Top 10 Books I Meant to Read in 2018 (but Didn’t Get To)

Every reader knows the feeling – we add book after book to our TBR list, even if we’ve got tens or even hundreds still sitting on our shelves, waiting to be read. This can bring about feelings of shame and inadequacy, that no matter how much we read it’s never enough – but hey, we’re all trying our best and should cut ourselves some slack. With that being said, here are the 10 books (or entire series) I meant to read in 2018 but, for one reason or another, just didn’t get to.

1) Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glass

I’ve been meaning to read Sarah J. Maas’s TOG series ever since I read (and fell head over heels in love with) her ACOTAR series. But I kept putting it off and putting it off until finally I just decided to wait until the series was finished before I picked it up – why not binge it all at once, right? Now that the final book finally came out in October, I have no more excuses. It may be too late for me to read the series for 2018 but 2019 is going to be the year I finally read it – and this time, I mean it.

2) The Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff

 

At a friend’s recommendation, I finally picked up the The Lotus Wars series by Jay Kristoff in 2018 – and it ended up being one of my favorite reads of the entire year. Then, my friend said I should read his Nevernight series too because, according to him, it’s even better! I was all prepared to dive in since the last book in the trilogy was slated to come out in September 2018 – but then there was an unexpected twist: The publication of the final book, Darkdawngot pushed back to the fall of 2019! So I’ve decided to wait (albeit very impatiently) for the final book to come out so I can binge this series too. (It seems I’ll be doing a lot of that this year).

3) Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

fire and fury

This book has been on my TBR ever since it first came out – I’m just as curious as the next person to see what goes on behind-the-scenes in the Trump White House (from what I’ve heard, it’s exactly as you might expect). Sure, it’s a bit out of date now but I’d still like to read it – I just wasn’t able to get to it in 2018.

4) Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7) by Ben Aaronovitch

lies sleeping

The next installment in one of my favorite urban fantasy series finally came out in 2018 – but I can’t buy it yet because I have to wait for the paperback to come out so it’ll match all my other books. #bookwormproblems

5) Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #14) by Louise Penny

kingdom of the blind

Yet another example of IHaveToWaitForTheBloodyPaperbackToComeOut syndrome. (I don’t know if I can wait for this one though, I want to read it so bad – ARGH!)

6) Rivers of London Volume 6: Water Weed by Ben Aaronovitch

rivers of london water weed

To tide me over between the Rivers of London novels, I like to read the comic books that they release fairly regularly – but I’ve been waiting a long time for this one. First it was slated to come out in October, then it was pushed back to November…then pushed back to December. Now it’s slated for release at the end of January, so I guess we’ll have to see. I would have liked to read this book in 2018 – if it had only come out when it was supposed to. *grumbles*

7) The Stand by Stephen King

the stand

I’ve made it one of my lifelong reading goals to read Everything Stephen King Has Ever Published. (That’s totally doable, right?) Next on my list is The Stand which I tried to get to in 2018 but it just didn’t happen. Oh well, there’s always this year.

8) Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

children of blood and bone

This was one of those YA fantasy books that everyone seemed to be raving about in 2018 – I would have loved to read it too but there’s never enough time to read everything I want to read. #morebookwormproblems

9) The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang

the poppy war

NOT. ENOUGH. TIME.

10) The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong

three kingdoms

Sometime in the middle of 2018, I got the urge to read The Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. (You know how you get that urge from time to time?) I meant to pick up The Three Kingdoms but just never got around to it. Note: These books are a commitment. They are all SO LONG. But, what can I say? I like big books – and I cannot lie.

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book tag started by The Broke and the Bookish and carried on by That Artsy Reader Girl.

