#BookRecommendations 2010s in Review

The 2010s was a rough decade for me, I won’t lie!

  1. I had to put my childhood pets (my dog and cat) down.
  2. My Father lost his battle to cancer.
  3. I dropped out of university.
  4. I completed a different diploma but couldn’t get a job.

But I also had some pretty amazing things happen too!

  1. I went back to school to get the degree I always wanted to.
  2. I started a book blog and discovered Goodreads.
  3. I met Kevin Smith, Jay Mewes, John Ratzenburger and Billy Dee Williams!
  4. I got my three beautiful fur babies (my kitties <3).

 

Since a new decade is coming into play, here’s 20 books (and series) from the last ten years that helped in my reading addiction!

Best of the 2010s Decade:

1. Kevin Miller’s Milligan Creek Series
If you haven’t read this mind blowing middle grade series, what are you even doing?! Matt, Chat, Andrew and Dean get into many shenanigans in the great west, Saskatchewan. Canoe trips, epic radio shows, an excessive water war and saving the town are just some of the wild adventures this group gets into. I’d highly recommend this book because it is absolutely my BEST of the decade. Kevin Miller is proving to be one of the best Canadian authors I’ve ever come across!
Check out this marvelous series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/247750

 

2. Rachel Vincent’s Menagerie Series
Holy moly! Rachel Vincent has been one of my fave authors from the last decade. I discovered her Soul Seekers series in high school and I’ve been hooked to her writing ever since. When I discovered the Menagerie series, I was glued to every page and was absolutely heart broken that it ended! This book follows Delilah when she’s captured and put into a magical creature Menagerie. This fantasy series is packed full of drama, political shadows and a dash of romance.
Pick up this series A.S.A.P.: https://www.goodreads.com/series/110345

 

3. Drug Gang series by Neil Walker
Holy heck, this book series is WILD! If you love Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and the Godfather, you’ll love this series. While I wanted to include the last book in my 2019 summary, I couldn’t leave out the other two books in this series. So, I decided to give this series it’s own place in the 2010s best of list! Drugs and sex, blood and guts, and crazy gangs are littered throughout this series. It’s a hard R novel that is an absolute guilty pleasure – think the craziness of John Wick plus the insanity of Pulp Fiction. Neil has such a great collection here it’d be a shame to not introduce you to it! It was definitely one of the series I was anxiously waiting to read during the 2010s!
Takedown this series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/216836

 

4. Ready Research Series by Mindy M. Shelton
Mindy M. Shelton was introduced to me years ago, but man am I still thinking about her books! She has one excellent series that follows different types of murderers. With Making a Murderer being so intriguing, seeing a series like this pop up and come into my radar was awesome! If you like true crime and non-fiction, this series would be right up your alleyway! It’s horrifying and intriguing all at the same time.
Go down the rabbit hole: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30375247-from-birth-to-death

 

5. How To Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad
I love Negin Farsad’s comedy. I was introduced to her by my friends (via the dreaded Facebook) and I even won a copy of this book from Goodreads! This book is laugh out loud funny and is one of the few books that actually made me laugh. Negin’s sense of humour and collection of jokes make this book a must read. It’s blunt, sarcastic and sometimes just too much! This super smart comedy book is definitely one of my best books of the decade!
How to Make Readers Laugh: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27170153-how-to-make-white-people-laugh

 

6. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
I relate WAY TOO MUCH to Hope. Hope Jahren is a scientist who studies nature – trees, soil, seeds, flowers, etc. She wrote this absolutely intelligent autobiography that made me feel like I found my place in the world. If only I would have discovered this in high school! Hope presents this book with intelligence, comedy and realism and paints one beautiful picture. It felt like I was meant to read this book! I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love science and non-fiction.
Stop procrastinating and pick up this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25733890-lab-girl

 

7. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
In 2019 I told myself I would read more middle grade and YA books, and that promise brought me many beautiful novels. Peter Green and the Unliving Academy is definitely in my top list for the year. I was floored by how magical this book was and surprised me by how much I needed a book like this in my life. In my personal, humble opinion it’s better than Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and a Series of Unfortunate Events. It tops my list with the amazing themes (friendship, family and growing up) and the fun fantasy it paints throughout the book. This book barely has 40 reviews on Goodreads, so help that book get its share of reviews! Pimp this book out my readers!
Find life in this Middle Grade Novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41824802-peter-green-and-the-unliving-academy

 

