2018 End of Year Recap and 2019 Goals

I’m a little late posting this but we’re still in the first half of January so I don’t think that’s too bad, also better late than never.

2018 end of year recap and 2019 goals

Overall 2018 was a mixed year for me. There were plenty of positives – I got promoted at work, travelled to Romania, Dubai, Mauritius, Dubrovnik and Stockholm, and brought a flat in London with one of my best friends – but there were also a fair few negatives. At the end of the year my mental health took a turn for the worse; November and December I suffered from a reading and blogging slump and I just struggled finding motivation to do anything.

Things are getting better now though. I’m back to blogging and reading again, and I’m determined to make 2019 a better year than the last one was, but more on that at the end of this post.


2018 Stats

Last year I read a total of 117 books, which was eight short of my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 125 books. Still I’m happy with 117 overall, it’s a lot of books even though it wasn’t my goal and it’s more than I read in 2017 as well.

2018 reading challenge

Of those 117 books 28 were re-reads. One of my aims for 2018 was to re-read more and I definitely succeeded; in 2017 I only managed 12 re-reads so last year I doubled that. Maybe this year I can try and double it again.

Shortest and Longest Books Read

shortest and longest books read

Most and Least Popular

most and least popular books read


Eighteen Favourite Reads of 2018

eighteen favourite reads of 2018


If I Had to Pick One Favourite…

…Book

Circe by Madeline Miller

When it comes to Greek mythology I think Madeline Miller is going to be my new go-to author. Circe was an incredible read; following the life of Circe as she’s exiled on Aiaia and learns her craft. Despite being exiled she still crosses paths with a lot of well-known figures from Greek myths, and it’s interesting how she influences so many stories.

Circe

…New Series I Started

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

I had the Spellslinger series sitting on my bookshelves for ages before I finally got around to picking it up. I brought it because the cover caught my eye and the blurb reminded me of one of my favourite series, and I’m glad I did because I am loving these books so far. There’s incredible world building, incredible character development, and each book just seems to get better and better.

spellslinger series

…Series Conclusion

Bright Ruin by Vic James

After the cliffhanger ending to Tarnished City I was desperate to find out how the story would go for all my favourite characters, and how Vic James would tie everything up, in the last book. Bright Ruin was better than I thought it would be, months after I finished I’m still thinking about that ending.

Bright Ruin

…Sequel

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

I loved Scythe but Thunderhead blew me away. We got an insight into the AI mind of the Thunderhead, saw how Citra and Rowan continued to develop (especially after everything that happened to them both in Scythe), and that cliffhanger ending had my mouth hanging open.

Thunderhead

…Complete Series

All for the Game by Nora Sakavik

I was convinced to pick up these books by a few bloggers who were raving about them, plus I kept seeing plenty of hype for the trilogy on Tumblr and I couldn’t resist. I was hooked from the first chapter; I haven’t sped through a series the way I did this one since I read the Heroes of Olympus books in 2017.

all for the game trilogy

…Debut

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

There’s not a lot of people talking about this book, which is a shame because it is amazing. The Exact Opposite of Okay is such an important read, and I loved Izzy’s voice as she told us her story; her humour was so engaging and seeing how what was happening affected her made her story so real.

The Exact Opposite of Okay

…Author I Discovered this Year

Neal Shusterman

Everyone who’s read a book by Neal Shusterman has loved his writing. I’ve heard good things about his Unwind series, which is on my to-read list for this year, and if it’s anything like his Scythe series I have a feeling it will end up on my end of year recap for 2019.

arc of a scythe series


Worst Book of the Year

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr

I mentioned this in my previous post but I’m going to mention it again. The only positive thing I can say about The Truth and Lies of Ella Black was that the setting was well written, other than that there was nothing else I enjoyed; the storyline was ridiculous and I hated the characters.

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black


Disappointments of the Year

These books weren’t necessarily bad, most of them got four stars from me, they just didn’t live up to my expectations.

disappointments of the year

There was so much hype for Children of Blood and Bone, and while it was a good book it just couldn’t live up to the hype for me. Again Leah on the Offbeat was another book that just couldn’t live up to the hype, plus there were a few parts which I felt were slightly problematic.

