Lists & Recommendations

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019

LetsTalk12:17This year I have read some pretty amazing books, I have found quite a few new favorite authors, series and stand alone novels that I really want to share with everyone. At the point of writing this, I have read 103 books this year, a lot more than I thought I would. So it was difficult to narrow down my choices down to 5, but I did manage to keep this list under 10, so that’s good. Anyway, on to thee top books I read in 2019! P.S. my favorite book of 2019 is at the bottom of the list, as they say, “Last, but not least!”


Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

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Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.

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Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: Suicide
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The Tea Dragon Society (Tea Dragon, #1)The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute graphic novel with a very sweet message to it. On top of the wonderfully cute story, the illustration style was beautiful and just perfect for this story. If you enjoy happy feeling, cute, and wholesome stories I feel like you would really enjoy this graphic novel. The only downside was I think it was kinda rushed and I would have loved to know more about the lessons and the society.
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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took.
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The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.
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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.
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The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this work is very different from what King normally writes, but I enjoyed it so much. I think it was a combination of where I read this book and just the way it was presented. I feel like I will be thinking about The Colorado Kid trying to picture Stephenie today. Anyway, I am glad King look at those news clippings and thought of this story. It really is interesting and makes you think.
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Favorite Book of 2019!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

Update: as the end of 2019 has come to an end, I have realized that I have read this book two times this year and I often want to read it a third. It truly has a great friendship, a wonderfully inventive storyline, and great humor. This is my favorite book I have read in 2019.
View all my reviews


What was your favorite read or reads of 2019?

Do you have a book you think I should read next year?

Are any of these books on your list?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Holiday Reads

LetsTalk12:17

Hello and welcome to another blogmas post! I am excited to share some of my favorite Christmas / Holiday Reads. Some of these are very short, some are longer. Some of these are older and some of them are more recent. They are a little all over the place, so I hope you can find something fun to read!


A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott

A Merry Christmas and Other Christmas Stories

A very short 148 pages of family focused christmas story, which for me is the focus of the holidays. I love spending time with my family, catching up with them and just hanging out. This collection of stories is very similar and feels so warm and welcoming, I fall into these stories every single year.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

Now, I am always in the mood to read or watch The Chamber of Secrets or Harry Potter in general. This book in particular makes such a wonderful show of Christmas and I just love the idea of visiting the castle over winter break, running around while the other students are at home. It just seems so magical and fun.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20)

Another short classic of a story, sitting at only 192 pages. This festive themed mystery is one that pulls you into it right away. When I read it, I read it in nearly one sitting. It would have been one if I didn’t need to go somewhere. But, I love Agatha Christie’s writing and this does not disappoint.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

This is a fun twist on the life of Dickens and the development of A Christmas Carol. I really loved the use of actual facts twisted into the fiction making this feel tangible. I really recommend this one.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Letters from Father Christmas

It is no secret that I love the works oof J.R.R. Tolkien, this one is is no different. How this 111 novella/collection of letters came into being is such an adorable one. These letters fun, quick, and just heartfelt. This is a really great read for Christmas Eve, you will fly through these letters quicker than you think you will.

T’was the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Account of the Visit from St. Nicholas

I cannot make this list without mentioning this wonderful poem. It is short, sweet, and magical. I feel like this is always a wonderful one to read on Christmas Eve no matter your age.


What is your go to Christmas or Holiday read?

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Lists & Recommendations

Entire Owned TBR | November 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to this little post talking about my owned TBR. So, I wanted to take this time to look at my TBR before moving into the new year. I am big on cleaning out all the clutter and extra unessential stuff into the new year and setting a bit of an intention for myself. I recently did an unhaul, and I wanted to share the books that remain on my pile. You can find that post here: Book Unhaul | November 2019.

You might be able to tell from my list below, that I make note of when I buy a book, this is because if I don’t read a book within a year of buying it, I know I am not going to read it. I know my personality and this is the system that works for me. The good news is that this works for me and I have not had to get rid of a book due to this in over a year and a half. Anyway, on to the TBR!


