For most of 2019, I was in a reading slump. I couldn’t find a book I loved, and I had a hard time getting through them when I did. This slump coincided with some health issues and stress I was seeing in other aspects of my life too. Finally, I managed to break out of my reading slump in October and consumed about 20 books between October and December. I’m back, baby!
Now, to welcome in 2020 here are my favorite reads from last year:
Folk of the Air Series
The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black consists of The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, and The Queen of Nothing.
In October one of my favorites authors (Michelle Madow) posted about a group read along for the Folk of the Air series that was happening on Facebook. I had heard of the Cruel Prince but had never gotten around to reading it. So I checked out both The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King from my local library and devoured them in less than a week. I immediately bought them both and pre-ordered The Queen of Nothing and had an agonizing month-long wait for it to come out.
The Folk of the Air series is about Jude, a human who had been raised in Faerie. The books are about her coming of age journey trying to reconcile being a human in this beautiful and terrible world and how far she will go to find her place and feel safe. It has gorgeous world-building, amazing twists and turns in each book, and characters you will love and will love to hate.
These books quickly became one of my all-time favorites and I will be forever thankful to them and Holly Black for creating a world and characters that drew me in immediately and got me out of my reading slump.
You can read more about each of the books and purchase the whole series here: https://amzn.to/2FmOI45
Ten Thousand Doors of January
This book. This. Book. The Ten Thousand Doors of January was such a magical read I almost don’t know how to put it into words. It is a transformative read. One that pulls you through its pages and doesn’t let go, leaving you so full of thought and emotion after it’s over it’s almost hard to come back to the real world.
This book meets at the crossroads of fantasy, historical, and academic writing and somehow takes the best of each and spin it into something unique. It toes the line between literary and genre fiction. The writing is breathtaking; the story is enchanting. If there’s one book you need to read in 2020, it’s this one.
I discovered this book on Instagram (yay bookstagram community!) and then, lo-and-behold, the author lives in Kentucky like me. I got the chance to meet her, and she is absolutely lovely.
Read more about the story and grab your own copy here: https://amzn.to/2QryzAR
The Storm Crow
It’s no secret that YA Fantasy is my jam. I love strong heroines, coming of age stories, world-changing stakes, and a good dose of magic. The Storm Crow has it all. After a devastating attack the main character, Princess Thia, has to figure out how to help her country, battle her own debilitating depression, and consider a marriage to the son of her country’s enemy. Not to mention magical, elemental crows. <3
Crows are one of my favorite animals so I was immediately drawn to this book. They are smart and funny and I’ve always thought they were magic, so maybe Kalyn Josephson is onto something. I like crows so much, in fact, I have a dog named Crow.
One thing I really appreciate in The Storm Crow is the depiction of mental health. Without giving too much away, Thia goes through a traumatizing event and suffers from major depression. Kalyn Josephson does a great job of not making the depression something that Thia deals with just in passing, but something that is actually a struggle and doesn’t go away as the book progresses. As someone who struggled with depression, I really appreciated the care the author took in included this complicated issue in her story.
Find out more about the book and get your own copy here: https://amzn.to/2uk8v1N
Song of the Lioness Quartet
The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce is an old favorite of mine. I re-read this series almost every year. The quartet is made up of the books Alanna: The First Adventure, In the Hand of the Goddess, The Woman Who Rides Like A Man, and Lioness Rampant.
These books helped ignite my love of reading and I devour all the Tortall books by Tamora Pierce every year. Reading them feels like coming home. This first series helped defined the young adult fantasy genre and moulded it into what it is today.
In these books, Alanna want to be a knight, but girls aren’t allowed. So she disguises herself as a boy and switches places with her twin brother. How awesome and daring is that? These books are riveting and amazing and if you haven’t read them yet, get to it!
Find the boxed set of these four books here: https://amzn.to/2Qpan1V
Truth be told, I don’t read many classics, but Jane Eyre has always held a special place in my heart. Every time I reread it I discover something new. I read it again this year after not reading it for a few years and it was just as enchanting as ever.
Here’s a paperback copy of this book on amazon: https://amzn.to/2Fh2kOj
That’s it for my recommendations! What were your favorite books for 2019? Let me know on Facebook, Instagram, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I took all the photos featured in this blog post and you can find more book discussions and bookish photography over on my Instagram @michellewilsonwrites
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