Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite reads of 2018


It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today is another freebie Tuesday meaning we get to pick our own topic. Honestly, I always have a really hard time with these. It’s difficult for me to figure out what my list should be about. But since it is nearing the end of 2018, I think I am going to list my 10 favorite reads of 2018. I am going to link to my Goodreads reviews, which generally reflect my immediate thoughts after reading a particular book. I am putting specific highlights of these in cursive. I hope I can convey why a particular book made it on this list.


My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Review here.

This was actually my first official read of the year. I love a good graphic novel and this one felt special. It was like diving into someone’s private notebook. The main character has a lot of heart. She struggles. She loves. She grows. She suffers. She learns. After finishing the book be prepared to be hungover for a while.


Snow Child

Review here.

Another January read. I’m not sure the story could’ve been any more magical. This novel lives off of language and character development. The author makes you feel home. She describes 1920s Alaskan’ life with all it’s harsh but lovely facets. She creates characters that are utterly real and I found myself in each one of them at some point during the story. If you love historical fiction and beautiful descriptions of snowy landscapes mixed with that type of magic that can only arise in a harsh winter, this book is a must-read.



Review here.

January was a big month for exceptional books. This novella stayed with me all year. Honestly, I can’t believe how much King understands stuff he shouldn’t, like complicated female relationships. Growing up is tough for everyone but there are unique experiences girls and boys have. Having an overbearing, religious mother while discovering your own sexuality and your body readying itself for a baby for the first time, is not something I believe King encountered. But yet, he describes it perfectly. Packing this theme into a horror novel was pure genius to me! I felt Carrie’s rage. I rooted for her. I felt for her the entire time.



Review here.

This one is on here because it was such a personal read for me and February was the perfect month for this book. I have always loved a poem by Goethe called Erlkönig. Despite it being about death and human suffering, it’s beautiful and haunting and dark and romantic. Jae-Jones somehow perfectly captured those feelings in her novel and matched her plot and characters perfectly. Liesl’s character was complex, weird, and so very human. Der Erlkönig was everything an antihero should be – brooding, stubborn, handsome, scheming, yet so lovable. The author also showed considerable knowledge of German folktales and traditions and seamlessly blended them in the story, which just gave me nostalgia galore.


Six of Crows

Review here.

April is Dewey’s readathon and I had saved this book for that day. I was sucked into the story from the opening sentence of Joost’s lack of mustache. There is something so special about a fantastic first sentence! I loved the world-building, the plot, and the main characters. Each one was different but all were equally well-developed. I can’t even put my finger on why this novel is so good, but it just is. I am still mad at myself that it took me so long to pick up the book.


Milk and Honey

Review here.

Another April Dewey’s read. Did I cry? Yes. Did I laugh? Yes. Did I find myself in these poems? Hell yes! Honestly, I did not see this work coming. This is for sure a collection I will turn to over and over again.


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Review here.

This has got to be the best non-fiction book I’ve read. Michelle McNamara’s writing is beyond fabulous. I had heard so much about this book that I couldn’t wait to read it in May. This didn’t read like non-fiction because we get to learn so much about the author. Her writing flows in a way that generally fictional plots flow, which made this such an easy and engaging tale. The fact that it was about a creepy serial killer was just the bonus! This book stands on its own. It doesn’t rely on the topic. Just pure perfection!


The Outsider

Review here.

Published in May 2018. Read in May 2018. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this. And oh boy, did this novel deliver. The story was riveting and utterly scary and the writing was definitely old King. He is back! The first part of the novel is a fast-paced thriller which then turns to a creepy paranormal tale in the second half. The villain is unattainable, fluid, and always one step ahead. This book will give you the feels! Feels of despair and complete defeat. I loved it!


The Bloody Chamber

Review here.

Not sure anything can top retellings of classic fairytales, which are in and of themselves already often dark but take on a whole new level of creepiness in this wonderful compilation of fairytale-inspired short stories. These stories were at times cruel, always weird and odd, and frequently maddening. Carter’s writing was beautiful and eerie. This is definitely a book to re-read, specifically in October as I did.


Supernatural Tales

Review here.

