I got back in touch with my bookworm roots this year and it feels so damn good! I completed my Goodreads challenge of 50 books (54 total). Aside from reading a ton, I also got hooked on audiobooks this year and am going to include that as a format I use routinely, AND I happened to stumble upon my online tribe: #bookstagram . I am so thrilled to be welcomed into a community of readers who love to share and chat. It brought so much joy back into reading and has been a personal & writing inspiration too.
MY TOP 5 READS OF THE YEAR
#1 Six of Crows Duology – Leigh Bardugo. Obviously I’m a Bardugo superfan now. Though I had been reading a lot of YA this year, these books blew me away. I fell in love with her writing, her world, her tragic, broken characters, and the plot in these books DOES. NOT. STOP. And there’s plenty of mystery (how are they going to get out of this one?) too. I’ll admit I was devastated at the end, but it was in the best possible way. I love being punched in the feels (though I still think there’s a scene missing). (Amazon)
#2 A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas. This book! These characters! Rhysand! (Really what more do I need to say besides Rhysand?). The second book in this series left off on a WTF is going to happen next moment and book 3 did not disappoint. I’m so excited for the next in the series coming in May! (And hoping we get some Nessian action). If you like fae, fairy tale retellings, romance, adventure, intrigue, and an all-in-all GREAT TIME, read these books. (Amazon)
#3 Language of Thorns – Leigh Bardugo. This book came out of left field and shook me. Hard. I love folktales. Even though I majored in Biology, my literature/folklore class was one of my most favorite in college. This book is a combination of fairytales we know (not retold, but completely twisted) and a few original ones. The most exquisite part is that each of the tales is from one of the fictional nations in Ms. Bardugo’s Grishaverse, and the culture in each of them is so rich. Worldbuilding GOALS. I also highly recommend the audiobook version narrated by Lauren Fortgang–I listen to it almost every night as I fall asleep. (Amazon)
#4 A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles) – Amanda Bouchet. I was so pleasantly surprised by this story. It’s marketed as a fantasy romance, and for me personally, it had an excellent balance of both (though honestly book 2 was a little heavy on the bedroom scenes). Both books received 4-stars and I’m so excited for the third, which comes out January 2, 2018 [update: currently reading book 3 and loving it!]. (Amazon)
#5 Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2) – Thea Harrison. I just discovered Ms. Harrison this year (on a rec from another favorite author, Elizabeth Hunter) and I’m so glad I did! The Moonshadow series is currently slated as a trilogy, but ties in to her Elder Races series (which I’m also reading). For more details, check out my spoiler-free review of Spellbinder here. Book 3, Lionheart, is slated to come out in 2018. (Amazon)
I read a LOT of Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance this year, but I also ventured into YA quite a bit, which was new to me. I’m glad I did, and thanks to Bookstagram, I have a long list of titles in that genre to explore, BUT looking back, I do feel my reading is too narrow. This year, I plan to do a different type of reading challenge, inspired by my friend Roni Loren’s Push Your Boundaries Reading Challenge from 2016.
My goal is to read 60 books, but I want to make sure at least 25 of them are “out of my comfort zone” so I’ve made the following chart:
For my remaining 35 reads, I’m going to try to spread them out more evenly by reading 7 titles in each of the following categories: paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA, and epic fantasy. The remaining seven are whatever I want. It’s going to be a GREAT reading year!