Both My Plain Jane and Wildcard couldn’t live up to the previous books in their series, and The Crimes of Grindelwald was not what I expected in all the bad ways. I really preferred Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


2019 Goals

As I mentioned earlier in this post I fell into a major blogging and reading slump when my mental health took a bad turn at the end of 2018, to help combat that and make 2019 a better year I’m going to try something new and cut back on my goals.

Reading

Last year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal to 125 books, and if I hadn’t been in a reading slump at the end of the year I probably would have beaten that easily, but I was and I didn’t. This year I’ve set my goal to 75 books, and while there hasn’t been a year yet where I’ve read under 100 books I feel like this will just allow me to take it easy, not worry about meeting my goal, and enjoy reading again.

2019 reading challenge

Books I Want to Read in 2019

books i want to read in 2019

No 2019 releases here, simply because I’ll be publishing a Top Ten Tuesday post tomorrow with my top ten most anticipated releases for the first half of 2019. I figured there was no point duplicating that list here when you can all read it tomorrow.


Writing

My writing was something I fell down on a little in 2018 as well. I failed at my goals for Camp NaNo in July and NaNoWriMo in November. This year I’m going to do better; not only will I be pledging in both the April and July Camp NaNo’s but I am determined to exceed the 50k goal in November.

My aim for this year if to finish my current WIP, which I have been working on since 2017 NaNoWriMo, before November so I can start working on one of the new WIPs which have been floating around in my mind come 2019 NaNoWriMo. To help with this I have created a spreadsheet and set myself a word count goal and I’m going to try and write between 2k and 5k words per week.

wip word count

As you can see I didn’t do too well in week one, but my excuse was I had blogging I needed to catch up on. Week two will be a better one for working on my WIP for sure.


In General

My main goal for the year is to put my mental health first. I ended up in a really bad place last year and I don’t want to find myself back there this year.

I’m going to continue blogging because I want to read my four-year blogiversary – I want to make more of an effort to comment and blog hop, and I want to continue enjoying what I write and post – and I’m going to make time for my other hobbies because I need a life outside of work and this blog – I want to start baking again, and I want to try and learn another language.


How did everyone else do with their 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge? Did anyone else fall a little short at the end or was it just me? What was your favourite book of the year, can you pick just one or do you have a whole list as well? Do you have any resolutions for 2019? I’ll keep my fingers crossed we all manage to keep them.

I hope everyone else had a brilliant Christmas and a happy new year, and I’m wishing you all the best for 2019.

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29 thoughts on “2018 End of Year Recap and 2019 Goals

  1. I hope you end up loving The Brightsiders this year!! That was one of my favorite books last year; I adored it to the ends of the earth.

    I am also glad to see that I am not the only one who thought Wildcard just didn’t live up to how good Warcross was, though I am sorry you didn’t enjoy it either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh Beth congratulations on your promotion and on getting a flat in London, that is SO great, I’m so happy for you ❤
    You've read some great books last year, I really can't wait to read Darius The Great and I need to get to the exact opposite of okay someday, too, it sounds like a great read for sure! 🙂
    I'm impatient to hear your thoughts on Restore Me (loved it!), The Brightsiders (loved it!) and The Forbidden Wish (FAVORITE!) ❤ I hope you'll love them all ❤
    Happy reading Beth, happy writing too and best of luck for all of your goals. Take it easy and take care of yourself, that's what matters the most always! ❤ Sending you love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 🙂 ❤ Yeah there were plenty of amazing things that happened in 2018, and hopefully more to come in 2019. ❤
      Darius the Great is incredible, I'm sure you'll really love it Marie. I'll be expecting to see it on your favourites list at the end of this year! 😀 Oh I need to get around to them all, they sound incredible so I'm not sure why I haven't started them yet. ❤
      Thanks so so much Marie. 🙂 That's definitely the plan, and I really really hope that 2019 is an incredible year for you too. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you’re feeling better now! and YES ALL FOR THE GAME IS SO GOOD. I’m with you: I downloaded the second book on a whim, and I ended up curled under the covers for hours reading it and The King’s Men back-to-back, cover-to-cover. There are a lot of popular books I finally want to get to in 2019, like Sadie, Scythe, A Darker Shade of Magic, and Vicious.

