These are the books that we felt were the most loved and memorable from our reading year – and we’d love to see your picks too!
+ KIM +
Remarkably Bright Creatures, Shelby Van Pelt
I can’t even remember what made me pick this book up because this is not my usual type of reading. I ended up listening to it on audio and flew through it. It was not a perfect story but it was heartwarming and gave me all the feels. I can see myself recommending it to just about anyone and being confident that they will enjoy it. It definitely still sticks in my mind.
After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors–until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova.
The Book of Cold Cases, Simone St. James
Simone St. James has never steered me wrong. I have adored every single thing I’ve read that she’s written and The Book of Cold Cases was no different.
In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect–a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion. Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.
Nettle & Bone, T. Kingfisher
I fell head over heels for T. Kingfisher this year reading three of their books. This little novella really packs a punch. I absolutely loved the characters in it and wished it had been a full length novel.
After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter—has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself. Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince—if she can complete three impossible tasks.
The Violin Conspiracy, Brendan Slocumb
I couldn’t put this book down. As soon as I started reading I knew I was going to be hooked. It’s about the theft of a violin … it’s about being a black violin player … or being black in spaces that don’t want you there … it’s about complicated relationships with family. Ooh this author had me in thrall – and – the way he describes when Ray was playing – simply beautiful! A+ for the plot and the pacing, A+ for the character development and A+ for the mystery.
Take a Hint Dani Brown and Act Your Age Eve Brown (The Brown Sisters #2 and 3), Talia Hibbert
This book and the entire series is a fun easy to read romance. The characters are odd and quirky and that’s what kept me reading. This series, just a feel good read for when you want to … feel good. Each book follows one of the Brown sisters as they navigate life, and of course, romance.
The Last House on Needless Street, Catriona Ward
This is the kind of book that you want to go into knowing absolutely nothing about. Don’t read any reviews – just take my word that it is better on audio, and it is so absolutely worth your time.
This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies
Blackout – Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon
The writing is just so good – the characters are distinct and memorable, and although this book is very heavy on all things New York, where the characters live, it was integrated seamlessly into the story, and frankly made me want to go there are check out all the places mentioned.
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks … A first meeting … Long-time friends … Bitter exes … And maybe the beginning of something new. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.