Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2023

Well, I don’t know about you but to me, January simultaneously felt like it would never end and like it passed way too quickly for my liking. This was the month I started my “new” job, returned to work 4 of 5 days in the office, and felt a ridiculous level of stress and pressure that I haven’t felt in quite some time. It has been both good and bad and although it’s gotten slightly better and I’m slowly finding my feet, it’s been a lot to adjust to!

With my first chunky new paycheck I decided to indulge in new tech and invested in my first ever tabletβ€”the 5th Gen iPad Air and of course, I got it in the colour purple! πŸ’œ I think 2023 is fast becoming the year I take my favourite colour and make it into my whole aesthetic and I’m not mad about it at all.

Compared to the ridiculous number of books I read in this month last year, this January has been pretty slow when it comes to reading. I managed to read 13 BOOKS and all things considered, I’m pretty happy that I managed to read at all. Did I want to read more? Yes, so much more! But I think with my job keeping me as busy as it has been and my daily hours-long commute draining me of the last dregs of energy, I need to set my own bar lower so that I don’t end up stressing myself with how “little” I read each month.

I told myself that I’d start using my bookstagram a little more this year and I’m happy to say that I’ve made at least 1-2 posts per week since and I’ve even posted two reels which, holy wow, took a lot longer to make than I expected. How do people make reels so often and how are they always SO GOOD?! πŸ˜‚

In terms of quality though, it’s been a pretty decent month! I didn’t have any reads below 3 stars and surprisingly, I had four 5-star reads! I definitely didn’t expect to find so many so soon, even if one of them is a re-read, especially when the first 5-star read was the second book I picked up this year. That’s what I call winning. 😍 If I had to choose a favourite though, it’d be Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover.

**BOOK COVERS are linked to Goodreads and the TITLE TEXT is linked to my review if available!**

Panda rating: 5 pandas

5 pandas

(TOUR) Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute


4.5 pandas


Panda rating: 4 pandas

4 pandas

(ARC) Moonrise Over New Jessup
(TOUR) Spice Road


Panda rating: 3.5 pandas

3.5 pandas

(ARC) A Long Time Coming


3 pandas

Convenience Store Woman
Iron Widow

This is a new section I’ve added to my monthly wrap-up. I thought it’d be a good way to hold myself accountable for the challenges that I said I’d participate in and I have to be honest, January has not been a great start. I’m sure things will turn around but it’s not gonna be now. It’s fine… Totally fine.

  • Goodreads Reading Challenge β†’ 13/150 β†’ Surprisingly one book ahead of schedule here! βœ…
  • Project Backlist Reading Challenge β†’ I’m aiming for the Committed Reader βœ… + ARCrasinator ❌ badges and I’m on track for the first (read one owned book per week/month) but I definitely have to work on my ARCs backlist cos I’ve barely made a dent in it. Welp! 🫣
  • Magical Readathon: Choose Your Own Adventure β†’ 1/12 β†’ I read my January book so I’m off on that adventure! βœ…
  • 12 Book Challenge β†’ 0/12 β†’ Yep, not off to a great start here! I thought I’d pick up Emily Wilde’s but I didn’t get around to it. That means tackling two books in February and I’m sure I can do it! ❌

Here are a few great community posts that I managed to read this month!

And that’s it for the first month of the new year! I can’t believe January is already over but I’m looking forward to what February brings, especially in my reading! How was your first month of reading this year? What was your favourite read(s)? I hope you’re all doing well and taking care! πŸ’œ

33 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2023

    • Yep, it’s a right pain but Jakarta’s traffic is HORRENDOUS and good public transport isn’t always easily accessible or it’s just too convoluted, hence why I have to endure traffic. It’s definitely not ideal πŸ˜‚

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  1. You read so many good books this month! I’m so excited for Highly Suspicious & Unfairly cute so I’m happy to see you loved it. I’ve also been seeing The Six Deaths of the Saint everywhere and I want to see what all the hype is about but can it be read as a standalone? Good luck with everything with your new job!

