The Siberian American: December 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Best Books I Read in 2018

Hi, friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrated yesterday! We had a fun, full day with friends and family. I'm so excited to link up with Steph and Jana today to share my favorite reads in 2018. As of today, I've read 54 books in 2018, which is a bit low for me, but it's better than I thought I would do in my first full year as a mama! Out of those 54 books, these are the ones that stood out to me:

Favorite Historical Fiction:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I've wanted to read The Book Thief forever and never got around to it, so I'm thankful for Erin's Challenge for finally helping me make it a priority. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, and truly an important read. I'm glad it's so popular because I think everyone should read it!

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
I actually just finished this book (it'll be in my January reviews) because I received the advanced reading copy for the sequel! What a fantastic read-it's definitely another book that lived up to the hype for me. I feel like I have a much better understanding about what happened in Cuba, and the writing is just beautiful.

Favorite Women's Fiction

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
I feel like I have recommended this book more than any other book I read this year (other than maybe the other book I put in this category). It just really surprised me. I thought I was picking up a sweet, light love story, but it had so much depth.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
I have also recommended this book a bunch this year, and all of my friends who have read it loved it too! I'm amazed at Katherine Center for making such a heartbreaking story so beautiful and truly funny at times. If you haven't read a Katherine Center book yet, pick one up!

Favorite Thrillers:

Our House by Louise Candlish
The thing with most of the thrillers I read is they are interesting while I'm reading them, but they don't really stand out once I'm finished. Our House is one of the rare thrillers that does. The plot sucked me in from the very beginning, and I thought the story was super unique. The ending was great, too!

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
This is one of those great thrillers I can't say much about because I'm afraid to give anything away. It's fast paced and really interesting. I read it back in January, and it still had enough of an impact to make my top list, which says a lot!

Linking up with Steph & Jana

Happy New Year, everyone! Can't wait to share more books with y'all in 2019. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Seven Books I Read in November

Hey there, book friends! I've been struggling with blogging this year (Hoping to share a little bit about why sometime in January because it's more than just having a toddler), but I do try to show up for book day. I managed to read seven books since the last book day, so I have a fun variety of books to share with y'all! It's a bit more heavy on historical fiction than usual, but of course, I had to throw in a few thrillers to the mix!

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
(c/o NetGalley)
I thought I would absolutely love this historical fiction based around the Barbizon Hotel for Girls, but it lost me somewhere in the middle. I had a hard time caring about the present portion of the book, and I just got bored. It did pick up for me in the end, and I liked the ending, but overall, it was just an OK read.

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
(c/o Penguin First to Read)
The Winters was a slow build for me. It took me a while to get into it, and I questioned the point of the book a few times in the beginning. It picked up about halfway through the book, though, and the ending was really good. This is a retelling of Rebecca, which I haven't read, but now it makes me want to read the original!

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
(c/o NetGalley)
I haven't read a WWII book quite like this. What an incredible story of hope and survival. Lale's story is such a unique perspective into life at Auschwitz, and it's truly an emotional ride as you flip from the horrors of Auschwitz to Lale and Gita's love for each other. I couldn't stop reading. The only reason it's not five stars for me is the writing is awkward at times, maybe because it was originally written as a screenplay. Overall, it was a beautiful and heartbreaking read.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
(c/o Penguin First to Read)
I was intrigued by this family drama involving three sisters, one of which is in prison. The reality, though, is that I was mostly bored by it. Honestly, I think many people will love this book, and it will be popular. I just wasn't one of those people. It's more of a 2.5 stars to me, but I rounded up to 3 because it did have some redeeming qualities towards the end.

The Liar's Room by Simon Lelic 
(c/o Penguin First to Read)
I really enjoyed this psychological thriller about a mother who moves away with her daughter to escape her past until a stranger walks into her office who knows about her past...and has kidnapped her daughter. It's fast-paced and interesting, and I thought most of the story was pretty unique. I didn't love the ending (I think it could have been a bit better), but overall, this was a great read.

American Princess by Stephanie Marie Thornton
(c/o Penguin First to Read)
Honestly, I was a little hesitant to read this book about Alice Roosevelt because other books I've read like these in the past have let me down. That said, I really enjoyed this one! Alice Roosevelt really was a firecracker, and it was so interesting to read all about the people she knew! It got really sad towards the end (if you know anything about Alice's life, you know why), but I liked the ending!

The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott
(c/o Penguin First to Read)
I've read a lot of thrillers, and here's the thing-you can't just have an interesting twist. The character development in this book is abysmal. Paul, the husband, is so one-dimensional. Rebecca is slightly better but not much. Then, you get to the twist, and I wasn't really impressed. Honestly, it's a bit unbelievable to me. I HATED the ending (though some people will really love it, I'm sure). The one thing I will say is it was a fast read. There are just so many better thrillers out there. I'd pass on this one.

Favorite reads in November: The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Liar's Room, and American Princess.

Linking up with Steph & Jana.

I love book suggestions. What have you read lately?