When I went to write about the books I had read in 2018, I just couldn’t. I kept putting it off week after week and eventually it was half way through 2019. Depression can hit you hard sometimes. And then there was an engagement (genuinely excited about that!) and life just went on. But, better late than never.
I decided to combine 2018 and 2019 because I wasn’t going to put out the 2018 list halfway through the next year and I honestly didn’t end up reading a lot through 2019 due to a lot of personal things. It seemed the best idea to just put them all together; the books of 2018 still deserved to be recognized and 2019 was a short stack of novels. Enough though about the reason for this combo, here are the books I’ve read in the last two years.
I branched out a bit in the novels I read in the last couple of years. Still stuck to the fiction realm and heavily into the suspense, but I threw in some “self help,” historical fiction, and one absolutely bizarre science fiction piece that was honestly my favorite of the 16 books. The Anomaly by Michael Rutger was the one book I couldn’t put down.
A group of unlikely adults work together on a YouTube channel that seeks to find the “anomalies” of history, places that haven’t been truly identified in modern day. For this search they’re off to find a cavern in the Grand Canyon previously “found” by a man named Kincaid who discovered the cavern over 100 years ago. However this time, they are being sponsored by a foundation to possibly turn their channel into a TV program. A member of the foundation accompanies them on their journey, along with a journalist. To the group’s surprise, they actually find Kincaid’s Cavern and seek inside the cave to find if it has what Kincaid wrote about. What they find leads to an almost Cabin in the Woods type inner-workings where an unknown force is trying to recreate former demon like creatures to wipe out the world and start anew.
Once the team had discovered the cave and began their adventure into it’s nooks and crannies, I almost thought it was going to turn into something along the lines of The Hills Have Eyes, but no. There were no mutated men trying to eat the team. Instead, strange creatures conjured out out of a mystical pool deep inside the cavern and it starts to take out the team. Could. Not. Stop. Reading.
Now, on the other spectrum of extremely enticing is the “can’t get into it.” That book for me was Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall. I tried so hard to finish this book but I could only get about halfway through, and even that took time. I’m not the type of person to read multiple books at the same time so I missed out on racking up more titles to include in this yearly list. I started Our Kind of Cruelty in 2018 and gave up finishing it in 2019. I can’t even remember how many months it took me to decide to just put it back on the bookshelf and move on. It was a lot of repetitive scenes that weren’t leading anywhere. Stalker ex boyfriend thinks he can win his way back into said ex’s heart by playing a game they played while together. Not my thing.
The rest of the novels I’ve read in the last couple of years all held my attention. Bobby Hall’s debut of Supermarket was another up all night reader, similar to Cuckoo’s Nest in ways. The Whisper Man by Alex North made me ultra aware to keep my doors and windows locked. I learned a lot about a YouTube celebrity I watched constantly several years ago; Lisa Schwartz’s Thirty Life Crisis made me think a lot about my own anxiety issues. And I discovered a truly exciting new trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty. Her City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper are so greatly detailed that you feel completely immersed in the world she’s created – the final novel comes out early 2020 and I can’t wait to see how the story ends.
I’ve already started collecting books for the new year and am truly excited to see what stories are going to take me away. In the new year I’m also hoping to focus on my writing more, and as I’ve been told you have to be a reader to be a writer. I also have a wedding to save and plan for, a new job to enjoy, and a life to just live. I’m hoping that 2020 is really “my year” which I know is how everyone feels but the way the last 6 months of 2019 went, I need it to be, and it seems to be shaping up that way with the new job.
Of course, I hope everyone has a great new year and a great new decade! Here’s to greatness and success.
***Many of these novels I found on The Book of The Month, a monthly subscription box for readers***