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message 1: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4280 comments Mod
What were your favourite reads this year 2018?
I mean all books, not just fairytale-mythology inspired.


message 2: by Jalilah (last edited Dec 06, 2018 07:24AM) (new)

Jalilah | 4280 comments Mod
I'll go first!
If I had to pick my absolute favourite it would be Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson.
Then followed by Gilgamesh: A New English Version, Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor and The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore.
I gave all these books 5 stars and would read them again.


message 3: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments I want to read Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson so bad, but I'm gonna have to buy a copy because my library doesn't have it and can't get it. Not sure if it's been published in US yet.

As for my top picks of 2018, I've been working on my Top 5 list https://www.goodreads.com/list/user_v...

But my absolute favorite read in 2018 is a tie right now between Red Clocks by Leni Zumas and Redemption in Indigo by Dr. Karen Lord.

Red Clocks is science fiction, yet if you're familiar with the current political climate in US surrounding women's bodies and reproductive rights, after reading this one, you'll be like, uh, this COULD happen!

Redemption in Indigo is just so much fun to read. I know many of our group members didn't like it, but I cracked up repeatedly at the narrator's telling / voice. And there are important messages behind the fun too.


message 4: by Asaria (last edited Dec 12, 2018 01:46PM) (new)

Asaria | 567 comments I'll list by genre:

Classics: Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov . Aitmatov is my biggest discovery of the year.

Poetry: Mr Cogito by Zbigniew Herbert - I never was fan of poetry, but his work convinced me to give it a chance.

Fantasy: The Burned Tower by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko . Beautiful, evocative prose inspired by Pied Piper of Hamelin

Mythology & myth retellings :
Dragon Sword and Wind Child by Noriko Ogiwara - beautifully written retelling based on japanese mythology

Opowiadania egipskie (Egyptian stories) by mysterious author known as group effort or work. No, I'm not joking, In the past here, some books, which had many co-authors, were published under "Praca Zbiorowa"

The best fairy tale/folk lore collections:
I.L. Peretz - Chassidic and Folklore stories
Marian Bielicki - Shidikur's stories. Polish anthology of (/or inspired by) Tibetan fairy tales

Science Fiction: Ziemia Chrystusa (Earth of Christ) by Jacek Dukaj . Despite of it's name, the book is set in the multiversum, where people discovered the existence of warring alternative Earths.

The most emotional/memorable: Beirut Nightmares by Ghada Samman

Special mentions: Gilgamesh, sumerian & akkadian mythologies


message 5: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
Here are my 5 star books from this year:

--We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (I'm now going to read ALL the Shirley Jackson :))

--Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson. Super cute and feel good. Does have mythological and fairytale elements.

--We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby. An essay collection that made me cry from laughing and cry sad tears. Really hilarious and heartfelt voice.

--Educated by Tara Westover. A memoir. Made me literally break out into a sweat because it was so intense and disturbing. But it's also excellent.

--The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss. A very readable and wonderful history of the ratification of the 19th amendment and general history of the women's suffrage movement in the US.

Close runner-ups:

--Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, about the culture surrounding death and dying

--Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. A fun kickass alternative history.

--Geekerella by Ashley Poston. My favorite Cinderella retelling!

--The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. A creepy and smart YA fairy tale novel.

--The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. So much happiness! Also has a fairytale premise.

--So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Very necessary book.

Um, as you can see I have trouble picking a few. This has been a really good reading year for me, despite always struggling to find the time.


message 6: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
Asaria wrote: "I'll list by genre:

Classics: Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov . Aitmatov is my biggest discovery of the year.

Poetry: Mr Cogito by [author:Zbigniew Herber..."


Added Dragon Sword and Wind Child! I honestly don't think it'll be anytime soon before I read it, but it's on my radar now.


message 7: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Margaret wrote: "Here are my 5 star books from this year:

--We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (I'm now going to read ALL the Shirley Jackson :))..."


