Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019.

It looks to be another good year for books! Below are ten mysteries and thrillers I’m most excited to read in early 2019. I have some of these as ARCs, so I’ll be reading them soon. The others I’ll be anxiously awaiting.

Listed in order of expected publication dates.

1. The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor – February 5, 2019

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

2. The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald – February 5, 2019

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

3. Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson – March 5, 2019

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

4. A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daughetry – March 12, 2019

A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

5. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – March 26, 2019

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

6. The Better Sister by Alafair Burke – April 16, 2019

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

7. I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney – April 23, 2019

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

8. The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth – April 23, 2019

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

9. Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine – April 23, 2019

Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine

10. The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda – May 2, 2019

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims

Looker by Laura Sims

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Looker
Author: Laura Sims
Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: January 8, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.53

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen at night. I’m grateful they’ve never thought to install blinds. That’s how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they’re probably right: except for me.

In this taut and thrilling debut, an unraveling woman, unhappily childless and recently separated, becomes fixated on her neighbor—the beautiful, famous actress. The unnamed narrator can’t help noticing with wry irony that, though she and the actress live just a few doors apart, they are separated by a chasm of professional success and personal fulfillment. The actress, a celebrity with her face on the side of every bus, shares a gleaming brownstone with her handsome husband and their three adorable children, while the narrator, working in a dead-end job, lives in a run-down, three-story walk-up with her ex-husband’s cat.

When an interaction with the actress at the annual block party takes a disastrous turn, what began as an innocent preoccupation spirals quickly, and lethally, into a frightening and irretrievable madness. Darkly witty and searingly sharp, Looker is enormously entertaining—part tightly coiled Hitchcockian thriller and part send-up of life in the Instagram-ready city. Driven by a fresh and fearlessly original voice, this slender novel packs a powerful punch.


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Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
A woman is obsessed with a neighbor. The obsessed woman’s life is slowly unraveling, and the neighbor is a beautiful actress who appears to have the perfect life.

This novel is narrated by an unnamed woman who is going through a divorce, infertility, and a failing career. While struggling with various areas of her life, she becomes entranced with her neighbor’s perfect life. As the narrator’s life continues to unravel, she becomes more and more obsessed with her neighbor.

A dark tale of one woman’s descent into madness. This is a slow-paced story, but one that kept my interest. If you’re looking for a twisty thriller, then pass on this one. If you’re looking for a dark character study, pick this book up. Dark, complex, and disturbing.

I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Weekly Wrap-Up (Dec 29 – Jan 4)

Weekly Wrap-Up

My first weekly wrap-up for 2019! I started off the year with a bang, meaning a trip to the library and an organized Kindle. Do I know how to party or what? And, yeah, I know one of my reading goals for the year is to read more books I own, but I couldn’t resist picking up some books when I went to the library this week.

THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG

Sat, Dec 29 – Book Review: The Au Pair by Emma Rous
Sun, Dec 30 – 2019 Reading Challenges
Reading Challenge: Audiobook 2019
Reading Challenge: Colors 2019
Reading Challenge: Genre Bingo 2019
Reading Challenge: Goodreads 2019
Reading Challenge: Library Love 2019
Reading Challenge: Modern Mrs. Darcy 2019
Reading Challenge: Netgalley and Edelweiss 2019
Reading Challenge: PopSugar 2019
Reading Challenge: Read Harder 2019
Mon, Dec 31 – Reading Update: December 2018
2018 Reading Wrap-Up
Tue, Jan 1 – Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2018
Wed, Jan 2 – Reading Goals for 2019
Thu, Jan 3 – Book Review: She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

NEXT WEEK ON THE BLOG

Mon, Jan 7 – Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims
Tue, Jan 8 – Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019
Wed, Jan 9 – Book Review: Fireside Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer by Ryan Suvaal
Thu, Jan 10 – Book Review: The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene
Fri, Jan 11 – Weekly Wrap-Up (Jan 5 – Jan 11)

BOOKS READ

Three books read this week – The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher Greene, As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney, and The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone. Reviews to come for all of them.

The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher GreeneAs Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn ChaneyThe Mansion by Ezekiel Boone

BOOKS LISTENED TO

Four audiobooks listened to this week – You by Caroline Kepnes, Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt, The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin, and Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King.