8. Snow and Ice Games by Tamsen Parker
Heck, I could put all of Tamsen Parker’s books here. In this last decade I discovered one of my favourite authors and I had to pimp her out in the 2010s list. These erotic romances (and sometimes just romances) are some of my favourite novels. They push boundaries, are packed with romance and just make me feel good! I specifically chose the Snow and Ice Games series because I LOVE sport romances and I can rarely find them. On top of that, it’s winter sports and since I’m Canadian they are pretty much all we see. So, pick up some Tamsen books and see why I’m utterly OBSESSED!
Get Hot in the Winter: https://www.goodreads.com/series/215930-snow-ice-games

 

9. Life Seemed Good, But… by Richard Bell
If you’re looking for some comedy, pick up this marvelous anthology collection of funny stories by Richard Bell. Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and Richard Bell knows all about that! This incredible collection is great for teenagers and adults – there are some darker themes, but they all end up in some form of hilarity. I can’t recommend this book enough, especially since this indie bookdoes not have enough attention! Help this indie author out because this book is worth the read!
Get Laughing: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11107599-life-seemed-good-buhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11107599-life-seemed-good-but

 

10. Twisted Trilogy by Geza Tatrallyay
This was another epic series that was introduced to me by the author. Geza’s series is a Russian thriller that echoes James Bond, the Man from U.N.C.L.E and Mission Impossible, but a little more romance and a pinch of comedy. This book series is dark and definitely R rated, but it’s suspense and thrills will keep you hooked regardless. Travel across the world as mysteries are unfoiled! I can’t recommend this series enough, especially from a truly remarkable author like Geza.
Join the mission: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23618187-twisted-reasons

 

11. Mountain Man series by Gary Corbin
Great authors just keep seeking me out! It was an absolute delight to read The Mountain Man series by Gary Corbin! The thrilling, crime and mystery series is packed full of action, fun and a wee bit of romance (you know, that’s how you get me – with the romance). Gary is such an incredible author that I could barely stop binging these books. Lehigh is also such an intriguing character that I just couldn’t put these books down. I’d highly recommend picking up this epic thriller, especially if you want something that’s not R rated.
Lehigh has a dog, you should meet him!: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29953081-the-mountain-man-s-dog

 

12. Second Guessing by Gail Ward Olmsted
Ah, romance. Gail Ward Olmstead’s book should all be included here because I pretty much binged every book I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, her books aren’t all in one series so this will have to do. Jeep Tour, Driving on the Left, Guessing at Normal and Second Guessing are all fabulous romance novels that you shouldn’t bat an eyelash at. They are addicting, sweet and binge worthy! I absolutely loved them and they made my heart flutter in the 2010s!
Sweet Dreams: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37482720-second-guessing

 

13. Chalkboard Outlines by Kelley Kaye
Mystery time! I love cozy mysteries but I just don’t read enough of them! In walks Kelley Kaye with her school themed series. Emma is a high school teaching and bad things just keep happening to her! Lucky for her, the kooky cast of characters are all pretty good at solving mysteries (and deaths and murders… eek). If you want a cozy mystery with a pinch of romance, this series will do you some good!
It’s no mystery that you should read this series: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26809659-death-by-diploma

 

14. People Who Need to Die by Victor Rook
This book is absolutely hilarious! If you want some dark but twisted stories packed full of comedy then this book is for you! It’s a real shame that more people haven’t picked this book up because I laughed my way through it. Like Negin’s novel, this book is one of the few I can say actually made me laugh out loud. I looked like a psychopath laughing at this book, but it was so worth it. This book is hilarious and oh too true!
People Who Need to Read This Book (a.k.a. YOU): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23629805-people-who-need-to-die

 

15. So Near the Horizin by Jessica Koch
I love Jessica Koch’s novel and I can honestly say it’s one of the best I’ve ever read (not just for the 2010s). I’m somewhat sad I haven’t been able to get any more books by her, since this book is a must read. I would shout it from the hills! So many of my friends picked up this book after me because I couldn’t STOP recommending it. This book is heart breaking but such a worthwhile book. And… it’s all true! It reads like a romantic fiction, but in the end… it’s all real. Pick this book up, review it and share the story!
Be still my beating heart: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36482886-so-near-the-horizon

 

16. Something Like Love by Sara Richardson
More romance! I read a lot of romance, what can I say? Sara Ricahrdson writes amazing contemporary romance that leaves me feeling bubbly and happy. Ben and Paige continue with the absolute loveliness in this amazing series. Pick it up, become addicted and join me in my contemporary romance support group.
Love, love, love: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24820182-something-like-love

 

