January Wrap-Up: In a word, oof


I know you may be tempted to be like “Oh, she’s just saying that,” due to the fact that I constantly complain and constantly exaggerate and not a single thing I have ever said can or should be trusted from now until the end of time.

But ignore all that, because I’M SUFFERING.

We’ll get into why.

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Everything hurts and I’m dying.

For most of this month, I have worked 30 or 35 hours a week. In the middle of this month, school started. Throughout this month, I have continued doing my internship (which is separate from the number of hours I worked).

I enjoy being busy, BUT NOT LIKE THIS.

I have had no time to read. Or post. Or write reviews. Or read other people’s posts and reviews. Basically I am suffering in a void in which each of my minutes is scheduled in a way that is boring and un-fun.

I don’t care for it in the slightest.

BUT OH OH OH: A GLIMMER OF HOPE. My favorite band in the entire universe, Vampire Weekend, dropped new music for the first time in almost 6 years.

That, in and of itself, is almost enough to write off all the negatives.


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Failure is a part of life. I cannot be bothered to be bothered about this. I AM TOO BUSY SUFFERING CONSTANTLY.


Catch up on reading challenge

Read at least one classic

Blog post at least three times

Instagram post at least three times

Write reviews

Please, for the love of God, stop stressing about the things you’ve been stressing about

We love to: fail goals and then set the exact goals for the next month, thereby literally setting ourselves up for failure.

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More of the same.

Okay no to be ~earnest~ (and therefore cheesy and authentic and devastatingly off-brand), I am trying to set myself up to have a Better Mental Health Month next month. I am unslumped. I freed up some time for reading and blogging and whatnot. I am eliminating (or, okay, lowkey reducing) some toxic people and habits.

Fingers crossed February looks absolutely nothing like January!!!!

I cannot do this again.

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1. Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee

Read: January 2-3 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2.5 stars

Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World

In which I suddenly think “Hm……maybe there’s a downside to all of these feminist anthologies of powerful women in history I have been nonstop raving for about for one (1) calendar year.”

The more I’ve sat with this book, the more I’m like…huh. I don’t know if I’m a fan of this. Obviously for the grammatical errors, but also for the “YAS QUEEN!!! GO OFF!!!” trivializing mentality it brings to the stories of a lot of women who really struggled to do what they did.


2. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Read: January 3-5 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 1.5 stars

My Favorite Half-Night StandMe: *picks up a third book by an author duo when I didn’t like the first two books I read by them*

Me, later: Hm……crazy that I never like any books….a real mystery…..why I simply suffer for no reason……

I haven’t been the world’s biggest fan of anything I’ve read by Christina Lauren (Exhibit A; Exhibit B), but this was the annoying-characters cherry on top of the boring-love-interest-and-nonexistent-plot sundae.

3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Read: January 5 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars

A Man Called OveI have had this book on my TBR for years, mostly because everyone says it’s adorable and excellent and joyful and I believe myself to exist outside of everyone, due to the whole unpopular opinion thing.

But I am equal parts thrilled and ashamed to say everyone, in this case, was correct.

This book was a damn delight.

4. A Little Tea Book by Sebastian Beckwith & Caroline Paul

Read: January 6 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars

A Little Tea Book: All the Essentials from Leaf to CupBloomsbury was so kind as to send me a copy (yes!! A real copy!! Hardcover and everything!!) of this book, which probably numbers among the top fifty most adorable things I have seen in recent memory.

That’s better than it sounds. My Adorable Sights list is suuuuper competitive.

I am not all that interested in tea, and this book did not really change that. But it did look good as hell while doing it. Or not doing it, rather.

5. It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

Read: January 8 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 4 stars

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly BourneJOY JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY!!!!

This is a contemporary, and it also is feminist as hell, and it is also against the not-like-other-girls trope, and there’s a badass powerful main character and no girl hate and a lot of girl power and a romance that isn’t the most important part of said powerful main character’s life and EVERYTHING GOOD IN THE WORLD!!!

Also, a criticism of a John Green book. And if there’s a more surefire way to land straight on my best contemporaries list I sure haven’t heard of it.

6. Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Read: January 11 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 3 stars

Am I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club, #1)And then it all came crashing down.

I mean, not really. But I mean I was riding the high of a gorgeous feminist knockout of a contemporary to take down and revolutionize the damn genre and then I went right into this. Which wasn’t a bad book.

But it didn’t exactly make me want to go out and start penning strongly worded letters to the rest of the YA contemporary authorship about what the Second Coming is going to look like.

