Favorite Books of 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018
I am excited to share my favorite books of 2018 with you. These are the books I loved. These are the books I couldn't put down. These are the books I am still thinking about today. Let's get to them, in no particular order. (I should note, these are my favorite books I read this year. They were not necessarily published this year.)

The Book Thiefby Markus Zusak
5 stars

World War II historical fiction written from the perspective of death. It was like nothing I had read before. I loved everything about it from its unique narrator to its storyline to its writing. It was beautiful.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
5 stars

World Word II historical fiction told through letters. Though this was a reread for me, I had forgotten the story. I laughed and cried through the entire thing. I loved it. Pretty much the perfect book for me.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
5 stars

A unique structure, an unreliable narrator, tragedy and hope. It again was like nothing I had read before. I must admit, I had to work for it, but I loved it.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
5 stars
Finally, Marilla's story. It was done so, so well. I fell in love with Marilla and Matthew and Green Gables all over again. This one could have been so disappointing, but it absolutely wasn't it. I thought it was perfect.

2018 Reading Goals - Wrap up

My reading goals this year were to...

READ MORE CLASSIC LITERATURE

READ MORE NONFICTION

READ MORE FROM MY SHELVES (PHYSICAL/KINDLE/NOOK/GOODREADS)


How did I do?

I READ 12 CLASSIC BOOKS

I READ 12 NONFICTION BOOKS

I READ 28 BOOKS FROM MY SHELVES

I am really, really happy with how I did.

#theunreadshelfproject2018 - Wrap up

One of my reading goals this year was to read more books from my shelves, whether they be my physical shelves, the shelves on my Kindle or Nook, or the shelves on my Goodreads account. To help keep me accountable, I loosely joined in with #theunreadshelfproject2018 on Bookstagram and checked in here, on my blog, monthly to see how I progressed with my goal. Overall, I read 28 books and removed 23 books. Here is how my shelves look today.

PHYSICAL (15)
Between Shades of Gray 
Salt to the Sea
The Alice Network
Reading People
The Chemistry of Calm
Jane and the Wandering Eye
Kristin Lavransdatter
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Gilead
A Share in Death
The Five Love Languages
How to Hug a Hedgehog
I am Malala
For Times of Trouble
Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore
Intuitive Eating

KINDLE (5)
Brideshead Revisited
Whose Body
Cloud of Witness
Unnatural Death
Angelfall

NOOK (2)
A Timeless Romance Anthology - Mail Order Bride collection
Murder on the Orient Express 

GOODREADS (138)
The Book Thief
The Thorn Birds
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Jayber Crow
An Ember in Ashes
The Once and Future King
The Wednesday Wars
The Beekeepers Apprentice
The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery
I Capture the Castle
Sense and Sensibility (The Austen Project #1)
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Flight of the Sparrow
The Gilded Years
Dead Wake
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Amy Snow
Hannah Coulter
The Sea of Tranquility
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
The Girl in the Castle
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
The Eyre Affair
Gift from the Sea
Poison Study
Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2)
Emma (The Austen Project #3)
My Brilliant Friend
The Year of Living Danishly
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap
The Penderwicks
Honeymoon Hotel
The Night Circus
Code Name Verity
The Marvels
Moon Over Manifest
Enchanted Islands
At Home in Mitford
The Sweetness of Forgetting
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Into Thin Air
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper 
My Life in France
My Berlin Kitchen
The Professor and the Madman
Quartet in Autumn
The Muse
A Clearing in the Distance
Winter Solstice
Gods in Alabama
The Historian
The Winds of War
Team of Rivals
One True Loves
Atonement
The Tea Rose
The Night Watch
Night
Life After Life
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Mindset
Walk on Earth a Stranger
The Anatomist's Wife
A Portrait of Emily Price
Grave Mercy
Death at La Fenice
A Study in Charlotte
A Beautiful Blue Death
Flight of Dreams
I Was Anastasia
From Doon with Death
The Coroner's Lunch
Raven Black
A Test of Wills
The Cater Street Hangman
The Crossing Places
Whispers Beyond the Veil
The Mangle Street Murders
The Kitchen House
First Impressions
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Legendary
Another Day in the Death of America
The Essex Serpent
Caroline
The Other Alcott
Big Stone Gap
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Name of the Wind
Possession
Uncharted
Force of Nature
Birds of a Feather
The Likeness
Loving Lucianna
Terms of Endearment
Three Wishes
Still Me
The Horse Dancer
The Dark Enquiry
A Perilous Undertaking
The Austen Escape
A Fall of Marigolds
Origin
The Secret of the India Orchid
The Fairest Beauty
My Cousin Rachel
The Suspect's Daughter
Jane Austen's First Love
Orphan Train
Dawn at Emberwilde
44 Scotland Street
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window
The Forgetting Time
The Sea House
A Conspiracy in Belgravia
Magpie Murders
Caleb's Crossing
For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Moonstone
The Day the Angels Fell
Six of Crows 
Rules of Murder
The Mountain Between Us
Luck, Love and Lemon Pie
The Madwoman Upstairs
The Bean Trees
The Aviator's Wife
The Seven Sisters
Jane of Austin
Unequal Affections
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
A Wilder Rose
Everything I Never Told You
The Great Halifax Explosion
Dark Matter
The Time In Between
The Darkling Bride 

