Mansfield Park coverBest book overall: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen

What I loved about it: (*spoiler alert*) When I got to the moment when Henry Crawford proposes to Fanny Price, and she rejects him even as everyone tries to convince her she’s insane for saying no, I couldn’t put the book down. I stayed up well into the night reading. I just had to see how Fanny was going to get herself out of that mess.

The Magic of His Touch Barbara MonajemBest romance: “The Magic of His Touch” by Barbara Monajem

What I loved about it: It’s a short, sweet regency romance with a hint of fairy magic. That slight paranormal twist—a bit of fairy lore that says if a woman rolls naked in the dew on May Day she’ll find her true love—gives the story the perfect blend of regency and fantasy.

Best fantasy/sci-fi: “The Clockwork Scarab” by Colleen Gleason

What I loved about it: Take the sister of Bram Stoker and the niece of Sherlock Holmes, toss in a steampunk setting, add a secret society based around Egyptian myth. Stir. The end result is a must-read steampunk story.

born-wicked-pb-200Best young adult: “Born Wicked” by Jessica Spotswood

What I loved about it: The author puts a fresh spin on an old story motif: three sister witches in a world where magic is forbidden. There’s some kissing, lots of magic, and plenty of suspense.

Best writing: “Revision and Self-Editing” by James Scott Bell

What I loved about it: A conversational style mixed with amazing advice. I’ve loved all of Bell’s writing books, but this book helped me through a draft of a story I wasn’t sure I’d ever finish. Bell’s words gave me the motivation—and information—I needed to power through.


What about you? What are some of the best books you’ve read this year? I’d love some recommendations!