Resources and I have regularly thought of this story since reading it. So much so that I’m probably going to give it a re-read this yr.

I gave it 4 stars at the time yet the story has really stuck with me.

I’ve thought about An Impossible thing called Love a few times since I read it. The miscommunication, the way a third party can ruin things. It’s amazing to read about how that all happens and how the lovebirds find their way through that mess.

I gave it 4 stars yet it just feels so sweet and gives you a glimmer of hope that this kind of love can survive.

Debut author’s I’ve discovered I really like

I’ve read quite a few books by Zoe Ashwood (also writes under Zoe Ann Wood) since I heard she was looking for bloggers to review her novels. And by quite a few I mean like…9 books, one was a short story while one was a novella.

When she writes under Zoe Ashwood it’s paranormal and sci-fi romance. However, she’s also writing sweet romances under Zoe Ann Wood. So depending on what genre’s you like that should give you some idea’s!

Kristin Ward totally surprised me with After the Green Withered and then Burden of Truth. I’m not really a fan of YA anymore but Dave from Write Reads sold it so well I had to read it. Which meant I was pleasantly surprised!

I even got the opportunity to do an interview with Kristin to find out how she came up with the story and researched it.

I enjoyed her writing so much that I’m signed up to do a review of her newest book Rise of Gaia in February.

I read Michael K Hill’s novel A Different Time in one sitting. That’s how enraptured I was with it. I suffered from lack of sleep the next day at work but OMG it was amazing!

This is the one book where I’ve been tempted to do some fan fiction for it. He left it perfectly open to speculate, interpret and envision that it feels perfect for some fan fiction if he chooses not to do a sequel.

Last I checked there’s not going to be a sequel so I’m totally open to some fan fiction on this one!

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Harper McDavid totally surprised me. The blurb for Zapata had me on the fence as to whether I’d like it but I figured I’d give it a go when she reached out to me.

Let’s just say I’m glad I took that chance!

I felt like I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. It’s right up my partner’s alley (he’s not much of a reader but does love action stories) so I got it for him for Christmas.

I’m now struggling not to ruin anything for him! Fingers crossed I don’t spoil anything for him.

A novel that made me feel more connected to my partner

This is probably a bit of a weird topic for most people. But one of the books Rach Random Resources brought on tour this yr was based on something my partner loves (beer) and informative enough that I’ve been able to have more informed conversations with him about beer.

Although Probably the Best Kiss in the World sounds like a big ol romance (I mean it is…), it also has a big focus on beer brewing. Something my partner has wanted to get into for a while. So this gave me a little bit of an insight to help him get started.

Series that I’ve discovered

If you’ve been following my blog this yr you’ll have noticed that I’ve reviewed half of the Time for Alexander series thanks to Rach Random Resources bringing them on tour. Since I couldn’t wait for the rest to slowly come out I went ahead and bought the rest.

So you’ll see reviews for the remaining books going live across the first 3 months of 2020.

I’m a big fan of all mythology, but I’m most familiar with Greek mythology. So when Rach Random Resources brought the first book, Lure of Obsession, of a completed series focusing on Greek mythology I jumped on it.

Let’s just say I became slightly obsessed and have since bought the rest of the series and only have already read half the series. I’ll be reviewing one book from the series each month in 2020 until the whole series is reviewed.

A book that surprised me

Yeap. That’s right. I’m mentioning Against All Odds again! I’m sorry but it was just so unexpectedly good!

I mean. I’ve never read a biographical style book before so this really blew me away with how amazing the writing is. Especially given it was written by 2 guys who are doctors, not authors!

I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along for the ride with me this year. Next yr will hopefully be a bit a more structured so come back on Friday to see what I have planned so far for the new year!

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