2018 in Review

I can’t believe that 2018 is over (t-minus 18 hours!) I started Arguably Alexis back in February, and it has been a learning experience where I’ve picked up pieces about the blogging world and about myself. But even more than that, I reached my twenty-eighteen reading goal.

Back in January, I set out to read 52 books in the year — a goal that I wasn’t sure would be attainable. Looking at my reading goal from 2017 (12 books), which I surpassed by a mile (I finished 40 books!), I figured I could fit in a book a week.

In the first six months, I read 37 books. From January through the end of June, I was working a handful of jobs. But the first of July, I found a new job and that became my main focus — it was also a job that involved a lot of reading all day long. So from July to December, I read 20 books. While that is a rather large decrease in the number of books I read in the later part of the year, I am still impressed with the total number.

I don’t have any 1-star ratings because I only chose books that I thought I would really enjoy (although there were a few duds). I fell into a few reading slumps, especially towards the end of the year and during April when I was traveling, but I pulled myself out of those holes and found books that I loved.

I enjoyed starting Arguably Alexis this year because it allowed me to find a community in the book world that I didn’t know existed. While I still have a long way to go in connect with people around the globe, I am thrilled with the progress that I’ve made so far — and I look forward to the progress that we will make in 2019!

Book Stats

Books: 57 (goal was 52)

Star Ratings:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 10 books

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: 19 books

⭐️⭐️⭐️: 24 books

⭐️⭐️: 2 books

⭐️: none!

Year Published:

Number of Pages: 17,586

Number of Re-reads: 1

Genres Read:

Historical Fiction3
Short Stories2
Young Adult8

Format Read:


Where My Books Came From:

The numbers below didn’t surprise me. I love to take out books from the library because they are the newest books out there (I read 17 books from 2018 this year!) One of the goals that I’ve set myself for 2019 is to read at least one book from my personal bookshelf each month. I have a huge collection to get through and it’s probably time that I start. I have been told that I need to read more from my own personal bookshelf. This will allow me to clear out some of my to-be read list and maybe buy more books in the coming year!

From Personal Bookshelf6
Borrowed (Library + Overdrive)39
Bookbubs/Amazon FirstReads4

Best of 2018

Favorite Books:

I had zero doubts or questions when thinking about which were my favorite two books of 2018. In fact, anyone who asks me for a book recommendation these days receives the names of both of these books — they also make great holiday presents.

I received The Sun Does Shine as an ARC from NetGalley back before its March release date. Anthony Ray Hinton’s story changed my perspective on life. I am still angry and heartbroken for the innocent individuals who are locked up in prison. Why is the criminal justice system not helping those who plead their innocence? It’s frustrating to know that these individuals are not receiving the care they deserve.

And The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a random find on the public library website. Somehow the algorithm was perfect that day because this book landed in my hands and I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page. To read a fictionalized version of the true story of a young man who served as the tattooist at Auschwitz was remarkable. The anguish that Heather Morris was able to pull from the story of Lale’s time in the concentration camps is just memorable.

Books That Didn’t Meet My Expectations:

I was incredibly disappointed in Eat Pray Love and The Book Thief. I entered 2018 with very high expectations for these two novels because I know so many people who have read them and enjoyed them, but ultimately they just didn’t meet what I was looking for.

Favorite Books By New (to Me) Authors:

I requested some stellar books from NetGalley this year that I ended up truly enjoying. The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell was another book that I just couldn’t put down. While Robert Dugoni is not a new author by any means, he was definitely unknown to me!

Celeste Ng was a new author to me back in January 2018, but is now a favorite author in my household. I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere, but to be completely honest… Everything I Never Told You trumps it. If I were to choose a third favorite book of the year, it would be this.

Favorite Books From Authors I’ve Read Previously:

In 2018 I focused on reading a variety of authors and new to me authors. In fact, out of the 57 books that I read during the year, they had a total of 54 different authors. And out of that 54, I read 46 new to me authors this year. That is something that I am incredibly proud of because I spent many years only reading Jodi Picoult (whom I love!!), but I wasn’t diverse in my reading selection. And now I can say whole-heartedly that I will happily read all different types of authors.

Other than the Goodreads Challenge, I participate in one other challenge during 2018 called the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge. While I started off incredibly strong, I was unable to finish the entire challenge and only read 37 of the 52 topics.

You know, I am really happy with the way my reading goals turned out in 2018. I am looking forward to seeing what comes up in 2019 — new books, new authors and new challenges! Happy New Years everyone 🙂

TBR Tackle Thursday #8

This is the last episode of TBR Tackle Thursday for 2018. I’ve spent the last several months looking through my to be read list that I’ve built on Goodreads. This (semi-regular) blog post looked at each book that I had added since I began using Goodreads in the end of 2016 that I hadn’t read yet.

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My Book Wishlist || Top Ten Tuesday

From reading different blogs in the book review community, I feel as if there are two groups of people: those who buy themselves books and those who do not. I’m part of the latter community – I try very, very hard not to buy myself books. I prefer to get them from the library to not fill up my already clogged bookshelves. (Let’s face it, I do buy books but I try hard not too).

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? #26

This past week has been a great one. Work was a bit crazy, and I added in a few shifts at Paper Source; but then I got to head to Florida to spend time with family. I love the holiday season because I get to relax, eat yummy foods and read books.

I’m looking forward to the new year starting next week ~~

This is my weekly: It’s Monday, What Are You Reading post hosted by The Book Date.

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an intro to bullet journaling

Back in November 2017, I hopped onto the bullet journaling train. I was working at Paper Source and they had a kick-butt employee discount. It also helped to a) have a creative outlet when I was stressed out + b) know and learn about all of our journaling products. I loved to grab my journal and bring it out to customers to show they how creative they could be in a simple notebook with pens, stickers + washi tape.

I actively used my bullet journal until March 2018 when I gave it up because it was too time consuming and I didn’t feel as if I had enough content to put into my journal. In April I spent 2 weeks in Europe and attempted to journal my travels, but alas… it failed miserably and I ended up carrying packs of pens + my journal without using it.

This post isn’t meant to be a let’s set up your 2019 bullet journal post — I promise, it’s coming. But more about my purpose in bullet journaling and the essentials you’ll need to get started!

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Winter 2018 TBR || Top Ten Tuesday

In my post yesterday, I listed out the five remaining books that I want to finish during the last few weeks of 2018. I would probably claim that to be my Winter To-Be Read list for 2018 because I want so badly to follow through on my plan. I find it really challenging and a personal offense to myself to loan books from the library and then not have the time to finish them — there are so many other people waiting for those popular books (I’m looking at you…. Children of Blood and Bone.)

I will say that I don’t have a *terrible* track record of loaning books and then not reading them, but sometimes three weeks is just not enough time. I’ve had a handful of books recently that I had taken out and then they sit on my table for three weeks until I make the trek back to the library to return the sad, unread novels.

So that’s where I stand with my Winter TBR list. Maybe I should project farther than the next 2.5 weeks, but I want to focus on the right here, and right now.

How far does your to-be read list go for winter 2018? Are you usually good at finishing all of those books? (Let’s be honest, I do not thrive at finishing my TBR list for a season — whoops).

I hope you all are having a nice slow down time at work as the holidays continue to ramp up. Whether it’s just a day, or a week, I hope you enjoy the time you have with your friends and families. With all of the chaos around the world, remember to be grateful for what we do have, and appreciate those individuals around us.

Much love,