Goals for 2021

Welcome to 2021! It’s going to be my first full year of Toastie Books and I’m excited to get cracking. I thought I’d talk about my goals for 2021 with you guys now.

Goodreads Challenge

So 2020 was my best reading year yet but I’ve set my Goodreads Challenge at 150 books. This is because I’d like to try and do things other than read – I want to learn how to do hand lettering, I need to go on more walks, and maybe try some new video games

150 books

Library!

So I did join my local library in 2020, but my phone couldn’t handle the app. It occurred to me that since I now have a new phone, I should try and use the online library services more! In the UK, that means I’ve downloaded Borrow Box, where my library lets me have 5 eBook loans and 5 Audiobook loans at any one time.

Audiobooks

OK, so I have never really been into Audiobooks – the only one that was bearable to me was Becoming by Michelle Obama. BUT I’d like to try more, using the library app in particular as it will allow me to try Audiobooks for free and return them if I don’t get on with them.

Blogging

I had a good year of blogging in 2020. This year I think I’d like to make sure I write a blog length review for all eARCs that I give 4 or more stars. I tend to review only the best books on this blog as I’d like it to be positive. I’d also like to post one book review a week.

NetGalley

I currently have 11 NetGalley books that I need to read. I think for this year, I’d just like to keep my feedback percentage at 80% and make sure I keep on top of publishing reviews to Amazon, Goodreads and other sites.

Non-Fiction

I set myself a challenge to read one Non-Fiction book per month every year. Despite having read loads of books in 2020, I didn’t keep up with this. So the goal remains for 2021 and hopefully I will be successful this time.

Diversity

I actually read a lot of diverse books in 2020, so I’d like to carry on doing the same, and maybe even increase the diversity of the books I read even more. I should do better and blogging and tweeting about them too.

So, that’s the end of my goals post. What do you think, do you think I can achieve them? What are your goals for 2021?

Most Anticipated Books: 2021

Hello everyone! I already wrapped up my favourite releases of 2020, so here’s to the ones I am looking forward to most in 2021!

1) The Galaxy, and The Ground Within by Becky Chambers. OK, I’m cheating. I already read this book (thanks NetGalley). But you all need some Becky Chambers in your life for some quietly profound science-fiction. This is one of my all-time faves – check out my review.

2) Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely cannot wait to see how this duology ends and I’m definitely re-reading Six of Crows through to King of Scars before this comes out. And then we get the Shadow and Bone TV show in April too, what a year.

3) A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas. OK, I just finished an A Court of Thorns and Roses re-read. I’m really looking forward to seeing if Sarah can rescue Nesta’s character for me because I am not a fan right now.

4) The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik. Loved A Deadly Education more and more as the story progressed, and the ending was so good. I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this deadly magic school.

5) Vulture by Bex Hogan. Ah, this series. I got the first one as a bonus in a Fairyloot box and it’s actually really good. Enjoyed the first one and the sequel, so excited to see where it all ends up. Also the covers are super gorgeous.

6) Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert. Loved Chloe and Dani’s stories, can’t wait to see the youngest Brown sister Eve in action! This is probably the romance I’m looking forward to the most next year – not much longer to wait.

7) Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee. This one should be at the very top of the list! I can’t wait to get my hands on this – I’ll probably read Jade City and Jade War again before it comes out because these are some of my favourite characters of all time. This is definitely my favourite urban fantasy series and I can’t wait to see how Fonda Lee will break my heart.

8) Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. I found out about this book ages ago and have been anticipating it ever since! The protagonist has a PhD in Astronomy! I’m so excited for this women in STEM power. Also the cover is amazing.

9) Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore. I didn’t think we’d get a new book in the Graceling realm but here we are! This is one of my favourite series, but Bitterblue was a small let down so I hope this makes up for it.

10) Sweethand by N.G. Peltier. I mean the cover definitely drew me to this one, it’s gorgeous and look at all that cute detail. But the story sounds super cute too! Hopefully it’s a good romance.

So there are plenty of more books I’m looking forward to, some of which don’t have covers yet (House of Earth and Blood). I also don’t know if we’ll see Ninth House 2 in 2021 but that would be one of the first on this list if it is.

What are you looking forward to reading in 2021? Let me know in the comments so I can add some to the list.

evermore Original Book Tag

Hi everyone! So Miss Swift surprised us again with a second album drop of 2020. Evermore continues the themes and styles that Taylor explored in folklore and even goes deeper into them – I love it a lot.

So this tag was made by Star is All Booked Up who also made the folklore book tag that I answered here. You should definitely check out Star’s blog, she has such great posts and I love these Taylor Swift Tags so much.

willow- character you’d follow anywhere

I adore this song. I’m not really sure which character I’d follow anywhere though! One of my favourite characters is Fire in Fire by Kristin Cashore, so maybe her. I’d defo end up dead though since monsters want to eat her all the time.

champagne problems- dual POV

Oh two points of view, gotta think a minute. This song reminds me of New Years Day a fair bit. I think I’ll go with Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, it’s a story told in the POVs of two half sisters who don’t know each other exists. Absolutely broke my heart, told in verse.

gold rush- anticipated release

This song is a surprisingly sad bop which I loved on the first listen. Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee is my most anticipated release for 2021. I can’t wait to see how this trilogy ends and just know that it’s going to break my heart ten thousand times over.

