It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today is another freebie Tuesday meaning we get to pick our own topic. Honestly, I always have a really hard time with these. It’s difficult for me to figure out what my list should be about. But since it is nearing the end of 2018, I think I am going to list my 10 favorite reads of 2018. I am going to link to my Goodreads reviews, which generally reflect my immediate thoughts after reading a particular book. I am putting specific highlights of these in cursive. I hope I can convey why a particular book made it on this list.
My Favorite Thing is Monsters
This was actually my first official read of the year. I love a good graphic novel and this one felt special. It was like diving into someone’s private notebook. The main character has a lot of heart. She struggles. She loves. She grows. She suffers. She learns. After finishing the book be prepared to be hungover for a while.
Another January read. I’m not sure the story could’ve been any more magical. This novel lives off of language and character development. The author makes you feel home. She describes 1920s Alaskan’ life with all it’s harsh but lovely facets. She creates characters that are utterly real and I found myself in each one of them at some point during the story. If you love historical fiction and beautiful descriptions of snowy landscapes mixed with that type of magic that can only arise in a harsh winter, this book is a must-read.
January was a big month for exceptional books. This novella stayed with me all year. Honestly, I can’t believe how much King understands stuff he shouldn’t, like complicated female relationships. Growing up is tough for everyone but there are unique experiences girls and boys have. Having an overbearing, religious mother while discovering your own sexuality and your body readying itself for a baby for the first time, is not something I believe King encountered. But yet, he describes it perfectly. Packing this theme into a horror novel was pure genius to me! I felt Carrie’s rage. I rooted for her. I felt for her the entire time.
This one is on here because it was such a personal read for me and February was the perfect month for this book. I have always loved a poem by Goethe called Erlkönig. Despite it being about death and human suffering, it’s beautiful and haunting and dark and romantic. Jae-Jones somehow perfectly captured those feelings in her novel and matched her plot and characters perfectly. Liesl’s character was complex, weird, and so very human. Der Erlkönig was everything an antihero should be – brooding, stubborn, handsome, scheming, yet so lovable. The author also showed considerable knowledge of German folktales and traditions and seamlessly blended them in the story, which just gave me nostalgia galore.
Six of Crows
April is Dewey’s readathon and I had saved this book for that day. I was sucked into the story from the opening sentence of Joost’s lack of mustache. There is something so special about a fantastic first sentence! I loved the world-building, the plot, and the main characters. Each one was different but all were equally well-developed. I can’t even put my finger on why this novel is so good, but it just is. I am still mad at myself that it took me so long to pick up the book.
Milk and Honey
Another April Dewey’s read. Did I cry? Yes. Did I laugh? Yes. Did I find myself in these poems? Hell yes! Honestly, I did not see this work coming. This is for sure a collection I will turn to over and over again.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
This has got to be the best non-fiction book I’ve read. Michelle McNamara’s writing is beyond fabulous. I had heard so much about this book that I couldn’t wait to read it in May. This didn’t read like non-fiction because we get to learn so much about the author. Her writing flows in a way that generally fictional plots flow, which made this such an easy and engaging tale. The fact that it was about a creepy serial killer was just the bonus! This book stands on its own. It doesn’t rely on the topic. Just pure perfection!
Published in May 2018. Read in May 2018. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this. And oh boy, did this novel deliver. The story was riveting and utterly scary and the writing was definitely old King. He is back! The first part of the novel is a fast-paced thriller which then turns to a creepy paranormal tale in the second half. The villain is unattainable, fluid, and always one step ahead. This book will give you the feels! Feels of despair and complete defeat. I loved it!
The Bloody Chamber
Not sure anything can top retellings of classic fairytales, which are in and of themselves already often dark but take on a whole new level of creepiness in this wonderful compilation of fairytale-inspired short stories. These stories were at times cruel, always weird and odd, and frequently maddening. Carter’s writing was beautiful and eerie. This is definitely a book to re-read, specifically in October as I did.
November brought another collection of short stories. Gothic writing just sets the most magnificent scene. The imagery is spot on. Vernon Lee aka Violet Page had a variety of plots that caused my heart to quicken as the story unfolded. I loved the darkness of the described events. I needed to know what was happening next. Some of her tales felt too damn real. Yet she retains this feeling of romance and wonder as you read along. Why do Gothic tales so perfectly romanticize the suffering and angst?
What did you write about this TTT? I can’t wait to check out your post!