Wow. It's week 52 in our 52 books quest and it seems like this year just flew by. My reading year was a mixture of new reads and rereads. I had a plan at the beginning of the year and was pretty good with writing some reviews until about mid year, then meandered completely off the path.
My goal at the beginning of the year was to read and whittle down my physical stack. I read a total of 160 of which 42 were physical books and 10 were over 500 pages. I finished updating goodreads but their numbers and mine don't agree and I'm not quite sure what's up with that.
I was good and read only from my physical and virtual stacks, and stuck to my buying ban until June. Then I went off the rails, especially by the end of the year. 2023 buying ban is now officially in force.
Category breakdown's, (Not including entire series): Fantasy (17), Books about books (14), Science Fiction (11), Romance (11), Mystery (9), historical fiction (8), Thrillers (7), and police procedurals (6). Included in those numbers are 26 new to me authors.
Discovered that over the past few years I'd started several series, but not at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle, and I'm not sure how that happened. I'm a series completionist so once I discovered that, I ended up reading them from start to finish. The series included:
Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak (20)
Devon Monk's Ordinary Magic (6)
Drew Hayes Super Powereds (4)
Ilona Andrews Hidden Legacy (3)
Keri Arthur's Lizzie Grace (9)
Louise Penny's Armand Gamache (18)
M.L. Buchman's Miranda Chase (11)
Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter (15)
I started the year with Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which I adored and was not a book to speed through. The story was complex and I read it in small sips, finding there were phrases and images which stuck with me. Quotes I wanted to save of Cromwell’s wit, reactions of his family, his thoughts pebbled throughout from childhood to adulthood.
The read that stuck with me as well was Stabenow's Kate Shugak which not only pitted the characters against the elements, but involved mysteries as well as the politics and culture of Alaska and native Alaskans. I was totally emersed for a full month. It had all the feels and ran the gamut of emotions from surprise to tears to laughter to anger.
Another entertaining series was M.L. Buchman's Miranda Chase series which was about an autistic woman who worked for the NTSB solving airplane crashes for the military mainly. The story delved into how her autistic nature affected her working and personal relationships and how she learned to handle them.
The story and character that made me want to live in their world was The Choice, part of Nora Robert's Dragon Heart Legacy series which was set in Ireland. I loved all the characters and the fact there was a portal to fairy right next door to her house. Oh, and the dragons, of course. LOL!
Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay left me with a book hangover and the feeling of having read and excuse the pun, an amazing, yet exhausting adventure.
In The Bookshop at Water's End, everyone down to the children had baggage of some sort and it was an emotional story which I usually wouldn't enjoy but the writing was so well done, it pulled me into the characters lives, rooting for them all the way.
N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season was a dark story, but oh my f''ing God, it was so good. The theme of slavery was pervasive through out the story, child were hated because of their ability to control the land, and unfortunately they were abused and or killed because of it. The story was so well written and the author very bluntly showed the reader what was happening, without getting preachy. There were several twists and turns and of course the story didn't end. It will be continued in the Obelisk Gate, which I have on the shelves for the new year.
I loved the cast of characters in Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series with the mystery playing out in the midst of some personal crisis, how they solved the crime. After a while the descriptors attached to some of the characters got a little old but other than that, each story's killer was unique. There were enough surprises and red herrings to throw every one off.
In Faith Hunter's Final Heir, the last book in her Jane Yellowrock series, there are so many moments. Moments that made me sad, moments that were so powerful. Moments that were amusing or scary.
Elizabeth Bear's Ancestral Night sucked me in and I had a book hangover when I finished. My mind so full from the vastness of outer space and all that happened and I had to sit with the story for a little bit as it as was a very complex story involving philosophical, cultural, political, and psychological themes.
Drew Hayes Super Powered series was a great series and however much I'd like to compare it to Harry Potter, there really was no comparison. The characters were college age kids, each with a special super power, no wands, who learned how to use their powers amidst the angst of college and real life battles. It will be well worth reading again.
I had so many book hangovers this year. LOL!
Attica Lock's Bluebird, Bluebird was a disappointment and depressing because for a law abiding Ranger, he drank too much, suffered from black outs, didn't always follow the rules or the laws, and got himself into hot water.
One book that I think everyone should read? So so hard to choose just one but if have to it would be Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak's A Cold Day for Murder. If you enjoy the first one, then get ready for a ride because you'll want to read them all.
So many good books and I know I leaving something out. One of my goals for next year is to not fade mid year and at least try to write a mini review of each read so I can remember why I enjoyed it so much.