Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of 2019

Okay y'all, I did a lot of cheating in today's post. 1) There are more than ten books on my list, and 2) three of them (or maybe four) are being released in the last half of this year. I couldn't help it, there are TOO MANY good books coming out this year.

So here are 25 books I am most looking forward to reading this year! I'll be checking in on all my monthly recaps to track my progress—the goal is to complete all of these by the end of the year 😊

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (January 15th)
I'm not quite sure why I'm drawn to this one, maybe because it's a sci-fi about dreams? Either way, I'm interested!

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills (January 15th)
I've pre-ordered this one (which is saying a lot, because I rarely buy books anymore!) and I love everything Emma Mills writes. A few bloggers I follow have expressed that it isn't as good as her previous novels, which I am a little nervous about, but I'm still so excited and ready.

Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (January 15th)
The last chapter in Unearthed left off on such a big cliffhanger, I know I will pick this up as soon as it comes out. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS ...

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (February 5th)
I loved The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas' debut novel, and how her writing was so easy to read.

The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason (February 19th)
Okay, I'm cheating with this one because I've already read it, but it was on this list before that happened. I loved this book so so much, and I can't believe it's Lizzy Mason's DEBUT novel. Girl can write an excellent story! Please add this to your must-read list.

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury (February 26th)
A space story inspired by the historical legend of Anastasia ... need I say more?! I want to do a side-by-side review of this one and Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston since they sound similar, but I'm sure they're not!

Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin (March 5th)
I love anything Gretchen Rubin talks about. She's very goal-oriented and talks a lot about self-improvement, which inspires me!

Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren (March 12th)
I don't care about watching sports, but I *love* it as a subject in books! And movies/TV shows, too ... basically, any form of fiction entertainment 😂

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston (April 2nd)
I enjoyed Geekerella a lot, but I was still hesitant about putting this sequel (or companion novel?) on this list ... not sure why! I ended up adding it because I can't resist a contemporary fairy tale retelling.

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn (April 2nd)
This is another one I'm not 100% sure about because it sounds a lot like Open Road Summer by Emery Lord, which I loved, but I am still going to read it. Mostly because I'm curious to see how it compares ... 🤔

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio (May 7th)
LOOK AT THAT COVER! I've been watching Christine's booktube channel for ages now, and I'm so happy for her. I would have included this even if I didn't know what it was about, but Shane (the main character) goes to LONDON. I LOVE LONDON.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (May 7th)
I *love* this duo's collaborations. Illuminae is one of my favorite books, period, so I'm excited to read another series from them!!!

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (May 7th)
Not sure what this one's about, to be honest, but it's Maurene Goo and I really liked I Believe in a Thing Called Love!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (May 7th)
As you can tell, a lot of the books on this list are by authors I've read from. This one surprises me the most because I don't read poetry, but The Poet X was so good and it definitely deserved the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenburg (May 28th)
I saw The Kingdom compared to Westworld. That's it. That's all I need.

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (June 4th)
No clue what this book is about, but I've been reading Sarah Dessen since middle/high school and will not stop now.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power (July 9th)
I didn't know of this book until I started doing research for this post, and this sounds perfect for the fall/darker months. ALSO, LOOK AT THAT COVER.

The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney (August 6th)
J.P. Delaney writes some pretty disturbing and twisted books, but they're so captivating and thoughtfully plotted. I'm sure this one will be no different.

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab (September 3rd)
This is the sequel to City of Ghosts, which I loved. So I will read the next book. As one does.

The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord 
This doesn't have a release date yet, but I'm pretty sure it's coming out this year. And if you're new here, I will read anything Emery Lord writes. ANYTHING.


If you're looking for more lists detailing 2019 releases, please check out Jen's, from Pop! Goes the Reader, and this one from Goodreads. It's lookin' like an excellent year for reading 😏

What are some of your most anticipated releases this year?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Week Notes #7

Sunday, December 30 to Saturday, January 5

Joe and I had all our college friends over on New Years Eve to hang out + count down, and it was so much fun. We don't see them as often as we'd like, so any time with them is a treat. Other than that, things have been pretty quiet! For now, it's nice. After hosting three get-togethers in one week, we are happy with staying in while it's raining and bumming around. I've been able to get a good start on my reading for this year!


The Wicker King by K. Ancrum


Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen
This January 29th release comes recommended by Rachel from Rec-It Rachel, which I didn't even know about until I saw it in her January Book Club post. I'm a sucker for any kind of time travel story, and this one seems to center around a father-daughter relationship.

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
I didn't "officially" add this to my Goodreads TBR until this weekend—I thought it was there all this time, tbh—but I've known about it for quite some time now, thanks to Emily from Possibly Literate and Madalyn from Novel Ink. I got lucky on Friday because the library I work at had a copy for me to borrow! More on that soon ... 😏

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
Another time travel book!!!

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney
Not exactly sure what caught my attention, but I remember the author's name because her debut novel (Sometimes I Lie) came out last year. I think I'm going to wait and see what others say first, or check out Sometimes I Lie and decide from there?