2018 Reading Goals - December update

December ended up being an okay month for my reading goals. Here is how I did.

READ MORE CLASSIC LITERATURE
  • I read one classic book - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
READ MORE NONFICTION
  • I read no nonfiction books
READ MORE FROM MY SHELVES (PHYSICAL/KINDLE/NOOK/GOODREADS)
  • I read no books from my shelves

#theunreadshelfproject2018 - December update

One of my reading goals this year is to read more books from my shelves, whether they be my physical shelves, the shelves on my Kindle or Nook, or the shelves on my Goodreads account. To help keep me accountable, I will be loosely joining in with #theunreadshelfproject2018 on Bookstagram and checking in here, on my blog, monthly to see how I am progressing with my goal. Here's how my shelves look today.

PHYSICAL (15)
Between Shades of Gray 
Salt to the Sea
The Alice Network
Reading People
The Chemistry of Calm
Jane and the Wandering Eye
Kristin Lavransdatter
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Gilead
A Share in Death
The Five Love Languages
How to Hug a Hedgehog
I am Malala
For Times of Trouble
Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore
Intuitive Eating

KINDLE (5)
Brideshead Revisited
Whose Body
Cloud of Witness
Unnatural Death
Angelfall

NOOK (2)
A Timeless Romance Anthology - Mail Order Bride collection
Murder on the Orient Express 

GOODREADS (138)
The Book Thief
The Thorn Birds
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Jayber Crow
An Ember in Ashes
The Once and Future King
The Wednesday Wars
The Beekeepers Apprentice
The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery
I Capture the Castle
Sense and Sensibility (The Austen Project #1)
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Flight of the Sparrow
The Gilded Years
Dead Wake
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Amy Snow
Hannah Coulter
The Sea of Tranquility
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
The Girl in the Castle
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
The Eyre Affair
Gift from the Sea
Poison Study
Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2)
Emma (The Austen Project #3)
My Brilliant Friend
The Year of Living Danishly
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap
The Penderwicks
Honeymoon Hotel
The Night Circus
Code Name Verity
The Marvels
Moon Over Manifest
Enchanted Islands
At Home in Mitford
The Sweetness of Forgetting
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Into Thin Air
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper 
My Life in France
My Berlin Kitchen
The Professor and the Madman
Quartet in Autumn
The Muse
A Clearing in the Distance
Winter Solstice
Gods in Alabama
The Historian
The Winds of War
Team of Rivals
One True Loves
Atonement
The Tea Rose
The Night Watch
Night
Life After Life
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Mindset
Walk on Earth a Stranger
The Anatomist's Wife
A Portrait of Emily Price
Grave Mercy
Death at La Fenice
A Study in Charlotte
A Beautiful Blue Death
Flight of Dreams
I Was Anastasia
From Doon with Death
The Coroner's Lunch
Raven Black
A Test of Wills
The Cater Street Hangman
The Crossing Places
Whispers Beyond the Veil
The Mangle Street Murders
The Kitchen House
First Impressions
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Legendary
Another Day in the Death of America
The Essex Serpent
Caroline
The Other Alcott
Big Stone Gap
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Name of the Wind
Possession
Uncharted
Force of Nature
Birds of a Feather
The Likeness
Loving Lucianna
Terms of Endearment
Three Wishes
Still Me
The Horse Dancer
The Dark Enquiry
A Perilous Undertaking
The Austen Escape
A Fall of Marigolds
Origin
The Secret of the India Orchid
The Fairest Beauty
My Cousin Rachel
The Suspect's Daughter
Jane Austen's First Love
Orphan Train
Dawn at Emberwilde
44 Scotland Street
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window
The Forgetting Time
The Sea House
A Conspiracy in Belgravia
Magpie Murders
Caleb's Crossing
For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Moonstone
The Day the Angels Fell
Six of Crows 
Rules of Murder
The Mountain Between Us
Luck, Love and Lemon Pie
The Madwoman Upstairs
The Bean Trees
The Aviator's Wife
The Seven Sisters
Jane of Austin
Unequal Affections
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
A Wilder Rose
Everything I Never Told You
The Great Halifax Explosion
Dark Matter
The Time In Between
The Darkling Bride 

