I am a reader. One of my fondest memories is a four-year-old Nicki sitting on my grandmother's lap reading to her. Every night when my mom tucked me into bed, we would read. I carried books with me wherever I went. In middle school, I would walk from class to class with my face buried in a book. Once I tripped over a bench, landing on my nose. With the entire seventh grade laughing at me, I brushed myself off, picked up my book, and kept right on reading. Get this. My punishment for misbehaving was to have my books taken away.
I spent my early adult years devouring the classics. I am a huge Steinbeck fan. And Frankenstein. OMG. Brilliant! I discovered Anne Rice in my late twenties and suddenly, I devoured paranormal romance. There was John Irving and the powerful A Prayer for Owen Meaney in my early thirties. My forties introduce me to the author who has had the greatest influence on my writing style, Janet Evanovich and One for the Money. Meet the pandemic, and Julie Anne Long and her regency romances saved me.
I average reading between sixty and a hundred books a year. I start a lot of books I don't finish. Sometimes a book is great, but it isn't what I need. Other times the story or characters just don't grab me. I never talk about these books. No need to spread negativity. And just because something isn't my cup of tea doesn't mean someone else won't love it.
As a writer myself, I know the part of an author that goes into each book, so I have decided to send love out to my favorites. This year's reads include everything from clean cozy mysteries to super spicy erotica. I feel it important to note that I am not a cozy mystery fan in general. However, I love unlikely sleuths with sexy sass. Meet Stephanie Bond and Rhys Bowen and my own heroine, Miranda Albright.
So here it is. Over one hundred books started. Seventy-eight finished and here are the ten that blew me away. If you read any of them, let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.
A final note, if you love a book, review it and let your friends know. If you don't love a book, it's okay, but don't send negativity in the universe.
Cheers! Here is to great reads in 2023!