-The TBR-

Jan 2019

  • The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
  • The Wicked King by Holly Black

March 2019

  • Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

April 2019

  • Blaze by Stephen King/Richard Bachman

May 2019

  • Middlemarch George Eliot
  • The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien (reread)
  • The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien (reread)

June 2019

  • The Window of Pale Harbor Hester Fox
  • Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
  • Thee Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

August 2019

  • Outside the Gates by Molly Gloss
  • Cujo by Stephen King
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

September 2019

  • Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
  • Dreamcatcher by Stephen King
  • Winter at Death’s Hotel by Kenneth Cameron
  • A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  • Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

October 2019

  • Angel Mage by garth Nix
  • Full Throttle by Joe Hill
  • Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
  • Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin
  • The Duel by Giacomo Casanova
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Queens Gambit by Bradley Harper
  • Firestarter by Stephen King
  • Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

November 2019

  • The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • My Best Friends Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  • The Lesson of the Master by Henry James
  • Carmen by Prosper Merimee
  • A Constellation of Roses
  • Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar
  • Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas
  • Bury What You Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen
  • Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

So there is my entire TBR up until this point. I mainly wanted to post it so I can look back at this post in the future and reflect upon it in 2020. I still cannot believe that 2020 is right around the corner. Anyway, thanks for reading or skimming this list. 😂

Have you read any of these? Should I cast any aside?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2020

Lists

Hello everyone, today I wanted to take a moment to talk about the top 5 books I want to read before the end of 2019. We are officially into the last quarter of the year, which always goes by super quickly. It is a time to focus to meet my goals if I have not already. On top of that, there is one Beat my Backlist book that still needs to be read and I will have read all the books I bought before 2019. Anyway, on to the books!


The one I think I am most excited to get to would be The Institute by Stephen King. It is no secret that I really enjoy creepy/horror reads and I really enjoy King’s works. I am really excited to have my hands on his most recent release and I want to read it before the year is through. 

Next in line would be It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo & Translator Elizabeth Bryer. I am really excited to be reading a book set in South America. I don’t know about you, but it is not a setting I come across often in books and I would honestly like to read more. 

Now, The Overstory by Richard Powers is one I need to read for my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019 challenge so I really need to get my butt in gear. I have two books left to go and for some reason this one is the one I have owned the longest, but have not felt the need or want to read. So, I am hoping putting it on this list will really put my butt in gear. At this one I have the other from the library and plan on starting it within the week. *Update* I have read this since prewriting this post, I am updating this to the final book on this list I need to read, The Long Take by Robin Robertson. This is what happens when I prewrite posts too darn early.

Then, we have Middlemarch by George Eliot. I picked up this classic it sounds so interesting. I decided that I would read it over the summer when I  was enjoying the weather outside… well. Summer is now over and I still have not read it. I would say that now my goal is to just read it before the year is finished. I feel like Classics are really good cold weather reads anyway. 

Lastly, we have Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I am really interested in this series, but I always out it off because it is digital. While I do enjoy reading on my kindle, I always find myself only really using it for library books not for my owned TBR books. I need to change this ASAP and read this. Also, it is the oldest owned book on my owned TBR. So, it is really time to get my butt into gear. 


What 5 books do you want to read before the year is up?

Which one do you think I should read first?

Who things I will actually read all of these before the year is up? 😂

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Lets Talk · Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Let’s Talk | To Do Lists

LetsTalk12:17

Hello everyone, happy to have you hear. Today I am going to be talking about to do lists. If you follow me on twitter, you know I love a good to do list. Nearly every weekend I post a twitter thread that looks something like this:

Todays To Do

  • laundry 🧺
  • start current read📚
  • organize my desk🗃

Throughout the day I make additions to the thread and update my progress as I move through the tasks. There are a few reasons as to why I share this on twitter. The first being it keeps me accountable. If I share it with others I will be more likely to follow through or do as much as I can. The second being I love being organized. If I have a clear path I tend to get through my tasks faster because I don’t forget and I don’t waste time time trying to remember.


A few weeks ago I was curious to see if anyone else enjoyed or regularly used to do lists or if I was just someone who is very overly organized. Twenty two people filled out my twitter poll and I got the following results.

