Sunday, December 30, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 30

I hope everyone who was celebrating Christmas had an amazing holiday. It was a weird and wonderful Christmas at the Book Den household. My son got the flu and derailed the family plans, but we made the best of it.

It was a fitting end to 2018.

Posted Last Week


Last week I got to post some of my favorite posts of the year. I always look forward to sharing the books I loved and the books I'm excited to read the next year.


In case you missed it, here are My Favorite Books of 2018 and my most anticipated Upcoming 2019 New Releases in Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Thrillers.

Be sure to let me know your favorites and most anticipated as well!

Finished Reading



Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ⭐⭐⭐⭐★ - I loved Illuminae so much that I jumped straight into Gemina. Gemina was fantastic, too, but hindsight, I should have put a little time in between them.

Currently Reading


The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson - I'm still reading The Well of Ascension and hoping to have it finished before the ball drops News Years Eve. I don't know what possessed me to pick up an 800 page book at the end of the year! Thankfully I'm loving it.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub - I'm also reading Ghost Story as a buddy read with some of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team. It's also chunky at 600 pages and with the holiday craze we will not be through with this one before the year is up.

Recent Acquisitions



Girl Most Likely by Max Allan Collins - I'm hoping to get back into reading more thrillers in 2019. This year was noticeably light, and I miss them! Many thanks to Thomas and Mercer for offering a review copy of Girl Most Likely.

The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang - I saw so many amazing reviews for The Poppy War this year. I can't wait to read it. I may have sent my husband a direct link to The Poppy War as a Christmas gift hint this year!

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss - I read most of The Name of the Wind pretty soon as I started blogging many years ago. I was listening on audio, and I got burned out on it. It was so good, but so long. I now have a great paperback copy and the audio so I'm set for a proper reread this year.

Current Distractions



I've been watching a ton of Christmas movies (including Die Hard!), but I also managed to watch Bird Box and Mission Impossible: Fallout. Have you seen Bird Box yet? I'm so happy! They did a really great job with the movie. I do highly recommend reading the book because it's one of my favorites ever and contains so much more than the movie, but the movie is really great, too.

As for Mission Impossible, I'm still a huge Tom Cruise fan. I can't help it.

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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Friday, December 28, 2018

Upcoming 2019 New Releases in Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Thrillers

These are the upcoming 2019 speculative fiction book releases I'm most looking forward to reading in the coming year. I will continue to update this page with new horror, fantasy, and science fiction as the year goes on.

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

My Favorite Books of 2018

I think most of us would agree 2018 was a tough year. There were a lot of positives, though, including being an amazing year for reading. I have a ton of favorites this year so let's get straight to them!

Favorite Novel Published in 2018


Creature by Hunter Shea

Creature by Hunter Shea

Creature was the surprise of the year for me. If you've read Hunter Shea before, Creature is not the non-stop action filled creature feature you may be expecting. You can read my full review here.

Favorite Classic Novel


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Every year for as long as I remember I've said I was going to read Rebecca. I'm so happy I got to read Rebecca with the Ladies of Horror Fiction and several readers in the community. I loved it, and it's a great choice for a book club read.

Favorite Reread


Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon

If you'd like to know my thoughts on my favorite book of all time, you can read my review of Boy's Life by Robert McCammon.

Favorite Novella


Odd Man Out by James Newman

Odd Man Out by James Newman

Odd Man Out is "a brutal book and it's heartbreaking, but it's one of the best books I've read this year." You can read the rest of my review here.

Favorite Poetry Collection


Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I read several great poetry collections this year, but Milk and Honey was my favorite of the lot. Here's my review for Milk and Honey.

Favorite Fiction Collection


Exploring Dark Short Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem edited by Eric J. Guignard

Exploring Dark Short Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem edited by Eric J. Guignard

A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem is the first in a series of Exploring Dark Short Fiction. You can check out my review here.

Favorite Non-Fiction


I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

I'll Be Gone in the Dark was an absolutely chilling read. I highly recommend it, but I don't recommend reading it at night. You can read my review here.

Favorite Horror


Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Even though I read Bird Box in March, I declared it would be my favorite book of the year.

Favorite Fantasy


 Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

This is the first book in the Mistborn series. I'm reading the second book right now and loving it so much as well. I think I'm going to be obsessed with this series. Brandon Sanderson really does have amazing magic systems.

Favorite Science Fiction


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I loved Fahrenheit 451, and now I need to read everything Ray Bradbury has ever written.

Favorite Mystery/Thriller


The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider was such an unexpected read, and I loved it. I do recommend reading the Bill Hodges trilogy first, though.

Favorite Young Adult


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I just read Illuminae this past month so I still may get out a full review of it soon. It was a unique read and a lot of fun.

Favorite Middle Grade


The Shadows by Jacqueline West

The Shadows by Jacqueline West

I loved The Shadows so much. It's the first book in the The Books of Elsewhere series. Fingers crossed I can get my library to purchase the rest of them this year!

Honorable Mentions


These books were also five star reads and could easily be placed in my list of favorites.



The Siren and the Specter by Jonathan Janz
The Listener by Robert McCammon
You by Caroline Kepnes

Have you read any of the books that made my favorites list this year? If you've posted your favorites list for the year, I would love for you to leave me a link!

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 16

I'm participating in #25infive right now (where you read 25 hours over 5 days) and failing miserably. It's always fun to try, though. I'm only at about 7.5 hours so far, but I'm enjoying what I'm reading so it's all good!



It's such a busy time of year getting everything ready for the holidays. Our town had their annual Christmas parade last night. It's such a good time, and it's all to gather toys for kids who would otherwise go without on Christmas.

Finished Reading


Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Be sure to check out my review for Marvelocity. It would make an excellent Christmas gift.

