January Recap

January seemed to pass in a flash, and I can already tell the rest of this year will go by just as quickly, but I’m getting ahead of myself now. Overall January was a busy month work and life-wise, but I’m back reading and blogging again, even if I am taking it a little slower than I was last year.

ReDesign January Recap Header

I got through nine books in total; four of which were re-reads, but luckily they still count towards my goal because I’m hoping to do a lot of re-reading this year. Asides from reading most of my January has been spent catching up on blogging and re-organising my life. New year, new start after all.


ReDesign Reading Update Title

  • The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck — Three stars
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden — Five stars
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden — Five stars
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden — Five stars
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black — Five stars
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black — Five stars
  • You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman — Four stars
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo — Five stars Four stars
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo — Four stars Three stars

January Reading Update (1)

Favourite read; The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden which was an incredibly beautiful and magical story, the perfect ending to the Winternight trilogy.

Least favourite read; The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck which had too many characters who were all trope and no substance, and focused too much on the romance.

January Reading Update (2)

So far I am smashing my Goodreads Reading Challenge, especially when you take into account the fact that this time last year I was already falling behind and wondering whether I should lower my 2018 goal.

January GR Reading Challenge

I’m three books ahead of schedule, and having a lower goal for this year has meant I can actually enjoy reading rather than stress about the numbers.


ReDesign Writing Update Title

I had the very best intentions when I gave myself a writing ‘goal’ of between 2000 and 5000 words a week. Based on what I’ve written in the past I figured it would be no problem to write a minimum of 2000 words, but it turned out to be a very big problem.

January Writing Update

In my defence I’ve had a lot of other things going on which have taken up more of time than I thought they would; as well as catching up on blogging and launching my new blog re-design (which is now live) I’ve  been sorting through everything that’s been stored in my loft and getting ready to move out into my own place, and just generally putting my New Year’s resolution of focusing on my mental health into action.

But just because I haven’t been writing my Death Born WIP that doesn’t mean I’ve haven’t been anything writing-related all month. One of the new WIPs that has been floating around in my head for a while now has been getting louder and louder, so I’ve started plotting it ready for NaNoWriMo 2019 (but more on that later this week).

Otherworld Heist WIP


ReDesign Life in General Title

So as I’ve mentioned a few times already in this post this year I’ve made it a goal of mine to start focusing more on my mental health. It hasn’t been easy, work has been a major source of stress at times, but so far it’s been good because I felt much more content in January than I did at the back end of 2018.

Highlights:

  • Even though I haven’t officially moved in yet I’ve already started planning how I’m going to re-decorate my new place. The best part of moving is, in my opinion, being able to put my own stamp on my own place.
  • I saw Mary Queen of Scots which is a brilliant film (though not for the faint hearted). Both Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan are incredible as Elizabeth and Mary.

January Life in General

  • I started learning Dutch. I tried learning a language before, even set learning a language as one of my New Year’s resolutions, but I never got too far so here’s hoping second time’s the charm.

ReDesign Book Haul Title

Not many books were brought last month, and to be honest not many books will be brought next month either. I’m going for quality over quantity this year though, and you can’t deny the two books I brought in January are amazing ones.

Granted I’ve only read the first, but I’ve heard amazing things about the latter.

January Book Haul (1)

January Book Haul (2)


ReDesign Looking Forwards Title

Hopefully this month I’ll be able to quickly finish my re-read of the Grishaverse books; I just have the Six of Crows duology to go and then I can jump right into King of Scars.

Six of Crows Series

King of Scars

Two more of my most anticipated books of this year are being released in February. I’ll have to re-read The City of Brass before I can start The Kingdom of Cooper, but The Priory of the Orange Tree is one I hope to start the second I have it in my hands. I’m going Samantha Shannon’s release-day event at Waterstones Piccadilly so I’ll be getting my copy of The Priory of the Orange Tree a day before its release.

The Daevabad Trilogy

The Priory of the Orange Tree

I want to get back into writing again this month now I’ve launched my new blog re-design. I have a post planned for next week which goes into a little more detail about my new WIP for anyone who’s already curious about what I’ll be writing for NaNoWriMo 2019.


How was your January?

How many books did you manage to get through last month? Are you ahead of your Goodreads Reading Challenge goal for the year, or have you already fallen behind but have plans to catch up?

What was one good thing that happened to you last month, and what are you looking forwards to this month; are any of your most anticipated releases of the year coming out in February?

