So wow, 2018…it’s been a year, right?!

As always, I am blessed to be able to read (and listen to) great books, and in 2018, between audio and paper, I hit just over 200 titles!

I was slightly lower than usual in paper, and slightly higher in audio, mostly because it was such a difficult, stressful year and I admit to playing lots of Candy Crush Soda Saga while listening to audio, because that was my favorite way to decompress this year. And I needed more decompressing than usual, so I’m choosing to be okay with it.

I re-visited a bunch of favorites. At least half of Sherry Thomas’ backlist. All of Kristan Higgins’ Blue Heron. Some Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Georgette Heyer.

Continue reading >


 

I binge listened to Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series, a new all-time favorite. I also loved the first three titles in the outstanding Tufa series by (my friend) Alex Bledsoe. The series wrapped up this year, so I have a few more titles to look forward to.

I am extremely blessed to have access to most books I want to read, both in paper and audio. I don’t have time to read many paper copies beyond my assigned review titles, so I’m very grateful to have access to audio titles, mainly due to the generosity of publishers.

Still, there are always books and authors I don’t have access to, plus there’s never enough time to read or listen to all the titles we’d like to.

So that’s my main qualifier for this list. There were tons of books I didn’t have time to read, or didn’t have access to in audio. But for the ones I did? Here’s my list:

The entire The Ones Who Got Away series (three so far) by Roni Loren

THE ONE YOU CAN'T FORGETTHE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR and THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY  by Roni Loren

THE FIRST TIME AT FIRELIGHT FALLS by Julie Anne Long - Love this series, love the author. One of the best.

MY OXFORD YEAR  - This debut from audio narrator extraordinaire, Julia Whelan, was also extraordinary. 

THE BRIDE TAKES A GROOM by Lisa Berne - Berne has three books under her belt, all simply wonderful.

I’LL BE YOUR BLUE SKY by Marisa de los Santos - I clearly loved the story more than the Kirkus reviewer did, but I love the writer, and love the characters from their past two books, so I’m unapologetic. ;o)

NO EARLS ALLOWED by Shana Galen - Galen just gets better and better, and this whole series is delightful. 

A PRINCESS IN THEORY by Alyssa Cole - A really fun modern-day fairy tale between an African prince and his long-lost betrothed, an epidemiologist who’s been raised in the New York foster care system and has no idea of her heritage. Smart and sexy.  

ASHES ON THE MOOR by Sarah M. Eden - A lovely book in an out-of-the-box setting; a must-read for historical romance readers who are looking for something unique and different.

HEART ON FIRE by Amanda Bouchet - A fantastic conclusion to an amazing trilogy.

SUMMER WIVES by Beatriz Williams - Maybe her best? Hard to decide, since I just love everything she writes.

NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT  by Kristan Higgins which released 12/26/17, though ON SECOND THOUGHT was excellent too, but definitely harder to read.

YEAR ONE and OF BLOOD AND BONE by Nora Roberts - This series, especially YEAR ONE, is breathtaking.

HOW TO WALK AWAY by Katherine Center - This one, revolving around a young woman who survives a life-altering plane crash, will stick with you. Center Walk Away

THE WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory - A completely engaging debut from a writer to watch. (Guillory’s second title, THE PROPOSAL, was terrific too.)

THE ART OF INHERITING SECRETS by Barbara O’Neal - Another lovely book from a fave author.

MAKING UP by Lucy Parker - If you haven’t read the author, just do it. I finally got my hands on her audio this year, and she’s a new must-read.

WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon - This title was a Best Book of 2017, but I only read it this year. I loved it, and look forward to listening to 2018’s FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE (also a starred review) which is in my audio queue.

SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE: Earthsinger Chronicles, Book One by L. Penelope - Ancient magic, warring worlds, and an intriguing look at The Other in a poignant way make this a must-read. Can’t wait for the next one.

DON’T CALL ME CUPCAKE by Tara Sheets - This was adorable! Enemies-to-lovers romance, and magical house you’ll never forget.

THE BROKEN GIRLS by Simone St. James - I love this author and this time slip ghost story really worked for me. (I recommend all her books!)

THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang - A successful scientist on the autism spectrum hires a male escort to help her navigate sex. Seriously, read it. It’s amazing.

A DISTANT HEART by Sonali Dev - Love, love, love this writer. The book technically came out late 2017, too late for many lists last year.

LOST IN A BOOK by Jennifer Connelly - I love this eclectic, lovely writer, and this book, set in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast world, was imaginative, beautifully written and fun. (It’s a middle-grade book, I think, so maybe a little light for some adult readers. I really enjoyed it though, so perhaps give it a try.)

THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN by Ellen Herrick - This book also came out in 2017, and I don’t know how I missed it, because I loved the first in the series, THE SPARROW SISTERS (2015). Magic, gardens, family, romance. Enchanting reading.

BECOMING by Michelle Obama - Inspiring and fascinating. 

So, ummm, I could go on, but since that’s slightly over 10% of the books I read and listened to, I suppose I should stop. So many books to look forward to, including a couple I missed last year!

What books did you love in 2018? What books are you looking forward to in 2019?

Happy New Year, Happy Reading! xoxo