17. Cowboy Boots for Christmas by Carolyn Brown
I love Carolyn Brown’s books! I have a few on my shelf now and I just keep collecting them. This is yet another series that makes me feel warm, fuzzy and bubbly all over. Finn and Callie are just too cute and will perfectly fill up your romance shelf! Plus… cowboys! They are super sexy!
I do, I do, I do: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18509671-cowboy-boots-for-christmas

 

18. Return to You by Samantha Chase
Whoops! More romance?! What am I thinking?! The 2010s was packed full of romance for me so I just have to include the best ones! The Montegomery Brothers series is one I absolutely loved, and this time around it’s Jame and Selena making me swoon. More contemporary drama and romance for you lovely readers! Feel all loved up in 2020 my friends!
Super Sweet: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23167025-return-to-you

 

19. Playing the Game by M.Q. Barber
Okay, so this is “kind of” romance… it’s erotica! I won’t lie, I love erotica and this book is just wild. Alice meets Henry and Jay, and they start a little threesome relationship… and man is it hot! I’m stuck at book two of this series because no where has book three in physical form, so I will let you guys catch up to me before I finish out this SUPER HOT series. This book is one of the few that introduced me into erotica and man it is hot. I can’t get enough of this book!
Play the Game: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20912368-playing-the-game

 

20. The Trap by Melanie Raabe
Last, but not least, is a wonderful translated thriller that will leave you breathless. My copy of this book is worn out because I’ve loaned it out to twenty friends at this point (another reason why I love physical copies. I lend my books to my friends and we all gush over them!). Linda’s little sister Anna was murdered years ago, and now Linda sees the murderer… is she crazy? Will she kill him? Is any of this real?! Oh man, this book is wild! AND SO GOOD.
Don’t be insane, read this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30282261-the-trap

 

 

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! The 2010s were wild! So many good books were littered throughout my decade and I’m sure I will only read more good books in the next decade. Hopefully I finish a few more series, grab some more classics and have WAY MORE indie authors hit me up!

What books have you read from my list? What should I read next? Help me fill up my never ending TBR list for the 2020s!

#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1

It’s time for another collection of amazing books! This time around I am focusing on books that were full of fantasy. This is only part one of my fave fantasy reads, so don’t you worry if you don’t see your favourite! Let these 10 books fill up your TBR for the time being. These books are in no certain order, but I absolutely loved all of them!

Time to get started with my elevator pitches for these sweet, sweet novels!

 

1. #BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
I have loved Katie MacAlister since my high school years! I accidentally stumbled upon her in my local bookstore and ever since I’ve been infatuated with her novels. Her books are cute, silly, fun and full of ooey, gooey romance! This book series is my favourite of all of her books – Aisling Grey’s series! Aisling falls in love with a handsome Dragon named Drake, and hilarity ensues! If you’re looking for a fun yet fantastical novel full of romance, then this is the perfect book for you!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

2. #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt
Bittersweet Symphony was introduced to me by the author, fellow Canadian Rebecca McNutt. This book fell well into my wheelhouse – horror, fantasy and Canadian roots! And man, did this book not disappoint! If you’re looking for something a little darker, then following this New York set novel full of kooky occurrences will meet your expectations! If I had to pick one book to describe this book, I’d use “gothic”.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

3. Omens and/or No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong
When you’re putting Kelley Armstrong on a list, it’s hard to pick just one book. I had a really hard time picking between these two books (because I absolutely love both of them) so I figured to add a “bonus” book to the list! No Humans Involved is Jaime’s story in the Otherworld universe. Women of the Otherworld is one epic series following strong, female leads who are witches, werewolves and necromancers. Jaime (the necromancer) has always been my fave and I have always been in love with Jeremy Danvers (the sexy, alpha werewolf) so I had to include it! No Humans Involved isn’t as cutesy as Katie MacAlister’s books, but it is a couple steps up on the staircase – it has lots of action, a splash of comedy, and some super sexy scenes. And then you’ve got Omens, which is a whole ‘nother ballpark. Cainsville has all sorts of weird and strange things going on, and is a little more R rated fantasy (and mystery). If you’re looking for some mystery in your fantasy novel, and something not so cutesy (but pretty dark), grab this book! I read these YEARS ago and I really need to jump back into these series soon, because I haven’t finished either and I love my fellow Canadian, Kelley Armstrong! Can you believe I missed the chance to meet her in my hometown years ago?!

