Wednesday, January 5, 2022

My Reading Journal Journey (Part 1)

Hello Lovelies and welcome to the first addition of My Reading Journal Journey. This is going to be a series of posts where I search out my perfect reading journal, if it’s out there.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a little picky about what I want in a reading journal. Years ago, when I had the time, I used to create my own out of a large, lined journal. I think I got so used to creating it to fit what I was looking for and what I needed, that I made myself extremely selective when it comes to already created book journals.

As a reviewer, there’s a lot of items that I look for in a reading journal that a standard reader probably doesn’t. When writing my reviews, I like to have all the book information on hand and keeping it in a tidy little reading journal saves me a lot of time.

Realistically, I know that I’m not going to find a reading journal that ticks every single box on my wish list. There’s not going to be one that includes a box to check off when posted to GoodReads or Social Media or has a dedicated space to write the date which the review is scheduled on the blog or the contact information for the publicist that sent the book.

Hopefully, over the next year, I’ll be able to find a reading journal that’s perfect for me, even if I have to add some of my own customizations. Hopefully, this series will help you figure out what you’re looking for in a reading journal as well. 

So what do I look for in a reading journal? Space! The main thing I need is a lot of space for my thoughts and notes. I’d prefer to have that space in college ruled lines. I have a tendency to write super small (it drove my teachers and professors crazy), so when I have a dot grid format my writing tends to go even smaller.  

I’m also looking for a loaded review form that contains the following:



-Series and number


-Release Date


-Format (print, audio, e-book)

-Source (preferably blank so I can write in where the book came from)



-Start Finish/Date

-Rating System (either blank or a 5-star system)

Here’s the addition items I’d like my perfect review journal to contain:

-A Numbered Index (that I can fill in with the book title so I can have a quick glance and know that book’s on what page)

-A Stats Page (or the space in the front of the book to create one—again, this comes down to quick accessibility)

-A Reading Goals/Challenges Spot (I don’t need a space to mark down each book, I just need a space to write down the title of the goal/challenge and the final tally)

-A Section for Notes (this is in addition to the review notes. There’s several things that I like to keep track of so a Notes section is a must.

These are things that I’d like my perfect book journal to have but not necessary:

-A Book-to-film/series Section

-A Favorite Bookstore Section

-Favorite Narrators Section

This year, I’ll be testing out a series of book review journals and sharing my thoughts with you. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a look at the first 4 I’ll be trying out! See you then! 

Do you use a reading journal?

If so, what do you look for in your reading journal?

If not, are you thinking about trying one out? 


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Books I Want To Read In 2022

Since I’m not participating in any year-long reading challenges this year (I’m going to aim for a few seasonal ones), I decided to make a set list of books that I want to read in 2022. I have some single title books that I want to read this year as well as some series I’d like get through. I’ll probably add to this list as I finish some of the books.


There’s a few books on here that are re-reads so I can remind myself of what happened previously in the series (some I read eons ago and I can’t remember what happened). A few are upcoming releases but I tried to stick to books from my TBR pile. 

While it’s not on the list (honestly, I’m just too lazy to type all of the titles up at the moment), I would like to read/re-read the Shifters Unbound Series by Jennifer Ashley. I’ve read some of the books but I missed a huge chunk of the series, so I think it would be nice to read the series in order.


Single Titles:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley—I’ve had this book for 2, I think, years and I’m determined this will be the year I read it. I had planned to read it during Fraterfest 2021 but I couldn’t find it then remembered I had loaned out to my Mum.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager

The League of Gentlewomen Witches (Dangerous Damsels #2) by India Holton—I also need to restart and finish the first book in this series.


The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts

The Dark Witch (this is a re-read)

Shadow Spell

Blood Magick


Slains Series by Susanna Kearsley

First two books are re-reads

The Winter Sea

The Firebird

The Vanished Days


Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Blood Brothers

The Hollow

The Pagan Stone


Ruth Galloway Series by Elly Griffiths

The Crossing Places read in 2019

The Janus Stone

The House at Sea’s

A Room Full of Bones

A Dying Fall

The Outcast Dead

The Ghost Fields

The Woman in Blue

The Chalk Pit

The Dark Angel

The Stone Circle

The Lantern Men

The Night Hawks

Ruth’s First Christmas Tree (Short Story)


The Beautiful Series by Reneé Ahdieh

The Beautiful

The Damned

The Righteous


Monday, January 3, 2022

2022 Goals

Hello Lovelies and Happy 2022!


I have no idea where 2021 went; it seemed to zoom by and instead of having my ducks in a row, I had squirrels at a rave so, needless to say, most of my 2021 goals went unchecked.


For 2022, I’m adding some new goals and carrying some over from the last two years. While I’m not going to be hard on myself if I don’t complete the entire list (there’s been a lot of family things and health things going on that’s taken my time away from what I need to do, which I will blog about  at a later date), I’m going to do my best to smash my goals this year.