’tis the damn season- small town romance

I think this is my favourite track on the album? I love the line messy as the mud on your truck tyres. Well Met by Jen De Luca is a small town romance set around a renaissance fayre, it’s really cute and I enjoyed it a lot.

tolerate it- lost love, failed relationship

One of the saddest songs on the album and you can hear it in how it sounds. Ah I don’t really read many books where relationships don’t work out but I’d have to pick a Sarah J Maas book given her tendency to kill ships.

no body, no crime- character who’d get away with murder

This song is so fun and I love its energy. Hahahahaha who else could I pick for this but Kaul Hilo from Jade City? If you know, you know.

happiness- a book that makes you suffer but you find comforting

Another sad song, sigh Taylor I thought this would be happy!! The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is probably the book that fits this most for me. I know it has its faults but it broke my heart and made me feel understood at the same time.

dorothea- nostalgic read

This song is cute, not one of my faves but I love the name Dorothea. The Magicians Guild by Trudi Canavan – I loved this trilogy, it was the first adult fantasy I read and is a good crossover series. The last book is a heartbreaker though.

coney island- star crossed lovers

This one crept up on me! I didn’t like it at first but I love the vocals. Probably Paige and Warden from The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Currently reading an eARC of book 4 and I just want to bang their heads together.

ivy- crept up on you

Love how this one sounds, not a fan of the cheating story. I’m going to pick A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole! I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did – I think it’s one of my favourite romances.

cowboy like me- cat and mouse games

This is probably my least favourite and most forgettable on the album. But maybe after more listens I will remember it! I guess we could call Amalia and Ruven’s dynamic cat and mouse in The Tethered Mage trilogy. Melissa Caruso is a genius with that world building that just drops you in it and reveals little bits at a time. Ruven is always playing games.

long story short- never read it again, painful experience

On my first listen this was my favourite song. I love how it speaks of Taylor’s happiness after all the drama that went down before Rep. Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid absolutely destroyed me because it was so, so devastating and I honestly can’t read it again.

marjorie- book with a beautiful message

You really have to watch the lyric video on YouTube, it made me cry. Another Taylor Jenkins Reid – this time Maybe in Another Life. It’s about de-bunking the myth that there is ‘the one’ out there. I love it, a really good story about parallel lives.

closure- a book with bad rep (a betrayal)

I found the sound of this one a bit jarring so wasn’t a fan at first but it is growing on me. Gonna go with a betrayal rather than bad rep. I’m gonna go with The Poppy War series by R.F. Kuang. There is a huge betrayal in one of the books that had me so shocked.

evermore- a journey of self discovery

Little bit similar to Closure, took me a while to get used to Bon Iver’s pitch in this one. Oooooh I don’t know. Going to have to go with another Kristin Cashore book, this time Graceling. The main character, Katsa, goes on such a journey throughout and I love it so much.

There we go! I had a lot of fun doing this tag – it motivated me to get a post out this weekend. I am still pretty brain-tired and not reading much so hopefully that will pick up again when I get a two week break from work after next week.

I’m not going to tag anyone specific but if you’re reading this thinking you’d love to have a go then consider yourself tagged by me!

WWW Wednesday (28th October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Every Heart a Doorway. I am so intrigued so far, it’s a book about kids and teens who go through doors to other worlds and get kicked out, return home and wish they could go back to the places they could be themselves. The world building is really unique, and I can’t believe it is a novella because so much has happened and I’m only a third of the way through!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished From Blood and Ash. It was good, but I wasn’t blown away or anything. I felt it was a bit too predictable, and didn’t get too attached to any of the characters. It did have a cool spin on vampires though, which I enjoyed, and the romance was good. The overall plot just didn’t do it for me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

This is tricky! I have no idea to be honest. I think I’m going to read The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo (I’ve already read the beginning few stories but took a little break). This is such a gorgeous book and I like the art.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Let me know what you’ve been reading this week!

WWW Wednesday (21st October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Jade War by Fonda Lee. It’s the sequel to Jade City and I love it already. It’s honestly such a good series, Fonda Lee is an absolute genius who definitely knows how to write a gripping plot AND amazing characters.

What did you recently finish reading?

Naturally I just finished Jade City by Fonda Lee. From start to finish it is full of action, twists and turns with some of my favourite characters of all time. Lan, Hilo, Shae and Anden have my whole heart – you should definitely pick up this book and get to know these amazing siblings.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I wish I could say Jade Legacy but it’s not out for almost a year! I think I’ll try and read The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Page – I received the ARC on Monday and I can’t wait to see what it is all about. Sounds so cool. Witchy sorority? I’m all in.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

In other news, I do not have COVID, so I’m back at work loving life. Hope everyone is doing well.

WWW Wednesday (14th October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab….again! But this time, I have a gorgeous hardback instead of the eARC. I’m reading it really slowly, really noticing and absorbing all the messages. I have even put sticky tabs in for my favourite quotes! This book is heart-breaking and comforting all at the same time and I love it with everything I have.

