Ah, 2021 is coming to a close. It was the quickest week of my life, amirite? But really, it was quite the year for me, personally and professionally. One of the upsides was rediscovering my love of books. Like a ton of adults, I stopped reading as I did as a kid. When I was a young wee one, I read all of the time. My mom jokes (but is serious) that even as a baby in my crib, I would pour over books. Words have always been my thing, which probably explains my Master’s in Creative Writing and the multiple novels I have in the works. I’m also now a professional editor, which is super rad! Anyway, there I am, absorbed in my new books, with a to-be-read list a billion miles long! I thought with the new year coming and the holidays looming, it’s a perfect time to relax and discover some new worlds!!
So I present to you some of my beloved favs, as well as my 2022 TBR list! If any of these change your life, TELL ME! Speaking of…
My Favorite Fantasy Novels
Fantasy is my favorite genre. It actually took me a loooong time to recognize this about myself, despite Eragon and Harry Potter being favorites for a loooong time. These are the first books in trilogies/series that I absolutely adore. In a very particular order, my favorites are:
A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR)- These books literally changed my life. Sarah J. Maas is fantasy fiction royalty. I started this series after seeing it on TikTok a lot and…I devoured the whole series in a week. A Court of Mist and Fury is one of my favorite books of all time and easily one of the best novels written, ever.
The Golden Compass – These books changed the way I view religion. I literally went from being a Christian to being agnostic, almost overnight. This is probably why it’s abhorred by the Christian community.
The Assasin’s Blade (Throne of Glass) – Another Sarah J. Maas work of art. I actually haven’t finished it yet. The books are massive and my ADHD likes it when I jump around from book to book. Plus, I don’t want to finish it! Once I do, my first time reading it will be over! But this series is easily replacing Harry Potter for me.
Scythe – The concept of this novel is amazing. It’s in a dystopian future where death has been cured, but to cut down the population, people are designated as “Scythes” to “reap” people.
Eragon – Christopher Paolini is like Sarah J. Maas in the way they both make me feel inadequate as a person. They both wrote their first books at the age of 16. I can tell you right now I wasn’t even remotely close to being that talented that early. But this book has dragons and that’s enough for me.
From Blood and Ash – Absolutely high fantasy, with a slow burn romance and fabulous action scenes. It’s definitely a ‘love or hate it’ kind of book. Me? I have a partial shrine to the series.
Gild – I read this book series after ACOTAR, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. I have a small shrine to this one too…LOL! It’s a fantasy exploration of trauma/Stockholm Syndrome and healing from it all.
Children of Blood and Bone – The author wrote this series as a way to process the plights of the American Black community. It’s also high fantasy and beautifully developed as a world, plus the characters are amazing. BIG FAN.
Non-Fiction Novels I LOVE
Non-fiction is NOT my thing. I don’t have patience for it. I spend a lot of my days researching and reading about horrible political things. I read to escape. However, these books have changed large parts of my life.
#Entry Level Boss – In case you weren’t away, I now have a day job as an editor for a lifestyle/entertainment website (Suggest.com) and it’s such an incredible job. This book gave me a lot of insight on how to approach the corporate world with zero experience. I cannot recommend it enough.
The Power of Habit – Creating habits is so hard for me. This book helps break it down to understand how to be a little less ADHD.
Atomic Habits – This book is AMAZING. I actually listened to it as an audible and then bought it to sit down and read it…someday.
The Ethical Slut – A solid beginner’s guide to polyamory.
The Five Love Languages – If you’ve never read this but want to learn how to love your partner better, THIS is the book for it!!
My Favorite Books Ever
Not much gets better than this roundup. Seriously, you can’t fail with these. Or maybe that’s just me…
Tender is the Flesh – Read at your own discretion. A Booktok discovery…it changed my mindset as a writer. I had been nervous about writing really twisted things and this book taught me I wasn’t being fucked up enough. Picture: normalized cannibalism.
Rena’s Promise – I’ve consumed dozens of Holocaust books but this one resonated deeper and longer. It’s an incredible story about one of the very first Auschwitz prisoners, who survived until the liberation. Literally beating all of the odds. Worth a read.
World War Z – ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS. Seriously, Max Brooks is a genius, creating an anthology of “interviews” in a post-zombie war era. I’ve heard the audible is also amazing, with famous celebrities voicing the interviews.
Behind Closed Doors – Man, I remember bringing this with me to the beach and gasping so many times, it’s a wonder I didn’t faint. A very easy read with some real twist and turns. It involves a woman’s worst nightmare, where once you’re married, the man you think you knew is replaced with an utter stranger.
Still Missing – One of the reasons I love this book is because it answers a question I often ask: and then what? So many movies and books end without an epilogue but I want to know what happens after you slay the literal and metaphorical monster. This book is from the perspective of a kidnapping victim who is trying to get her shit together.
Den of Vipers – Okay, this was the first real smut book I cut my teeth on. DO NOT READ IF YOU PREFER THINGS VANILLA. It was a real awakening for me, an introduction to the tropes of reverse harem, mafia, enemies to lovers…and I haven’t looked back. Seriously though, it’s really messed up.
A Court of Thorns and Roses
Seriously, these books changed everything for me. It’s actually being adapted to TV, thanks to Hulu. The following is as large as Harry Potter and I can attest to the plethora of fan art and merch you can buy. These dust covers are actually made by one of the most popular fan artists in the world. I own four copies of the first book, if you need to borrow one.
My 2022 To-Be-Read
Okay, let’s be realistic—this is NOT my entire TBR. However, this is what I have on hand. Don’t even look at my Kindle Unlimited TBR list! I’ve heard amazing things about The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue…it’s definitely at the front of the list! I have a goal of reading 100 books in 2022…wish me luck!