Whew! I know it’s cliche to say, but I just cannot believe how quickly January flew by! It seems like time’s flying already and it’s dragging me along behind it, whether I like it or not, haha! But enough of lamenting over the uncannily speedy passage of time—let’s get to the good stuff!
There are A LOT of blog updates, so let’s just get rolling…
The biggest update is that Claire and Maggie have departed from Hardcover Haven. I was sad to see them go as I had so much fun working with them, but I know they’re both busy doing great work elsewhere.
The second update is that Hardcover Haven is going through design changes. I’m currently working on the designs and testing them, so if you see some changes, don’t freak out.
Finally, in a fun update, I’m joining the Harry Potter Board Game Challenge! I don’t usually take part in book challenges, but I liked the fun idea behind this one as well as its flexibility. From now on, I’ll be adding a subsection under my “Read” and “TBR” section which will tell you which (if any) challenges the books fulfill. I’m super excited for this challenge and I can’t wait to keep y’all updated!
That’s all for blog updates, so let’s roll on to books!
HP BOARD GAME CHALLENGES FULFILLED
Level One // Ollivander’s // Book with Magic // The Gilded Wolves
I only read one book in January, but it was a book that I absolutely fell in love with, so I think that’s a win! The book I’m talking about is The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, which was an incredible five star read! I loved everything about the book from the characters to the setting to the plot to the themes surrounding racism and colonialism. You guys just have to check this one out!
I nabbed an audiobook copy of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri after hearing one of my favorite authors, S.A. Chakraborty, recommend it. To be honest, I’ve read the first chapter of this one before and wasn’t massively impressed BUT I trust Chakraborty’s recommendation, so here’s hoping it doesn’t let me down…
I am so freaking excited for the ARCs I got in January! Both Never Contented Things and Spin The Dawn are releases I’ve been highly anticipating. And can we just take a moment to collectively stare in awe at how absolutely gorgeous the cover for Spin The Dawn is?! I mean…daaaaaang she be real fine! Also the cover for Never Contented Things looks totally intriguing and creepy!
HP BOARD GAME CHALLENGES FULFILLED
Level One // Madam Malkin’s // Bookish World to Revisit // Kingdom of Copper
Level One // Flourish and Blott’s // Bestselling Book // King of Scars
Level One // Magical Menagerie // Animal on the Cover // Crown of Feathers
Level One // Apothecary // TBR Book You Need to Read // Dark of the West
My TBRs are always really loose, but I’m actually SUPER pumped for the one I’ve created for this February! One thing I know is that I am for sure finishing King of Scars and Kingdom of Copper, both of which I started in late January. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll get to the other books to, though, because I’m pretty excited for all of them as well.
Sadly, this month I didn’t watch any movies or TV…
“Warm” by Dre’s ft. Mia // I love the laid back vibe of this song. It feels so fresh and summery—it reminds me of driving along the beach on a breezy summer day with the sunshine on my face and not a single worry on my mind!
“Dancing With A Stranger” by Sam Smith ft. Normani // I feel like this song just made for blissfully dancing around your room/house when you’re alone!
“Lil Bebe” by DaniLeigh // This song is such a bop! It’s fun and easy to dance to and with zest. DaniLeigh is a new artist I discovered and honestly I’ve been loving all of her music, but this one struck a chord with me (pun intended).
“Iron Mike” by Leikeli47 // As per usual, Leikeli47 continues to prove to be a favorite artist of mine, continuing to releasing music full of creativity and sass. “Iron Mike” is another solid from her, so her streak with me remains unbroken.
“1999” by Charli XCX ft. Troye Sivan // If you want a song that’s pure fun, this one is for you. It’s so upbeat that you can’t help but smile!
As many of you know, I’m mixed Black/Lebanese/Cherokee/Irish and, let me tell ya, my hair shows it. I have fine, high porosity 3C curls and the biggest problem I have is frizz. My hair also used to be SUPER damaged, but I chopped my waist length locks to chin length and now it’s pretty healthy. Since this is the case, I want to take careful care of my hair, so I now go out of my way to use really good products for “textured” hair. My favorites that I’ve found are SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner, SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler. All of those products work WONDERS on my hair, leaving it hydrated and pretty much frizz-free!
Another thing I’ve been loving is a booktube channel I discovered a few months ago called Katie’s Book Nook. Katie is super fun and enthusiastic, without being overwhelming. I’ve loved watching her videos (especially her reading vlogs) and watching how her channel has grown. Plus, I love that, like me, Katie was a STEM major (she now is a working scientist) who went to an ivy league! STEM girls gotta support each other lol!
- The beloved book blogger Melanie of Mel To The Any began a great booktube channel of the same name
- Meagan at the book blog The Spines tells all about how and why she takes all of her own Instagram photos
- Booktuber Vanessa of Paper Faerie shared her take on the recent community discussion of authors, reviewers, and ARCs
- Noura, of the book blog The Perks of Being Noura, created The Harry Potter Board Game Reading Challenge 2019
- The Orang-utan Librarian considered why there’s always room for lighter books
- Book blogger Angel of Avid Reader spilled the beans on seven blog design mistakes and how to fix them
- Bookidote‘s Lashaan asked how you connect with the blogging community
- Laura, of The Book Corps, told all about how to get out of a reading slump
- Rachel, star of the booktube channel AModelWho’sRead, explained the difference between Young Adult and New Adult books
- Amer over at The Book Bratz hit it out of the park with TWO stellar posts, the first shedding light on why realistic sex scenes are important, and the second illuminating why sometimes book reviews aren’t enough
- Jess at Beaucoup Books let us know about 30 bookish blog post ideas
- Louise of Foxes And Fairytales pondered if the Goodreads Challenge stresses us out
- Beth from Reading Every Night looked into our changing book opinions and how that affect our reviews
- CW of The Quiet Pond gathered eight bloggers for part one of a community discussion on the work that book bloggers do
In all honestly, my life was pretty uneventful in January. I returned to school for my spring semester after a really rough fall semester. Luckily, I’m only taking two classes and I like both of my teachers, so fingers crossed this semester will be a little brighter. But other than that, I just did homework, hung out with friends, and relaxed!
Well, that’s pretty much it for January! Here’s hoping February will be positively magical! So now I want to hear from you…
- How was your January?
- Did you read any good books?
- What books are you excited to get to in February?