November brought another collection of short stories. Gothic writing just sets the most magnificent scene. The imagery is spot on. Vernon Lee aka Violet Page had a variety of plots that caused my heart to quicken as the story unfolded. I loved the darkness of the described events. I needed to know what was happening next. Some of her tales felt too damn real. Yet she retains this feeling of romance and wonder as you read along. Why do Gothic tales so perfectly romanticize the suffering and angst?


What did you write about this TTT? I can’t wait to check out your post!


Festive readathon shenanigans – update


I had a great Thanksgiving week surrounded by friends who are like family. We went to the library and picked out books, played football outside, went to a College basketball game, cooked a lot of food, played tons of boardgames, and watched a few Christmas movies. I was able to finish The Picture of Dorian Gray, Supernatural Tales, and started reading Welcome to the Show. I am counting all those toward  #thankfullyreading, #csreadathon, and the  75 BOOKS (Goodreads group) Thanksgiving readathon.




The #csreadathon is actually part of the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge, which runs through January 6. There are different levels to reach and I am well on my way to get to Christmas tree!





The #tistheseasonathon just ended last night and I am happy to report I was able to fulfill all their categories!



Here is my little summary of the books I’ve read since Thanksgiving (in the order I read them):

BOOK TITLE #csreadathon level #tistheseasonathon prompt
City of Ghosts Candy Cane (Read 1 book) Read a book while listening to holiday music
Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe Mistletoe (Read 2-4 books Read a warm & fuzzy book
Snow in Love Mistletoe (Read 2-4 books Read our buddy-read book
The Gift Mistletoe (Read 2-4 books Read a holiday-themed book
Saga, Vol 1 Mistletoe (Read 2-4 books Read a short book (under 250 pages)
Krampus: The Yule Lord Christmas Tree (Read 5-6 books) Read a book with red or green on the cover


I am currently finishing up Magician: Apprentice which will mark book #6 for #csreadathon and also fulfills a Popsugar reading challenge. I am also listening to In Cold Blood.


How are you guys faring? Are you doing any reading challenges this month? I have two more upcoming: #magicalreadathon2018 organized by Book Roast and #shortathon18 hosted by Howling Libraries. Look out for updates for these on my blog and on my Twitter.

Top Ten Tuesday – wintery reads, from cozy to scary


It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s theme is cozy and wintery reads. Well, as y’all know, I love me a good scary book, and there is something about being snowed in and being frightened out of my PJs. But I also love a good wintery romance or cozy thriller. So, here is going to be a hodgepodge list of winter-themed books.


  1. Snowy fantasy books based on folklore
  2. True Crime
  3. Anything Stephen King
  4. Favorite rereads
  5. Childhood favorites
  6. Thrillers, mysteries, and suspenseful books
  7. Bleak or post-apocalyptic themes
  8. Romantic plots
  9. Short Stories
  10. Poetry

Us releases – December books to keep on your radar

US releases

Hi bookies,

Keep your eyes peeled for these goodies! As always, I’ve linked the titles to my Goodreads reviews or to the actual book page.

Books I reviewed before release:

I did not review any December books. But I have to submit I am super behind on reading one ARC, which came out at the end of October. :/


Books I am anticipating to read:

Once Upon a River by Diane Sutterfield; Dec 4 Historical Fiction

I loved The Thirteenth Tale, so I am definitely on the lookout for new novels by Sutterfield. This one sounds so promising – suspenseful and heartfelt.

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts; Dec 4 Fantasy, Romance

The second book in her Chronicles of The One series sounds just as exciting as the first one, which I have yet to read. I might wait for her to complete that series first though, as I know myself, I can’t sit around and wait around for the next book.

Lumberjanes, Vol 10: Parents’ Day by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh; Dec 4 YA, Graphic Novels, LGBTQ+

I’ve read the first five (?) stories and loved all of them. Eventually, I will catch up!

I gobbled up books in November


This month I found my groove back was November. It was probably a combination of the momentum I caught toward the end of October and the fact that I love November weather – rain and wind. Dreariness is perfection for reading! I had a few milestones this month: I finished reading Uncommon Type, I finished listening to One Hundred Years of Solitude, and I dwindled it down to only [] more empty categories for the Popsugar reading challenge.




