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Author: Celeste

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week

We the people of the United States of America have proclaimed for centuries that God has given us and the rest of humanity certain unalienable rights, rights that our forefathers outlined in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and Bill of Rights. These rights include freedom of speech and press, but I believe that the freedom to read is an unspoken inclusion, one that our forefathers didn’t think to include because it seemed obvious. That’s my theory, anyway. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, it seems like a no-brainer that the freedom to read anything and everything, no matter who you are or where you live, is a freedom to be appreciated and protected. And yet, those who came to the New World in search of freedom started banning books before we were even a nation of our own.

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Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ll probably never look at moths the same way again.

What would happen to the world if half of the population went to sleep and never woke up? And how would that reaction differ if the population was divided by gender, and all of the sleepers were females? How would men handle a world without women?

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City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3)

City of Miracles (The Divine Cities, #3)

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

City of Miracles is a stunning accomplishment; it is a marvelous ending to what I now consider my favorite trilogy, and a fast-paced, addictive story in its own right.

“One should not seek ugliness in this world. There is no lack of it. You will find it soon enough, or it will find you.”

Sigrud je Harkvaldsson was one of my favorite side characters in both City of Stairs and City of Blades, and I was both incredibly excited and more than a little nervous to read his story. Sometimes when a side character becomes the focal point of the story, they seem to lose a bit of their appeal for some reason. That was definitely not the case here. Sigrud has a wealth of experiences under his belt, most of them not good ones. Those experiences have shaped him into the man he is today, for better or for worse. He feels that he really only excels at one thing: violence. Once again, he finds himself in a position calling for violent action, and he revels in it. Until he doesn’t. Sigrud grows so much throughout this book, and I loved seeing him learn from past mistakes and struggle with his past and who that past made him.

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Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)

Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1)

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m so glad that I finally read Gardens of the Moon. It was every bit as lush and intricate and well written as I had been told, and it’s so exciting that this is just setting the stage for something bigger and even more elaborate. Malazan is a series that has been on my list of things to read for years, since before I became active on Goodreads and made all of my wonderful bookish friends. I bought the complete series sometime in 2014 (Brand new! For $50! Thanks, eBay!), and they’ve been just sitting on my shelf staring at me ever since.

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Dear Fahrenheit 451

Dear Fahrenheit 451

Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Breakup Notes to the Books in Her Life by Annie Spence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m so tempted to frame this review as a letter to the book in question. Should I? Shouldn’t I? I think I should.

*Clears throat*

Dear Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks,

You are exactly what a book about books should be.

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Watership Down

Watership Down

Watership Down by Richard Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been a huge fantasy reader since around fifth grade. So how on earth did I miss Watership Down while I was in school? Did our library not have a copy? Was its reputation as a “classic” a deterrent to friends who might have told me of its existence? Whatever the case, I had never even heard of Watership Down until the later years of college. The people who raved about the book then were generally hipster guys, beating everyone else over the head with their favorite novel. Obviously, that was a huge turn off for me. So I never picked up this book until this month (October of 2017), for a bookclub I recently joined. Man, do I regret waiting so long. On the other hand, it’s pretty amazing to discover what would have been a childhood favorite as an adult, and be able to embrace it as a new favorite that can stand proudly next to older favorites on your bookshelf.

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Chemistry (Stella Blunt, #1)

Chemistry (Stella Blunt, #1)

Chemistry by C.L. Lynch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you put Warm Bodies and Twilight in a blender and add a heaping helping of sarcasm, you would end up with Chemistry. It’s billed as a “sassy, body-positive, snarky twist on Twilight,” and it is absolutely the truth. I love the Twilight Saga and probably always will; it’s incredibly addictive and one of my ultimate guilty pleasure reads, even though I know it’s problematic on multiple levels. But Lynch added an element to her parody that was missing in the original; humor in droves. While Twilight might make you giggle or roll your eyes in places, it never made me physically bust out laughing, which this book did countless times.

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The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3)

The Legend of Eli Monpress (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #1-3)

The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The Legend of Eli Monpress is such a classic romp of a fantasy tale. The world building was solid, the magic system entertaining and fascinating. I love the idea of every single thing on earth, from rocks to grass, from rivers to wind, having a consciousness of its own.But what made the story for me was the cast of characters. There was a lot of character development here, especially in the form of the relationships between characters. Miranda and Gin, Josef and Nico, Eli and, well, everything, were all such fun relationships to read about. I’m a big fan of motley crews, and Eli’s ragtag group is about as motley as they come.

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The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are very few books that combine both plot and prose in a way that burrows into my soul and becomes part of me. The Name of the Wind is one of those few.

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”

Plenty of books touch me and move me. There are stories that enchant me and carry me away from reality. There are writers whose prose I meditate upon as I read, choosing a handful of sentences to store within myself like a private lyrical bouquet so that I can recall the beauty of said prose always. There are authors whose creativity and craftsmanship I trust so much that I will purchase anything they write and consume it with pleasure.

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Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

Celeste’s Top 10 Books of the Year So Far (January 1st, 2018 – July 31st, 2018)

So far, 2018 has been a wonderful reading year for me. I’ve found new favorite authors, and had the opportunity to read new work from authors I’ve loved for years. Of the 93 books I’ve read and reviewed this year, I gave 76 of those at least a 4 star rating on Goodreads. The books I’ve chosen have been overwhelmingly successful for me. When Petrik mentioned each doing a Top 10 from the books we’ve read so far this year, I jumped at the suggestion. But now, looking at the books I have to choose from, I’m regretting my decision. How on earth am I going to choose just ten out of the dozens of fantastic books I’ve read so far this year?! All I can do is my best, right?

To help narrow things down, I’m going to follow the same rules Petrik used for his list:

  • Rereads don’t count.
  • One book per author.
  • Not every book was published this year.
  • Other than the top spot, these are in the order I read them instead of any ranking.

Every book below is one I rated 5 complete stars. Links to my full Goodreads reviews will be provided within each mini-review. Without further ado, here are my favorite books of the year to date!

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