Until The Book Thief came out almost exactly a year ago, I had never heard of Markus Zusak. By the time it reached maximum hype, I was in full resist mode. Upon further pressure, I bent and decided to read Zusak's earlier I am the Messenger. If I love it, then I'll tote The Book Thief home. One night of intense sitting-on-the-bathroom-floor-reading later, I go on a Zusak binge. Today I happily usher him into the A List. Not only is he the long-awaited 2nd male author on the list (I'm certain others qualify for induction, I just haven't read everything they've written yet), but his addition makes the list an actual A to Z List. Mr. Alexander to Mr. Zusak. And all those lovely ladies in between.
The first book to make it onto my best books I've read so far this year list was actually a surprise. Thanks to Bridgerton's massive success, Julia Quinn's name is everywhere these days. And I'm chuffed about the whole thing. That said, my Quinn reading up to this point has been sporadic at best. And I'd only read two novels in the actual Bridgerton series. So I decided to rectify that at the beginning of the year by starting with Eloise's story (the fifth in the series) because she is my uncontested favorite of the siblings. I had no idea what her story held, but I knew she would be a compelling lead. I also love the title and the role that letters play in the story. Eloise Bridgerton is tired of everything. She is tired of the endless inane whirl of life among the ton. She is tired of being paraded around and forced to dance and converse with all the wrong men. But most of all she is tired of being suddenly and unexpectedly alone after her best friend Penelo