My Most Anticipated Reads of 2019

In my last post I highlighted what movies I’m most looking forward to seeing in theaters this year. So I thought today I’d highlight what books I’m most looking forward to reading this year.

This is honestly SO HARD to narrow down. I haven’t been reading a lot the last few years, and have fallen so far behind on books I want to read. For every book I read, I think I find ten more to add to my list of want to read! Which, I suppose is better than running out of books to read, haha.

I’ve narrowed it down to the top fifteen books/series I want to do my best to get around to reading in 2018, and a brief note on why. I’ve picked a mixture of previously-published books and new/upcoming books, just to keep things interesting. Will I get to all these? Who knows. I’m so ADD with my TBR, and have even more books on top of these I want to read. But, without further ado and in no particular order: My most anticipated reads of 2019.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

This book sounds fascinating, and so many people love it. It’s been on my radar for awhile, and now that I have a paperback copy (thanks to a giveaway from @lieneslibrary!), I’ll be sure to make it to this series this year.

The Last Namsara and The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli

I found about these books through bookstagram (bookstagram is absolutely not helping my TBR problem! haha). The covers are BEAUTIFUL. They have DRAGONS. And I’ve heard that they are amazing. I recently bought The Last Namsara, but I think I’m going to wait to read it until I have The Caged Queen, too.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

I have loved every book by Nadine I have read, and I’m super excited for this historical fantasy retelling of Anastasia. (Out May 7, 2019!)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This is another book that comes highly recommended by so many people, it’s probably a sin I haven’t read it yet. I’ve been meaning to read it for years, and since I found a used copy for super cheap, it’s finally getting moved into my more immediate TBR.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be hanged if I don’t finally get around to trying this series. Jk, jk. But it really is dumb how long I’ve had ebook copies of the first three books sitting unread on my Kindle.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I’m not sure I need to explain why this book, which received an almost unbelievable amount of hype, is on my TBR.

Space Drifters: The Iron Gauntlet and Space Drifters: The Ghost Ship by Paul Regnier

I enjoyed Space Drifters: The Emerald Enigma so much, and it’s honestly a tragedy TWO MORE books have been released, I own the ebooks, and I haven’t read them yet. That MUST be rectified this year.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I found out about this book, which releases at the end of this month, also through bookstagram. It has such an eye-catching cover, and it’s a Beauty and the Beast (my fav!) retelling that sounds super interesting.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I read Cinder last month after sitting on it for years. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I plan on reading Scarlet soon, and how I like that one will determine if I finish the series or not.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I do have other non-fiction I want to read this year, but this one is at the top of the non-fiction list. A friend recommended this book, and I’ve heard good things about it. It’s also part of my conscious effort to widen my perspective and learn more about race in modern America.

The Songkeeper Chronicles by Gillian Bronte Adams

I honestly should be banned from being ebooks, I have so many unread ones. (#ashamed) I mean, look at these covers. This is the kind of fantasy I jump at. So I’m going to try really hard to get to it this year.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

In an attempt to try new genres, and because The Dresden Files sound interesting and I’ve heard good things about them, I’m hoping to finally give this a go this year.

Children of the Blood Moon trilogy by S.D. Grimm

I knew I’d like this book the second I saw the cover and read the synopsis. So WHY HAVEN’T I READ IT YET? Because I am a horrible person. But now that the final book is releasing, I MUST READ THEM.

The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Yet another #bookstagrammademedoit. And now that Netflix is developing a series based on this and Six of Crows, I SERIOUSLY have to get on reading these.

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

Um, ninjas. NEED I SAY MORE. But for real, this new release from Evelyn Skye looks so cool. AND THAT COVER. *dies*


What about you? What are your must-reads of 2019?

Until next time,
Selina

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Top 5 Reads of 2018

This has been a bit of a crazy year for me.

  • Did my capstone and graduated
  • Roadtripped/moved to Maine
  • Roadtripped/moved back to Colorado (thanks ERIC for stealing my roomie. Kidding, kidding.)
  • Finished a complete draft of a novel for the first time in several years, typing some 60,000 words or something crazy from November 1-December 5.

So, that’s my excuse for the very little reading I finished this year, and the main reason why I’m doing a top five instead of top ten. Also, this way I can explain more without this becoming too long.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Honorable mention (because I’m a cheater): Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had to read this book pretty quickly, because the emotional turmoil is just SO intense. I loved how it took Eelyn time to work through her feelings, and how when she gets life-altering news, things don’t just pop! back to normal. I didn’t love Young’s prose, though, and there were some things about the romance subplot that felt forced to me. Also, I’d rate cleanliness at about 16 and up. But overall, I liked it.

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Number 5: Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This wasn’t a perfect book by any means, but it was a really fun quick read. I liked that it got more of the detective side of Bruce Wayne than is often used on screen. I liked the exploration of Bruce before Batman. I liked that he was more innocent, but you’re starting to see him wondering about how justice works in practice and, by the end, leaning toward the morally grey, brooding heartthrob we all (okay, at least me) know and love. My biggest complaint about this book is that there isn’t more. I want a sequel way more than the other books about other characters in the DC Icons series. Sigh

The War Thor by Jason Aaron

Number 4: The Mighty Thor, Volume 4: The War Thor by Jason Aaron (Text), Russell Dauterman (Illustrations), Mahmud Asrar (Illustrations), Valerio Schiti (Illustrations) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read a few comic book collections/graphic novels this year, and this was probably my favorite. Why? Because it made me cry. I’m one of the people who actually like Jane Foster’s Thor (don’t @ me), but Volstagg was the star of Volume 4. And he’s such a big teddy bear. And yeah. Like I said, I cried.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Number 3: Cinder by Marissa Meyer ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was nothing like what I was expecting. Because of that, I was a little thrown at first. I also didn’t realize The Lunar Chronicles are a continuing story, because for some reason I thought it was a universe of mildly connected stand-alones. Not sure why, but there you go. But dang, I couldn’t get this book out of my head for a few days. The world was original and fascinating. I didn’t super love Kai, but I really liked Cinder. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
Photo by me

Number 2: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh my word, y’all. This book is so good. Stayed-up-past-1am-twice good. I’m so mad at myself for not reading it as soon as it arrived!

