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Showing posts from December, 2018

Memorable Reads of 2018-33 Best books of the Year

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I will pretty it up later, but this post is reserved for memorable reads of 2018, because I have a hard time narrowing down books I've read, here are 33 that I will long remember past 2018. Have you read any of them? (Also, am 33 years old!) In no particular order, here they are...

Big Publisher Reads


The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Why I loved it: I love stories of gender role reversal, and THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang has it in spades. Also loved the romance and the male character.



Splendor Before the Dark by Margaret George

Why I loved it: It's rare to meet a book that dares to break my heart on every single page, but SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK by Margaret George is very good at doing just that.


If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

Why I loved it: I'm not likely to forget a book that explores South Korea post Korean War and that is a beautiful and moving tale of women living during that time.


Eternal Life by Dara Horn

Why I loved it: Normally eternal life equals eternal b…

FFE86. My favorite half night stand by CHRISTINA LAUREN

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Name of Book: My Favorite Half Night Stand

Author: Christina Lauren

ISBN: B07CLFYBCT

Publisher: Gallery Books

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and cre…

FF42 Book Review of Only killers and thieves by Paul Howarth

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Name of Book: Only Killers and Thieves

Author: Paul Howarth

ISBN: 9780062690968

Publisher: Harper

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Two brothers are exposed to the brutal realities of life and the seductive cruelty of power in this riveting debut novel—a story of savagery and race, injustice and honor, set in the untamed frontier of 1880s Australia—reminiscent of Philipp Meyer’s The Son and the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

An epic tale of revenge and survival, Only Killers and Thieves is a gripping and utterly transporting debut, bringing to vivid life a colonial Australia that bears a striking resemblance to the American Wild West in its formative years.

It is 1885, and a crippling drought threatens to ruin the McBride family. Their land is parched, their cattle starving. When the rain finally comes, it is a miracle that renews their hope for survival. But returning home from an afternoon swimming at a remote waterhole filled by the downpour, fourteen-year-old Tommy and sixteen-year-old …

FF85 Book Review for This life or the next by DEMIAN VITANZA

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Name of Book: This Life or the Next

Author: Demian Vitanza

ISBN:9781503959767

Publisher: Amazon Crossing

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

From award-winning author Demian Vitanza comes a groundbreaking novel—his first to be translated into English—about one man’s alienation, radicalization, and disillusionment on the violent front lines in Syria.

Tariq Khan is a Pakistani born and raised in Norway. An outsider in his own country—adrift between two worlds divided by class, race, and culture—he’s always been searching for home. Alongside a flock of other streetwise young men, each looking for direction and each easily susceptible, Tariq finds his cause in the Muslim revival.

Idealistic, driven by faith, and empowered with purpose, he’s drawn to radical Islam—his last resort for achieving a sense of belonging, for embracing and being embraced. It’s only when he enlists in the war against Assad that Tariq’s eyes are truly opened. Dispirited with the violence, faced with the consequences of…

FF87 Book Review of The light house keepers daughter by Hazel gaynor

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Name of Book: The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

Author: Hazel Gaynor

ISBN: 9780062869302

Publisher: William Morrow

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Ninet…

FFE88 Book Review of Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

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Name of Book: Unsheltered

Author: Barbara Kingsolver

ISBN: B075WQK8ZJ

Publisher: Harper

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

The New York Times bestselling author of Flight Behavior, The Lacuna, and The Poisonwood Bible and recipient of numerous literary awards—including the National Humanities Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Orange Prize—returns with a timely novel that interweaves past and present to explore the human capacity for resiliency and compassion in times of great upheaval.

