Biannual Bibliothon TBR

As I mentioned in this post, I am participating in Biannual Bibliothon from 12-18 January. Christian has decided to join me and has planned a book for each challenge but is going into it more casually, knowing he won’t be able to read nearly as much. I thought I would share our planned TBR for the readathon.

Challenge 1: Read the group book

This one is simple as it is decided by the hosts:


Challenge 2: Read one of the hosts 5 star reads

AJ’s choice: Summer of Salt


Christian’s choice: Pivot Point


Challenge 3: Reread a book that got you into reading

AJ’s choice:


Christian’s choice:


Challenge 4: Read an adult book

AJ’s choice:


Christian’s choice:


Challenge 5: A favorite genre in a format you don’t like

AJ’s choice:

22020592 (I don’t like anthologies)

Christian’s choice:

fairest_cover (Christian doesn’t like novellas)

Challenge 6: A book with a cover you don’t like

AJ’s choice:


Christian’s choice:


Challenge 7: A book by an author you have never read before

AJ’s choice:

I am going to allow this book to be a mood read as I have many books on my TBR by new-to-me authors at the moment.

Christian’s choice:


If any of these books interest you, click on the cover to purchase them.

If you are participating, comment what is on your TBR and feel free to join in with us! Follow me on Twitter (@aj_timberlake) for more regular updates.

Upcoming Readathons AJ is Participating In

The title is pretty self explanatory, but I love readathons and I really have been aiming to make January one of my best reading months of my life and so I have signed up for several readathons this month:

Bout of Books: 7-13 January

Sign up here.

The idea of this readathon is simply to get you to read more than you would in a normal week. There are daily challenges but I don’t know that I will be participating in those. I am just going to enjoy being part of the reading community of this readathon as I read this week.

Biannual Bibliothon: 12-18 January

View the TBR challenge video here.

This is mostly done by booktubers and they have video and reading challenges. The reading challenges are:

  1. Read the BB chosen read. They have chosen Empress of all Seasons
  2. Read one of the hosts 5 Star Recommendations: Pivot PointEliza and Her MonstersSummer of SaltStrange the DreamerThe Graveyard BookThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, or Emergency Contact
  3. Reread a book that got you into reading.
  4. Read an adult book
  5. Combine your favourite genre with your least favorite type of book to read. This one is confusing to me, the explanation he gave was if you like fantasy but you don’t like graphic novels to read a graphic nove l fantasy (or vice versa). But I don’t really understand what “types of books” would mean.
  6. Read a book with a cover that you don’t like.
  7. Read a book by an author you’ve never read before.

Their guidelines say that you can double up on the challenges if you like, but you can’t triple or more up.

I haven’t decided yet what I am going to read for these. If you have any suggestions for me please leave a comment. This is my first time doing this readathon and I am very excited for it.

Buzzwordathon: 14-20 January

View announcement videos here and here

The idea for this readathon is to read a book with their chosen “buzzword” which will be a word that is often seen in book titles. Their buzzword for this round is lie (also lie, liar or lying).

The one book I have already chosen to read for this is Sometimes I Lie.

If you want to participate and you are looking for a recommendation, I really loved One of Us is Lying.

24 in 48: 26-27 January

Sign up here.

I did this readathon in July and I absolutely loved it. The idea is to read for 24 hours out of the 48 in the weekend. They run it from midnight EST on the Saturday to midnight EST on the Monday but you may also choose to do it in your timezone and you are still eligible for prizes if you choose to do so. They put up mini-challenges every 2 hours and it is honestly so much fun to choose to participate in this to the fullest extent.

Join Me!

If you decide you want to participate in any of these with me, please comment and let me know where to find your updates. You can follow me on Twitter (@aj_timberlake) or friend me on Goodreads (here).

Please note that clicking on the links above and buying one of the books gives me a small share in the profits (and we’re saving for a wedding, so we’d love it if you did that). This is also true across the site when we link to amazon to allow you to buy the book quickly and easily.

Christian’s 2019 Reading Plan

This year (2018) has been a rough one for reading. Lots of things going on, people to see, hours to work, etc. At the writing of this post, I have read 28 books this year. I’ve read into the 50s and 60s fairly consistently for the past years before this. I’m hoping to be more intentional with my reading in 2019, though. And a great way to do so is to set well-defined goals.

