January Wrap Up: ALL the Books Hauled, a Little Editing, and New Year Blues <3

Posted January 28, 2019 by Amber in Checking In / 10 Comments


I set out into 2019 with the intention to slay my reading list, and I feel like I’m at a really good spot!  I think I’m finally settling back in after destroying myself in November.  The blogs fairly well scheduled ahead, and I’m reading my ARCs more or less as I get them. Things in my blogging and bookish world are good, y’all?  I really hope this is an omen for the rest of the year.



Remember how in my 2019 Blogging Goals post, I spoke about how I was instituting a book buying ban on myself for 2019?

Well since I knew that was coming, I raided the heck outta Thriftbooks to hoard books I’ve either been wanting to buy, or I can’t get audiobooks for.  As you can see, a little over 40 books have been added to my collection since my last wrap up.  Other than pre-orders and ARCs, this is the most you can expect to see in a haul from me!

My husband is just DYING because we’re planning on moving sometime between late spring and early summer.  I don’t know how many of you bookworms have moved your collection, but books are the WORST.  They’re heavy and have to be spread out into small boxes.  Since I own over 600 books, I anticipate needing about 20 paper boxes to pack these efficiently and carry-ably. Soooo not excited for that.

I am my own worst enemy.

Also two of these books ThriftBooks sent to me accidentally?  So I’m going to give them a try – one’s about business but may be useful for my job, the other is by Kate Spade?  I don’t think I’m going to like either of them, but… free books.



Strange the Dreamer / ★★★★★ – This book has been on my TBR for a while, and I even have it in hardcopy BUT the audiobook came up as available from my library SO I decided to cheat.  A little.  After all, it’s not really skipping the line in my overall TBR!  And I’m so glad I did – this book if so beautifully written and the world is so tangible and creative… it was easy to excuse the pacing and the instalove.  The hype is right on this one!

The Gilded Wolves / ★★★★ I’ve been waiting since OCTOBER to share this review with you!  I think this book is going to blowup in the YA book community… and if it doesn’t, it should.  It’s got the edge of Six of Crows while managing tome entirely its own thing.  The heists are one after another, the characters colorful and exciting, and turn-of-the-century Paris is perfection.

Moxie / ★★★★★ – My soul was seriously dying for a little girl power and Moxie has it in spades.  This book is woke and real and painful and necessary.  But… it’s also inspiring.  I’ve been anticipating Moxie for such a long time and it did not disappoint!


Last Thursday I sat down with a pen and completely decimated the first scene in my NaNoWriMo novel, A Star Danced.

When I write, I tell myself two things:

  1. This is beautiful, you’re definitely keeping this.
  2. You can fix it in post.

Well, now I’m in post and I am not amused.

I killed myself in November over this manuscript, determined to finish the book… the first time I’ve finished a first draft in five years.  The story kept dragging out and out and turned itself around that I wrote over 100k words and the ending is still sloppy.  And it’s contemporary.  I learned that I despise writing contemporary.

The draft is bad.  I’m not even being unfairly hard on myself here – it’s truly bad.  The word choices are awkward, a lot of it is in passive voice, and ALL of it is telling.  The characters are underdeveloped, there’s inconsistencies in the details, and the plot going nowhere.  Plus, there’s the rambling.  A Star Danced is going to need a LOT of work, so I”m going to take it slow and tackle it piece by piece.  I hope it’s salvageable, but we’ll see.


Favorite Post: 2019 Releases I Can’t Wait For!

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was blog hopping around on this particular Top Ten Tuesday topic, I added SO. MANY. books to my TBR.  I do think that if I had to pick just ONE book, I’m most excited for Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea.  I’m glad y’all liked the list.

Favorite Review:  Fourth Dimension by Eric Walters

Did you miss this review in January?  So did everyone else!  I received a complementary reading copy of Fourth Dimension last February and reviewed it then… almost a year ago!  The search engines are giving me serious traffic on this blog post, but I’m not sure why it’s happening all of a sudden….


I started out the New Year in a blaze of glory!  It was all fireworks and confetti and balloons raising to cathedral ceilings aaaand-

I’m lying.  I’m terrible.  Sorry!

I started off January sick.  Terrible cough, just-sore-enough-to-be-annoying throat, I even lost my voice for a couple days.  It was bloody brilliant.  And it took forever to get over.  I still have a bit of a cough.  I’m really, really over it.

Nevertheless! We persevere.  I’m not the type to let myself curl up in a ball and just heal, so I’ve been working and blogging and reading, and I even went bowling!  And stressing.  This is the time of year where we have incoming money (tax return, annual bonus – bless the company I work for) and trying to balance out for the Big Expenses for the rest of the year.  The really big one for us this year is moving.  Moving is expensive y’all.  I’m not gonna rest until I know what ALL our assets are.

