My Picks - Read and to Read!

December 29, 2018

As an annual participant in the Goodreads Reading Challenge, it's hard not to measure my year in terms of books read. I started this year with an ambitious goal of matching my 2013 record of 100 books in one year but when various responsibilities started to knock at my door (as usual), I meandered over to a goal of 50 books in 2018. I'm relieved to say I made it, with 51 books read so far and 2 days left of the year. Woohoo! There were some hits and some misses (mostly hits) and it's safe to say, there's no way I couldn't share them with you. 

It was a pretty great reading year for me as I read across different genres, my gap year affording me more time to read recreationally. Thank the lord! But which 2018 releases were the best of the bunch? It's hard to pick with so many strong contenders but alas, the awards for the best and the brightest goes to...

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama 
FLOTUS Michelle forever <3 Want to hear more? Read my review here

2. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi 
Want to hear more about the best YA book of this year? Read my review here

3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones 
Want to hear why I loved it and recommend it to everyone? I discuss it here.

4. Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper 
Want to read my short and sweet review on Goodreads? Read it here.

5. One Day in December by Josie Silver 
Interested in my thoughts on this one? I shared my initial feelings on Goodreads. Read it here

Have you read or are interested in reading any of these titles? Let me know in the comments!
I'm still undecided about how many books I'm aspiring to read in 2019 because I'll finally be starting University. Fortunately, however many, it looks like I'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to upcoming releases. With so many exciting books hitting the shelves next year, the new year couldn't come soon enough. There are so many I just couldn't narrow it down to just five. Here are ten (oops) titles that should be on your radar this coming new year...

1. What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume 
Ok spoiler: I've already read this one and it's ah-mazing! Truly something for ya'll to look forward to, this is the body positive romance of the year. I can't spoil anything but I did leave a short summary of my final feelings on here

2. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
I will honest to god read anything Angie Thomas writes. She successfully and not without controversy, paved the way for more diverse novels in young adult fiction with her debut novel and my favourite book ever, "The Hate U Give". "On The Come Up" looks just as promising and I cannot wait to meet Bri. You can read my review of "THUG" here

3. Let Me Here a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson 
This sounds incredible. I've never heard of another book in YA like this. Good intentioned grieving teens trying to create a legacy for their lost loved one by releasing his unheard rap records, but having it not go according to plan? Count me in!

4. There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Sandhya Menon is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I have so far loved everything's she's written and by the sounds of it, there's a slim chance I won't want to befriend Sweetie Nair, the fat and sassy protagonist of her upcoming release. Her 2018 novel "From Twinkle, With Love" was another standout of the year, you can read my review on it here.

5. If It Makes You Happy' by Claire Kann
ISN'T THIS COVER JUST THE GREATEST THING YOU'VE EVER SEEN? A care-free Black Girl rocking some epic braids and her natural stretchmarks, topped off with an infectious grin. I don't even need to read the blurb to know I'm going to love it. It doesn't help that Claire Kann's debut, "Let's Talk About Love", was sooo good! I reviewed it earlier this year, you can catch that here

6. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Jo
Alright, read the blurb for this and tell me it doesn't scream epicness and Girl power? It's like Agony Aunt meets undercover consciousness raising meets fancy dresses and tea parties. Sounds like this upcoming historical fiction will see a maid learning to raise her silenced voice and making waves while doing it. Breaking the glass ceiling when it wasn't even in sight. GET IT, GIRL!!

7. Colour Me In by Natasha Diaz 
Being mixed race myself, I have a special soft spot for stories that talk about the richness mixed heritage brings to one's life whilst also being real about some of the more complex and confusing identity parts of it too. I'm willing to bet this is a story I'll see myself in and I'm so ready!

8. Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry 
Does it say something sinister about me when I confess that I love revenge stories? Surely, we all fantasize about them and therefore have to enjoy reading about them. I also haven't read a co-written book in ages but I feel like the addition of a second author usually introduces a really cool dynamic to dual perspectives. The cover for this is badass and totally evokes some serious Thelma and Louise vibes. I'm really keen to take a break from the fluff and to step into the dark side with this one *plays Dreamgirls*. It better be good!

9. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
This is on my list purely because back in my youtube watching days, Christine Riccio was one of my favourite booktubers. I completely trust her judgement when it comes to whether a book is worth reading or not, she's an expert-fangirl through and through so I'm assuming her book will be the culmination of all the things she loves as a reader.

10. These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
Witches! Need I say more? If I can't be one myself, I can at least read about them. Plus, it's a novel with LGBT representation and I am eager to support more of those. Sounds like we're in for a treat! 

Excited for any of these titles or am I missing something completely? Let me know in the comments!

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