You by Caroline KepnesSudden Death by David RosenfeltThe American Heiress by Daisy GoodwinWolves of the Calla by Stephen King

NETGALLEY & EDELWEISS ARCS RECEIVED

Four books received this month. Two books from Netgalley – The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth and The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor. Two books from Edelweiss – The Better Sister by Alafair Burke and Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson.

The Mother-In-Law by Sally HepworthThe Hiding Place by C.J. TudorThe Better Sister by Alafair BurkeBefore She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

BOOKS PURCHASED

Three books from Amazon. Two books received via Amazon’s First Reads this month – Blood for Blood by Victoria Selman and The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler. One free Kindle ebook – Broken Heart Attack by James J. Cudney was a free download.

Blood for Blood by Victoria SelmanThe Killer Collective by Barry EislerBroken Heart Attack by James J. Cudney

BOOKS BORROWED

Six books borrowed from the library this week – Murder at the Mill by M.B. Shaw, The Hunger by Alma Katsu, Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter, The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle, Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker, and Only Child by Rhiannon Navin, .

Stack of library books and a glass of champagne

Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Happy Reading!

Book Review: She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: She Lies in Wait
Author: Gytha Lodge
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: January 8, 2019
Genre: Crime Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 3.88

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.


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Add to Goodreads

MY REVIEW
A group of teens go camping, and one of them goes missing. Thirty years later, the missing girl’s remains are found. The investigation looks into what happened that night in the woods.

Told with alternating timelines – the night the teens gathered in the woods to camp and the investigation thirty years later. I enjoy the alternating timelines, especially when there is such a big difference in time. Aurora is the missing girl, and the past is told from her point of view. The present is from the investigation side. This worked well. It made it more intriguing to guess who of the teens were telling the truth and who was trying to hide something.

This is a straightforward police procedural. A girl goes missing, stays missing for years, then her body is discovered. The police investigate to find who killed her and why. I enjoy these types of books, but this one did fall a little flat. I didn’t really connect to the characters, so that held something back for me. It’s a good read though, and one I would recommend to fans of British crime fiction.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reading Goals for 2019

2019 Reading Goals

New year. New reading goals. I’m listing five bookish goals I’m working toward in 2019. Basically, I want to read a lot of books.

Read more books that I own.
My main goal for this year is to read what I already own. Of course, I will continue to read new releases and ARCs, but I own hundreds of books I haven’t read *hangs head in shame*, and I want to significantly reduce that number.

Read 350 books this year.
I want to read at least 350 books this year. That number includes adult and young adult print books, ebooks, and audiobooks. It does not include children’s, middle grade, graphic novels, or novellas.

Participate in reading challenges.
I’m participating in 9 reading challenges this year. The Goodreads challenge includes the total number of books I hope to read in 2019, but the other challenges will not have any crossover. Meaning, if I listen to an audiobook for the PopSugar challenge, I’ll count it for the PopSugar and Goodreads challenges but not the Audiobook Challenge.
· Goodreads – 350 books
· Audiobook – 50 books
· Colors – 18 books
· Genre Bingo – 24 books
· Library Love – 60 books
· Modern Mrs. Darcy – 10 books
· Netgalley & Edelweiss – 50 books
· PopSugar 50 books
· Read Harder – 24 books

Finish more book series.
Two things here:
1. Series that have ended and I want to finish.
2. Ongoing series that I want to get caught up on.

Post 5 days a week on the blog.
As for blogging goals, I’m going back to only posting Monday-Friday. I had started posting on weekends, but it became too time consuming. For the most part, my posts will be book reviews (Mon, Wed, Thu), Top Ten Tuesdays (Tue), and Weekly Wrap-Ups (Fri).

Cheers to the New Year! Wishing you a year of good books and success with your reading goals. Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read in 2018

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Best Books I Read in 2018.

It’s always hard to narrow down my favorite books. I had a great year of reading in 2018, so it was no surprise I had to think a bit to pick top 10 books for the year. I did it though, and below are 10 books I loved and highly recommend. I reviewed eight of these books here on the blog, click the titles to go to reviews.

1. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

2. The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty
The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

3. Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

4. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

5. Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie by Courtney Summers

6. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

7. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

8. Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe by Madeline Miller

9. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

10. Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga
Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga

2018 Reading Wrap-Up

2018 Reading Wrap-Up

I had a fantastic bookish year! I started this blog and got more involved with the online book community. It’s been great connecting with other readers and book bloggers.