Willa Knox has always prided herself on being the embodiment of responsibility for her family. Which is why it’s so unnerving that she’s arrived at middle age with nothing to show for her hard work and dedication but a stack of unpaid bills and an inherited brick home in Vineland, New Jersey, that is literally falling apart. The magazine where she worked has folded, and the college where her husband had tenure has closed. The dilapidated house is also home to her ailing and cantankerous Greek…

FF32. Book Review of Under a pole star by Stef Penney

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Name of Book: Under a Pole Star

Author: Stef Penney

ISBN: 9781681441177

Publisher: Quercus

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

A whaler's daughter, Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of twelve and fell in love with the cold and unforgiving terrain. In 1889, she sets out to become a scientist and explorer. Despite those who believe that a young woman has no place in this harsh world of men, her determination leads her back to northern Greenland at the head of a British expedition.

Yearning for wider horizons, American geologist Jakob de Beyn joins a rival expedition led by the furiously driven Lester Armitage. When the path of Flora's expedition meets theirs, the three lives become intertwined. All are obsessed with the north, a place where violent extremes exist side by side: perpetual night and endless day; frozen seas and coastal meadows; heroism and lies. Armitage's ruthless desire to be the true leader of polar discovery takes him and his men on a miss…

FF47 Book Review of Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan

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Name of Book: Rainbirds

Author: Clarissa Goenawan

ISBN: 9781616958558

Publisher: Soho Crime Press

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Ren Ishida has nearly completed his graduate degree at Keio University when he receives news of his sister’s violent death. Keiko was stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, failing to understand why she chose to turn her back on the family and Tokyo for this desolate place years ago.

But then Ren is offered Keiko’s newly vacant teaching position at a prestigious local cram school and her bizarre former arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s ailing wife. He accepts both, abandoning Tokyo and his crumbling relationship there in order to better understand his sister’s life and what took place the night of her death.

As Ren comes to know the eccentric local figures, from the enigmatic politician who’s boarding him to his f…

FFE65 Book Review of After nightfall by A.J Banner

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Name of Book: After Nightfall

Author: A.J Banner

ISBN: B076VM7WRF

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Beware of friends with secrets…

Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.

Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investi…

FFE74 Book Review of Vox by Christina Dalcher

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Name of Book: Vox

Author: Christina Dalcher

ISBN: B079WQK537

Publisher: Berkley

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial--this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Link for Review

4 out of 5

(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5…

FF84 Book Review of Josh+Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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Name of Book: Josh+Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

Author: Christina Lauren

ISBN: 9781501165856

Publisher: Gallery

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Most men can't handle Hazel. With the energy of a toddler and the mouth of a sailor, they're often too timid to recognize her heart of gold. New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Roomies, Beautiful Bastard) tells the story of two people who are definitely not dating, no matter how often they end up in bed together.

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she's a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren't up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don't send them running, her lack of filter means she'll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She's a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gr…

FFE82 Book Review of Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

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Name of Book: Girls' Night Out

Author: Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke

ISBN:B078GPQS1P

Publisher:Lake Union Publishing

Year it was published:2018

Summary:

From the bestselling authors of The Good Widow comes a chilling novel of psychological suspense that will make you think twice about what your best friend may be hiding…

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could …

FFE45 and FF53. Book Review of The neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon

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Name of Book: The Neighbors

Author: Hannah Mary McKinnon

ISBN:9780778311003

Publisher: MIRA

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Abby looks forward to meeting the family who just moved in across the street—until she realizes they’re the one couple who could expose her deepest secrets

After a night of fun back in 1992, Abby is responsible for a car crash that kills her beloved brother. It’s a mistake she can never forgive, so she pushes away Liam, the man she loves most, knowing that he would eventually hate her for what she’s done, the same way she hates herself.

Twenty years later, Abby’s husband, Nate, is also living with a deep sense of guilt. He was the driver who first came upon the scene of Abby’s accident, the man who pulled her to safety before the car erupted in flames—the man who could not save her brother in time. It’s this guilt, this regret, that binds them together. They understand each other. Or so Nate believes.