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    • I hope you enjoy Highly Suspicious! I should’ve never doubted whether I’d love Hibbert’s YA cos it was SO ridiculously cute, I loved it so much. And YES! Six Deaths can definitely be read as a standalone. This series is basically a collection of short stories from different authors! I hope you have a fab February, Elli!

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  2. How long is your commute? lol. My husband drives an hour and a half for work and then back but the money is better so he makes it work. I’m all for making your favorite color your aesthetic! I feel that way about light blue/turquoise. πŸ˜‚ That’s a lot of books, especially with a new job! I hope February is a lot smoother and filled with less stress.

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    • I do a combo of car + train once I get to the outer limits of the inner city train and on a good day, with “little” traffic it usually takes me 2 hours one way. It’s usually less than that in the evenings when I get home from work, so in total it’s about 3.5 or 4 hours every day? It’s a lot, I kinda hate it πŸ˜‚πŸ™ƒ And YES for making your colour your aesthetic! I’m slowly filling up my life with more purple/lilac goodness and it makes me so happy! 😍 I hope you have an awesome February as well, Joanna! πŸ’œ

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      • That is long! Yeah my husband is a little under 3 hours round trip and I think that’s far. πŸ˜‚ I need more light blue in my life but I did recently get planter pots of different shades of blue.

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  3. Oooh looks like you’re having a good start to the year, Dini… especially with four 5* reads! I’ve decided to start doing monthly wrap-ups this year & I’ve copied a little bit of your layout… if you don’t mind πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚. Hope you have a great Feb 😊

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  4. I’m happy with my January numbers; I actually did better than I thought I would. Then again, I did bring three books over from 2022. I’m glad you’re finding your footing with your new position.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

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  5. I’m hoping to start Ro Devereux in the next day or two. I keep seeing great reviews for it, and I already have it downloaded. And it looks like you had a great reading month with so many high ratings. I’ll take quality over quantity any day! Hope your job settles down for you soon. Yay for the new ipad, though!

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    • Aah, I’m so excited for you to start Ro! I hope you love it, Ali. 😍 I’ll also take quality over quantity and despite not reading as much as I wanted to, I’m glad that I really enjoyed more of my reads. I mean, four 5-star reads in one month? That’s wild for me, haha! πŸ˜‚ I hope you have an amazing February, friend!

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  6. I’m going to be sharing my wrap up post tomorrow but I also had four 5 star ratings in January and nothing was below a 3 star rating. January felt like it went by at a snails pace to me. I’m glad you had a good reading month I hope February is just as good or better!!

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  7. Going back to work 4/5 days has to be such an adjustment. Give yourself some time and grace to get used to it! ❀ You had such a great reading month though! I mean… for not feeling like you read as much. WOHOO!! How exciting for a purple iPad!! I need a new laptop like last year. haha. I hope that you have an amazing February!! ❀

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  8. I know you’re used to reading more, but 13 books is major goals for me. πŸ˜† New adjustments are hard, so keep being kind to yourself. When you said long commute, I was thinking maybe an hour, but I see from your above comment that it’s almost four hours a day!!! That’s hard. Are you able to read or listen to audiobooks? Something to unwind with? You absolutely deserve your new iPad. 😍 Happy to see you enjoyed Hibbert’s new one. It’s on my tbr! And congrats for figuring out reels on Insta. I haven’t even tried. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ˜ƒ I hope February finds you settling in to your new routine!

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  9. January was such a weird month for me too, it felt long but also so short πŸ˜… Omg four 5-star reads sound amazing!! I’m super excited to read Seven Percent of Ro Devereux πŸ₯° I also loved Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute! Thank you so much for sharing my post πŸ’œ

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  10. Four 5-star reads in 13 books is amazing, Dini! ❀️ The long commute sounds exhausting! Mine is around 3 hours per day (1.5 hours one way), and sometimes when I get to the office I feel like I’ve been working for half a day already. Can’t imagine 2 hours or more one way. 😳 And you still managed to read 13 books! That’s fantastic! ❀️

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