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January 2019 Releases I’m Adding to My TBR

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

the gilded wolves

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

a curse so dark and lonely

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

dragon pearl

Mouthful of Birds by Samantha Schweblin

mouthful of birds

The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky

the wolf in the whale

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

king of scars

Code Name: Lise by Larry Loftis

code name lise

The Girl King by Mimi Yu

the girl king

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

here and now and then

White Stag by Kara Barbieri

white stag

Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely

birthday suit

The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

wrong highlander

Any Old Diamonds by K.J. Charles

any old diamonds

Tangled Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

tangled like us

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Books from My Childhood (Part 2)

It’s always a delightful nostalgia trip to look back on the books you read as a kid. That’s why I decided to do this series so I could have a chance to revisit some of my favorites from my childhood and remember the books that got me hooked on reading in the first place.

For this series, I’m planning on doing ten posts, with ten entries each so I’ll eventually end up with my Top 100 Books from My Childhood. If this idea appeals to you, please feel free to do it on your own book blog/booktube channel/wherever you post about books. And if you do end up doing it, please post a link to your list in the comment section below! I’d love to see what books are on other people’s lists.

Part 1 (1-10)

11) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

very hungry caterpillar

I’m sure every kid had this book growing up – and held up the age-old tradition of sticking their grubby little fingers through the holes. (I know I did.)

12) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

ella enchanted

I read Ella Enchanted so many times as a kid, I’m sure I had the entire book memorized at one point. This charming Cinderella retelling tells the story of a girl who has been cursed (the fairy who bestowed it on her would say ‘blessed’) with obedience. So you can imagine her wicked stepmother and stepsisters take full advantage of that.

13) Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

If you like all things horror as an adult, chances are good you picked up at least one Goosebumps book as a kid – or even watched the TV show. I read tons of Goosebumps books – although I can’t actually remember if they scared me or not. Nevertheless, the covers were (and still are) iconic. 

14) Holes by Louis Sachar

holes

Holes was usually a required reading assignment, something you’d have to do a book report on at some point – but strangely, you didn’t mind because the book was so good. It’s about this kid, Stanley Yelnats, who has to go to a juvenile detention center and dig holes everyday.

15) Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

calvin and hobbes

I remember my older sister started collecting the Calvin and Hobbes books and then she handed them on to me when she was done with them. I will be forever grateful for her to introducing me to these comics because Calvin and Hobbes shaped a big part of my childhood…and my adolescence…and my adult life. Words cannot express the amount of love and affection I have for this six-year old boy and his stuffed tiger. A sheer joy to read at any age.

16) Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1) by Patricia C. Wrede

dealing with dragons

If The Paperbag Princess started my love for books about dragons, this book only expanded it. I love that it featured a princess who would rather be friends with a dragon than have to marry a pompous knight.

17) Bill Peet books

Whenever I list Bill Peet as one of my favorite childhood authors, I’m typically met by blank stares – which is such a shame! He was an amazing author and illustrator, able to bring to life all kinds of animal characters. And his books always had an important moral lesson tucked away without being preachy or boring. His books were also some of the first ones I ever remember reading that addressed environmental issues.

18) Curious George books by Margaret & H.A. Rey

Curiously enough (ha!), I don’t remember reading the original Curious George book – just the one where he swallows a puzzle piece and the Man with the Yellow Hat has to take him to the hospital. I don’t blame George for eating the puzzle piece – if I had been kidnapped and taken from my jungle home to live with a man wearing a ridiculous hat, I would have made a suicide attempt, too.

19) Silverwing trilogy by Kenneth Oppel

Hands-down, the best series I’ve read about a bat. Okay, it’s the only series I’ve read about a bat – but it’s still super awesome. It was one of those series I could never get tired of and I remember reading it multiple times as a kid.

20) The Baby-Sitter’s Club series by Ann M. Martin

Looking back, it seems strange that I was such a big fan of this series – I don’t even like kids that much. Still, I think it was the girls’ friendships and all the drama and stuff they had to deal with that appealed to me. (Side note: I just checked on Goodreads and there are over 100 of these books! There’s no way I read that many as a kid – I may have read fifteen or twenty at the most.)

 

Feel free to tell me what some of your favorite childhood books are in the comments below!

T5W: Top 5 Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

top5wednesday

Luckily, I didn’t have too many disappointing reads in 2018 but I did manage to come up five books that left me wanting.

