2018 was the year of reading for me. My goal for the year was 36 books and I surpassed it quickly! In fact, I ended up reading 74 books in total. My favorites from 2018 include: And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer; The Last Mrs. Parrish; Stay With Me; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo; and The Mothers. With the beginning of the new year, I am looking forward to seeing what my faves are for 2019. Keep reading for my April book review!
So far, I have read the following titles (absolute favorites in bold): Becoming; What Is Climate Change; Wild; The Stranger In The Woods; The Type; She Felt Like Feeling Nothing; The Girl On The Train; Elevation; Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave; Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life; The Only Story; Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure; My Boyfriend is a Bear; She Would Be King; Outer Order, Inner Calm; I Hope This Reaches Her In Time; Whiskey In a Teacup; How To Be A Good Creature; Why Don’t You Write My Eulogy Now So I Can Correct It? Up Next: Manhattan Beach.
She Would Be King Wayetu Moore
(4/5) This was a very interesting read, that I ultimately picked up because it was published in Minnesota (my home state). This book follows three main characters, who all have a secret, supernatural gifts, that serve them in different ways. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” A stunning sentence, no?! The plot, a retelling of the founding of Liberia, was engrossing and each character was well developed. I found myself rooting for each of them and treasuring their stories. The pacing can be hard at parts, by overall, this book, part magical realism and part historical fiction, is worth the read!
How To Be A Good Creature: A Memoir In Thirteen Animals Sy Montgomery
(4/5) I picked up this memoir because the cover is absolutely beautiful, but being an animal lover, naturally, I had to read it. Sy Montgomery travels the world to research animals and their habits, and this is a love letter to thirteen animals that have come and gone from her life through the years. The stories are short but engrossing and all of the illustrations are wonderful. My favorite was Octavia the Octopus. While I wouldn’t say this book really focuses on “how to be a good creature,” it is a compelling memoir from one of the great nature writers of our time.
Elevation Stephen King
(3/5) Confession: this is my first experience with Stephen King, because horror just isn’t my genre. After years of having this author recommended to me, I thought I would start with something short: a novella. Elevation, it turns out, does not fit in the horror genre at all, which was a nice surprise, but not quite the introduction I was hoping for. To be honest, I wasn’t very impressed with this novella. The characters were one-dimensional and stereotypes and the plot line was not very well developed. The upside, you can finish it in one sitting.
My Boyfriend Is A Bear Pamela Ribon and Cat Farris
(5/5) You have to read this! It is a graphic novel, which is not something I usually read, but this was so endearing and wonderfully illustrated and honestly, just funny. It is really just a sweet, breezy romance about a girl who falls in love with a bear and the witty comedy that ensues. Is it weird? Yes…but it’s meant to be light-hearted. Pick up, and enjoy a good laugh.
The Only Story Julian Barnes
(2/5) So far, in 2019, this has been the hardest book for me to get through. The plot was promising: a love story between a nineteen-year-old and a much, older married mother. But, it really fell flat. You could tell the author was trying to be profound about the complexness of love, but it ended up feeling very dry, contrived and forced. I mean, the writing could be beautiful (“Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question.”) but in that way that makes it hard to follow along.
Hygge & West Home: Design for a Cozy Life Christina Coop and Aimee Lagos
(4/5) From the duo behind the modern wallpaper company, Hygge & West, comes this delightful look inside the homes of 20 homes that feature distinct style and wallpaper, of course. With a nice mix of images and interviews, this is a great coffee table book to add to your collection. The content focuses a lot on hygge, which is a nice addition to a home decor book. Beautiful design and thoughtful stories, make this a fun read!