Happy reading.

34 thoughts on “January Recap

  1. Hello Beth 🙂
    Sounds like January was a busy month for you, but kudos for powering through. My January (and first half of February) was super hectic as well, and it hasn’t been easy to focus on my mental health. However I’ve been adopting the mindset that I am doing the best I can, which is helpful on days when I am feeling overwhelmed 🙂
    Have you moved into your new place yet? That must be super exciting, and it’s awesome that you’ve already started planning how it’ll all look. Hope that your move will go well.
    I love your new blog design! It is the first thing I noticed when I visited your blog today! I will have to do a re-design of Sophie’s Corner soon too (it’ll be my 2-year blogiversary in May haha 🙂 time flies!!)
    That’s good to hear that you’re making progress on Death Born. Even a bit of progress is progress, I’d say 🙂 Looking forward to hearing updates. The aesthetics for your new WIP looks SUPER awesome, and I am definitely curious to hear more about that as well!
    Wishing you all the best ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, and yes it was definitely busy but I think I felt like after coming out of my end of 2018 funk there was a lot I needed to catch up on. That’s the mindset I’m trying to have when it comes to my mental health too, I think as long as you’re focusing on it in some way it should help in the long run, but hopefully things will get less busy for you soon so you can dedicate more time to it. 🙂 ❤️
      Not yet. We’re still waiting for some things to be finished by the solicitors/estate agents, and TBH even when we have the keys there’s some work we want done so we won’t be able to move in right away, it’s getting there. Slowly but surely.
      Thanks so much, and oh I really be looking forwards to seeing your new blog design Sophie. I hope you manage to get something in place for May (it took me ages to have everything in place for my new re-design, and I’m still working on some aspects of it!)
      Exactly, I’m not going to beat myself up on missed goals as long as I’m making some kind of progress, anything I write is a bonus after last year! 🙂
      Thanks again, I’ll definitely be introducing my new WIP before the end of this month, so keep your eyes open! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even if you don’t have the keys yet, sounds like it is coming along which is good. Home ownership is next step to adulting! 🙂
        Yeah I should probably work on my blog design soon if I want it to be done by May, instead of leaving it to last minute haha 🙂
        Yay!!! I am excited to hear about your new WIP! It looks epic already 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah! Better not to rush these things, especially when there is a lot of money involved 🙂 best wishes for your new home!
        Haha procrastination happens to the best of us 🙂 the important thing is that we eventually get things done!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I really love the new blog’s aesthetic; the new header looks stunning!
    I’m glad you had a great reading month and is already ahead in your Goodreads challenge. I am too, but my reading goal is much lower than yours, so it’s not that impressive, truly, hahah. I’m glad you enjoyed You Ask For Perfect, but I’m sorry the second read of the Grisha trilogy wasn’t as good as the first one. I’ve seen so many comments about it this past month, but hopefully your read of King of Scars is better!
    I’m super curious about your NaNoWriMo 2019 project, and can’t wait to read more posts about it!
    Hope you have an amazing February! 💛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, I’m really glad you like my new design. 🙂
      I think being ahead of your goal is still impressive. This time last year I was behind so honestly I think just being ahead now is something to celebrate, and it’s kind of nice having a low goal and being able to enjoy reading again rather than struggling to get through books just to rate them and have them count towards my goal.
      Yeah I think now I’ve read Six of Crows the Grisha trilogy just couldn’t compare, it’s still a great series, and I am so so excited to get to King of Scars it’s unreal.
      I’m very excited about it too, and I’ve learnt from past WIPs talking about it on my blog does help so it won’t be the last I mention it.
      Thanks, I hope you have a great February too. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Beth, I LOVE your new design!! Your old one was gorgeous but this has so many soft vibes and I’m in love with it 💕 And I can’t wait to hear more of your WIP this week, I’m so excited! Sorry that you weren’t able to do as much writing as you wanted to in January, but hopefully you’ll find more time this month (and the blog design turned out so well!). I hope you can focus more on your mental health as well — it can beso hard and I’m wishing you all the luck!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much May, yeah every so often I feel the need to refresh my blog design and now felt like the right time. 🙂 I’m so glad you like it. ❤
      I'm hoping to be able to get more writing done this month. If I can keep on top of reading and blogging this month I should be able to find the time to do a little more writing (that's the plan anyways).
      Thanks so much, and yeah it can be hard but I realised very quickly at the end of last year mental health is something that needs to be a focus of mine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohh I LOVE your new design, it looks really aesthetic!! 😍⭐ I’m glad you’re getting more into rereading books, as I always find that this relaxes me and is easy to do even when I’m busy 🙂 I totally get you about writing too … I have not done ANYTHING since November, though I did have to study a lot, so maybe now I’ll actually get back to writing (hopefully)! 😅