Yay! She's one of my all-time favorite authors. You won't be disappointed.

Margaret wrote: "Close runner-ups:

--The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. A creepy and smart YA fairy tale novel."


I almost put this one in my Top 5 Reads in 2018. It was a tie between The Hazel Wood and The Memory Trees for the YA book I most enjoyed this year. To break the tie I asked myself which I wanted to re-read right that instant and The Memory Trees won out. Its elements of magical realism (written with such evocative imagery) and its premise centered on a multi-generational (matriarchal) family was really close to a perfect read for me. My review for The Memory Trees is at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 8: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "I almost put this one in my Top 5 Reads in 2018. It was a tie between The Hazel Wood and The Memory Trees for the YA book I most enjoyed this year. To break the tie I asked myself which I wanted to re-read right that instant and The Memory Trees won out."

I had already added The Memory Trees to my TBR list based on your review! :)

Leah wrote: "Yay! She's one of my all-time favorite authors. You won't be disappointed."

I've since listened to The Haunting on Hill House, and it was great! I have The Lottery and Other Stories on hold.


message 9: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Margaret wrote: "I have The Lottery and Other Stories on hold."

This was the collection that sealed the deal for me -- after I read it, she went immediately to the top of my fave authors list.


message 10: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
We have always lived in the castle was enough to place her on my favorites list. I think about that book almost every day. I love Merricat!

I read The Lottery as a teenager, and even rewrote it and performed it as a monologue in theater class! I don’t think it ever occurred to me to search the writer out...


message 11: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Margaret wrote: "I read The Lottery as a teenager, and even rewrote it and performed it as a monologue in theater class! I don’t think it ever occurred to me to search the writer out..."

Teenagers 😉

I accidentally spoiled The Lottery for myself 😱 by having watched the movie adaptation about 10 years before I read the short story.

BUT, a testament to how good that story is, I still enjoyed it very much and I could see how if you had no idea of its plot, the climax would probably be jaw-dropping... at least back in the day before we became de-sensitized to such things.


message 12: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "BUT, a testament to how good that story is, I still enjoyed it very much and I could see how if you had no idea of its plot, the climax would probably be jaw-dropping... at least back in the day before we became de-sensitized to such things."

I'm really looking forward to reading the entire collection.


message 13: by Leah (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Margaret, I had to come here and share some happy news since you and I were recently talking about Shirley Jackson.

My niece, who is 18 and was always an avid reader (until she started dating lol) is going to read The Haunting of Hill House! Apparently, she binge watched the new Netflix mini-series based on the book and is now "obsessed" with it. She asked me about the book and, after I told her about it a little, she agreed to give it a read. Yay!!

Now comes the anxious waiting to find out if she ends up liking what is one of my all-time favorite books.


message 14: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
Oh, the wait! It's sooo good, surely she'll like it. But I haven't seen the show so if she's comparing too much she may view it differently than we do

I'm currently listening to The Lottery and Other Stories! Sooo good.


message 15: by Ozsaur (new)

Ozsaur | 80 comments One of my favorite books for 2018 was The Library at Mount Char. It was such a crazy read, but the author never lost control of the narrative.


message 16: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
Ozsaur wrote: "One of my favorite books for 2018 was The Library at Mount Char. It was such a crazy read, but the author never lost control of the narrative."

That's been on my TBR for a while.


message 17: by Ozsaur (new)

Ozsaur | 80 comments Margaret wrote: That's been on my TBR for a while.

I hope you enjoy it when you have time for it. I was really surprised at how much I loved it.

One warning though, there's some animal death. I usually nope right out of any book with animal death, but it was a part of the plot line, and not just thrown in for the sake of being gross, and it was respectfully done.

I hope that doesn't put you off...


message 18: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3489 comments Mod
It won't. Child harm is where I sometimes nope out of a book, though like you, if it's respectfully done I'm fine.


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