2019 Mid-year check-in

It’s been a pretty dang good reading year so far. Sure, there have been some less than satisfactory reads, but those have been few and far between. Being a newbie blogger (less than a year old), I’m still getting into my groove, but a mid-year post sounds fun and encouraging. So, without further ado, here goes:

According to the lovely Goodreads page, I’ve finished sixty nine books so far this year. I haven’t been counting books I read to my kids, or anything I’ve read for school, but it’s a pretty accurate count of my “me time” progress.

I’ve seen other posts listing top three books read, or even one favorite, but I don’t think I can possibly pick just one. Instead, I’m listing my top reads below, complete with links to any posts I’ve written. These are not in any particular order.

Duckett and Dyer: Dicks for Hire by Ganesh Nair: blog post forthcoming.

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The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parr: you can find my blog post here.

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Two Like Me and You by Chad Alan Gibb: You can read my glowing review here.

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: I waxed enthusiastic about this book. You can read my post here.

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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky: Read the many wonderful things about this book here.

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For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds Extraordinary Characters, and More by Graham Tarrant: The only thing I didn’t love about this book is its name. Read my review here.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This book has shown up on many lists of favorites I’ve seen, for good reason. Here is one more glowing review.

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Changeling (the Oddmire Book 1) by William Ritter: This book is fantastic and I loved every minute of it. Read why here

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The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson: The one is wonderful! Its release date is next Tuesday and I highly recommend it. Read my review here.

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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge: This was a fun, spooky book. Check out my blog post here.

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There are several other books I’m looking forward to reading this year, not to mention any unexpected treasures that I’m sure to meet. Happy reading!

The Big Book of Classic Fantasy edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer- ARC Review

Released today!

Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  This will be available to purchase on July second.

In case it isn’t painfully obvious based on my other blog posts, I love fantasy of every kind. I was so excited to delve into this collection of stories, some that are well-known to me, and many others that I read for the first time.

And let me tell you; this selection is vast. The editors went through a ton of effort to gather a varied representation of an enormous genre. There were the usual culprits: the Bros. Grimm, Tolkein, Hans Christian Andersen. It was great to see them all gathered in one place. But what makes this book stand out are the surprising contributions: Louisa May Alcott, Tolstoy, and even Kafka made appearances.

I loved that there are stories from all over the world…

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The Necromancer’s Prison by Alec Whitesell

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She wanted to find her place in the universe. She never imagined it might not be on Earth.

When Emily Murphy over slept the morning of her college entrance exam, she thought missing her test was the worst thing that could happen. She never expected she would wind up lost halfway across the galaxy, battling aliens with laser guns and mages hurling lightning.

Like most seventeen year olds, Emily’s main concern had been navigating the perils of high school, not surviving shootouts and sorcery. That changed when her school was attacked and a student was kidnapped. While everyone else smartly fled from danger, she recklessly ran toward it mounting an impossible rescue that would lead her on a journey unlike anything she could have imagined.

Dropped into a strange world teeming with merciless criminals and ruthless aristocrats, surrounded by violence and betrayal, Emily must untangle a web of intrigue and deceit to solve the mystery behind the abduction, save her classmate, and discover the destiny which awaits her.

It is either that, or die trying… (taken from Amazon)

 Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This was a great read! The characters were extremely well written. Emily, while not my favorite character, was brave and had a strong moral compass. That she rushed into danger to save someone made her immediately likable. She had a tough exterior that masked a lot of emotion and made her very interesting.

She was joined by another classmate, Mason, who was my favorite character. That guy was just trying so hard. He was way out of his depth but didn’t let that stop him. It was also great to see a nice guy in a book, instead of the usual “bad boy with a heart of gold” cliche.

There was a small moment that I kind of loved: the humans are asking one of the residents of the planet they’re on about the “aliens”. The character they’re speaking to point out that technically the humans are the aliens on that planet. I don’t know why, but that little back-and-forth really stood out to me.

The entire book was incredibly creative, one of the most unique sci-fi books I’ve read in quite a while. The fact that the main characters are human was perfect: there was just enough familiarity to give the reader a strong jumping off point to everything new and extremely different.

I definitely recommend picking this book up.