Best Books of 2018 - The Butterfly Reader

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Best Books of 2018



I recently shared my worst books read and now I want to share the good stuff! Bring on the five star reads! All of these are give star, nothing below, so let's just get into this! 


Love, Life, and the List
Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

A Practical Guide to the Runes: Their Uses in Divination and Magic
EIHWAZ the yew, URUZ the wild ox, KENAZ the hearth fire. Created by the Nordic and Germanic tribes of northern Europe, the runes began as a magickal system of pictographs representing the forces and objects in nature. 

This guidebook will help you discover the oracular nature of the runes and how to use them as a magickal tool for insight, protection, and luck. Practical and concise, this book includes:

-Complete descriptions of the twenty-four runes of the Elder Futhark, plus WYRD, the blank rune. 
-The differences between bindrunes and rune scripts.
-Four rune layouts and detailed rune interpretations, including reverse position meanings.
-How to carve runes and create talismans.
-Meanings and uses of the runes in magick.


Big Little Lies
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. 


Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic



Norman: The Doll That Needed to Be Locked Away
When paranormal investigator Stephen Lancaster brought home an old doll from an antique shop, he had no idea what bizarre and terrifying things were about to occur. From Day One, Norman the doll raised Hell. He caused sudden infestations of rats and spiders. He frightened dogs and put children in trances. He even moved on his own in video surveillance footage. And that was just the beginning.

Norman takes you on a thrilling journey into Stephen's life with a doll that has held the spirit of an unborn child for over fifty years. A haunted doll that still lives in Stephen's house, locked away in his own room to keep him from once again endangering the house and Stephen's family.


A Court of Mist and Fury 
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights. 


Kings Rising 
His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regent's final, deadly play for the throne?


Legendary
A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister's. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever...

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.


Obsidian
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don’t kill him first, that is.



Wild Hunger 
In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.


Incognito
A new adult STANDALONE college romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis.

A troubled popstar forced into hiding… A sweet small-town girl overcoming tragedy… And the kind of love that only happens once in a lifetime.

Dakota’s dreams of attending Juilliard were shattered the night tragedy struck her family. It’s one year later, and she’s now enrolled at a local university trying to piece her life back together.

Shawn is one of the world’s most famous faces, having lived under a spotlight since his star exploded when he was fourteen. Now jaded by an industry forcing him to perform music he no longer enjoys, he craves normalcy and the opportunity to rediscover his muse. When a crazy stalker gets too close, and death threats start mounting, Shawn’s management team comes up with a plan—one which will allow him to work on his latest album while staying incognito on a college campus.

Romance is the last thing on Dakota’s mind, but after she crosses paths with a hot, prickly cutie with rock-hard abs and smoldering good looks, she can’t shake him from her thoughts.

Shawn can’t afford to bring any girl into his fucked-up life, but the gorgeous blonde with the sad blue eyes captivates him in a way no girl ever has, and he finds himself falling hard and fast. 

But outside forces are conspiring against them. 

When danger draws closer, and secrets are revealed, will their love survive?


The Norse Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Heroes
Who were the Norse gods the mighty Æsyr, led by Óðinn, and the mysterious Vanir? In The Norse Myths we meet this passionate and squabbling pantheon, and learn of the mythological cosmos they inhabit. Passages translated from the Old Norse bring this legendary world to life, from the myths of creation to ragnarök, the prophesied end of the world at the hands of Lokis army of monsters and giants, and everything that comes in between: the problematic relationship between the gods and the giants, in which enmity and trickery are punctuated by marriages and seductions; the (mis) adventures of human heroes and heroines, with their family feuds, revenges, marriages and murders; and the interaction between the gods and mortals, as Óðinn, the Allfather, betrays his human protégés in order to recruit (dead) heroes for his army.