What I've Been Reading - December 2018

Welcome to What I've Been Reading, where I share my quick and personal thoughts on what I've been reading this past month. For specifics about each book, click on the provided book images.

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
3 stars
Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery is the third in Colgan's Little Beach Street Bakery series. I really loved the first in the series. I found it simple, sweet, quirky and fun. Unfortunately, the second and third books didn't quite live up to the first. However, I still enjoyed them and am glad to have read the entire series.

5 stars
Harry Potter needs no introduction. It has been six years since I read this series for the first time, so I felt it was time for a reread. I think I may have enjoyed this second reading more than the first. It was such a joy. I can't wait to read the rest of the series in the coming year.

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
5 stars
I was so excited, yet so nervous to read Marilla of Green Gables. I had nothing to worry about, however. It is wonderful. I absolutely loved it. The story McCoy weaved feels genuine and I believe would be approved my L.M. Montgomery herself. Just beautiful.

2 stars
My family recently decided to start a family book club. My husband got the honor of choosing our first book and chose The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I must admit, I laughed out loud a few times while reading it, but ultimately, it wasn't for me. I am looking forward, however, to discussing it as a family.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
4 stars
Colgan is quickly becoming a favorite author. Her books are simply a lot of fun and The Bookshop on the Corner is no exception. This one combined two of my favorite things -- Books and Scotland. I enjoyed it so much and would be happy if Colgan turned this one into a series.

5 stars
5 stars
I thought I would return to the rest of this series in the new year, but I couldn't wait. I am so glad I didn't. These are the perfect books to read during the Christmas season. I am enjoying them so, so much this second time through. 

2018 Reading Goals - November update

Friday, November 30, 2018
November was an okay month for my reading goals. Here is how I did.

READ MORE CLASSIC LITERATURE
  • I read one classic book - A Little Princess
READ MORE NONFICTION
  • I read no nonfiction books
READ MORE FROM MY SHELVES (PHYSICAL/KINDLE/NOOK/GOODREADS)
  • I read no books from my shelves

#theunreadshelfproject2018 - November update

One of my reading goals this year is to read more books from my shelves, whether they be my physical shelves, the shelves on my Kindle or Nook, or the shelves on my Goodreads account. To help keep me accountable, I will be loosely joining in with #theunreadshelfproject2018 on Bookstagram and checking in here, on my blog, monthly to see how I am progressing with my goal. Here's how my shelves look today.

PHYSICAL (15)
Between Shades of Gray 
Salt to the Sea
The Alice Network
Reading People
The Chemistry of Calm
Jane and the Wandering Eye
Kristin Lavransdatter
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Gilead
A Share in Death
The Five Love Languages
How to Hug a Hedgehog
I am Malala
For Times of Trouble
Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore
Intuitive Eating

KINDLE (5)
Brideshead Revisited
Whose Body
Cloud of Witness
Unnatural Death
Angelfall

NOOK (2)
A Timeless Romance Anthology - Mail Order Bride collection
Murder on the Orient Express 

