Happy 2019! Here Are Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Final Best of 2018 Lists!
Here are the last of our lists for 2018, in many categories and divided out as each reviewer saw fit. So many books read and listened too. It’s been an amazing year. It was tough to narrow down lists as always. Gone from mine was the cozies. I love my cozy mysteries and that category will probably come back next year.
Many of the books that came out went to other reviewers here, speeding past me and they have now landed on my huge TBR list. I see many on our reviewers Best of 2018 that I also haven’t gotten to yet, having my own huge set of stories to read this year.
Isn’t it lovely to have these stories to look forward to?
And new one to come in 2019!
So one last look all the book that rose above the many we read and loved this year to end up on our Best of 2018 this year, along with the covers, Best of Audiobooks as well. Check them all out below:
Here are my Best of 2018
Sawyer’s Ferry by Cate Ashwood
I am the first to admit I am so stingy with my five star reviews. I like many books, I love quite a few but for me the five stars are the ones that I want to read over and over, that stick with me long after I’ve finished them and the ones that make me sad I’m finished because I don’t want to leave them. For 2018, some of the ones I loved weren’t released in 2018 (or just the audio was released this year) but I read them this year. So in random order, my five star reads for this year…
From the Ashes by CM Valencourt – While my list is in no particular order, this is the exception. This was my absolute favorite book of 2018 and may end up being one of my favorite books of all times. I gave it five stars, rare enough for me, but I would have given it more if possible. Justin is the most amazing character and I cried, laughed, cried more and just had so much respect and love for that selfless man.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss – A sweet children’s book about embracing your differences and not being a stink bug. I have this one on audio as well and John Lithgow and Jim Parsons make it absolutely perfect. I thought it was funny that I bought the book and then had four different people give me copies as gifts!
My Crunchy Life Mia Kerick I am a fan of Mia Kerick’s young adult books and this one was amazing. The ending of this was so perfect, sweet and YA and lovely. This coming of age story isn’t incredibly angsty, despite some very serious themes, but it’s a story of growth and I thought it was just right. It was so spot on with the confusion and angst that can be the teen years.
Exorcising the Exes Jill Wexler Loved it. I can’t even do justice to how amazing Tanner is, and once he meets Dan things just get so much better. It makes me smile every time I read it. The insane goose posse, the taco binge, the hashtags, the everything!
Bump Matthew Metzger I read a couple by Matthew Metzger this year and I was hard pressed to decide if I liked Bump or Erik the Pink more, but ultimately went with Bump. As a trans man who just want to be seen as a man, this was such a struggle for David and it was perfectly encapsulated in this book. David’s gender dysphoria was handled realistically and the emotions are so strong. Even more interesting for me was that David didn’t give birth and immediately become super parent. I loved that because it is a fact that not everyone has that Hallelujah, bonding and perfection moment immediately.
Promises by Ruby Moone Ruby Moone is a favorite of mine for historicals. I loved this one even more than usual because our characters, Sebastian and Charles, are realistic and likeable but also because the secret that Sebastian is hiding from everyone is not only being attracted to men, shameful and dangerous in that time period, but something else that isn’t understood. I ust loved it.
Suicide Watch Kelley York So bittersweet, it was sad and hopeful. Best of all, it was true to the feelings of Vincent, Casper and Adam. This definitely wasn’t a sweet and fluffy read (my usual) but these characters were so real and made me smile and cry.
Phoenix Goes to School: A Story to Support Transgender and Gender Diverse Children – Michelle Finch and Phoenix Finch The book was written by Michelle and Phoenix Finch, a real life seven year old transgender girl who was assigned male at birth. At the end of the book there are comprehension questions and some open-ended critical thinking questions that as a teacher I appreciated. Possibly even better, there is an informational section at the end for grownups.
I loved the story of Phoenix going to school but more importantly, I hope that transgendered and gender diverse children will read this and know they are not alone, they are perfect just the way they are.
Tell Me It’s Real and Until You by TJ Klune – These are my go-to re-reads when I’m having a lousy week. I know I’m late to the party, as I just read them this year when I bought the audio. I can’t believe it took me so long. If I were to get to be any character I’ve read, I’d be Paul Auster!
