Friday, January 6, 2017

Monthly Rewind: December

Where did the year go? I can't believe the holidays flew by so quickly and now we're already here! January! Days away from the inauguration of our new president (now would be a GREAT time to say this was all a bad's never too late!!) and at the start of a whole new YEAR. I feel like I didn't get closure on 2016 and it's already 2017! Anyway, Happy New Year everyone--I hope it doesn't feel nearly so surprising to the rest of you as it does to me!

3 Things About My Life This Month

1. I went to Morocco! I know most of you have already seen some photos of Morocco on my Instagram or heard about this trip through my mentions of it on my previous Monthly Rewind post and my 2016 Wrap-Up post, but this was by far one of the best trips I took while abroad. I love this country and I desperately want to go back!

2. I CAME BACK HOME! Both home as in New Jersey and as in USA! I missed home so much and being home has been so, so lovely. I've just been gorging myself on Indian food and enjoying being pampered by my mom. :)

3. I barely finished my 2016 Reading Challenge! BUT, I did finish it!!! I read 201 books last year, which is a lot, but this year I'm challenging myself to read just 100. I found it so difficult to keep up with the pace I set for myself, last year, and though I caught up during the summer and during my breaks, whenever the semester got tough, falling behind on my reading goal just became another stress factor. So, this year, I'm going to most likely be reading less--but also hopefully reading more quality books? I want to read books I love and write more positive reviews this year. I want to read books that challenge my thinking and really dive into nonfiction and adult fiction more than returning to YA novels with tropes that annoy me to no end. If you have any recommendations, hit me up in the comments below!

Top 3 Books I Read This Month

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What a weird mix of books, this month! Homegoing is stunning and made my Best of 2016 list as well, but Kulti and A Scot in the Dark were such fun, unexpected reads! Kulti is a contemporary novel about a young female soccer player and her journey as her new coach is revealed to be none other than the player she loved as a fan, growing up. And A Scot in the Dark, historical romance it may be, is feminist as fuck. This is a book all about consent and learning to give woman power over their bodies and their lives; it's about not objectifying women and the power of female friendships; it's about the strength in a relationship where the man and woman are equals; it is SO GOOD.

A special shout-out to The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender and One Fell Sweep for making it difficult to decide on these three. 

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Obsession of the Month

Les Madeleines de Christophe! This is a new bakery that opened up in Aix-en-Provence just before I left and I loooove it! I literally went every day to pick up fresh madeleines and I ate them, HOT, even when the store owner told me to wait. These madeleines are the best in France, of that I have no doubt, and they're worth a visit to Aix, alone.

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

1. Catching Up with Friends! A lot of my friends have been busy during the December holidays but I'm meeting so many beloved high school and college friends in January that I just cannot wait to finally be reunited with them, however brief.
2. Going to Budapest! For those of you who don't know, I'm studying abroad (again!), this time in Budapest, Hungary. My program is highly specialized in mathematics, so I'll be taking roughly 4-5 intense upper-level math classes and living in an apartment in the city with a classmate. I'm heading over mid-January to learn some Hungarian and explore this capital before classes start, but I cannot wait! I love math and am so excited to be going abroad again, this time in Eastern Europe! I don't know if I'll have as much time to travel as I did last semester, but I definitely want to continue exploring Europe and discovering more corners of the globe! :)

3. Settling down in Hungary. I always hate transition periods--that time when you're packing, not traveling; that time when you just enter a new place and are unpacking but not settled in. I just want to be settled. I want to know all the nearest grocery stores, I want to find the best restaurants and get there without my map out, I want to have my favorite walking paths.. I want to get there so I can't wait for that to happen, hopefully by the end of this month!!

What are your plans for January? Any exciting trips? What about resolutions? Any books you're looking forward to reading? Any books to recommend for the new year? I can't wait to hear in the comments below! 


  1. Gurrrrl, I'm gonna have to follow you on Instagram! This way I can most follow along your travels all around the world. :)

    I need to read Homegoing.

    Ugh. Your new president. Kill me now.

    Happy New Year, hun!

  2. It sounds like you have a lot to look forward to! Welcome back to the US. :-)

    That new Sarah McLean book sounds awesome.

  3. Goodness, look at you, off to Hungary now! That's so awesome. I'll have to follow you on Instagram too. I hope you have a great time and I get what you mean about wanting to be settled. I feel that way when I start a new job. I hope getting settled in Hungary won't take too long and you will love it. And I really wish I was good at math, so whoo to you on that! haha

    I've been reading a lot of self-help type of nonfiction these past couple of years and I really enjoy them. Even if I don't follow anything from them, they are often enjoyable and intriguing to read. I wrote a guest post on four I read/enjoyed last year, if you want to check it out:


  4. Happy New Year! Lucky you getting to travel and study abroad! My best friend came back home so I spent some time with her and one of the things we chatted about was how much we'd love to travel someday.

    My goal this year is to also read more books, especially more books that I love. I feel like I've gotten better at realizing whether I'm going to like a book or not and putting it aside if I think I won't like it but I want to continue doing this since there are still so many times when I force myself to finish a book just because I feel like I've already put in some time reading it.

  5. Wow! Morocco? Hungary? I'm insanely jealous. I would love to visit both! I gave the lacking post you mentioned a little love. Hope you have a great year in studies and travels, and - of course - books!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

  6. That's so cool that you got to go to Morocco! YAY! And now off to Hungary! I'm too poor to study abroad so my final semester at Hopkins will be... at Hopkins. Oh well! With my type of work, I'm hoping to be able to travel a lot. It's very possible. :D

    I want to read Kulti! Racquel loved it and recommend ed it to me but I completely forgot about it. I need to read that one, and The Hating Game.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Keertana! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  7. Happy New Year and I hope you have a fabulous month. It really has flown by, both December and all of 2016 really.

  8. Morocco looks so beautiful. I hope you have a wonderful time studying abroad in Hungary! I bet it's a beautiful place.

    Everyone is raving about Homegoing and I think it's time I add it to my TBR. I've heard so many great things about it, but I'm so freaked out by how many books I have on my TBR. I think this is a book I will definitely regret not reading, so onto my TBR it goes! I love Sarah MacLean's books! I have only read one book out of her newest HR series, but A Scot in the Dark sounds absolutely amazing. I'm tempted to just skip ahead and read it because you make it sounds so freaking awesome. Wonderful post!

  9. You are so lucky, Keertana! I wish I could go back to school and study abroad. My husband wants to visit more of Eastern Europe so I can't wait to hear your thoughts on Hungary.

    I'm excited to pick up One Fell Sweep, as you know I'm waiting for the audio version to release. :)

  10. Great month :D I visited nothing ;) Lol

  11. I have less time to read too, I plan to set my GR-challenge on 50 books this year. You are right it becomes another stress factor when you are behind. I’ve finally read my first book by Ilona Andrews. Actually I binge read The Edge series. I don’t know why I waited so long. Loved it.

    These madeleines sound so delicious. You probably have a case of abstinent syndrome now. Lol. Wow, Hungary. I’m curious what you would think about this country and Eastern Europe. Looking forward to your updates. I hope you’ve settled down by now and can study and travel.

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