    Best of luck with your new flat, I hope you feel at home soon 🙂 I’m currently in the midst of reading King of Scars and hope that we’ll both like it! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Caro. ❤️ I feel like with every blog re-design I improve a little and this is by far my favourite of the three I’ve had. 🙂 Definitely, there’s something comforting about going back to old books. I guess every so often we need a break from writing, but at least you can say you’ve had exams, for me it’s just been catching up on reading/blogging.
      Thanks so much, and oh I hope you love King of Scars. I am so excited to get started on that one myself! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohhhh Beth your new design looks STUNNING, I love it so much! ❤
    You've read so much in the past month, this is amazing – I am so happy to see you liked You Asked For Perfect, I loved this one so, very much ❤
    This is such exciting news about plotting a new WIP and thinking of it aaaaaahh, I can't wait to hear more about it, hopefully soon 😀
    Hope you're having a lovely February! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 I felt like it was time for a change, and it’s been on my mind since November so it’s nice to finally get it out there. ❤️
      You Asked for Perfect was brilliant, I loved Ariel’s character though I definitely felt the stress he was feeling as I was reading.
      It was a WIP I couldn’t get out of my mind so it was a sign to me that I needed to start planning it. It’s what I’m going to attempt for NaNoWriMo this year! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You had an awesome month Beth! I’ve been considering trying out Katherine Arden’s books but have always been a little unsure with the mixture of love-hate reviews. Maybe I’ll have to give it a go!
    I’ve been putting off City of Brass for ages now because of the size but considering Kingdom of Copper has come out, I think I should just sit down and do it finally. Oh gosh, Priory! I’m so keen! And you get it a day early – majorly jealous.
    Keep at it with the writing, I’m sure it’ll get better when you have some more free time and good luck with the rest of the Bardugo re-reading. Hopefully you get to KoS soon. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ashley, and oh you should definitely check out Katherine Arden’s books. Her Winternight trilogy is incredible. Oh that’s strange though, I’ve only seen positive reviews for The Bear and the Nightingale (for me it was a book that more than lived up to the hype).
      The City of Brass is one of those long books that flew by for me, I’d definitely recommend it, and yeah getting my copy early was one of the main things that convinced me I needed to go to that event. How could I resist?!
      Thanks Ashley. 🙂 And yes I’m catching up on my reading so my writing should follow through soon I hope! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m also rereading the Grisha trilogy! I’m hoping to finish it soon since I haven’t read Six of Crows yet and I really want to get to King of Scars and see what all the fuss is about.

    Congrats on your new blog design! Tis very pretty!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As much as I love Leigh Bardugo’s work I think the Grisha trilogy is the weakest, so you’ve got a lot to look forwards to when it comes to Six of Crows. And yeah I’ve been seeing so many posts about King of Scars recently I need to get around to it as soon as I possibly can! I can’t wait though.
      Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It looks like you had a good month Beth! I’m loving the new design you’ve got going on, it’s really pretty! 😀 Nine books is awesome! I’m sorry your writing hasn’t gone the way you planned, but I’m sure you can catch up and get back on track! 🙂 Good luck with moving, I know how stressful it can be, so I hope you’re enjoying redecorating! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. 🙂 ❤️ I’ve actually been meaning to post my redesign for ages now, I just wasn’t quite happy with it until now but I think it was worth the wait. 🙂
      At least I can say my reading has gone on track, I’m sure my writing will catch up shortly!
      Thanks so much. At the moment I’m in the fun phase of it all, when it comes to the actual moves it will probably be really stressful, but I’m not going to think about that until I absolutely have to! 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It was definitely worth the wait! Im loving it! 😀
        I’m sure you’ll be on track in no time! 🙂
        Haha, that’s a good way to think about it! It’s always fun to start things like this, but once you’ve been at it a few hours it gets very tiresome so I wish nothing but the best for you! 😀 ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I was like you last year, already falling behind in my reading challenge in January, but this year is really different and I’m so happy! I’m so glad for you as well! I’m happy you enjoyed TCP and TWK 🙂 have a great February xx

    Liked by 2 people

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