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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Discoveries of 2019

Hi all!

Welcome to another week and the (ridiculously belated) first blog post of 2020 on Nen and Jen. What better way is there to start off the year than with one of your favourite memes, created by the lovely Artsy Reader Girl? Especially given this week’s topic: Bookish Discoveries of 2019.

As 2019 was the start of our blogging journey, there’s arguably a HUGE amount of bookish discoveries we made but we had fun narrowing it down to a few stand out things.

Reading by colour… it’s a thing!

One of my most astonishing bookish discoveries was that I tended to read not only by genre (which is what I had always thought) but also by colour. This could change on a daily basis or I would find myself reading only orange books for a week.

How did I realise only last year that I tended to read by colour? By my WWW posts. At first I thought it was a coincidence… when the pattern continued it was confusing. I hadn’t been doing it intentionally and yet the evidence was right there. It’s so strange and yet I’m glad to finally have found it out!

Thrillers’ plot twists more than make up for their scare factor

As a newbie to the thriller genre, almost all of the books I have read so far have caught me by total surprise. I haven’t established a set of predictions or preconceptions yet on the genre and so each book has had a delightfully unpredictable plot twist. I’m eager (and yet only slightly apprehensive) to continue reading in the genre. Hopefully I’ll still remain surprised by the endings!

Indie authors deserve more recognition

There are so many good books out there and a significant portion of them come from Indie Authors. To be honest, before I started blogging I hadn’t really understood the difference between an indie author and ‘normal author’. I read widely and enjoyed stories regardless of their publishing origins. Now that I’m more aware of the distinction, especially from a marketing and ARC review stand point, I’m eager to remain unbiased toward publication. I often read some amazing books by Indie Authors that I wish would get more recognition!

Libraries still exist!

Before September 2019, I hadn’t gone to a library in YEARS, #ForShame. Honestly, I hadn’t realised all that I was missing out on. Now, my favourite part of the week is doing a book haul at my local and ending up with WAY too many books to read in a month.

Re-reading is my default setting

When I first started blogging the expectation I set upon myself was to keep up with recently released books. It was a way to communicate more in the bookish community and also share recommendations and reviews. What it really made me aware of though was the extent to which I re-read my favourite books. Those that I truly loved were read at least three times over 2019 and re-reads made up at least half of my total read books!

Romance novels deserve better cred

I’ve always been a sap for the cliched romantic element in a story and always champion its existence, even in books where it’s not strictly necessary. Love and slow-burn all the way! It’s a real shame that a lot of readers dislike romance and give its readers a certain judgemental look. You all know what I’m talking about. The notion that if it’s a ‘fluff’ piece then you’re not a ‘real reader’. Pfft.

It’s not all about the numbers

Blogging and recording your reading numbers can be quite taxing. While reading challenges and sharing bookish thoughts had never tired me out before I was startled to realise that after only 6 months of blogging (quite sporadically), I had burned myself out. The desire to read had just GONE. It was heart-breaking and quite honestly gave me some serious anxiety. Reading had always been a comfort and its loss was quite confronting.

My approach to 2020 is to set no challenges or obligations. I’m blogging and reading when and where I choose and hopefully I’ll be happier off for it.

Books I adored weren’t always well written

If there’s something blogging last year made me HIGHLY aware of, it’s the structure and technical quality of writing. I’d noticed before if a book wasn’t good but wouldn’t always have wondered and questioned why. Re-reading a lot of my favourite books has made me more aware of their technical flaws and yet sentimental attachment to the characters will forever keep them dear in my hearts and on my shelf.

Blogging makes you more aware of book diversity

I hadn’t taken much notice of book diversity before blogging. Namely because I just enjoyed stories without breaking them down too much. I would rip to shreds the ones that didn’t accurately represent others but hadn’t made a concerted effort to include more diverse books on my TBR lists. I’m glad to be more aware of its impact in the book community and the importance of having stories more representative of the world around us.

The Bookish Community is so kind!

Honestly, before publishing the first blog post I was a WRECK. I hadn’t done anything similar before and the prospect of jumping in to a competitive environment or accidentally offending someone from my reviews was quite intimidating. What I soon realised though was that the community was not only kind but so, so supportive. I hadn’t expected that and was so stunned at the amount of support other bloggers had given our little venture into the bookish community. I’m so grateful!

