My *New* Favorite Books

In March of last year, I made a list of my Top Favorite Books in every genre and I realized a lot has changed since then. I initially made this list because I can’t fathom the idea of having only one favorite book. If someone ever asks me what favorite book is, I stumble over my words and try to go through my mental list of favorites. It all depends on the day. In today’s post I discuss my favorite books from each major genre and why.

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Categories 

Young Adult Contemporary:

  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky -OR-
  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesyle Walton (magical realism)

SEE.  I can’t choose!

Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction : A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (sorry, not sorry). I didn’t love the series as a whole, but strictly on its own I appreciated ACOTAR for being the most imaginative fairytale re-telling I’ve ever read. I want to say I really liked Sabriel by Garth Nix, but it was published in 1995 so I need to reread it because it’s been soon long. I do remember it being a YA Fantasy I enjoyed back then. Erg. I guess I’ll just go ahead and add The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. It’s such a mixed genre (science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia). Depending on the day at least one of those three are my favorite.

Side note: I’m reading more works by Leigh Bardugo, Alexandra Bracken, Holly Black, and Cassandra Clare this year. With the exception of Cassandra Clare, most of these authors were barely on my radar until I went to BookCon 2017.

Young Adult LGBT Contemporary: I’m going to cheat and say anything by Jen Wilde, Adam Silvera, or Becky Albertalli. I like all of their books!

Indie Book/Hidden Gem: As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway

Adult Classic: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Children’s Classic: Alice and Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

Children’s Book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Fantasy:  A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – The first book was actually enjoyable. I don’t plan to continue the book series though. I’m open to finding other adult fantasy series because obviously I picked a popular one. My current on-the-radar adult fantasy writers are Jay Kristoff and V.E. Schwab.

Sci-Fi: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Foreign Fiction: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Humor/Essay:  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Non-fiction/Memoir: Night by Elie Wiesel

Literary Fiction:  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Overall Fiction: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth E. Lang

It will be interesting to see how these might change by the end of the year. Can you pick one favorite book or do you have several? What did you think of my list? In the comment section, I discuss my “Least Read Genres”. What are yours? Let me know!

– Vanessa

 

 

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What Are You Reading Wednesday?

It’s the first reading week of the year! It’s also the first Wednesday of the year, so why not start off telling you all what I’m reading? I have to say my first read of the year (Bonfire) isn’t particularly exciting but my pre-order for The Cruel Prince is arriving tomorrow instead of yesterday. I couldn’t decide what to read instead and sort of settled, to be honest. Anyway, here you go:

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Bonfire follows Abby Williams, a small town girl turned lawyer who escaped her life in Barrens, Indiana and moved to Chicago at the young age of eighteen. She swore she would never go back home, but now ten years later she’s back to investigate complaints about the water. Some suspect  the new mega-company Optimal Plastics is hiding something, but no one wants to talk because they are bringing money to the former economically stunted town.

Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content? Content. I hadn’t seen her show Jessica Jones yet and then I did. I thought her book was worth checking out. I also picked it from the Book of the Month’s subscription.

Who is your favorite character so far, and why? NO ONE. Right now we’re mostly inside the character’s head and the people in her past were horrible people.

Will you finish this one? I plan to. Hopefully, this week!

Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…) A grown-up Pretty Little Liars mixed with Veronica Mars. There was also a scene that reminded me of The Girl On a Train just a tiny bit.

What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…) It’s kind of hard to say. The story is set in a small town where not much happens, so the little details are crucial and the author seems to know that. It’s slow-paced so far, but short enough that I don’t mind continuing.

 

 

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Outlander begins with Claire Randall, a former combat nurse ,on a honeymoon with her husband in Scotland in 1945. A series of events leads to her being transported to war-torn Scotland in 1743. There’s more to it, but I barely started and I don’t want to copy the official synopsis.

Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content? Content. The show, however, has been buzzing and I was curious. I actually visited Scotland when I was 14 years old so I’m reading this book wishing I was back there again. The next time I go, it would be fun to do an Outlander tour. Otherwise, I hope I at least learn a bit more about Scotland through the story.

Who is your favorite character so far, and why? I only finished Chapter 2 so it’s difficult to say this early on.

Will you finish this one? I plan to…It will just take me a whole month.

Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of…(other books, movies, tv shows…) This book is nothing I’ve read before. I don’t normally read historical fiction so I can’t compare it to anything else.

What type of read is this one? (slow but interesting, cannot put it down…) Slow but interesting! I’m listening to the book on an audiobook. There’s a lot of historical references because one of the characters is a history buff. At first that’s hard to listen to (history wasn’t one of my favorite classes) but the supernatural elements make the story stand out.

 

What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments. Happy Wednesday!

2018 Bookish Resolutions

Happy New Year’s Eve! Who’s ready for 2018? I am. I’ve grown so much this year. The main reason I believe is the book community. There are so many different, unique perspectives and I feel lucky to learn about them. There are SO many great books coming out next year and I hope they bring the book community closer together.

This year, I made my reading resolution to DNF more books and read 30 total. I completed both of those goals. This year’s list is a tad longer.

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Read 40-45 books.

This past year I read 35 books . I read more than average in high school, but I wasn’t a fast reader or a book hoarder. I read a little bit more in college, but not so much after I graduated. I’ve never read 33 books in a year for fun. 2017 was more or less experimental. I’m discovering my favorite genres, favorite authors, and types of books I like which leads me to believe I’ll read more in 2018 now that I know myself as a reader.

Rate less, review more.

Sometimes a numerical rating doesn’t tell the whole story. A 3.5 star book can still be an enjoyable book all around. I’ve been considering using Goodreads less for multiple reasons. I kind of feel like Goodreads is sort of rigged by the users now. Both authors and readers alike are downrating books as an act of justice. Authors are even threatening readers with legal action. I’ll try to focus on likes and dislikes for books under 4 stars.

Re-read a few of my favorite books from adolescence/teen years. 

  • Sabriel by Garth Nix.
  • As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway.
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • Her Fearful Symmetry by Audry Niffeneggar
  • Any of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

Read less debuts.

There are many debuts I’m looking forward (especially by #Ownvoices authors) but I’m only focusing on the ones I’m sure I’ll like, not what everyone will like. After that, I’m going to try to stick with series I’ve already started or bought. I don’t have the time to start every single brand new fantasy, especially since marketing and Youtube hypes these debut books up and I end up being disappointed.

Read whatever the heck I want without shame from the book community.

Seriously. That’s all I have to say on that.

Find good literary fiction.

I like a good literary book, honestly. When I got tired of YA books post Hunger Games, I went back to adult books. Sometimes it’s nice to read something that makes you think about real life.

No more monthly TBR lists.

Since I’m a mood reader apparently, I’ll focus on monthly wrap-ups instead.

Only buy books over 350 pages.

Unless it’s YA Contemporary since those tend to be shorter as a rule. YA sci-fi and fantasy MUST be 350 pages or more for me to purchase it at full price.

Avoid books with multiple POV at all cost.

I hate them. Two is okay. I also don’t mind multiple POV in third person sometimes, but I find it confusing if there is multiple POV in first person. It seems to be a trend in YA lately that I don’t get. If the book is less than 350 pages, it actually makes the story feel fragmented and less developed.

Read one book off my classics shelf. 

It’s about time I did this one.

Read children’s books I missed out in my childhood

  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  • A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Listen to one book on Audible.

I’ll be listening to my first ever audiobook in 2018. I already chose the one I wanted to listen to and it’s Outlander!

Read Either One Thriller, Horror, or Mystery.

Don’t buy a single hyped book from Booktube.

I’ve instant-bought so many books I haven’t even read or realized I’m not actually interested in. Most Booktubers read more YA Contemporary than anything else. They also receive free ARC books to review, get sponsored (receive payment), or know the authors they are reviewing for personally. I feel this makes the more popular Booktubers just a tad biased. I still enjoy watching their content, but will choose based on my own research and interests.

Start reviewing books once a month on Youtube.

That’s 12 videos total. I’m a bit apprehensive, especially since I no longer know how to edit videos and I don’t have a camera with a flip screen. I want to grow comfortable in my speaking as well as have more of a social media footprint. I’m hoping it help me connect more with other readers and writers.

What are your reading resolutions? Leave some in the comments or link to yours and I’ll check it out!
XO,

– Vanessa

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