Goodness, I can’t believe I’m staring February in the face. But happy 2/2/22 – Happy Palindrome Day or whatever! I had a truly excellent reading month in January. After spending most of 2021 in a book slump (and that’s no joke, I’m usually 18 -23 books a month, and last year I only went in the double digits for a month’s reading four times 😭😭 So I’m feeling rather victorious that I read 21 books in January and had a fairly great reading month!
I loved the diversity in my reading (in terms of variety and also content), I loved that I got to participate in the Hello 2022 readathon and I’m so, so happy to be excited about reading again! 2021 was clearly not my year, but I think 2022 will be a great one for reading :)
✨ Stories Consumed! ✨
Books I Read
SERIES // INNKEEPER CHRONICLES: I had a really bad week, and then a really bad day. The kind of week where a beloved mentor passes, and the kind of day where I was halfway through my couple-hour drive home for the funeral when I had to turn around because I’d been exposed to someone who tested positive. I stormed in the door and immediately picked up Clean Sweep, one of my all-time favorite comfort reads/series. I continued to read most of the series over the weekend, utterly immersed and nearly healed.
SERIES // CREATURE CAFE: I read the first four books of the Creature Cafe series by Clio Evans in a weekend, thinking it was a 10-book serial. Nope! The novellas release monthly and now I’m stuck in the agony of waiting. These monster romance novellas are true monster romance stories. While they are love stories, they ask the question: How would a human be with a monster(s)? and not the reverse. The creatures here weren’t sanitizing themselves for a human lover. It was dirty and wicked and incredible!! Little Slice of Hell, book #1, is the perfect sexy intro. I’ve already reread certain parts twice ;) I can’t wait for book #5 releasing next month with the new couple! (My Review)
READING POPULAR ROMANCE BOOKS: Helen Hoang is a writer I’ve been needing to pick up for a couple years now. Her books have made the rounds (loudly), and I agree! I agree. I’m just as obsessed as you are. I will absolutely be picking up book three next month – hopefully in the next few days. (Kiss Quotient Thoughts | Bride Test Review | The Heart Principle). I just finished reading Get a Life, Chloe Brown, another popular book I’ve been sleeping on, and yes. I am also obsessed with this one!! (Chloe Brown Review) I loved the representation and look at autism and chronic pain/illness these three books (respectively) served, and am eager to continue these series!
OUTSIDE MY COMFORT ZONE: I pushed myself out of my comfort zone a bit. I read a thriller and an audiobook this month! I always enjoy thrillers and mysteries when I finally pick one up, and The Guest List was no exception. You can read my 4-star review on Goodreads! Conversely, I never really enjoy audiobooks, other than the occasional Kristen Ashley read every other year (or so). Even then, I can always just read the book faster, with more inflection and have a better time with it. Except the audiobook experience with Sweet Talk means I will absolutely be seeking out more listens like this one. My 4.5 star review is on Goodreads here.
MORE REREADS I COULDN’T RESIST PICKING BACK UP: The Barter System stands as one of my all-time favorite erotic romances, and the rest of the series is nothing to sneeze at either. I love the portrayal of sexuality in this installment, and that obsession keeps me coming back to reread this sexy story at least once a year. Wolfsong, on the flip side, was my favorite read and series of 2020. I had a grand time rereading it again, rediscovering old layers and finding new ones. I’m still obsessed with the writing, and this reread reinforced my goal to read more TJ Klune books this year. (Wolfsong Blog Listicle | Review Attempt)
BOOKS I DIDN’T LIKE: Captive by Jax Lane promised wonderful, darkly delicious things between a captive vampire and a powerful Incubus, set in a world where the two species are at war. I didn’t find them wonderful or delicious, instead rather disappointing (2.5-star review). A Brush with Love is an academic rom-com between two dental students that had me so excited! Instead, I got a book with a promising start, but ultimately problematic trope that I despise and a list of things I didn’t like at all (2-star review). Finally, Seasons of the Storm was actually my first read of the year and the only YA read this month. It started off so strong with such unique, captivating premise that majorly fell storm for me (2-star review).
KATEE ROBERTS: I’m pretty much a fiend for Katee Roberts books, especially her shorter stories, like Seducing My Guardian. I’ve loved all of her Touch of Taboo serials so far, and can’t wait for the next release! The Beast I’ve been been reading for awhile in between other books, when I want something spicy. I love the dynamic… but tbh I just shipped the two guys. For most of the story, I hoped they’d just ditch her. They don’t need her. But then again, Katee really snapped with the greek mythology dips and it’s all sexy as hell, so success lmao
Movies + TV Shows Consumed
Movies watched in January: Set it Upis one of my favorite comfort movies. It’s such a fantastic rom-com, and I actually watched it twice this month with separate friends each time! Home Again was a movie I put on while I was bullet journaling (which I realized was a rewatch halfway though) that was so fun. I love Reese Witherspoon and the dynamic in this movie. Cinderella (1950) my roommate and I watched on a lark and it was ~fabulous~ to watch and laugh. It was more Tom and Jerry-esque with the amount of content between the mice and the cat, and the Prince literally never said a word in this movie. LMAO! Cinderella had so much sass and the stepmother actually almost recognized her at the ball, which cut down on the dumb-factor quite a bit. The Royal Treatment was fine, basically a Christmas Hallmark-esque movie with a very interesting impression of a New Jersey accent.