Another mind-blowing story from the Black Mirror world, no surprise there. Bandersnatch was so immersive, entertaining, and dark as usual. I would highly recommend watching it with friends if you haven't seen it yet! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Bandersnatch is an interactive movie on Netflix. We follow (and somewhat control) Stefan, a guy who is programming a choose-your-own-adventure video game based on a book he's obsessed with. It explores free will and becomes *so* meta, but I'll save the chatter so you can go ~experience it~ for yourself.

Even though everyone kept saying how much they loved this Spider-Man movie the most, I still didn't have any expectations before watching. Maybe because I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming so much ... although I admit a large part of that has to do with Tom Holland, lol. I haven't seen any of the other Marvel animated movies/TV shows so I can't speak for how Into the Spider-Verse compares, and I can't compare live action vs. animated characters. I CAN say, however, that I liked the story. But I loved the graphics and music so much more. The soundtrack is—and I apologize in advance for using this word—POPPIN'. SO GOOD. My one tiny critique is that there wasn't enough time for a specific character's backstory. (If you've seen Into the Spider-Verse and are wondering who I'm talking about, it's one of the villains.) But I think that's a personal problem, because I always want to know WHY.


I only have one thing to share this week since I didn't track anything: The Book Nerd's Guide to San Francisco, California! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I'm definitely biased because I grew up in the city and even though I moved away, I still visit from time to time. My entire 2017 year was spent drinking coconut vanilla lattes at Home (fun fact: there are two locations!) and I would recommend visiting ALL the libraries, not just the main branch.

Monday, December 31, 2018

January TBR + New Releases

I've been meaning to pick up Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng for a while now, and one of my goals for 2019—that I never mentioned, oops—is to read more books that include Asian representation. (If you have any recs, please let me know!) I'm a little nervous because I've heard this is a character-driven story, which I struggle with, but I want to challenge myself in this area. Note to self: it's okay to take your time!!!

Another one of my goals for 2019 is to finish series I've started, and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo fits the bill. Apparently I really loved Shadow and Bone, which I remember approximately 10% of ...

I would love Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda to be the first thing I read in 2019! It's the perfect little book to finish in one sitting and I can avoid the stress of getting through ~book number one~ 😌

The Wicker King by K. Ancrum is another book I am nervous for. I have absolutely no idea what it's about, but it's on this list because I'll be reading it as part of the Dragons & Tea Book Club created by Melanie and Amy!


The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker // January 15th
"One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn't wake up. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster. Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?"

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills // January 15th
"For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie's beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it's her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town's only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival. The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return. What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own."

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro // January 15th
"In the spring of 2016, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in—a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover."

Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner // January 22nd
Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from what they've learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity's greed has unleashed.


What are you planning to read in January?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Bookish + Blogging Goals for 2019

Photo from unsplash.com

I love making goals. I've always been terrible at following them, but I think I've been making a lot of permanent changes recently that allow me to stick to them a little better. (For example, waking up at 6:00 AM to get an earlier start!) I'm still human so no day is perfect, but I'm looking at 2019 full of hope. We're finally done with wedding planning, which was a big reason for my slowdown in reading. And while I'm starting my masters program (part-time) in January and keeping my job at the library, I'll still have a more solid routine than I did this year.

Here are some of my bookish and blogging goals for 2019, which you will (hopefully) be hearing all about throughout the upcoming year.

Read 100 books.
This will include graphic novels and comics, so I think I can swing it. I know I'm being *very* optimistic, but I also want to challenge myself since I didn't set any goals in 2018. In previous years, I wanted to make reading from my shelves a priority—but the problem was feeling too restricted. I had good intentions: read what I own and reduce the number of unread books, but I think that's what made me avoid reading. So for 2019, these 100 books can come from anywhere. I want my focus to be on reading what I want to read in the moment and not forcing myself to read something just to say I've read it.

Go through all the books I own and get rid of the ones I don't plan to read.
I purchased A LOT of books from Book Outlet right after I discovered their irresistible prices a couple of years ago, and I've only really read a handful of them. Since then, my reading tastes have changed and I'm a lot pickier about the books I pick up. I don't want to keep things I'm not going to get to, so I have to be a lot more harsh and realistic in 2019. I know I spent my money on these books, which is why a part of me is still holding on—but it's been done and if I *really* want to read something I've given away, I can always borrow it from the library.

Finish five series.
There are SIXTEEN (yes, you read that correctly) completed series I'm currently in the middle of... so it's time to start cleaning up this mess, lol.

For every book I read, share a photo on Instagram and tweet something to document it.
I almost deleted this because I highly doubt I'll be able to keep it up, but I really want to get better at updating my social media accounts. Plus, I'd really love to look back at my year in December and have a visual representation of what I've read. So I'm considering it to be an investment for my future self.

Publish at least one post on amarisafloria.com each week.
I'm always on and off with this blog because I don't want to be judged for my grammar/writing "skills" (or lack of) but I'm throwing my hands up and saying WHATEVER. It's hard work and it takes me *forever* to write one post, but it serves as a reading journal for me and I know I'm going to appreciate it in the long run.

Fix broken links/images and update formatting on all posts.
I've been working through this at a snail's pace, I don't even remember where I left off ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Check in with these goals every month in a recap post.
This one is a little meta, but I've found that I'm much more on top of my goals when I'm constantly reviewing and checking myself.


What are your bookish and blogging goals for 2019?