This was a good year of reading for me, though I didn’t meet my goal of 50 books… again. I got back into doing some book reviewing and read a lot of great books that I received for review. One thing that I love about reviewing is that I usually read some amazing books that way, and I read the newest and latest, too. I had a lot of 4 and 5 star books this year with some really stand out reads, and I also read a large variety with some nonfiction, mystery, women’s fiction, romance, and even some historical fiction. Below are some quick stats and then a list of my top ten books of the year!
Statistics & Thoughts
Total Books Read: 30
- Mystery/Suspense/Thriller: 7
- Women’s fiction / chick lit: 5
- Historical: 3
- Romance: 2
- Contemporary fiction: 2
- Christmas: 2
Library Books: 9
Owned Books: 21
I like that I read a good amount of nonfiction, but also really got back into my love of fiction this year. I’d like my library and owned books to be a bit more split, though. The owned books category went up a lot this year because those were all review books that I received, and none of them were from my “back log” of books that I owned prior to this year. I need to work on that in 2018.
I ended up really loving my suspense and mysteries this year! I love how they tend to really suck you in and keep you flipping the pages. I’d like to continue my trend of reading a lot of those going forward. I’ve also always loved women’s fiction and chick lit, as you can see.
I’m sad that I didn’t read any YA, horror, or true crime this year, and really want to work on that in the new year. Otherwise, I think I did a good job of reading a nice variety of things.
Top Books of the Year
Here are my favorite reads of the year, in the order I read them, with my number one favorite book being announced a bit later on…
True Crime Addict by James Renner (nonfiction): an addictive read about a highly perplexing missing persons case. This book follows the disappearance of Maura Murray, and chronicles the author’s obsession with trying to solve the case. I also read his entire blog and became obsessed with the case, myself.
The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo (historical fiction): beautiful story about nurses in WWII. Gripping, dark, intense, and well researched. I have book-talked this twice so far for work and recommend it to everyone I know.
The Drifter by Christine Lennon (fiction): a unique and interesting story that shows how events and tragedies can shape a life, good or bad. Dark, atmospheric, intriguing, and very character-driven.
My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Murk Lukach (nonfiction/memoir): a gripping true story of a man and his wife who struggles with mental illness. It is full of raw, beautiful, easy to read writing, depicting a very real and very hard story with glimmers of hope throughout
Letters to Love by Soraya Lane (romance): a really sweet and heartwarming story about two “unexpected parents” who are left as guardians to two children after a tragic death. Loved the characters and the developing romance.
The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel (nonfiction): an absolutely fascinating account of a man who essentially disappeared off the face of the earth in 1986 at 20 years old. Turns out, he was living off the grid and in the woods the entire time and did so for 27 YEARS! Amazing narrative that I wish I could read for the first time again!
Red Leaves by Paullina Simons (fiction): this book was pretty puzzling and strange, so I honestly didn’t love it at first. However, as it went on, I became so intrigued and got sucked right in. It’s the story of a group of college friends and one of them turns up dead one night. It definitely had a gripping mystery and was worth the read.
Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden (fiction): this book just pulled me in and tugged at my heart with a deep story, lost love, and much more. The tragic death of a man who was loved by two women somehow tears apart and then puts back together their families and friendships. These characters and this story will stay with me for a long time to come!
Final Girls by Riley Sager (fiction, suspense): a twisted story about two “final girls” who survived separate massacres. Great story, fast paced, tons of secrets and twists and turns. The ending was shocking and I never saw it coming. I hated having to put it down and I hated seeing it end.
Number One Book of the Year
I read A LOT of 5 star reads this year, gripping books that I couldn’t put down and just gulped right up. Despite that, I knew right away what my favorite book of the year would be, and that honor goes to…
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (fiction, suspense): this book was a total thrill ride! It’s a fast paced crime thriller involving two sisters who went through a very traumatic experience as young teens. From the very beginning, you are thrust right into the action and it never lets up. Though the book clocks in at over 500 pages, I still never wanted it to end and I was engaged and pulled in from start to finish. The story is incredibly layered and I was eager to pull back layer after layer as it went on. Highly recommended!
2018 Reading Goals
- Read 50 books: I’m trying again!
- Read an even split of already owned books and library books.
- Read at least five nonfiction books.
- Read at least five women’s fiction or chick lit.
- Read at least five mystery / suspense.
- Read at least one true crime book.
- Read at least two horror books.
- Read at least two YA books.
- Read at least two romances.
- Read at least four Christmas books.
- Read at least one “first in series” book.
- Read at least one book that continues a series I’ve already started.
- Re-read Harry Potter (I’ve been saying this for years).