January 2019 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

Posted February 4, 2019 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Best of the Bunch, Challenges, Monthly Recap / 40 Comments


My Goings On in January:

  • I’ve been plotting my new MG novel, and I started to do a bit of writing as well. (It’s verse, so I don’t have to necessarily write it in order).
  • My middle daughter finished gymnastics and started indoor track. (So, a new sport to watch.)
  • My hubby and I went to see comedian John Felts at our church for a date night.  🙂
  • We had record cold temps around here due to the polar vortex, and school was canceled three times in the last two weeks. Last Wednesday the windchill got to -51 degrees!!!
  • I joined a new writer’s critique group (in addition to the SCBWI group that I already attend, which is sort of a critique group, though not solely).
  • I registered for SCBWI’s Marvelous Midwest Conference, which is coming in May.
  • Things I watched: 
    • I started watching YOU on Netflix. Very creepy!
    • We checked out Smallfoot and Crazy Rich Asians from the library. Really liked both of them!

Features & Discussions:

January Book Blog Discussion Challenge Link-Up & Giveaway – A few more days to link up and enter!
2018 End of Year Book Survey (& Year in Graphs!)
Things I Learned About Fairy Tales By Reading the Grimm’s Versions
Top Ten Books on My 2019 TBR
Top Ten 2018 Books I Totally Meant to Read
Why I Love the Book Blog Discussion Challenge (Even When I Fail)
January 2019 Wrap-Up Round-Up & Giveaway
Feed Your Fiction Addiction’s 6th Blogoversary Giveaway! – Enter to win a book of your choice!

My 2019 Reading Progress:

I’ve read 15 books so far in 2019. That might seem impressive, but a whole lot of them were verse novels and graphic novels, so they were quick reads!

January 2019 Reviews

January was more about wrap-ups and celebrations than reviews, but I did manage to get a few up!

  • Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee | Review | Rating: Fed My Addiction
  • The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan | Review | Rating: Absolutely Addicted!
  • Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry | Review | Rating: Devoured It
  • One-Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko | Review | Rating: Fed My Addiction

January Best of the Bunch:

(Best of the Bunch is hosted over at Cocoon of Books. We link up our favorite reads of the month!)

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary got my highest rating. I loved this heartwarming MG in verse and especially enjoyed the way it spotlighted many different forms of poetry.

I’m also including Only a Breath Apart here, though, because these books are so different and can’t really be compared.

(Maybe I’ll start doing a MG Best of the Bunch and a YA Best of the Bunch now that I’m reading a lot more MG?)

2019 Reading Challenges/Goals Progress:

Progress: 2/31-40 Discussions (Terrifically Talkative)

Why I Love the Book Blog Discussion Challenge (Even When I Fail)
Things I Learned About Fairy Tales By Reading the Grimm’s Versions

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight

Progress: 1/12 Classics Read

19th Century Classic
20th Century Classic
Classic by a Woman Author
Classic in Translation –  Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Classic Comic Novel
Classic Tragic Novel
Very Long Classic
Classic Novella
Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean)
Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia)
Classic From a Place You’ve Lived
Classic Play

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Books and Chocolate

Progress: 9/24 Library Books Read

I haven’t reviewed any of these on the blog yet, but the ones that were rereads have short reviews on Goodreads (the links go there). Reviews for the others will probably be included on the blog next month.

These are the books I read from the library this month:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (audio, reread)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (audio, reread)
Cress by Marissa Meyer (audio, reread)
Fairest by Marissa Meyer (audio)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty (reread)
The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story by Marie Kondō & Yuko Uramoto
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan
The Lonely Ones by Kelsey Sutton
The Language Inside by Holly Thompson

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures

Progress: 1/1 Connect 5 per month

My January Theme: Travel/Journeys

Into the Fire – Cedar has to travel from the world of the Fae, to Ireland and Scotland and more on a quest to prove she’s ready to be queen.

White Stag – Janneke and Soren’s epic hunt for the White Stag takes them through the Permafrost.

Scarlet – Cinder escapes from prison and heads off on her quest to overthrow Levana–a quest that takes her to France, Africa, and then to Lunar itself!

We Come Apart – Nicu has immigrated from Romania to London, where life is often brutal and sometimes bittersweet for him.

The Language Inside – Emma has lived her whole life in Japan, and is now forced to travel back to the US, where she feels like a foreigner in a country that is supposed to be her “own.”

(NOTE: I didn’t review all of these on the blog in January, but they’re all 2019 reads!)


