I’m not sure I have any reading goals for this year, I tried that last year and didn’t complete any of them. So maybe this year I’ll just enjoy the freedom to read and try to remember to post reviews in a timely manner. So far, 2018 is off to a great start!
There are a few titles I am looking forward to reading this year, and in no particular order they include… Carlos Ruiz Zafón – The Labyrinth of Spirits, Rose McGowan – Brave, Richard Kadrey – Hollywood Dead, Robert McCammon – The Listener, Edgar Cantero – This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us: A Novel.
What Does This Button Do? isn’t the typical sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll story. It was refreshing, funny, and inspiring. One thing I found interesting was how Bruce got that famous “wail” while singing and how it all comes from the diaphragm. Bruce didn’t let anything stop him from trying (i.e. singing, fencing, flying, battling cancer, etc.).
- What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography by Bruce Dickinson
- A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid by Denis Leary
- Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae
- Why We Don’t Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little Bitches by Denis Leary
- Twelve Angry Librarians by Miranda (Dean) James
- Imprinted by Jim C. Hines
- The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Firebrand (Steeplejack Series, Bk.2) by A.J. Hartley
- Of Murder and Men by Lynn Cahoon
- Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin
Firebrand is a great young adult novel, full of diverse characters and a ton of action. This is the second book in the Steeplejack series and is set in a 19th-century South African inspired city. Anglet (Ang) must once again use her steeplejack skills to catch a thief, uncover a conspiracy, and stay alive. One of the themes in this book is the use of masks, the masks we wear in public versus the ones we wear in private and how the best ones are the ones you can not decipher. Book three, Guardian is set to be released June 2018.
Thunderhead was amazing to read. It picks up where Scythe (Bk.1) left off and doesn’t stop. Citra tries to balance the life (politics, gleaning) of a scythe with family and discovers it’s harder than she thought, while Rowan has gone rogue and tries to find balance in who he was before and after his experiences with Goddard. I found Citra’s method of gleaning and how she makes her voice heard in the council refreshing. You won’t see the end coming.
- Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
- Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence by Michael Marshall Smith
- Hummus and Homicide by Tina Kashian
Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence was a delight to read. Hannah is a spitfire and doesn’t seem to fear anything, including the devil. I loved the idea of The Sacrifice Machine (it channels the evil energy created by those who do evil deeds, to the devil, rather than releasing it out into the world). This story is a bit dark, but has a good message about family and the complexities of our actions and how they affect the world.
Hummus and Homicide is a great first start into the Mediterranean world, filled with great hummus recipes and murder mystery type suspense, but it falls a little flat for me or I should say the chemistry between the characters falls a little flat. Along with some of the situations Lucy finds herself in and how she interacts with certain characters while investigating a murder. It all seemed a little too easy for me and a bit far-fetched.
The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories is an amazing read. Reminds me of the Brothers Grimm, but better. This story takes the usual fairy tales (i.e. Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, etc. ) and spins them on their head. Definitely not for the faint of heart or for children, these stories are dark, a little erotic, and incredibly well written.
- Killer Characters by Ellery Adams
- Dial M for Mousse by Laura Bradford
- The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
- The Silent Corner By Dean Koontz
- The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories by Angela Carter
- The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz
The Girls in the Picture was a wonderful look into the past (1914) and the creation of the film industry, going from silent films to the first talkies. Two complex women with vastly different backgrounds, driven to prove to others (and more importantly to themselves) that they can accomplish anything. I would have liked to have read more about Frances Marion, I found her to be the more well rounded one as well as the one who grew more as an individual in both her personal and professional life.
The Hunger is one of the well-written books I’ve read (so far) this year. Who knew a trip could be so creepy and scary, but this story is sure to give you goosebumps.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- Higher Is Waiting by Tyler Perry
- A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark by Harry Connolly
- Warning Light by David Ricciardi
- The Hunger by Alma Katsu
- Cinco de Murder by Rebecca Adler
- A Magical Match by Juliet Blackwell
Higher is Waiting is filled with inspiring life lessons, common sense reflections, and affirmations to help you broaden your mind and open your heart. My favorite parts are the questions Tyler Perry asks at the end of each chapter. I think of them as personal journal prompts and found them to be quite helpful in organizing my thoughts and emotions. Also, there is a chapter called ‘Honoring’ and describes what he calls the ‘Tree of Life’ test. This really opened my mind in the way I approach professional and personal relationships.
Noir is a lot of fun to read and a hoot to boot. I’m not sure what I loved more, the cast of characters (i.e. “Don’t Call me Toots” Tilly is a firecracker, she may be a dame but she’s got moxie), the diner lingo (“… ax-murder a monkey and hump it three times!”), and/or how Lone got his middle name (lets just say it’s loosely related to a dinosaur). I definitely recommend reading this one if you’re looking for a good laugh, wanting to try a new author and/or have a cheeky sense of humor. Can’t miss with this one.
In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It is a nice little reminder to be kind to yourself, don’t let the energy of ‘I have to be the best” or ‘I have to have more to succeed” get in your way of being happy. Be in the moment, create your opportunities, and remember, in the end it doesn’t matter. Perfect for the upcoming graduate and/or for those who need a little self care reminder.
- Noir: A Novel by Christopher Moore
- In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham
- Familiar Motives by Delia James
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
- Fixing to Die by Miranda James
- The Dante Chamber By Matthew Pearl
The Dante Chamber is a rip-roaring good time of a read.
- Florida by Lauren Groff
- Heartbreaker (Galley, August 21) by Claudia Dey
- A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
- The Outsider by Stephen King
- He: A Novel by John Connolly
- The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz
- A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
- The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly
- A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley
- Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines
- Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Galley, September 2018) by Tim Mohr *Currently Reading*