Find these books on:
Amazon.ca – No Humans Involved
Amazon.ca – Omens
Amazon.com – No Humans Involved
Amazon.com – Omens
Kobo – No Humans Involved
Kobo – Omens

4. Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
This list is just full of my old faves! Rachel Vincent was another author I stumbled upon in my high school years (just like Katie and Kelley) and I still love her! Her Shifter series started me out, but Menagerie blew my mind! This fantasy novel involves a carnival full of strange beings. The grotesque carnival puts these human “monsters” on display, but Delilah is a little different…
I’m disappointed in myself that I never picked up the sequel yet. When I got this book in my hands, I absolutely devoured the book. I was totally obsessed and needed to read more, but my local bookstores never got a physical copy in. Rachel Vincent is an author to look out for, whether you want some good old YA novels or some super eerie or romantic adult novels! Also, she’s been super nice to me on social media so I’ll root for her everyday of the week!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

5. Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Add Richelle to my “discovered in high school and still loves” list! Vampire Academy introduced me to her, and Gameboard of the Gods made me truly obsessed with her. I’m still angry this series was never truly finished, but it is worth the read! This fantasy series is for adults (a step away from the YA Vampire Academy universe) and it’s absolutely insane! Religion meets fantasy meets military. Add a pinch of romance, a dash of suspense and a barrel of action and you’ve got one of my fave fantasies EVER. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone reads this book she’ll FINALLY release the last one… Maybe? Probably not. But a girl can dream, right?!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

6. #BookReview Blood by Ruth Miranda
Blood is the first book in the Blood series by Ruth Miranda, but let this book be the placeholder for the whole series. Ruth Miranda approached me to read her books, and MAN AM I SO HAPPY SHE DID. This series is absolutely R-rated wild with vampires, fantasy and magic. She’s a genius and her writing ability is insane! If you want a really dark and gruesome story that is addicting, pick this book up. It does have some touchy subjects, so it’s not for the faint of heart. It 100% deserves a spot on this epic fantasy list!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

7. #BooKReview Fast Backward by David Patneaude
Time to switch it up a little with David Patneaude’s intriguing YA. Fast Backward mixes time travel with historical fiction together when Bobby Hasting witnesses an atomic explosion. The history of Germany, bombs and the amazing intelligence of teenagers is expressed in this book. I thought it was super cool and the time travel worked really well in this book. It’s light-hearted despite being about such a touchy subject. It’s well worth the read!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

8. #BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver
Zombies. Yes, I have finally included a book about zombies on the list! Apocalypse the Memoir is a sarcastic yet wildly addicting ride through Canada. It’s R-rated, it’s gorey, and it has some hilarious one liners you wouldn’t expect in a book about zombies! The sassiness of this book is at Level 500, so all of you sarcastic little bookworms will get a real kick out of it!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

9. Quick Book Review: Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Asylum is a creepy YA novel based in, you guessed it, an asylum. What makes this book even cooler is the fact that there are pictures in the book to give you some epic visuals. The book is full of horror and it’ll keep you guessing at every turn. I loved picking this book up because it’s the perfect mix of horror without the crazy R rated content. Sometimes, you just don’t want the excessive gore.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

10. Awakened by Harley Austin
Federal agents, government conspiracies and thrills mixed with fantasy? Heck yes! This book is your typical adult thriller with fantasy entwined all throughout. If you’re looking for a book but don’t want to fully commit to a fantasy novel, then this book will give you all the thrills and more! I really enjoyed Harley Austin’s book and it’s a real treat if you want something a little different.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

There you have it! 11 fantasy books to top up your TBR shelves. Have you read any of these books or authors before? Which was your favourite? What other fantasy books novels should I read and add to the lists? Also, what other lists do you want to see? Comment below and let me know!

 

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Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

 

 

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Photo via Goodreads.

Rachel Vincent has done it again with Menagerie!

This book was perfection in just over 400 pages! I wasn’t sure what to expect going in with such an odd idea behind the book, but it was incredible! Rachel Vincent never lets me down!

The book follows Delilah, a human who is forced to perform in the Metzger’s Menagerie of strange creatures. When she is pulled away from her normal, everyday life to suddenly becoming a circus animal, how will she take it? Rachel Vincent helps you find out!

Overall, I loved this book. I found the first half of the book very slow to get through, but the second half was a breeze. While it did take me a while to get through the first half of the novel, it’s still worth it. The first half isn’t boring, it’s just a little slow with introductions, character development and shocking plot devices. The second half has a lot more action and intrigue in it.

I loved this novel! I would recommend it to everyone and anyone! People who love fantasy, supernatural, shapeshifter, and story’s that open your eyes to touchy subjects will love this story!!

Five out of five stars!