Sunday, December 29, 2019

Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019

The end of 2019 is almost here, which means it's time for another post on the top books I've read.
In 2019, I had planned to read around 12 to 15 books but ended up reading over 30 of various lengths. I started the year fearing self-help and non-fiction books but now I'm addicted to reading more and learning more.
I have several non-fiction books on my to-read list and many novels as well.
Check out the list, let me know if you've read any of these books or if you plan to read them.

Nadaness In Motion's Top Books of 2019

Clarissa's Warning by Isobel Blackthorn is a brilliant novel set on the Spanish Canary Island of Fuerteventura! Simply WOW!
The book begins with a strong opening both in terms of story and tone. The idea of the warning is delivered in the first chapter, keeping the reader on edge throughout the book. There were many beautiful descriptions and quotes in Clarissa's Warning.

"Despite the wind, there were pockets of stillness and the ruin exuded a timeless quality. Embedded in its dilapidated stated remained faint echoes of its history, overlaid with sorrow, as though the very stones and ancient timbers mourned their former selves, when they were united as one, strong and proud and true."

"There was a severed leg on my porch."
That's how cozy mystery novel Leg Up by Annabelle Hunter opens. From the first lines, the reader notices that Larklyn "Lark" Davis is one of the most sarcastic characters ever. And a hilarious one too.

Leg Up, the first book in the Lark Davis Mystery Series, is narrated from Lark's first person perspective, giving the reader a ton of humor and sarcasm, along with her inner thoughts. Can't wait to read more in this series.

One of the many things I enjoyed about Leg Up was the pace, which was quite fast, along with the characters. 

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan is an interesting and fun book about the basics of personal finance. Fagan learnt the hard way what it means to have a credit card, why you can just spend, spend, spend, and why you should have a credit score.

"Did I have any other plans for retirement besides "die before my bad money choice catch up to me?" Of course not."

"Giving a shit about money doesn't seem fun, but ultimately it's the most liberating thing you can do with your otherwise chaotic young adult life."

Lost in a Quatrain by South African author and poet Adiela Akoo is apoetry collection I'm glad to have across in 2019. I could easily enjoy and relate to many of the poems in the collection. Akoo even writes about a woman's period in "Hormonal" which is something, experienced by billions, few ever talk about.
I related to "Empty Chairs" and was moved by "Cape Town 1990" and "New Apartheid." There were many deep pieces like "Not Enough," "Broken Winged Bird," "Are YOU Ready?" "As the Rain Pitter-Pattered," "Wrapped Up," and I must mention the hilarious story-conversation-power "What's Up?"

The first book in a new paranormal cozy mystery series, Designs on Murder by Gayle Leeson is about Amanda who, on a hunch, starts a fashion business in Shops on Main, a building housing several other small businesses.
"Gee, that was awkward," she said. "I was sure you knew."
"That I'm a ghost."

There, Amanda discovers her ability to see the place's resident ghost, Maxine "Max" Englebright. I loved the characters. Max is smart and hilarious; she constantly lightens the mood and puts Amanda in embarrassing situations. I would definitely love to read more of this series.
Designs on Murder has also helped me with a few points I'd like to edit and fix in personal work-in-progress paranormal cozy mystery.

While I gave this book a 4-star rating, I feel it deserves a mention in my top books of 2019. Why? Because of the effort undertaken by author Bharat Krishnan in trying to bring Indian and Hindu mythology to readers. We've all heard of Shiva and Rishnu but what are their stories? What are the Hindu gods likes? What are their stories?
Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate tackles all of that and more. Krishnan even includes comments and why he has included each story in book.
Love, Pride, Virtue, Fate is a middle-grade and children's book of short stories, although there is one that's a bit bloody. Highly recommended read though.

One of the books I read for National Poetry Month 2019 was Sophie Schiller's On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles, a collection inspired by the poet's visit to the Caribbean.

Comprising 30 mostly-rhyming poems, On a Moonlit Night in the Antilles is a must-read picturesque selection of poems, that paint pictures or tell the history of some of the Caribbean's historical figures.
Each poem is followed by a colourful illustration by Skaidra Zayas. I hope Schiller visits more places and writes about them.

"this is not/ a fairy tale/ there is no/ princess/ there is no/ damsel/ there is no queen/ there is no/ tower/ there are no/dragons/ there is simply/ a girl/ faced with the/difficult task/of learning to/ believe in/ herself."
This is how Amanda Lovelace begins her collection of untitled poems The Princess Saves Herself in this One, which is an interesting and emotional read. Though the writing style takes a while to get used to – if you write or read poetry regularly.
The Princess Saves Herself in this One is divided into 4 parts or stages: The Princess, The Damsel, The Queen, and You, and involves a lot of experimentation, with some poems being in bullet-points.

Bellamy by Darcy Coates
Bellamy is a creepy short story by author Darcy Coates. The story opens with Leanne who has returned to the orphanage where she and her brother were placed nearly 30 years prior. We later learn that her brother disappeared from the orphanage and was never found.

"Thirty years should have been long enough to forget the home. Thirty years should have been long enough for the dreams to stop."
Bellamy scared me and I loved it! There were lots of twists that kept me on edge and that had me read the book/story in one sitting. I can probably read this novella over and over.

In Write Your Book in a Flash, Dan Janal takes the reader through all the stages of writing a book.
While Write Your Book in a Flash primarily deals with writing non-fiction books. Some of the advice can be applicable to fiction; like starting where you feel comfortable and how to edit your book.
Update: I've published the review and there are lots of quotes and interesting tips in there. It's 5-star book and reference for anyone planning to write a non-fiction book.

"No one cares how many words your book contains. They care about reading the right content."

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