1/15/19

The Dreamers - Karen Thompson Walker

I requested this book on a whim one evening while browsing through Netgalley and then saw it popping up all over Bookstagram!  I'm so glad that this book is getting so much hype because it deserves it.

I went into the story completely blind and I'm glad I did because I wasn't expecting a Station Eleven-esque story about an epidemic. (The fact that Emily St. John Mandel blurbed the cover should have been a clue, but let's not talk about that). I was immediately swept away by Karen's beautifully lyrical writing and this is what captivated me about the novel. A few college students are the Patient Zeros in this story and they fall asleep and cannot the woken up. They're still alive, but stay asleep and appear to be dreaming. Although the sickness spreads into a full epidemic in what is many people's worst nightmare, the style of the writing is the perfect juxtaposition with the beautiful prose creating a lyrical backdrop to this horrific reality.

If you enjoy beautiful writing, pick this book up. If you like a good story, pick this book up. Even if sci-fi-esque books are not your thing, pick this book up. The storytelling in this book is its strongest feature and even if the plot sounds like it's not really your cup of tea, the storytelling will likely captivate you as it did me.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Top Ten New-to-Me Authors Read in 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is the top ten new-to-me authors that I read in 2018...

1. John Boyne
I read The Heart's Invisible Furies in early 2018 and my heart still has not recovered.

2. Christina Lauren
I read too many of her books to count last year ... and I'm still on a rampage to read everything this amazing duo has ever written. Contemporary GOLD y'all.

3. Helen Hoang
I need The Bride Test NOW *grabby hands*

4. Katherine Center
I liked How to Walk Away, but Happiness for Beginners BLEW ME AWAY.

5. Chloe Benjamin
The Immortalists wasn't a huge hit with my book club, but I loved her writing and I can't wait for whatever she writes next.

6. Erin Lindsay McCabe
I neeeeeeed another book by her!!!

7. Jasmine Guillory
I discovered so many great contemporary authors last year (thanks Ginger!) and to echo statements above ... I need more!

8. Gail Honeyman
I was sceptical about picking up Eleanor Oliphant, but man am I glad I did.

9. Kate Quinn
The Alice Network was incredible and I can't wait to dive into her 2019 release.

10. Josie Silver
One Day in December blew up the blogophere and bookstagram in late 2018 and for good reason -- this book was sweet and perfect and I can't wait for whatever Josie writes next.

How about you? See any authors on my list that you loved too? Let me know in the comments below, leave a link to your post, and I'll stop by to say hello!

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1/8/19

The Unteachables - Gordon Korman

The summer after Grade 7 I went on a week long Girl Guide camping trip. We had an eight hour bus trip to get there and my leader instructed each girl to pack one book and then we could trade books if we needed something else to read. With such a long bus trip up, I think I read the book I packed and one other before we'd arrived at our destination. I borrowed a Gordon Korman book from another girl, The Zucchini Wars, and I was HOOKED on his books. Looking at Goodreads now, this is the fifth book in the MacDonald Hall series -- but the adventures of Bruno and Boots were laugh out loud funny and I enjoyed every instalment.

I was browsing on Edelweiss one evening and noticed The Unteachables and downloaded it without even reading the synopsis because I had such fond memories of his writing. On the plane ride home from Disneyland, my brain was so exhausted from our trip that I wasn't able to focus on Kingdom of Ash, so I decided to give this book a shot. From the first chapter, I was hooked on the story and I finished the book that day, exhaustion and all. Then I promptly ordered a copy for my husband after he expressed an interest in reading it and reminisced about hearing Gordon speak at a writing workshop when he was in middle school. Plus, it's about a teacher and teaching, so I know he's going to like it!

The story centres around Mr. Kermit, a teacher who has one year of teaching left before he qualifies for early retirement, who is given the toughest class to teach, The Unteachables. Each chapters switches the point of view between the children in the class, Mr. Kermit, and other characters. Like most middle grade, the story is an absolute delight to read and had me grinning, laughing, sitting on the edge of my seat and racing through the pages, eager to find out how the story would wrap itself up. I highly, highly recommend this one if you enjoy middle grade, or even if you're not an avid middle grade reader. It has a cast of absolutely delightful characters and the story will keep you hooked right up until the final page.

Note: An egalley was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases in First Half of 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. There aren't a ton of books that are being released in 2019 that I have my eye on … which is good for my book buying habit and my overflowing shelves, but there are still a few that I'm eagerly anticipating in the first half of 2019.

1. 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (January 29)
2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (January 29)
3. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (February 5)
4. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (February 5)
5. The Huntress by Kate Quinn (February 26)
6. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (March 5)
7. Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi (April 2)
8. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (May 7)
9. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (May 14)
10. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (June 25)

How about you? What are you excited to read during the first half of 2019? Any exciting releases that are coming out that I have not heard of? Let me know in the comments below or leave a link to your post and I'll stop by.

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1/3/19

2019 Reading Resolutions

Another year, another list of reading resolutions! Although I didn't end up achieving all of my goals last year, I always like to start the year fresh with some new goals.

1. Have less physical books on my TBR on December 31 than I do now.
I didn't make it with this goal last year but there are a lot less books on my anticipated releases this year, so here's hoping that I buy less and continue to read exclusively from my shelves.

2. Have less ebooks on my TBR on December 31 than I do now.
I didn't buy a lot of ebooks last year, but I also read almost exclusively egalleys on my Kobo instead of the books that I own. I plan to request less review copies this year, which should increase the number of books that I read on my Kobo.

3. End the year with no 2019 or earlier ARCs.
Rocked this challenge last year and I have no doubt that I can do it again, although next year I'd also like to end out the year with no books read and not yet reviewed.

3. Finish 10 series.
It'll be a Christmas miracle if I actually manage to do this … but I always like to try!

4. Blog whenever I feel like it.
Aiming for another low pressure year … although when I do blog, I'd also like to do a better job of sharing out my posts, like scheduling tweets and connecting my reviews with the publishers and authors of the books that I've read.

5. Participate in three online events.
This should be easy … and I'm already eagerly looking forward to being even more engaged with the online bookish community!

Do you set reading resolutions?  Let me know in the comments below and thanks for stopping by!

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1/2/19

19 Books to Read in 2019

This is the fourth year that I've set this goal for myself and the first year that I think I'll actually able to achieve my goal. In past years, I've selected a combination of old and new books and I think it might be reasonable … but we'll see.

2019 Releases:
1. King of Scars
2. Daisy Jones and The Six
3. On the Come Up
4. The Bride Test
5. The Last Widow
6. Defy Me

Series Enders:
7. Queen of Air and Darkness
8. Kingdom of Ash
9. Archenemies

Dusty TBR Books:
10. Alias Grace
11. The Prisoner of Heaven
12. We Were the Mulvaneys
13. Back Roads
14. Midwives

2018 Purchases:
15. Girls Burn Brightly
16. Peace Like a River
17. Dare to Lead
18. The Tea Rose
19. Crazy Rich Asians

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1/1/19

Top Ten Books I Read in 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is looking back at the books that I've read over the past year...in no particular order, here goes!

1. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
2. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
3. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
5. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
6. This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel
7. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
8. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
9. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
10. When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger

How about you? Which books made your top ten books of 2018 list? Let me know in the comments below or leave me a link to your post and I'll pop by!

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