The First Week of 2020

January 7, 2020 My Reading Life 11

Heyo Bookworms,

New year, new you? I’m crap at New Year’s Resolutions- any time I make a lasting life change it tends to happen on a nondescript Tuesday. That said, I’m not immune to the hype- I’m highly susceptible to suggestion, as a general rule. So I figured I’d try my hand at committing to weekly blog posts. We’re exactly one week into 2020 at this point, so let’s give it a go! (And let’s not be smug when I fall off the wagon after a couple of weeks, mkay?)

I spent the last couple months of 2019 binge reading Regency romance novels (think Jane Austen, with spice), so it’s hardly a shock to find that the first book I finished within the bounds of 2020 was A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare. Romance novels guarantee a “Happily Ever After” but they come in all different flavors. Heck, even Regency romances (which are all set in the same time, place, and with the same strictures, etc) are available in endless variety. Tessa Dare’s books hit just the right note for me- there’s always a scene or some dialogue that results in me cackling. Embarrassing situations abound. And yes, there are plenty of swoony bits. They’re DELIGHTFUL. A great way to kick things off.

I probably should have mentioned that I technically listened to A Week to Be Wicked. I keep a bullet journal now because it makes me feel like I have a shred of control over my life. Anywho. In the back, I have a pretty little picture of a bookshelf that I fill in as I’m reading. In this journal, (which I actually started in late November because that’s when I ran out of pages in the last one) I decided to separate my “bookshelves” into those I read with my eyeballs and those I read with my ears. AUDIO BOOKS COUNT AS BOOKS READ. Doesn’t matter how you get the story into your brain, folks. Just get it in there. But because my brain doesn’t differentiate between eyeball reading and listening, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to track them. I promise I have a point here. The POINT is that my shelves look rather uneven at the moment and it’s bugging me. This is partially due to my second read of the year…

I’m short on artistic talent, but big on enthusiasm.

I started The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon around Christmas. It’s a phenomenal work of fantasy and I’m very invested, but it’s also a little more work to read than a Regency romance novel where I’m already familiar with the setting and customs and social mores. The Priory of the Orange Tree features a whole different world with elaborate political structures and factions and mythical beasts- it’s a lot for my bedtime brain to chew on. (I do the majority of my eyeball reading before I go to sleep at night). Aaaaaaaand it clocks in at 848 pages. I’m hoping to finish it up this week with enough time to spare so I can re-read Tell the Wolves I’m Home (review) before book club next Friday, but we’ll see how things shape up.

I managed to get through a second audio book this week as well, which is technically the first book I both started and finished in 2020. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite was a departure for me. I don’t read much in the way of crime novels, but this was less a crime novel than a twisty-complex-familial-relationship novel. I mean, there was crime. Hooo buddy was there crime! It just wasn’t a procedural style crime novel is what I’m at getting here. Distinct lack of Law & Order vibe. IT WAS VERY GOOD. Also disturbing, but when you decide to read a book called My Sister, the Serial Killer, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into. I should probably just write a whole post on the virtues of audio books, but one of my favorite things about them is that it gives me the opportunity to LEARN THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION of unfamiliar names and places. Names are a big deal. Sure, we’re talking about fictional characters here, but if I ever meet a Korede or Ayoola IRL, I’ll be prepared.

Finally, I just started a new audio book, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. I’m loving it so far, but I’ll reserve any shouty capitalization or effusive punctuation for after I finish it. Let’s chat next week, intrepid Bookworms!


If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Links within the content of the post direct to Amazon. If you prefer to make a purchase through an Independent Bookstore, please see the links below:

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Get a Life, Chloe Brown, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, A Week to be Wicked, My Sister, the Serial Killer



11 Responses to “The First Week of 2020”

  1. Ashley

    I was thinking of doing a Tell the Wolves I’m Home re-read! Great suggestions and I love how you’re tracking your reading! I might just steal your idea!

    • wordsfor

      You recommended it to me the first time and it was one of the first library books I ever downloaded on my kindle. I’m excited to re-visit it!

    • wordsfor

      Another HUGE perk of audio books are accents! The posh accent of Chloe versus the Game-of-Thrones-y situation Red has going on is FAB. I can’t really identify regional accents when it comes to the UK (except Scottish, natch) but I love the variety.

  2. Rachel

    I adore your journal bookshelves! Look at you being so creative! I’m also impressed that you’re bullet journaling…I had aspirations that never turned into anything. On the reading front, I’ve got a whole host of Amazon Prime free reads sitting in my Kindle and my goal is to get to more of them! Currently my reading time consists of when I sit on the floor while the littlest falls asleep (she’s taken to screaming if I leave while she’s awake). Thank goodness for backlit Kindles!

    • wordsfor

      I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I’ve seen versions of this on a LOT of blog posts and Pinterest boards. Although, that’s a double edged sword because while it’s inspiring, I also have no real artistic talent. Then again, unless I go posting pictures on the internet, nobody is the wiser. And AMEN for the backlit Kindle that enables all my bedtime reading! Good luck with the little one, I’ve spent more time than I care to admit lying next to a crib and holding hands- I salute your efforts!

  3. Rhian

    Happy New Year! I look forward to your regular reading adventures and promise not to judge if the frequency is … less frequent ;-).

  4. Amy @ Read a Latte

    I read My Sister the Serial Killer at the end of the year and loved it! I listened to half and read half and I’m with you on the pronunciations, also it just made the whole thing come to life so much more! Your journal pages are SO CUTE!

  5. shanayatales

    This is SUCH an interesting co-incidence. Until last month I hadn’t ever read what you would call regency or historical romances, outside of the classics.

    And then last week of December, while randomly browsing the library, I came across a Tessa Dare book – Romancing The Duke. I hadn’t even heard of the author, and wasn’t sure about this book or even the genre. I had only ever read Jane Austen, so did not know what to expect.

    I picked it up anyway, and oh my God!! Why on earth did I not pick this up sooner?! I am now hooked to the genre, the author, and this series in particular – Castles Ever After. Have you read it? These books by Tessa Dare?

    *well technically I heard it, and they are so good on audio!!

    • wordsfor

      OK, want to hear something really weird? Romancing the Duke was MY first Tessa Dare novel too! I bought it a couple months ago when it was on sale for like $2.99 on Kindle and I have been hooked ever since! I have read all 4 Castles Ever After books at this point, though out of order (not that it matters much in the case of that series.) I highly recommend the audio for When a Scot Ties the Knot because I am particularly fond of Scottish accents. I’m currently working my way through the Spindle Cove series (in order, which IS preferable in this case) because the final book in Castles Ever After is a crossover novel and I HAD to hear about the heroine’s sisters!

  6. Michelle

    Look how pretty your reading lists are! Mine are straight lists. I have no artistic talent whatsoever, and I know that if I tried the bookshelf thing, I would screw it up and be made with myself every time I opened that page. I can only imagine how much fun it is to fill in a book spine though!

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