This year, I read more than expected… this was mainly due to a big jump in the number of audiobooks I listened to. According to Goodreads, my average rating was 3.6, so it looks like I enjoyed most of what I read. Tomorrow I will post my top ten books read in 2018. The breakdown of my other reading stats is below.

READING CHALLENGES

Goodreads – Read 467/450. For this challenge, I counted adult and YA books, ebooks, and audiobooks.
Popsugar – Read 50/50. Finished in October.
A – Z – Read 26/26. Finished in in May.
Colors – Read 15/15. Finished in October.
Genre Bingo – Read 24/24. Finished in June.
Modern Mrs. Darcy – Read 12/12. Finished in July.
Read Harder – Read 24/24. Finished in July.
Gilmore Girls – I finally finished reading the books in this challenge. I’ve now read all the books mentioned in seasons 1-7 of Gilmore Girls. Maybe next year I can finish reading the books from the miniseries.
Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Hilarious Books – My goal was to read 35 books from this list, and that didn’t happen. I ended up reading 20 books. I stopped working on this goal during the year, so I’m not too upset that I didn’t read as many as planned.
Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Books About Monsters – Like the above mentioned list, I had hoped to read 35 books. Again, that didn’t happen. I read 21 books from this list. And, again, I had stopped working toward this goal during in the year.

NETGALLEY & EDELWEISS

I joined Netgalley in 2017, but I signed up for Edelweiss in 2018. My goal for 2018 was to get my number of books reviewed on Netgalley up to 100, and I just barely made that happen. As for Edelweiss, I just wanted to sign up and read a few books. I plan to start reading more ARCs from there next year.

Netgalley
Books Approved: 107
Books Reviewed: 100
Feedback Ratio: 93%

Edelweiss
Books Approved: 12
Books Reviewed: 6
Feedback Ratio: 50%

STATS

Below is a breakdown of my reading habits in 2018:

· adult books: 391
· young adult books: 76
· children’s books: 242
· middle grade books: 50
· graphic novels: 35
· novellas: 55

For the stats below, I’m only looking at the 467 books that fell into the adult and young adult categories.

I primarily read fiction: 10% nonfiction and 90% fiction. I read 48 nonfiction books. Of those, most were biographies and memoirs (20 books), self-help (11 books), and history (8 books). I read 419 fiction books, and I favored adult novels (345 books) over young adult novels (74 books). For adult fiction, I heavily favored mysteries and thrillers (219 books). Other adult genres I read included contemporary (35 books), sci-fi and fantasy (27 books), horror (25 books), and historical fiction (15 books). For young adult fiction, I favored sci-fi and fantasy (51 books), and most of that was fantasy (40 books).

I mostly read books written by authors from the US: 77% US and 23% other countries. I read 109 books by authors from other countries, most were from the UK (82 books). Since most books were originally written in English, only 14 (3%) of the books I read were translated from another language.

I preferred books written by female authors: 61% female and 39% male.

I don’t really prefer one book format over the others: 31% print, 34% ebooks, and 35% audiobooks. I do prefer reading over listening though.

Books less than 150 pages were included under novellas and not counted here. I mostly read books less than 400 pages in length.
· 150-299 pages: 140 (30%)
· 300-399 pages: 225 (48%)
· 400-499 pages: 67 (14%)
· > 500 pages: 35 (7%)

Most books I read were published after 2000:
· before 1800: 4 (1%)
· 1800-1899: 6 (1%)
· 1900-1999: 75 (16%)
· 2000-2019: 382 (82%)

Of the 382 books published after 2000, 142 of those were published in 2018 or will be published in 2019. Clearly I focused on reading new releases.

My greatest sources for books were Netgalley/Edelweiss (17%), the library (26%), and overdrive (36%). The remaining books were received from authors or publishers (4%), purchased (9%), or received from other sources (8%). The other sources were mainly Amazon’s First Reads, Kindle Unlimited, Goodread’s Giveaways, and Penguin’s First to Read.

That wraps up my reading habits for 2018. I plan to do more reading challenges in 2019. I enjoy the challenges, and I’m super competitive, so I feel the need to finish all the challenges I start… which results in a lot of books being read. My reading goals for 2019 will be posted on Wednesday, January 2.