GOODREADS (138)
The Book Thief
The Thorn Birds
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Jayber Crow
An Ember in Ashes
The Once and Future King
The Wednesday Wars
The Beekeepers Apprentice
The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery
I Capture the Castle
Sense and Sensibility (The Austen Project #1)
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Flight of the Sparrow
The Gilded Years
Dead Wake
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Amy Snow
Hannah Coulter
The Sea of Tranquility
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
The Girl in the Castle
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
The Eyre Affair
Gift from the Sea
Poison Study
Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2)
Emma (The Austen Project #3)
My Brilliant Friend
The Year of Living Danishly
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap
The Penderwicks
Honeymoon Hotel
The Night Circus
Code Name Verity
The Marvels
Moon Over Manifest
Enchanted Islands
At Home in Mitford
The Sweetness of Forgetting
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Into Thin Air
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper 
My Life in France
My Berlin Kitchen
The Professor and the Madman
Quartet in Autumn
The Muse
A Clearing in the Distance
Winter Solstice
Gods in Alabama
The Historian
The Winds of War
Team of Rivals
One True Loves
Atonement
The Tea Rose
The Night Watch
Night
Life After Life
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Mindset
Walk on Earth a Stranger
The Anatomist's Wife
A Portrait of Emily Price
Grave Mercy
Death at La Fenice
A Study in Charlotte
A Beautiful Blue Death
Flight of Dreams
I Was Anastasia
From Doon with Death
The Coroner's Lunch
Raven Black
A Test of Wills
The Cater Street Hangman
The Crossing Places
Whispers Beyond the Veil
The Mangle Street Murders
The Kitchen House
First Impressions
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Legendary
Another Day in the Death of America
The Essex Serpent
Caroline
The Other Alcott
Big Stone Gap
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Name of the Wind
Possession
Uncharted
Force of Nature
Birds of a Feather
The Likeness
Loving Lucianna
Terms of Endearment
Three Wishes
Still Me
The Horse Dancer
The Dark Enquiry
A Perilous Undertaking
The Austen Escape
A Fall of Marigolds
Origin
The Secret of the India Orchid
The Fairest Beauty
My Cousin Rachel
The Suspect's Daughter
Jane Austen's First Love
Orphan Train
Dawn at Emberwilde
44 Scotland Street
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window
The Forgetting Time
The Sea House
A Conspiracy in Belgravia
Magpie Murders
Caleb's Crossing
For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Moonstone
The Day the Angels Fell
Six of Crows 
Rules of Murder
The Mountain Between Us
Luck, Love and Lemon Pie
The Madwoman Upstairs
The Bean Trees
The Aviator's Wife
The Seven Sisters
Jane of Austin
Unequal Affections
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
A Wilder Rose
Everything I Never Told You
The Great Halifax Explosion
Dark Matter
The Time In Between
The Darkling Bride 

What I've Been Reading - November 2018

Welcome to What I've Been Reading, where I share my quick and personal thoughts on what I've been reading this past month. For specifics about each book, click on the provided book images.
This month, I decided it was time to complete Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series. I started this series in hopes that I would love it as much as I love Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, the two often being compared to one another. Sadly, I don't, but I am a completionist, so I had to complete this series despite my lack of love. Tana French does write smart, well-crafted murder mysteries that are more about the characters than the murders, much like Louise Penny, but I just don't love her characters as I do Penny's, nor do I get the cozy vibe I get from Penny's novels. Anyway, enough comparison. I found The Secret Place, the fifth book in this series, to be a good read. The premise and pacing kept me turning the pages. 3 stars (Warning - Language)
Like I said, this month was the time to complete this series. The Trespasser is the final book in the series (as of today) and, so, with its completion, I am done with the series. The Trespasser was also a good read. I didn't quite turn the pages as quickly as I did with The Secret Place, but almost. 3 stars (Warming - Language)
I chose A Little Princess to fulfill my goal to read one classic each month this year. This was one of those classics that I somehow missed growing up. I am glad to have finally read it. It was a sweet read and I can see why it is so loved. 4 stars
I am part of the Modern Mrs Darcy book club and this was the flight (optional) book this month. I almost didn't read it, because the synopsis didn't draw me in, but for some reason I decided to try it and I am so glad I did. It was a beautiful book. It touches on some tough topics, but, as it is written for middle graders, it is done so in a gentle manner. I highly recommend this one for all readers. 4 stars
This was a surprise read for me. I liked it so much more than I expected to. On my Instagram account, I asked for cozy December/Christmas reads. The Little Beach Street Bakery series was suggested, as it has a Christmas book within the series. Though a bit outside what I usually read, I decided to go for it. I am so glad I did. I really, really enjoyed it. Simple, sweet, quirky and fun. 4 stars
This is the second in the Little Beach Street Bakery series. It didn't quite live up to the first, but I still enjoyed it and definitely will pick up the third book in the series. Still simple, sweet, quirky and fun. 3 stars