You know.  This is all basic adulting stuff that we all deal with in some form.  I’m very particular about our incoming and outgoing dollars, so until the end of February when everything is settled, I’m going to be kind of a hot mess.



Back in December, I mentioned that I wanted to start highlighting some awesome bloggers and bookstagrams that I come across in my travels each month.  Welcome to the “Great Stuff From the Blogosphere” section!  I’m going to highlight one blogger and one bookstagrammer each month.  These will not include the ones I use in my favorite blogger or favorite bookstagrammer posts, because I want to give someone else a little spotlight. 🙂

January 2019’s Book Blogger of the Month:

This month’s book blog spotlight falls on Charleigh from Charleigh Writes!

Charleigh doesn’t believe in niche blogging, so she serves up her truths about books, writing, mental health, and anything else that may suit her fancy.  On her about page, she says:

Losing myself in stories helped me through some traumatic times and I don’t think I’d still be here without it.


I can very much relate that feeling.  She’s very open and honest with her thoughts and her blog is fantastic reading.  Please go give her some love!

Not sure where to start?  Try these fantastic posts:


I am completely obsessed with @meneniareads!

There’s a lot of different styles out there on Instagram.  You have your book rainbows and your rustic set ups.  There’s a lot of white, simple layouts and a lot of woodgrains.  They’re all beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but it is hard to stand out on Bookstagram and still get the appeal of followers.

Menenia uses a bright bold style that I have seen very little of on my corner of Instagram, and I find myself liking and sharing her posts again and again.  She’s a no-brainer for this month’s Bookstagram feature.  I LOVE her feed.


Remember at the beginning of this post I said that I was scheduled well ahead?

For once I can actually tell you what to expect in February without randomly filling this section with a whole lot of “I don’t know”s!  YAY.

So the first thing you can expect this week is my review for Enchantée by Gita Trelease.  This book doesn’t seem to be getting much love yet, but it’s a FANTASTIC story of magic, Paris, and family.  I went out and preordered this one as soon as I finished the ARC, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

Later in the month, I’ll be talking about some of my favorite couples in books (and as I’m writing this, I realize I didn’t include Princess Buttercup and Wesley… #missedopportunity) and also a bunch of not-lovey-dovey stuff in the Anti-Valentines Day Book Tag.  There’s a handful of other posts out there too, plus all my month’s reviews, so stick around for the surprise.


How was your January?

What are your new goals for 2019?

Did you do anything special for New Years Eve?

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10 responses to “January Wrap Up: ALL the Books Hauled, a Little Editing, and New Year Blues <3

  1. I see you got Ticker! I loved that book! I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. I got The Gilded Wolves in OwlCrate and I’m excited about it, so I’m really glad it got a good rating from you. And WOW, great choice for bookstagrammer! Totally following her now – her pictures are eye-catching, and not a style I normally see!

    Ugh, moving. I hate moving. Especially BOOKS! I don’t have quite as many books as you, so I can only imagine how much it must suck to move 600+ books… I hope you start feeling better real soon!

    • Amber

      I’ve read some other books by Lisa Mantchev and really liked them, so I’m looking forward to Ticker! 🙂 Moving books is the ABSOLUTE worst. It’s the only time I think about switching over to ebooks….

      So glad you liked the Bookstagram feature! She’s a smaller account, but her photos really pop. 🙂

  2. I just got Strange the Dreamer on Audio since Audible had it on sale. I’m pretty excited to listen to because I keep hearing great things about it.

    It is such a good feeling to be scheduled ahead on blogging! I feel so put together when I am 😂

    I am also moving soon and packed about 15 boxes of books last month. My husband said this weekend, “look at all those boxes piling up in the dining room, we must not use anything in them since they’ve been packed and we haven’t needed anything out of them”. he had no idea they were all books because our bookshelves are still overflowing, haha oops.

    • Amber

      Oh no, I don’t envy you guys carrying all those boxes! You might just need to get another bookshelf when you are in the new place so you can unpack everything. 😉

      I hope you love Strange the Dreamer as much as I did!

  3. OMG this post is perfect! So many amazing books, hope you liked Louis Sachar’s Small Steps, though I still love Holes most. Have heard great things about Opposite of Loneliness as well. Now I really need to pick up Moxi asap.

    • Amber

      That’s great advice! I usually try and get empty paper boxes from work, but if I need more I’ll look into comic boxes!

  4. I haven’t moved since I was a little kid, so I don’t remember much about it, but oh boy I’m dreading the day I move out of my mom’s house because so many books?? I’m also terrified they’ll get damaged somehow haha. Good luck with the move, I hope everything will go smoothly ❤️

    • Amber

      Thank you Michelle! If it helps, my books have never gotten damaged in a move, so don’t worry about that being in your future! 😊