Reading Update: December 2018

Monthly Update | Nightcap Books

My last monthly update for 2018! I met my monthly reading goals this month, and have been planning my reading goals for next year. I’ll post my yearly reading wrap-up later today, and my reading goals for 2019 will be posted on Wednesday.

December Weekly Wrap-Ups

For a more detailed look at the books I’m reading, check out my weekly wrap-ups every Friday.

Week 1 – Weekly Wrap-Up (December 7)
Week 2 – Weekly Wrap-Up (December 14)
Week 3 – Weekly Wrap-Up (December 21)
Week 4 – Weekly Wrap-Up (December 28)

Monthly Update

The breakdown for my December reading is 6 physical books, 15 ebooks, and 21 audiobooks. Some of my favorite reads in December were My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Last Lullaby, Watching You, and I Let You Go.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina LaurenLast Lullaby by Carol WyerWatching You by Lisa JewellI Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Reading Challenges

My current reading status, as of 12/31/18.

Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge (450/450) Completed in September
A-Z Challenge (26/26) Completed in May
Color Challenge (15/15) Completed in October
Genre Bingo Challenge (24/24) Completed in June
Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge (12/12) Completed in July
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge (50/50) Completed in October
Read Harder (24/24) Completed in July
Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge:
Season 5 books (25/25) Completed in June
Season 6 books (25/25) Completed in August
Season 7 books (25/25) Completed in November
A Year in the Life books (13/20) in progress
Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Hilarious Books (55/100) in progress
Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Books About Monsters (49/100) in progress

NETGALLEY & EDELWEISS STATS

Netgalley
Books Approved: 107
Books Reviewed: 100
Feedback Ratio: 93%

Edelweiss
Books Approved: 12
Books Reviewed: 6
Feedback Ratio: 50%

To see more about what I’m reading, find me on Goodreads. Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Happy Reading!

Reading Challenge: Netgalley and Edelweiss 2019

2019 Reading Challenge

The Netgalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2019 is a new challenge for me this year. Tina at Reading Between the Pages hosts this challenge. I’m going for the Gold Level, which is for 50 books. I may up my goal level later, but, for now, I don’t plan to read as many ARCs as I did last year. I will update this list as I continue to work on the challenge.

STATS
0/50 as of January 1, 2019

EDELWEISS
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NETGALLEY
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Reading Challenge: PopSugar 2019

2019 Reading Challenge

I’ve been doing the PopSugar reading challenge for several years now, and it’s one of my favorites to do. This year, the challenge has 40 standard prompts and 10 advanced prompts. My goal is to complete all 50 prompts. Below is the list of prompts. After each prompt is the book I read. I will update this list as I continue to work on the challenge.

STATS
0/50 as of January 1, 2019

PROMPTS
1. A book becoming a movie in 2019
2. A book that makes you nostalgic
3. A book written by a musician (fiction or nonfiction)
4. A book you think should be turned into a movie
5. A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads
6. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover
7. A reread of a favorite book
8. A book about a hobby
9. A book you meant to read in 2018
10. A book with POP, SUGAR, or CHALLENGE in the title
11. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover
12. A book inspired by myth/legend/folklore
13. A book published posthumously
14. A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie
15. A retelling of a classic
16. A book with a question in the title
17. A book set on college or university campus
18. A book about someone with a superpower
19. A book told from multiple POVs
20. A book set in space
21. A book by two female authors
22. A book with SALTY, SWEET, BITTER, or SPICY in the title
23. A book set in Scandinavia
24. A book that takes place in a single day
25. A debut novel
26. A book that’s published in 2019
27. A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature
28. A book recommended by a celebrity you admire
29. A book with LOVE in the title
30. A book featuring an amateur detective
31. A book about a family
32. A book author from Asia, Africa, or South America
33. A book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in title
34. A book that includes a wedding
35. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
36. A ghost story
37. A book with a two-word title
38. A novel based on a true story
39. A book revolving around a puzzle or game
40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading challenge

Advanced
41. A “cli-fi” (climate fiction) book
42. A “choose-your-own-adventure” book
43. An “own voices” book
44. Read a book during the season it is set in
45. A LitRPG book
46. A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters
47. Two books that share the same title
48. Two books that share the same title
49. A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom
50. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent