It was such fun to look back on what I’ve read this past year and pick my favorites! Below you’ll find mostly adult fiction titles, including some standout graphic novels, as well as a stellar young adult novel (Wilder Girls!). 2019 was also the year I dabbled in reading outside my comfort zone of generally weird and spooky, venturing into the land of romantic fiction and true crime. Much to my surprise, I was so utterly charmed by a romance novel that it ended up on this list (I’m looking at you Chloe Brown). I hope that if you haven’t read one of these titles you will be inspired to stop by and check it out this winter. Maybe you will also find yourself pleasantly surprised by broadening your reading horizons *wink*. Wishing you a joyful holiday season and happy reading!
Lists of books with an LGBTQIA authors or character:
A great read for any practitioner or follower of any path. Gives some very practical tips for spellwork and working with spirits.
A practical guide that is based in chaos magic but has some great tips for all. Looking about how one can use your individual spiritual/occult practice to deal with the practical concerns of life.
by Grant Morrison
Though this comic has been out for decades, it was only this year that I got to it. An absorbing graphic novel that explores themes of oppression, control, and the various prices of bucking the status quo.
The Ballad of Black Tom
by Victor D. LaValle
A great example of not only building on top of but expanding the source material. This book starts with the framework of Lovecraft and addresses historical and contemporary issues.
Sheila Hicks : Lifelines
edited by Michel Gauthier
A wonderful visual retrospective of the artist’s work, this volume explores every stage of the artist’s career. Hick’s is a master of color and form and her work is carefully reproduced here.
by Alan Moore
Again another graphic novel that had been on my radar but I hadn’t gotten to. Promethea is a story that not only explores mythology and the the last 100 years of occultism but seem to reflect many of the author’s own beliefs.
by Naomi Alderman
Alderman’s work explores the dynamics of power and gender and how old patterns can reemerge when the world is made new again.
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror
by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
A collection of stories about stories, archetypes, and culturally created gender. These tales are filled with horror or uncanniness as Ortberg picks apart the very idea of a fairy tale and our own “norms”.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Book one, The Crucible
by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Read the graphic novel that the Netflix show is based on. There are many differences from the show and this source material and it guaranteed to help tide fans over as they wait for season two.
Clive Barker’s next testament. Volume On
by Clive Barker
A truly terrifying look at what it would be like if our creator came back. An engrossing story, but Barker definitely maintains his horror aesthetic throughout.
In no particular order (such a rebel this year!):
Ravenmaster by Christopher Skaife
Ok -so now I want a raven!
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Funny, kind, and honest look at who she was, who she is, and who she’s becoming.
Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt
If it’s a “no” on the raven, I’d be happy with a European starling like Carmen…
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
The care and attention paid to the production of this book matches the content.
Rescue Board by Rebecca Erbelding
There’s always more history can teach us, if we’re willing to learn.
The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
Suspenseful, with nuanced characters.
Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
Oh my! Great story about the Great War!
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Even the people closest to you have hidden stories.
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
Little white lies, neighborhood gossip, and friendship in tough times.
The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue
Unnerving! -with a great, twisty ending!
Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman
Western + fairy tale + suspense = this book.
Gilded Age by Claire McMillan
Hello Cleveland! Hello CMA’s Jazz Bowl! hello hankie (to dry my tears.)
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
100%! (bonus -if you like audio? Sound Up!)
Girl at the Grave by Teri Baily Black
Historical fiction mystery with a touch of feminism.
The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman
Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall
Sad to see the series end but loved the journey.
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrack Kelly
A Newbery Medal winner -for a reason!
I’m excited to see what 2019 will bring!
Schoolwork has been taking up most of my time this year but as soon as finals are over I plan to catch up on some reading. Here are the one’s I plan on starting the year with:
The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
Camino Island by John Grisham
Heartbreak Hotel by Jonathan Kellerman
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
The Breakdown by B. A. Paris
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. –Vera Nazarian
10. NUMMER ZEHN THE DRY– Jane Harper
9. NUMÉRO NEUF I LET YOU GO– Clare Mackintosh
8. NUMERO OCHO THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET– Becky Chambers
6. NUMER SZEŚĆ I FOUND YOU– Lisa Jewell
5. NUMERO CINQUE TWO IF BY SEA– Jacqueline Mitchard
4. ÀIREAMH CEITHIR THE LATE SHOW– Michael Connelly
3. NUMBER ਤੀਹ HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDS– Biance Marais
2. NUMMER TO THE CHILD FINDER– Rene Denfeld
1. INOMBOLO YOKUQALA THE KIND WORTH KILLING– Peter Swanson
Last year I read my first ever book by Neil Gaiman (I KNOW.) (American Gods). So 2017, for me, was sort of The Year of Gaiman and I spent it getting my hands on as much of his work as I could. I picked out a few of my top Gaiman reads for the year and gave them one spot on my list (the rules are pretty liberal around here). I did the same for another author I happened to discover this year, Jason Reynolds. Again, as soon as I read my first book by Reynolds I immediately went after more. Playing catch-up is SUPER fun when you don’t have to wait around for an author to put out more stuff for you to read. The rest is, as per me, a little bit of everything. Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
3.) A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
4.) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
5.) The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
6.) The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney
7.) Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
8.) The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
9.) The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (The Magicians Series)
10.) The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (The Neapolitan Novels)