TV Shows I’m Continuing to Watch: My parents and I are on our second year of trying to finish Supernatural! We’re getting close. It’s taking so long because A) It’s 15 seasons, B) we’re watching it together and are all rather busy, and C) because I now only live with them in the summer and for winter break! But I’m confident our watch will be completed in 2022. I love Sam and Dean and Castiel so much <3 I’m also rewatching Charmed with my roommate, who is watching it for the first time! We’re just wrapping up season seven, and I’m already sad it’s so close to being over. It’s one of my all-time fave comfort shows. I just re-binged The Witcher, season 1, but have to wait to watch season two because my parents want to watch it with me. Gah! I’m also periodically watching Friends (perpetually) with my friends, and That’s My Jam has been a fun weekly watch with my roommate during takeout night :)
TV Shows I’m Trying: So I’m trying to figure out what’s my next “go-to” TV Show to put on in the background while I’m bullet journaling or random episodes throughout the night. I watched the first episode of The Golden Girls most recently and it was fun and cute and I can see myself watching more. But I’m not… hooked? I also watched the first episode of Friday Night Lights, which I KNEW was a football story, but I though it was more high school life focused but on the football team. Which I guess it is, but the fact that the whole second half of the episode was a game… that’s too much football for me lmao. The one I’ve been watching the most is Will & Grace, which has some problematic elements, but I’m loving the overall story. I love a good friendship and roommates story! <3 I’m not particularly hooked to where I can sit and watching several episodes at once, but I’m enjoying it!
January: hello, 2022 Readathon!
- A Book you Hoped to Read in 2021 but Didn’t: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Tahlia Hibbert (Review)
- A Book on your 2022 TBR: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (Review)
- A Book Outside your Comfort Zone: The Guest List by Lucy Foley (Review)
- A Book with New Beginnings: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (Review)
Recent Blog Post
2022 Resolutions: How’s that going?
- Publish 12 Posts by the end of the year: So far, we’re on track for this! 2/12 complete, and we’re only 1/12 through the year :)
- Participate in + complete readathons: I participated in the Hello 2022 Readathon (above), but sadly didn’t complete. I was one book off, but I chose a social engagement instead of reading on that one.
- Maybe a little review pressure… Success! I’ve reviewed every book I’ve read this month, except for the Innkeeper Chronicles (which I’ve reread so many times, I don’t think I could review at this point)
- Post to Bookstagram 4 times a month (minimum). I need to. I know I need to. It’s just so cold to go outside to take pictures…
- Publish Netgalley Warriors posts quarterly: This deadline has not come up yet, but so far I’ve read two ARCs! So that’s good :) 10% books complete and we’re only 8% of the way through the year!
- Use Goodreads as the tool that it is: MAJOR success! I’ve been keeping Goodreads updated all month, and even have been posting status updates while a book is under “currently reading.”
- Expand your reading repertoire: Doing pretty well! I read books I that I actually own, from a variety of genre’s and only five this month were KU reads. And one was a YA! And one was a thriller!! 🙌🏼
- Engage in bookish communities. Doing… better but still not great. Bookstagram stories is rocking, but I’ve yet to post and engage too deeply in my feed.
- Experiment with your reading tastes and methods: Better but also still not great. Mood reading did happen, but I read books that were actually on my TBR which is excellent.
- Track your reading, utilize Airtable database: Smashing this one! I love my Airtable database of reading :)
- Try new things, evolve my perspective with reading: Also better, but not great. I’ve read more #ownvoices stories than usual, with representation towards autism, mental health and chronic pain/illness. I would like to keep this at the forefront of my mind when selecting books.
Netgalley Warriors Update
- A Brush with Love by Mazey Eddings (2022 Release | Review)
- Sweet Talk by Cara Bastone (2021 Release | Review)
- Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
- The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
- The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
- The Score by Elle Kennedy
- Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
- Just Friends by Saxon James
- If this Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich
- Crescent City 1 + 2 by Sarah J. Maas
- The Girl in the Mist by Kristen Ashley
- Read second YA book, either Ruin of Kings, Dark Rise, From Blood and Ash or We Hunt the Flame.
- Read book from my Netgalley Warriors List (above)
- Read a thriller