Friday, January 5, 2024

My Favorite Books Of 2023

 Happy New Year! 2023 was the year I read the most books I have ever read in my life. 85 books 😮 my goal was 80 so I am very pleased. I think my average rating was a 3.8 which I think is pretty good. I do tend to give a lot of 3.5/4 star so that tracks. So I will insert a visual of my best of 2023 bracket and then my honorable mentions which are all 4 star or higher. 

So here are my best books of 2023! We have mostly horror/suspense/thriller but a couple general/historical fiction and 1 romance. If you are looking for great suspense thrillers definitely check out The Southern Book Clubs Guide To Slaying Vampires, Razorblade Tears, None Of This Is True and The Only One Left. If you’re looking for a true extreme horror then Maeve Fly is the perfect book! If paranormal,sci-fi is your thing then I suggest Kindred and My Best Friends Exorcism. The Push is very much about generational trauma and motherhood. Kind of in a group all its own but still considered a thriller. Shark Heart is a romance but it’s also fantasy. It’s so beautiful and heartbreaking. Unlike anything I’ve read before. That brings us to my two favorite books of the year. I could not pick just one. The first one Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine is something that will stay with me forever. I know it won’t resonate with everyone. I know some will see it as a some weird book about paranoia but it was so much more for me. I have never cried so much reading a book. Definitely check trigger warnings as it does talk about miscarriage, IVF, infertility etc. The overall narrative of how women are gaslit so much especially when it comes to their bodies and their health in the medical system. Not knowing if you can trust your own thoughts and feelings. She really did a fantastic job showing the emotions a person goes through while trying to conceive and trying to understand this foreign thing in your body! Her authors note at the end was brilliant and I wish that was made into a book itself! Even if it went in a bit of a strange direction I don’t care because the rest of it was so perfect. I will be rereading this at some point. My other favorite of the year is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I am still so shocked that I loved this book as much as I did. A time travel book about JFK? That doesn’t really sound like my thing. It was so much more than that though. That is the premise though. This man goes back in time to prevent Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating JFK. I loved the rules of the time travel and the idea of the butterfly effect. There were so many excellent characters in this book and to me Kings writing is like a screenplay which is why so many of his books translate so well into tv. I am still thinking about those characters and that world. It was 850 pages and I wanted more. This is sci-fi but it’s also suspense and romance. The romance is unexpected and so good! I really took my time reading this book and now I’m sad it’s over. I have a new favorite book character Jake/George. I need to watch the series now just so I can go back to that world. 
So those were my most favorite books of 2023. It was really hard choosing those because as you can see I had a lot that I loved. If I had to choose a top 5 from Honorable Mentions it would be Nestlings by Nat Cassidy, The Only Safe Place Left Is The Dark By Warren Wagner, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, Black River Orchard by Chuck Wendig and The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune. But I would recommend them all! What were your favorite books of 2023! Any that were on my list? I can’t wait to see what makes it to the top this year! Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Everything I Read In December

 Happy New Year! Wow I can’t believe it’s 2024! 2023 really flew by. I will be doing my favorite and least favorite books of the year but today’s post is everything I read in the month of December. I ended up reading 6 books this month which I was actually surprised by because I was really only aimingfor 3 or 4. I will say 1 book I did start in November but finished in December.
 So let’s start with my first book of the month which was The Visitor. This is a horror novella about aliens. It takes place on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day ( can’t remember) and follows a few different folks that for whatever reason find themselves at this diner during a blizzard. I think it did a good job in a short amount of time of building up tension and suspense. I thought it was an interesting take on an alien invasion. It wasn’t my favorite thing I’ve read but I think it’s worth the read. I appreciated the story. I gave it 3-3.5 stars. 

Next is The Girl Who Heard Maggots. What a title huh? Really interesting book about a woman with some sort of past we aren’t quite sure about, who takes a job at this gothic type house taking care of a child. This book did a great job at being very mysterious and not knowing who to trust. Everyone at this house is just a little off, a little different. This got really crazy, in a good entertaining way, and I really enjoyed it. A little bit out there but fun. A solid 3.5-3.75 stars. 

Next up is Nestlings by Nat Cassidy. Who is a man btw 😂 This book 🙌🏻 wow I loved it! A favorite of the year for sure. I am definitely in my strange motherhood, creepy kids era when it comes to books and this one really delivered. This is about a couple who won this housing lottery and they get to move into this historic building in NYC that has a very mysterious history. The writing in this book was top notch! I did not know what direction this book was heading. It felt paranormal, cult-like, vampire-ish, it was just so fun trying to figure what was happening. It does revolve around motherhood, marriage, disabilities, and babies. So entertaining. I highly recommend. 5 stars. 

Next is a reread for me. I made a plan last year that every December I would read A Christmas Carol which is my favorite Christmas story. I love this book so much! My favorite adaptation is the movie with George C Scott. I think he’s the perfect Scrooge and it’s very true to the book. I think a great way to start with classic books is to look for books that have been turned into either movies or tv shows. That way you’re kind of familiar with the story and can follow along a little easier. A Christmas Carol is such a heartwarming story and it always makes me cry. 5 stars 

Next is the book that I started in November which is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I won’t say a whole lot about this book because it may or may not be a favorite of the year but what I will say is it is about time travel and trying to stop the assassination of JFK. You may think wow that sounds dull and I’m not into history/politics like that. Yeah me either, although I find JFK fascinating. It is about so much more than that. It’s thrilling, romantic and heartbreaking. I loved every second. 5 stars. 

My last book of the year was Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney. If you are looking for a book with twists look no further! Holy moly the twists and turns will make your head spin! This is about a woman who is in a coma and her and the you the reader are trying to figure out what happened. So this is present day, the days leading up to some sort of accident and then also diary excerpts from childhood days. This book had me so confused 😂 I’m still not sure what was what but it was very entertaining and worth the read  4 stars. 

Ok so that is my last month of reading for 2023. I ended up reading 85 books in 2023 which I was really happy with. I am so excited for another year of reading. Next post should be my best and worst books of 2023 so buckle up!