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text 2019-01-01 12:45
Char's Horror Corner: Top Ten Novels of 2018
Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea
The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly
The Listener - Robert R. McCammon
Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott
We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni
Husk - J. Kent Messum
Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James

Welcome to my Top Ten Novels List!

 

I read 157 books over the course of this year and here's what I thought were the best of the best novels.

(These are books that I read this year, not necessarily published this year.)

Click on the cover to read my review.

Let's get started!

 

 Creature (Fiction Without Frontiers) - Hunter Shea  

 

CREATURE was not what I expected at all. 

Hunter Shea is great for creature feature novellas, and that's what I expected from this book. Instead, I got punched in the gut and my heart was torn out!

 

The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly 

 

The Charlie Parker series continues with what I think was the best entry yet!

Sixteen novels in and at this point, I can't imagine a world without a new Charlie Parker book every year. 

 

The Listener - Robert R. McCammon

 

Robert McCammon, author of BOY'S LIFE, (my favorite book of all time), crushes my heart again with this book about an exceptional young black man. (Technically, I read this book in 2017, but it didn't come out until 2018. So sue me!) This book is beautiful and brutal all at once, and features characters both good and bad, that you'll never forget. (I love you, Curtis!)

 

 

Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott 

 

Megan Abbott is a recent discovery of mine thanks to author Randy Chandler. Now I'm lined up every time she has a new book out. She writes about women like no one else. 

 

 

We Sold Our Souls - Grady Hendrix 

 

With this entry Grady Hendrix became one of my favorite authors. MY BEST FRIEND'S EXORCISM was great, but this book knocked me out. Maybe because I loved Metal back in the day, and also because the protagonist reminded me of Joan Jett. Whatever the reasons, I LOVED this book!

 

Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes 

 

 

Caroline Kepnes hit my list of favorite authors in 2018.

I listened to both YOU and HIDDEN BODIES, (both of which are on my TOP TEN AUDIOBOOKS of the year list), and then I read this one back in June. All I can say is I know that I will read anything she puts out. She could write out a grocery list and I would read it with pleasure!

 

 

Behind the Door - Mary SanGiovanni

 

 

After reading BEHIND THE DOOR this year, I know that I will be catching up on more of Mary SanGiovanni's  backlog while staying up to date with her latest releases. With a distinct voice and style, she causes me to think-and her characters in this one are quite memorable!

 

Husk - J. Kent Messum  

 

This is probably my most recent read that made it to this list. Fast paced, imaginative and adventurous, this book has more of a science fiction base, but there are horrific aspects as well. I was really impressed!

 

Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale 

 

The Champion Mojo Storyteller strikes again!

 

Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James 

 

This was more of a dark fantasy than horror, but I don't really care for labels as much as I care about a good story and mark my words this was one.A follow up to the previous year's GILDED CAGE, I thought this was an imaginative story about young adults, but so, so dark that it surprised me. Who doesn't love a good surprise?

 

 

Thanks for staying with me this far if you're still here. I appreciate you!

I hope you'll join me again at the end of 2019 for another list of my favorite books of the year. I hope that your New Year is also filled with outstanding and amazing reads!

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-12-26 11:38
Good Story and Good Characters
The Greek Tycoon's Tarnished Bride - Rac... The Greek Tycoon's Tarnished Bride - Rachel Lyndhurst

Erica Silver had a holiday fling. It was only supposed to be a one night stand but ended up lasting a week. Erika ended up pregnant. After the first trimester she didn’t see her baby’s father anymore. What erika didn’t know was her baby daddy an the whole male side of his family had been killed in a bomb attack. Her son Nick was the next in line to be heir to a big money inheritance. Erika’s world was Nick. She became a exotic dancer at a gentlemen's club. Erica is twenty two also going to college to get a degree in psychology.  Tito was Nick’s father's best friend. He was rich and and successful and used to getting what he wants without much of a problem. He also swore never to settle down after seeing his parent’s marriage. He finds about about Erika’s and Nick’s child's existence along with the rest of Nick’s parental family. He promised his best friend if anything happened to him Tito would take care of the baby and it’s mother. They decide Nick should be raised in Greece with all the appropriate cultural heritage. They also decide Erica is not a fit mother as she works in a gentlemen’s club. Erica’s mom was a prostitute but Erica was not. Nick’s paternal family as well as Tito judge Erica without knowing her in any way. As far as they were concerned she was a gold digging floozy. Even though Erica didn’t know anything about her baby daddy’s position or money. Titp was repulsed by the women at the gentlemen’s club and wants to get Nick away from Erica and return to Crete with him. Than he decides it would be better to marry Erica so he doesn’t separate mother and son and the bond they had and take them both back to Crete. Besides Tito doesn’t want to fight Erica in court to get Nick. Erica agrees to Tito’s proposal for Nick’s safety and he is the important one. She wants what is best for her son. Tito and Erica are attracted to each other but fight it as this was only a marriage of convenience.

I enjoyed this book but I do feel at times Erika acted immaturely. But I loved Nick was the most important thing in her life after feeling his father deserted them and having to work at the gentlemen's club. I did really like how Tito was with Nick and later Erica. At first he was just so cold to her that I didn’t care for him. But he does grow on you. At least he did realize it wouldn’t be right to take Nick form his mother. I didn’t care for any of the members of the Greek families- not Nicks or Tito’s. This was a quick, and easy read but also emotional. The ending felt a little rushed to me. But I did love the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.

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review 2018-11-09 18:11
All the Happy Endings - and the power of popular culture
All the Happy Endings - Helen Papashvily All the Happy Endings - Helen Papashvily

If popular culture weren't so politically powerful, we wouldn't have so much of it.

 

I read All the Happy Endings as part of the research for my master's thesis, and it was one of those old books that I could never find a copy of for myself.  So I brazenly photocopied it.  Now that I'm scanning these photocopies into PDF format, I'm taking another look at some of my notes, too.

 

Papashvily focuses on the "domestic novels" of the 19th century, but also on the writers and the readers.  She sees enormous social and -- more important -- political impact from these seemingly harmless tales.  She claims they were in essence guidelines for domestic revolution.

 

If indeed they were, but if their influence only went as far as a revolution confined to the private space of hearth and home, did they encourage women to become independent, or did they instead reinforce the patriarchal status quo by making women believe in an illusion of domestic - and therefore matrimonial -- power?

 

There has been so much talk lately about why women -- and yes specifically white women -- so often vote against their own best interests.  It may in fact be that they aren't, because those women have a very different definition of their own best interests.  And that definition may lie in some -- but not necessarily all -- of those happy endings.

 

Shelved for a re-read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-10-22 22:22
My "used" copy arrived from ThriftBooks today
Edging Women Out: Victorian Novelists, Publishers, and Social Change - Gaye Tuchman,Nina E. Fortin

The dust jacket's spine is faded, as though this book sat on a sunny shelf for too many years.

 

Other than that, it's virtually new.  Not a single mark anywhere.

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text 2018-10-15 00:45
Instead of downsizing . . . .
Edging Women Out: Victorian Novelists, Publishers, and Social Change - Gaye Tuchman,Nina E. Fortin

I bought a book.  ThriftBooks had it for $7 and the Kindle edition is

 

$49.54

 

Um, no.

 

This was one I used when writing my honors thesis on romance novels, and I had photocopied a lot of pages, added a lot of notes, and the Post-its were sticking out all over the place.  Creating a PDF file would have been next to impossible without re-writing all the notes, so I said the hell with it and ordered the used copy from Thriftbooks.  When it arrives, I will neatly transfer all my notes and then pitch the photocopies.

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