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson ⭐ - Thankfully this was a group read with Lilyn, Tracy, and Alex. This was my first Kim Stanley Robinson. I'm hoping to find some time to write up a full review. This just wasn't a book for me.

Currently Reading


The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson - This is the second Mistborn novel, and so far I'm loving it! I'm right back where we left off in Mistborn.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - I'm loving Gemina as well!

Recent Acquisitions


Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun The Between by Tananarive Due Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan

Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun - Many thanks to Theresa Braun for sending me Fountain Dead. Several of us from Ladies of Horror Fiction will be reading this together. You are welcome to join us! Just let me know.

The Between by Tananarive Due - If you missed the announcement, the next Ladies of Horror Fiction readalong selection is The Between by Tananarive Due. It will take place over the month on February in honor of Black History Month and Women in Horror Month. I hope you can join us!

Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan - I'm on a big fantasy kick at the moment. One of the series I would like to read next year is the Riyria Revelations. This volume contains books 3 and 4.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading 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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Monday, December 10, 2018

Book Review/Christmas Gift Recommendation: Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross

Marvelocity is a nonfiction, full color book related to the art of Alex Ross.


Here is the beloved Marvel Universe of comics characters, brought to thrilling life as only Alex Ross can. They're all here: Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and many more--all seeming to leap, blast, and launch off the page.

For almost thirty years, Ross has been working nonstop to create some of the most astonishing images in comics, and while Marvelocity collects the very best of that oeuvre, it's much more than that. Inside are hundreds of drawings, paintings, and photographs that have never been published before, including an original ten-page story featuring Spider-Man versus the Sinister Six, redesign proposals for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, and a re-creation of an epic battle between the Sub-Mariner and Iron Man.

But this isn't just the story of the Marvel characters--it's also the incredibly inspiring true tale of a little boy who only ever wanted to draw and paint super heroes. And with enough determination, talent, and very hard work, that's precisely what he did. Marvelocity is the result, and is sure to entrance and delight fans of all ages.

Christmas gift idea alert! This book is jaw dropping. Last year I was blown away by Grady Hendrix's Paperbacks from Hell. This year it's Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross.



There is so much to see and experience in this book. Not only is it a large coffee table sized book (weighing in at 312 pages), it's full color and jam packed on every page with beautiful images and information.

You will learn about Alex Ross and his artwork,



his influences,



unexpected art mediums,



as well as art influenced by his work, and so much more.

If you are a Marvel/comic fan, I highly, highly recommend Marvelocity, but this would also make an amazing Christmas gift for the comic fan in your life.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, December 2, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | December 2

I have no idea how it is December already! The year end panic is setting in. Are you prepared for Christmas? I got some big items out of the way during Black Friday, but I still have a lot of shopping and preparing to do.

Finished Reading



Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was the last week of the Ladies of Horror Fiction Rebecca readalong. I absolutely loved Rebecca. I'm so glad to have finally read it.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I'm glad to have finally read Coraline as well. Now I can watch the movie!

Currently Reading



2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson - This book is intimidating me, but I'm reading it with Lilyn, Tracy, Alex, and Shane. (If you want to join us, let me know. Our buddy read doesn't officially start until tomorrow.)

Recent Acquisitions



Fablehaven and Paradise Sky were part of my Black Friday deal shopping. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was a lucky thrift shop find.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading 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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Monday, November 26, 2018

Book Review | Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff

Return to Dyatlov Pass is a horror novel by J.H. Moncrieff.

Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff

In 1959, nine Russian students set off on a skiing expedition in the Ural Mountains. Their mutilated bodies were discovered weeks later. Their bizarre and unexplained deaths are one of the most enduring true mysteries of our time.

Nearly sixty years later, podcast host Nat McPherson ventures into the same mountains with her team, determined to finally solve the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass incident. Her plans are thwarted on the first night, when two trackers from her group are brutally slaughtered.

The team’s guide, a superstitious man from a neighboring village, blames the killings on yetis, but no one believes him. As members of Nat’s team die one by one, she must figure out if there’s a murderer in their midst—or something even worse—before history repeats itself and her group becomes another casualty of the infamous Dead Mountain.

Return to Dyatlov Pass follows a podcaster and a team of people trying to learn what really happened to students who died up in the mountains.

I'm pretty unfamiliar with the true events of Dyatlov Pass. I feel like I'm missing out a bit by not having my own theories to compare against what happened in Return to Dyatlov Pass. This was a fun read, though. Any which way you look at it, I enjoy a good monster story, and I had fun reading this one.

My only complaint regarding Return to Dyatlov Pass was toward the characters and the odd interactions/relationships. I wasn't able to connect to anyone, but I still had a good time.

⭐⭐⭐

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | November 25

I hope everyone had a wonderful week (and a wonderful Thanksgiving if you were celebrating!) Our Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch. I woke up sick on Black Friday, and I'm not even complaining because reading in bed is exactly what I needed.

Finished Reading



Return to Dyatlov Pass by J.H. Moncrieff ⭐⭐⭐ - This was a fun monster read.

Lyra's Oxford (His Dark Materials #3.5) by Philip Pullman ⭐⭐⭐ - This made me miss Lyra and Will.

The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1) by Jacqueline West ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I loved this middle grade read.

Currently Reading



Coraline by Neil Gaimen - Coraline is a weekend buddy read this weekend with Emily and Tracy. I'm enjoying finally getting to read it.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - You guys were right about Illuminae. This is a fun read so far! It was a random library grab, and now I'm hoping they have the rest!

Recent Acquisitions



Some of my Black Friday purchases were The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, The Good House by Tananarive Due, and Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. Have you read any of these?

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading 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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