Crawling Out of the Crater Into 2019

2018, what were you, exactly? Were you the pit or the pendulum? A little of both perhaps? Just a skim against the axe’s edge, but still not as bad as it… could’ve been?
Ah well. There will always be another year for redemption.

Firstly, thank you all for reading my little book blog. This month was its one-year anniversary and I never expected it to do so well. In my spare time, I’ll be revamping it to look cleaner and include a good bookshelf for my finished works.
I have gotten rather unfocused with book reviews due to the poetry books I’ve been trying to perfect and release. Loverboy and Absolute Heaven are both finally out on Kindle if you want a copy. The paperback for Loverboy is available but AH‘s will need a bit of touch-up, as it’s kind of massive for what it is.
You’ll have to be patient with my independent book releases. I have a sensory disorder and other unrelated ghastly stuff tends to happen around publishing time, and it’s only me working on it. Better for the books to come out later than I want than come out incomplete, no?

Anyway, I’ve got so, so much planned for 2019. I have remixed versions of my four chapbooks, two separate poetry compilations (one of which may get traditionally published – yay!), and three rather intriguing fiction works.
I found the chapbooks extremely excrutiating to read in their raw forms, but I never really… received any negative feedback at all? There was like, one or two bad ratings somewhere, I think? So maybe it’s just my perfectionism, I don’t know. The horror ones I definitely found more stupid than the romantic ones, but guess which ones were more popular? Continue reading “Crawling Out of the Crater Into 2019”

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The Best I Read in 2018

So many books to choose from, and yet so few. I’ve boiled it down to the top 20 contenders that continue to haunt and astound me long past their finales, with what I found to like so much about them. This list is somewhat biased towards darker genres, but that’s me. I should note that these books did not necessarily come out in 2018, that’s just when I read them for the first time. I haven’t reviewed some of these yet, or don’t plan to soon.

20. #NotYourPrincess by Various Authors
Genre – Nonfiction / Poetry

I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to read this book before it was published, and I have to say it’s about damned time they brought more Native American writing into the mainstream, especially as beautiful as these women’s imaginations have proven to be.

19. Blue Bird by Magda Ayuk
Genre – Poetry

An unexpected independent gem that stands out in a sea of other modern poetry with the same topics, just because it’s written with so much heart and passion.
[Read my full review of this book here.]

18. Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt
Genre – Fiction

A writer friend of mine wrote this book, but that’s not why I’m adding it to the list. It is a genuinely great novel with wonderfully quirky characters, and that shows a very personal facet of the 9/11 tragedy.
[Read my full review of this book here.]

17. Claudine by Riyoko Ikeda
Genre – Romance

Ahead of its day with its themes of gender dysphoria and female masculinity, and a rare example of romance that I can actually ingest without repercussions. Ikeda’s characters are so elegant, and Claudine is incredibly tragic.

16. A Midsummer’s Equation by Keigo Higashino
Genre – Mystery

This was my first solidly good read of the year. Despite having a sharp twist to it, this is a comfortably oceanic, gradual and intelligent sort of mystery that is a nice break from the bleak thrillers I’m used to seeing.
[Read my full review of this book here.]

15. Darkness Visible by William Golding
Genre – Fiction

Golding is one of my favourite writers, and this book is… it’s something else. I thought Lord of the Flies (which also made this list) was difficult to dissect, but I was wrong. Darkness Visible outdoes LotF as far as Golding’s signature primal, almost abstract exploration of the human psyche, though it did not quite speak to me as much. I highly recommend, as I feel Darkness gets quite overlooked in favour of LotF.

14. A Hundred Tales of Karma by Natsuhiko Kyogoku
Genre – Horror / Paranormal

Kyogoku is a phenomenal author with a… not-so-phenomenal track record as far as English translations of his work. Fortunately, his most famous series, Kōsetsu Hyaku Monogatari did not meet the fate of his other translated works – it’s still in print, for one thing. If you like Japanese horror and urban legends spanning centuries, this’ll be one for you. It also has an offbeat but pretty enjoyable anime adaptation. Continue reading “The Best I Read in 2018”