In a strange twist of fate, Liam moves into the neighborhood w…

FF80 Book Review of The Sea goddess by LINNEA Hartsuyker

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Name of Book: The Sea Goddess

Author: Linnea Hartsuyker

ISBN:9780062563736

Publisher: Harper

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

An exhilarating Viking saga filled with the rich history, romantic adventure and political intrigue that have made Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, as well as Phillippa Gregory’s historical fiction and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology popular bestsellers.

Six years after The Half-Drowned King, Ragnvald Eysteinsson is now king of Sogn, but fighting battles for King Harald keeps him away from home, as he confronts treachery and navigates a political landscape that grows more dangerous the higher he rises.

Ragnvald’s sister Svanhild has found the freedom and adventure she craves at the side of the rebel explorer Solvi Hunthiofsson, though not without a cost. She longs for a home where her quiet son can grow strong, and a place where she can put down roots, even as Solvi’s ambition draws him back to Norway’s battles again and keeps her…

FF60 Book Review of The daisy children by Sofia Grant

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Name of Book: The Daisy Children

Author: Sofia Grant

ISBN:9780062693440

Publisher: William Morrow

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Inspired by true events, in Sofia Grant’s powerfully moving new novel a young woman peels back the layers of her family’s history, discovering a tragedy in the past that explains so much of the present. This unforgettable story is one of hope, healing, and the discovery of truth.

Sometimes the untold stories of the past are the ones we need to hear...

When Katie Garrett gets the unexpected news that she’s received an inheritance from the grandmother she hardly knew, it couldn’t have come at a better time. She flees Boston—and her increasingly estranged husband—and travels to rural Texas.

There, she’s greeted by her distant cousin Scarlett. Friendly, flamboyant, eternally optimistic, Scarlett couldn’t be more different from sensible Katie. And as they begin the task of sorting through their grandmother’s possessions, they discover letters and photographs tha…

FF51 Book Review of American stranger by David Plante

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Name of Book: American Stranger

Author: David Plante

ISBN:9781883285739

Publisher: Delphinium

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Brought up in a secular household on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Nancy Green knows suspiciously little about her parents’ past. She knows they escaped Germany, avoiding the fate of so many of their fellow Jews during World War II, but the few family heirlooms they brought to the United States are reminders of a lost life that, for Nancy, remains shrouded in mystery. She seeks connection and a sense of belonging, a relationship in which she can find some sort of religious fulfillment.

Unfortunately, Nancy’s first encounter is with a Hasidic man who, dissatisfied with Judaism, has taken vows to become a monk. Then, while studying English literature in Boston, she meets a Catholic boy who captures her interest, but he’s desperate to escape his overbearing mother and the clutches of the Church. After a devastating breakup, Nancy finally settles down with a husband…

G1042 Book Review of The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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Name of Book: The Kiss Quotient

Author: Helen Hoang

ISBN: 978-0-451-49080-3

Publisher: Berkley

Type of book: Asperger's, role reversal, California, wealth, escorting, family, coming-of-age, self-acceptance, romance, love, half-Vietnamese half Swedish/white female

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish …

G1059 Book Review of Camelot's Queen by Nicole Evelina

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Name of Book: Camelot's Queen

Author: Nicole Evelina

ISBN: 9780996763288

Publisher: Lawson Gartner

Part of a Series: Guinevere's Tale Trilogy

Type of book: King Arthur, 497-518, kingdom, magic, Avalon, Anglo Saxons, Bretons, tribes, England, wars, rape, assault, obsession, adultery, affair, religions, Guinevere, Lancelot, Morgan 

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

History remembers Guinevere’s sin, but it was Arthur who transgressed first.

Forced into a marriage she neither anticipated nor desired, Guinevere finds herself High Queen, ruling and fighting alongside Arthur as they try to subdue the Saxons, Irish and Picts who threaten Britain from every direction. Though her heart still longs for her lost love, Guinevere slowly grows to care for her husband as they join together to defeat their enemies.

Meanwhile, within the walls of Camelot their closest allies plot against them. One schemes to make Guinevere his own, another seeks revenge for past transgressions, while a third fixe…