7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Read: January 6-12 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 5 stars

Little WomenLet it be known that all I want from any book for the foreseeable future is the following:

  • coziness
  • comfort
  • sisters
  • beautiful 19th century writing
  • ideals radical and feminist for their time
  • pure, unadulterated joy


8. The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Read: January 13-17 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars

The Boneless MerciesThis book…was so boring.

Like, it was criminal. I’ve had the experience of reading a book and being like “oh I must be about halfway done, since things are actually starting to happen!!” and then in actual fact being two-thirds done or so.

But I don’t remember the last time I reached the last page of a YA fantasy and was STILL like wait…lol when’s the plot going to start.

(Thanks to Macmillan for the ARC)

9. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Read: January 27-30 🌷🌿🌷 Rating: 2 stars

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

And with that, the slump came crashing in.

I had to read this book for school, and I really really enjoyed the first half and then was so absolutely infuriated by the events of the second half that I participated in a ninety-minute long “”””class discussion””” (read: argument just short of a screaming match) about whether it’s a legitimate criticism worthy of a literature student to call the actions of a character f*cked up and anti-feminist.

You can guess where I stand on that.


Anyway. The moment we’ve all been waiting for….


…My average rating for this month is……..


Incredibly even. Also, fine.

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I only posted twice in January, because I am terrible and my life is in shambles. Here is that tragic duo, in order of views:

1. Happy New Year! I actually liked books in 2018 and here’s the proof

2. December Wrap-Up: The most wonderful time of the year, allegedly

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So there it is! My terrible reading/blogging/reviewing/living, generally month.

Now let’s never speak of it again.

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How was your January? Did you get a good start on your reading challenge? Did you set a reading challenge?

What was your favorite book you read? Least favorite? Have you read any of the books I’ve read? Did anyone else fail under the weight of their own expectations and responsibilities, like Atlas if Atlas had dropped the earth?

54 thoughts on “January Wrap-Up: In a word, oof

  1. Em says:

    Ah! January! I am FINALLY out of internship and have time to breathe again … which has been such a welcome change of pace. (Home before 8! Bed before 2! Yay!).

    I so feel your AH-I-AM-SO-BUSY-CANNOT-BREATH. Make sure you schedule in some down-time — don’t burn yourself out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Surina says:

    You have my condolences because honestly, this month sounded very busy for you. Which is the worst kind of month. But at least you got three above-4-stars books out of it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      ikr?? i hate to be busy. especially if it’s keeping me from reading. but yes i got a few very good books out of the whole thing!!

      hope you had a solid january and your february is going swell!

      Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      thank you!!! i started off january reading a LOT (last year i started off the year by reading a book a day for 18 days and i wanted to start off similarly strong) and then…chaos.

      hope your february is a dream!!


  3. Arini says:

    My January was boring. It’s the same routine everyday, but at least it wasn’t as stressing as yours sounded like. 😂 My reading challenge is doing great. 💪 My fave from last month were Sadie, The Wicked King, Looking for Alaska, and Sky in the Deep. 💖 My least fave were just a couple of romances that basically have the same story all over again that I picked up on a whim. Because for some unknown reasons I’m addicted to them. I can’t stop myself even after knowing I’m gonna be setting myself up to a disappointment most of the time. 🤦‍♀️ So, I get you with your unfailing tendencies towards Christina Lauren’s books. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but I have A Man Called Ove on my TBRs. 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      oooh yay sadie!! such a good book. & that makes me more excited to pick up THe Wicked King!!

      omg…the reading romance even though you know it’ll disappoint you…LITERALLY ME. i pick up romance (and contemporary) all the time…and i never??? like it??? idk what my problem is.

      A Man Called Ove is such a dream! i hope you love it, and that your february is excellent (and less boring than january)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thebookishskies says:

    Emma, I’m sorry to hear January wasn’t as good for you. But, I still think you read an amazing amount of books, even if most of them were mediocre. I am kind of in the opposite side of the spectrum here, though. So far in 2018, I’ve only read 4 or 5 stars books, which is amazing to me and proves that I’m making right choices in picking up my next reads, but I also miss roasting some characters & writing? I’m looking forward to my biggest disappointment of the year, because it’s going to be a shocking one, lol. I hope February turns out to be a much better month for you! And I also hope you get the chance to put your mental health first! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      ahhh thank you so much! also, are you a superhero??? only 4 and 5 star reads??? what a dream. you’re killing the game. (although i totally get the missing-rant-review thing. whenever i actually like a book i’m like…how i review this? i have to be…NICE?!!?!??!)

      ahhh thank you sm!!! i hope your february is excellent and filled with more good reads (plus maybe one terrible one, so you can unleash the rant of a lifetime)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall says:

    AWW, I’m sorry that you’ve been suffering, Emma! That schedule honestly sounds hella stressful, so I’ll be sending you all the good vibes to you! ❤️

    Also, LITTLE WOMEN! YES! I adore that book so much!