    Eleanor | On the Other Side of Reality

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Eleanor. 🙂 Oh my god that whole series was addictive for me. I feel like the second I started reading The Foxhole Court I was hooked and I sped through the whole trilogy. I couldn’t read The King’s Men fast enough but I never wanted it to end at the same time!
      Those are all amazing books, and favourites of mine too, so i hope you both get around to them and love them as well! 😀 ❤

      Like

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your slump 😦 I’m only just recovering from my own ❤ I'm so happy to see Circe as one of your bests! I haven't read it yet but I know I'm going to love it a lot! I've heard much about Scythe and honestly it sounds so good. The concept itself sounds very thought provoking.

    I hope you enjoy The Girl in the Tower! I'm currently reading Winter of the Witch 🙂 Good luck with your WIP! I hope 2019 turns out amazing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah slumps are never fun are they? But luckily I seem to be out of it now which is the main thing. 🙂
      Circe was just incredible, honestly anything Madeline Miller writes going forwards is going to be high on my TBR list. Scythe is also amazing, I’d highly recommend it if you’re already thinking of picking it up.
      Thanks, I’m re-reading The Bear and the Nightingale now so I’m hoping to get started on The Girl in the Tower soon, I can’t wait.
      Thanks again! 🙂 ❤

      Like

  5. THIS LIST IS SO AMAZING AND IS EVERYTHING I HOPED FOR ❤ ❤

    I want to binge Spellslinger sm, because you loved it and I hope to become a better fantasy fan. I don't know why fantasy is so intimidating to me?????? i'm missing out on so many books oh god

    also I’m so excited about Circe!!!! I cannot believe I still haven’t read it???? I loved TSOA & everyone loves Circe's book just as much & it was your favorite this year, so it’s a crime I haven’t read it yet. BUT I just put the audiobook on hold at the library so hopefully soon I'l have it

    + I was also disappointed with Leah on the Offbeat! I loved Simon’s book with my entire heart, so when Leah turned out to be a jerk in her own book????? ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING.

    ++++++ I love your goal to put mental health first this year, it’s for sure something I’m prioritizing too. 2018 was v rough as far as depression for me, but surprisingly audiobooks helped???? I would have never guessdc this would happen. My plan is to binge the audiobooks for Percy Jackson, I've only read book 1 and I cannot wait to finish, PERCY IS SO WHOLESOME AND BRAVE

    amazing post and I’m so excited for us to obsess over books together in 2019! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Malanie, and oh I am so so glad you enjoyed this post so much too. 😀 ❤ ❤
      If you're interested in fantasy I'd definitely recommend the Spellslinger series. It's kind of fantasy-lite so it's the perfect series to introduce yourself to the genre. 🙂
      Circe is incredible; Madeline Miller is now my go-to author for Greek mythology stories. If you loved TSOA I'm sure you'll love Circe too, and hopefully that audiobook comes through soon too.
      I guess Leah on the Offbeat was too hyped for the book to live up to it. I wanted more, and I hated how she acted when Abby came out to her you know?
      It's got to be something a lot of people are putting first this year it seems. Oh I'm sorry to hear 2018 was a tough year for you too. I really hope 2019 is better for you and hopefully we'll both be able to put our mental health first and make it a better year. Oh my god I think you'll love the Percy Jackson books! 😀
      Thanks so much, and yes same here! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on reading so many books! 117 is impressive, even if it wasn’t your reading goal for the year!
    Also, I’m totally with you on prioritizing mental health for the new year. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if we are on top of everything and crossing all goals off our lists if we’re not feeling happy and comfortable mentally. I definitely felt that last year; even though it was a pretty okay year – like, academically I was able to perform a lot better than I thought I would -, I still have negative memories of 2018 because of how I was struggling mentally. I hope 2019 is a much better year for you!
    I hope to start the All for The Game series in 2019. I’ve seen so many people talking about these books on Tumblr that I feel like I’m already a part of the fandom, even if I have yet to pick up the books, hahah. It seems like I’ll really enjoy them, since I love male characters and bromances.
    Hope you have an amazing reading year in 2019, Beth! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, and oh definitely. I’m more happy with what I did read than disappointed with what I didn’t last year. 🙂
      That’s something I learnt yeah, at the end of the day our mental health and our health in general is the most important thing. Anything else can be replaced but our health can’t really be. Thanks, and oh in that case I really hope 2019 is a better year for you too.
      It seems to have a small but dedicated fandom, there are a lot of posts and hype for it and I was pretty much addicted. If you love male characters you should love the All for the Game series.
      Thanks so much, and I hope you have an incredible 2019 as well. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to say you did quite well Beth! 🙂 Even though you fell a little short, it looks like you had a good year! See, I’m afraid to read The Crimes of Grindelwald because I haven’t heard much good about it. I bought the book last week, but I want to see the movie before I read the screenplay. That’s how I read Fantastic Beasts and I loved every second of it, so I’m hoping for the same reaction… although I doubt I’m going to get it 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. 🙂 ❤ Overall I'm happy with what I achieved this year, I just have to focus on that rather than the negatives.
      The Crimes of Grindelwald was all right, and I know there are some people who really loved it, but I wasn't one of them. I just expected more from the film and more from J.K. Rowling too. I'd definitely recommend seeing the film first and then watching the film, that's how I did it, and I think it's more beneficial that way too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved reading this post, Beth! Congrats on reading 117 books in 2018; that’s so great and I’m proud of you 🙂 I read 43 books in 2018, and my Goodreads goal was 40, haha (I lowered it from 50). I absolutely LOVED Thunderhead and I’m so excited for The Toll – I’m still not over that ending & cliffhanger, omg.