Uncommon Type (Tom Hanks) ♠♠♠♠♠

287I loved these short stories. I kinda had high hopes for Tom Hanks – I mean is there something the man can’t do? – and he did not disappoint. I loved the retro feel of the tales. I loved that he wants to revive old-timey things. Writing an entire book on a typewriter is now one of my goals. He expertly snuck in a different type of typewriter in each story without it being obvious. The themes of his plots were super varied making this an ideal book to read for a bit and then put away and grab again weeks later (hint, hint: that’s exactly what I did). Tom Hanks is talented. His writing is easy going and effortless. He plays with words the right amount to keep the reader engaged but doesn’t push it where the words overpower the story. Honestly, the book felt like he had fun writing it, and isn’t that really refreshing?

This book would make an amazing Christmas gift. There is a story in it for everyone.


Fragile Things (Neil Gaiman) ♠♠♠♠

288I began listening to this during my social media time during Dewey’s readathon and finished the book over the next few weeks at work. I find Neil Gaiman’s voice so soothing and he seems like the perfect work companion. I’ve only recently (last two years) started to appreciate audiobooks and Neil himself was a big driving force. This collection of fantastical Gaiman tales was very adult – just how I like it. I quite enjoyed the American Gods connection and several of the stories were weird, gross, and dark – so right up my alley!

Listen to this audiobook if you: love magical oddities, are looking for a fun narrator

Don’t listen to this if you: are underage or just immature :p


The Crossover (Kwame Alexander) ♠♠♠♠♠


Guys! This book was such an amazing surprise. It honestly was sheer perfection. It did mess me up for a while though. I had no idea I would get so emotionally involved and I honestly think it was the poetry that drew me in. Writing the story in that medium was pure genius – it made the tale raw and so real.

This should be a must read for everyone!



Three Fates (Nora Roberts) ♠♠♠♠♠

302And thus begun my Ireland Nora Roberts marathon … This book was fantastic. It combined mythology with strong female characters and an amazing villain. Of course, there was love, it is Nora Roberts after all, but there was no over the top romance; just badass characters and an adventure filled plot. I think this would be a great introduction to the Robert universe if you haven’t read any of her books.

Pick up this book if you: are looking for a fast=paced journey, enjoy mythology and love stories, love a female villain

This book is not for you if you: are looking for realistic human interactions


The ‘Born In‘ Trilogy (Nora Roberts) ♠♠♠♠ and ♠♠♠♠♠

I specifically sought out this trilogy because I wanted more Nora Roberts and more Ireland in my life. Well, Born In delivered! The descriptions of Ireland were so decadent and luscious, I immediately wanted to book a plane ticket and visit the country myself. I liked the Concannon sisters and I specifically liked the grumpy half-sister! The characters in this trilogy were actually quite flawed and seemed very human. I cherished the small glimpses in old Irish folklore as they provided just the little extra to these stories. My favorite romance was between the homely, yet strong-minded Brianna and the nerdy writer in book #2. So Stephen King :p

This is a good trilogy for you if you: are looking to know what happens after they fall in love, like family sagas, enjoy plentiful descriptions of countrysides

This is not going to be your thing if you: don’t like cheesy and happily-ever-afters


The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) ♠♠♠♠

339I chose this book as it has my favorite color in the title and belongs to the 1001 book list. No surprise here that I liked it: it was perfectly weird and Gothic, it splendidly represents the old England through the most delicious social gossip, there was some odd pact with the devil, and oh so much despair! The only drawback the story has is that it was quite long-winded at times. There were several super dry passages that did not make for easy reading. But isn’t that almost required for British lit? The interactions between Dorian Gray and the painter give this book a very important depth that we can only appreciate knowing Oscar Wilde’s presumed sexual orientation.