Jen

30 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Discoveries of 2019

      1. You’re welcome! That’s fantastic, you certainly did have some great discoveries. Oooh, thats a fantastic goal, I hope you find some amazing indie authors and thrillers this year!!πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great list! I also rediscovered my love for libraries last year! It makes me so happy to just browse through the books, and indeed taking way to many books back home!

    (www.evelynreads.com)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous post!! Excellent reasonings and unique choices here. Much agreed on discovering a lot of book diversity via book blogs. Also feel similarly about how there are many good/great books that aren’t technically well written. Happy to hear that thrillers have been effective for you, being caught off guard by a number of twists sounds like fun. I’m hoping to find some with a similar effect here in 2020, fingers crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kitty Marie! I’m really excited to explore more thrillers this year, especially domestic ones. I’m starting to find my footing in the genre and am so thankful that I decided to give it a try in 2019. I had always been a bit apprehensive about it because I’m a bit of a wimp πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are some cool discoveries! I have a feeling I read by color too. I noticed it when I was looking for a pink cover in my TBR and had none.

    And I don’t reread hardly at all! I think I have two books that I’ve ever reread and they were both Stephen King spread out over a few years.

    Finally- if you are looking for a good thriller, one of my favorites last year was Sometimes I Lie. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, that’s exciting Sarah! You’re the first person I’ve found that also reads by colour πŸ˜€ It’s odd to think of not re-reading. I love going to back to old characters that I love but you’d have so many more books read without re-reading and would be able to explore more. Thank you so much for the recommendation – I’m going to look it up and give it a try! πŸ˜€

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      1. I think that’s what it is- reading is so time consuming and there are so many awesome books out there waiting to be discovered, I just think: which characters am I missing out on by going back to this story?

        But TV shows are fair game. I’ll watch Vikings reruns all day. Lol

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  4. I love your point about diversity… marketing pushes so many particular books into our radar that we really have to consciously put in an effort to look for diverse books and authors and make sure we add them to our TBRs and read and promote them…. and I’m glad we all are trying to do whatever little we can in that matter …

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  5. Awesome discoveries Jen. And reading by color? That’s amusing but amazing. I find it cute for some reason. hehe. Also, rereading is also my default setting but I already know that for years so it didn’t make my list. Whenever I’m bored or in a slump, I reread the books I enjoyed. And it’s so often, I don’t even bother listing them again on goodreads.
    By the way, I need to add all the books you featured in this post on my list. Especially the Indie ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean Lili πŸ˜› It’s a bit whimsical reading by colour but it’s a fun way to discover new books. I really hope you enjoy the indie books! They’re some of my fav and My Commander by Alanea Alder is hilariously funny and quirky. If you’re looking for an unusual heroine in a fantasy romance then Meryn is your gal!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. These are honestly some of my fav reads from 2019 and a lot of them go unnoticed. I really hope you enjoy reading some of them when your book buying ban is over – I need to do that soon too, my poor finances can’t keep up! πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous list, Jen! I couldn’t agree more about the amazing kindness of the book community. I was pretty nervous before starting my blog too but I’m so glad I took the leap! I totes agree about being more aware about diversity, too. Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed to admit how clueless I was about the diversity of my reads before 2019! πŸ™ˆ Glad to see you back to blogging but you do what you need to do to still enjoy the magic of books/reading/blogging about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was the same about diversity. I enjoyed reading about it when it was done well but hadn’t thought about seeking out books or improving my awareness of it’s rep and accuracy. I really love the blogging community and blogging as well. I’m taking it easy this year, so hopefully will be more consistent. Enjoying the books and having time to blog hop is the most important aspect of it for me though πŸ˜€

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      1. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in everything when you start blogging. Sometimes the pressure can get pretty overwhelming. And then I hate myself for feeling that pressure because it’s so self-imposed (at least on my part lol). It’s that FOMO feel πŸ˜‚ But doing what works best for you is key! It’s just nice to see you back on here πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Dini! For making me feel like I’m not the only one who’s had self-imposed blogging pressure and also for all of your kindness and support of our blog over the last few months! πŸ’–πŸ™

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