Top Reads of 2019
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
In 2019 I set a goal to read 24 books in 2019 - I read 12. Excuses? I don't like that word. I like the word "Life". As in - I have one. I traveled a lot for work, my husband and I spent more time outside with our dogs & honestly it's the golden age of television so sue me. I like Stranger Things, Game of Thrones & Watchmen. They all premiered this year. But guess what? THAT IS OKAY. Because those shows are amazing & I LIKED THE GOT ENDING. #TeamStark
But let's not get off subject. Let's look back at 2019. Here's a quick couple of snapshots of my "Top Reads":
You may not recognize a number of these books. Well if you stick around, you'll learn I'm not a big fan of the popular, political or pressure books - I call them "The 3 P's".
Remember, this is a Sci-Fi focused blog. If you're looking for a review of Oprah or Reese's latest book pick, this may be the wrong place for you. Now I do read select new sci-fi books because I'm in a book club (shout out to Old Town Books in Alexandria, VA). But this blog's purpose is to open eyes to the foundation of science fiction reading, fantasy culture & established adventures. So don't expect to see the latest & greatest every week.
I work in politics and I don't like to read about politics. I know a lot of folks don't like politics. We use books to escape, not to get stressed out. I don't want to read The Impeachment Trials. I didn't even like watching the trials. Now I love a good biography - but again - sci-fi blog. So unless Teddy Roosevelt becomes a zombie & starts eating William McKinely's brain, or Barack & Michelle Obama travel back in time to the Revolutionary War to convince George slavery is bullshit, it probably won't get featured here.
Finally, the "pressure books". Books that tell women how to be good feminist, books revealing sexual assault victims' stories, books offering advice that I'm sure is great but are you REALLY going to take it? These are all important genres, but frankly not my genres.
So let's review my Top 3. I'll offer more in-depth reviews of each in the coming weeks, but this should encourage folks to head to their local bookstore to peruse. The other 9 are included in snapshots below, but frankly I was too lazy to link to each of them. Use Google. It's wonderful.
#1: The Starless Sea (Author: Erin Morgenstern)
"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea."
I cannot begin to tell how much I loved this book. It was without a doubt my favorite of the year. In fact, it is now sitting on my "Favorites. Period. Shelf." I haven't read her first book, The Night Circus, but it's sitting on my "TBR" (To Be Read) shelf. For folks who love books, this is a love story for you. Morgenstern masterfully weaves a young graduate student's journey to an ancient underground world with short stories about the Sun & Moon, a Pirate and Time-Crossed lovers that will leave you wanting so much more. Little do you know, those stories play a role in Zachary Ezra Rawlins' future, and frankly, survival.
Drink Pairing: Bee's Knees (Gin + Lemon Juice + Honey Simple Syrup + Lemon Peel Garnish)
#2: The Eye of the World (Author: Robert Jordan AKA James Oliver Rigney Jr.)
"The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow."
This book is the 1st of a 14 book series I'm clawing my way through. It's a fantasy novel that has serious inspiration from The Lord of the Rings, but in this universe/galaxy/middle-earth, women are the superior gender in families, politics & magic. Follow the journey of a group of unlikely travelers, led by the legendary Aes Sedai Moiraine, who is not all what she seems.
Also this series has been picked up by Amazon, and I refuse to watch it until I can get through this series. You should too.
Drink Pairing: The Foghorn (Gin + Lime Juice + Ginger Ale)
#3: Armada (Author: Ernest Cline)
"At once reinventing and paying homage to science-fiction classics, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a coming-of-age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before."
By the author of "Ready Player One" (which I read in 10 hours on a road trip to Georgia), this book was a rare one for me. I'm not usually one for alien invasions - that arena is so over-saturated I almost encourage an invasion to see who really got it right. However in similar manner to RPO, Cline introduces Earth to an alien race through the eyes & experiences of a young man. Zack Lightman, who honestly just wants to play video games and be left alone, is forced to confront what he thought he know about his country, his family & his self. ]
Drink Pairing: Gin Rickey (Gin + Lime Juice + Club Soda + Lime Wedge Garnish)
Now for the honorable mentions. These are included in these lovely snapshots below. Why honorable mentions? Almost all of these break my "Three P's" rule in some fashion. Rule #1: Berkeley Lies. Enjoy.
Look for my next update at some point next week. I'll be reviewing my first, my forever, my favorite.
"We are all stardust & stories..."