1) The Bride Trilogy by Nikki Gemmell

The Bride trilogy is a series of erotica novels, each book centering on a different female character and her sexual exploits. While I am a big fan of erotica, I was definitely not a  fan of this series. It was well-written but it was more like literary fiction with some smutty scenes thrown in instead of proper erotica, as the covers and titles would suggest. The sexy parts weren’t really sexy, feeling clinical at best and disturbing at worse. The first two books were also told from the second-person perspective which was interesting but a bit jarring. You could call this series the anti-Fifty Shades – but I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing.

2) Legion by William Peter Blatty

legion

A sort-of sequel to The Exorcist, this horror/murder mystery had some good set pieces, but in the end, the ending was too convoluted and I didn’t find it as compelling as William Peter Blatty’s other tale of religious-themed horror.

3) Just Before Midnight by Suzanne Robinson

just before midnight

After reading amazing historical romances by authors like Sarah MacLean and Loretta Chase in 2018, this one failed to shiver me timbers, so to speak. The love scenes were rushed and vaguely written and I didn’t like the male hero – he was a bit of a sexist jerk.

4) Ghost Story by Peter Straub

ghost story

Ghost Story is a 500+ page horror novel where the action doesn’t kick off until the last 100 pages. Now, I don’t mind slow-burning horror but when it’s coupled with a cast of characters that I absolutely do NOT care about – then I mind.

5) Confessions of a Serial Alibi by Asia McClain Chapman

confessions serial alibi

I got onto the Serial bandwagon late – I didn’t start listening to it until 2017. But after I finally got into it, I was hooked and I wanted to read anything that was connected with it – that’s what led me to read Asia McClain’s memoir about her time as the ‘alibi witness’ and her experience with the Serial podcast. Unfortunately, what could have been a really compelling story read more like an airing of McClain’s various grievances – against the prosecutor in Adnan’s case, against her phone company, against her haters on Twitter – it was just one complaint after another. I’m sure she had good intentions of clearing the air when she wrote it – but, sadly, it comes across as a desperate cash grab during her fifteen minutes of fame.

Top 10 New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018

toptentuesday

I feel like I read a pretty good mix of some of my favorite authors (Stephen King, Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood) and authors I had never read before in 2018. And some of those new-to-me authors joined the official list of my favorite authors! That’s why I think it’s important as a bookworm to keep trying new things – new authors, new genres, new formats – because you never know where your next favorite book will come from!

1) Sarah MacLean

You might have seen me rave about Sarah MacLean’s historical romances in my Top 10 Books of 2018 post. I’m so glad I finally read her books – they are incredibly well-written with smart, relatable heroines and sexy leading men. (Not to mention the steamy love scenes – which I tend to mention a lot!) I ended up reading seven of her novels in 2018, bought pretty much every book she has ever published, and am counting down the days until her next book comes out. Thankfully, I still have a few of her other books to read!

2) Joe Hill

the fireman

Joe Hill also made the my Top 10 Books of 2018 and I cannot believe it took me SO LONG to read him. Even though I’ve only read one of his books, I now count him as one of my favorite authors – along with his famous father, Stephen King.

3) Louise Penny

Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series had been sitting on my TBR for years until I finally picked up the first book and finally gave it a shot – and I’m so glad I did. A mystery series that is so much more than a mystery series, I read all thirteen books in the series throughout the year and each time I returned to the small village of Three Pines, it felt like coming home. I am now so emotionally invested in this series and I am desperately waiting for the day the fourteenth book comes out in paperback.

4) Ernest Hemingway

in our time

One of the giants of classic literary fiction, I had still never picked up a Hemingway book until 2018. I didn’t even read one of his most well-known books but one of his very first published works, In Our Time a collection of short stories. There are some incredible stories in here and I do want to read more Hemingway at some point – but I don’t think I can count him as one of favorite authors just yet.

