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 State of the Reader: 10/24/18

<–The State of the Reader: 10/10/18          The State of the Reader: 12/5/18–>

A 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: 4

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Series Title: Montague Siblings
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Date Added: August 18, 2018
Date Started: September 24, 2018
Date Finished: October 16, 2018

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueMedia: eBook/Kindle

This book was not remotely what I expected, and that’s a wonderful thing.  It was spectacular.  Even though it took place in the 1700’s, there was nothing occurring that’s not relevant today.  Racism, sexism, homophobia, ablelism, etc. were perfectly represented along with how people can have both privilege and oppression as well as the intersection of it to navigate, as is the case with Percy as the half-black son of an English gentleman and a woman from Barbados.  While he has wealth and the privileges that go along with that, he has more than one obstacle to navigate.  Monty showcases how you can completely not understand someone’s point of view if you insist on only viewing it through your own lens, and it was often Felicity who completely got where Percy was coming from even as she herself had some seriously problematic views about homosexuality.  None of the characters were perfect and that’s exactly what made them so.

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The State of the Reader: 10/10/18

<–The State of the Reader: 9/26/18          The State of the Reader: 10/24/18–>

A 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: 6


Books DNF: 1

Title: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife
Series Title: Road to Nowhere
Author: Meg Elison
Date Added: September 22, 2018
Date Started: September 28, 2018
Date DNF: October 3, 2018

The Book of the Unnamed MidwifeI did not DNF this book because it’s poorly written.  I DNFed it because it is too fucking real and I couldn’t handle it.  Meg Elison (whom I didn’t realize I followed on Twitter until I started reading this) has written the most realistic depiction of the world after an apocalyptic pandemic where 98% of the population dies and the ration of men to women is 10:1.  It’s fucking nightmarish if you’re a woman, and yet nothing in either history or current events makes it ring untrue.  It is exactly what would happen and the main character, our unnamed midwife, does everything she can to avoid the horrific fate of other uterus bearers by pretending to be a man, stocking up on weapons, and hiding.  She carries thousands of birth control shots with her to administer to those who can’t escape assault, and it was after a recounting of a horrific childbirth that I knew I had to call it quits.  It was too triggering for me.  So if you’re set off or bothered by that, rape/sexual assault, genital mutilation, suicide, disease, and just general grimdark, this is not the book for you.  It’s an important book that needs to be in the zeitgeist, but no one should potentially harm themselves by reading something potentially damaging.

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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: 10/11/17

<–The State of the Reader: 10/4/17          The State of the Reader: 10/18/17–>

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. The Stillness of the Sky by Starla Huchton: Kept – The second book in the Flipped Fairy Tales series seems just as promising as the first.
  2. The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin: Kept – This is one of the books I broke my “one book per author” rule for since I had it on my “Blogger Recommendations” list.  I own the first book in Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy, so chances are I’ll read that first, but it was hard to turn down a book in a series called Dreamblood.
  3. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue: Kept – Another book I broke my fore mentioned rule for.  I always think of A Monster Calls whenever I see this book.  I guess because “monster” is in both their titles.  The beginning of this has potential in the prologue with its “dream house” setting.
  4. The Wonder by Emma Donoghue: Kept – This completes the triad of books that break my “one book per author rule.”  The “wonder” is a little girl who apparently lives off of air.  Curious how the author is going to tackle the “breatharian” controversy.
  5. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Kept (RWTR) – It only took the first two sentences.  I’m not even joking: “On the morning we were to leave for our Grand Tour of the Continent, I wake in bed beside Percy.  For a disorienting moment, it’s unclear whether we’ve slept together or simple slept together.” I laughed aloud at my desk.  It’s just the most appropriate line and exactly what I’d expect from a story with this title and premise.  I initially put it on my library shelf, but just switched it on my to-buy shelf.
  6. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss: Kept – It opens with a funeral.   My favorite thing!  I’ve already read and liked the author’s other work, and a story about the daughters of fictional monsters sounds interesting enough to borrow from the library.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: The Stillness of the Sky
Series Title: Flipped Fairy Tale
Author: Starla Huchton
Date Added: August 16, 2017
Date Purchased: October 3, 2017

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

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The State of the Reader: 8/23/17

<–The State of the Reader: 8/16/17          The State of the Reader: 8/30/17–>

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. Traitor’s Blades by Sebastian de Castell: Kept – This wasn’t a hard sell for me at all given the series is called Greatcoats, and I love greatcoats in general (nothing beats a Badass Longcoat).  It was also an easy sell since it was also really cheap.
  2. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry: Kept – I had no idea The Giver was the first book of a quartet.  This is a definite must-read.
  3. Hunted by Meagan Spooner: Kept – More revamped fairy tales. This time it’s Beauty and the Beast.
  4. Santa Took Them by William Malmborg: Passed – I’m pissed about this pass.  Maybe this was the author’s intention, but I hated all of the characters introduced in the first chapter.  The dad was a douche.  The mom was annoying.  The kids were irritating, but them I gave a pass, because they were just normal kids.  I guess it’s more I hated how they were written, and there was a really bad pussy joke (not as bad as the Game of Thrones one, but still pretty awful).  Anyway, this is about murders that took place on Christmas Eve 2005, and the sole survivor is released from a mental institution ten years later when they start again.
  5. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund: Kept – This is one of those books I added because I loved the title, and it doesn’t seem as if the text is going to disappoint.  Starting off as a series of letters exchanged between a boy and a girl, its foundation seems to be young love, heartbreaking rejecting and re-reconnection through adventure.
  6. In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker: Kept (RWTR) – I would’ve bought this if it wasn’t over my $2.99 insta-limit.  Intertwining the concepts of time travel and immortality with a sense of greed and a lack of bio (or really any) ethics is one clear way to get me interesting in a novel.
  7. A Brother’s Price by Wen Spencer: Kept – In my grand tradition of reading subverted stories (like the Flipped Fairy Tales), this novel takes place in a world where male children are rare and therefore coveted.  The main character, the oldest male with around 28 sisters, only has one use: to be sold off to marriage for to the highest bidder.  It’s a painfully common trope for girls, and it doesn’t make it any better when the tables are turned, because Jerin’s world has always been this way.  I wasn’t quite certain about it initially, but it was interesting enough to go on my library shelf.
  8. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: Kept (RWTR) – Holy fantastic opening line.  It’s brutal, raw, and reminds me of ASOIAF.
  9. Bull by David Elliott: Passed – Disappointing to say the least.  I love retold stories, especially fairy tales and myths, but I didn’t like the style of this.

Books Purchased This Week: 3

Title: Traitor’s Blade
Series Title: Greatcoats
Author: Sebastian de Castell
Date Added: March 5, 2017
Date Purchased: August 17, 2017

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

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