Bookish Posts

My Top 20 Books of 2018

Because there are waaaaay too many AMAZING BOOKS to limit the list to only 10 

 

Click on the title link to go to my review of each book to hear all the reasons why it’s an awesome book!

In no particular order . . . my favorite books I read this year 

 

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  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele  |  Add to Goodreads

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  • Well That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey  |  Add to Goodreads

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How many of these books have you read?

Which did your add to your TBR?

What are your favorite books that you’ve read in 2018?

Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Nobody officially tagged me for this, but a ton of people have said they tag everyone . . . and since I’m a part of everyone, here we go

 

  1. Best book that you’ve read so far in 2018?

Oooh, this is a tough one, because it’s just way too hard to pick the best book of 2018! Narrowing it down to my top 5 or 10, sure, that I can do. Buuuut, if I have to choose, I would pick:

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James 

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Murders, deaths that may or may not be accidental, haunted boarding schools, disturbed teenage girls. What more could a reader possibly want in a creepy, can’t put down book?

 

2. Best sequel that you’ve read so far in 2018?

Find Her by Lisa Gardner (#8 in the Detective D.D. Warren Series)

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First book that I read in 2018!

Lisa Gardner does not disappoint with her jam packed novel, filled with suspense, intensity, and the courageous Detective D.D. Warren. If I’m looking for a good solid mystery/thriller I can always count on Lisa Gardner.

 

3. New release that you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

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The cover is gorgeous!

I keep seeing Tell Me Lies all over the book world of social media. So many people have loved it, and I hope it’s worth all the hype!

 

4. Most anticipated release for the next half of 2018?

So hard to choose. I want to read all the books!

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

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I know, I know, such a nerdy choice. There’s something about a good medical book, fiction or non fiction, that I absolutely love.

 

5. Biggest disappointment of 2018?

The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld by T.J. English

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So many people loved it. The description made the story seem epic, but I absolutely crawled through every page. Definitely not the book for me.

 

6. Biggest surprise of 2018?

Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik 

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I went into the book thinking the premise sounded interesting. I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous writing and storytelling about the spirited controversial Iranian poet. A close second to my favorite book of the 2018.

 

7. Favorite new (or new to you) author?

Courtney Milan!

She is the romance author I’ve been looking for. I enjoy some romance novels, but am picky about the writing, plot lines, etc. Courtney Milan ended up being the perfect fit for me.

 

8. Newest fictional crush?

I don’t get fictional crushes on characters. Everyone talks about book boyfriends, and I’m over here by myself like “I don’t get it.”

 

9. Newest favorite character?

Mikki Lincoln in Crime & Punctuation 

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Smart, savvy, generally badass ~ and bonus points for a good representation of the 50 plus years characters

 

10. A book that made you cry?

Most recently,

The Crate: A Story of War, A Murder, and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison 

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There are barely enough words to describe how impactful The Crate is on people. Definitely recommend giving it a read!

 

11. A book that made you happy?

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery 

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The author’s passion for these incredible creatures makes it almost impossible to not experience joy while reading the book.

 

12. The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received in 2018?

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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The cover has an ethereal beauty to it, almost as if it’s painted with watercolors. Underneath the jacket cover the spine has a beautiful simplicity to it.

Bonus fact: Love and Ruin is the book I used in my profile photo.

 

13. What books do you need to read by the end of 2018?

So many! Too many!

Is there a thing as having too many books to read?

I actually stopped requesting books from NetGalley for a bit until I finish reading a few more books, because I was feeling way too overwhelmed.

As of now I need to read:

  • From NetGalley:
    • The Secret by K.L. Slater
    • A Politically Incorrect Feminist by Phyllis Chesler
    • When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
  • From Goodreads Giveaways:
    • The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
    • Dead in the Water by Simon Bower
    • The Fifth to Die by J.D. Baker
    • Rush by Lisa Patton
    • Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood
    • All the Way by Kristen Proxy
    • Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly
    • The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker
    • Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly 
  • And the books I choose for the BookTube-A-Thon. (There’s some overlap from the above lists, but I can’t complete a few of the challenges with my ARC reads.)
  • Also a few more books to complete the 2018 BookRiot Read Harder Challenge. I’m making good progress on this so far.

Anybody else exhausted by reading the list of books I need to read?

 

Since I’m probably one of the last people in the book blogging community to complete this tag; I tag anyone else who wasn’t done it yet. 

Book Reviews

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

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The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

Published by: Atria Books on May 12, 2015

Pages: 261

Genres: non fiction, science, memoir

Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Synopsis: 

In this astonishing book from the author of the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig, Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus’ surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature: and the remarkable connections it makes with humans.

Sy Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect”; about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think?

The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

Review: 

The Soul of an Octopus is incredibly fascinating! The author takes us along on her journey as she gets to know several of the octopuses who live at the New England Aquarium. I learned so much about these magnificent, intelligent, and mysterious creatures. Of course the book covers the basics such as the octopus life cycle, habitats, and behaviors.

What sets the book apart from others of the same genre is the passion for these magnificent creatures of the deep. The love for each octopus as an individual is evident as the reader gets to know, appreciate, and care about each octopus. They have individual personalities, not unlike humans and other animals. Through Athena, Octavia, Kali, and Karma the reader is able to experience a world often unknown. I felt extremely privileged to learn about each unique octopus.

The only sections of the book that I didn’t enjoy as much were the pages about scuba diving. These experiences were frustrating for the author, which I definitely picked up on. I’m also more of an animal lover, than a swimmer so that probably affected it too.

Overall, my sentiment for this book is best represented by my initial reaction . . . I found myself stopping within the first 30 pages to keep telling people around me, the new facts I had learned about octopuses.

 

Recommend to fans of: animals, the ocean, science, heartwarming stories, books that remind us of our humanity

Read with food: vegetarian sushi and a hot mug of green tea

Vegetarian sushi is a nice tribute to the sea life without eating our friends.

A hot mug of green tea pairs nicely with the sushi and will warm you up after reading about the cold sea water.