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2018 Lists > Annette C's 2018 books

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Annette 1. The Sparrow Sisters
First book for the year was a 2016 Christmas gift, I think, which has been sitting next to my bed since then. This is my favorite kind of cleaning out!

The book was light and quick. I wasn't really moved though. The heroine was a bit of a Mary Sue, and the hero undercut her skills. And the male v. female aspect hit every stereotype. But I do enjoy magical realism, and this had a nice touch with that.

message 3: by Annette (last edited Jan 17, 2018 05:50AM) (new)

Annette 3. Duchess in Love
Plane fare...

message 4: by Annette (last edited Jan 17, 2018 05:50AM) (new)

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Annette 5. Rogue in Red Velvet
Plane fare, plus cleaning out unread books on my kindle :)

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Annette 6. The Silent Snowfall
Larry worked with Chuck at CityBeat. This was a very short book, and sad, but nice.

message 7: by Annette (last edited Jan 28, 2018 07:17AM) (new)

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Annette 9. The Girl in the Tower
The terrible thing about reading this as soon as it came out, is that now I have to wait for the last book!

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Annette 10. The Belles
Same as the last book, I got absorbed into this world, and now I have to wait to continue the story :( And this world was really magical, creative, and full of crazy!

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Annette 11. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
Coates always makes me aha, while also questioning why I need things to be explained to me before I get it. In this collection, his piece about reparations was so enlightening. And the epilogue about Donald Trump was perfect.

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Annette 12. The Wedding Date
This was fun and frothy. I liked the characters, and their issues gave the right amount of drama before the HEA.

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Annette 13. A Princess in Theory
My favorite romance I've read in a long time! Are royal romances a thing? Not sure, but I loved the main characters here, an African prince and an epidemiology PhD student. She was maybe the nerdiest heroine I've ever met in this genre!

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Annette 14. Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
This book was so well written and good. I was very interested in the parts about racism in Britain, since I know little about that. The chapters on white feminism and race and class were really helpful to me. The one thing that still left me confused was the last chapter - I feel like I receive mixed messages about what I can do in order to be the most effective ally.

message 15: by Annette (last edited Mar 17, 2018 01:29PM) (new)

Annette 15. Heritage of Smoke
This was a book club book. It was dark, and may have been supposed to be humorous, but I didn't find it so.

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Annette 16. The Taker
I'm not really sure why I finished this book, except that it was on my kindle and I wanted to put it in the read folder. I didn't like any of the characters, and wasn't drawn in to the plot at all.

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Annette 17. The Dirty Book Club
Light and fun.

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Annette 18. Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win
Finally read it to make Nikki happy :) It does a really good job of showing all the puzzle pieces. It'll be so interesting to see what happens next...

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Annette 19. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
I reread this for a school thing with Grace. I wasn't quite as impressed as the first time I read it though, because I think he creates the narrative that fits best with his hypothesis. I was disturbed about his conclusions with regard to Bernard Goetz, seemingly excusing things related to his crime. (For example, he was explaining the character of the men that Goetz shot, and he used the fact that one of them was arrested two years after the incident. Isn't it just as likely that his interaction with Goetz, a man who shot him and then was celebrated and not imprisoned, caused some later reaction from him?)

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Annette 21. No One Is Coming to Save Us
It's almost a shame that this book has been marketed as a new Gatsby, because I think that keeps people from reading it for itself. I definitely saw the parallels, but thought the author was much more kind to all of her characters, but especially to the women.

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Annette 22. Chaser
I always enjoy her books, but this was not my favorite. I think she had to stay in Eric's head in order to give him a shot at redemption, but that denied us a chance to get to know Jean, and her character wasn't well developed. And honestly, when I read romances it tends to be for the female experience more than the male. But she did manage to make Eric grow, and grow on me, which I didn't think could happen!