Audio: A Family for Christmas Another one that was introduced to me via audio. The car ride to work is so much improved with these books. I loved Rudy and my heart went out to Zac. This is a sweet story of a man afraid to let anyone in and a family who refuses to keep anyone out.
Favorite cover because it perfectly captured the feel of the book:
As of today, I have read 234 books of my goal of 144. Just like last year, I don’t have one favorite book for the year. Some have been great, others not so much, but I can’t say one was the best of them all. Therefore, I’m using the same format as last year to tell you more about the books I enjoyed. I’m really looking forward to that perfect book though. I hope to share it with you all next year.
Looking back on my shelves,
The Best of 2018 (according to me) are:
· Best Cover – Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux. Cover by L.C. Chase
· January – Felix and the Prince (Forever Wilde #2) by Lucy Lennox
· February – Off the Beaten Path by Cari Z. [Audiobook]
· March – Fake Out (Fake Boyfriend #1) by Eden Finley
· April – Beneath This Mask (Enhanced #3) by Victoria Sue [Audiobook]
· May – Object of Desire by Dal Maclean
· June – Logan’s Need (The Escort #3) by Sloane Kennedy
· July – Unexpected (The Protectors #10) by Sloane Kennedy
· August – Creature (Bureau #3) by Kim Fielding [Audiobook]: John is now my favorite MM character of all time.
· September – A Gentleman’s Position (Society of Gentlemen #3) by K.J. Charles [Audiobook]
· October – Dirty Desire (Dread and Terrible #1) by Avril Ashton
· November – Bond (Forbidden Desires #2) by Piper Scott & Virginia Kelly
· December – Home in Austin (Lone Star Brothers #4) by Susi Hawke
Free Dreamer’s Best of 2018
2018 was a great reading year. I read 80 books, just like planned, which is 14 books and about 2000 pages more than in 2017. I have finally decided that normal literature just isn’t for me, especially if it’s supposed to be Meaningful and make you Think. Maybe I’m just too immature. But I’ve also discovered that there are some very interesting non-fiction books out there. None of them quite made it to my list, but it’s definitely a genre I’ll keep pursuing.
While I only review LGBT+ fiction for Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, my reading habits are far more varied and my “Best of” list just wouldn’t be complete without them. Those books mostly contain little to no romance, since I’m not much of a romance reader anyway.
An honorable mention should go to the “Taking Shield” series by Anna Butler. I read the first three books in quick succession and really enjoyed them. But they just didn’t quite make it to “Best of”.
I hope 2019 will be another good reading year, for me and all the other readers out there. Happy New Year!
- “Showers, Flowers and Fangs” by Aiden Wayne (adorable YA fantasy)
- “Salt Magic, Skin Magic” by Lee Welch (fascinating historical fantasy)
- “Bones and Bourbon” by Dorian Graves (what a wild ride; brilliant fantasy)
- “Amberlough” and “Armistice” by Lara Elena Donnelly (very surprising espionage thrillers set in an AU 1940s)
- “The Seeds of Dissolution” by William C. Tracey (very unique magic system)
- “Another Day” by David Levithan (loved part one and finally read the great sequel)
- “Arcanum Unbounded” by Brandon Sanderson (collection of novellas and short stories set in the Cosmere, Sanderson’s main universe; great for hardcore fans like me)
- “Empire of Sand” by Tasha Suri (Fantasy set in a desert world, inspired by the Indian/Arabian culture)
- “Snapshot” by Brandon Sanderson (Novella; Mind fuck like woah)
- “Verwunschen” by Mara Lang (New Adult Fantasy set in a modern fairy tale world, dark as hell; Sadly only available in German)
- “Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima (super adorable picture book)“The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse” by Nicholas Gannon (children’s fiction with gorgeous illustrations, reminded me of classical adventure stories)
MelanieM Best of 2018
Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal/Supernatural for 2018
The Calling by MD Neu
Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves
Stone the Crows (Wolf Winter #2)by T.A. Moore
