2018 Reading and Blogging Goals

Every so often I decide that I’m going to reflect on the kinds of things I’m reading throughout the year. Looking back I didn’t do any ‘reading resolutions’ as such this time last year, at least not publicly, but the do this I did better with reading thoughtfully, critically and with a view to experiencing more diverse books and writers.

That being said I’m always looking to improve so I’ve been thinking about my reading and blogging goals for 2018.

Get my Netgalley feedback ratio above 80%. I’ve submitted about 60 reviews on Netgalley but my ration still isn’t as high as I’d like it to be. My aim is to go through some backlist ARCs and submit feedback, as well as be more conscious about the books I request.

Cross post reviews to Goodreads. This is something I’m really awful at. I mainly use Goodreads to keep track of what I’m reading and post ratings, but I figure those ratings aren’t helpful without explanation and it’s still the easiest way for a potential reader to find out about a book.

Read at least 30 books for Read the World Project. I haven’t been as enthusiastic about blogging in the early part of this year, and by extension my drive to talk about this project kind of went away too. I definitely want to get back on the bandwagon this year and I have plans to start up an online book club with a different country per month, maybe even with a readathon sometime towards the end of the year!

Diversify the speculative fiction I’m reading. I got back in to SFF towards the end of the year and, as a poor result, the ratio of white male writers I was reading went up. I have books by POC SFF writers, and queer writers and female writers and a-combination-of-all-three writers so there’s no excuse.

Link to more Ownvoices reviews and posts in my own reviews. I’ve been trying to do this more regularly, so really I want to continue!

More women and marginalised writers. This is always a goal of mine. More queer authors, more diaspora authors, more black authors, more authors from outside of the UK and US, more mental health rep, just to read more than just the status quo.

Read three short stories a week. I have so many anthologies and this seems like a good way of getting through them rather than sitting there staring at them on my bookcase thinking ‘I’ll get to those’.

… and a bonus goal.

I’ve been thinking for a while about how I’d love to get back in to writing. I’m not cut out for a novel, I don’t have the attention span, but iv always loved short stories and I’d love to write some in the coming year.

So, that’s it! A mismatch of reading, blogging and writing goals for the coming year!

My SapphicAThon TBR

There’s been some discussion over on book twitter recently about the prevalence of m/m fiction written by women that borders on fetishisation compared to the distinct lack of f/f fiction being read and promoted online. The Sapphic-A-Thon hopes to redress that balance by encouraging readers to spend a fortnight reading fiction where the main characters are in, or end up in, f/f relationships.

As usual my TBR is ridiculously ambitious and is more of a ‘books to choose from’ than me thinking I’ll actually get through them all in two weeks (saying that I have read thirteen books in November so far and I’m off work from the 20th so who knows!). I’m loosely following the challenges but I’m not overly fussed about getting bingo but I’ve included what squares I’ll be using them for! (I’ve added the board at the bottom!)

I’ve taken most of these from Tasha’s suggestions!

Ghost Girl in the Corner by Daniel José Older

(Established relationship)

Trying to shake off the strange malaise that separates her from even her girlfriend Izzy, Tee decides to take over the Bed-Stuy Searchlight for the summer. But then she finds an alluring violet dress in the newspaper office, and a cute ghost girl no one else can see.

Izzy can tell Tee’s drifting away from her — she misses Izzy’s shows and skips shadowshaper practice — and she won’t stand for it. Yet when a girl goes missing in Bed-Stuy, Izzy needs Tee to get the word out and help investigate. Can they break through their distance and reconnect before someone else dies?

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

(Bisexual main character)

Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. Just ask high school nobody, Jessica Tran. Despite her heroic lineage, Jess is resigned to a life without superpowers and is merely looking to beef up her college applications when she stumbles upon the perfect (paid!) internship–only it turns out to be for the town’s most heinous supervillain. On the upside, she gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby, whom Jess thinks may have a secret of her own. Then there’s the budding attraction to her fellow intern, the mysterious “M,” who never seems to be in the same place as Abby. But what starts as a fun way to spite her superhero parents takes a sudden and dangerous turn when she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether.