5) William Faulkner

light in august

Another name that comes up a lot in ‘serious literary discussions’, I think I liked the work of Faulkner a little bit better than Hemingway. (If one could even compare the two, because their writing styles are so different.) For a book whose main character’s name is Joe Christmas, this is an incredibly bleak and violent book – but still worth reading.

6) Loretta Chase

Loretta Chase is an incredibly prolific historical romance authors and her novel ‘Lord of Scoundrels’ routinely tops ‘Best of the Genre’ lists. I read it and, yes it is that good – now one of my favorite romance novels of all time.

7) Susan Dennard

I finally got into the Truthwitch series in 2018 and really enjoyed it – it’s got incredibly vivid worldbuilding, great characters, and a complex magic system. It also renewed my desire to become a witch, something a book series hasn’t been able to do since the Harry Potter series. I’ve got the next book, Bloodwitch, pre-ordered and ready to go – I just hope I remember what happened in the previous books once I start reading it.

8) Renee Ahdieh

Renee Ahdieh hit almost all of my sweet spots with her Wrath and the Dawn fantasy duology – a retelling (the series is based on The Arabian Nights), an enemies-to-lovers romance, and set in a lush fantasy desert world. Her other fantasy duology, The Flame in the Mist, is currently on my shelf, just waiting for me to read it (which I will!…at some point.)

9) Sir Walter Scott

ivanhoe

It seems like Sir Walter Scott is one of those authors that not a lot of people read anymore – even people who love classic novels.  I kind of picked up Ivanhoe on a whim last year, figuring I might have to abandon it if it turned out to be as dusty and boring as I assumed it would be – but I was pleasantly surprised! Its got tons of action; everything from swordfights, to jousts on horseback, to full-on castle sieges. Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men make an appearance and there’s romance and drama aplenty. It’s got the feel of an old-school fantasy novel, just without the magic. (Although the characters in the book are still suspicious of witchcraft.) Now, thanks to Ivanhoe, I’ve added quite a few more of Walter Scott’s books to my TBR list.

10) Flannery O’Connor

flannery o'connor

The only thing I knew about Flannery O’Connor before I read any of her stories was that she was a Southern writer and a devout Catholic. So I was quite surprised when I read stories that would feel at home in a Stephen King collection. Entire families are murdered by roving convicts, people are getting gored by bulls, there’s not a happy ending in sight – it’s really wild, insightful stuff.

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book tag created by The Broke and The Bookish and currently overseen by That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

 

 

Favorite Books from My Childhood (Part 1)

It’s always a delightful nostalgia trip to look back on the books you read as a kid. That’s why I decided to do this series so I could have a chance to revisit some of my favorites from my childhood and remember the books that got me hooked on reading in the first place.

For this series, I’m planning on doing ten posts, with ten entries each so I’ll eventually end up with my Top 100 Books from My Childhood. If this idea appeals to you, please feel free to do it on your own book blog/booktube channel/wherever you post about books. And if you do end up doing it, please post a link to your list in the comment section below! I’d love to see what books are on other people’s lists.

1) Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Like many kids growing up in the late ’90s/early ’00s, I was a part of the Harry Potter generation. That meant I actually had to wait years between each book to find out what happened next. (Kids nowadays who can read the entire series all at once don’t know how good they have it.) The books were always worth the wait and I miss those days when a book release was a world-wide EVENT. Today, the series still sits at the top of my Favorite Books of All Time list and I reread it every few years or so – just last year I listened to the series on audiobook for the first time. Harry Potter will always be an important part of my life and I feel so lucky that we Potterheads are still getting new content even all these years later – the Fantastic Beasts films, new illustrated editions of the books and, of course, all the awesome fanart and fanfiction still being created.

2) Dr. Seuss’ books

Some of my earliest reads as a budding bookworm were, of course, the wacky wildly wonderful books of Dr. Seuss. I had a particular love for Green Eggs and Ham because the character Sam-I-Am shared my first name.

3) Roald Dahl’s books

My second-grade teacher was the one who introduced me to Roald Dahl’s whimsical stories when she read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to our class. I remember being scandalized at the fact that the book had a swear word (ass) in it! You would think Matilda would be my favorite but it’s actually Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because it was my first – and you never forget your first.