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo for the second time. This time, I read it really slowly like I’m doing with Addie and honestly enjoyed it even more. Leigh’s show not tell world-building is exemplary. Galaxy Stern is one of my favourite characters and I really can’t wait to see where her story takes her in the next book. Do check out the trigger warnings – this one has a lot. You can check out my review if you want to.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think I’m going to read From Blood and Ash, but that may change. I also really want to read The Broken Earth Trilogy and do a Jade City re-read since I just purchased Jade War. We will see where my mood takes me!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

In other news, I do not have COVID, so I’m back at work loving life. Hope everyone is doing well.

WWW Wednesday (7th October 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love this book, and on this re-read I’m going slowly in order to take it all in. I’m a big fan of the protagonist, Alex Stern. She’s had such a rough life but is really doing the most. It is a. ADULT horror though, so don’t go into it without reading the trigger warnings as there’s plenty of graphic descriptions.

What did you recently finish reading?

Welcome to another of my favourite books of the year. It didn’t start too strongly for me but by the end it left me eagerly anticipating what happens next. The protagonist, El Higgins, is so easy to get behind. She’s got walls up for good reason, and she had really heart-warming character development during a tense, deadly plot. You can read my thoughts in my review, which has actually turned into one of my more popular reviews!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Okay, so I don’t often re-read books with this small of a gap in between, but I can’t help it with this one. Now I have a physical copy I am so excited to be absorbed in Addie and Henry’s world again. It’s also a Book Coven book club pick along with A Deadly Education so looking forward to discussing both of them with my friends.

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

In other news, I do not have COVID, so I’m back at work loving life. Hope everyone is doing well.

WWW Wednesday (30th September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong. It’s an interesting world with a lot of amazing social commentary. I’m having a few issues connecting to the characters – but I’ve still got half of the book left for things to improve. This is definitely a unique book even with it being a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet.

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave! It’s one of the most beautiful books (in appearance) ever, and the story is also a very, very good origin story for Dracula’s wives. I really love the way it dives into complicated relationships between sisters – Lil is a great protagonist. It also has an f/f romance! You can check out my review here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik arrived yesterday so that’s absolutely on my next to read radar. It is my most anticipated read of 2020 and I honestly can’t wait to see what it’s all about!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

WWW Wednesday (23rd September 2020)

Hi friends, it’s time for WWW Wednesday again. So, what’s it about? This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. Here are my answers to the three Ws!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson. A lot of my friends really enjoyed this book so I’m excited to see where it goes!

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished reading Love, Simon and Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli. I really loved Leah on the Offbeat – Leah is such a great snarky bisexual teenager. I really related to her perfectionism and lack of confidence – and loved that she stood up for her friends. Didn’t enjoy Love, Simon quite as much (maybe it’s just the teenage boy protagonist thing haha).

What do you think you’ll read next?

A tricky one! I think I’m going to read These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong next. I got approved for the eARC this week and everyone who has read it seems to think it’s really amazing. Hopefully it lives up to the hype – I’m super excited to review it. Romeo and Juliet in 1920s Shanghai sounds awesome!

What do you think of these choices? I am so excited to make more progress on my to be read.

Top Ten Tuesday (Books On My Fall 2020 TBR)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This is my first Top 10 Tuesday post, and this week the theme is Books On My Fall 2020 TBR (or spring if you live in the southern hemisphere).

1) A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik. Honestly I am so excited for this book. How could I not be? Magic school + Naomi Novik sounds like book heaven. All my friends who read advanced copies loved it, so I am really excited!

2) The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Okay so I have already been fortunate enough to read this one (see review here). But I will be reading again for The Book Coven’s October book club – along with A Deadly Education because it was impossible to choose between the two! I also am getting two copies – Waterstones special edition and Illumicrate.

3) Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. It will have been a year since I met Leigh Bardugo with Nikki. To celebrate I am definitely going to be reading this wonderful book again. I don’t usually like horror but really enjoyed this book – and it fits right in with spooky season.

4) The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo. I am so excited for this book to come out, it looks so beautiful! I am really excited for the stories and illustrations. I love most things Leigh writes. Hopefully we will get Shadow and Bone TV series news soon as well.

5) Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I have heard excellent things about this book and I am excited to give it a try – even if it is absolutely huge (big chonker book right here!!!)

6) Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson. This sounds like an intense, hard-hitting book, but I’m really excited for it. There are hints of musical talent in the blurb which I absolutely love. It released recently and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

7) The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso. This debut epic fantasy caught my eye recently and I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s all about! I mean the series is called Chronicles of the Bitch Queen – what’s not to like?

8) Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Believe it or not, I’ve never read this book. I think Fall 2020 was to the the time for me to read it. I actually know nothing about it and I’m going to keep it that way!

9) The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. Currently a bit lacking on the contemporary side for this blog. I am looking forward to reading The Vanishing Half – it’s about twin sisters which I love.

10). Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. Another author I’ve never read before but really should have done. Looking forward to finally started this series of novellas.

What are you reading this Fall? Any new releases I should absolutely pick up? Hope you find something cool in my choices.