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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Mystery Blogger Award #4

I am four times more mysterious than I ever could have imagined.  Apparently my mysterious nature is a mystery even to me.


The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma, and I am delighted and honored to have been nominated for the award by  Dani of Touch My Spine Book Reviews, a wonderful book blogger and an ultimate sweetheart ♥

The Rules:

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify).
  • Share a link to your best post(s).

Well, we’ve already accomplished the first four items on the list, so I believe we’re doing passably well.

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Rapid Fire Book Tag

I saw this tag on Getting Through Anxiety’s blog and thought I’d participate in the fun (I’m also trying to catch up on the list of tags I still have unfinished, and this looks like a quick one hehe).  Feel free to participate if you wish!


EBOOKS OR PHYSICAL BOOKS?

Hm.  I adore the feel and smell of the pages, but I can read books on my Kindle on my lunch break at work or anywhere, and I love that convenience.  I know theoretically, I can read a physical book anywhere, too, but the e-reader makes it so much easier.

PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK?

Paperback.  Less expensive.

ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK SHOPPING?

In store book shopping.  I love bookstores, and I try to patronize the local Barnes and Noble at least once a month.  If there was an independently owned bookstore in my vicinity, I’d shop there.  I don’t want to see brick and mortar bookstores go away.  Sometimes I just go there to bask in their “bookiness.”

TRILOGIES OR SERIES?

Trilogies.  I don’t hate series.  Hell my favorite (book) story is a series (ASOIAF), but overall, I like it when narratives have a finite and defined ending.

HEROES OR VILLAINS?

Villains of course.

A BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ?

This book was paramount to my understanding of symbolism, narrative, and mythology.  It shows the ways all narratives are tied together and is the origin of The Hero’s Journey/Monomyth,

RECOMMEND AN UNDERRATED BOOK.

I’m going by my favorites list on Goodreads and their average rating.

I really can’t believe this book is rated so low (3.73), but I guess YMMV when it comes to angelic lore.  Even though I haven’t read it in years (and reread could potentially change my point of view), it has a Paradise Lost vibe to it insofar as the devil is painted as a sympathetic character, but Ms. Rice does it not only on purpose, but for that purpose (unlike Milton who would’ve never purposely done such a thing).  This book was probably integral in my obsessive sympathy for my favorite Luciferian character.

THE LAST BOOK YOU FINISHED?

Oddly enough, the last book I finished is by the person from whom I got this tag, and I wrote a review for it here!

WEIRDEST THING YOU USED AS A BOOKMARK?

A black feather

USED BOOKS, YES OR NO?

I just bought two used books on Amazon yesterday.  They were $0.01 each.   I paid more for the shipping than for the books themselves.  I have no problem with used books.

TOP THREE FAVORITE GENRES?

Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism

BORROW OR BUY?

Buy.  I want my own things.

CHARACTERS OR PLOT?

I tend to like plot driven stories, but you have to have good characters who are going to know what to do when they’re thrown into precarious situations.

LONG OR SHORT BOOK?

There’s nothing more wonderful than a long, fascinating novel, but I’ve been breezing through a lot of shorter works lately, which is helping me reach my 2017 reading goal.  So I prefer long books, but short books are good for practical purposes.  It also depends on how much I’m enjoying the story in question.

LONG OR SHORT CHAPTERS?

Short to medium.  Granted I’m a hypocrite when it comes to chapter length in my own work.

NAME THE FIRST THREE BOOKS YOU THINK OF.

The Last Unicorn, Prospero Lost (it’s sitting right in front of me), and The Raven Boys

BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR CRY?

Anything by Douglas Adams is hilarious, and I cry during Iza’s death scene in Clan of the Cave Bear every single time I read it.  I’m tearing up right now thinking about it.

OUR WORLD OR FICTIONAL WORLDS?

Fictional.  This world sucks.

AUDIOBOOKS: YES OR NO?

Only if I’ve already read the book.

DO YOU EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER?

I think we all do every now and then.  I have definitely been drawn to a book based on its cover, which has led me to read the blurb and potentially make a purchase.  Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin is a perfect example of this.  I found it in a used bookstore, had never heard of it or the author, didn’t realize at the time the title is based on a play by Shakespeare, but the cover caught my attention.

BOOK TO MOVIE OR BOOK TO TV ADAPTATION?

Book to TV can generally fit more of the book in (if done properly.  I’m looking at you Game of Thrones).

SERIES OR STANDALONE?

Series if the writing is compelling.  For example, I absolutely love The Raven Cycle series.

 

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The Goodreads Book Tag

This is one of the many “tag” posts I found months ago that I saved for when I had more time.

I found this on Callum McLaughlin’s blog a while ago and put it aside to do later.  It’s currently later, and I’m excited to finally do this tag.  Like Callum, I encourage anyone to add me as a friend on Goodreads!

Let’s get to it.

  • What was the last book you marked as “read?”

The Red Rose by Fia Black from the Submissive Beth Mysteries.

This book and the one before it got me into the mystery genre, something I need to do since I want to write in it at some point.  It also has the extra bonus of portraying the BDSM scene a lot better than some more well known series out there.

  • What are you currently reading?

Four books right now:

Since I discovered that I could easily fit some Kindle pages in during lunchtime at my job, I’ve added an additional book to my reading trio.  Oddly enough, now that I’m on my vacation I’m reading less of Sigil than I was during work.

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