Green Death by Madeleine Ribbon
Sweet Clematis (Being(s) in Love #9) by R. Cooper
The Rising Tide (Liminal Skies #2) by J.Scott Coatsworth
And God Belched by Rob Rosen
Apocalypse Alley (Blue Unicorn #2)by Don Allmon
Best Historical Novels of 2018
I will admit this category is owned almost entirely this year by Marshall Thornton
and two series of his: Pinx Video Mystery and Boystown (all of the novels were reviewed this years and were 5 stars)
Hidden Treasures (A Pinx Video Mystery #2) by Marshall Thornton
Late Fees by Marshall Thornton
The Stars May Rise and Fall by Estella Mirai (recent historical retelling of the Phantom of the Opera)
Best of 2018 ~ Contemporary Novel
Forged in Flood by Dahlia Donovan
Stand By Your Manny (The Mannies #3) by Amy Lane
The Eye of Ra (Repeating History #1) by Dakota Chase
Mammoth! (Repeating History #3) by Dakota Chas
The Evolution of Jeremy Warsh by Jess Moore (coming out, coming of age)
Wait For Me by Kris Jacen
Learn with Me (With Me #3) by Kris Jacen
Loving A Warrior by Melanie Hansen
Homebird by Amy Lane
One Thousand Cranes (The Yakuza Path #3) by Amy Tasukada
The Deafening Silence (The Yakuza Path #4) by Amy Tasukada
Best Series of 2018
Blue Unicorn Trilogy by Don Allmon
Offbeat Crimes Series by Angel Martinez
The Yakuza Path by Amy Tasukada
Liminal Sky Series by J. Scott Coatsworth
Boystown series by Marshall Thornton
This Time Forever Series by Kelly Jensen
Faith, Love & Devotion by Tere Michaels (series finale 2018)
Best Audiobook of 2018
Crocus (Bonfires #2) by Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
When Everything is Blue by Laura Lascarso and Michael Mola (Narrator)
Spun! by JL Merrow and Mark Steadman (Narrator)
The Lion and the Crow by Eli Easton and Scott Richard Ehredt (Narrator)
Best Covers of 2018
The Yakuza Path series by Amy Tasukada, artist Natasha Snow
Blue Unicorn #2 and #3 by Don Allmon, artist Simone’
Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen, Cover art: Written Ink Design
Homebird by Amy Lane, Artist: Reese Dante
The Rising Tide by J. Scott Coatsworth
Wish Upon The Stars by T.J. Klune, Artist Paul Richmond
Special Mention for 2018
It would have to go to Ethan Day who left us all too soon and his wonderful series, Summit City, who had a new release in 2018 that gave his beloved characters the wedding and his readers a ending we had long wanted. That would be the third and now last story Life In Union.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, January 6:
- Final Lists of 2018 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, January 7:
- BLITZ Tea by Matthew J. Metzger
- PROMO Marguerite Labbe
- E.J. Russell on Devouring Flame
- A Lucy Review The Replacement Husband by Eliot Grayson
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review:The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts #1) by Charlie Cochet and Manuel Pombo
Tuesday, January 8:
- PROMO Robert P. Rowe
- BLITZ My Fake Canadian Wife by M. Hollis
- An Alisa Release Day Review: Unfamiliar Waters by Andrew Grey
- A Caryn Release Day Review: Devouring Flame by EJ Russell
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:Something Like Forever (Something Like #10) by Jay Bell
Wednesday, January 9:
- Release Blitz – The Choice (The Faction, book 2) by Addison Albright
- Release Blitz Is It Over Yet – LA Witt
- BLITZ There’s Something about Flying by Schuyler L’Roux
- A MelanieM Review: Valhalla by L.A. Ashton
- Review: The Choice (The Faction, book 2) by Addison Albright
Thursday, January 10:
- PROMO Elizabeth Noble
- Tour for Out in the Offense by Lane Hayes
- An Alisa Review: Ta Weezo’s Blues by Layla Dorine
- A MelanieM Review: You Forever Always by KA Merikan
Friday, January 11:
- PROMO Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton
- An Ashez Review: Elias by Erin E Keller
- A Melanie Release Day Review: Don’t Fear the (Not Really) Grim Reaper by Carole Cummings
- A LIla Review: Not on My Bucket List by Tom Munroe
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review:The Alpha Heir (Kingdom of Askara #2) by Victoria Sue and Joel Leslie
Saturday, January 12:
A MelanieM Review: Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant