TTT: Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is run by The Artsy Reader Girl.

1) Fantasy genre

I have always been a fan of fantasy, but didn’t read it that often. In 2019, as I started to lose interest in YA contemporary novels, I found myself reaching more often for YA fantasy and then adult fantasy as well. I love how it transports us into an entirely different and new world where magic exists. I love reading about the battles, both physically and mentally, that the main characters are forced to go through.

2) Author R.F. Kuang and The Poppy War trilogy

Okay, I know I talked about The Poppy Wars and it’s sequel in my previous TTT, but I loved them so much that I needed to talk about them here too. The Poppy War was Kuang’s debut book which was published in 2018 when she was around TWENTY-TWO years old. She is so young, and to have written such an amazing book (and sequel) that is full of rich world building, complex characters, and a plot that is full of twists and turns blows my mind. Seriously, this book was such a game changer for me for fantasy and has made me raise my standards so much.

3) Romance genre

I am a hopeless romantic so it’s honestly no surprise to me that I finally gave the romance genre a chance and quickly fell in love with it. When the chemistry and relationship development between the main character and her love interest is done well, these books can become super addictive. Plus! There are so many great tropes!! Give me all the fake relationship and enemies to lovers books!! Oh, and don’t forget the steamy sex scenes. They may be awkward to read in public but they sure are fun.

4) Author Helen Hoang

I’ve also already talked about Hoang’s books, The Bride Test and The Kiss Quotient in a previous TTT, but these books really helped sell me to romance! They had the perfect mixture of steamy and sweet moments, and there was great relationship development. What I also loved about Hoang’s books are that the covers are so cute which makes me feel perfectly fine about reading them in public. One of the biggest reasons why I was iffy about reading romance is because the covers were a bit too “sexy” for reading in public, but I hope that Hoang has started a new trend of nice covers for sexy content so I can hide in plain sight.

5) Heaving Bosoms Podcast

I was recently introduced to this podcast by a friend. It’s hosted by two women who each week read a new romance novel and then recap and react to it. Almost like a conversational book review. The hosts are really funny and have great chemistry together making it really fun to listen too–especially if you’ve read the book they are discussing. Since I’m still taking baby steps into the world of romancelandia, I’m really happy to have found out about this podcast so that I can now use it to find more romance books to read!

6) Write or Die Podcast

So this is actually indirectly about books. It’s a podcast hosted by two women authors who interview other authors (both newbies and established authors) to learn about how they came to be published. As an aspiring writer myself I find this podcast to be very informative, scary, and reassuring at the same time as the curtain is pulled off from the publishing world. The reason why I added it to this list is that each author’s work gets promo-ed at the end of the podcast, so it’s also a great way to learn about books that you might have never heard of before! I know that my TBR has grown a lot since listening.

7) Book of the month subscription

I’ve always wanted to try out a book subscription box before but I didn’t like the part where I didn’t know what book I would be getting. I would hate to dole out cash only to get a book that I wasn’t interested in reading or did read and then ended up hating. But then for Christmas my friend gave me a six months subscription to book of the month, and let me say that I’m so excited about it! Each month the site gives you five books to choose from. If you’re not interested in any books that month you can defer which means you won’t get billed for that month! I’ve already ordered my January book and I can’t wait to get it in the mail!

8) “Lucky book shelf” at my library

I’m about to make a confession. I don’t spend a lot of time in my public library. Usually I’ll request a book so that all I have to do is walk in, pick it up, check it out, and then walk out. I’m in and out of there in like five minutes top. But in 2019 I let myself linger a little longer and that’s when I found that my library has this bookshelf called the “lucky book shelf”. It’s where they put newly released books (that are in high demand) for you to check out for one week. That is honestly the only reason why I read any current releases last year. I’d pass by the shelf, something would catch my eye, and I’d just check it out.

9) Bookish socks

I’m not the type of person to own merch of the things that I’m interested in. I don’t entirely know why, it’s just the way I am. But this year I was gifted from two different people a pair of book related socks, and let me tell you, I absolutely love them. I totally am that adult who loves to receive new socks, so that in itself made me happy, but then I also realized that it’s a subtle way for me to be able to geek out about books. Plus, they’re cute as heck.

10) Handmade Bookmarks

Hear me out! Up until now I either memorized the number of whatever page I was pausing on, or I would use whatever piece of paper was closest to me to use as a place holder. But then in 2019, to my pleasant surprise, a couple of my friends handmade me some bookmarks. The bookmarks were so cute, and it made me so happy to think of my friends who took the time to make them for me that I started using them. And wow, have I been missing out. Bookmarks are so nice to have around, guys. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize this.

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