Reading Resolutions For 2019

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I do not make New Years Resolutions…unless it is reading resolutions. Yes, I said it, READING RESOLUTIONS. So here it goes:

  1. Read at least one more book than I did last year, which means 35 books.
  2. Read at least one book out of my comfort zone.
  3. Discover at least one new author for me.
  4. Review short stories for my blog.
  5. Do a better job of letting people know when books are being published.

Here is to a better year, a reading year, a year spent with family and books!


Best Read of the Year: Book of the Year

Button Man

Button Man by Andrew Gross is my pick for Best Read of 2018. This is the story of brothers who have in one way or another fought their way out of the neighborhood to rise above the poverty of the depression. Ultimately, two brothers get into the garment business and start their own company. As tome goes by, the mob decides they want a piece of the action, and a war begins. The best part of this book is it as based on actual events in the author’s family history. For me it brought back an incredible sense of nostalgia for the stories my own grandfather told me about growing up during the Great Depression.

“Morris, Sol, and Harry Rabishevsky grew up poor and rough in a tiny flat on the Lower East Side, until the death of their father thrust them into having to fend for themselves and support their large family. Morris, the youngest, dropped out of school at twelve years old and apprenticed himself to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to accounting school; but Harry, scarred by a family tragedy, fell in with a gang of thugs as a teenager. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory until at twenty-one he finally goes out on his own, convincing Sol to come work with him. But Harry can’t be lured away from the glamour, the power, and the money that come from his association with Louis Buchalter, whom Morris has battled with since his youth and who has risen to become the most ruthless mobster in New York. And when Buchalter sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers’ factories, a fatal showdown is inevitable, pitting brother against brother.

This new novel is equal parts historical thriller, rich with the detail of a vibrant New York City in the 1920s and 1930s, and family saga, based on Andrew Gross’s own family story and on the history of the era, complete with appearances by real-life characters like mobsters Louis Lepke and Dutch Schultz and special prosecutor Thomas Dewey, and cements Gross’s reputation as today’s most atmospheric and original historical thriller writer.”

Best Read of 2018: Thriller

The Saboteur

This was the first novel I read in 2018. and it was the first bookgasm. It stuck with me for a very long time. Set during World War II, this was a thrill a minute ride as a man races to stop the Nazis from developing the atomic bomb.

If you are looking for an historical thriller, or just a thriller in general, then you really need to give this book a shot. I gave it 5 out of 5 Bookmarks and a major bookgasm to boot!

“February, 1943. Both the Allies and the Nazis are full speed ahead to construct the decisive weapon of the war. Kurt Nordstrum, an engineer in Oslo, puts his life aside to take up arms against the Germans as part of the Norwegian resistance. After the loss of his fiancée, and with his outfit whittled to shreds, Kurt escapes to England to transmit secret evidence that the Nazis are closing in on the atomic bomb. His mission: to disrupt their plans before they advance any further. Parachuted onto the unforgiving terrain in Europe, Kurt must lead the most daring raid of the war. But completing it may come at the cost of the one person he has grown to love.”

Best Read of 2018: Mystery

Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson

Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson by Lyndsay Faye is my pick for best mystery read of 2018. Boiled down, it is the  master sleuth himself, Sherlock Holmes going up against one of history’s greatest killers, Jack the Ripper. The best part of this book is that if I did not know better, I would have thought it was written by none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself!

“From the gritty streets of nineteenth century London, the loyal and courageous Dr. Watson offers a tale unearthed after generations of lore: the harrowing story of Sherlock Holmes’s attempt to hunt down Jack the Ripper.

As England’s greatest specialist in criminal detection, Sherlock Holmes is unwavering in his quest to capture the killer responsible for terrifying London’s East End. He hires an “unfortunate” known as Mary Ann Monk, the friend of a fellow streetwalker who was one of the Ripper’s earliest victims; and he relies heavily on the steadfast and devoted Dr. John H. Watson. When Holmes himself is wounded in Whitechapel during an attempt to catch the savage monster, the popular press launches an investigation of its own, questioning the great detective’s role in the very crimes he is so fervently struggling to prevent. Stripped of his credibility, Holmes is left with no choice but to break every rule in the desperate race to find the madman known as “the Knife” before it is too late.

A masterly re-creation of history’s most diabolical villain, Lyndsay Faye’s debut brings unparalleled authenticity to the atmosphere of Whitechapel and London in the fledgling days of tabloid journalism and recalls the ideals evinced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most beloved and world-renowned characters. Jack the Ripper’s identity, still hotly debated around the world more than a century after his crimes were committed, remains a mystery ripe for speculation. Dust and Shadow explores the terrifying prospect of tracking a serial killer without the advantage of modern forensics, and the result is a lightning-paced novel brimming with historical detail that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”

Best Read of 2018: Fantasy

Prince of Thorns (Broken Empire Series #1)

Prince of Thorns: Book 1 of the Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence is my pick for best fantasy read of 2018. It is dark, gritty, and very grim. This is “Grimdark” Fantasy at its finest! This is a book that every fan of fantasy, or even those new to the genre, should read!

“When he was nine, he watched as his mother and brother were killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king…

It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he hung pinned on the thorns of a briar patch and watched Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him—and he has nothing left to lose.

But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce his will, can one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?”

Ninetoes Book of the Week 12/30-01/05/2019

Rules of Deception (Jonathon Ransom series Book 1) by [Reich, Christopher]

Rules of Deception: Johnathan Ransom Series 1 by Christopher Reich is my pick for Ninetoes Book of the Week. It is one of those rare thrillers that actually deliver on the goods and keeps you breathless until the final page is read.

“Dr. Jonathan Ransom, a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, is climbing in the Swiss Alps with his wife, Emma, when she falls into a hidden crevasse and dies. Twenty-four hours later, Jonathan receives an envelope addressed to his wife containing two baggage-claim tickets. Puzzled, he journeys to a railway station only to find himself inexplicably attacked by the Swiss police. Suddenly forced on the run, Jonathan’s only chance at survival lies in uncovering the devastating truth behind his wife’s secret life.”

Best Read of 2018: Urban Fantasy

Touched (The Marnie Baranuik Files Book 1) by [Aalto, A.J.]

My favorite urban fantasy read of 2018 was A. J. Aalto’s Touched: Book 1 of the Marnie Barnuik Files. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I think I am in love with Marnie Baranuik. She is smart, brave and sassy. She has a turn of phrase that will make you laugh out loud and will stick with you. The writing is sharp, and there is not a moment of boredom to be found in this book!

If memory serves me correctly, I gave this one 5 pout of 5 bookmarks. Let;s add two very enthusiastic thumbs up to that one.