Lambs Can Always Become Lions by Charlotte Anne Hamilton


Robin Hood, along with her group of friends, has been aiding the poor of Nottingham for four years. They have become an hindrance to the Sheriff of Nottingham, terrorising the rich lords and ladies and robbing gold right from under the Sheriff’s nose.

Helping Robin from inside, and proving her most useful ally, is Lady Marian Fitzwalter.

After hearing about a special shipment coming through Sherwood – filled with gold, jewels and weapons – Marian agrees to help Robin gather information so she can ambush it. It is risky and dangerous on both sides but Marian would do anything for Robin. And Robin would do anything to feed her people.

But as the shipment draws closer and tensions rise, Robin finds herself having to decide which is more important: love or duty.

Adaptation by Malinda Lo


Flocks of birds are hurling themselves at aeroplanes across America. Thousands of people die. Millions are stranded. Everyone knows the world will never be the same.

On Reese’s long drive home, along a stretch of empty highway at night, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won’t tell them what happened.

For Reese, though, this is just the start. She can’t remember anything from the time between her accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: she’s different now. Torn between longtime crush David and new girl Amber, the real question is: who can she trust?

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

(Both are WOC)

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic.

At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she’s not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

(Interracial pairing)

Just out of high school, Emi Price is a talented young set designer already beginning to thrive in the L.A. film scene. But her artistic eye has failed her in one key area: helping her to design a love life that’s more than make-believe. Then she finds a mysterious letter at an estate sale, and it sends her chasing down the loose ends of a movie icon’s hidden life. And along the way, she finds Ava, and at long last, Emi’s own hidden life begins to bloom.

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

(Hate to love)

Every time Nolan closes his eyes, he doesn’t see darkness. Instead he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan’s world is our world, full of history tests, family problems and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts. Amara’s world is full of magic and danger and she’s a mute slave girl who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is an observer only in Amara’s world — until he’s not. At first, Amara’s terrified by this new presence controlling her. But they eventually learn that the only way to protect the princess and escape danger is to work together. It’s a fascinating premise, clearly and compellingly written and imagined.

A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding

(Less than 500 goodreads reviews)

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…

The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

(Jewish MC)

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay — Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

Re-Readathon Five

I’m taking part in another rereadathon! 

I’ve been thinking recently about the kind of YA books I’ve enjoyed reading recently and how I missed out in a lot of YA books as a teen because I moved on to adult fiction so young. The thing is… as much as there are some YA books that I do love, they’re not written for me. I’m twenty five, I can’t and shouldn’t judge them as their intended readership. So, I made a list of the books I enjoyed aged 10-13, found the ones that I still own and there’s my TBR for this week! I’m going mega old school, back to 2002!

My list for the week is:

The Raging Quiet by Sheryl Jordan

Almost Perfect by James Pope

The Misfits by James Howe

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

If I can find them and have the time I’d also quite like to reread Another Life by Frank McGinty, Doll by Nicky Singer and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor.

Here’s to a busy week with old favourites!

If you’d like to join in, check out Bex’s post!

Diversity December Bingo TBR List!

There’s a great event going on, mainly on Twitter, at the moment called the Diversity December Bingo. One of the organisers is a mutual of mine from Twitter so I’ve seen a lot of posts about floating around the past few weeks.

The idea is to pick a line in the grid and read a book that fits each square. I’ve picked the first horizontal line for my TBR list (although I’m looking at other squares to see if I’ll have time to read more this month!)

Non-Western Cultural FantasyWho Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor.

Demisexual Main CharacterRadio Silence by Alice Oseman

Mental Health AwarenessUnder Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

POC On Book CoversWitness the Night by Kishwar Desai

Indigenous Main CharacterReservation Blues by Sherman Alexie.

A couple of these are on my list for my Read the World project too, so I’ll tick those off of the list. If anyone else fancies joining in then check out the #DiversityDecBingo hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!

Reading resolutions

One of my major goals for 2015 was to read 52 books, one a week, and to read more women than men. I wrote a little bit about what female authors mean to be at the beginning of Read Women December, and even without that month I smashed my target. I ended up with about  about 75% of the books I read being by women. 

What I failed to take into account, though, is that while I can aim to read more female authors there was still a lack of diversity in the books I read. Taking into account the books I’m currently reading only two of the fifty eight books I read this year have been written by POC. Only a handful had characters that weren’t straight. Which makes my attempts to change my reading habits far less intersectional.