Read it if you: like Victorian life England, enjoy Gothic tales with devilish undertones, life for social commentary

Don’t read it if you: get easily bored


Supernatural Tales (Vernon Lee aka Violet Page) ♠♠♠♠♠

340Gahhhh! This was so damn good! Thank you, Popsugar reading challenge, for making me find this book to fulfill a category. Violet Page sets a mean stage for the perfect scariness. Her eerie language, her delicious imaginations, and her sarcastic voice gave me the perfection reading experience. I flew through these short stories and of course, I have my favorites. I want everyone to read this book so we can chat about our most loved parts.

This is a must read if you: are into horror, Gothic, or creepy tales at all … also if you’re a feminist!

Don’t read it if you: want to keep the current patriarchy alive … women writing under male pseudonyms are just one symptom of what’s wrong with it

Top Ten Tuesday – Thanksgiving thank yous


It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today is our Thanksgiving edition freebie and I thought I’d give you a quick list of not so obvious things I am thankful for. It really goes without saying that I am thankful for my family and friends, my pets, books, my health, and my education. But here are a few things I am grateful for that might be less known about me.

  1. Quiet early mornings with a good cup of coffee – Everyone knows I love coffee and everyone knows I am a morning grump, yet I love getting up really early some mornings and sit outside, watch the birds, and see the world wake up. And most of all, enjoy the quiet and solitude.
  2. The smell of fresh cut wood – I have always loved that smell. Maybe it reminds me of my grandpa when he worked in his woodshop or maybe it just smells really good to me for no reason, but when I go to the local garden store (or similar), I make a point of walking down the aisle that has all the different woods.
  3. Taking time to meditate – This is a fairly new endeavor for me but I cannot explain how much of a difference it has made in my life lately.
  4. The squishiness of yarn – You know that moment you hold it in your hand and it still has all the possibilities to be turned into any beautiful knitted thing, yeah, I love that moment.
  5. Getting older – I mean I don’t like all the little pains that come with it but I like the personal growth that I had.
  6. The way my grandma would peel an orange – She always did it with such care and awe for this particular fruit. I think of it every time I eat an orange.
  7. The internet – I love knowledge and random facts. I love looking up stuff. I honestly don’t think I could live without search engines anymore.
  8. Football season – I just wish this would be all year long.
  9. The fears I’ve overcome – I, like many others, tend to focus on all the things that I am still working on but it does me so good taking stock once in a while of all the fears and challenges I have overcome, no matter how small.
  10. My favorite blue pen – It used to be one particular fountain pen with a very specific blue ink. I had that sucker all throughout middle and high school. Moving from Germany to the US changed that as ink cartridges weren’t as easily bought here as they were back home. Now I have this ballpoint pen I just adore the heck out of.

I can’t wait to see your TTT for this week! What plans do you have for Thanksgiving? What things are you thankful for?

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish items/merch I’d like to own


It’s TTT time! Today is a fun prompt because who doesn’t have a long list of bookish things they’d like to own?! I have quite a wishlist due to the fact that I rarely indulge myself and actually buy book merchandise. I definitely have a weakness for bookmarks, even though I regularly use whatever is handy to mark my spot in a book. I also love me a good bookish t-shirt. As usual, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Here it goes – I am linking to the shop where you could purchase the item.


I want to decorate my house like I live in a bookstore!

Mugs! Coffee is my everything. Coffee and books represent paradise! I collect coffee mugs but believe it or not, I don’t own any bookish mugs yet. I do love me a good pun, too.

Flowers and foul language – swoon!
Campy fun
Puns all the way


Bookmarks! I really do love them. I dream of having a plethora of bookmarks that I have displayed somewhere on my shelf and can grab whenever the mood strikes – preferably matching the book I am reading at that time. I don’t have a preference for a specific type of bookmark but I like the magnetic ones, the ones for your thumb that help you keep the pages open, and I really would love to have a leather one with my birth coordinates engraved.

Horror inspired
Giraffes are my faves
Pennywise – I already have one of those but need more!
This would be so handy
These are so pretty
I want the coordinates of my birthplace


Totes! You need to carry shit. You need to carry your books places. Totes are perfect and can really express the mood you’re in.

So cute
I like totes featuring my favorite books!
Coffee and books – so good


Candles! They’re so old-timey and really can set the perfect mood. Plus, I can’t resist being happy with certain smells like sandalwood or pine.