Progress: 0/12 Books Read

I haven’t finished any of these yet, but I’m listening to Winter right now and I’m over halfway done with it.

  1. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (2016)
  2. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (2016)
  3. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (2017)
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (2015)
  5. Winter by Marissa Meyer (2015)
  6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (2015)
  7. UnBound by Neal Shusterman (2015)
  8. Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes (2016)
  9. Geekerella by Ashley Poston (2017)
  10. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (2017)
  11. Every Last Breath by Jennifer Armentrout (2015)
  12. Alienated by Melissa Landers (2014)


  1. The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (2016)
  2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973)

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Roof Beam Reader

Goal: 12 TBR Books Read

My bookish resolutions for 2019:

  • Write the first draft of new MG (or YA, but I think at this point it’s going to be a MG). I’m working on it!
  • Read 1 review book for every 1 that I receive. So far in 2019 I’ve received 6 books for review. I’ve only posted reviews for 3 of them, but I also read 2 others that I decided not to post reviews for. So, I’m one behind! (I’m about 70% done reading another one though—I’ll make it a priority to finish ASAP).
  • Read at least 6 books on the craft of writing. None yet. I’m still working my way through Story Genius, doing the exercises as they apply to my new book.
  • Read at least 12 books written in verse. (Since I’m probably writing my next book in verse.) I read 3 books in verse this month, so this is a definite win.
  • Query 50 agents. Or get an agent. ? (I was a wimp and I only queried 12 agents in 2018. At that rate, I might get an agent in like 2050.) No specific progress on this one in January, but don’t worry, I’m still working on it.

Non-bookish resolution for 2019:
(This one doesn’t count for the challenge, but I’m putting it here so it’s with my other stuff and I’ll hopefully pay attention to it.)

  • Work out 3 times per week. Can we just pretend I never said this? No? Sigh. I did get a whole lot of up and around time while I was organizing my house, but I didn’t carve out time for actual working out. I also gave up desserts for a 21 day challenge thing at my church and ended up losing 4 pounds inadvertantly. Apparently I eat way too much dessert.

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Because Challenges Make Reading More Fun

Wrap-Up Round-Up!

Don’t forget to link your January wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up. And enter the giveaway!



40 responses to “January 2019 Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

  1. Your daughter is so athletic. That’s awesome! I thought McGarry’s book was wonderful. Definitely near the top of my list for the month. I have to check out The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. My eLibrary has it too!

    Sam@wlabb recently posted: #AmReading Middle Grades
  2. Wow, a wind chill of -51 degrees? That’s crazy! And I’ve been complaining about the cold here!
    Best of luck plotting out your new novel, and have a great February 🙂

  3. Haha, I’m also regretting my exercise resolution. I’m trying to exercise 5 days a week, but it’s really hard to stay motivated. I know I eat way too much dessert because I love ice cream! I hope you have a great February!

  4. Sorry to hear about the record cold temps 🙁 -51 degrees!!! is total lunacy! but at least new sports and hubby time is fun.:)

    I also started watching YOU and, YES! It’s very creepy! Loved it so much I stopped watching it until I have read the book 🙂

    I joined two more groups! I’m an unstoppable social introvert now LOL I can’t wait to hear about your new writer’s critique group!

    I’m dying to see that new novel in verse!!! That takes the needed craft to a total new level! BUT I have NO doubt you GOT THIS!

    Good luck with your plotting and writing!

  5. I love books in verse! I got so excited when your favorite was a book in verse! I just put The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary on hold at my library. I’d love a post recommending books in verse once you’ve read a few great ones. I’m always on the look out.

    I’m also highly impressed with all the information this wrap up contains. It’s so organized and goal oriented. I usually just keep all my goals in my head so that there’s no accountability when I fail at them ?. Best of luck with all your endeavors next month!

    Malka @ Paper Procrastinators recently posted: January Reading Wrap-Up
  6. I like that you are keeping up with your resolutions with these wrap up posts. And yay for a conference coming in the future. I hope you will be able to get along well and really benefit from being part of your new critiquing writing group. And also yay for enjoying a nice comedian night and having something new and fun to watch your daughter do with her sports ^.^

    Olivia-Savannah Roach recently posted: January Wrap Up! [2019]
  7. Danielle Hammelef

    I also really enjoyed The Last Fifth Grade (thanks for the rec!) and admire you for writing in verse. Books in this format have been some of my favorites. Because we both live in the same region of the country, we also shared record cold here and school cancellations. I did venture out in the afternoons to attend exercise class, but stayed cozy inside every minute I could (made for an awesome reading week).

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