January Reading Challenge - Jam Jar January with Books and Munches

Happy New Year, everyone!

I can't believe 2019 is already here. This year has been the longest, hardest year of my life, but I learned a lot of things about life, about myself, and about the strength to carry on. My advice to you is this. Take care of yourself first and foremost. No one is going to do it for you, loves. I love all of you and may this year bless you and yours with everything you need and everything that will benefit you in the long run.

I read 40 books this year, so that was a great achievement on my part. This year I'm upping the ante and not only am I upping the number of books to read (50 books!), but I'm also participating in the monthly read-a-thons hosted by Books and Munches. January's theme is Jam Jar January, where you put all of the books you wanted to read in 2018 and put them in a jar (or in my case a Harry Potter mug I received as a holiday gift) and pick some out. I picked six and left the rest in the mug in case I finish or DNF the list I picked. Here they are in the order I pulled them and the order I'll read them in.

1) Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart. 311 pages. Little Brown and Company. 2018.

Okay so I didn't pull this one, but I'm currently reading it and want to include it just in case I don't finish it before January 1. It's the story of two sisters, Nomi and Serina, and told from alternating POVs. They live in a world where every three years the Superior, or the Heir, choose three Graces, young women who represent the pinnacle of grace, obedience, and beauty. To be chosen as a Grace is the highest honor in the kingdom, and something Serina has been training for her entire life. Nomi on the other hand is happy with her simple life and detests the system. At the choosing of the Graces, it is not Serina who is chosen, but rather Nomi, as one of the three Graces of the Heir. What will happen to the sisters? Will Nomi conform or will the sisters be put in danger due to their violent passions?

2) Blood of Elves (Witcher Series #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski. 432 pages. Orbit. 1994.

This is the first full-length novel of the Witcher series, which inspired the increasingly popular games and soon Netflix series by the same name. The story revolves around the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia. The world in which he lives has been thrust into war with the dwarf, elf, and human all killing each other. There is a prophesied child who can use her power to change the world - for good or evil. For this power, she is being hunted and it's up to Geralt to protect her.

3) A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin. 694 pages. Bantam Spectra. 1996.

This is the first book in the now famous A Song of Ice and Fire series that inspired the much beloved Game of Thrones TV Series. Full disclosure: I haven't watched the series, so I'm going into this blindsided. This book is told from various POVs and follows three separate, but connected storylines. The first happens in the Seven Kingdoms, the second on the Northern Wall, and the third across the Narrow Sea. A Game of Thrones serves to introduce the Houses of Westeros and lay the groundwork for everything to come in the subsequent books. This is where it all starts.

4) The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan. 544 pages. Penguin Books. 2004.

This is a nonfiction book detailing the thirty year long war fought between the Athenians and the Spartans in the fifth century BCE. This war tore apart the ancient world and was an epic power struggle powers. Donald Kagain is a well respected historian and wrote this book to give a detailed portrait of this war.

5) Amber and Dusk (Amber and Dusk #1) by Lyra Selene. 368 pages. Scholastic Press. November 2018.

Sylvie always felt like she deserved more. Striving to join the court of the Amber Empress in Amber City, she leaves her home and heads to the capital where she joins Couer d'Or and Empress. Sylvie takes the name of Mirage, due to her ability to summon illusions, but is soon disillusioned with court life. The Empress only invited her in on a wager, and everyone has secrets. Is the price required to achieve her rightful place worth it? And what is hidden within the court?

6) Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa. 409 pages. Harlequin Teen. October 2018.

One thousand years ago, the Kami dragon was summoned to grant a wish that plunged the land Iwagoto into darkness and chaos. Now, whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers can ask for a new wish, a new dawn. Yumeko was raised by monks at the Silent Wind Temple and taught to hide her half-kitsune nature. She excels in illusions and mischief, until the Temple is attacked and she is forced to flee with a part of the ancient scroll. Kage Tatsumi is a samurai with the Shadow Clan and is one of the hunters of the scroll. Under orders to gain the scroll at any cost, he joins forces with Yumeko, who promises to lead him to the scroll. Will her deception lead to destruction? And does she hold the key to the new age of the land of Iwagoto?

7) A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab. 416 pages. Tor Books.

Kell is one of the last surviving Antari, Magicians with the power to travel between the alternate Londons - Red, Grey, White, and Black. He was raised in Red London and serves as an ambassador for the Maresh Empire to the other Londons. Unofficially, he is a smuggler and, after a deal goes wrong in Grey London, he meets Delilah Bard, a cut-purse who wants more from life. Forced to take her with him through the Londons, adventure abounds.


  1. Definitely huge books you pulled out of that jar, haha! A Song of Ice and Fire is on my TBR. I'm hoping to read it sometime this year, but we'll see how it goes. :) I've been meaning to read A Darker Shade of Magic for ages now! It's in my jar as well, but I haven't pulled it out yet. Fingers crossed I will. :D

    Have fun!

    1. Thank you! I'm really looking forward to this month's reading. I think I'm starting off on a strong foot for this year! Thanks for coming up with the challenge!


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