Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Top 5 Favorite Reads of 2018

Continuing a new tradition!  Last year, I shared my Top 5 Favorite Reads so I wanted to do the same again this year.  To be clear, these books did not have to be published in 2018; they are just stories that I read this year.  I've included links to their Goodreads pages in case you'd like to add them to your TBR lists.  Here goes!

5.  ACE OF SQUIDS by Elliot Cooper

It's surprising that this one made my list.  Not because I didn't expect it to be good.  Elliot Cooper is a fantastic author.  But because it was a short story that came free with a newsletter signup.  Nonetheless, the concept was right up my dark alley and I enjoyed it immensely.  Definitely go take the time to sign up so you can receive a copy.  The concept is very Lovecraftian but also calls out Lovecraft's racism by featuring a POC main character.  It's also great LGBTQ Paranormal representation.

4. THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho

Let me preface this by saying that I am decidedly non-religious.  When asked, I will usually just tell people that I'm a "free thinker".  I don't tend to like books with religious overtones.  However, I think I found this one engaging because it's a period drama told in a traditional older style that you don't see often anymore.  Coelho masterfully leads you through the character's journey and keeps you anticipating what will happen next.  I liked that it was nothing that I had expected it to be nor anything like everything else that I read this year.


I am so glad that I took the time to read this one.  I feel as though there are so many different blogs and resources online with random people telling you how you should be conducting yourself as a writer and my jaded side is very much, "Oh yeah?  Who even are you to tell me what to do?  What have you written to give you such credibility?"  That may sound terrible of me but I figure if they knew what they were talking about then maybe they'd be more well-known?  Send me hate mail on this if you wish. I will own my unpopular opinion.  Conversely, I will take advice from Stephen King who obviously knows a thing or two about the business of successfully writing books!  And he does give great advice in this book, even providing examples of his work.  I highly recommend this one for all writers looking to improve their craft.

2. THE STRINGS OF MURDER by Oscar de Muriel

This book.  THIS BOOK.  Oh my.  It was so good!  It had everything that I love about gothic Victorian stories.  As you can probably guess by the title, it's a murder mystery and involves one of my favorite things: supernatural violin history.  The main characters, at times, are as clever as Sherlock Holmes but they are not the compatible duo that Holmes and Watson were.  They can't stand each other and butt heads at every turn, which makes them a brilliant pairing in the end.  I was excited to learn it's the first in a series and I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest!

1. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME by Andre' Aciman

This was the first book that I read this year because I wanted to read it before I watched the film.  I love to compare/contrast movies to their books.  Obviously, both were insanely good as everyone already knows.  The book was incredibly powerful and so very well written.  I can easily see myself re-reading this multiple times.  It's such a beautifully crafted piece of literary art.  So much so, that nothing else that I read this year after it could knock it from the top spot.

So, there you go!  I hope you'll give some of these a read in 2019 or if you've already read them, I hope you liked them as much as I did.  What are your thoughts?  And, based on these, do you have any recommendations for books that I should read this coming year?

Yours With Her Nose In A Book,
- Dez -

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