Happy new year, friends! I hope we are facing a year of adventure, happiness and love!
2018 was a whirlwind year for me! I got engaged, moved in with my fiance, and made some unforgettable memories! (I MET A SLOTH!) It’s going to be hard to top this year, but I’m going to try — I’m getting married this year!
But before we move on to 2019, let’s recap 2018. I fell short of my goal (still working on letting that go…) but I did read 135 books and 38,444 pages! So, not bad!
Here are some of my favorites from the year and if you are interested, or happened to write any of them (I’m looking at you Bree Lauren)…. you might like to know that these are in order!
- A Soul Full of Stars – This book hooked me right away and wouldn’t let go. Poetic sexy and witty. I loved it!
- From Lukov With Love – I love Mariana Zapata books so much! Lukov is not my favorite written by her, it is definitely one of the best I’ve read this year! If you’re a fan of enemies-to-lovers romances or slow burns, then this is for you.
- King of Code – I feel like I was late to the party with this one because so many blogging friends and authors were recommending this and it took me forever to get to it. But it was worth the wait! If you are a computer nerd, just plain nerd like me or simply like a romance that requires you to think, then this is the novel for you!
4. Marriage of Inconvenience – Speaking of intelligent romances… Have you met Penny Reid? She’s built a world full of Smartypants romances and I adore her. This particular offering was one I’d been waiting for, as Dan and Kat’s story had been percolating in the background of six other books before this one. Did she let me down? Not at all.
5. The Kiss Quotient – This book was a revelation! I’m in love with the diversity at play here. Kiss Quotient is so relevant to today’s society. Though the core story line is nothing new — girl falls for male escort — Hoang breathes such new life into an old tale that it is not one to be missed!
6. Atticus– Not so much a romance as a love story between a woman and her dog. And a tale of how the love of an animal can reform you.
7. Lies You Never Told Me – Not really a romance, this is more of a thriller. And I don’t know how it ended up being the only YA on my list…. Hmmm… But I love that it kept me guessing. I normally guess the twist early in the book but not this time!
8. Dr. Strange Beard – I know. I know. I’m pretty sure I had two Penny Reid books on my list last year too. Can’t be helped. This is another series installment I’d been waiting for for some time. Roscoe Winston, our hero, is the youngest of the Winston clan. He’s the flirtiest and possibly the sweetest. I couldn’t wait to read his story. I was so excited I gave Reid quite the challenge to meet my expectations for this one. But she gave me so much more. ❤
9. Maybe Someday – I had to have a Colleen Hoover book on my list! This is a tale as old as time… Girl falls for boy. Boy is taken. But somehow Hoover keeps all the characters likable. What a refreshing change! It’s impossible to read this novel and not be reminded of how it feels to be young and in love. The exquisite pain that comes along with it.
10. Man Hands – This one is a bit of a stretch to make my top 10. But note I said these were my favorites and not necessarily the best. Because this book doesn’t really offer anything new or revolutionary. It just made me laugh my ass off and what’s wrong with that, right?
I spent more time this year watching TV and movies than I have in a looooong time. And I found some real winners. So this year I am including some of my favorites in television and film as well.
- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – This little Netflix comedy is a winner, and if you’re not watching, you should be! Ellie Kemper plays a woman kept in a bunker for 15 years by her cult leader (are you ready for this? He’s played by John Hamm! Can I get in on this cult?). Now she’s free and living in New York City. To quote the opening theme song, this should make for a fascinating transition.
- Outlander – fans of Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping historical romances don’t need me to tell them why this show is amazing. Those not familiar with the books – do you like adventure? Time travel? Undying love and epic romance? Did I mention hot sex??? Still not sure. Feast your eyes on the perfectly cast leads…. You’re welcome.
- GLOW – I didn’t expect to like this one, I gotta be honest. But this Netflix show features the hilarious podcaster Marc Maron and the adorable Alison Brie (I love her), so I tried it out. So great, people. So great.
- Poldark – I dearly love this show. Mostly because I love how perfectly imperfect Ross Poldark is as a hero. Does he screw up? Yes. Quite a bit actually. But he always has the best of intentions. He’s gallant and loyal. And not bad to look at either. See??? Hmmm????
- The Crown – A co-worker told me that if I loved Downton Abbey, I should give The Crown a try. Remind me to write her a thank you note!
I haven’t watched much in film this year…. I enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians and Gifted (If you haven’t seen this gem starring Captain America himself, Chris Evans, you should!
But my favorite movie I saw in 2018 has got to be The Greatest Showman! The action! The romance! The grandeur! And the songs? They’ve been earworms for me for weeks!
Here’s a fun little number from the movie. My niece tells me that the bartender in this scene is endlessly entertaining, but if I’m honest I can’t see anything past Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron here.
What did you enjoy in 2018? What inspired you? What should I add to my TBR for 2019? Share with me in the comments!