Monthly Wrap || January 2020

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January 2020

The January 2020 Monthly Wrap is special not only because it’s the first of the year, but because it’s the first on Hail & Well Read! There’s a lot to cover, what with all the changes this month, and we’d better get down to it. Best to be quick, so we can get ready for all the things happening in February… 👀

Life Beyond the Blog

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: did I even have a life outside the blog this month? Redesign was such a major time sink, though not one I regret. Every minute getting Hail & Well Read up and running has been a treat (except for running in circles, begging customer service for help with a thing that mysteriously resolved itself)!

But now that I think about it, I did do other things. Phew!

For one, I’m playing soccer again. It’s been five years since I last had a team to play with, and I over the moon to continue playing. This is the one sport I’ve ever been any good at, and I love the low commitment aspect of it. One evening a week, I go to the indoor arena, and I play soccer for an hour. Then I go home, shower, and sleep like a log. Rinse and repeat every week like clockwork. It’s a refreshing change, but it’s also routine, and I’ve slipped back into it almost seamlessly. Given some of the stressors in my life, I didn’t know I could even do that.

For another thing, I’m feeling more confident about my book sleeves. This is blog-adjacent rather than fully beyond the blog, but I think it bears mentioning. I’m better at making them, getting faster at it, and I understand which parts give me the most trouble if I don’t pause to think. Knowing this, I’m also feeling more confident about the opening of my Etsy shop, as well as more certain when I can open it. As much as I wanted to have it up today, I think the wise choice is to wait one more week, make more sleeves, and then give myself room to breathe.

Books Read and Reviewed

Perfectly on target, we got through five reads! My reviews of Ashlords and The Best of Elizabeth Bear are already available to read, and you’ll see the others soon. We’ve got The Unspoken NameWoven in Moonlight, and Loveboat, Taipei to look forward to!

Next Month’s Reads

We’re going to keep it simple next month and stick to schedule, since I’ve still got some ARCs hovering overhead. Havenfall and Wicked As You Wish are top priority in that department. I’m also planning to read The Hand on the WallBlood Water Paint, and Tunnel of Bones!

Of course, I may fiddle with my TBR a bit outside of those ARCs. It is going to be FFFebruary, and I do have some reads with queer girls just sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to yell about them… ❤️

Regardless of the exact reading choices I make, though, I’m going to keep my goal at a flat five books again.

My Top Three Posts

There weren’t as many to choose from this month, but I’m pleased to H&WR’s January best with you right here!

Welcome to Hail & Well Read!

Dragon’s Den Discussions: How I Use a Bullet Journal to Run My Blog

Top 5 Tuesday: Reasons I Rate A Book 5 Stars

Favorites From Around the Blogging World

As ever, the blogging world is spectacular. You guys are so passionate and creative, and it makes every monthly wrap a difficult one. I can’t possibly include a link to every single post I enjoyed!

I can share at least a few, though, and I hope you enjoy their hard work as much as I have!

Anniek @ Anniek’s Library shared her tips on how to become a fast reader!

Lisa @ Way Too Fantasy lays out four things she’d like to see more of in SFF!

Mayumi @ The Quotex reviews Seven Deadly Shadows!

CW @ The Quiet Pond has sent the Pondathon into full swing (and there’s still time to participate)!

Jennifer @ Sleeping Suburb asks whether 3 star reviews are good or bad, and how to go about answering that!


There you have it! The January 2020 Monthly Wrap, buttoned up nice and neat. It’s been a busy month, but I’m satisfied with how much I’ve accomplished, not to mention how much lies ahead.

I hope the beginning of 2020 has been kind to you so far, and that you have wonderful things waiting ahead! See you around in February!

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