Merry Christmas to those who celebrate this holiday! It has been an excellent year of reading! There were a few duds but I prefer not to review those. Have you done your Year in Review in Good Reads yet? https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2019
Did you meet your reading goal?
I set a goal of 30 books and read 40 according to Goodreads. I didn’t include all the books I read for grad school. There were also a few nonfiction books I didn’t add and maybe a few fiction books that I read and forgot to add. I think my goal for next year will be 50 books. A book per week almost. We shall see. It sounds like a lot, but since I don’t have grad school anymore, I think I can do it.
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I read a ton of good books this year!
I thought about which was the best one I read, but I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one. So let me tell you about a few.
Click on the picture if you want to buy the book on Amazon. Text links will be back to the full review I did on that book. So here are some of my favorite books I read this year. Be prepared to add to your TBR list if you don’t already have these.
Warlock Holmes by G.S. Denning – This is a hilarious take on the Sherlock Holmes stories.
This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab- This is a variant on a Romeo and Juliet theme. A city divided. Half the city is filled with ruthless humans. The other half is filled with monsters. Each side believes the other side is evil. Kate and August are teens at odds with each other and with the other side of the city. Then Fate intervenes. Oh and MUSIC! I love stories with music!
A Ghost Story
City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones, also by Victoria Schwab are excellent. The full review is here.
Historical Fantasy & Science Fiction
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden- She has a book on the Lone Star List called Small Spaces that I’m looking forward to reading soon. I love the Russian Mythology in this book. I didn’t know anything about it before reading this. It’s so fascinating.
The Caluculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal is like Hidden Figures with Science Fiction mixed in. This one is NOT appropriate for younger teens, nor would they find it appealing because of the pacing. The pacing is good for an adult.
I just looked back for Skyward, by Brandon Sanders (Fav Author in the whole wide world) and I can’t believe I didn’t do a full review of that book. I read it. I suppose I read it while I was still in grad school, so I didn’t have time to do it justice. This book was terrific! I love the character and the themes in the book. I did put it in my Avengers Book Tag with a brief description. Book 2 of the series is out now! I need to get my hands on that one! Book 2 came out this fall.
The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman- This is another adult series rather than YA. It is relatively clean series. No cussing, plots are fairly straight forward. This is about an inter-dimensional library that connects to multiple versions of Earth. The Librarians go through the doors to these worlds to collect unique versions of books. Irene is a librarian on a mission to steal a book. She is assigned an apprentice, Kai. I recently finished reading The Lost Plot which is the fourth book in the series. Maybe this is my favorite series of the year.
Then of course there was The Nameless Queen which I raved about recently.
The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao This one was a delightful surprise. This was a debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author.
The Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee was possibly my favorite book of the year. I love the unique blend of science fiction and Korean mythology. I didn’t know much about Korean mythology before reading this book. I might have to find some more books with Korean mythological elements.
I picked this book up because it won the Hugo and Nebula Awards. I tend to watch those two awards for good books.
2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella
2018 Nebula Award for Best Novella
2018 Alex Award
2018 Locus Award
The MurderBot Series by Martha Wells is not a YA novel, but it is a good series. It is a bit violent, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be appropriate for older YA. Maybe not grades 6 or 7. It is about a cyborg programmed as a deadly security guard (SecUnit) for a scientific team on an undeveloped planet. As you can imagine, things go wrong. The humans discover the SecUnit has disabled his command module and is a rogue unit. He knows he murdered a lot of people, on a previous mission, that he was programmed to protect. He just doesn’t know why. I’m currently in the middle of book 3 of this series Rogue Protocol.
So for the most part, I reviewed most of the YA favorites and a few adult books that I loved. I can’t really pick one favorite. Different ones are my favorite at different times depending on my mood. Maybe Next Year I’ll pick one per category.
What were the best books you read this year? Leave a comment.
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