I was happy to see that 64% of those who answered did work off of to do lists and another 22% use them from time to time. Now I wanted to take a look at why we use to do lists and maybe the type of to do list we follow.

I think one of the most popular “to do” lists we use in the book community it a TBR. I know, hear me out. TBR is a to be read list or pile we have either in our homes, in our notebooks, on our devices, or on our websites. But, it is a to do list. Is it really that different from a list of items we need to get done that we slowly work through, but everyday we could add a few more items. Essentially it just keeps going on forever. Sounds just like a TBR if you ask me.

Other to do lists revolve around things we need to do, these could be chores, tasks, or maybe even places we need to go. But, there are a bunch of different formats that can be used for this. You could work off of a daily, a weekly, seasonal or even a yearly list. I know I mainly used a daily, seasonal, or yearly list.

In the picture above you can see an old picture of my yearly goals or to do list dealing with my reading. I am slowly checking off the items I complete and I hope to get them all done before December 31st. On the other page I have the start of my Summer to do list, which I also work through slowly, but steadily.

I think the ones I reference and use the most is a daily to do list. I write these down either in my bullet journal on a particular day or start a thread on twitter such as the one below.


Now, I am really curious what type of to do list do you regularly use and what format you keep track of it. Do you use an app like trello or notes in your phone? Write it on a little pad or in a notebook? Do you find them useful or do you just do things as you realize they need to be done? Do you maybe keep them for work, home, or reading?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | 100 Books Bucket List

Lists

I don’t know about you, but I have seen a lot of ‘100 Books You Must Read in Your Lifetime!’ articles. All of them seem different, some focus on more modern books and others on classics. In November 2018 I happened to come across a poster on amazon while shopping for my friends and families and I really liked that it had some classics and more modern books on the list as well. It was called, Gift Republic 100 Books Bucket List Poster (not an affiliate link). So of course, I ended up buying it for myself. 

While this is not the best picture in the world of the poster, you can see that I have read 20 21 of the books already on this list, I missed The Time Machine on my first look through. Overall, reading 21 books is not a horrible start if you ask me. I thought it would be fun to share my progress on this poster throughout the year and see how much progress I make on this bookish bucket list.

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  • American Gods
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Siddhartha 
  • Sophie’s World
  • A Brief History of Time
  • The Great Gatsby
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird
  • Matilda
  • The Complete Art of War
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Long Walk to Freedom
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Shoe
  • Noughts & Crosses
  • In Cold Blood
  • Frankenstein
  • The Secret History 
  • Wuthering Heights 
  • 1984
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Norwegian Wood
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • The Color Purple
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Lolita 
  • Great Expectations
  • Harry Potter Series
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Road
  • Ulysses
  • Bad Science
  • I Capture the Castle
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Les Misérables
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Wind in the Willows
  • Wild Swans
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe
  • Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Anna Karenina 
  • Freakonomics
  • A Game of Thrones
  • The Help
  • Flowers for Algernon
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • American Psycho
  • Notes From Small Island
  • Macbeth
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • A History of Venice
  • The Selfish Gene
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • A Wild Sheep Chase
  • Schindler’s Ark
  • London Fields
  • The House of the Baskerville
  • My Man Jeeves
  • The English Patient
  • The Mill on the Floss
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Commitments
  • Gladys Aylward,: The Little Women
  • Midnight’s Children
  • Tess of the D’urbervilles
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Hamlet
  • Goodnight Mister Tom
  • Dissolution
  • The Time Machine
  • Winnie the Pooh 
  • Animal Farm
  • The Diary of a Young Girl
  • The Enchanted Wood
  • Dracula
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • The Kite Runner
  • Pride and Prejudice 
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Misery 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Watership Down
  • The Odyssey
  • War and Peace
  • Bird Song
  • Tell No One
  • Moby-Dick
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Middlemarch
  • Jane Eyre 

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What book is on your bucket list?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Best Books of 2018

Lists

Early in the week I talked about the worst books I read in 2018, while that is not the most positive approach to talking about reading, I think it is important to share all aspects of the reading year and have some great discussions. But, I will admit I am must more happy to share the following books because these are ones that have stuck with me and I know will continue to do so. One I even finished on the first day of the year and I still recommend it all the time to everyone. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! Also, all of the books on this list I really do recommend you looking into, I loved every single one of them and if they are in a genre that you enjoy I don’t anticipate you being disappointed. Without anymore rambling and gushing, here are the books!