So, my goal for 2016 is to make a conscious effort to change that. I’ve read more this year than any before and I do put that down to being more conscientious with my reading choices and I hold my hands up that I wasn’t conscientious enough. My aim for 2016 is to read at least 60 books (I’m hoping to read a lot more, my reading efforts weren’t great during the first half of the year and I read twice as much from July-December than in the first half. In fact my Goodreads challenge is set to 80 to be optimistic). But, more specifically, I want to make sure I’m challenging myself with what I read. Or, at least, challenging myself to make better choices with what I read.

I want, again, to read more women. I also want to read more women (and men) who don’t come from the same background as me. I have a bunch of books by WOC thanks to one of my university modules (Ethnic American Literature- we were supposed to read a breadth of authors from every ethnic background in America but I was not mentally in the best state back then and read the bare minimum). 

I’d also like, although I realise that this could fly in the face of my first aim, to read more ‘classics’ this year. I’m thinking of doing a bi-weekly review of various classics over the course of the year, particularly ones that I haven’t considered reading before. Most of the ones I currently own are by white authors, so if anyone has any recommendations of classics written by POC please do send them my way! (I’m also doing my own research but I’m always open to recommendations!) I’m defining classics loosely now… I should probably say ‘vintage’… Basically anything written before I was born!

It’s not a perfect target, I know, but I would like to try. If anyone has any recommendations please send them my way!

New purchase: The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

I’ve seen The Kind Worth Killing doing rounds on Twitter these past few days  so of course I had to pick it up when I saw it in Sainsburys.

The blurb:

When his flight gets delayed, Ted Severson meets Lily, a magnetic stranger, in the airport bar. In the netherworld of international travel and too many Martinis, he confesses his darkest secrets, about his wife’s infidelity and how he wishes her dead. Without missing a ebay she offers to help him carry out the task…

I’m looking forward to a good plot twist, which I’ve become very fond of after spending a year reading some excellent thrillers. So it’s firmly on my To-Read-Soon pile!

Right now I’m reading Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt, which I’ll be reviewing soon!

Holiday reads


My holidays picks featuring cacti Bulbasaur
So, I’m packing for my week away (and should probably still be packing right now) but I take the job of choosing books to read very seriously when I’m away from home!

It turns out I’ve actually already read a couple of chapters of Written in the Stars by Ali Harris after I found an old train ticket wedged in it as a bookmark (train tickets make the best bookmarks). I must have started it before moving and completely lost track.

As for the others, I had to have a Jojo Moyes book in the mix. Me Before You was the book that started my friends running joke that my books always make them cry after my best friend picked it up on a long coach journey and was in bits by the end. I’ve read others of hers since (and loved them) and they didn’t make me cry so fingers crossed that The Girl You Left Behind might be a happy medium. Given the amount of poppies on the cover I may be prematurely hopeful though. Luckily I love a good cry.

Jenny Colgan is a favourite of mine when I need something light and fluffy. I read The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris a couple of years ago and I tend to always have one of her books in my suitcase on family holidays in case my mum needs something to borrow (it’s generally accepted in my family that my idea of a ‘holiday read’ doesn’t quite match theirs after I read Cancer Ward by Alexandra Solzhenitsyn round a pool once). She’s a lovely writer, and her books make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

The Two of Us by Andy Jones came in an Amazon order of ‘recommended for you’ selections a few months ago. I also bought a bunch of thrillers (mainly around missing children or whole families getting shot) so I wasn’t in the mood to pick this one up at the same time. I’m intrigued by it as a book that is written by a man, but with a plot that wouldn’t be out of place in any chick lot writer’s repertoire. I find a John Green a bit grating and over the top on the romantics, so I’m looking forward to discovering a male writer who can write that kind of book realistically because so far a lot have missed the mark.

(I have very strong feelings towards chick lit as a genre which I will probably write about at some point. I love it, I’ll defend it to the end. I get angry when a genre written with women in mind is devalued)

Finally, I’ve talked about The Georgraphy of You and Me and This is a Love Story in my previous post and I’m still looking forward to reading them this week!

Between three of us hopefully we’ll make a dent in my little list!