Carolyne Larrington describes the myths origins in pre-Christian Scandinavia and Iceland, and their survival in artefacts and written sources, from Old Norse sagas and poems to the less approving accounts of medieval Christian writers. She traces their influences into the work of Wagner, William Morris and J.R.R. Tolkien, and even the recent Game of Thrones in the resurrection of the Fimbulvetr, or Mighty Winter.



Moonlight Seduction 
The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel...

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up... and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman... one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.


For the Love of Hades
Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, has no patience for the living or his Olympian brethren. His purpose is order, administering justice to those who enter his realm, and keeping the balance decreed by the Fates. Meeting Persephone sways his focus, her gentle sweetness threatening his control. But he will not be tempted. 

Hades awakens something within the Goddess Persephone. She feels no fear from his brooding presence. In truth, she's never felt so alive. Every stolen moment together only confirms her instinct: he is meant to be hers. Such a powerful union will face opposition - from Olympus, her troubled betrothed, the Fates, even Hades himself. But she is determined to win his heart. 

Poseidon's scheming wreaks havoc upon Persephone. Hades has no choice - he must rescue her.


The Iron Flower
Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.



Enslaved by the Viking 
"From this day forward, you are mine." 

The moment Merewyn sets eyes on the warrior standing atop a Viking raiding ship, something inside her stirs. By all rights, she should fear him, should run from him, yet she cannot help but be drawn to him. 

Eirik has never before taken a woman captive, yet Merewyn inspires a longing that calls to the darkness within him. He takes her back to his homeland as his slave, where they finally succumb to passion. And as the lines between captor and captive blur, Eirik realizes they have crossed into dangerous territory…



Listen to Your Heart
Talking to other people isn't Kate Bailey's favorite activity. She'd much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school's podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she'll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate's surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend ... until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

Kasie West's adorable story of secrets, love, and friendship is sure to win over hearts everywhere.



The Hanging Tree
What if you couldn’t remember the worst night of your life?
What if you couldn’t forget it?

May 13, 1994.

On her thirteenth birthday, newly orphaned Evie, witnesses a brutal attack at the hanging tree. She wakes the next morning on a bus to Los Angeles, dazed and bruised and desperate to remember. Her best friend died that night—she’s sure of it. But there’s no body, no crime scene, and no witnesses. Twenty three years later, the whole night is still a blur. The murderer, a faceless, nameless man. 

Fresh out of a stint in juvie, Butch kills a girl, strangles her. Twenty three years later, he walks out of prison a free man. But a haunted one, the ghost of his past at his heels.

When another body turns up at the hanging tree—a girl, strangled—Evie is certain her lost memory holds the key. Can Butch help her find the faceless man? Or is he hiding the darkest secret of all?

The Hanging Tree is a standalone novel, and the second book in the Doctors of Darkness series.


Slave to Sensation 
THE HOT NEW NAME IN PARANORMAL ROMANCE. Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind-and none of the heart. Born a Psy, Sascha Duncan must hide the emotions which mark her as flawed. But a passionate Changeling will tempt her to reveal everything-and risk her very soul.


Pisces Hooks Taurus 
It’s a time for searching, and a time for finding, Pisces: keep casting your line and you will hook what you’re looking for.

Zane has it all planned out: land the perfect Meet Cute, fall in love, and live happily ever after. 
Should be simple enough if he put his mind to it. A little creativity and some thinking outside of the box, and voila, he’d be married to the woman of his dreams.
It would be perfect. 
And it would be before his visa ran out.

But why are his feelings running wild now that the pressure’s on? Why is his picture-perfect plan turning into a muddled mess of morphed metaphors he can’t make sense of anymore?

Just as well he’s met an English professor to help. And even though their first meet is anything but cute, this down-to-earth teacher may just be the realist Zane needs to ground him and give him a shot at love after all.

Don’t cast your line too wide, Pisces. Your perfect catch may already have bitten.



The Great Pursuit 
Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom.


