I don’t think I’ve done a recap of my books in a couple of years (Just checked, my last one was 2016!) and I’ve read a very strange collection of books this year AND did not hit my goal of 75 books but I want to talk about what I’ve ready anyway. I’ve divided them up by genre and picked my top 3-ish for each category.
Here we go…
Chronos Files series by Rysa Walker // I’ve read 1, 1.5 and am partway through the 2nd book and I’m totally in love. It’s time-travel, super fun, not silly, not super romancy and very creative with some legit historical bits thrown in. There was a tiny we-should-have-sex scene between two teenagers that I wasn’t crazy about (but nothing happened).
PLUS I went ahead and used my free trial for Kindle Unlimited and can get all the ebooks AND the audio (which synch up and you can listen/read back and forth with no pauses) for a whole month! Pretty sweet.
Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter // I have to say, these may be my favorite novels this year. (Not even blushing about it, either.) Think Hogwarts but with girl spies. I mean, how could you not love that?! Again, super fun with minimal romance. (Y’all, I don’t want to read about teenagers making out. Gag.)
Charmed Life series by Jenny B Jones // This is a crazy fun series about a Manhattan teenager who moves to podunk town in Oklahoma annnnd solves mysteries. I bought the three-in-one ebook and didn’t realize it so I read all three of ’em in a row. And laughed the whole time. Plus, a solid G rating. Perfect for teens and even tweens who are already reading books about teenagers.
This is my least favorite genre, but I read a few I really liked this year. And they are all over the board sub-genre wise.
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton // This book is so creepy and terrifying. There’s a bit of language in it but I was distracted by all the dinosaurs trying to kill and take over the world. I liked it enough to read The Lost World for sure.
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin // I picked this up because I ran across a blog post by the author about how this book was made into a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet. And how they totally changed the book–including the ending without his input. It made me love the book even more after reading that post and I’m praying people who saw the book picked up the book to read his real heart and message.
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers // Francine Rivers is a celebrity in Christian fiction. This is not my favorite book or even my favorite story ever. BUT. Her message was spot on.
31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs // I read this one as a nightly devotional. It’s easy reading and LCH’s passion and wisdom are evident as you read. She is one of my long-distance heroes.
War of Loves: the Unexpected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus by David Bennett // That tagline says it all. David Bennett was a gay activist. And now he’s not. In fact, you’d consider him the exact opposite. This is a memoir–complete with David’s emotions as he goes from young gay man to new Christian grappling with God’s laws to theology student telling others of his journey with Jesus. I really cannot explain in a few sentences the depth of teaching, contemporary insight and Biblical understanding that is in between these pages. If you are struggling with this issue from any angle (agree with the Bible or disagree with the Bible), you need to read this book.
Gay Girl Good God: Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been by Jackie Hill Perry // This is my favorite book of the year. JHP is a spoken word poet so this book, although written in prose, is so poetic and beautiful. I also have it on audio, read by the author and it is breathtaking. Her story is interspersed through Biblical teaching and I basically underlined the whole thing. Please read this book.
Vienna Prelude, Prague Counterpoint, Munich Signature, Jerusalem Interlude by Bodie Thoene // I thought I had read this entire Zion Covenant series in High School but now that I’ve read these four, I realize I maybe made it through the first one. If you like detailed historical books with a slew of characters, this is an amazing series set at the beginning of WWII. I’m going to finish the last two this year!
As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner // She’s my favorite author of the past few years. Everything she writes I gobble up. This story about a family during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 is wonderful.
Christy by Catherine Marshall // I cannot believe I’ve never read this before! My aunt gave me the hardcover for my birthday and I loved it. It was hard to read at some points and had such insight–some that I didn’t necessarily agree with and some that shook me. I really want to read it again.
Books I Re-Read This Year
Doesn’t She Look Natural by Angela Hunt // the old woman-inherits-a-funeral-home-and-falls-in-love-with-it story! (Also: $0 for Kindle!)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett // I listened to this and read it back and forth on my kindle. Wonderful either way.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows // after the Netflix movie came out everyone was gushing, but the book is the real treasure, y’all. And if you haven’t listened to it on audio, you are missing out on a treat. Just ignore the awful cover!
Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley // I always love a good generational-magical-curse story with a good boy and girl friendship thrown in.
Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan // Some tough subjects of abandonment and culture differences but a really sweet story of family, too.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli // A serious book about race relations…but a fun book about kids and people different than yourself. The audio was great.
The Key to Extraordinary and A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd // This is my new MG author crush! Her books have a dash of magic, good family relationships and boy-girl friendships with no romance. Love. ($3.99 on Kindle!)
The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M Martin // I read so many of these in elementary and Middle School. I decided to try out the graphic novel version this time. It was still fun and my daughter liked them, too.
Books I Started But Didn’t Finish
You can see more of my reviews from 2018 and follow my new reads on Goodreads. I’d love to connect there!