2019 Reading Tracker Year in Review

It’s time for my annual break down of my reading tracker posts for the year.


  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 4
  • ARCs: 5


  • Read: 5
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 4


  • Read: 12
  • Bought: 3
  • ARCs: 2


  • Read: 10
  • Bought: 0
  • ARCs: 6


  • Read: 22
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 1


  • Read: 19
  • Bought: 2
  • ARCs: 7


  • Read: 11
  • Bought: 0
  • ARCs: 0


  • Read: 14
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 6


  • Read: 17
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 2


  • Read: 13
  • Bought: 1
  • ARCs: 0


  • Read: 29
  • Bought: 4
  • ARCs: 4


  • Read: 19
  • Bought: 0
  • ARCs: 3

Yearly Totals:

  • Read: 181
  • Bought: 18
  • ARCs: 40


Read: I read more this year than last year I think partly because I really made an effort to prioritize books I wanted to read after having a hard reading month in February and feeling really burnt out on reading “for work” as I went through review titles. I re-read a lot and read more on audio. Re-reading has been a valuable way for me to really drill down on the books I keep in my personal library and audio books have been interesting for titles I might not have picked up otherwise or have been putting off. I’ve been trying to prioritize reading books I own–especially ones I’ve had for a while to clear my shelves. Which has already been paying off dividends as I make more space in my desk at work and on my to read shelves at home.

Bought: Books bought went down from 24 to 18. Which I’m happy about and hoping to have even fewer in 2020. If I learned anything this year, it’s that unless it’s a special edition or purchased as a signing, I do not need to buy books. I receive a ton at work and get some from my good friends as gifts. After subscribing to Uppercase for a lot of this year, I realized I don’t always like books I impulse buy and since my shelf space is so limited it doesn’t make sense to buy a ton of books. A good chunk of books I bought this year were favorites I read as ARCs and wanted to support or special copies I got at events and I feel much better about those than any random purchases. Looking ahead I’d *like* to have books bought for the year down to single digits but I’m not sure if that’s realistic.

ARCs: I received 39 ARCs this year which is down from 68 last year (plus 27 ARCs I got at BookExpo which is always hard to track in these). I was overwhelmed by blog review commitments at the start of the year so I’m happy with this change. Here’s the breakdown for the ARCs I received (I’m not sure it’s totally accurate because like 2018, I wasn’t the best at tracking #bookmail that came in):

  • Requested: 12
  • Amazon Vine: 10
  • Not requested: 18

Requested ARCs went down from 29 to 11–partly because I request more ARCs as a librarian at my day job than as a blogger because I find School and Library Marketing requests are less competitive than blogger ones.

I requested two more titles from Amazon Vine compared to last year which isn’t a big change–it’s not a program everyone has access to but I find it really useful.

ARCs I received that I didn’t requested dropped from 32 to 18. I think that might be a clerical error on my part but oh well.

My main takeaway with ARCs is that a lot of the time I prefer reading near (or even after) release date so unless it’s a book I know a bit about and am very excited to read, I may not need to request a copy.

Basically looking ahead to 2020 my philosophy with acquiring books (either ARCs or finished copies) is going to be quality over quantity. We’ll see how that goes!

December 2019 Reading Tracker

Books I Read:

  1. Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
  2. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian
  3. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  4. Anna K.: A Love Story by Jenny Lee
  5. Giant Days 9 (reread)
  6. Giant Days 10
  7. My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  8. Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake
  9. Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  10. The Girl King by Mimi Yu
  11. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
  12. The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
  13. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  14. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
  15. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (reread)
  16. Giant Days Volume 11
  17. Saga Volume 2
  18. Saga Volume 3
  19. By Night Volume 1

Books I Had Planned to Read:

Books Bought: 0

ARCs Received:

  1. The Night of Your Life by Lydia Sharp (not requested)
  2. City of Stone and Silence by Django Wexler (not requested)
  3. Haven fall by Sara Holland (requested)

You can also see what I read in November.

Top Ten: 2019

Sometimes it’s really hard to look back on a year and figure out which books are my favorites–even when I’m only looking at books I reviewed here on the blog instead of all of the books I read. 2019 wasn’t like that. Instead, it turned out to relatively easy to choose my standout favorites. These are books that made my world bigger and my heart more full; they’re books that took my completely by surprise in the best possible ways:

You can click the titles above to find my reviews or shop the titles over on my Amazon page.