    I really should check out the All for the Game series; I’ve seen so many people rave over this series. And I’m very excited for you to read The Forbidden Wish; it’s such a beautifully written Aladdin retelling! I loved it. 💜 I hope that 2019 will be a better year than 2018 for you, and I’m glad you’re going to put your mental health first this year – that’s so important. I hope this year will be a great one, filled with wonderful books and memories! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Dezzy. 🙂 ❤ Yeah I'm more than happy with how many books I read last year, and oh congrats on beating your GR Reading Challenge too.
      I don't think I'm ever going to be over that cliffhanger, not until I have The Toll in my hands at least.
      I'd definitely recommend it, it's kind of addictive once you start and once you get into it. Everyone's said incredible things about The Forbidden Wish and I just know I'm going to love it.
      Thanks so much, and yes that's definitely the idea. Thanks so much, and I hope you have a brilliant year too, full of amazing things and books. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This wrap-up post is fantastic. So many great stats and holy cow 117 books is insane! Congrats! I set a page goal each year instead of just a number of books so that reading longer books is equally weighted to shorter books. 10,000 pages is my go to goal and I met it really early last year compared to 2017… but only read 4 or 5 books in the last 5 months because I started college. I am determined to make time to read this semester and year instead of watching so much netflix lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤ Yeah it's more books than I've read in the previous years so I'm happy with that number, and oh that's a good idea. That's the thing with large books they count the same towards an overall book goal but they take longer to read. I guess as long as we read as much as can we can be satisfied with that right. That's something I learnt last year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on reading so many wonderful books this year and your promotion ❤ I'm sorry it was also a rough year at the same time 😦 I hope 2019 and January are better for you! You did amazing on your Goodreads challenge and should be super proud. I'll definitely try to pick up Circe sometime soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Tiffany. 🙂 ❤ Yeah I would have liked it if 2018 had ended on a high note too but at least I had several good months to outweigh the bad ones. Thanks again, and yes definitely pick up Circe soon, it's an incredible story I'm sure you'll love it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh definitely. I’m focusing on the positives; so the fact that I read 117 books rather than the fact that I missed my GR goal by 8 books. 🙂
      It was just such an emotional book, and hard to read at times too. Ohh I really hope you do too. It’s a brilliant ending to the series.
      Thanks. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Neal Shustermaaaaan! The first Unwind is great, as is his standalone book Bruiser.

    I agree with your assessment of Children of Blood and Bone. It was good, not a phenomenon.

    Based on my own recent lack of energy and other blogs I’ve read, I think November and December were a collective slump for many book bloggers. Winter suuuuuucks!

    I hope you feel better this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, I can’t wait to start Unwind now, and yeah I think there was just too much hype for Children of Blood and Bone. It would have been impossible for any book to live up to it.
      When it’s cold out I guess we all just wanna hibernate. I’m looking forwards to spring and having more energy for life in general when the weather starts getting warmer.
      Thanks. 🙂 ❤

      Like

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