When I wrote recently about a book that somehow managed to become one of my personal top 5 reads ever, I came up with the idea to create a page here to keep an up-to-the-minute list of the best books I’ve ever read. It took me a bit longer to figure out exactly how I wanted to do it, but I ultimately settled on a list of the top 15 books I’ve started and finished. When I look at my list there are a couple of things that surprise me. 1) How far down Harper Lee’s masterpiece is (she’s barely hanging on for a spot!) and 2) Michael Connelly DOES NOT WRITE METIOCRE BOOKS.
I thought of just sharing the list in this post, but the page has links to everything I said about some of those books immediately after I read them. Now go and take a look for yourself and tell me what you think! Or, tell me some of the best books you’ve read? Maybe we have some in common!
Guys, early this morning I finished my sixth book of the year. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. I have so many thoughts on it I’m making it my next video. But that’ll be for later. I have to talk about something else.
This was my sixth book of 2019, yes. But it was really my sixth in less than three weeks. I’ve already surpassed my entire 2018 of reading. In three weeks. I’m proud of that. Very much so. But there’s more.
I wrote just a few weeks ago about some of my personal struggles I haven’t been able to get over. Some of the feelings I just can’t quite kick. And guess what? Now that I’m reading a bit I’m feeling so much better and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I’m foolish for not realizing it sooner.
I have two literary tattoos. I own something like 250 books. I have this. My YouTube channel. My IG. All about books. And I know y’all know about all of these things, but what I’ve somehow forgotten is just how happy books make me. Not going out on the weekends or any of the “typical” things people my age are supposed to do, but books. Sure I love traveling and playing Xbox and even hanging out with friends, but books make me, me. And I absolutely love that.
Earlier this year I made it clear how disappointed I was in my reading last year. 5 books. Just saying that makes me want to hit my head on my desk. But 2019 is off to a better start! So I decided to do a little roundup of my January reading.
Two Kinds of Truth
Harry Bosch ages in real time. In this book he’s into his 60s, but I DON’T CARE. Never stop writing him, Michael Connelly. Or we’re fighting.
I hate to say it, but this was rather unremarkable. I love Spenser. And this won’t discourage me from continuing the series, but I finished the book wanting more.
I wrote about this earlier in the week here. This book was the best crime novel I’ve read! There’s no exaggeration. I gave my reasoning in my previous post. I’m still considering it, but it’s likely a top five all-time read for me. And I have the next four in the series awaiting my curious eyes.
I said I’d stay with crime novels for a bit, and I mostly did. But this was the lone exception last month. It didn’t have hardly any laugh out loud moments, whereas the first in the series was full of them.
The Second Life of Nick Mason
This was the first in a new series written by Steve Hamilton. He’s also one of my favorite authors and it was my first time reading one of his books in several years. It’s well below 300 pages and I felt it. It went way too fast and lacked much depth throughout. But still had a number of exciting moments, which kept it at the above rating.
I count 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 books for the month! It was really in the last two weeks, but shh. I matched my entire 2018 in the first month of 2019 and I’m still going! I know there will be some down months ahead, but I’m happy with and encouraged by my start to the year.
How was your month of reading!?
I told y’all I was looking forward to uploading to my Booktube channel, and I finally did it! I know what you’re expecting. To see the video here. Welllllll not quite. I recorded it last night, but I don’t have any of my channel stuff on my computer at home. It’s all on a different one and I need to get it. But I’m excited! All I need to do is edit it and add my intro and we’re set!
Go catch up here!
Since I worked at Half Price from 2015-2016 I’ve almost exclusively bought my books there. Why? Most of the books in store are in really good condition and I get to save money, which means more money for MORE books.
But of course there’s a downside to this. I never buy books online from because I’ve bought used books online before and the condition was atrocious when I finally got them. So I’m limited to what’s available in my local store.
That’s okay. It isn’t the worst thing ever. But I have three books I want to buy and have looked for multiple times and haven’t found them. Ugh. But I shall wait! Because I’m not spending 2x or more on a book I can get at Half Price. And don’t recommend I look at the library, I KNOW. But I need my own copies.
Since I’ve started posting regularly again I haven’t really been reading other blogs, including ones I already follow. But I want to!
Though I have a million different interests like anyone else, when I’m on WordPress I tend to focus on and follow book-related blogs. But that’s not as limiting as it sounds because there is no one book blog format I enjoy. For example, mine is a mix of what I’m reading, thoughts on book news, and soon I’ll include my videos. There is so much I can talk about that isn’t just a review of a book.
So tell me what you usually post about so I can take a look!
I wrote yesterday about first being drawn to books and reading in general by mysteries, and even more specifically detective stories.
Didn’t even cross my mind to ask what it was for you all. What originally got you hooked on books? Was it a certain book or genre? Or maybe a teacher or library you frequented? I’m curious.
But I remember checking books out of my middle school library every one in awhile. In high school it was largely the same because I started using the public library once I realized there were these places that kept ALL the books and all I needed was a ride to get them.
So tell me!
Y’all! I just realized something and it’s life changing!
The books that got me hooked on reading were mysteries. PIs. Homicide detectives. Murder mysteries solved by the ex cop who left the department under a cloud. You know what I’m talking about. And back in the first couple of years after high school when I was reading the most, I was reading mysteries exclusively. No young adult. No literary fiction. No classics. No nonfiction. I was reading what I enjoyed reading the most.
Then I tried branching out. Tried to become more “well read”, whatever the hell that means. And I hit a wall. I’ve been clawing at it now for several years. When I was in college I wouldn’t read textbooks or review notes. Every break I had I’d pull out my current novel on campus and read! Not sure how you are, but usually after I read I want a nap. Fell asleep numerous times in class because I wasn’t about to talk about Alexander the Great’s empire right after reading about the unsolved murder of a kid buried in the hillside. Like, priorities!
Call me stupid or crazy or just not “well read”, but I’m going back to what made me love books to begin with. I have plenty of non mystery books to pick from when I feel the time is right, but it isn’t right now. I’m currently reading my third detective novel in a row. Not stopping even if I have to buy more.
PS: I have a rule to not read any author twice within any 5 books, but I think I’m breaking it.
Over the weekend I finished my first TWO books of the year! Remember guys, I read a grand total of 5 throughout ALL of 2018! It’d take a monumental disaster to not fly right past that number in the coming weeks.
But how is this back to being myself? Well I’ll tell ya. I was in college from August, 2010 until May, 2013. During those four calendar years I read 123 books. In the five calendar years ending in 2018 I read 51. For some reason I’ve gotten away from being me. I love books more than anyone I’ve ever met in person. I have two book-related tattoos and want more. I have my YouTube channel, about books. I have my IG, about books. This blog.
So I’m saying fuck it. I am who I am. I remember those years. I don’t know if happy is the best word, but I was happy. Happy to be reading quite a bit. Happy to be building this blog. And happy to be me.
What’s all this mean? More reading (as evidenced by this previous weekend). And consistent online. Here. IG (posted twice yesterday after almost two years). YouTube. So follow me everywhere at those links!
Back in September I bought a new computer. It was the first time I had one in over a year. The purpose was simple. I wanted to make my YouTube videos again. I didn’t upload a single video in 2018.
But I really enjoy putting in the time to create something. My videos are always about books and my new goal is to start again next week. I already know what my first two videos will be about and I’m crazy excited to get back to it! If you’re curious about some of my previous videos, check them out here.