4) Redwall series by Brian Jacques

It was the Redwall series that probably sparked my love for epic fantasy – these books were full of mice with swords fighting off evil foxes, rats, and stoats in big epic battles. There was blood and death but also very long, specific descriptions of the meals they ate. And I remember the moles talked funny.

5) The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

babar

One of my earliest book memories is reading Babar, a story about an elephant who escapes to the big city after his mother has been killed by hunters. It didn’t seem that traumatic when I was a kid – I mostly remember the delightful images of Babar riding in an elevator and trying on his iconic green suit.

6) Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’m sure I read the entire Little House series at least three times when I was growing up – I was endlessly fascinated by Laura’s pioneer life. I’m sure anyone who’s ever read Little House in the Big Woods wanted to emulate Laura by making maple sugar candy in the snow and playing with a ball that was made out of a pig’s bladder.

7) The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

paper bag princess

Another one of my earliest reads was this one, a story about sassy Princess Elizabeth who goes to save her crush, Prince Ronald, from a fire-breathing dragon. At the end, Princess Elizabeth realizes that Prince Ronald is kind of a jerk and goes off by herself to make her own Happily Ever After. And this book is probably directly responsible for my love of dragons.

8) Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz; illustrated by Stephen Gammell

If you read these books as a kid, you know – you know about the creepy illustrations that definitely did not belong in a children’s book. You know that most of the stories were scary, yes, but also had a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about them. And, if you’re like me, these books paved the way for you to become a fan of all things Horror.

9) E.B. White’s books

I’m sure every kid is exposed to the work of E.B. White at least once during their childhood. Most people are familiar with Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, but my personal favorite was The Trumpet of the Swan, a beautiful story about a mute swan who learns to play the trumpet (you know, just like real swans.)

10) Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

julie of the wolves

Like most kids (and as you can tell from some of the books listed above), I loved reading books about animals. But there was something uniquely special about this poignant story of a girl bonding with a wolf pack in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.

 

 

Top 10 Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

toptentuesday

For the first half of 2019, I’m hotly anticipating a ton of new fantasy releases with gorgeous covers and exciting premises. We’ve got a book that’s been dubbed the ‘African Game of Thrones’ (Black Leopard, Red Wolf); a contemporary Beauty and the Beast retelling (A Curse So Dark and Lonely); a Chinese inspired fantasy (Descendant of the Crane) and a few others that have piqued my interest. I’m also excited to dive back into the Witchlands YA fantasy series when Bloodwitch finally comes out next month. Add to that a book that I have been wanting to read ever since they released the synopsis over three years ago (Aurora Rising) and I’m sure I’ll be a busy little bookworm in the first half of 2019. So, in order of release date*:

1) The Girl King (The Girl King #1) by Mimi Yu (Jan.8)

the girl king

2) The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (Jan.15)

the gilded wolves

3) A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer (Jan. 29)

a curse so dark and lonely

4) Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James (Feb. 5)

black leopard red wolf

5) Bloodwitch (The Witchlands #3) by Susan Dennard (Feb. 12)

bloodwitch

6) Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau Preto (Feb. 12)

crown of feathers

7) The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy (Feb. 18)

the risk

8) The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (Feb. 26)

priory of orange tree

9) Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (April 2)

descendant of the crane

10) Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman

aurora rising

*As we all know, release dates are subject to change.

Looking forward to any of these books? Or different ones not listed here? Let me know!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original book tag started by The Broke and the Bookish and carried on by That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

 

Suicide Reviews: The Light at the End by John Skipp & Craig Spector

the light at the end

Date Published: February 1, 1986

Published By: Bantam

Number of Pages: 385

Rating: 3.5/5

Ten murders on the New York City subway – all horrible, no two alike. The tabloids cry ‘Subway Psycho’ and the cops search for a serial killer. But they’re both wrong – because what they’re looking for isn’t even human.

