It’s been awhile since I last posted on this blog. I’ve been caught up on a lot of amazing writing and research projects. But here’s my top 11 books for 2018. This list excludes all comics since I feel that I have enough for another post of top comics for 2018. Stay Tuned
- Circe by Madeline Miller – Honestly, I can’t decide whether Circe or The 7 and ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is my favorite series. Circe is the life story of the infamous sea-witch from the Odyssey. Mistreated and unloved, Circe finds solace in her exile on her island. Odysseus is only a small part of her story. The story touches on the meaning of isolation, love, humanity, and motherhood. It left me reeling afterwards.
- The 7 and ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton –A man wakes up in the forest with no memory of how he got there or who he is. He soon meets a strange masked man who tells him that he must solve the future murder of Evelyn Hardcastle and he will wake up in the bodies of other guests on the same day to learn the truth. Beautifully written, each character is really distinctive from the next. It’s a thrilling murder and I’m only angry I hadn’t written this one myself.
- Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch – I learned about this series from a off-hand comment of a book clerk at Hatchards and it’s been a real ride. It’s a series of books and graphic novels that all take place in London. Peter Grant is a police officer guarding a murder scene when he interviews a witness. However, he learns that the witness was a ghost. He soon finds himself part of a small part of the Metropolitan police forced called the Folly dedicated to magic. Peter is a great character and Aaronovitch has created a fascinating fantasy world right on top of lovely London.
- The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley – This is one of the British Library Crime Classics. A woman is poisoned by a box of chocolates. 6 amatuer detectives are tasked with figuring out who the murderer is and why the woman died. Each “solution” is better than the last!
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders – I’m totally on this bandwagon. I’ve read it and listened to the audio version. Both are well-worth it. It centers on a group of ghosts living in a cemetery and the visit of Abraham Lincoln to the grave of his young son. It’s part ghost story/ historical fiction with alternating chapters of story and then quotations from historical narratives, diaries, and much more. Some texts, however, are made up, which is a little annoying.
- The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker – Oh man did I not see this one coming. This is the story of two women, friends and co-creators of animated movies. It’s about their lives, friendship and the trials and tribulations of the creative process and creative partnerships.
- Akata Witch series by Nnedi Okorafor – Two books have been released in this great YA series. Sunny is a young albino girl born in the US but has moved back to her parent’s Nigeria. She soon learns that she has magical powers and begins lessons while trying to keep the secret from her parents. It’s a beautiful fusion of Nigerian folk tales, YA in a fantasy setting. I can’t wait for book three to come out.
- The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson – This is the true story of a 20-year-old flutist who steals rare bird specimens from a British Natural History museum for salmon lures. Yep, salmon lures. The work takes you into the world of salmon lure tying as well as a meditation on the importance of Natural History collections.
- The Friend by Sigrid Nunez In this meditative novel about writing and friendship, a woman ends up with her late friend’s Great Dane. She can’t keep it in her apartment but she feels obligated to care for it.
- American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee -Maybe all books about the natural world hurt. This one had me sobbing on the train even though I knew what was coming. It’s a true story center on O-Six and her wolfpack in the Yellowstone park after the reintroduction of wolves into the area. Blakeslee explores both sides of the debate about wolves: the conservationists who love them and the people who hate them.
- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – Heartbreaking and beautiful, these tiny short poems really cut into your soul. Poems cover the gamut of love, sexual abuse, abuse, love lost, rediscovering yourself, and so much more. Poems are accompanied by little drawings. I had the opportunity to see her perform at the Chicago Theater in October and she was incredible in person.
That’s all for now!