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Annette 23. The Leavers
I finally finished my book club book from last summer - once I realized I wasn't going to make it, I put it on hold for awhile. And rereading from the beginning when I wasn't on a timeline was a pleasure. The main characters are heartbreaking, and the story too. But the end felt like a small redemption.

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Annette 24. My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel
Well this was fun! I miss the days of choose-your-own-adventures :)

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Annette 25. The Sympathizer
Once I stopped pushing myself through this in order to get it read before book club, I had a really hard time getting through it. It's hard to say why, since I think his writing was really good, and the book was strangely funny. I think a lot of my issue had to do with not really liking the main character, which I don't think I was really supposed to anyway, but also because of being put off by his relationships with women. I'm glad I finished it though. I feel like I learned a lot, and thought about a lot of things in different ways.

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Annette 26. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
I found this really interesting - it didn't necessarily make me agree with his decisions, but it made me understand them, and understand even why he sometimes didn't even feel like he had choices. He comes across as a flawed man, definitely full of hubris as he mentioned at the beginning, but an honorable one.

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Annette 28. Letting Go Of Friends: How To Recognize & Deal With Toxic Female Relationships
Interesting subject, but the book didn't get much below the surface.

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Annette 29. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
I really enjoy Robin Sloan's books. They seem like old-time fantasies with a tech edge. I also appreciate that his female characters are smart and nerdy, without crossing the line into the manic pixie dream girl caricature.

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Annette 30. Baking With Kafka
Quirky and fun. I think this would be a perfect gift for my more literary friends!

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Annette 33. Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
I don't think this made me like Elvis more as a person, possibly the opposite. But what a life! It was difficult to process the musical interactions he had!

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Annette 34. Heart Berries: A Memoir
Her writing was poetry. Her pain was pretty intense. I wanted more for her than the relationship that consumed so much of the book. But I was happy that she was finding her voice, and I look forward to hearing it more.

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Annette 36. They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
I love this book, I love this author. He writes like a poet, like a musician, like an activist. He has a refreshing lack of pretension (see Carly Rae Jepsen) combined with a lot of depth (see almost everything else).

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Annette 37. The Kiss Quotient
What a sweet romance! The main characters are complex and lovable, and the situation is strange but fun.

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Annette 38. Prudence

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Annette 39. Black Girl in Paris
Read for Salon book club.

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Annette 41. Sing, Unburied, Sing
This was a gorgeous book. I gave it 4 stars, but that's just because I reserve 5 for the life changers, and I'm not sure that it was that. I loved the blurred lines between past and present, and between this world and the next. The author had such empathy for her characters that I felt like I understood even the characters that I didn't like.

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Annette 42. Milk and Honey
I'm either too old, or too much of a poetry fan - these poems were sweet and not untrue, but left me unmoved.

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Annette 43. Material Girl
I feel like there's been a big shift in feminist and class awareness since the time this was written, and I love that it's apparent in romance novels.

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Annette 44. A Duke by Default
Case in point - Cole doesn't shy away from issues of race and class, or current hot buttons like immigration, and she builds strong characters who have complex relationships, both romantic and otherwise.

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Annette 46. Men We Reaped
Her memoir was so much bleaker than her fiction, which is not easy to start with. The way she wrote it was extremely effective, I thought, working her way backwards through the deaths in her world interspersed with forwards through her family history. By the time she got to the first death, her brother, I knew him so well, and my heart was broken. But actually, it was broken through the entire book, because she introduced people when you already knew that they were gone too soon.

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Annette 47. Hope Never Dies
This book was so fun. Joe and Barack were true to the public idea of their private personalities. And it felt like having them back, just for a minute <3

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Annette 48. How to Break Up With Anyone: Letting Go of Friends, Family, and Everyone In-Between
I was no longer in a place where I really needed this one, but it was really helpful and interesting. I liked that she extended the ideas to leaving a church or changing your gender identity.

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Annette 49. Grace and Fury
I wish I didn't have to wait for the next book!

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Annette 50. Circe
WWVWD choice

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