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Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Strange Weather

There has never been a short story collection where I have loved every single story, but somehow Joe Hill has managed to do that with Stange Weather. Each story was very unique and I can see myself rereading this again and again. I am actually kind of tempted to reread them as the weather conditions show themselves. I read this book in a single day, and when I first reviewed this on good reads I said “Have you ever liked something so much you couldn’t really express how why you like it so much all you can say is, “READ THIS, IT IS GREAT! JUST READ IT!”? Yeah well, that is me with this.” I am happy to say that this feeling has held up.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

I picked up this book mainly because Joe Hill and Stephen King both have raved about it. Well, because of them I found a new favorite author. Even though this is a short novel, it really is scary. I never had nightmares from watching to reading horror, but with this book I did. It was not really a full on nightmare, but I had a dream I was in Hill House. Even while I was in it I knew it was a dream and I started to laugh. The writing was magnificent, the characters were so distinct and interesting. and the style in which she writes is very effective.

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

Of the multiple Liz Nugent novels I read this year, I would say that Unraveling Oliver is my favorite for a few reasons. The first being it was the first book of hers I read and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is just enchanting. While I read this novel I was shocked, heart broken, irate, and heart warmed. It show cases how horrible and also how good people can truly be. This is really an amazing thriller even though you go into the book knowing what happens. In my eyes, only a really gifted author can pull that off.

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider

I adored this novel. It had the perfect balance of the real world and monsters and paranormal features I look for in King’s novels. The monster he created was so interesting and I really liked how he pulled from myths and legends to do this. I also liked the fact that the characters felt real, also there was a nice bonus of seeing a character I never thought I would see again.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I ended up liking this book so much more than I thought I would. I normally rarely read about celebrities or actors I like in real life, so I always thought, “Why would I care about one that didn’t even exist?”. Well, I have to say that this book proved that point wrong. Within the first chapter I was already hooked. They methods used by the author to tell Evelyn Hugo’s story were wonderful and made it feel so tangible. Not only did the author tell an addicting story of this woman, but she told a story of so much more than that. That is the part of the story I did not expect and loved. The author did some great things with this book and I highly recommend. *copied from my original review*

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692

When it comes to those who are just getting into nonfiction, this is the first book I recommend them. The first reason being it is a well researched and presented work. The second being it written in a manner that reads like a story instead of a textbook, which is always hard to do when it comes to properly researched nonfiction reads. You can easily tell the effort that went into collecting all the articles and penning this work. Additionally, this book talks about the Salem Witch Trials in a way that respects those who were affected by it, but does not interject feeling or emotion into it. This truly is the best nonfiction I have read all year and continues to be one of my top ones of all time.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

One thing I have to say about this book is the fact I did not expect for it to be rated so highly. I just thought I would enjoy it because I watched the movie adaptation long before I even knew there was a book. When I did read it, I learned that the book was very different, but I fell in love with it anyway. I loved how the sisters were more involved and the way the plot turned and twisted. It was beautifully written and really hypnotized me. When I picked up this book it was really hard to put down. I also saw some characters in new light. This look truly is a wonderful story of family, magic, curses, and secrets. In fact, I picked up and read the prequel The Rules of Magic, which I loved as well, but it made me treasure this story even more.

DividerWhile this was a really difficult list to make, because I was so fortunate to read so many great ones, I really enjoyed making it. I love talking about book and I love sharing the ones I really enjoyed hoping that you all will enjoy them just as much.

What books did you adore this year?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Worst Books of 2018

Lists

So, with all the reading I have done over the year, right around 100 books. I can say that I have read some good books and some not so great ones. It is bound to happen for one reason or another. It could have been the fact I took a chance on a genre I don’t normally read, it was a book club pick, or it just didn’t live up to my expectations. It happens from time to time and there is nothing wrong with that.