    I hope your February is less stressful for you and that you read some amazing books! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      ahhhh thanks love ❤ ❤ i'm hoping february'll be a little chiller!

      YES LITTLE WOMEN!!! it's the perfect winter read?? so cozy. so joyful. i love

      thank you thank you!! hope your february is wonderful and filled with good books too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. May @ Forever and Everly says:

    your post made me smile way too many times I hate you!!!! this is such an Emma post and it’s beautiful (particularly: this book was so boring!! did the plot ever start? thanks Macmillan for the arc)

    but also I’m very sorry you had a Stressful month and I hope February will be a lot better! 9 books is great especially if your average was 3 stars. (and look at you not hating a book everyone loves!) I’m glad you took some time off to concentrate on your busy life but I’m VERY HAPPY you’re back!!! I missed you. you’re the best. bleh

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      HAHAHAHA when people write discussion posts about feeling bad about tearing apart ARCs i’m always like yeah…haha…same…so relatable…definitely a problem i have for sure

      shoutout to a man called ove for being actually good and also shoutout to you for being the great love of my life and the only purely good thing in this world probably

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nimika @ wordhaven says:

    Ok but everything you said about Cristina Lauren? Wow same. It’s like, they always somehow come up with good/interesting themes for the plot and I can’t help but read them but then the actual content is more or less garbage and I don’t know why I keep putting myself in this misery.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites says:


    my January was pretty good, and I managed to get through 26 books probably because I wasn’t back in class until the 22nd plus my remote externship was only a few hours a day for 5 days; the stress is really starting to hit me now though, so I highkey relate to this post.

    hoping your February is going a lot better than January, and that the books you will read and have read are much better 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      TWENTY SIX BOOKS!!!! you superhero. i hope the stress lessens soon so you can return to your magical ways.

      my february is showing slight improvements, thank you!!! hope yours has been at least a little less bleh than expected ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    Oh no, Emma!!! I’m so sorry for this crappy month… I hope you get back on your feet soon, girl :/
    It sucks that you had all these potentially awesome feminist books and most of them were just super disappointing. I blame feminism becoming a “trend” and “profitable” rather than “true” and “important”. Ugh.
    I’ve read only one short one by Tucholke (part of an anthology) and have to say I wasn’t a fan either, but I was looking forward to this new one of hers! Guess I’ll thread carefully just in case.
    It Only Happens in the Movies sounds soooo good! Best anti-toxic tropes ever, from your description, thus right up my alley.
    I’ve been reading tons of contemporaries lately (like, whaaaa) and NA no less (like, WHAAAA) and I feel like I might have grown bored of them. I loved them at first but then they sort of started feeling the exact. same. plot. and. characters. over and over again and it fizzled my enthusiasm a bit. Maybe because they’re all part of a series. Dunno. But I might pick something from a different author just to make sure. Like Christina Lauren, who I’ve heard about A LOT. Though maybe not this one.
    Anyway, bout the reading challenge – going strong! I’m hoping to shave off at least one more until the end of this month but we’ll see.
    Best of luck with everything, hon ❤ ❤ You got this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmareadstoomuch says:

      first off and most important thing: I LOVE YOU. seriously. omg thank you for all your support agsdhjsagdh feel so lucky.

      I COMPLETELY AGREE W THAT ASSESSMENT OF FEMINIST BOOKS. some of them were so good and then a bunch of people realized it was a profitable keyword and now…it’s become so commercial and ugh. feminism is not a trend!!!

      this was my first Tucholke experience! so she may just not be my cup of tea. & omg plz plz read It Only Happens in the Movies — anyone who likes contemporaries but is continually disappointed by them should read the hell out of that book immediately

      god i feel that so hard. if you find any contemporaries that shake things up plz lmk. christina lauren didn’t do it for me but i recommend at least trying them out b/c their books take like 20 mins to read?? so.

      tysm i hope your february was excellent and your march is off to a stellar start ❤


  10. Elise @thebookishactress says:


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink says:

    i cannot believe i didn’t read this post when it was published. idk why im even commenting at this point. to prove i’m a failiure at all things? yh. anyways i miss ur posts SO much. i hope things get less busy soon because ur life seems very hectic atm and u deserve to all the pace and happiness. come back soon but also take care of urself. this was very enjoyable to read. as all ur posts are.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bob says:

plz give me attention

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