Wow. I can’t believe it’s that time of year already! What a year 2016 has been! Some of the best things happened to me this year and in a way, I have never felt better. On the other hand, some of the worst things have also happened (hello, election) and I find some days feeling worse than I ever have. It’s a give and take, right? Life has ups and downs and I turn 30 in one week and feel great about it! So let’s bask in that happy and let me share with you what I have been up to this past year! I’ll showcase my favorite books that I have read and then get into the non-bookish things that have been happening!
Due to some awesome things like being in love and obtaining my dream job I have had very little time to read this year. I had to lower my Goodreads goal multiple times and I was feeling pretty low about reading HALF of the books that I usually average. However, I was more picky with my reading and therefore loved nearly every book that I read! How lucky! Let’s see…
Favorite BAMF – Geralt from The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski for sure. I picked this series up because I am playing the game and loving it and thought I would see if the books were worth the hype. They so are. I am absolutely loving everything about this world, characters, and story. Geralt is considered a “monster” as a Witcher but hoo boy do I love him!
Favorite book with pictures – Monstress by Marie Lu was an absolutely stunning graphic novel. Absolutely worth the hype, the illustrations were great and the story was enthralling. I loved it.
Book that had me LOLing – Definitely My Lady Jane! I was honestly laughing out loud while reading. It just made me so HAPPY to read.
Swoon-worthy guy – Oh hmm…I would say Cathal from Heir of Sevenwaters but I feel as if that is cheating because this was like my 4th re-read. So maybe Silhara from the Master of Crows series. I picked those up on a whim and loved the brooding anti-hero and his eventual softness brought on by his love for Martise.
Worth the hype – Alanna! Can you believe it was my first time reading this?! I still have to continue on with the series but I absolutely loved the first novel. Alanna is so plucky and clever and I only regret I didn’t read these sooner.
Mood reading – I picked Letters From Skye from my shelf one day on a whim and I absolutely adored it. I read it in almost one sitting. This novel encompasses every feeling invoked while falling in love. Love is messy, but true love is worth it. Upon finishing, I found myself crying with bittersweet joy. Letters From Skye was a surprising and genuine novel. Filled with heartache and so much love
Favorite kissy bits – Oh my goodness EVERY PAGE from The Rose and the Dagger! This book took me a while to read because I just kept re-reading parts! It was an amazing conclusion to the duet. “It was because they were two parts of a whole. He did not belong to her. And she did not belong to him. It was never about belonging to someone. It was about belonging together.”
Biggest disappointment – Oh…probably the BFG. Sorry, Dahl fans, I hated this book. I found it SO hard to get through and to be honest have been debating writing a huge discussion post on it because just WOW. I can see why it’s a fun read for a child but reading it as an adult was….rough. Like reading Narnia and seeing all of the symbolism you missed. If the symbols were phallic, Freudian and inappropriate instead of religious…
Favorite debut – Stalking Jack the Ripper, hands down. I loved it. I love Audrey Rose and her strength. I love the different relationships throughout. I love Thomas and his sass. I love the premise, the execution, the setting. All of it. Loved.
New to me – Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare was something that I wouldn’t usually pick up on my own but everyone keeps recommending it as an easy/cozy read so I picked it up and I loved it! It was a quick, sweet and fun. I will definitely be reading more by this author!
Favorite overall – Hmm I think My Lady Jane! It was filled with so many great references from beloved things and people such as The Princess Bride, William Shakespeare, Disney films and Monty Python. I honestly found myself smiling throughout and laughing out loud with glee while reading. It is a fantastical, hilarious, fun and sweet novel and I can’t recommend it enough.
I know that I already mentioned it, but I have been devouring The Witcher series via Audible and absolutely loving it! When I am not listening to a book, however, I am listening to my new favorite podcast…
Magnus Archives via Rusty Quill – I cannot get enough of this podcast. It’s a (weekly!) podcast of horror fiction that consists of statements made to the archivist of Magnus Institute. Weird, sometimes scary, and always enthralling I look forward to this podcast every week. They took a very short hiatus and I went back and started re-listening to season one! Season 2 JUST started so you won’t be too far behind. If you like Lore, Black Tapes, TANIS and Limetown, then give this one a listen for sure!
Hmmm…I am re-watching Gilmore Girls so that I can FINALLY watch the new episodes and still have a full season to go! Also still loving Lucifer and Preacher and I went back and started watching Carnivale which is so weird and perfect for me but I know I am going to be disappointed when threads are left hanging due to the season two cancellation! Oh! Also American Horror Story! I still have the finale to watch but…what did you guys think? I was incredibly underwhelmed by it all. I really thought it would bring so much more. I will of course continue watching but overall was a little disappointed!
Where I’ve been, where I’m going
Well, I went to Salem last month for a few days with Ame and B and we had a really REALLY great time. I got to meet Juliet Marillier and tell her how much her books meant to me and it was just a wonderful experience all around. If you are in Salem I highly recommend Jolie Tea Company and Derby Joe Salem!
My birthday is in ONE week! The big 3-0 HOO BOY! I am ready! I am going to a lantern tour near the shore which should be (chilly) very fun to do. My last read of the year will be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets illustrated version. The next round of Secret Sister starts in February so get to know the hosts if you want to join. Chat us up, sign-ups go live in about a month! Other than that I hope 2017 brings as much happiness as 2016 and maybe a bit less anxiety! I am sure it will also bring more tattoos and great novels! My favorites! As always, I am very active on Twitter and Instagram so please follow along!