Book Recommendations, Nell Reads

Top 9 books 2018

Since 2018 is almost over, I thought I’d share my favorite reads from this last year with you. According to my Goodreads challenge, I’ve read 253 books this year, but that’s not really true; I’ve read more. I’ve read A LOT of fanfiction this year, mostly Harry Potter, but some Star Trek, too, and most of those stories aren’t on Goodreads. So I think at least another 50 isn’t an exaggeration.

I love reading, can you tell? 🙂

But enough about that. Here are my favorite nine books I read in 2018. They’re not all published this year, but it’s the first time I read them (so re-reads of old favorites doesn’t count).

best9 2018

Beau and the Beast by Rick R. Reed
Henry & Jim by J.M. Snyder
Hero Worship by Kris T. Bethke
The Little Library by Kim Fielding
Of Rats and Cats by Addison Albright
The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish
Up! by Al Stewart and Claire Davis
War Paint by Sarah Black
Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay

You can expect reviews of The Little Library and The Remaking of Corbin Wale here on the blog next year. Henry & Jim is a beautiful, heartbreaking story. It’s total opposite is Of Rats and Cats which is cute and short and hilarious. (Also check out the alternative POV chapters at Addison Albright’s blog, they’re even funnier than the ones in the book). Sarah Black is an old favorite of mine (Marathon Cowboys is a fabulous book) and I was happy when she released a new book this year. Al Stewart and Claire Davis became new favorites last year after I read Dear Mona Lisa…(whoa, what a book!) and when I saw their new release I one-clicked it faster than you can say Up!. 🙂 I already gushed about Watermelon Kisses in the advent calendar, but if you missed it, click here. Kris T. Bethke is a favorite of mine, you know this by now, and I loved Hero Worship. And finally, Beau and the Beast is a fabulous retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Over all, it’s been a very good reading year.

Which was the best book you read in 2018?

Nell Reads

Great to know

This week I read a book: The Writer’s Guide to Psychology – How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human behavior by Carolyn Kaufman. It was interesting and useful and I learned a lot.

But I’m not going to talk about the book in its entirety. I brought it up because in it, I found this really interesting fact, that’s useful for writers, and I wanted to share it:

Skärmavbild 2017-11-04 kl. 19.10.11

So great, right?? 😊 If you’ve ever had a discussion with anyone on the internet, you realize how true this is. How easy it is to misunderstand when you can’t see the other person’s face or hear their tone of voice. (Which is why I overuse emojis: I don’t accidentally want to upset someone by saying “You’re crazy” when what I really mean is “You’re crazy 😉😁.” Quite the difference.)

It might be the greatest tip for writing dialogue ever. So, excuse me while I go practice my newly acquired knowledge. 😊

Book Recommendations, Nell Reads

Best books 2016

If we ignore how shitty last year was for a second and concentrate on something good I have to say I read quite a few great books in 2016. I read a lot less than I usually do, but I guess that’s what happens when I try to write, too.

This is what Goodreads have to say about my statistics (this is from my personal account, not my author account):


246 books isn’t the entire truth though. I’ve been on a re-read binge and re-read a lot of books last year (and I haven’t found a way for Goodreads to make them count if they’re already added to my library. If you know a way, let me know) so I’d estimate that I need to add 50-100 books to that list to make it correct.

Four of the books were poetry books. The rest MM romance 😁

The statistics also show that I love short stories, an average of 134 pages. And what can’t be seen on this image is that my average rating for 2016 was 3.3 stars. I’d say that’s quite good.

I thought I’d make a list of my the best books I read last year and a few of them will even be reviewed here on the blog eventually.

Here’s my Top 12 Books of 2016 – in no particular order.


I’d recommend all of these books and they’re all on my re-read list for the future.

What were your favorites from last year? 🙂

Nell Reads

Auto-buy authors?

I’ve come across a challenge on Facebook several times lately, where you’re supposed to list 20 authors on your auto-buy list, i.e. authors you automatically buy without even reading the blurb.

It got me thinking. Would I be able to name 20 auto-buy authors? Do I even have one?

I have lots of favorite authors and my ears instantly perk up when I hear any of them has a new release coming out. But are they on my auto-buy list?

The answer is no. There’s no author out there I’d buy blind, based on the fact that I’ve loved everything else they’ve put out.

The reason is that there are some genres and tropes that I really dislike and will not spend my money on. Like steampunk. I’ve read several steampunk books but to be honest they bore me to tears and my eyes start glazing over when I get to the parts with all descriptions. For the same reason I steer clear of high fantasy; my brain just can’t process hobbits or a world consisting of a flat disc balanced on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle. What does that even look like? Heck if I know!

I don’t like to read about people using drugs. I have no problem reading about ex-users on their way to a better life, but when there’s actual drug use, and little or no intention to stop, it’s a no-go.

And don’t even get me started on cliffhangers (which are the only reason I read the entire 50 Shades-trilogy that I hated with every fibre of my entire being: books 1 and 2 ended in a cliffhanger), The Big Misunderstanding (talk to each other people, it’s not that difficult!!), or bad research (like the book I read where the MC’s were to be separated but swore to each other to keep in touch via Skype. In 1995. A simple visit to Google would have told the author Skype didn’t exist until 2003).

For example: A Private Gentleman ended up on my DNF-list because of drug use, even though Heidi Cullinan is one of my favorite authors. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Amy Lane so far, but I’ll never buy Under the Rushes, because of steampunk.

Cardeno C. has written many, many books on my list of favorites and has never let me down yet. But what if they write a steampunk book with a druggie MC who refuses to communicate, and then it all ends in a big old cliffhanger? No. Just no.

Which is why I don’t have an auto-buy list.

What about you? Are you picky like me, or do you have favorites that can get away with anything? I’d like to know 🙂