March 2020 Reading List

The beginning of a new month means a new reading list, and what an exciting reading list (and month) it is! With only a couple of books left on my To Be Read list (I still haven’t read Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, but… one day, right?), I am definitely excited to get my hands on some of these exciting new releases, and maybe – just maybe – finally have the time to finish all the unread books still languishing in my To Be Read Box!

So, for the first time in forever, this list will be mostly new releases – and, of course, Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which I may just finally find the time to read over March Break (assuming I don’t have too much school work to tackle)! This list will also, admittedly, be shorter than most, as I have a couple of longer reads on here, and only so much time to read them!

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January 2020 Reading List

This list (hopefully) brings an end to four consecutive days of posting lists of books. Seriously, if you need some ideas for books to read, check out my latest posts! For my part, I am certainly glad to be moving on, and returning to blogging about other bookish related things – such as reviews and the like – for the time being.

Regardless, I am excited to be sharing my reading list for January 2020, which features a whole host of books I simply cannot wait to dive into. This January 2020 Reading List is a jumble of a little bit of everything – while I am excited to pick up some new releases, I can’t neglect the unread novels languishing on my shelves completed (seriously, it stresses me out), and I am also trying to be financially responsible by limiting my spending (I believe this is called “adulting”?).

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Most Anticipated Novels of 2020

With the New Year – and the New Decade – having finally arrived, it is time to turn my attention to the year ahead. And by that, I obviously mean which books I plan on reading this year. As usual, this list is predominantly YA Fantasy and/or Science Fiction, but since I am attempting to branch out (and as some of my favourite authors migrate to the Adult demographic), some other books have made it onto this list! That being said – this list is by no means inclusive, as it lists the novels I am most excited to read this year, not those which are (overall) most anticipated by the reading community at large.

*Please note that the following dates are based upon information provided by Indigo Books & Music Inc, and/or Goodreads, and that the below dates reflect the expected release date of a given book in Canada, as it is listed on January 1, 2020. Release dates are subject to change. 

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My Year in Books 2019

It’s the time of year for lists and reflection, and I would be amiss if I didn’t reflect upon what I read this year, and if I didn’t share my favourite reads of 2019! Everything considered, I still managed to read quite a lot this year – 78 books to be exact (or around there, because I am sure I missed recording a few on Goodreads here and there!), which amounted to a whopping 29,736 pages read! While this isn’t quite as much as My Year in Books 2018, I am still really happy to have not only met my goal (to read 50 books), but to have surpassed it as well!

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Anyways, Goodreads put together this super neat feature called “My Year in Books”, and I thought it would be awesome to combine some of the things I learned from it with my yearly Top 10 Books post! I have attached photos of “My Year in Books” below my Top 10 of 2019 post for this of you who are interested in viewing it – including a fabulous collage of all the books I read this year!

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A Book Blogger and Reader Burnout

“Creative types are haunted by a specific misconception: that because we are spending time doing what we love, we aren’t allowed to be burnt out by it, exhausted from it, or tired of it.” – Leah Rachel Won Esson, BookRiot

Well, long story short – I am woefully behind on my reading list, my book reviews, and my engagement with the bookish community in general. I could list excuses, but the fact of the matter is this – I have simply been feeling burnt out. For those of you who have (luckily) never experienced true “reader burnout”, let me tell you – it is undoubtedly a real thing. And when you, like me, are embroiled in the world of book bloggers and bookstagramming, this burnout seems to be unequivocally associated with guilt and feelings of inadequacy.

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Truly, I see this a lot in the reading community, albeit mentioned under different names or explained though different terms – but at its heart, so many of my fellow blogger and book lovers are looking for support to pull them out of their “reading slump”. This is accompanied by a pervasive fear of missing out, of not being among the first to read the hottest new releases, or of not having the most followers. Even the most ardent of book lovers are sure to feel overwhelmed and disappointed in themselves when constantly comparing themselves to others’ success and achievements. The pressure to keep up can seem insurmountable (at least it certainly felt that way to me), and this alone is undoubtedly a major factor in “reader burnout”. 

