Monday, December 31, 2018

My 2018 Reads

This was a busy reading year for me. I read 46 books, which is a new record for me. Taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge had something to do with that. I set my goal for 35 and then worried I wouldn't make it. The challenge is supposed to be fun, but it ended up stressing me out so I won't be doing it for 2019. I'd rather read as I wish and not have the pressure of reaching a goal.

I resumed listening to audiobooks after a lengthy break and made it through nine. There are a few I started but didn't finish in the allotted two week loan period on Overdrive, so I'm waiting to get them back to finish.

If you'd like to see all the books I read this year, visit my Goodreads page here.

Historical Fiction

I started the year on a bit of a historical fiction kick. It's one of my favorite genres. Here's the highlights of the ones I read:

Odd and True by Cat Winters. It's a wonderful book about the love between sisters that leaves you wondering if the monsters are real. I adored Cat Winters and plan to read more of her in 2019.

Alyssa Palombo's books The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence and Violinist of Venice are beautiful with stories that swept me away. I can't wait to read her latest The Spellbook of Katrina van Tassel, which I got for Christmas. I also interviewed Alyssa earlier this year, which you can read here.

Amalia Carosella's Helen of Sparta and By Helen's Hand were also fantastic. I love myths so Amalia's series swept me away with the story of Helen (of Troy) and her love for Theseus.


Debuts

There were several debuts I read this year, most of them authors I know. If you have time, I recommend any of these.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is a book from my Pitch Wars 2016 group that has  great world building and a powerful story.

Another from my PW group is Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. I had trouble putting this one down. It's intense and the way Zoje deals with mental and chronic illness was well done.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (also from my PW group) was a fun read. I don't often read romance, but this one made me swoon and laugh. I've recommended it to many patrons at the library where I work.

Frejya's Daughter by Rachel Pudelek is a great paranormal story about powerful women. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Planetside by Michael Mammy was one I enjoyed more than I expected and recommended we get a copy at the library. I liked the main character and the mystery kept me reading. I can't wait for the sequel in 2019.


The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amalia Berube and What the Wood Keep by Katya de Becerra were delightfully creepy.

I recently finished an advanced copy of The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore, which you'll see out in March. It's a fast paced story about an assassin with a moral dilemma and mystery to solve.


Enjoyed More Than Expected

Uprooted by Naomi Novak would have been one of my favourites if I hadn't wondered what the story was about most of the book. I expected more of a YA fantasy judging by the cover copy but it was so much more than described.

The classic The Giver by Lois Lowry was recommended to me by a co-worker. It was a fast read that I really enjoyed.

I listened to Arrowood by Laura McHugh and loved the gothic tale with a dark mystery. The only thing that would have made this book better was ghosts.

Omens by Kelley Armstrong is another I enjoyed more than I thought. I kept wanting to read one more chapter because the chapters are so short and I wanted to know what would happen. I read the first two books in her Cainsville series and am looking forward to more.

I'm very particular about witches but read three this year that I'd highly recommend.

The Witch House on Persimmon Point by Suzanne Palmieri was wonderful with it's legacy story, a creepy house, and ghosts. I want to read the other in the series.

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan follows a family of witches for several generations, which I love, though I wasn't keen on the last woman's story.

I also tried out an audiobook called Hexes and Hemlines by Juliet Blackwell. It was a light, fun mystery to listen to and I liked the way it respectfully dealt with religions.


Re-Reads

I want to re-read Stephen King's The Dark Tower series but with so many books I haven't read, there hasn't been time. Instead, I'm listening to them on audio. I finished The Gunslinger  but have had to wait months for The Drawing of the Three to become available. I also listened to Eyes of the Dragon, which was the first Stephen King book I read when I was 12 or so. I've enjoyed returning to these books.



Honorable Mention



I was delighted that my friend Em Shotwell released another book in her Blackbird series this year. Blackbird Falling is Delia's story. I enjoyed the lighter tone of the first part of the book but when it took a darker twist, I was all in and loved it!










Superheroes Suck by Jamie Zakian was another fun read. I liked the different take on superheros, as problems rather than solutions, and the characters.







2019 Reading

My to read pile is overflowing. As mentioned, there are some series I want to continue with, and lots of books that I have yet to dig into. I'm always reluctant to mention new books I'm looking forward to as I know I'll miss some. Here's some that come to mind that are coming out in 2019...
You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

As mentioned earlier, Spaceside by Michael Mammy

And most importantly, my best friend and critique partner's book comes out! Don't miss Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier. There have been some changes since the last time I read it, so I can't wait to see the final product!




Are there any books you read in 2018 you loved or ones coming in 2019 you're looking forward to?

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