Favorite (New) Books Read in 2018

Jan 07 2019

What I've been reading.

This year I managed to read 39 brand new books (with an additional 13 rereads of old favorites). I wanted to list them all, but I’d rather just hit the highlights.

Tempests & Slaughter, by Tamora Pierce Tamora Pierce returns to Tortall with a book about Numair’s past. I reread all of her Tortall novels about 8 years ago, it’s exciting to have something new to read. The structure is a bit formulaic, but it’s one that she’s built an entire world around so I can easily forgive it. Regardless, it’s an exciting start and I’m excited to read the next one.

Uprooted and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik I read the first one at someone’s suggestion and really enjoyed someone digging into the Rumpelstiltzkin tale and digging out how these relationships would work in reality. The relationships between the characters are great, and I enjoyed following the heroine as she came to terms with the new world.

Spinning Silver is an equally pragmatic and fantastic dive into the tale of the Snow Queen. I wish there was more time to spend in the winter world, but I appreciated both the heroine’s sensibilities and relationship with family responsibility. The additional side characters were interesting, but felt a little unnecessary at times.

The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn Female spies during World War II! It took a minute to dig into this one, but I loved it. As the older woman’s narrative built up through the flashbacks, it made the present narrative that much more valuable and validating. I was so pleased by how it ended, and would love to read more stories about the women of the network.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid Very thinly shaded as a Elizabeth Taylor/high Hollywood glamour memoir, this was fantastic. I loved following along with her rise to fame, but I wanted her to have a successful conclusion more than anything. Towards the end, I felt bad for poor Harry who was her relationship surrogate in a way that felt she cheated him of a full life of his own.

Circe and Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller This book took forever to get into, and the distant tone felt drawn out and exhausting for portions of the book (and was exactly the same for Achilles). Once Circe began her exile, I greatly enjoyed seeing her grow into her own as a sorceress. The characterization of Odysseus was also fun, but I most enjoyed seeing Circe scheme against the rest of the world.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor This was fascinating. An entirely different world, with fully-fleshed non humanoid characters. I enjoyed seeing Binti deal with leaving her home world, learning a new way to communicate, and learn to deal with her PTSD throughout the journey. The method of communication detailed in later books was also imaginative and I’m looking forward to any possible new additions to this series.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang These are guiltless pleasures and new romances that I greatly enjoyed.

Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur. Like everyone else, this book of poetry tore me apart. I cried over multiple poems. The bite-sized poems on love, health, body-positivity, and the aftermath of sexual assault were heartwrenching in their brevity.]]></content:encoded>