“Forcing yourself through burnout will only make the books go by slower, and forcing yourself to read when your mind is pulling away will only make reading less of a pleasure.” – Leah Rachel Won Esson, BookRiot

Upon this realization, I have recently come to realize (through some intense introspection and self-reflection) that I have nothing to feel guilty about. I have not fallen off some path, I am not falling behind some imagined finish-line, nor have I stopped loving reading and blogging. I have come to realize that I can love something, but still need a break from it (it being reading and blogging, of course). And I did desperately need a break from it – because after four years of blogging almost weekly, I was running on empty. So instead of forcing myself through books I didn’t feel equipped to read, or writing reviews I simply didn’t have the energy for, I stepped back and started just spending my time doing whatever it was I wanted to do – whether that was playing Pokemon Sword, or binge-watching Star Wars. I considered why I was reading what I was reading – was it for me, or for others? Were my goals self-driven, or a reflection of my own subconscious fears of falling behind my peers? Once I worked through this, and began to really consider why I began on this path at all, I began to feel more myself again. A break was what I needed to gain perspective, to reinvigorate myself, and to remind myself why I love reading in the first place.

“Self-care can come in many different forms and sometimes the best care you can give yourself is a break.” – Leah Rachel Won Esson, BookRiot

So to my fellow blogger, bookworms, and/or Bookstagrammers reading this – please remember that you are not lost. You are not failing yourself, or anyone else. In taking a break – by embracing your so-called “reading slump” – you are really taking care of yourself. And when you are ready, you will pick up that next book, or write that next blog post. 

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October 2019 Reading List

September was a crazy month for me – if you happen to follow me on Bookstagram, you may have seen that I accepted a new teaching role, and not only did I move into a new grade, but I also increased my work load to full-time! While this is thrilling and exciting (truly – it’s as if all my dreams are coming true!), it does mean that I have accrued quite the to be read pile!

So, as I settle into my new teaching role and my new routine, I am going to focusing on reading the books that are already on my shelves! These books are mostly ARCs that I received at the Indigo YA Fall Preview, though a couple are recent releases that I picked up in the past few weeks.

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HCC #FrenzyPresents Fall Preview (2019-09-25)

A few Sundays ago, I had the privilege – and pleasure – of attending the Harper Collins Canada #FrenzyPresents Fall Preview event in Toronto, Ontario. This is only the second time I have been able to attend, but as with my first event, this HCC #FrenzyPresents event was a blast! Not only did I get an in-depth preview of so many fantastic upcoming YA releases, but I also had the chance to meet several of my fellow Canadian Book Bloggers, which was simply heartwarming. Truly, my heart is so full.

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September 2019 Reading List

As you may remember, I set myself some quite ambitious reading goals for August – with my online course completed, and a full month stretching out before me, I was feeling quite motivated. Unfortunately, after only a handful of books, I found myself stuck in quite the reading slump, and as a result I only ended up reading a grand total of four books in August. If you’re interested in knowing exactly what I read in August, you can check out my August Reading Wrap-Up.

That being said, I am definitely feeling motivated and ready to tackle another ambitious reading list this month! A short, but fantastic, read has got me out of my reading slump, and I am back to reading almost daily. As always, this list will be a blend of older releases I haven’t yet found the time to read, new releases I am excited to get my hands on, and a few Advanced Review Copies as well!

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August 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Hello Bookworms! As you may remember, I set myself some quite ambitious reading goals for August, because as the month began, I was definitely feeling motivated and ready to tackle another ambitious reading list! Despite this early motivation, I quickly fell into a severe reading slump – in fact, I haven’t actually finished a single book in the past two weeks! I just have not been in much of a reading mood, and no matter which book I pick up, I still find myself unable to follow through with it.

Despite all that, I still managed to read a few books during the month of August! This bring my reading total for the year up to 50/50 books, which means that I have officially completed my reading goal for 2019! My next challenge is to see if I can outdo my 2018 reading, which saw me read 82 books.

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SO WHAT DID I READ IN JULY?

  1. Red Skies Falling (ARC) by Alex London (Release Date: September 3rd, 2019)
  2. There Will Come A Darkness (ARC) by Katy Rose Pool (Release Date: September 3rd, 2019)
  3. The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen (Release Date: July 30th, 2019)
  4. Vow of Thieves by Mary E Pearson (Release Date: August 6th, 2019)

HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS? LET ME KNOW!