Now books are very personal experience, that is the beauty of them.  I may get the saying wrong, but I think it goes that people can read the same book and get different stories. I think it is very true, that is why I love books some people hate and some people love the books I am not too fond of and that is okay. Everyones opinions are just that, opinions and everyone is allowed to have them. So, if your favorite book ends up on this list, I am  so happy that you liked it,  but it was just not for me. Also, some of these I read very early on in the year and I kinda forgot about what happened so I copied and pasted some of my reviews to highlight what I felt just as I finished reading the books. This was not the case with all of the books though. Without more rambling, here are the worst books I read in 2018.

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A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Frances Hill

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

I absolute hated this book and I am so upset by it. The writing had so much of the authors opinion in it and it could be very misleading if this is the only book you have read on the Salem Witch Trials. I also did not like how the end note were set up. In the back of the book it lists the chapters then what sources were used. That is not how end notes work. Which sources was used for which topic? This makes it very hard to go back and read the authors sources to compare and do your  own research. There are so many better books on this topic that I recommend. I really wanted to like this book, I had such high hopes. I read a view by Jon, and I have to say I agree with him on a lot of his points and I wish I could have explained myself as clearly.

Tropic Of Cancer by Henry Miller

Tropic Of Cancer

So, this was a really weird book. While I did read the entire thing I can’t really tell you what happened if that makes sense. As the story progresses it does get a little more coherent, but it never becomes tame in any shape way or form. I would never have read this book on my own that is for sure, the description is not something I would normally be drawn to. I honestly can’t really suggest this book to anyone though.

Salem’s Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity by John Goff

Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity

So I was super excited to read this book, I ended up being disappointed. The book was more of a history of who lived in the house and what stores it had been and less about the role it had during the Salem witch trials. While it was interesting I found the name it be a tad bit misleading so it left be just feeling like I missed out on something. If you know nothing about the history of the house and such, this would be a good read for you.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

This one I wanted to love, it was a historical fiction read, which I normally love and it sounded like such an interesting and magical story. It turned out not to be so magical to me. The authors writing is beautiful, but the story just didn’t really wow me. I am thinking about trying another one of her books, because like I said her writing is beautiful, I Just did not like the story all that much. While, I do think it highlight some things in the past that were just truly NOT OKAY, I  was left feeling blah about the whole thing because it was not really addressed.

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers

I will openly admit that if I did not have the audiobook I would never have finished this novel. While I love a lot of King’s writing, this one is a bit of a bust for me. I did a bit of researching to see if I was the only one or not, but it seems I am not. I have to admit that this article explains my feelings as well as says my thoughts on this novel very clearly.

It is all over the place, longer than it needs to be by a lot, and just seems to loose the king flair that I enjoy.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

I don’t really know what happened to me when I was reading this book. The first two books in the series I did enjoy very much. This one I felt was annoying and I wanted to skip around a lot. I wanted to just find out the main stuff and move on. I felt like there was just too much drama for the sake of drama and it just added pages and not really much to the overall plot. I did not get the novella that is set after this, I may get it from the library at some point because I know there are just some duds in a series, but I want to make sure before I spend more of my money.

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a Bookseller

So when I picked up this book I was sure it would be more along the lines of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jennifer Campbell, which I loved! This on the other hand was dull and mundane. It was more of  what the owned did and the daily workings of a bookshop and not really to much about the interactions with the customers. I also found that there was a lot a repeating of the same things happening over and over again. While I can see why some people would like this book, I was left a disappointed.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)

I can see why other people like this book so much, I am not saying this is a bad book by any stretch of the imagination. I really enjoyed the first part of this book, but the second part of the book totally lost me. I felt like the main character just got things or things just happened to the main character without there being any real time given to acquiring them or working for them. Just BAM, amazing thing happened/brilliant abilities! This book just is not for me, it is for you if you like… Individual fighting for a cause, Fantasy, YA transitioning to adult, rags to riches in a way, not exactly and an individual taking on the Empire.

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There you have it, the worst books I read in 2018. All of these are the only books I rated below average and I have to say there aren’t a lot of them. To read about 100 books and only 8 fall under an average rating is wonderful. Plus, like I said in the beginning, these are just my personal feelings. These books are great reads for many and I am truly happy about that.

