Well, 2020 has really been something, eh guys? I have been having the absolute hardest time with reading this year (it’s almost August and I’ve only read 24 books 😫). Fortunately, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m in a better place to get back to it so I’ve decided it’s best to start with the basics. I’ve picked a few books from some of my go-to genres that should hopefully be a great starting off point. All the fingers and toes crossed.
It’s safe to say, this has been a rough year. Understatement of the century, amirite? I’ve found myself struggling to focus on reading and continued the struggle from this past year to find my voice again on this blog. But despite my lack of posting, I’ve still discovered an odd assortment of stories that are definitely worthy of praise.
The King of Crows (The Diviners #4) by Libba Bray
I’ve been a huge fan of this series for years and while this final installment seemed far longer than necessary at times, it provided some solid closure. Do yourself a favor and pick up the audiobook: January LaVoy is spectacular.
True Grit by Charles Portis
This was one of the first books I picked up in 2020 and damn, it was a winner. I was upset to hear of his passing in February but I’m grateful to have a few more from his backlist to still enjoy.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays by Joan Didion
I was always a bit intimidated by Didion’s renowned memoir The Year of Magical Thinking so I opted to delve into some of her essays first just to get a feel for her writing style. Suffice it to say,
Evil Has A Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation by Paul Holes, Jim Clemente, Peter McDonnell
It has to be said, this isn’t exactly a novel, more like an extremely long podcast episode. Honestly, though I don’t even care. This story was intense, thrilling, and thoroughly compelling. Much like anyone even mildly into true crime, I followed the case of the Golden State Killer closely after he was finally captured after 40 years but this “Untold Story” really shed some light on how his capture came to fruition.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
I took the title of this graphic novel series a bit too literal and went into it with certain expectations and basically had my mind blown by the end of the first installment. Let’s just say, it’s far more science fiction and far less a group of girls riding around delivering newspapers.
It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort
I’m not sure what actually possessed me to pick this up but I was intrigued by the author’s ability to turn a tragedy into something transformative and uplifting. It was a powerful and admirable tale. Nora narrates her own audiobook and did an amazing job. I’m not sure if I would’ve found her story in print nearly as compelling.
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Christina Henry is certainly the Queen of FairyTale retellings and in The Girl in Red she transforms the tale of Little Red Riding Hood into an apocalyptic story that is as gruesome as it is entertaining.
Plan B: A Novel by Jonathan Tropper
I’ve been an avid Tropper fan since I picked up This Is Where I Leave You at random, not expecting to love it nearly as much as I did. Plan B isn’t Tropper’s greatest, it is his debut, however, it was the last remaining book I had left from his backlist so it’s still special to me and still definitely worth reading if you enjoy his type of storytelling.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
I always say that romance stories aren’t my standard fare (give me a psychological thriller or gothic horror any day) but every once in a while you need to mix things up in your reading life and honestly, sometimes I just need a little fluff in my life. This one was a winner.
I’m obsessed with Homeland. I’m usually always late to the party when it comes to shows, but I’ve watched Homeland since it first aired back in 2011 and I’m so very sad to be in the middle of the last season.
Because of how much I love the politics, the characters, and the dynamics, I’ve had a massive influx of TBR additions (and a couple of shows too) that can hopefully satisfy the void I’m fully anticipating.
Romance is far from my go-to genre, but I do partake occasionally. And when I actually look at my shelves, I’ve read far more than I realize. But typically, I’m more like:
But, of course, this is the week that everyone wants to talk about romance. The following is my list of romances (and all its sub genres) that are ones that I recommend most and would be a great starting point for those looking to branch out into a new genre.
I have been staying on top of the 2020 releases a bit more closely than I typically do, and as such, my not-released shelf is out of control. And there’s SO much good stuff! I had so many I honestly thought I’d be able to break down my most anticipated for the year into quarters, but I restrained myself. It’s just when you pair that with the other various bookish resolutions I tend to make that involve tackling my entire backlist, it just doesn’t seem reasonable that I’m going to be able to read everything. Trying to find the balance between staying on top of the new releases and continuing to chip away at a backlist tbr that you’ll never have enough time to complete is rough. But here are ten being released in the first half of this year that I’m extra excited for.
Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus | Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver | Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Ballantine Books In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Atria Books The Return by Rachel Harrison | Expected publication: March 24th 2020 by Berkley Shorefall (Founders #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett | Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Del Rey
I always wait until the last possible minute to compile my best-of lists because I’m always holding out hope that I’ll read something truly amazing, possibly on the last day of the year. I’ve still got a handful of books that I hope to complete before the clock strikes midnight but these are the ten I came up with for now. I picked these a little differently this time. Instead of filtering for the highest-rated I chose instead to scroll through my full list and pick the ones that caused immediate remembrance of their brilliance. It’s kind of interesting how a few of these didn’t garner the highest of ratings after completion but still left a major impression on me. In no particular order…
I don’t know what the weather is like where you are but it’s definitely a bundle up on the couch with a good book weather here!
In the last few weeks of the year/decade, I’ve been trying to finally get around to at least a few of those 2019 releases before I become completely inundated with the 2020 books that are already rolling in. Here are a few that I’d still like to finish and a few early 2020 releases I’d like to get a head start on
Today’s topic is about all the upcoming goodness being released in the second half of the year. Yes, we’ve already reached the halfway point, people. Crazy talk, I know. I for one am looking forward to quite a lot of releases and had a bit of a struggle narrowing it down to 10, but that’s far from the worst problem to have. What are you anxiously awaiting the release of this year?
When I was a teenager, I read a lot of police procedural novels. This segued into a love of mysteries in general, but police procedurals were my jam because I harbored dreams of one day being an FBI agent or a forensic scientist… I would have even settled for a private investigator. Basically, just your average badass that puts bad guys away. While my life has not gone as planned, and I don’t read nearly as many mysteries as I used to, I still have a deep love for police procedurals and really oughta incorporate them more into my reading. These are some of my favorites from over the years.