Honorable Mention: The Backlist

I have been playing catch up with review writing for the better part of two years so here are some backlist titles I could have mentioned last year (or earlier) but didn’t get written up on the blog in time to be properly featured on a best of list:

Week in Review: December 28–#EmmaAndNicolesEpicReadathon starts now!


Blog Posts of The Week:

Be sure to join me and Nicole for our all-day read-a-thon today! Check out my blog post for details and watch the hashtag #EmmaAndNicolesEpicReadathon on Twitter and Instagram.

Tweet of the Week:

Instagram Post of the Week:

How My Week Went:

It’s been silly, guys! My life is a cross between a romantic comedy and a sitcom and the absurdity levels are high!

Chick Lit Wednesday Will Be Back in Two Weeks

With Christmas and New Years Day falling on Wednesdays, I’m taking off from Chick Lit Wednesday Posts. Enjoy the holidays and see you January 8!

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow: A Review

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica TownsendMorrigan Crow survived her trials and earned admission to the Wundrous Society. Finally, she can have a place in Nevermoor and, more importantly, the family and friends she’s always wanted.

Unfortunately, completing her trials was the easy part. Despite gaining admittance to the Society, the elders are all suspicious of Morrigan’s ability to manipulate Wunder–the magical energy that powers everything in Nevermoor. While Morrigan’s talent is rare, it is also forever and irrevocably linked to the notorious Ezra Squall, a villain known as The Wundersmith and remembered for his numerous crimes against and continued exile from Nevermoor.

Instead of being trained in the arcane arts, the Society only wants to show Morrigan that all Wundersmiths of the past were evil, dangerous, and often incompetent. Worse, Morrigan’s unit is being blackmailed, forced to meet exceedingly risky demands or risk the unit’s secret being revealed to the entire Society.

When prominent citizens across Nevermoor start disappearing, Morrigan’s beloved new home takes on a dangerous edge. Now that Morrigan has found a place in Nevermoor, she’ll need all of her wits and her friends to keep it in Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (2018) by Jessica Townsend.

Find it on Bookshop.

Wundersmith is the second book in Townsend’s Nevermoor series. The book picks up shortly after the conclusion of Nevermoor as Morrigan prepares to start her first term at the Wundrous Society. Check out the print edition for inset illustrations at the start of each chapter and listen to the audio version (read by Gemma Whelan) for a fully immersive read.

Townsend wildly expands the world of Nevermoor as Morrigan and readers learn more about her new home and delve into the mysterious history of Wundersmiths through the ages. Morrigan’s world is described in vibrant detail with a perfect blend of humor and adventure.

Wundersmith explores themes of friendship and belonging to excellent effect as Morrigan continues to carve out a place for herself in Nevermoor in spite of those too eager to see her fail. Readers will appreciate the balance Townsend strikes between a self-contained story and tantalizing hints of what’s in store for Morrigan’s next adventure.

With higher stakes, more action, and greater dangers, Wundersmith builds off book one to deliver an even stronger and even more exciting installment. Highly recommended.

Possible Pairings: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee, The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon, Foxheart by Claire Legrand, Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty, The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier, The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag, The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross, The Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski

Week in Review: December 21

missprintweekreviewBlog Posts of The Week:

Tweet of the Week:

Instagram Post of the Week:

How My Week Went:

Aside from being three months long, this week was pretty okay.

Who’s ready for a Readathon?

Big news everybody! Nicole and I are hosting a read-a-thon on December 29.

Nicole’s been wanting to do one for a while and when she asked if I’d be up for co-hosting, the only possible answer was “Absolutely!”

This is a great way to catch up on your 2019 reading goals, knock out the last books you want to definitely read this decade, or start reading all the books you got this holiday season.

The read-a-thon will run from December 28 into the 29 and Nicole and I will be sharing updates on twitter (@book_bandit / @miss_print) and instagram (@thebookbandit / @missprint_) for the duration.

If you’re joining in, be sure to let us know and use the hashtag #EmmaAndNicolesEpicReadathon to share your own reading plans, tips, and more.

