Whew! Another (reading) year has passed. I set a goal to read at least seventy-five new books and I far exceeded that. Somehow, I read over 110. This does not include titles I re-read. I was very happy with the books I chose this year. The majority I rated four stars, but around 40 percent of them earned five stars from me.
At the beginning of this year, I set some reading goals for myself. Honestly, I didn’t do as well with these as I would have liked. The two goals I did manage to accomplish were to quit more books and to read more non-fiction. My non-fiction consisted mainly of biographies and film history. I read about the friendship between James Stewart and Henry Fonda, interviews with classic film stars, books on costume design, biographies on Jean Arthur, Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardner and one about the last years of Bette Davis’ life.
I continued to participate with the Top Ten Tuesday after its’ move to That Artsy Reader Girl. These are always a lot of fun.
This list began rather large, but I forced myself to narrow it down. Of the non-fiction I read, my favorite was Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart. But perhaps the most memorable for me was A River in Darkness. I don’t think I will ever forget this true story of a man who lived in and eventually escaped North Korea. It’s really incredible to realize how much has changed for North Korea in the year since I read the book.
Among the fiction titles, these were my favorites and/or the ones that were the most memorable this year:
- Rose in Three Quarter Time – One of the most romantic stories I read this year. I loved it so much I read it several times.
- The Hating Game -I’ve read this at least five times already
- A Light on the Hill – I read several of Connilyn Cossette’s stories this year, but this was my favorite. The hero and heroine both took up residence in my heart.
- The Love Letter – Loved this dual timeline story. It convinced me to catch up on all of Rachel Hauck’s recent releases that I have missed.
- The Long Walk – I waited very impatiently for this sequel to The Bridge and it did not disappoint!
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Contrary to my expectations, the hype about this was right.
- Speak Easy, Speak Love – I found this Jazz Age version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing so unique and fun.
- Merciless – I adore Tamara Leigh’s medieval romances. Her newest release is one of my favorite that she’s written in recent years and tells the origin of another series about the Wulfriths
- Blind Spot -I’ve been reading Dani Pettrey’s romantic suspense stories for a while. But this is the one that finally made me say wow!
- Beneath the Blackberry Moon – A well-researched look at the clash of cultures, politics and nations in the Gulf states in the early 1800’s. Gardner really made the Indian culture come alive.
- Crown of Souls & Thirst of Steel – This military action series by Ronie Kendig is her best yet. The conclusion in Thirst of Steel just about killed me!
- Olivia Twist -This “twist” on the Dicken’s classic kept me intrigued. I liked that the author re-wrote it from a female perspective.
- If Spring Comes – Finally! This book was a long time in coming but I loved learning more about Sal and Candice. Not to mention one of the creepiest villains ever.
- The Heart Between Us – I didn’t expect this story of sisters, one of whom survived a heart transplant, to touch me so much.
- Where Hope Begins – A tale of family tragedy and dysfunction that had me completely emotionally involved in the lives of fictional characters.
- The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck -A charming little chick-lit story that had me giggling all the way through.
- The House on Foster HIll – This gothic suspense debut novel stunned me in the best way!
I read many new to me authors this year. Some of them made my favorite book list above, including Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright, The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel, The Secret of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner and The Blackberry Moon books by April W Gardner. Surprisingly most of these were debuts!
New authors who I want to continue reading include: April W Gardner, Mimi Matthews, Christina Coryell, Bria Quinlan, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas and Kerri Maniscalco.
So, that’s it for 2018. Can’t wait to see what book discoveries I make in 2019!