Welcome to what is probably me frantically writing all the book-related posts I want to have written by the end of the year. It’s that time where we are all posting about the best books we’ve read, the ones we didn’t like, all the reading goals we did and didn’t accomplish, etcetera, and I’m trying to get most of mine done all at once because I’m finally in the frame of mind to do so.
As you can read from the title, I’m dedicating this post to all the books I wanted to read this year, but didn’t. It’s confession time and I’m not afraid to come out and say that some of the books I’m featuring are some of the big books of the year. There are a few reasons for this, and I’ll get into them when I’m talking about the books, but for the most part it’s simply because the time wasn’t right. Bar some amazing moments, this year hasn’t been the greatest and I really feel that in the books I have and haven’t read. It’s just one of those things that I cannot control, no mater how much I wanted to.
Anyway, now is not the time for me to go into depth about that.
I have 12 books to show you, regardless of whether I would have read one for each month or not, so as this will be a long post, let’s just dive right in.
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden.
This is the sequel to The Bear in the Nightingale which I read last December and absolutely loved! Everything about it was atmospheric, magical, steeped in history, so it was not a surprise to me that I wanted to continue on with the series. I was waiting until now to read it but of course I’m not in the mood and I’ve a couple of books on the go I’d rather concentrate on instead. However, I do still plan on reading this in Winter so maybe it is one to read right at the start of 2019 instead.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor.
When I first read Strange the Dreamer last year, I was reading it at a time when things were not great, there were a lot of family problems, and I struggled getting through it despite my love for the story and Laini’s writing. When I received Muse of Nightmares, I was in a similar situation and I didn’t want to repeat that experience. I want to sit down with it when I know I can give it my full attention and take my time savouring the wonderfulness of everything Laini Taylor has to offer.
Vengeful by VE Schwab
Erm… I don’t really have a reasoning for this. I loved Vicious. It was the first book that got me hooked onto anything VE Schwab wrote and I was incredibly excited when this arrived a couple of months ago. It was one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. In my defence, I did start reading this, I got to page 145, and I was enjoying it. I simply got side-tracked by another book. Oops.
Circe by Madeline Miller.
The intentions to read this were real. Yes, they were most definitely real as I jumped onto the hype train for any kind of mythology. I even read most of Mythos by Stephen Fry so I could have a little bit of background knowledge of the myths and go into this not being quite so clueless. I do still feel in the mood for this so maybe it might hop off this post and into another end of year reading post before 2019 is upon us. I’m not hedging any bets but we’ll see.
Witchsign by Den Patrick.
If you saw and read my Witch TBR post that I published somewhere around Halloween time then you will know that this particular book was on that list. As I don’t do horror and spooky books, I wanted to read all the witch-related books I hadn’t read yet and this one intrigued me the most, because a) I wasn’t hearing a lot of hype for it considering it’s a YA Fantasy with dragons, magic, and politics and b) I’m really attracted to this cover, okay? In all honesty, I enjoy reading about characters who discover themselves and their magic, and from the Goodreads synopsis, this sounds like it involves precisely that.
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar.
In the spirit of being honest, this was a cover buy. The picture of the cover does not do it justice because in person, it is gorgeous. The midnight blue dust jacket with the orange striped spine, urgh, it’s sublime. Moving on, I haven’t read any adult historical fiction this year and I really wanted the time to read this in particular as it’s set in Georgian England (1785) and has essences of magical realism which I enjoy reading on occasion. Also, it has been a while since I lost myself in a slow-going historical book. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the right state of mind to read this so it has been left on my shelf, feeling rather neglected.
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green.
For how much I say I want to support a local YA Fantasy author, I am bad reader. I even met Sally Green twice this year, the first at her Warrington signing, and the second at YALC. I don’t even know why I haven’t read this because the premise of mysterious smoke, and the banding of a princess, traitor, hunter and thief really intrigues me, and it’s incredibly different from The Half Bad Trilogy. Also may I say yet again, how gorgeous is the cover for the UK paperback? It’s so aesthetically pleasing to me, and my copy in particular has purple sprayed edges which is just perfect and a book lover’s dream.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.
Even before this book came out, I couldn’t turn on my computer, the tv, the radio, even flick through a newspaper without hearing something about this book. It was dominating everything, similarly to The Hate U Give, last year, and I think it’s this overwhelming hype and presence that’s made me not want to read it yet. It really shouldn’t do this but hype creates pressure, and with pressure comes emotive feelings and opinions which can get very high in the YA community. That undoubtedly makes me very uneasy and it will and does put me off reading some of the highbrow books of the year. I read for pleasure. I blog for pleasure. I want to enjoy my time getting into this book and for me that will be when the risk of being angrily chastised for having differing opinions has waned a little.
Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton.
I’m bad when it comes to reading conclusions to series. I have to force myself to sit down and repress all the feelings I have about a series so I can go into the finales with a clear head. This came out in the UK right at the beginning of February. I’ve had about 9-10 months to compose everything I felt about Traitor to the Throne, which I read around the same time, and really get into it. For whatever reason I simply lost the motivation to finish the series which is a huge shame because I am in love with this world that Alwyn Hamilton has created and Amani is one of my favourite leading female characters in YA at the moment. It’s rich, atmospheric, full of magic, and highly addicting. It has everything going for it and yet it sits there on the shelf, untouched. This is one I have to rectify and soon.
The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman.
This came out last year. I had every intention of reading it then but then I thought “oh, I could do with re-reading His Dark Materials first” which I didn’t do until this year, and even then I didn’t read/listen to the final book because I was re-reading them via audiobook and I didn’t own it. I’m sure I’ve rectified that and it’s sat on my audible shelf, but I cannot bring myself to listen it. At the same time, however, I’m giving myself that ‘get-a-grip’ pep talk because this world is one of my all-time favourites and I’ve been waiting for a new addition to this world in the form of The Book of Dust for FIFTEEN years. I need to sort myself out and read it, soon!
Loch of the Dead by Oscar de Muriel.
Last year, I was hooked by this Victorian detective series following the unlikely and mismatched duo of Ian Frey and ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray because it combines nitty-gritty Victorian life and the supernatural, which as you all know, I love! This instalment is the fourth book in the series and takes place on a Scottish isle, which seems like the ideal setting for a bit of murder and supernatural mystery, especially if I’m in the mood for that kind of story. However, that hasn’t been the case and I feel disappointed that for such an anticipated read of mine, it hasn’t made it onto my currently reading or top books of the year lists yet. Oh well.
I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen.
This is something like the 11th or 12th instalment in the Rizzoli and Isles book series and I haven’t picked it up yet because I didn’t finish re-reading all the previous books. That would usually be a huge feat but I can read one of these books in a mere few hours, so it’s not really a problem. Like with the Loch of the Dead, I’ve not been in the detective/crime mood this past year but when I do have the desire for a thrilling read, I know this and the rest of the Rizzoli and Isles will be the first books I pick up.
As that was the twelfth book, we are finally at the end of the list. Of course there are more books I wanted to read this year, but this post is long enough and the true length of the list is about the same length as my TBR – endless!
What are some books that you wanted to read this year but didn’t quite get to?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!