For a complete list of what I read this year, click here.
What were your favorite books this year? Let me know in the comments below.
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Amazon)
“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal pr
odigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone.…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.”
If you haven’t read anything by Leigh Bardugo, you should. Her stories suck you in, and you can easily fall in love with her characters. Six of Crows was different for me because I don’t normally enjoy stories with multiple perspectives. But I actually was attached and interested all the main characters, even though they aren’t your typical protagonists. They’re all outcasts and criminals, and that’s what makes them more interesting. It’s a page turner.
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Amazon)
“Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life–until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?”
This is one of those important books I think everyone should read. I read a lot of books from this time period, but most deal with Nazi Germany. Few deal with what the Soviets did. I never knew that the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania, and I didn’t know much about the work camps in Siberia. After reading this, I was inspired to do some of my own research to learn more about the subject. But it isn’t just interesting from a historical standpoint. The characters felt real, and everything that happened to them was heartbreaking. It’s hard to believe something like this might have happened.
- A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Amazon)
The summary is for the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, because the synopsis for this one contains spoilers.
“When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.”
This book was my favorite in the trilogy (I wasn’t a fan of the third book). I love that it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but the spin on it is amazing. A Court of Mist and Fury is a must read, even if you weren’t impressed with the first book. Besides, there’s Rhys. I love Rhys.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell (Amazon)
“George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.
“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.
When Animal Farm was first published, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.”
I love George Orwell, I love satire, and this book combines both of those things. Even though it’s clear that the Soviet Union was the target of the novel, the characters themselves can be see across multiple cultures and eras, and it’s terrifying.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Amazon)
‘“Ten . . .”
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U. N. Owen.”
“Nine . . .”
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
“Eight . . .”
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
“Seven . . .”
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?’
I love a good mystery, and Agatha Christie was the Queen of Mystery. And Then There Were None is a classic story, one that might sound familiar now but would have been fresh and new when she wrote it. But even though the basic story is familiar—strangers being sent letters, invited to be guests with a mystery host, mysteriously dying off one by one—it wasn’t cliché or predictable. In fact, I found it to be quite entertaining. I think it took me two nights to read it because I couldn’t put it down.