Nicole made a graphic to share with some prompts to help plan your reading:

I am already stockpiling graphic novels and some other things to get ready. Who’s excited?

The Deceivers: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

“Careful is a luxury you have when your baseline isn’t chaos.”

The Deceivers by Kristen SimmonsBrynn Hilder is willing to do whatever it takes to get out of her hardscrabble neighborhood in Chicago. Unfortunately, a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to paying for college.

When her mom’s sleazy boyfriend finds out about Brynn’s low level cons and the money she’s already saved up, he steals all of it and gives Brynn an ultimatum: start running cons for him or start selling his drugs.

Enter Vale Hall, an elite boarding school that seems to be the answer to all of Brynn’s problems. The school promises a free ride to any college of her choice . . . for a price. Instead of earning good grades and building up her extracurriculars, Brynn and the other Vale students are expected to use their conning abilities to help the school with special projects.

Brynn knows she’s up to the task. But as she learns more about her first mark and the lines she’ll have to cross to entrap him, Brynn has to decide how far she’s willing to go to get what she wants in The Deceivers (2019) by Kristen Simmons.

Find it on Bookshop.

The Deceivers is the start of Simmons’ Vale Hall trilogy–a con filled story partially inspired by the story of Odin and his Valkyrie.

Brynn is a practical, calculating narrator. She has spent years hardening her heart and telling herself she can do whatever it takes to chase a better life without fully understanding the risks or the costs. After being the poorest person in the room for so long, her time at Vale Hall forces Brynn to confront the fact that she isn’t the only one facing hard choices and limited opportunities.

Used to depending on herself and no one else, Brynn slowly and reluctantly builds up a support system at Vale Hall as she gets to know the other students, especially her potential love interest Henry and his group of friends–part of a supporting cast of characters who are as varied as they are authentic.

The Deceivers is the perfect blend of action and suspense as Brynn delves deeper into Vale Hall’s underworld and the stakes continue to climb for her and the another students. Smart cons, snappy dialog, and pitch perfect pacing set this novel apart. Highly recommended.

Possible Pairings: The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Heist Society by Ally Carter, Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, Don’t You Trust Me? by Patrice Kindl, Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart, Killing November by Adriana Mather, Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus, In the Hall With the Knife by Diana Peterfreund, Daughter of Deep Silence by Carry Ryan, The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe, A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma, The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney, In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

The Tea Dragon Festival: A Graphic Novel Review

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'NeillRinn knows all about Tea Dragons–the sometimes nuisances that are all over the village–but it turns out real dragons are a very different thing. When Aedhan wakes up from an eighty year sleep, Rinn quickly befriends him.

Aedhan appreciates Rinn’s welcome and their help in reintroducing Aedhan to the village he was once charged with protecting. But no matter how at home the dragon feels, he can’t forget all of the time he lost.

When Rinn’s uncle Erik and his new partner Hesekiel come to visit, they hope that the two adventurers will be able to help unravel the mystery of Aedhan’s magical slumber. But it will take more than investigating to help the dragon accept his changed circumstances in The Tea Dragon Festival (2019) by K O’Neill.

Find it on Bookshop.

The Tea Dragon Festival is a prequel to O’Neill’s previous graphic novel, The Tea Dragon Society. Both stories are self-contained and can be read on their own. Although set in different times and different locations, the stories both feature Erik and Hesekiel.

O’Neill once again delivers an adorable and thoughtful graphic novel, this time centered on gender fluid Rinn as they try to figure out their place in a village where it feels like everyone else has already found their special role. Rinn’s friend Lesa is deaf–something that is portrayed well in the comic panels with special speech bubbles to represent that sign language is being spoken. The contrast between dragon Aedhan and the tiny Tea Dragons adds another element of humor.

A mostly pastel color palette and the book’s larger trim size make this story as beautiful as it is entertaining. The Tea Dragon Festival builds well on the foundation of O’Neill’s previous world building while giving readers a slightly more complex plot.

The Tea Dragon Festival is a delightful and cheerful graphic novel about finding your place and your people. Highly recommended.

Possible Pairings: Giants, Beware! by Jorge Aguirre,Rafael Rosado, John Novak, Matthew Schenk; Cucumber Quest by Gigi D. G.; The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag; Hildafolk by Luke Pearson; The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

*An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration at BookExpo 2019*