After seeing a couple of my friends, Kristen, Jenn and Erin, participate in this very fun Book Olympics, I knew I had to join in too. Now to be quite honest, I didn’t watch the Olympics, which sounds awful and unpatriotic. But I’m not a sports fan, whether it’s the Olympics, professional or little kids running around. Sports, ain’t my thang. But reading is. And I feel very confident that I would be a contender if reading was an Olympic sport.
Special thanks to Shannon from It Starts at Midnight for hosting the Book Olympics and creating these beautiful graphics. Now let’s dive in!
Changes by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files is one of my favorite fantasy/supernatural series and Changes is my favorite book in the series, thus far. One the first page, Harry Dresden, a wizard (he even has an ad in the yellow pages!) discovers he is a father and his child has been kidnapped by a Red Court vampire. Now if the words wizard and vampire are making your eyes roll, this is NOT the series for you. But if I add the words fairies, werewolves, goblins and Odin and you’re smiling, this is a series you’ll enjoy.
Silver Medal: The Martian by Andy Weir
Bronze Medal: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Another fantasy/supernatural series involving a witch, vampire and pixy who live in a Church and own a runner’s (detective) agency together. This is another favorite series of mine and in this particular book, Rachel (the witch), Ivy (the vampire) and Jenks (the pixy) along with Trent must travel from Cincinnati to San Francisco to clear Rachel’s name at the annual Witch’s Convention. It’s full of Harrison’s trademark humor, heart and action and one of my favorite books in the series.
Silver Medal: Doc Sleep by Stephen King
Bronze Medal: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Okay, neither of those books are solely about a road trip, but they do feature a road trip in them. Let’s not be too fussy!
Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
While I ultimately gave-up on the Sookie Stackhouse series, the original love triangle between Eric, Bill and Sookie did make my heart pitter patter, even though I normally dislike love triangles! I will always be Team Eric (which is why Dead to the World is my favorite Sookie Stackhouse book) but this book is great because Bill and Eric are on more equal terms, meaning they have both hurt and helped Sookie and she has good reason to love and hate both of them. Plus, she contemplates that a sex-a-thon might be the best way to figure out whom she should choose. Go on, girl.
Silver Medal: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Bronze Medal: Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
You by Caroline Kepnes
A really popular book that gets a lot of love, which I sadly don’t have for it. I truly expected to adore this book and it bums me out that it fell flat for me. It’s not a horrible book by any means, but I never bought into Joe’s charms, which is key. He made me laugh a time or two, but I never formed enough of a connection to him where I was rooting for him to win. Frankly, I thought he had terrible taste in women as Beck was hella annoying. I never understood what he saw in her and it made me question his decision-making skills as a serial killer.
Silver Medal: Twilight by Stephanie Meyers
Bronze Medal: The Girls by Emma Cline
Celebrity In Death by J.D. Robb
I am a HUGE fan of the In Death series by J.D. Robb, who you may also know as Nora Roberts. This series is 43 books strong and still going. And yes, I have read every single book, most multiple times. 🙂 I very much enjoyed Celebrity In Death and chose it because it was set in the summer. Eve Dallas is the kind of cop that every cop should strive to emulate. She’s a bit damaged, but working through it, smart, a hard-ass (sometimes a downright bitch), but she is also loyal, compassionate and a boss.
I also realize that I don’t read the typical summer beach reads, so no Bronze or Silver medals to be awarded. And maybe, just maybe, I ought to pick a good beach read or two. 🙂
Make Me by Lee Child
Jack Reacher is a series I enjoy, although it also amuses me because it is so unbelievable. He has killed an awful lot of people without any real consequence. Sure, they were bad people and I’m not shedding any tears over their demise, but to be fair, he’s at best a vigilante serial killer who would give Batman a migraine from trying to decide whether to hi-five him or give him to the police. He also in no way resembles Tom Cruise in my mind. But I digress, I chose Make Me because the bad guys and their crimes were particularly vile and disgusting. While I remain uncertain that Jack Reacher could kill so many people with impunity, I’m definitely willing to give him a pass on these guys because the world is definitely better without them.
