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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The Three Things Tag

What’s this?

Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas saying

Too goddamn easy

I apologize for nothing.  It’s fall.  It’s almost October.  They’re selling candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins.  That pretty much means it’s spooky time.

Dancing skeletonsThe sad part is this post isn’t even about Halloween.  It’s about listing things in threes and I yoinked it from Cupcakes and Machetes.  So let’s get into it without any further distractions.


3 READ ONCE & LOVED AUTHORS:

Grace DravenGrace Draven is the author of the Wraith Kings series, which is this fantastic paranormal romance.  It was my top series last year, and I can’t wait for the third book to come out.  I actually just got an email from Goodreads and Amazon about her newest release Phoenix Unbound that I downloaded a sample of.  As my newest favorite author, I can’t wait to see what else she puts out.

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The State of the Reader: 9/26/18

<–The State of the Reader: 9/12/18          The State of the Reader: 10/10/18–>

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: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Author: Claire North
Date Added: September 15, 2017
Date Started: August 23, 2018
Date Finished: September 21, 2018
Reading Duration: 29 days

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August cover

Media: eBook/Kindle

This is in the running for best/favorite book of the year, and I’ve added another one of the author’s novels to my ever growing list.

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The State of the Reader: 9/12/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/29/18          The State of the Reader: 9/26/18–>

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 DNF: 1

Title: The Riddle of the Wren
Author: Charles de Lint
Date Added: August 24, 2014
Date Started: August 26, 2018
Date DNF: September 5, 2018
Reading Duration: 10 days

The Riddle of the Wren coverMedia: Physical (Library)

This is one of those books I would’ve devoured in high school.  It’s an old school fantasy (published in 1984) by one of my favorite authors back then.  This was actually his first published work…and it shows.  It’s not bad, but you can see where the cracks haven’t been smoothed over.  When I’m less concerned  with how a story gets to where it’s going and more about how the characters resolve it, I know it’s not something I’ll enjoy reading, and I’ll usually just flip to the end to see how it all plays out.  I didn’t bother doing that with this one.

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The State of the Reader: 8/29/18

<–The State of the Reader: 8/15/18          The State of the Reader: 9/12/18–>

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: 8

There were a lot of sales these past two weeks, and I’ve started getting emails from Goodreads for deals.  I also conveniently just received Elric today in the mail.  I’ve been looking for this book forever.  It’s either ridiculously expensive or nonexistent, so I was happy to get it for less than $10.


Books DNF: 2

Title: Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood
Series Title: Monstress
Author: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Date Added: August 21, 2017
Date Started: August 9, 2018

Monstress, Vol. 2: The BloodMedia: Paperback (Library)

When reading something becomes a chore and it’s not a reference, it’s time to put it to the side.  The artwork is gorgeous, but I really don’t like the main character, so I don’t really care about her journey and mission.  This is another one where you’d think I would; I mean she’s trying to piece together her dead mother’s life, but I was more interested in the little fox and the two-tailed cat.

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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: 9/20/17

<–The State of the Reader: 9/13/17          The State of the Reader: 9/27/17–>

A weekly post updated every Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and where I am with them in addition to what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads to make it easier for interested parties to add any books that might strike their fancy.  I attempt to use the covers for the edition I’m reading, and I’ll mention if this is not the case.  If you have a Goodreads account feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

Samples Read This Week

  1. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris: Kept – Now that I’ve added the correct book, I like it so far.   Vampire boyfriends are always cool with me.
  2. Half the World by Joe Abercrombie: Kept – Now that I’ve read the blurb, I have no idea why I was so reluctant to add this.  The main character is a young woman who is as shunned from warrior life/culture as Yarvi with his one hand was…if not more so.
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: Kept – I liked Maas’s Thorn and Roses series, so I’m hoping I enjoy this one, too.
  4. The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley: Kept – There’s an ASOIAF vibe to it, but I suppose that’s going to be true of all fantasy, political dramas at this point.
  5. Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon: Kept – Definitely a “fucked up” vibe to this one.  I believe this is the book about the two different women who don’t know each other at first, but tragedy brings them together.
  6. Winterspell by Claire Legrand: Kept (RWTR) – It’s been a while since I put a book on my really-want-to-read list, but I love retold fairy tales, and this is one for The Nutcracker.  I love the music to it and the magic of it, and this novel reads like both have been captured.
  7. Something from the Nightside by Simon Green: Kept – Not five minutes after I read the sample for this (and purchased it), one of my good IRL friends replied to one of my IRL BFF’s (I know so much internet speak OMG) about “the best Urban Fantasy.”  I didn’t have an answer for that since it’s not typically my genre, and though I believe there is one I really like, I can’t recall what it is.  My friend whom I’ll just refer to as Nightmare, since that’s his nickname AND he recommended Nightside, mentioned that novel, and it was one of those coincidental things I always seem to fall into.  I need to send him his birthday card with some money in it.  I made a promise!  Plus he’s trying to get a car and I have to help him out ♥
  8. Angelfall by Susan Ee: Kept – Angels fall and I buy.
  9. Heartborn by Terry Maggert: Kept – This is the second angel based novel I’ve sampled (and purchased, as you’ll see below), and I was looking up “seraph/seraphim” and “nephilim” yesterday for a book review.  Doing so put ideas into my narcissistic noggin.  I already have a huge angel head canon, but I kind of feel like writing it down again and maybe gathering more ideas.  The phrase “dark seraph” keeps popping back into my head.  I first thought about it when I was editing Northern Lights (shock), since that’s the perfect term to describe a particular fallen angel.  In shamefully narcissistic news, it’s a moniker I’d pick for myself of give to my mythical publishing company.  Dark Seraph Publishing sounds pretty boss, and Ash Rose the Dark Seraph sounds pretty final boss *headdesk*  (FYI – Ash Rose is my other and much older internet name).  You know…I need to figure out someplace to use that.  It sounds way too epic to pass by.
  10. Waste of Space by Gina Damico: Kept – I’m not usually one for either reality TV shows or bratty teens, but this seems like an absurd and comical Truman Show in space, and that’s too delicious to pass by.

Books Purchased This Week: 7

Title: Something from the Nightside
Series Title: Nightside
Author: Simon R. Green
Date Added: July 1, 2017
Date Purchased: September 17, 2017

Media: eBook/Kindle
Price: $2.99
Retailer: Amazon

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