2019: A Year in Books

2019 has been a good year in books for me: many great books and some outstanding have been read, few stinkers if any.

Favourite Reads

I have already blogged here about my favourite reads of 2019 so perhaps just the images will suffice. Any by golly they include some stunning covers!

Stinkers

It seems almost cruel to dwell on these but they were the low points in the reading year, without which the high points might not have seemed so high. The Lying Room – even if we forgive its capitalisation and paragraphing issues as it was an ARC – was just tedious, especially when read alongside a novel like Lemaitre’s Blood Wedding, with no tension and limited interest. A Map of Days was just a sequel too far in a series that doesn’t know when to end.

Languishing on the TBR List

There are so many still to be read, books which have not quite risen to the top of the eternal and growing TBR pile, or which were overtaken by the release of exciting and highly anticipated books. So, the books I regret not getting round to reading this year include:

And so so many more!

Blog Growth

This has been the most successful year for the Book Lovers’ Sanctuary since I began, garnering now over 1,000 views per month which, compared to so many, is still very mediocre. And alongside that, my Twitter (@CattiganMichael) has grown to 1078 followers just since starting that account.

Considering that I had no ambition beyond my own interest I find that hugely humbling. A thousand people a month take the time to find and read the things I put out there – a massive thank you to you all!

And what has happened, primarily through participating in Bookish Memes is that there has been more engagement and interaction and comments too: the starts of conversations. What I’d love for the next step is for more interaction, more conversation and the growth of more bookish friends, so please feel free to comment, to tag and to tweet me.

And looking at the data produced by WordPress, it is bizarre to see the geographical spread of views.

The United Kingdom and America and Australia are obviously going to be high ranking but that is quite a wide spread!

And it is on the back of that growth that I have secured a number of ARCs, both from Netgalley and infinitely more humbling, directly from a number of publishers. A huge thank you to all those writers for having the courage and generosity for putting their dreams out there for us all, and those publishers willing to share.

Bookish Memes

This year, I began – somewhat haphazardly – to take part in a couple of bookish memes, posting lists of books of various topics and themes. I did love the thinking process behind it all, reminding myself of books that had begun to sink below the forefront of my memory.

The two that I am intending – subject to work commitments and family crises – to follow weekly next year are

Top Ten Tuesdays

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.

The current list of topics which runs an intimidating way into 2020 includes

  • December 31: Favorite Books I Read In 2019
  • January 7: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020
  • January 14: Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019 (these could be books, authors, blogs, websites, apps, products, etc.)
  • January 21: The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf
  • January 28: Book Cover Freebie (choose what kind(s) of covers you want to talk about: prettiest, most unique, most misleading, weirdest, most memorable, creepiest, ugliest, etc.)
  • February 4: Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads
  • February 11: Love Freebie
  • February 18: The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover (submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)
  • February 25: Characters I’d Follow On Social Media (submitted by Tilly @thebiblioshelf)
  • March 3: Books With Single-Word Titles (submitted by Kitty from Kitty Marie’s Reading Corner)
  • March 10: Authors Who Have a Fun Social Media Presence
  • March 17: Spring 2020 TBR (or whichever season it is where you live)
  • March 24: Genre Freebie (pick a genre and build a list around it! i.e., best/worst romances, non-fiction for travelers, memoirs for foodies, classics that feel timeless, romance novel kisses, science fiction that feels too real for comfort, women’s fiction for newbies, etc.)
  • March 30: Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover (basically, people know you’re a book lover because… i.e., you’re always carrying a book or two, your library card broke from overuse, etc.)

Top Five Saturdays

Hosted by Amanda at Devouring Books started back in October and I kind of lost motivation for making it every week. But it’s back! This is a series of books that I want to read that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more.

Teaser Tuesday

the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR! You can also just share what you are currently reading. It’s very easy to play along, as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

Looking Ahead

2020 looks like it is going to be a fantastic year for book releases and conclusions with three key moments for the diary:

  • 5th March 2020, The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel – bringing the Wolf Hall Trilogy to a conclusion and surely a shoe in for the Man Booker 2020;
  • 2nd July 2020, Summer by Ali Smith – bringing the Seasonal Tetralogy to an end and surely deserves also to be on the Man Booker;
  • 17th August 2020, Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss (according to Amazon) – finally concluding (or continuing?) the Kingkiller Chronicles. Maybe.

And What Am I Reading as Midnight Approaches?

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