Where did your reading take you this year?
I went all over the place – USA, Italy, India, Russia, Iceland, Sweden, England, Scotland, Europe, Middle East, through the Arctic and up into outer space. I time traveled back to the time of the dinosaurs, through Dystopian and Utopian worlds as well as into the future.
What was your reading goal for the year and did you meet or beat your personal goal? Did you end with a prime number of reads?
My primary goal was to complete Birthstone Bookology which I did and even did so with a prime number. I also attempted to do A to Z by Author but didn’t get to Q, U, or X so calling that incomplete. I waited until later in the year to start, shouldn’t have left the more difficult letters until last and ran out of time. Oh well. Overall I read 117 fiction books and 8 non fiction books.
My top favorite reads:
My top read is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, a historical fiction novel which left me misty eyed at the end and encompassed two timelines. The story started out in 1995 and takes the reader back into France during WWII and the French resistance from 1939 to 1941. Two sisters, separated by distance and estranged from their father, get involved in the French Underground. One sister in the present is sick with cancer and finds an old trunk in her attic containing mementos of her life during WWII. Memories takes the reader back during the days of the German takeover of France, resistance, fear, strength, and survival. The story is both haunting and beautiful and well worth reading.
Another favorite is Snowed by Maria Alexander who is an old friend and once upon a time roommate back in my pre-married days. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. What an awesome and unique story. Instantly memories of high school filter through my brain as I read - bullies and clicks, geeks and jocks, trips and tricks in the hallways. Now throw into the pot - a death, a dark past, love, electronics, skepticism, a dash of spice, a tablespoon of humor, and a cup of mythology. Mix it all up and you have an action packed story that won't let you go until the end. Snowed won the Bram Stoker award for superior achievement in a young adult novel.
I also fell in like and consumed the Inspector Armand Gamache books in Louise Penny’s detective series as well as Sir October Daye in Seanan McGuire’s paranormal series.
Also Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series – I finished four more books including Lords of Chaos, Crown of Swords, Path of Daggers and Winter’s Heart.
Which book stayed with you the longest after finishing it?
The Nightingale definitely as well as Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery
Which book made you want to read it all over again?
The Beautiful Mystery. I read it in ebook, then bought the book and downloaded it from audible. Plus, anything by J.D. Robb or Faith Hunter make me want to read them all over again. I always end up reading their latest books fast,fast, fast, then read again much more slowly absorbing the nuances of the story.
Which book did you think you were going to love, but didn't?
Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris. I totally devoured her Sookie Stackhouse series so maybe I was expecting to love the characters just as much.
Which genres or authors you thought you'd never read and was pleasantly surprised to like them?
Dorothy Dunnet, Steig Larsson, Halldor Laxness and Kij Johnson are all new to me authors and I look forward to reading more books by them.
Please share favorite covers or quotes:
From the Nightingale – first line: "If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."
Physical books - 41 (the majority of which were over 500 pages)
E books - 74 (the majority of which were an average of 300 pages)
Rereads not included in overall total: Faith Hunter Jane Yellow Rock series 1 - 10 (ebook) as well as J.D. Robb's In Death series 1 - 24 (physical books)
Written by female - 46
Written by male - 22
Most books were in the science fiction/fantasy genre including paranormal, urban fantasy, and magical realism. Twenty were in the mystery genre as well as twelve historical with a few romance and literary reads thrown in for good measure.
Complete list of books