Book Thoughts

Last year, at reader request, I created a recommended reading list, and in 2018 I nearly tripled the number of books I read, so this will be fun! Maybe you’re still looking for book gifts? I’ve got you covered. Not all of these books are 2018 releases, but I did read them this year so they’re still fresh in my mind.

Fave Adult Reads 

  • City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty 
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang 
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Fave YA Reads 

  • The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
  • American Panda by Gloria Chao
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber 
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

For The Most Intricately Crafted Narratives

  • Jade City by Fonda Lee
  • House of Binding Thorns by Aliette DeBodard

For The Worldbuilding Aficionados

  • The Belles by Dhionelle Clayton  (YA)
  • Dread Nation by Justina Ireland  (YA)

For the Dark Fairy Tale Lovers

  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Enrnshaw (YA)
  • Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (YA)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (YA)

Notable Non-Fiction

  • Quackery by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen
  • Steering the Craft by Ursula LeGuin

If You Like It Hot (Adult Romance)

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang 
  • A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole 
  • The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

Made me Laugh (And that’s a hard thing to do)

  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins
  • A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Stories That Left Me Twisted

  • The Devourers by Indra Das
  • MEM by Bethany C. Morrow
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

If you ever want a particular recommendation (Say, you like action packed narratives, or stories about ghosts) Please feel free to ask! I’ve always got plenty.

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Journal

Writing:

I took a break but it didn’t feel like much of one. Work picked up where my writing left off. I’ve been swamped, restless, and busy. Having the time to return to the draft will be a pleasure, but that time isn’t now. I still haven’t decompressed. I still need to breathe.

Living:

It was my birthday this past November so I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want and who I’d like to be. 2018 has been physically difficult, but I’ve been trying my best to make the most of the good days. There were good things this past year too: I signed with a literary agent, I got to visit Paris, and I’m probably the fittest/strongest I’ve been in my life.

But the last couple months brought back a bunch of insecurities I thought I’d gotten over a long time ago and I’ve been working hard to rewire my brain. There are small things that take regular reminders — like remembering how to smile without grimacing, re-learning how to walk without making myself small, and remembering that most people don’t even notice my social awkwardness.

I don’t like feeling afraid. I want to live this life fully, and that means pushing past my fears and kicking doors open. This next year I want to live with fewer apologies, and continue to take small acts of courage: like saying hello to the co-worker I walk past daily, but whose name I don’t know, like wearing bright lipstick even if someone might comment on it, like public speaking even if it makes me nervous. I want to be myself, less filtered, no matter the reaction. This year I want to be brave.

Every year comes with its challenges, but I have hope for the next. I’m so glad I’m still here to share it with you.

Recommending:

Why Art is Important via the Duke of Bookingham. I have parents who think that pursuing the arts are useless (which is why I’ve started on it a bit late in life) This is the best take down of that argument.

I’m Broke and Friendless and I Feel Like I’ve Wasted My Life via the Cut. You don’t even need to read the letter asking for help. The advice below it is solid for anyone living a creative life and struggling with it.

Reading:

  • Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin
  • Mirage by Somaiya Daud (YA)
  • Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
  • By the Hour by Roni Loren
  • Forbidden Hearts Trilogy by Alisha Rai
  • The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand  (YA)
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  • The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
  • Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

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