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2018 Recent Reads: October-December

This is a little late due to The Fiasco but I couldn’t not finish my 2018 Recent Reads series! For those of you who are new, every quarter I wrap up what I read in the previous quarter. It’s a fun way for me to reflect on what I read, and hopefully it gives some of you ideas of what to read next! In general, I read an eclectic group of genres, and that’s definitely represented here. But hopefully that just means that there will be something for everyone in this post!

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In this series, Boston blogger Kate the (Almost) Great shares the books she read in October, November, and December and reviews them.

Playing with Matches – This was such a fun read! It’s about a college grad in NYC who, unable to get another job, becomes a matchmaker. Yup, an official, actual matchmaker. As the book’s description says, “Sasha hopes to find her clients The One, like she did. But when Jonathan betrays her, she spirals out of control—and right into the arms of a writer with a charming Southern drawl, who she had previously set up with one of her clients. He’s strictly off-limits, but with her relationship on the rocks, all bets are off” (x). It’s so fun and a great palette cleanser if you need a break from the heavy stuff. 4/5

American Gods (Audible) – Anyone else go through a mythology phase growing up? After reading The Odyssey in the 5th grade, I became super interested in mythology of all kinds. So as soon as I heard about American Gods, I had to get it. I listened to it on my commute, which made my work day magical!

The book’s description says: “With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path” (x). 5/5

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I’d Rather Be Reading – I adore this collection of essays about the reading life by the one and only Modern Mrs. Darcy. It felt like talking to a friend about books and how wonderful they are. It’s small, especially in comparison to some of the others in this post, but powerful. I couldn’t put it down. 5/5

The Witch of Willow Hall – (FYI I received this from the publisher for free. I am not paid for including it in this post. Opinions are, as always my own.) If you like historical fiction, mystery, or gothic overtones, you’ll love this book. “In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall. The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline. All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…” (x). 5/5

Bluebird, Bluebird (Audible) – I listened to this, too, and really enjoyed it. It’s about a suspended black Texas Ranger who goes to investigate some shady deaths in eastern Texas despite his suspension, which definitely appear to be racially motivated. I don’t want to give a way much more than that component, but I will say that if you don’t want to read about potential hate crimes in modern America, don’t read this book. 5/5

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Hamlet – I finally read Hamlet! I never read it in high school because we did Julius Caesar in 11th grade instead and my Shakespeare classes in college and grad school assumed we had already read it. I felt like I was a failure of an Early Modern scholar, so I finally read it, even though I’m technically not an Early Modern scholar any more. I really enjoyed it! I enjoyed reading it for fun. I definitely don’t consider it Shakespeare’s best play ever, like many do, but I agree that it’s a good one. Maybe I would if I had deeply studied it. Also, no one told me that Hamlet got captured by pirates? There’s so many happening in this play that no one talks about the main character GETTING CAPTURED BY PIRATES! 4/5

Children of Blood and Bone – This has been hyped for a few years now, and I was excited to finally dig into it given that it’s so good that it was optioned for a movie before the book was even published. I really, really enjoyed it. I felt like it lagged a bit about 4/5 of the way through, but then it picked up again and I tore through it. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, and thrilled that there’s finally a release date for it, but I probably won’t pre-order it.

Here’s what the book’s blurb says: “Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. […] Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good” (x). 4/5

What have you been reading?

Like this post? Check out:

My 2019 TBR List; Most Popular Books Published in 2018; 20+ Dystopian, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Books To Escape With; How I Organize My Books

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