Oblivion
This electrifying conclusion to the Nevermore trilogy takes one last trip to the dream world of Edgar Allan Poe to reveal the intertwined fates of Isobel and Varen.

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? —Edgar Allan Poe

The fine line between life and death blurred long ago for Isobel Lanley. After a deadly confrontation with Varen in the dreamworld, she’s terrified to return to that desolate and dangerous place. But when her nightmares resume, bleeding into reality, she is left with no choice. Varen’s darkness is catching up to her. To everything. Threatening to devour it all.

Isobel fears for her world. For her sanity and Varen’s—especially after a fresh and devastating loss. To make matters worse, the ghostly demon Lilith wants Varen for her own, and she will do anything to keep him in her grasp—anything.

Can Isobel ever find her happy ending? Worlds collide and fates are sealed in this breathtaking finale to the Nevermore trilogy.


Visions of Heat
Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous - aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take the form of either man or jaguar, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced - and keep her from Vaughn.



The First Cut
There’s a thin line between love and murder.

When “Love Doctors” Ian and Kate Culpepper are brutally murdered in their Carmel mansion on Valentine’s Day, Ava knows it’s karma. Because Ian’s leaving her for perfect Kate four years ago had cut her bone deep. And then they had the nerve to show up here, on her turf. With their perfect house and their perfect daughter and their matching perfect smiles. 

It’s no wonder Ava can’t stop watching. It’s no wonder she can’t let go. 

But Ian is far from perfect, and Ava owes a debt too. For the unforgivable thing they’d done together. The dark deed that severed their marriage in two. When Ava’s name is found inked in blood at the crime scene, a reckoning seems inevitable. Someone knows what she’s hiding. Someone sees what she’s done. And karma is ready to collect its pound of flesh.



Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
Do you work magic with herbs? Do you use them in spells, for talismans or simply use their innate powers? If you don't have Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, you need to get it right away. This book has become a classic in its field. Paul Beyerl, a respected author on herbs calls it "…an essential reference book by students of herbalism and magick alike … Scott's personable charm touches every page… I highly recommend this book." And Jeanne Rose, famous author of books on herbs and developer of an herbal course says "I love books like this … It is accessible, easy to read, and with its encompassing index (all too often neglected), simple to use as well." Over 200,000 people already have this book and use it frequently.

In this edition of the book (it's expanded and revised on the 15th anniversary of original publication) you will find the magical properties and folklore of over 400 herbs! You'll also find lists of herbs based on their magical powers, their genders, their planetary rulers, and more. Perhaps the most important list is the folk name cross-reference. With that information, when a recipe calls for "bramble, " you'll know it needs blackberry. Or if the magic calls for "enebro," you'll know you that is juniper.

The main part of this book is the listings of the herbs. Each one includes names, associations, and magical attributions. Violets can be used for protection, luck, love, and more. Primrose is for protection and love. Garlic is for protection, healing, exorcism, lust, and prevention of theft.

This book is considered a classic. It is probably consulted more than any other book on this subject. If you want to learn the secrets of magical herbs, this book is a must!

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Have you read any of these? What were your favorite reads of 2018? Let me know below and as always have a great day and happy reading1 

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for making and posting this list. It gave me a picture of you as a reader, a picture I like especially for the paranormal and magic stuff. I saw some books here I need to check out.

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    1. Yes, that's me in a nutshell lol, I love paranormal and magic stuff for sure!

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  2. I really need to read that series by Anyta Sunday. I've read another book by her and really loved it. I also need to re-read Nevermore and then finish the Kelly Creagh trilogy. I loved Nevermore but it's been years since I read it and I never continued on!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Yes, you need more Anyta Sunday in your life because she just writes the some of the most funny stories that are so freaking cute! I would totally reread Nevermore and the end is the best one!

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  3. Great list! I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Big Little Lies - even the tv adaptation. :)

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    1. Me too! It was so much better than I thought it was going to be!

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