What book fell flat for you this year?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations

ListsSince I was young I have been a fan go Megan Mullally. I remember sitting up late at night and watching her on Will and Grace and loving her funny character. I have seen many interviews of her throughout the years but since the release of her book with her husband Nick Offerman I have been seeing a lot more. One I saw in particular made me adore her even more.

She was on USA Today and did a book specific talk with Nick. You can find the video online here.  I watched the entire interview and I did not realize that she was an avid reader and kept a list of books she adored on her phone. As a book nerd I can relate to having one of those.

In the interview she was asked what books would you recommend and she pulled out her phone and read off a list that she loved and Nick even commented on enjoying quite a few of them. I thought it would be fun to share the ones from her list that I am interested in reading.

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Stoner by John Williams

Stoner

I found this one interesting because this seems like a wonderfully heart breaking book. I feel like it would be beautifully written and I would be very connected to the main character. I would feel empathy for him and want only his happiness while his like takes some turns.

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

I feel like this book would be an interesting read that looks into gossip and how it could be dangerous. I also want to know what happens with the milkman because the description just tells you the main character just has a “encounter”.

We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

We Begin Our Ascent

This books seems like it is about a couple with a bright future that take a turn that no one expected. For some reason I enjoy reading these types of stories not because I want to see successful people fail, but to remind myself that anything is possible and things don’t always look as they appear. I find myself thinking that this book could represent that from the description.

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights

I have found that over the years I have not read a lot of translated books, and while this list is filled with them, this one sounded really amazing. I find it hard to put into words what this book is about. It seems almost mythological and whimsical, but also has a deep story to tell.

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While this is not the complete list of books that she recommends, please go watch the interview, it is a great list of books to try. I find that reading books that people I admire read helps me find gems that I would not have found on my own. I am hoping that this idea translates well from my friends and family members, but also to those I have watched as a fan for some time.

Have you ever read a favorite book of a celebrity?

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Lists & Recommendations

#Blogoween | Top 5 Thriller Books

Blogoween

Prompt:

Friday 19th: Top 5 Thriller Books
Which 5 Thriller books do you love and why?

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait

Lying in Wait is one of my favorite thriller I have read this year. Even though you know who the murderer is as soon as you pick up this book. You are still surprised why what happened in this novel. The characters are rich and their personalities are distinct. The human nature that is explored in this domestic thriller are just jaw dropping. I wrote an entire review on this novel, REVIEW | Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Ruth Ware is an amazing author, of all the books I read by her only one was not a 5 star read. The Death of Mrs. Westaway was atmospheric and in a way reminded me of Shirley Jackson. It tells the story of a young women who is desperate for money and ends up in a very interesting situation. You question what is and is not real and you absolutely feel for the character. It is surprising and wonderfully written from page one to the end. I wrote an entire review, you can read it here: REVIEW | The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

Unraveling Oliver is the novel that started my love of Liz Nugent. Her writing is just mesmerizing. This novel was shocking and showed a disturbing side that can be hidden inside human nature. I also loved the rich characters that were in here, which some were horrible people with no redeemable characteristics, others were just amazing with their compassion. This is really an amazing thriller and I know I will be rereading this book in he future.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

The Grownup

This super short thriller is one of my favorites for a few reasons. The first being it really knocked you off your feet. This short story went into a direction I did not believe, I did not think that type of surprise would be possible with so few pages. The second reason is because it is the perfect size. It is a bite sized thriller and I think it is perfect to read if you are thinking about getting into this genre of books.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 was the first real thriller I can remember reading and it made me very much excited to read more. While this is not the only Ruth Ware on this list, it is something special. Not only does this book have a very interesting setting, on a boat in international waters, it also has some interesting characters. While I read this novel I got Clue vibes, the entire time I was trying to think of the murder weapon and who committed the crime. Also, the ending made me so excited because I truly started to feel for a character I did not think I would care about. For an author to change my few as much as she did, was amazing.

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* I received The Death of Mrs. Westaway and Lying in Wait from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What is your favorite thriller?

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