This was the main book chosen for Modern Mrs Darcy 's book club this month. Somehow, I had never even heard of this book. Thank goodness for book clubs, because I am so glad to have read it. It ended up being almost a five star read for me. How to describe what I loved about this book? It has a unique structure, which can be difficult. It has an unreliable narrator, amongst its many narrators, which can also be difficult. It is a bit tragic, but despite those things, (and because of those things) I loved it. Thankfully, it all came together in the end and I feel ended hopefully. I will definitely be returning to this one in the future. 4.5 stars

#theunreadshelfproject2018 - October update

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
One of my reading goals this year is to read more books from my shelves, whether they be my physical shelves, the shelves on my Kindle or Nook, or the shelves on my Goodreads account. To help keep me accountable, I will be loosely joining in with #theunreadshelfproject2018 on Bookstagram and checking in here, on my blog, monthly to see how I am progressing with my goal. Here's how my shelves look today.

PHYSICAL (15)
Between Shades of Gray 
Salt to the Sea
The Alice Network
Reading People
The Chemistry of Calm
Jane and the Wandering Eye
Kristin Lavransdatter
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Gilead
A Share in Death
The Five Love Languages
How to Hug a Hedgehog
I am Malala
For Times of Trouble
Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore
Intuitive Eating

KINDLE (5)
Brideshead Revisited
Whose Body
Cloud of Witness
Unnatural Death
Angelfall

NOOK (2)
A Timeless Romance Anthology - Mail Order Bride collection
Murder on the Orient Express 

GOODREADS (145)
The Book Thief
The Thorn Birds
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Jayber Crow
An Ember in Ashes
The Once and Future King
The Wednesday Wars
The Beekeepers Apprentice
The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery
I Capture the Castle
Sense and Sensibility (The Austen Project #1)
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk
Flight of the Sparrow
The Gilded Years
Dead Wake
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Amy Snow
Hannah Coulter
The Sea of Tranquility
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
The Girl in the Castle
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
The Eyre Affair
Gift from the Sea
Poison Study
Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2)
Emma (The Austen Project #3)
My Brilliant Friend
The Year of Living Danishly
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap
The Penderwicks
Honeymoon Hotel
The Night Circus
Code Name Verity
The Marvels
Moon Over Manifest
Enchanted Islands
At Home in Mitford
The Sweetness of Forgetting
The Big Rock Candy Mountain
Into Thin Air
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper 
My Life in France
My Berlin Kitchen
The Professor and the Madman
Quartet in Autumn
The Muse
A Clearing in the Distance
Winter Solstice
Wolf Hall
Gods in Alabama
The Historian
The Winds of War
Team of Rivals
One True Loves
Atonement
The Tea Rose
The Night Watch
Night
Life After Life
Saint Maybe
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Mindset
Walk on Earth a Stranger
The Anatomist's Wife
A Portrait of Emily Price
Grave Mercy
Death at La Fenice
A Study in Charlotte
A Beautiful Blue Death
Flight of Dreams
I Was Anastasia
From Doon with Death
The Coroner's Lunch
Raven Black
A Test of Wills
The Cater Street Hangman
The Crossing Places
Whispers Beyond the Veil
The Mangle Street Murders
The Kitchen House
First Impressions
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Legendary
Another Day in the Death of America
The Essex Serpent
Caroline
The Other Alcott
Big Stone Gap
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Name of the Wind
Possession
The Atlas of Forgotten Places
Uncharted
Force of Nature
Birds of a Feather
The Likeness
Loving Lucianna
Terms of Endearment
Three Wishes
Still Me
The Horse Dancer
A Perilous Undertaking
The Austen Escape
A Fall of Marigolds
Origin
The Secret of the India Orchid
The Fairest Beauty
My Cousin Rachel
The Suspect's Daughter
Jane Austen's First Love
Orphan Train
Dawn at Emberwilde
44 Scotland Street
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window
The Forgetting Time
The Sea House
A Conspiracy in Belgravia
Magpie Murders
Hum if You Don't Know the Words
Caleb's Crossing
For Darkness Shows the Stars
The Moonstone
The Day the Angels Fell
Six of Crows 
Rules of Murder
The Hate U Give
Eleanor Oliphant is Just Fine
The Mountain Between Us
Luck, Love and Lemon Pie
The Madwoman Upstairs
The Bean Trees
The Aviator's Wife
The Seven Sisters
Jane of Austin
Unequal Affections
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
A Wilder Rose
Everything I Never Told You
The Great Halifax Explosion
Emma in the Night
Dark Matter
The Time In Between
The Darkling Bride