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Some book recs from 2018

December 31, 2018 - - No comments

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I read 92 books in 2018. 92! That’s probably my best rate in years, and that doesn’t even include re-reads, standalone short fiction, komiks, zines, completed/serial online fiction, pre-publication #romanceclass reads. I won’t be listing all of the titles, and will instead highlight some for various reasons. I won’t be rating them either because nowadays if I manage to finish a book it’s at the very least 3.5 stars. Anything that doesn’t grab my interest, I stop and move on to something else.

A summary of my reading year:
92 finished titles. This year I’ve been reading mostly at night, a chapter or so before sleeping, and early morning. Audio during the day. Print only during the day, or that one time I went on a writing retreat.

80 romance genre (12 other genre/category, includes YA, women’s fiction, suspense, poetry)
I don’t mind this proportion being heavily romance with some occasional stops at other genres. As mentioned in a previous post I’m in grief mode, and I appreciate it when reviewers mention triggers like cancer, dying parents, grief arcs–because I’m avoiding them right now. Since identifying that, I’ve gravitated toward talky, and/or fun, and/or low angst, and/or extremely erotic romance, and I’m just really happy with my reading and feel comforted enough to get me to…not really a good place just yet, but a medium place maybe. Thanks, Romancelandia. (kisses)

35 new-to-me authors
My TBR is always 50 books or more, oddly, but I decided to make room always for a new author, and once in a while try a new-to-me author especially if friends love their backlist.

11 print books, 13 audio books, 1 digital ARC, all the rest ebooks bought or KU borrowed
So this year, I figured out what print books mean to me as a reader: They’re the books I will eventually give away. Buy print only to have a physical copy of a book I love so I can lend or give it to a friend…or buy a sale/cheap copy to try it and eventually give it away. I bought a very small shelf and will maintain the load on it, and give away anything that isn’t at least a four-star read. Audio’s awesome, will be reading more that way. I very rarely ask for ARCs, but I won’t close that door, though I do prefer pre-ordering and buying.

75 books by AOC
82% of my reading.

4 Tagalog romance
I will do more of this!

On to some recs. I’ve recommended books as I read them, so this isn’t a best of. I just feel like mentioning them right now, for reasons:

There’s a Fil-Am heroine in this one, but both characters have obligations to family and pressure to maintain their livelihoods. Recommend this when someone says romance is always an escape and no one ever seems to be responsible for things.

This Wicked Gift Kindle edition

Not pubbed this year, but picked it as a holiday read and got my socks knocked off.

My experience with Sierra Simone’s Priest romance books is this: I just tell fellow Pinoys I’ve read them…and let them slide into my DMs. There is a range of feelings regarding the idea of this, of specifics in the book, and even the choice and experience of reading it. (ie don’t assume that only certain people are offended and only certain people are curious. Might be the other way around.) Anyway, I’m mentioning this book here because of a dying parent subplot that I would have absolutely avoided if I had known it was there, but by the time I discovered it I couldn’t stop reading, and the events of the book were happening to me pretty much at the same time, or at least within weeks. I’ve avoided dying parent or cancer arcs in books because I don’t like being told how to feel, but this particular book got some parts down so exactly similar to my experience and state of mind. It’s so strange, okay, but that’s just how complex we are I guess haha.

Not romance genre, but so awesome an experience. Audio, if you can.

I read so many Nicola Davidson books in one weekend that I had to tell myself to stop so I could have more for a “rainy day.” They’re short reads, hot and right away (a good thing to me), and asks what I think are awesome questions. (Do you believe a book asks questions? I do.) Surrender to Sin’s basic premise involves a woman arranging to be “ruined” to avoid an unwanted marriage. So glad she has a lot of fun and finds love while doing that.

Look, I like reading romance and spies and competence trope and menage, but did I ever put all of that together in a search box to see a book that has it? I did not, so I’m glad someone wrote this book, and somehow made it land on my Twitter timeline. Thank you, universe.

Not romance genre. Sociopath main character, actual ruin of men, actual use of sex to ruin people, and yet…and yet! Anyway, I warned you about the things, and it’s still a cathartic fun read. Depending on your idea of fun.

I still think about this book. I feel like a door opened in a room inside my head, and I’m still figuring out why I feel that way. (TW for violence, child death.)

Hot and funny and a lot of story for a short book. Something to read and learn from when feeling pressure about word counts and pages, ie a story is however long it needs to be.

Thank you, excellent authors!

If you’re reading this and wondering where the romance by Filipino authors are, head on over to romanceclassbooks.com. Or start with the 2018 releases here.

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About Mina



Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in publishing.
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