Instead of having a theme of the year as I’ve done for the last two years, I’m doing a word of the year.


Balance is something that I desperately need in my life. I’ve always been the one to take on extra jobs, do extra things to help out, and volunteer to do the odd tasks. This year I have to find a way to balance my time so I can have some me time and  I’m not burning the candle at both ends because it’s starting to cause me severe anxiety, which is affecting my health.


Now on to my 2021 Goals…



Sadly, the blog has suffered in the last two years. This year I’ve decided that I’m going to have a dedicated blogging day to make sure I stay caught up.


-Be consistent with content—hopefully the dedicated blogging day will help with this one.

-Update GoodReads—I’m still struggling with remembering to update on GR. It’s something that I’ve failed at in the last two years. I need to figure out a tracker, something in my either blog planner or book journal.

-Post More Creative Content

-Be consistent with blog visits

-Discover new-to-me blogs

-Be consistent with social media updates


Reading/Bookish Things


-Tackle my TBR pile mountain—it’s getting a bit out of control and I need to start reading from my TBR pile.

-Conquer NetGalley—this is a must this year. I need to spend some time making a NetGalley spreadsheet.

-Shop my bookshelves instead of buying—not only will this help to curb my spending; it will help me with my goal of tackling my TBR mountain.

-Try out different genres

-Read more non-fiction—this is something that I do miss. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a non-fiction book and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to pick up at least one a month.

-Read more historical fiction

-Find a reading journal that suits me—I’ve acquired several reading journals in the last few months (some I received as gifts, some came from publishers/creators, and some I purchased) and I’m eager to see what works best for me. My Reading Journal Journey will be a new series of posts for 2022, which will hopefully allow me to find the perfect reading journal for me and, hopefully, you’ll find your perfect reading journal as well!

-Un-haul the books that I know I won’t read or didn’t fancy—while I would hoard all the books that arrive like a dragon, I just don’t have the room to keep the ones that don’t appeal to me. I’ll do a series of giveaways this year, so keep an eye out for those.

-Be more selective about what books I accept for review and be more picky about the format I accept—I’m getting bogged down with a lot of review books, and while I grateful, I’m struggling to read the books that I want to read because of the vast amount of review books that’s been coming in. This year I really want to focus on reading for enjoyment, so being more selective about what I accept for review will help. I’m also going to select more audio and e-books/arcs for the books that I want to read but probably won’t re-read as a way to limit the amount of physical books that I bring in.  



The first two goals have been hanging around for the last two years and, hopefully, this will be the year they’re complete.


-Replace my bookshelves so they match my desk—apparently, the bookcases I want to get are a hot commodity and have been on backorder. Sadly, this is still the case. I wanted to get all the pieces at the same time and have it done and dusted. There’s also been the hiccup of IKEA no longer delivering to my area because of the lack of drivers. Starting in late Spring/early Summer (I don’t want to drive there in the Winter) I’ll be visiting my local IKEAs and picking up what they have in stock and keeping them in the box until I have the entire set.

-Turn my bedroom closet into a makeup/dressing area—at first I wanted to bring in a contractor, which is still impossible because no one will show up, then I wanted to DIY it but that’s out of the question due to the high cost of lumber and the limited stock in my area. While I’m still intending to make a makeup/dressing area, I think I’m going to invest in some already made pieces, IKEA has a few that’s caught my eye it’s just down to seeing what the best fit would be.

-Re-do my front porch—this has been a fight with the historical society since the day I moved in. My front porch has a tiny amount of gingerbread woodwork that’s original to the house, which is causing the historical society to block my attempts at fixing my porch, which is now falling in on one side. Fingers crossed, this will be the year that I get the okay to fix my porch before it actually falls in.




-Dedicate at least an hour a day to ‘self-care’/me time/unplugging—while I smashed this goal in 2020, 2021 was just all go and no stop. This is something I desperately need to get back to in 2022.

-Exercise at least three times a week—I’ve built up a nice bit of easily storable at home exercise equipment and I need to get back into using them regularly. They’ve also started opening gyms back up, and it’s something that I need to look into to see if my local gym is something I’d be interested in signing up for.

-Get back into yoga—again, this was something I smashed in 2020 and floundered in 2021. I’m aiming for once a week, hopefully I’ll be able to get back into every other day.  

-Remember to take my vitamins—I’ve been using the habit tracker in my Happy Planner for the last two years and it’s been working to remind me to take my vitamins.

-Utilize a habit tracker—again, this is something that I started originally to remind me to take my vitamins but it’s been helping me to track and target my migraines and some other health issues I’ve been having. Using a habit tracker has been something that’s been a true game changer for me.  

-Learn something new

-Drink more water

-Maintain balance in all areas of my life