I loved the characters. I loved how feisty and brave and confident Emma is—she definitely was my favorite. I loved how earnest Thomas is. I loved the world. I loved the added fantasy elements. The magic system was solid and not over-complicated, which I appreciated. (Side note—it was interested reading this book and Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson in the same year, because they both have magic systems based on use of color. But they are wildly different for many reasons. And the color magic in Warbreaker I found overly complicated, confusing, and at times distracting because so much effort had to be put into explaining it. One of many things I didn’t love about Warbreaker.)

I loved the message of seeking after and standing for truth. That beliefs must be align with Truth. I teared up several times at the end.

It was a tad predictable, especially if you know your Stuart and English church history, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment.

Unblemished by Sara Ella
Photo by me

Number 1: The Unblemished Trilogy by Sara Ella ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Okay, I cheated. (Again.) But it also would have been kinda silly to list the three books of a trilogy all separately, right?

I actually read Unblemished and Unraveling last year, but I reread them this year before reading Unbreakable. And I rarely reread books because I always feel like I need to read one of the many unread books I have.

Let. Me. Tell. You. This series is so real and so relatable and so gut-wrenching and Ky is my new book boyfriend (but I also am just here for Kymber. Is that an admissible ship name? It’s what I’m going with.). I nearly died last year when I finished Unraveling and Unbreakable wasn’t out yet. This series gave me aaaaaaaall the feels. And it’s so uplifting and all about the redeeming power of love—romantic, non-romantic, and self-love. And Eliyana grows so much throughout the series, which I love to see. Plus, music is a big part of Eliyana’s story, and all the musical and pop references made my heart happy.


Did you read of my top books of 2018 and love them? See any on this list you’re now adding to your to-be-read list for 2019? Let me know in the comments!

Curious what else I read this year? Check out my Goodreads Year-in-Review: https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2018/36881220

Until next time,
And have a Merry Christmas,
Selina

“Do I Have That Book?” Challenge

So I recently discovered @keepin.tabz‘s lovely Bookstagram and her Do I have that book challenge/tag (original video of Tabetha doing her challenge here.)

Now, my family’s books are scattered around several rooms and two levels, so I wasn’t about to attempt to time this! But I thought it might make a good blog post. See how I did, then see how your shelves measure up!

The Challenge!

1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?
I’m only aware that I have one. It’s a book of hymns with piano music and the story behind the hymn.

2. Do you have a book with 3 or more people on the cover?
I’m positive I have some on my Kindle, but I decided to try and limit myself to physical books for this. This one technically has more than three, some of them are just hidden behind armor. haha

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?
This might be the most famous tale of King Arthur, and the basis for many later re-tellings, but it hardly started the legend of Arthur.

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?
I had a moment of oh no, this could take forever! And then I found this. Sweet!

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter? 
Another one I thought might be a challenge, but ended up being pretty easy.

6. Do you have a Mass Market Paperback book?
Clearly, I have several, haha. They’re hardly my favorite format, but they’re so affordable!

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?
I don’t know…? Seems like a possibility, but I don’t know of any off the top of my head.

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?
I’m pretty sure I have a few, but this one was the easiest to find.

9. Do you have a book with 2 maps in it?
Oooh, I have several! But I picked this one, but I’m so obsessed with this series.

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?
So I literally just discovered (thanks, Google) that PBS made a Little Women mini series this year. Has anyone seen it?

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/tv personality…) 
I kind of think this book is part of why he’s famous, but he was a renowned neural surgeon first and that’s the reason he wrote (well…it was ghost written, but still) this book. Which is excellent, btw, even if I felt a little squeamish a couple times. 

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?
Apparently, I do not. I find this somewhat surprising. At least, not that I’ve found. We have so many books, I could have missed one, haha.

13. Do you have a poetry book?
Gross. No. I once took a poetry class because I had to take an English elective, and it worked with my schedule. I hated it. With a passion. No offense to those who like or write poetry, but to each their own. I can count the poems I like on one hand. (Okay, maaaaaaaybe two.)

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?
Pretty sure my family owns a few, but we have this one at least.

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?
Sadly, it does not appear so.

16. Do you have a book of short stories?
I used to have a collection of sci-fi short stories, but I hadn’t read it in years, so I got rid of it. Sigh.

17. Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?
I have plenty over that, but can’t find one in that exact range.

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?
I have so many! So how about one that for some inexplicable reason was made into three?

19. Do you have a graphic novel?
Not exactly, but I have several comics.

20. Do you have a book written by 2 or more authors?
Novels? No. I do have a novella collection. And plenty of non-fiction with multiple authors.

So, do I have that book? Well, I got 14/20. How did you do? If you take the challenge, be sure to let me know so I can see your books!

Until next time!