Only a handful of people know the truth about the creature stalking Manhattan’s cavernous underground…a creature with an uncontrollable thirst for blood and domination. 

Worst of all, they know that his kind has ruled the night for centuries, and that down in the tunnels, the night lasts forever. 

You know those old-school horror novels from the 80s? The ones chockfull of gut-churning gore, explicit sex (and rape) scenes, the ones that are over-the-top and slightly ridiculous? The Light at the End definitely belongs to that category – which makes it an incredibly fun read.

The main premise of this book is that there is a vampire terrorizing the New York subway system and a group of strangers, who start out only being loosely connected to each other, band together to Thwart Evil and Save the Day. (As you do.)

First off, I love that the story is set in New York City – a sleazy, grimy, gritty type of New York. It’s the perfect setting for vampires to lurk in the shadows and wreak havoc on an unsuspecting public. And the fact that the vampire hunts in the infamous subway system only intensifies the creepy atmosphere.

The vampire in question is not your typical refined, cultured vampire. He’s actually a bit of a punk. Think of your average douchebag – entitled, arrogant, misogynistic and, deep down, incredibly insecure. Now give that asshole vampire powers and voila – you have this novel’s villain. His name is Rudy Pasko and as soon as he’s turned into a vampire, he gets it into his head that he is going to go on a killing spree, make a ton of undead slaves, and eventually rule as some sort of vampire king. I hate this guy with the fire of a thousand suns so it only makes it that much more satisfying when he meets his inevitable demise.

So with Mr. Asshole Vampire going on a feeding frenzy, there’s guts and gore aplenty in this book. It probably won’t faze a lot of modern-day horror fans who have built up an immunity to that sort of thing thanks to films like Saw and Hostel. There’s a couple of parts that may cause a slight squirm or a wrinkled nose but, all in all, it’s nothing too shocking.

Except for one specific scene. I don’t want to go into too much detail because spoilers but while I was reading it, I kept thinking ‘No. There’s no way they’re actually going to do that. They’re not actually going to have a scene where-‘

And then it happened. And it was one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever read in a horror novel. I’m still not sure how I feel about it but I must give kudos to the authors for going there.

Like I said – it’s a fun read.

One of the things that tickled me about this book were some of the bizarre metaphors and similes the authors used. For example: ‘The voice was a train. A long cold train. Upon him now.’ Or, my personal favorite: ‘Stephen was as silent as a stuffed moose head on a wall.’

Don’t get me wrong, I love these creative sentences. Some a lot better than others but there were a few (like the ones above) that tilted toward the absurd.

The Light at the End is a lot of things: violent, gruesome, ridiculous, slightly campy and, in some parts, extremely distasteful. But it is never boring. If you’re a horror fan with a craving for a bloody romp through the New York subway system, you might want to give The Light at the End a try.

 

 

 

 

 

T5W: Top 5 Reading Resolutions for 2019

top5wednesday

1. Read 100 books

2019 reading challenge

I’ve done the Goodreads reading challenge for the past two years and have always managed to reach my goal of 100 books.  I contemplated adding more for this year but decided 100 remains a nice manageable number and if I do end up reading more than 100 books, that’s just a bonus!

2. Read more (by spending less time on my phone)

Although I did read a lot of books last year, I could have read way more if I hadn’t wasted countless hours scrolling mindlessly on my smartphone. I estimate I probably could have read another 20-30 books with the time I spent on social media/mobile games/browsing the internet.

3. Get more involved on bookish social media/internet

If I am going to spend time on the internet, I want it to at least have to do with sharing my love of books with other book nerds. I took a looooong break from blogging and other forms of social media in the past year and realized that, while there are a lot of positives that come with taking a hiatus from Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, I really missed connecting with my fellow bookworms.

