The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone
Hydra by Matt Wesolowski
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (audiobook)
Attend by West Camel
Joyland by Stephen King
The Wife by Alafair Burke (audiobook)
Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden
Unmemory by Kristi DeMeester
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
Wraith by Joe Hill
The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories: Volume Two edited by Allen Grove
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
13 books (2 audiobooks)
Top 3 Reads: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Redbreast, & Hydra
Welcome to my last post of 2018! I can’t believe this year has come to a close. It’s been a fantastic one for reading and life! I fully intended to have my favorite reads of 2018 post ready today, but I actually had to hold off because I just wrapped my last read of the year and it’s going on the list! Stay tuned for a full post tomorrow and in the meantime, let’s talk December reads!
This month started off with THE MANSION by Ezekiel Boone, who is an author I have had on my radar for quite a while. I’ve heard great things about Boone’s The Hatching series and would love to eventually add it to my TBR. THE MANSION had an amazing premise, but the delivery was a bit slow for me. Despite some pacing issues I still greatly enjoyed this book.
Also kicking off the month was my audiobook listen to KINGDOM OF THE BLIND. This is the 14th installment of Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. This is easily the longest series I have ever won and this book brought back all of the original feelings that made me fall in love with the characters and Penny’s writing. I can’t recommend this series enough to readers who enjoy a cozy mystery.
Speaking of heartwarming reads…ATTEND by West Camel gave me all the feels! This book features some standout characters in Anne, Sam, and Deborah. I was so intrigued how the lives of this trio ended up weaving together. Camel’s writing is absolutely poetic and I guarantee you will fall in love with this story!
No reading month would be complete for me without my Stephen King read-along and Criminally Good Book Club selections. This month’s Stephen King pick was JOYLAND, which is the first book I ever read by King and also my first re-read. I absolutely love how different this coming of age story is from the stereotypical notion people have for King’s writing. Devin Jones is one of the most honest narrators out there and sure to capture your heart with his reflection back to his time working at Joyland amusement park.
THE WIFE completely exceed all expectations of a domestic thriller for me! I saw this book floating around the book/blogging world, but it mostly remained under my radar until it was selected for December’s Criminally Good Book Club pick. What a wild ride! Every time I thought I knew something, Burke slashed that idea and threw me a curveball. I loved how effortlessly the story flowed and the narration on the audiobook truly held me captive. I can’t wait to talk about this book with the club in a few days!
December marked the launch of Night Worms, which is a monthly subscription box that focuses on horror and books over things. I absolutely loved my package and the selections that I found inside!
This package included two short story collections, HARK! THE HERALD ANGEL SCREAM and THE VALANCOURT BOOK OF VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS GHOST STORIES: VOLUME TWO. I found so many new authors to fill my Amazon cart with from HARK! This collection had a ton of authors I had been eyeing around the horror community and wanted to look into, but was unsure where to start. I now have some books I want to fully commit t next year. VALANCOURT didn’t add any new authors to my TBR, but it did give me a great exposure to classic ghost stories! I’ll likely pick up another volume from this series next holiday season.
My favorite part of Night Worms has to be the authors Sadie and Ashley are choosing to include in their packages. Kristi DeMeester is a name I learned about this year and she has received some high praise by several reviewers that I greatly respect. I’ve been wanting to order her book, EVERYTHING THAT’S UNDERNEATH, but haven’t had the availability in my TBR. Well she just blew me away with her chapbook UNMEMORY, so it looks like I’ll need to be making room ASAP!
This month featured brilliant additions to series’ that I love. Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series has really wiggled it’s way into my heart thanks to Ari Thor and Jonasson’s brilliant, atmospheric writing style. NIGHTBLIND was everything you want from a sequel and I cannot wait to see what happens next month when I read BLACKOUT.
WRAITH also gave me a chance to be back in a world that captured by heart…the creepy place known as Christmasland. This graphic novel is a prequel to Hill’s NOS4A2, which I adored last December. This book had a great mix of backstory for one of the worst villains out there, as well as a fresh new tale.
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for…my top three reads of the month!
First up is HYDRA by Matt Wesolowski, which is the second installment in his Six Stories series. I’ve actually owned this book since early this year, but I hate reading the last available in a series, so I kept putting this book off. With THE CHANGLING (book three) coming out next month I finally dove in and found this book to be incredible! I love Wesolowski’s writing to pieces!
THE REDBREAST was the perfect blend of historical elements with crime fiction to solidify Nesbo’s Harry Hole series as a favorite for me! I enjoyed the previous two books, THE BAT and COCKROACHES, as well as THE SNOWMAN, but this book truly committed me to wanting to read the series in it’s entirety. I love Harry Hole and all that makes him the interesting detective that he is. Nesbo’s writing was yet again perfectly captivating and there’s a bit of the story from this book that I hope will be continued in the next installment.
Lastly is the absolutely brilliant THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO! I’ll try to reign my fingerling in, as I just did quite a bit in my review for the book, but wow! I can’t say enough good things about this book and my newly found love for Lisbeth Salander. My TBR is always crammed and I’m already in the midst of so many series reads, but I am determined to carry on with this one. Now, I just need to do some book shopping and reorganizing!
I’d love to know what you read this month! Have you read any of these titles? Let’s chat!
Here’s to 2019 and January reads! Happy reading!
Disclaimer: Thank you to Orenda Books, Atria Books, and Minotaur Books for sending me free review copies in exchange for an honest review.