Sunday, December 31, 2017

First Book of the Year 2018

Sheila over at Book Journey is once again hosting the "First Book of the Year" event. My pick last year turned out to be a hot mess and so did my year so fingers crossed that this year's pick will turn out to be a much better selection!

My first book of 2018 is going to be The Listener by Robert McCammon.

I've done a decent job at shielding myself from the plot, but I'll include the Goodreads blurb here so you can see what it's about. (McCammon is an auto-read for me so I prefer to go into it blind.)

1934. Businesses went under by the hundreds, debt and foreclosures boomed, and breadlines grew in many American cities.

In the midst of this misery, some folks explored unscrupulous ways to make money. Angel-faced John Partlow and carnival huckster Ginger LaFrance are among the worst of this lot. Joining together they leave their small time confidence scams behind to attempt an elaborate kidnapping-for-ransom scheme in New Orleans.

In a different part of town, Curtis Mayhew, a young black man who works as a redcap for the Union Railroad Station, has a reputation for mending quarrels and misunderstandings among his friends. What those friends don't know is that Curtis has a special talent for listening... and he can sometimes hear things that aren't spoken aloud.

One day, Curtis Mayhew's special talent allows him to overhear a child's cry for help (THIS MAN IN THE CAR HE'S GOT A GUN), which draws him into the dangerous world of Partlow and LaFrance.

This gritty depression-era crime thriller is a complex tale enriched by powerfully observed social commentary and hints of the supernatural, and it represents Robert McCammon writing at the very top of his game.

A friend was sweet enough to send me her ARC. Since it doesn't release until February, I've been holding on to it until 2018. I try not to read any books before the year they are published in case they wind up being a "best of the year" book. I always have the highest of hopes!

Do you have a special book planned for the first book of the year? I'd love to hear what you will be reading!


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Saturday, December 30, 2017

GOODBYE 2017 | Recent Updates and Currently Reading

As amazing of a reading year 2017 turned out to be, I'm so glad to see it go. It was a really rough year, and there's something about a new year and a clean slate that I could really use right now.

I hope everyone has had a great holiday season. Other than my son coming down with the flu Christmas morning, we've been enjoying the season. Hubs and I have both had some much needed time off from work this week. Santa was very good to me this year, and I finally have proper bookcases. I've spent most of this week unboxing/moving/organizing books which is always a great way to pass the time. I'm hoping having easy access to my books will lead to reading more of the books I already own. #resolutions

Posted Last Week

Last week I posted my "Favorite Books of 2017" list.

Read Last Week

Despite it taking me more than half of the year to make my way through Marisha Pessl's Night Film, I loved it.

Into the Water is another book I've been attempting for a while. I decided to DNF at 55% because I'm still not hooked by it.

Current Distractions

Hubs and I began our holiday vacation the day before the kids were out of school so naturally we used that day to go see Star Wars. I absolutely loved it. I understand why some people are having a hard time loving it, but I'm not one of those people.

I finished watching Mindhunters this past week. It held my interest, but I don't feel like I got a full season from it.

I'm still making my way through Punisher. There's not a very strong plot pulling me back in. I'm also starting to dislike his character. I don't think he became an asshole after his family was killed - I think he was an asshole whose family was killed and now he has an excuse to punish people.

I've been watching a lot of Best of 2017 (and Worst of 2017) book videos on YouTube. Do you guys have any folks you follow regularly on YouTube? I only have a few, and I'd love some recommendations. YouTube has a tendency to recommend the popular personalities, and I'd like to go beyond those channels.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.


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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Favorite Books of 2017

One of the blessings of 2017 was having a great reading year. By the end of this month, I will have read 70 books in 2017. These are my favorite books of the year.

Best Novel Published in 2017

In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson

I'm still not ready to spoil what In the Valley of the Sun is about, but I will say it's staking a claim for the horror genre and I love it! {Review}

Runner Up:

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn

The Devil Crept In is a slow burn horror novel with awesome character development. It's a great introduction to Ania Ahlborn if you need a place to start. {Review}

Best Classic Novel

Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin

This was my first year to read Rosemary's Baby, and I absolutely loved it. {Review}

Runner Up:

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I knew going into The Picture of Dorian that it was a well loved book, and yet I was still surprised by how much I loved it. {Review}

Best Novella Published in 2017

The Final Reconciliation by Todd Keisling

The Final Reconciliation is a mix of music and horror, and I highly recommend it. {Review}

Best Classic Novella

The Willows by Algernon Blackwood

The build up of tension (not to mention the personification of nature) made The Willows an awesome read for me. {Review}

Best Anthology Published in 2017

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror edited by Mark Matthews

Garden of Fiends is a themed anthology of horror stories centered around addiction. Every story in this collection is a solid horror story. {Review}

Best Nonfiction Published in 2017

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix

If you are a horror fan, Paperbacks from Hell demands to be seen. {Review}

Best Reread

It by Stephen King

This was my second reading of It. I think it was even scarier the second time around. {No review}

Runner Up:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

This was my third time to read A Wrinkle in Time. {Review from second reading}

Honorable Mentions

Have you read any of the books that made my favorites list this year?


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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 16

We only have one week left until Christmas. What? And it snowed last week! I live on the Texas gulf coast where it doesn't snow so it was my first real snowfall. It was such a great day.

Read Last Week

November was a really rough month for me. The reading has not been happening. I have been reading a little bit of Lonesome Dove. There were a lot of references to it in the final season of Longmire so I grabbed it off of my shelf.

In My Mailbox

Bone Music (Burning Girl #1) by Christopher Rice - The folks at Thomas & Mercer sent me an ARC of Bone Music. "Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life in the hands of the only parents she knew—a pair of serial killers who murdered her mother and tried to shape Charlotte in their own twisted image." I'm going to tread lightly going into this one, but I enjoyed A Density of Souls and Snow Garden by Christopher Rice. I'd love to read another book by him.

My sweet friend Becky sent me The Listener and Widow's Point.

The Listener by Robert McCammon - McCammon is my favorite author so I haven't looked much into what The Listener is about. McCammon is an amazing writer. I can't wait to lose myself in this book. It's going to be a tough wait, but I'm saving this book to be my January 1 first book of the year.

Widow's Point by Richard Chizmar, Billy Chizmar - This one is a novella length ghost story. This will probably be the very next book that I read.

Thanks, Becky!

Current Distractions

Did guys watch the final season of Longmire? If you haven't seen that series yet, check it out. I loved it. I bought the first book on an audible deal so I guess I will have to start reading the books now that the Netflix series is over.

I started watching The Punisher this past week. The production value is high, but I'm not sold on the story yet.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading (or watching) this week or leave me some links!

This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Tynga's Reviews' Stacking the Shelves, and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.


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