What began as a rather slow month ended up as one of the best I have had all year long, at least in terms of how many 5 star reads I got through. This is the month of having to rank a bunch of all-time favorites against each other and I am very happy that this is the case.
While this title does not receive the same buzz and acclaim as many of Brandon Sanderson's other novels and series, I actually think that WARBREAKER might be one of my favorite entries into the Cosmere. If you haven't already, I highly, HIGHLY, recommend you check this one out, especially on audiobook where Alyssa Bresnahan's performance is unlike any I have listened to so far.
2. PEACE AND TURMOIL
Another pleasant surprise for me was the self-published epic fantasy novel by YouTube personality, Elliot Brooks. While this isn't necessarily perfect in terms of writing mechanics or polish, it has this charm to it that is hard to articulate. It felt both new and novel, but also very familiar and almost nostalgic in some ways. It has been a very long time since a book has filled me with so much joy so I am so thrilled that I read through this one at my own pace (I technically started it a couple of months ago).
3. DESCENDER VOLUME 6 (+ a re-read of Volumes 1-5)
This volume as well as the series overall is a solid 5/5 for me
Finishing the DESCENDER series has been a long time coming for me. In preparation for the big finale, I re-read the first five volumes and relived all the thrills and chills that this amazing science fiction series has to offer. Thankfully, VOLUME 6 delivered a stunning conclusion that also serves as a beginning for a brand new adventure that I cannot wait to embark on.
4. ESCAPING THE BUILD TRAP
This was yet another 5/5 read
Venturing into the Professional Development side of things, this book on Product Management was both timely and deeply helpful to me as I close out this year and look ahead to the future of the products that I manage for my company. Perri's frank and realistic take on overcoming challenges is just one of the reasons why this was such a wonderful read that I think anyone in Product Management or even IT should consider picking up.
5. THE STARS WITHIN
This was a 3.5/5 for me
Combining a compelling science fiction world with a deeply personal and introspective story, THE STARS WITHIN is a short and enjoyable journey across the stars that I think can be enjoyed even by readers who are not normally fans of the genre. While not every aspect of the story totally landed for me, I would still highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a short, exciting read with a tightly focused and highly emotional narrative.
(BONUS) THE VOIDWALKER NOVELLAS
While it might seem narcissistic to leave a spot on this list for my own book, I just was very excited to watch the Spoiler Free Review video for THE VOIDWALKER COLLECTION by Niko from Niko's book reviews, so I wanted to leave a link to his video/channel here.
Lena from Sufficiently Advanced Lena also left a detailed review on Goodreads. I am so grateful to both of them for reading and reviewing my book and for mentioning it in multiple videos.
Here's hoping that December will be a strong end to the year (both reading-wise and otherwise), especially when it comes to my goal of getting through the books that are already on my shelves. I am also planning to listen to THE STARDUST THEIF on Audible while perhaps trying to slip in a Kindle book as well.