4. Get more comfortable reading in public

I usually bring a book with me wherever I go but sometimes am hesitant to bust it out when I’m waiting for someone or have spare time on my hands just because I feel a bit self-conscious about reading in places where people usually don’t – places like movie theatre lobbies, waiting in line at the bank, grocery stores, etc. But I always admire people who do read whenever they can get a spare moment no matter where they are. Just this past year, I was at a musical and I noticed the woman in the row in front of me whip out a Tamora Pierce book during the intermission – and I was just in awe of her. So one of my top reading resolutions is to care less what other people might think of me and get back in between those sweet, sweet pages – no matter where I might be.

5. Finally read the Throne of Glass series

throne of glass

Even though Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite authors thanks to her ACOTAR series, I’ve been putting off the TOG series since forever until I finally made up my mind not to read it until all the books had been released. Well, thanks to Kingdom of Ash, the series is finally complete so I have no more excuses. I’ve decided this series will be my big binge-read of 2019. And I cannot wait.

So there’s my Top 5 Reading Resolutions for 2019 – tell me what yours are!

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2018

 

toptentuesday

Out of the 135 books I read in 2018, below are my absolute favorites. (I’m totally cheating by including entire series as one entry but hey, it’s too hard to narrow it down.)

 

1) The Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean

It just took one series – no, one book to get me hooked on Sarah MacLean. Her historical romance novels are full of passion, humor, and great characters. (Oh, and lots of steamy sex too!) She is now an auto-buy author for me and I also read her Love By Numbers series in 2018 as well. If you’re looking for the best that historical romance has to offer, look no further.

2) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

on writing

Aspiring writers,  I give you one of the best books on writing that you will ever read. Of course, as a die-hard Stephen King fan, I’m a little bit biased but there is a reason this guy has sold a gazillion books. Not only is it super inspiring and insightful, but King also gives you an often hilarious glimpse into his childhood and how he grew up to become a writer.

3) The Fireman by Joe Hill

the fireman

Speaking of Stephen King, I had never read anything by his son Joe Hill until this year – and that is a shame because The Fireman is a masterpiece of horror literature. There were times I had to literally put the book down and walk away from it because it was so intense.

4) The Lotus War series by Jay Kristoff

This series had me at ‘Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy’ but it was so much better than I expected. It blew me away with its sheer epicness, inventiveness, and overall awesomeness. This might be one of the most perfect fantasy series I have ever read and it was definitely one of the highlights of my reading year in 2018.

5) The Dragon Lords series by Jon Hollins

Another fantasy series that had me flailing around in ecstasy like Kermit the Frog was this underrated gem by Jon Hollins. Featuring badass dragons, epic battles, and humor reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it was everything a book with dragons should be.

6) A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

court of frost and starlight

It was so nice to return to Prythian and spend time with Rhysand, Feyre, and all of my other favorite characters in the ACOTAR series. Being a novella, it’s a fairly light story but it does hint at some things to come in the next ACOTAR trilogy (which I absolutely CANNOT wait for.)

7) The Art of the Personal Essay edited and compiled by Philop Lopate

art of the personal essay

This one was a bit of random pick for me in 2018 but it ended up being one of my favorites – packed with a ton of incredible essays from everyone from George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, F. Scoot Fitzgerald and soooo many more.

8) Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

slaughter-house five

This was a re-read for me as I first read it a few years ago but it’s just as funny, heartbreaking, and bizarre the second time around.

9) Sula by Toni Morrison

sula

I hadn’t read anything by Toni Morrison in quite a long time so I feel like I sort of rediscovered her writing in 2018. And I’m so glad I did. Her prose flows like the most lyrical poetry, the kind of writing that deserves to savoured. And Sula is one of my favorite female characters of all time now.

10) Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny

 

I couldn’t talk about my favorite reads of 2018 without talking about the Chief Inspector Gamache series. An incredible mystery series that is so much more than a mystery series, these books had me so engrossed, so in love with the characters that they felt like real people, real friends to me. I had no idea a mystery series could be so full of joy, humanity, and heartbreak. Out of the 13 books in the series I read, the three titles pictured above are my personal favorites.

 

Tell me what your favorite books were in 2018 or leave a link to your personal Top 10 below in the comments! Here’s to another stellar reading year in 2019 🙂