Little samples are perfect
I want to live in a bookstore or library!


T-shirts! Why not wear what you love? I already have many book-ish shirts but I always need more.

I’ve read this book in three languages so far! I am quite proud of this.
King is king
This book has been on my TBR for forever


String lights! I always wanted to decorate my reading nook with beautiful old fashioned Edison string lights. It just seems so cozy!

Do want!


Blankets! Must have snuggly blankets around me at all times. I actually love knitting and crocheting and thus don’t have any specific blankets on my wishlist but would love to make my own one day. So far, I’ve only knitted baby blankets as gifts.


Kindle Paperwhite! The new one is waterproof. I love reading in the tub and this one is for sure an item I want to own. This one is actually on my Christmas wishlist.

I’m still getting used to eReaders


Socks! I own one pair of Alice in Wonderland socks and wear them religiously. I must have more. I also knit socks but my colorwork isn’t up to par to make some literary stockings. I may be able to knit some Dobby socks 😉

I am a BOTM member and every month I am eyeing these socks
Stockings – Pride and Prejudice – so darn cute
Hufflepuff 4 life!


Literary Notebooks! I’m the typical reader who also likes to write. Notebooks are my weakness. I own way too many but not enough are book-themed.

Dracula – I adore that book
I want all of them
The Hobbit – leather bound – um, yes, please

What is on your merch wishlist?

Festive readathon shenanigans


Update to these readathons.

This will be my blog post with a running list of all the Christmas-themed goodness I’ll be participating in. I love Halloween because it soothes my soul. I love Christmas because it has my heart. I wish I could take October through December off every year and just read books, books, and more books. I know Thanksgiving is still in between but I just can’t wait for Christmas. I enjoy the foodie experience for Thanksgiving but there is so much more to do for Halloween and Christmas. If you read my blog regularly, you know I participated in multiple Halloween-y readathons and generally devour horror books, so it comes as no surprise that I also need to partake in Christmas reading challenges. What is surprising is that I rarely read holiday type books. I am going to change that this year!

The readathons below are organized by start day and theme. This list is, of course, ever evolving.


Thankfully Reading

Check the specifics here.

In my mind, this is a let’s be thankful for books readathon that runs November 21 – 25. It’s free-form aka read what you want with the goal to cheer each other on (use #thankfullyreading on Twitter and Instagram). I am hoping to make good headway with my current reads and to finish 4 more books toward my Popsugar reading challenge by the end of November, thus I will probably focus on those reads during Thanksgiving. I also always read with my friends’ kids. They visit me every year and we make a special trip to the library to pick out books to read together. Follow me on here or on my Twitter during this readathon.


Christmas Spirit Readathon

Check the specifics here.

Seasons of Readings has quickly become my favorite resource for seasonal readathons. It’s a sweet group experience with lots of chats on Facebook and Twitter. This readathon takes place November 19 through December 2 and kicks of the longer Christmas reading challenge for which I noted down some of the categories! Let’s put it that way, I hope to level up to Christmas tree! The actual challenge runs November 19 through January 6 and I’ve started to compile potential reads. Be sure to check my progress on here and on my Twitter (#csreadathon).

Tis the Season A Thon

Check here for specifics.

A few fine Booktubers and Bookbloggers are hosting this lovely readathon that even features specific prompts. Prompts make my heart grow two sizes because there basically is nothing better than checking off something I’ve done. This readathon runs December 3 through 9. I’ll be updating my progress here on the blog or on my Twitter account (#tistheseasonathon) and yes, my book list, per ush, is subject to change. I have a few more books left that I want to read this year and I will try to match them to these prompts. I will also double dip between readathons.