Silver Medal: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Bronze Medal: Security by Gina Wohlsdorf
Night Film by Marisa Pessl
I love this book so much. It scared the heck out of me at times and constantly kept me guessing. It is my habit (perhaps, a somewhat annoying habit) to guess what is going to happen next, especially in thrillers and mysteries. When I’m right, I either respond with glee for being so smart or annoyance for the author being so paint-by-the-numbers. In this book, every time I appeared correct, it was also short-lived. I’m also not completely sure whether some parts are real or imagined, which I liked too.
Silver Medal: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Bronze Medal: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera
Many books have made me cry and I was torn between The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and this book. While I definitely shed tears over The Nightingale and highly recommend it, this book still haunts me. It broke me a bit with its subject matter. I did not cry the first time I read the book because I had mentally hardened myself against the narrator (she does not share her name until the end). But I spent several days thinking about the book and decided to reread it. The second time, after I finished the book, I cried. Not so much for her, who never wanted our tears or sympathy anyway, but all the real moms with postpartum depression who suffer in silence.
Silver Medal: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Bronze Medal: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
It took me a long time to get through this book and I’m not sure why. It was very well-written but … I had a hard time getting into it. Normally, I would devour a book like this, but it just moved too slowly for me, which may have been the issue. A lot of YA books are pretty fast-paced, which I probably expected this to be. It has actually been several years since I read it, but I bought the entire series and feel a little guilty every time I flip past the unread books on my Kindle. But still, I have no real desire to continue with the series either.
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This was another hard decision for me as there were several viable options, but I chose this book because it feels like I read it yesterday, rather than almost 30 years ago. I was approximately the same age as Anne when I read it, and even though I was familiar with WW2 and the atrocities committed by the Nazis, it never felt so personal or real. Or confusing. There was nothing evil or awful about this young girl or those hiding with her. I cannot fathom such hate that would led people to blindly eradicate a group of people. It scares me because we still deal with such blind hate today.
Silver Medal: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Bronze Medal: Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
Okay, this may be a bit of cheat but werewolves are technically animals, right????? I think so. 🙂 Plus, if you’re feeling picky, there is also Medea who is Mercy’s cat. And some actual dogs are a part of this book too. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Mercy Thompson series initially, because I’m a #CrazyCatLady and they are wolves and coyotes, which are doggies in my world. I eventually gave the series another try and fell in love the second go-round. Obviously another supernatural series, but Mercy is a great leading lady. She’s tough, smart, resourceful, compassionate and never takes the easy way out.
Silver Medal: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Bronze Medal: The Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I am a big fan of YA and absolutely expected to love this book/series. And … nope. I found it boring and kept waiting for something to happen. I heard the first book isn’t necessarily the best representation of the series as a whole, but I am hesitant to give it more of my time when my TBR is nearly as big as I am.
Harry Potter et al
I am a ride or die Harry Potter fan and I am not ashamed. One of my friends dragged me to see the Sorcerer’s Stone and I fell in love. I bought all the books that were available at that time and never looked back. The friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermonine is wonderful. And true. There are times when they hurt one another, but they are always loyal to each other in the end. They are the kind of friends you want in real life, whether you’re facing your worst enemy or just going on an adventure. They will have your back and be your true blue ride or die friends for life.
Silver Medal: Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Bronze Medal: Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg
Errrr … remember how I said I didn’t watch the Olympics and dislike sports at the beginning of the post? Well, it also appears that I don’t read books that have anything to do with the Olympics or sports either. Ummm … sorry?
My Gold Medal Books
Are clearly heavy on fantasy/supernatural elements. I’m also a big fan of YA, although I’m discovering the less romance the better for me. I’m just too dang old to deal with the twee part of teenage love! LOL! I am also a huge fan of mysteries/thrillers, which most of the fantasy/supernatural books have as well. Also, while I definitely recommend the books listed, those that are part of a series, I would strongly encourage you to start at the beginning. In most situations, you could probably read them a stand-alone, but they are so much better when you know who’s who.
What are some of your Gold Medal books?
It’s definitely not too late to participate in the Book Olympics! I love learning what books other bloggers love, so tag — you’re it!