2019 Reading Goals:

Read 100 Books

This is one of those bucket list things for me as an avid reader. I see other working people exceeding and sometimes doubling or tripling this amount in a year so I know it is doable if I set my mind to it. Within these 100 books, I want to read:

– 20 Audiobooks

– My Fiancée’s (almost wife’s) Top 3 from 2018

– 15 Classics

– 10 Rereads

– 20 Non-Fiction

Many of these may have cross over and that’s ok, but I believe these sub-goals will give me the structure and diversity needed to reach this reading milestone in 2019.

Review Every Book

I love to read and I do remember a great deal from each book, but many times I wonder what I thought about a particular part of a book that I don’t intend to reread. I would like to be able to have reviews to refer back to for all 100 (in faith) books this year. Plus, then you all can hear what I think about a book, if you’re interested.

Expand My Reading Taste

In my defense, I already have a fairly wide reading taste. However, I will never be satisfied with my range of reading. This year I want to discover some amazing books in genres that I’m not as familiar with or would not usually explore. You are welcome to comment below with any books or authors that may assist me in this pursuit.

Anticipated Binge-Worthy Authors

Brandon Sanderson – I have read Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Elantris by Sanderson but I think this year could be the one I really crack into his other works and be swept away by the greatest literary magician of our time.

Steve Berry – In 2017 a friend of mine gave me The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry, the first in his Cotton Malone series. It has taken me until a year and a half later to finally pick up the next book in the series and begin reading it, but I think I’m falling in love. He writes what I would call conspiracy fiction or maybe conspiracy historical mystery or maybe who even knows what but imagine if National Treasure met Indiana Jones and then got spritzed with a spy novel or two and that’s pretty much what this series is. I’m feeling like you can expect a lot from me about these books in 2019.

Jodi Picoult – AJ loves Jodi Picoult and has read an impressive amount of her books. I’ve read Handle with Care and it was good. So good, in fact, that I’m considering her to be a binge-worthy author for 2019. Plus, we own like half her books so that sets me up nicely (thanks Hun!).

Rick Riordan – Last but certainly the farthest thing from least, Mister god of Olympus himself, Rick Riordan. I am desperately in love with Percy Jackson & The Olympians and Heroes of Olympus. Back when the first Trials of Apollo book came out I was excited and read through it adoringly, but I haven’t read the rest of the series (the parts of it that have been released anyway), so I want to fix that tragedy this year. I also am interested in the Kane Chronicles for this year. Riordan makes this list because he is amazing and because, let’s face it…can you actually read his books without binging them all in a row?

Anticipated Binge-Worthy Series

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

Song of Ice and Fire by George R. Martin

Ember in the Ashes Trilogy by Sabaa Tahir

Darker Shade Trilogy by Victoria Schwab

What should YOU be reading in 2019?

This year, I’ve not regretted a single of the 28 books I have read. It pains me to limit my favorites down to five, but here we go! Here are the five books I think you should read in 2019:

  1. When We Collided by Emery Lord
  2. 11.22.63 by Stephen King
  3. Beartown by Fredrik Backman
  4. Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  5. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

AJ’s 2019 Reading Plan

I can’t believe that it is less than a week until we are in the new year and the last of the twenty tweens, that’s pretty scary to me. Anyway, my plan is to make this the best reading year of my life and so I have set some pretty ambitious goals. Christian and I get married in March so it’s already set to be the best year of my life and so I am hoping that it will only be made better by my reading.

I am also wanting to review every single book I read in 2019. This is the third year in a row I am trying to do this, I have not even come close to succeeding before, but I am hoping that this blog will push me to be better at that.

Reading Challenges:

  1. Read 100 books. The best reading year I have ever had since I began tracking my reading, I read 84 books. This year I read 50. So, this is pretty ambitious, but I think I can do it. I am going to do a smaller aim of 10 books per month knowing I probably won’t hit that each month particularly around the time of the wedding.
  2. Popsugar 2019 challenge. You can view the challenge and some suggestions for books that fit the various challenges here, I am hoping this will stretch my reading and expose me to some books that I wouldn’t have otherwise read.
  3. Read One Book for Every Year I Have Been Alive. 1997-2019 = 22 books. The only rule for this challenge is that they can’t be rereads.
  4. Goodreads Choice Checklist. I want to read all of the Goodreads Choice 2018 winners (except for the cookbook and picture book).

Authors of the Year:

  1. Brandon Sanderson. I actually haven’t really read anything by Brandon Sanderson, but he has so many popular books and I would love to get through a large chunk of them.
  2. Rick Riordan.I have read his Percy Jackson series and The Lost Hero. I really enjoyed those so I would like to get through a few more next year having not read a single thing of his in 2018.
  3. Jane Austen.I read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility in high school and loved both. This is the only author where I am hoping I will get through all of her works next year (including P&P and S&S).

Series of the Year:

(I have started some of these series and some of them I haven’t, but I am hoping to finish all of them by December 31st, 2019.)

  1. Outlander
  2. Vampire Academy
  3. Mistborn
  4. Lunar Chronicles
  5. Crazy Rich Asians
  6. Red Queen
  7. Kingkiller Chronicles
  8. A Court of Thorns and Roses
  9. Throne of Glass
  10. A Darker Shade of Magic

5 Star Predictions:

I’m guessing I’ll absolutely love the following books and these will be like the top 10 of my 2019. Obviously, there is no real way to know but I thought it would be a fun game to guess:

  1. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  4. The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
  5. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  6. Circe by Madeline Miller
  7. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
  8. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  9. The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
  10. Queen of the Tearling by Erica Johansen

My final aim for this year is to more read books that I am interested in even if they have peculiar names or covers, or even if they have a stigma attached to them. Honestly, not judging myself for what I am enjoying reading will be one of the most stretching things I could do in my reading life.

What’s On Our Shelf – September 2018

See what we are reading this month!




I have been having better reading months since I went back to studying online and I am hoping to finish at least 10 books during the month of September.

Top Recommendation from August:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so.

Carrying over from August:

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult.

June’s husband and first daughter were killed several years ago and their murderer is on death row. Her second daughter needs a heart transplant but the only match is the murderer. 

I picked this one up at a second hand book shop last month and got through 150 pages in one sitting and it’s been sitting beside my bed ever since.

11.22.63 by Stephen King

Jake has the chance to go back in time and change the day that President J.F. Kennedy was assassinated.

This is the first King I have ever read and it is not a horror. However it is a tome and it’s going to take me a while to get through. Christian listened to this one on Audible several months ago and has been begging me to read it since.

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge:

(You can see the list here)

This month I want to try and knock two off this list by reading Mrs Dalloway and Middlesex.


Before Kingdom of Ash (if you haven’t pre-ordered this yet, what are you waiting for?) is released on October 23, I am wanting to finish the Throne of Glass novels. I am 60 pages into Heir of Fire as I write this.

Bookclub Reads:

My favorite online Bookclub does not have set books but rather themes/tags/shelves from which people recommend and read books with the aim of stretching their reading habits. View the bookclub here. This months theme is “friendship”:

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch who thinks about death often and Violet Markey who is filled with grief from her sisters death tour their state to find natural wonders. But as Violet’s world grows, Theodore’s begins to shrink.

Another book that Christian recommended to me

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Who can resist a description like that? And it’s YA that will apparently make me cry and so that sold me even more.

Christian Books:

I’m trying to incorporate reading Christian books into my Quiet Time and this month I would like to get through two.

Grace is Greater by Kyle Idleman

This Changes Everything by Jacquelle Crowe

Random “Looks Interesting” Reads:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonassen


Legendary by Stephanie Garber

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win. I’m about 100 pages into this exciting sequel to Caraval and already my heart has been stolen. The first book in this series was one of my favorites I’ve read all year.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

A child dies in detention and just like that this book takes off. My fiancée recommended this one to me and I’m about an hour in on the audible version.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never actually heard of this book. I read Ender’s Game earlier this year and absolutely adored it, so in my search to find another science fiction read that would be close to as enjoyable, AJ found Dune for me. It’s a rather long one, so I’m not sure if I will finish it this month, but I will certainly try.

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck has been on my list for a million years and it seems like a good time to attempt one of his books.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is a must-read for me. I’m going to be reading and likely reviewing this book in the next few weeks and simultaneously accomplishing one of my bucket-list reading goals.


I should receive props for this one. I’m flying all the way to South Africa to get a copy of this. Well, that’s not exactly the only reason I’m going to South Africa, but definitely going to be an exciting bonus!

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge:

My fiancée has gotten me into Gilmore Girls lately and together we are attempting to accomplish the reading challenge (see list here). This month my goal is to read/finish The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I’m about 70 pages in already and it is very reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, which is one of my all-time favorite books, so I’m rather excited for this Hemingway classic.


(Please note that clicking the links in this post will take you to the purchase page on Amazon. Buying from these links means that we get a small percentage in return.)