  • A book with a red or green cover. There are two Mary and Carol Higgins Clark books on my list that fit this category: Deck the Halls or The Christmas Thief.
  • Read a book while listening to Christmas music. I know this book is set during the fall (or so the synopsis says) but I think it would be a creepy but cozy read with holiday music: Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Plus, I had already planned to read this one during December.
  • A warm and fuzzy book. This screams romance novel to me, so I am most likely going to read this one: Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson.
  • A short book (>200 pages). I have really stepped up my novella game this year and have come to love a good short story. I think I will read Skipping Christmas by John Grisham for this.
  • A holiday-themed book. Again, I am kinda using these prompts to read a bunch of fluff romance novels. The Gift by Cecilia Ahern definitely fits the bill.
  • bonus: group read of Snow in Love (various authors). This one looks promising. I hope I’ll get to it.

Christmas at Hogwarts

Book Roast is hosting yet again another Magical Readathon. She usually has lovely challenges but I specifically love this one: it’s sort of a choose your own adventure/path! This readathon runs from December 17 through 26 with the goal to Attend the Christmas Feast. Book Roast is very active on her Twitter, so be sure to check that out and follow the official hashtag #magicalfeast2018. I’ll be updating here on the blog and also on my Twitter. Here is a quick preview of the reading prompts. I can’t wait to carve out my path!

Christmas at Hogwarts readathon

  • Finish your coursework (finish your current read)
  • Help Hagrid decorate the trees (a book with a golden detail)
  • Have a snowball fight with the Weasley twins (a book you think will be humorous)
  • Visit 3 Broomsticks for muller pixie wine (a book that should only take you a day/evening)
  • Exchange presents at your Common Room (a book featuring/about friendship)
  • Sneak into the kitchen to gift dobby odd socks (a book that has an item of clothing on the cover)
  • Attend a Yule Ball (a book you’ve been preparing yourself for)
  • Fly around snowy Hogwarts grounds (a book with a building on the cover)
  • Put on your knitted sweater from Molly Weasley (a book featuring parents or focuses on family)
  • Use your Invisibility Cloak to get to the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library (a banned book)
  • Bring a festive treat to Hedwig at the Owlery (a book with an animal on the cover/title/series name)
  • Attend the Christmas Feast (watch a Harry Potter movie; this is optional)

My plan of attack for this is to just go with the flow. I am not going to pre-plan which path I’ll take. I’ll see what books on my shelf, on my Kindle, or in the library strike me fancy and if they would allow me to advance to the next step!

What are your reading plans for the holidays? Are you participating in any fun readathons?

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 horror books I can’t believe I haven’t read


It’s TTT time! Today’s prompt made me go through my Goodreads TBR. I decided to look at books I’ve added a very long time ago that fall within horror and gothic literature. As usual, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). So, without much further ado, here is my list of books that have been on my TBR for wayyyyyyy too long.


Horror books I am almost too embarrassed to admit I haven’t read



The Call of Cthulu

by H.P. Lovecraft


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

by Washington Irving


The Haunting of Hill House

by Shirley Jackson


The Stand

by Stephen King


Rosemary’s Baby

by Ira Levin


The Exorcist

by William Peter Blatty



by Daphne du Maurier


House of Leaves

by Marc Z. Danielewski


My Best Friend’s Exorcism

by Grady Hendrix


Let The Right One In

by John Ajvide Lindqvist


My goal after writing this post is to read Let The Right One In soon as it actually fulfills one of my Popsugar reading challenges. In fact, I already requested it from the library. I also have House of Leaves, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Stand on my bookshelf. as well as The Exorcist on my Kindle. So those should obviously be next. The Stand could also be used for the Popsugar challenge but is a very long book and I may not be able to finish this on time. Which of these would you recommend I should pick up soon?


What is on your backlist?

Something Wicked and RIP wrap-ups


Well, as you may have glanced from my monthlies, I didn’t get that much reading done in September and halfway through October. So, with a sad twinkle in my eye, I am telling you now that I got ZERO books read for Readers Imbibing Peril. Instead, I watched a lot of horror films and shows and ordered a bunch of horror books. I feel like that counts in spirit. For Something Wicked This Fall Comes I actually finished 5 works:

I’ve linked to my Goodreads reviews or you can read my monthly wrap-up here on the blog. I think next year I am going to be a bit more prepared for these readathons. I ordered a bunch of books that I’ve been meaning to (re)read and would like to own but they didn’t come in on time. That won’t happen again!