Happy New Year! 2017 Review and 2018 Aspirations

Happy New Year Bookish Friends!

What a successful reading year 2017 was for me!
I began doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge about two years ago to try and get me back into reading. I had the reading appetite of Matilda when I was a child but since getting a job and adulting happened, reading dropped right off my radar! Unfortunately my book-buying habit had not subsided and I found myself with shelves full of books which had hardly been touched! Therefore I began my initial challenge at 25 books working at about two per month with an extra one as I prefer the number 24 to 25 (don’t ask me why!). It definitely motivated me as I read 34 books that year and so I decided to up my challenge each year by 10 books. Last year’s target of 35 was smashed as well as I ended up reading about 47 books. So perhaps 2018’s target of 45 is a little conservative but at least I know I can definitely reach it and it feels like an achievable goal.

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When I started properly reading again, I wanted to find a book series or author that had given me as many feels as the Harry Potter series; like so many I am a complete and utter Potterhead and grew up alongside Harry and the books. I really wanted to find a series where I’d be able to get back that eager anticipation of waiting for the next instalment to be released and I definitely found that in Sarah J Maas. The Bookstagram community was full of such love and adoration for SJM that when I heard she was hosting a talk and a book signing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2016 I booked a ticket straight away to see what all the fuss was about! The queue to get into the event was one of the longest I’ve ever seen and some of the fangirls in the queue for the event looked at me gone out as if to say “What do you mean you’ve never read Throne of Glass?!” Needless to say that for that whole hour listening to SJM talk, the only thing I had any real understanding of was her love for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, plus I’d managed to get a seat right at the front so I felt really awkward surrounded by all these teenage lexicons swooning over people called Rhysand and Rowan whom I obviously knew nothing about. The complete buzz around both TOG, ACOTAR and Sarah herself made me buy the starter books from both series from the book tent right after the event and then spend more time in another really long queue to get her to sign those books. These were the series I had been waiting for. I was completely sucked into the worlds of Prythian and Erilea! I’d read both ACOTAR and ACOMAF ready for the release of ACOWAR in 2017 and I’ve now also read all of TOG up to Tower of Dawn which is on my TBR list for 2018. I’m trying to pace it out so I don’t gorge them all in one go! 🙈

Other bookish highlights of 2017 include:

  • Subscribing to the Fairyloot book box (since Feb 2017). It’s the only book box I subscribe to and I’m definitely never relinquishing my subscription. It has been one of the factors in helping me get back into reading and the whole community surrounding it is full of such lovely people who love to talk about books just as much as me! I’ve received so many gorgeous books I’d never have picked up on my own and discovered some brilliant new writers.
  • Ploughing through The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I managed to pick up this box set for about £10 from The Works and again it was one of those purchases based purely on the hype surrounding those infamous Shadowhunters.
  • Discovering Leigh Bardugo. I wrote my university dissertation on fairytales; I own copious books on fairytale criticism and theory; Angela Carter is one of my all-time favourite writers. So when I received an exclusively red-foiled copy of The Language of Thorns in my October Fairyloot box it felt like Leigh Bardugo had given me a little bit of Carter back in a Bloody Chamber-esque way! Her tales were so exquisitely told and full of such intrinsic imagery; both dark and twisty yet light and pure at the same time. It really was one of my favourite reads of 2017.

Bookish targets for 2018 include:

  • Reading Tower of Dawn ready for TOG7 and ordering A Court of Frost and Starlight.
  • Completing The Grishverse and starting the Six of Crows duology.
  • Purchasing and reading The Infernal Devices.
  • Reading books from authors I haven’t heard of or read before (enter Fairyloot!)
  • Clearing more of my TBR and not buying quite as many books, particularly e-books because I don’t actually enjoy reading them as much as physical books.
  • And the biggest challenge…Focusing on improving this blog (any constructive tips are welcome, I know that pictures are lacking!) and getting my new bookstagram account off the ground. You can follow me on Instagram @cotswoldbookaholic

So that’s me for this year! What are some of your 2017 reading highlights or goals for 2018? Let me know and happy reading!

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