Hello everyone! As we near the end of 2019 and the beginning of a whole new decade, I decided to look back on this past year in terms of the books I’ve read and the things I’ve done over here on Sapphistication!
If you’re a long term reader, you’ll know that this time last year I set myself a goal to read more widely and inclusively (and less white-ly) over 2019. There were graphs! Overall I definitely think I’ve achieved this, though I’ll spare you the technicolour pie charts this time around. I’ve seen some discussion of ‘diversity goals’ this last year and I’ve decided not to pointedly renew it for 2020. If I have read and reviewed your book, I do not want you to think it is purely to up my stats in any department. It is not because you are a person of colour, or gender nonconforming, or LGBT+, it is because I wanted to read your book and I do not wish to take away from that. As always I want to make Sapphistication an open, welcoming and diverse place but I know how annoying ‘box ticking diversity’ can be, so let’s keep it natural, eh?
Instead of setting myself specific goals for the next year, I’ve chosen instead to post a highlight reel of posts I’m particularly proud of, or which I feel are especially meaningful, from the last year. So here we are, the Sapphistication 2019 Highlight Reel!
Oh how romantic!
I started 2019 with a bang and fell headlong into my newfound love of Romance fiction with A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole! 2019 has definitely been the year of romance for me, both with planning my own wedding next year and the discovery that I don’t just enjoy romance as a subplot, but as a full on bodice ripping main plot. I’ve been reading and reviewing romance novels all year for fun and as part of the Heaving Bosoms 2019 Reading Embrace, a post about which will be making its way to you in the new year! There’s just something so wonderful to me about being able to pick up a book and know that at the end people will be happy. I read romance now whenever stressful times arise at work, or in my life, and I’m so happy I gave the genre a chance.
My romance related recs:
The BBC adaptation of North and South on Netflix, I forgot how much I love that series.
Mental health and burnout
This year I hit the proverbial wall part way through, and decided to take a month away from blogging in order to rest and re-learn the whole reviewing-is-fun aspect of blogging. I’ve been open about my struggles with mental health since starting this blog and this year is no exception. Going forward I’m lowering my output from one review a week to one a fortnight, and hoping to bring you all the blog you deserve as opposed to stressfully trying to read a book and churn out a post every seven days. I picked this out not necessarily as a highlight for this blog, but one for me. I had to learn when to say I needed a break, when to take a step back, and I’ve benefited hugely from this since then. Learn your limits, folks.
Podding it up
In a year where safe places for LGBT+ people online are in short supply, I wanted to share a little bit of the community there is to be found in a particular genre of media- podcasts. I love podcasts, I listen to them all the time at work, on the bus, in the bath. More than any other form of media I have always found podcasts to be LGBT+ friendly – but this might have something to do with the fact that I started with Welcome To Night Vale and expanded from there. So I made a list, cultivated by my own listening history and by the suggestions of you my lovely readers. What area of the wild wild web would you like to see next? Maybe youtube.
My top podcast recs of the moment!:
This year I hosted my first multi-blogger post with my sexy September romance extravaganza where we all spoke about romance, why we love it, what tropes we love and sharing content we’re proud of! I massively enjoyed reaching out to others creating content out of sheer love the way I do, and seeing more of why other people dove headfirst into Romancelandia, and I’d love to work on more collaborative content in future.
(Please see above for Romance recs. But also Talia Hibbert’s A Girl Like Her, you should read that.)
This year my fiancée made her first proper appearance on Sapphistication! Counting down her top five horror reads and being wonderful, Lauren joined in my Bookending Autumn entry and was utterly wonderful. Lauren is a massive supporter of my blog, and I was just so happy to have the opportunity to create something together and share it with you all!
Horror recs from Lauren and I!
Lauren recommends The Exorcist tv show on Amazon prime
I recommend Doctor Sleep, if it’s still in your local cinema, or The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix!
This year was my first attempt at Nonfiction November, and at reading more nonfiction in general for personal enjoyment rather than academic research. Reading Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix and Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? By Caitlin Doughty in a fairly reserved 2 book TBR, I found I actually massively enjoyed it and intend to read more nonfiction in 2020! Let’s be real, the world could do with some more facts right about now.
Thank you all for sticking with me through this year of genre hopping, break taking and general tomfoolery and I look forward to sharing more things I love with you all in the new year! Want to see anything in particular on Sapphistication? Drop a comment below or fill in the contact form on my Contact Me page!