Lately With Lila |January 2019 Wrap Up

Whew! I know it’s cliche to say, but I just cannot believe how quickly January flew by! It seems like time’s flying already and it’s dragging me along behind it, whether I like it or not, haha! But enough of lamenting over the uncannily speedy passage of time—let’s get to the good stuff!


There are A LOT of blog updates, so let’s just get rolling…

The biggest update is that Claire and Maggie have departed from Hardcover Haven. I was sad to see them go as I had so much fun working with them, but I know they’re both busy doing great work elsewhere.

The second update is that Hardcover Haven is going through design changes. I’m currently working on the designs and testing them, so if you see some changes, don’t freak out.

Finally, in a fun update, I’m joining the Harry Potter Board Game Challenge! I don’t usually take part in book challenges, but I liked the fun idea behind this one as well as its flexibility. From now on, I’ll be adding a subsection under my “Read” and “TBR” section which will tell you which (if any) challenges the books fulfill. I’m super excited for this challenge and I can’t wait to keep y’all updated!

That’s all for blog updates, so let’s roll on to books!





Level One // Ollivander’s // Book with Magic // The Gilded Wolves

I only read one book in January, but it was a book that I absolutely fell in love with, so I think that’s a win! The book I’m talking about is The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi, which was an incredible five star read! I loved everything about the book from the characters to the setting to the plot to the themes surrounding racism and colonialism. You guys just have to check this one out!



I nabbed an audiobook copy of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri after hearing one of my favorite authors, S.A. Chakraborty, recommend it. To be honest, I’ve read the first chapter of this one before and wasn’t massively impressed BUT I trust Chakraborty’s recommendation, so here’s hoping it doesn’t let me down…



I am so freaking excited for the ARCs I got in January! Both Never Contented Things and Spin The Dawn are releases I’ve been highly anticipating. And can we just take a moment to collectively stare in awe at how absolutely gorgeous the cover for Spin The Dawn is?! I mean…daaaaaang she be real fine! Also the cover for Never Contented Things looks totally intriguing and creepy!




Level One // Madam Malkin’s // Bookish World to Revisit // Kingdom of Copper

Level One // Flourish and Blott’s // Bestselling Book // King of Scars

Level One // Magical Menagerie // Animal on the Cover // Crown of Feathers

Level One // Apothecary // TBR Book You Need to Read // Dark of the West

My TBRs are always really loose, but I’m actually SUPER pumped for the one I’ve created for this February! One thing I know is that I am for sure finishing King of Scars and Kingdom of Copper, both of which I started in late January. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll get to the other books to, though, because I’m pretty excited for all of them as well.

movies tv

Sadly, this month I didn’t watch any movies or TV…


“Warm” by Dre’s ft. Mia // I love the laid back vibe of this song. It feels so fresh and summery—it reminds me of driving along the beach on a breezy summer day with the sunshine on my face and not a single worry on my mind!

“Dancing With A Stranger” by Sam Smith ft. Normani // I feel like this song just made for blissfully dancing around your room/house when you’re alone!

“Lil Bebe” by DaniLeigh // This song is such a bop! It’s fun and easy to dance to and with zest. DaniLeigh is a new artist I discovered and honestly I’ve been loving all of her music, but this one struck a chord with me (pun intended).

“Iron Mike” by Leikeli47 // As per usual, Leikeli47 continues to prove to be a favorite artist of mine, continuing to releasing music full of creativity and sass. “Iron Mike” is another solid from her, so her streak with me remains unbroken.

“1999” by Charli XCX ft. Troye Sivan // If you want a song that’s pure fun, this one is for you. It’s so upbeat that you can’t help but smile!


As many of you know, I’m mixed Black/Lebanese/Cherokee/Irish and, let me tell ya, my hair shows it. I have fine, high porosity 3C curls and the biggest problem I have is frizz. My hair also used to be SUPER damaged, but I chopped my waist length locks to chin length and now it’s pretty healthy. Since this is the case, I want to take careful care of my hair, so I now go out of my way to use really good products for “textured” hair. My favorites that I’ve found are SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner, SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler. All of those products work WONDERS on my hair, leaving it hydrated and pretty much frizz-free!



Another thing I’ve been loving is a booktube channel I discovered a few months ago called Katie’s Book Nook. Katie is super fun and enthusiastic, without being overwhelming. I’ve loved watching her videos (especially her reading vlogs) and watching how her channel has grown. Plus, I love that, like me, Katie was a STEM major (she now is a working scientist) who went to an ivy league! STEM girls gotta support each other lol!



In all honestly, my life was pretty uneventful in January. I returned to school for my spring semester after a really rough fall semester. Luckily, I’m only taking two classes and I like both of my teachers, so fingers crossed this semester will be a little brighter. But other than that, I just did homework, hung out with friends, and relaxed!

0 tell me all about it

Well, that’s pretty much it for January! Here’s hoping February will be positively magical! So now I want to hear from you…

  • How was your January?
  • Did you read any good books?
  • What books are you excited to get to in February?

ttyl lila

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

17 thoughts on “Lately With Lila |January 2019 Wrap Up

    1. Same! It has such a striking cover and an eerie synopsis, I was so intrigued! I just started it and it has such an interesting tone and style. I’m interested to see where it goes (although I’m a super slow reader when it comes to physical books and e-books so it’ll probably take me a while to finish). I can’t wait to see what you think!


  1. Wow, you had waist-length hair? My hair breaks a lot, so it usually never gets longer than the middle of my back. I’ll have to check out that booktube channel. I’m always looking for good ones. I find a lot of booktubers annoying, which is mean, but I don’t have a lot of patience for online videos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, my hair was waist-length and super curly, haha! It was fun but it was also REALLY damaged by the time I cut it so I had to do the healthy thing and chop it, even though it meant some tears (you’d be surprised how attached you can get to your hair, lol). But I’ve found I actually don’t mind it short and if I miss the length or want something fun I can always put in braids.
      I totally feel ya about booktube, although if you’re looking for great booktube channels, keep an eye out—I have a fun series surrounding booktubers coming up soon!
      Thanks so much for stopping by, AJ! ❤ ❤


  2. I’m so excited to read The Gilded Wolves, so I’m so happy to hear you loved it so much! Dancing With A Stranger has the best energy, I’ve been listening to it so much. I hope February’s an amazing reading month for you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lashaan! I’ve finished King of Scars now and I’m pleased to say I really enjoyed it! I’m actually heavily considering picking up Empire of Storms next, so hopefully it’s as good as promised. I hope you have a wonderful February too!

      Liked by 1 person

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