AH IT’S SO GOOD TO FINALLY SAY THAT AGAIN. Yes you’re reading this right. I am officially back from the dead. However, this doesn’t mean that I am going to completely break my hiatus because I still can’t manage blogging while going through the ordeals of college. I am able to post this 2019 recap because I am currently on vacation which means that I have time to work on a post or two. Also, I’m a sucker for yearly wrap-ups and there’s no way I’m going to pass up this opportunity to flaunt my favorite reads of 2019.
I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S 2020 NOW. Watch me write the wrong year in all my college papers when the semester begins. I know y’all missed me so I’m going to start this right away. Let the recap begin!
I only read 58 books this year which is a far cry from last year’s 86 but I’m still very proud of myself nonetheless. I haven’t been able to read a single book in my first semester of college because I just don’t have enough hours in a day for that. But even so, I STILL MANAGED TO COMPLETE MY 2019 GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE. Love that for me.
I mostly read 2019 releases, most of which are ARCs that I read before going into college (I still had a life back then ah those were the good times). I also made a negligible dent on my backlist TBR because I apparently read 19 backlist books which is a considerably small number but I still consider this progress. One book read is one book closer to the ultimate bookdragon dream of reading all the books in the world (we need to be turned into vampires to reach this dream but whatever). I also had the pleasure to reread some faves this year (including The Poppy War and The Wicked King) e.g. tons of Rick Riordan books because I reread both PJO and HOO which definitely made my year complete. I missed my stabby and precious demigod children. It was good to read about them again.
To no one’s surprise, I read mostly fantasy books in 2019 (which will continue to happen in the next years to come I am sure). I can’t help it. Fantasy books make me forget just how chaotically boring my real life is. In 2019, I also got to appreciate space operas more and now I am completely infatuated with them. Totally need to read more contemporary books this year. Oh and I should probably count my textbooks in my Goodreads reading challenge. I’ll be seeing more of them this year oof.
For me, 2019 will always be known to me as the year of Asian books because WE REALLY THRIVED THIS YEAR. I hope that in the coming years, more books by Asian authors will be published and recognized because this is what we deserve. Mad respect to Lily, Shealea, Vicky, and CW for organizing this year-long reading challenge and for being real champions of books written by Asian authors. I initially aimed to read 21-30 books to get the Malayan tapir badge but alas, I fell short with two books as I have only read 19. WILL DO BETTER THIS YEAR. For now, admire my Indian cobra badge.
I’ve read an array of books for this reading challenge and a lot of them have become my favorites of all time. Here are my top five picks for YARC 2019:
NEW FAVES FROM THE BACKLIST OH YES. I finally read The Bone Witch this year and it was the absolute best. Oh and Illuminae? *chef’s kiss* I can’t believe I waited so long to read these books adjsdlksjd. Here are my favorites from the backlist in 2019:
A yearly wrap-up won’t be complete without listing my best picks of 2019. I’m easy to please which means that I have tons of favorites which in turn kept me up all night thinking which books I should list here. There are sequels that I loved, series conclusions that made me scream, and first books to a series that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Here are my top picks for 2019 releases:
I really enjoyed the following books as well:
There are a million books I should have read but I wasn’t able to get through them. MY ARC BACKLOG IS OFF THE CHARTS. My Kindle has become one great void. I feel so bad that there were a lot of eARCs I wasn’t able to read last year. I just couldn’t fit everything into my schedule 😭😭😭
Anyway, here are just some books that I should have read but didn’t:
I’ve been out of the book community loop for months so I wasn’t able to stack up on my 2020 TBR until lately. I KNOW. Me, falling short on adding books to my TBR? Sounds very improbable. But anyway, I will accept 2020 book recommendations in the comments below because I need more books to look forward to. Here are just some books I can’t wait to read this year:
I’ve taken the liberty to go on a blogging hiatus when I started college because I realized that I couldn’t handle thinking about posting new content plus the pressure of academics. It was difficult for me to make the announcement but I needed to let y’all know that I was going to take a break in case you get too worried and arrange an army to rescue me from an evil witch or something. Gotta appreciate the importance of announcements.
Despite my long absence, I am still proud of my blog’s growth in 2019. I ended up with 13k blog views which is a huge achievement in itself.
I also had my FIRST BLOGGING ANNIVERSARY in 2019—a fact that made me tear up about once or twice or thrice. I also launched a new blog feature called Who Stokes the Fire where I got to interview content creators. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT I INTERVIEWED SOME OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS THIS YEAR? I was given the chance to interview Joan He who wrote Descendant of the Crane. I also interviewed Rin Chupeco a.k.a my Filipino fantasy queen. C.G. Drews, who happens to be one of my favorite bloggers, also visited my blog for an interview regarding her latest book, The Boy Who Steals Houses. And finally, I GOT TO INTERVIEW NONE OTHER THAN THE PHEONIX OF FANTASY HERSELF R.F. KUANG who is one of my all-time favorite authors. I can’t believe The Poppy War series is going to end this year. What will I do with my life when it ends???
One of my blogging highlights of the year is winning in the Annual Book Blogger Awards hosted by May @ Forever and Everly (love u so much thanks for your hardwork). I won as the BEST YOUNG ADULT BLOGGER and I will scream about this forever. I can’t thank y’all enough for the love and support. I didn’t even expect to be nominated (I got nominated in two or three categories can you believe that fjdhsjkd) and I definitely didn’t expect to win. WHAT ARE THESE TEARS.
HERE ARE MY TOP POSTS OF THE YEAR IF YOU WANT TO READ THEM:
In 2019, I graduated from high school, passed into my dream university, and got into the scholarship program I so badly wanted. Those are definitely highlights of my year. College has been a huge challenge ever since first day but I’m pleased to inform you that I think I’m doing quite well. I spent lots of time hanging out with toads (yes I am a Biology student) which definitely changed my outlook in life. It’s a very different experience now that I’m in uni because for the first time, I got to experience the sort-of independent life away from my parents. I still don’t know how to cook, mind you, but at least I have learned the magic of Google Maps and the wonders of coffee.
Aside from college, another highlight of my 2019 is my Riordanverse reread which I have already mentioned earlier. Also, DID YOU KNOW THAT MY HERO RICK RIORDAN FINALLY NOTICED ME ON THE BIRD APP??? Yes I still haven’t stopped screaming about this. When I saw that he quoted my tweet, I flat-out cried while my sister looked at me like I was the weirdest specimen on Earth. It still feels unreal up to this moment. I won’t forget this for the rest of my life,
HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL! Thank you for all the support you’ve given me in 2019. I appreciate it will all my heart and soul. I don’t know when I’ll be able to post something again. I’ll probably go back to hiatus soon because second semester is about to start. I will miss y’all again. Cheers to more books and reading time in 2020!
How did your year go? What are your favorite books of 2019? What are your most-anticipated releases in 2020?