Top Reads of 2019: Xiaolong’s Favourite Books of 2019!

Top Reads of the Year: Xiaolong's favourite books of 2019

Friends! Can you believe it’s almost the end of the year?

2019 has been such a wonderful year of reading and diverse books. I’ve had the privilege and joy to read a myriad of brilliant diverse books this year, and I think it is only fitting if I followed what I did last year and celebrated my favourite reads of 2019!

This year, I read a total of 86 books – I’m still determined to hit my goal of reading 90 books! – but it was a fantastic year nonetheless.

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Castor’s Very Own #StartOnYourShelfathon TBR List: Let’s Collect Stars Together!

You find Castor sitting by the Pond, plotting some stars with some night-blue chalk. You ask him how he is and what he’s doing; a deep frown is creased on his face, like he’s trying hard to think of something.

Castor the Sloth, sitting and looking at a dark blue piece of paper that is glowing.“Hello friend,” he says, his words measured and slow. “Why, I am thinking about the stars I’d like to look out for while I am here.”

He notices the furled star map that you have in your hand, and his eyes light up with a big smile. “Friend, I’m so happy that you are going to be helping out! Would you like to see the stars I’m going to try and look for? Maybe we can share our star maps and see if any of the stars may be the same?”

That sounds like a great idea! You settle yourself next to Castor, unfurl your own star map, and show him the stars you will be trying to look for.

What is #StartOnYourShelfathon?

#StartOnYourShelfathon is a 2020 star-themed readathon hosted and run by me, CW from The Quiet Pond. The aim of #StartOnYourShelfathon is to read as many unread books on your bookshelf as you can between December 13th 2019 and December 31st 2020.

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Welcome to #StartOnYourShelfathon! Read The Unread Books On Your Shelf and Help Castor the Star Collector Find The Stars

#StartOnYourShelfathon: A 2020 readathon hosted by the quiet pond. read your unread books and collect stars!


Welcome friends, to The Quiet Pond’s #StartOnYourShelfathon!

The concept of the StartOnYourShelfathon is simple: from December 18th 2019 to December 31st 2020, join us in this readathon and read as many unread books that you own on your bookshelf (physical or electronic)! (You can read the readathon’s information post here.)

XL faves copyThe number of unread books you want to try and read during the readathon is up to you – whether you have 15 unread books on your bookshelf or over 200, you set your own challenges! Ambitious participants of the StartOnYourShelfathon may want to try and aim to read every single book on their bookshelf, whereas participants who want to participate but don’t want to stress about reaching a specific goal may commit to reading three or ten books a month. However you want to participate in #StartOnYourShelfathon is entirely up to you!

Though the aim of the readathon is to help motivate you to read your unread books, what is most important is that you have fun! And we at The Quiet Pond have recruited a very special friend to help you on your StartOnYourShelfathon journey…

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The Pond Gets Loud: 8 International Book Bloggers Share Their Experiences – Part III

The Pond Gets Loud: 8 International Book Bloggers Share Their Experiences - Part III. Illustration of Bao the corgi on a plane, flying away.

Welcome back to Part III, our final part of our third The Pond Gets Loud collaboration series!

The Pond Gets Loud is a feature where I invite book reviewers from the community to share their experiences and talk about anything related to book blogging. The overall goal of The Pond Gets Loud is to give book bloggers a voice, give book bloggers the opportunity to share their honest experiences, and promote transparency and awareness within the book blogging community.

Illustration of Bao the corgi on a plane, wearing flight goggles, flying away on the plane.Today is the third part of current collaboration series, where we are exploring ‘The Experiences of Being an International Book Blogger‘. As an international book blogger myself, this is a topic that means a lot to me and also to a lot of other international book bloggers. I hope that as a member of the book blogging community – or simply someone who is curious about the varied and diverse experiences of book blogging – this collab post will be insightful, eye-opening, and thought-provoking.

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Five Reasons To Read: This Time Will Be Different by Misa Suguira – Wonderful in Its Messiness; About Social Justice, Reparations, and The Power of Protest

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura.


Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.

She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.

Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

CW’s Review:

Have you ever read a book that made you wish, so deeply, that it had existed just a little bit earlier so that it could have helped you go through a tough part in your life? This Time Will Be Different is definitely that book for me. Specifically, I wish that this book had existed when I was a teenager – when I was grappling with the big questions that all teens face: Where is my place in the world? What do I care about so deeply that I can dedicate myself to? And when I see something that doesn’t sound right, how do I speak up?

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