Midweek Mash

The weeks seem to be flying by! Summer will be nothing more than a memory soon. I am okay with that because I happen to be a big fan of fall weather. Perfect for reading, tea and light sweaters!

I will also soon be the proud owner of a 16 yr old daughter. A am taking said daughter to get her permit on Friday.. I am not sure I have ever been more terrified of anything than I am the concept of my children driving! I am facing possible brain surgery, and yet at this moment I continue to imagine handing her the keys to my old Explorer..

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This week I wanted to look at my top 10 favorites reads so far for 2016.

So let’s mash, shall we?

Favorite Reads So Far ~ 2016

This was a tough list to put together. I recently did some re-reading of a few favorites. I am omitting those for obvious reasons. After combing through my list I have decided to include two manga series and a graphic novel as well. Because if the shoe fits. So here are my favorites for 2016 so far:

10. Seas (Wendy Darling Vol 2)
Colleen Oaks
This was and ARC courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher.
This was also my first title by the lovely Colleen Oakes. I was pleasantly surprised.
You can find my review here if you are interested. Full of action and fantasy, this retelling easily made the list.

9. Fables (Graphic Novel Series)
Bill Willingham
This graphic novel series is based upon all of our favorite characters in the fables and fairy tales we have grown to love. After their lands have been overthrown by the Adversary, they are forced into exile learning to live in New York city. I haven’t reviewed these, but I might in the future. These are a fantastic read for all fans of graphic novels.

Yuki Urushibara, William Flanagan (Translator)
This manga series follows Ginko, a Mushishi. Mushishi study and are able to actually see and interact with Mushi (omnipresent primitive creatures with supernatural powers). The series is episodic, each detailing an encounter where Ginko assist another or town being affected by Mushi. Again, I have no review. I have not reviewed any manga at this time. Later though. I do actually recommend this to all. Such a great read, the anime series is worth watching as well.

7.Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1)
Christina Henry
Okay, so 2016 has been the year for retellings. At least for me. I have discovered so many little gems. The title and cover stating the obvious, this is a dark Alice in Wonderland themed story. This one happens to follow our heroine as she escapes an asylum. A fun and easy ready, as I was not able to put this down. My review is here.

6. Eight Hundred Grapes
Laura Dave
This was a title I had originally picked up with little faith. I was compelled by constant reviews to at least take a peeck. I am so pleased I did. If I had let this pass me by, it would have been a shame. This fictional tale is full of love and inspiration, as our protagonist tries to pull her life together and discover what she really wants and who she is. Beautiful! Check out the review.

5. Red Queen
Victoria Aveyard
This YA read is full of fantasy with a nice dystopian back drop. During a time where society is divided by magic, our female protagonist must find her way, uncovering betrayal and facing fears. Red Queen needs little introduction as I know it has crossed the hands of many. And for good reason. Here are my thoughts.

4. Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell
I am ashamed to admit this is my first time reading the satirical, dystopian classic that is 1984. I am sure many of you are very aware of this ingenious story following Winston Smith is he struggles to maintain his own humanity and seeks freedom under the totalitarian, tyrannical rule of Big Brother. Classic for a reason! Review is right here my brothers and sisters.

3. Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Marissa Meyer
Okay, I am not even going to lie. Yes, Cinder has great reviews, but this was a cover buy. I mean look at it! Oooh.. Sweet mother of macaroni and cheese, thank you for letting decide to pick this up! This is YA fantasy and dystopian at it’s best. I know, I know, another retelling, but it really reads like a brand new story. Off the hook! If you enjoy these genres and have not read this, stop and go pick up a copy. Here is my take on Cinder.

2. The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho
Short, simple and full of inspiration. The Alchemist is the sort of book you buy for others. You go out of your way to make sure friends and family have a chance to read this little diamond.  We follow a young shepherd boy named Santiago as he travels from his home in Spain to Egypt. He seeks a treasure. What he learns along the way is the real gift though. This story if full of heart warming inspiration. I need to write a review!

Drum rolll…

1. Is…

Alice in the Country of Hearts
QuinRose, Soumei Hoshino (Illustrator), Beni Axia Conrad (Translator)
Now I know that listing a manga as my top read so far for 2016 is going to probably have a lot of you second-guessing my take on reading. But the heart wants what the heart wants. This is my all time favorite manga series. I am particularly partial to it for several reasons. One, it is truly a fun read and I adore the characters. Two, it is my absolute favorite spin on Alice (and Alice in Wonderland is my literary love, I mean I have an entire entryway decorated in Wonderland theme!). Three, this series saved me. Yes, saved me. When I began to fall ill, I was in a huge rut. I was diving deeper and deeper into depression and unable to find joy in anything. This manga not only revived my reading passion, but inspired me to continue to write and sketch. So for reasons that are well deserving and also personal, I am awarding it the number one spot. GoodReads synopsis here.

Honorable Mentions (There always are)


So what have been your favorite reads as we have hit the halfway point for 2016? I have read so many wonderful reviews and look forward to completing the books piling up on my shelves. Has any one title or author managed to capture your heart recently. I have to admit I am now a huge fan of Marissa Meyer now!! And I am very excited to check out some titles by Colleen Oaks as well.  I hope you are having a great week!

Cheers! Here is a little Leo to take with you 😉
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