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#010 | Fantastic Finale: Wrapping up the year

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Hello internet! Welcome to our last episode in season one of Rants and Reviews. In this episode, we’re taking a look at the year just past, and have a chat about how we did on our Goodreads Challenge, which were our favourite books of the year, and which ones we didn’t really enjoy. We also start our own mini book club and pick a book for the other person to read while we take a break. Stay tuned to find out which books we chose!


Anjali is currently reading Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, and My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and others. Sophie is also currently reading My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and others, and Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. My True Love Gave to Me is Sophie’s choice for the Blogger’s Bookshelf Book Club pick for December. Head to BB to join us as we read it!


(4:20) Sophie and I had a Goodreads Challenge number set to 45 books to read in 2018, and both of us passed that, rather well.

(5:30) We also have a long discussion about audiobooks and how we forget about them and they get sucked back into the void before we can finish them.

(8:20) An infographic of all the books we’ve read over the past year would be super neat. Oh, wait! Goodreads makes one for you!

See Anjali’s year in books on Goodreads
See Sophie’s year in books on Goodreads

(9:10) Sophie remembers (thanks to Goodreads) that she’s also still currently reading IT, by Stephen King, but she hasn’t made it very far, not because it’s scary but because...find out by listening!

(9:55) We wonder about upping our Goodreads Challenge for 2019, seeing as we both rocketed past our set challenges. We’ll let you know! You’ll have to find out what we do in Season 2 Episode 1!

(10:55) Sophie had another book-related goal for 2018, which was to read five classics. This ties into our Vow To Read list, which is one of the things we do at the beginning of the year on Blogger’s Bookshelf. With Erin, Ria and the rest of the BB team, we all pick five books that we vow to read throughout the course of the year. This was the first time Sophie had done it, but Anjali has done it for years now, and never manages to get through her list. Check out this year’s VTR list on BB.

(15:45) Finally, we get to share our five favourite reads of 2018. Note these aren't books that have been released in 2018, necessarily, just books that we have read this year and really loved. These all gained five stars on Goodreads.

Sophie’s Five
- Scythe, by Neal Shusterman
- Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
- What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
- The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas
- The Heroes of Olympus Series, by Rick Riordan

Anjali’s Five
- Scythe, by Neal Shusterman (which didn’t come out in 2018, like she says. Oops)
- The Last Magician, by Lisa Maxwell
- The Anger of Angels, by Sherryl Jordan
- City of Ghosts, by Victoria Schwab
- An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green

Highly recommended from us:
- Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han
- Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson
- Daughter of the Siren Queen, by Tricia Levenseller
- Grace and Fury, by Tracy Banghart
- Muse of Nightmares, by Laini Taylor
- Mythos, by Stephen Fry
- The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan
- A Year at Hotel Gondola, by Nicky Pellegrino

(24:00) We have a quick chat about genres of books, and how it’s great that we have similar taste.

(24:29) You can have a list of great books from the year without mentioning some you didn’t enjoy. Tune in to find out which ones didn’t make the cut.

(27:50) Sophie, as well as having books she didn’t like, also had a few she never actually finished.

- From Twinkle With Love, by Sandhya Menon
- The End of Loneliness, by Benedict Wells
- Early Riser, by Jasper Fforde

(28:33) Anjali read an entire series this year, which is not like her. Usually, it takes a while. But this year she read the whole Fallen Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes. Sophie may have read an entire series this year, but it depends if she can finish the last book by the end of the year.

(30:30) Have we started any series this year? Anjali 100% lies (by accident!!); she thought she hadn’t started any series but turns out many of the books she read this year were the first in a series.

(33:00) Some years we don’t re-read any books, others we try to get a couple in. This year we both re-read a few but plan on re-reading a lot more next year.

(37:20) It’s Sophie’s turn to tell a lie about not having read any graphic novels or comics this year. Anjali is quick to point out she read Sheets, by Brenna Thummler. She’s also been reading Lore Olympus, which is a webcomic series.

Anjali’s graphic novel list this year was:
- Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson
- Marvel’s Runaways, Vol 1 - 7
- The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wong

(40:37) This year Blogger’s Bookshelf was featured in Blogosphere magazine, which was super incredibly exciting for our little collaborative book blog (shout out to our fearless leaders, Erin and Ria). The review they chose to feature was Anjali’s review of The Prince and the Dressmaker, however they edited out one word in a sentence that completely changed the whole meaning. Anjali adds the ‘rants’ to Rants and Reviews and has a moan. But then is also excited that we were featured. Mixed feelings all around over here.


(42:12) It’s mini book club time! We’ve each picked a book for the other person to read, and while Sophie had narrowed it down to two books, Anjali struggled with which one to pick for Sophie.

Sophie’s pick for Anjali: A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J Maas
Anjali’s pick for Sophie: A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee

Feel free to read along with us and tag us on Instagram or Twitter, or flick us an email with your thoughts.

(46:20) As we wrap up the episode (and the season!) we would love to have your feedback on what you thought about season 1. We’ve created a Google form and would so so so appreciate if you could fill it out (it won’t take long!) so we can gage what you guys liked, and what you didn’t like, and how we can do better for next season.

Click here to fill our Google feedback form, and thank you advance!


And that’s a wrap! Here we are at the end of the final episode of season one. We’re pretty amazed we’ve made it this far. We’ll back in the new year with season 2, so in the meantime, be sure to send us your feedback via the form or social media. Plus, keep an eye out as we may have some bloopers coming your way soon!

Find us on Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe on Podbean, acast, Spotify and iTunes or your favourite podcast listening platform. 

Books mentioned in this episode
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins and others, Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, A Christmas Party by Carole Matthews, Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, Runaways comic series, Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, It by Stephen King, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Murder On the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, Language Of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano, Dry by Neal Shusterman, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller, Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart, Mythos by Stephen Fry, The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan, A Year at Hotel Gondola by Nicky Pellegrino, Scythe by Neal Shusterman, What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, The Anger of Angels by Sherryl Jordan, City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, Under Italian Skies by Nicky Pellegrino, When in Rome by Nicky Pellegrino, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, Beast by Lisa Jensen, Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneu, #famous by Jilly Gagnon, Beastly by Alex Flinn, My Mad Fat Teenage Diary by Rae Earl, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

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