Top Books of 2018

Goodreads Challenge: 50
Books Finished: 51
Books DNF: 19

Last year I was ambitious and wrote out all the books I read.  This year I’m just going to talk about my top picks and biggest disappointments.


Top 10 Books/Series

10. Blister by Jeff Strand

Blister coverSurprisingly much more insightful than what it’s billed to be.

9. Two Hearts by Peter S. Beagle

Two Hearts coverYou can read this for free through the link.  It’s honestly the best I could hope for from a sequel to such an epic work.  It continues the themes without being trite and the resolution is beautiful if bittersweet.

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20 Questions Book Tag

Another one from the indomitable Writer Michelle Payne.  I think I can answer 20 book questions 🙂

1. How many books is too many books in a series?

Hm, that’s one of those “it depends” questions.  If the series remains fresh and relevant, keep going, but if the plot lines are going stale and the characters are stalling, I think it’s time to retire it.  I’d say 20+ books is too much with the same characters and setting.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

They’re evil and I love them. Re: Strange the Dreamer.

Strange the Dreamer cover

3. Hard copy or paperback?

I prefer paperback.  They’re easier to carry around and to read.  Hardback usually has an annoying cover that, while aesthetically pleasing, tends to flap around and get in the way.

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The State of the Reader: 8/15/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/1/18          The State of the Reader: 8/29/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 2


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Paper Magician
Series Title: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmber
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date DNF: August 9, 2018

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergMedia: eBook/Kindle

I wish I’d just passed on this based on the sample, but I probably didn’t read enough of it and what I read at the time was enough of a draw.  It’s a hard balance.  I want to read enough to know if I’m going to like it, but I don’t want to read too much because I don’t see the point in reading it twice (I wish I could make this make more sense, but I’m too tired to explain it any better…)

I didn’t have much of a sense of Ceony the main character except she’s a good student and wanted to work with metal not paper.  Usually students can choose what they want, but since there’s been a dearth of paper magicians or Folders, she was pushed in that direction, and once you bond with a material that’s it.

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The State of the Reader: 8/1/18

<–The State of the Reader: 7/18/18          The State of the Reader: 8/15/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 4


Books Finished: 0


Currently Reading

Title: Two Hearts
Series Title: The Last Unicorn
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: July 27. 2018

Two Hearts coverMedia: Online
Progress: Unknown

If there was one work of fiction or fantasy I’d recommend to everyone, it would The Last Unicorn.  Ahead of it’s time and meta before meta was cool, this is not your typical fairy tale.  Two Hearts may very well be the longest interval between the original and its sequel written by the same author, but I’m too caution to take bets on that.  If it’s available online, I plan to purchase it since Mr. Beagle is still living and certainly deserves the credit.  The mien is exactly the same as the first book even though TLU is third person and TH is first.  Fans of the first will immediately recognize their favorite characters before they’re named and wonder about the fates of others.  It seems to take place some years/decades after the unicorn’s adventure when an antagonist even worse than the Red Bull terrorizes the land.

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The State of the Reader: 7/18/18

<–The State of the Reader: 7/4/18          The State of the Reader: 8/1/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 3


Books Finished: 2

Title: Black Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret Origins
Series Title: Black Hammer
Author: Jeff Lemire
Artists: Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: June 28, 2018
Date Finished: July 5, 2017
Reading Duration: 7 days

Black Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret Origins coverMedia: Paperback (Library

This was fantastic.  All of the characters were complex, and many of them were rightfully bitter about their fate.  They might have been attempting to play a big, happy family, but there were a welter of unresolved issues centering around their inability to escape the situation.  I’ll be continuing this series and reviewing the entire thing when done.

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The State of the Reader: 7/4/18

<–The State of the Reader: 6/20/18          The State of the Reader: 7/18/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 4

TSN is super pissed about Being and Time.  I bought it because Heidegger is referenced in Final Fantasy VII, and you all know I’m interested in studying anything my favorite game references.  The real deal even looks a bit like the character in the game…and he was a Nazi 😡  Granted he’s a dead Nazi (the only decent kind), but I’m still annoyed.  Granted, there’s a good chance none of the money I paid is going to go towards that terrible ideology, but it’s just the icing on the tombstone of this week where I argued with a combination Holocaust denier and flat earther.  Yep, your dear TSN got a two for one on nonsense.


Books Finished: 4

Title: Peddling Doomsday
Author: Petra Jacob
Date Added: June 6, 2018
Date Started: June 18, 2018
Date Finished: July 3, 2018
Reading Duration: 32 days

Peddling DoomsdaycoverMedia: eBook/Kindle

If you want to delve into the machinations of how a cult can draw in and take over “normal” people, this is the book you want to read.  Looking at it from the outside, it’s easy to see what’s going on, but if you really want to believe something because you have nothing else, you will.  That’s how these kinds of people prey on the most vulnerable.  This novel is a disturbing journey, but that’s what makes it worth the read.

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The State of the Reader: 6/20/18

<–The State of the Reader: 6/6/18          The State of the Reader: 7/4/18–>

weekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Books Purchased: 4


Books Finished: 2

Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2
Series Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Author: Akira Himekawa
Date Added: August 5, 2017
Date Started: June 1, 2018
Date Finished: June 14, 2018
Reading Duration: 13 days

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 coverMedia: Paperback

I really like this novelization of the game.  I’ll be looking for the next installment.

Title: The King of Elfland’s Daughter
Author: Lord Dunsany
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: May 16, 2018
Date Finished: June 15, 2018
Reading Duration: 30 days

The King of Elfland's Daughter coverMedia: eBook/Kindle

This was dry, but strangely interesting enough to finish.  The pace was plodding with particular lines repeated over and over and over again, yet you’re drawn into wondering how it will end.  It’s definitely a “be careful what you wish for” story.

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