2018 in books

Reflection and resolutions, that’s what this time of year is all about. And they’re great, but they can be uncomfortable as you force yourself to perhaps look at your shortcomings and set goals to push yourself out of your comfort zone. But, there is one kind of reflection that’s awesome every time: Reviewing the books you read this year! 

By My Pen: Reading
By My Pen: Reading

Going through the list, I will remember the beaches I read on, the days I spent on my couch forsaking all obligations and, best of all, the wealth of adventures on which I accompanied these characters! It’s awesome, and, this year, I’m taking you with me on my walk down memory lane. (Shout out to Goodreads for keeping this all organized for me.) 

 First quarter

  • Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together. Self-explanatory, I think. 
  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America. This is a New York Times top 10 of 2016 book. I read it pretty quickly cause I was so enthralled with the subject matter. 
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing.  When I say I enjoy Southern fiction, these are the types of novels I think about specifically. A book club book, it did not disappoint. I remember reading this and hoping for summer. 
  • Swimming Lessons. As a swimmer myself, I loved the vivid detail. 
  • Grant. I started this one on my drive home from New Year’s Eve, a six-hour drive, and continued to listen to the audiobook when I had time. As I don’t have a very long commute, this was when I did dishes and other things around the house. Lesson learned: My current life is not conducive to audiobooks — and the S. stands for nothing. 
  • The Power. My fingers were tingling with the turn of every page. 
  • The Good Daughter. I won’t soon forget this adventure and I appreciate that my father is a painter, making it much easier to potentially have to complete his legacy. 
  • Of Yesteryear. Came into my life at just the right time. 

Second quarter

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I remember feeling enlightened and my shoulders fall down my back as I read. Perhaps I should pick it up again. 
  • The Uncommon Type. Who knew Tom Hanks could write? 
  • A Higher Loyalty. As a journalist, I feel obligated to stay on top of such newsworthy titles. 
  • Less. 
  • Little Fires Everywhere. This was my first book circle book for the second round, reminding me why I do these things. 
  • Pachinko. Another New York Times top 10. The way in which decades of time passed throughout this novel, makes Min Jin Lee no small miracle worker. #writerenvy
  • A Gentleman in Moscow. Cut, copy, paste the comment from Pachinko. The same is true of Amor Towles. 
  • The Girl on the Train. This attempt at an audiobook went really well! It seems I just need to find the right length of a book, 10 hours too long, a few less, OK. 
  • Arcadia. Perfect summer read! 
  • Talking as Fast as I Can. Lauren Graham’s ability to juggle her full-time job and writing a book is admirable, so admirable that she has been added to my #lifegoals. 

Third quarter

Educated by Tara Westover
Educated A Memoir by Tara Westover
  • Autumn. 
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. A psychological roller coaster beyond compare. I didn’t know social awkwardness or depression could be so bad. 
  • Educated. One of the best memoirs I’ve read. 
  • The Woman in the Window. 
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath. Another audiobook, and given that it was summer time, it accompanied me while walking my favorite trail.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. 

Fourth quarter

Crazy Rich Asian series by Kevin Kuan
Crazy Rich Asian series by Kevin Kuan
  • Crazy Rich Asians. The beginning of a deep dive into the trilogy. 
  • How I became a Famous Novelist. 
  • Fear: Trump in the White House. Bob Woodward, another journalism necessity.
  • Circe. I want to steep myself in Madeline’s world multiple times. 
  • China Rich Girlfriend. (CRA 2)
  • Rich People Problems. (CRA 3)
  • Prairie Fires. Reading each page put my right back in my twin bed as a youngster with my mother reading me the series. 
  • The Art of Choosing. Learning how human brains work is fascinating. It helps to learn more about myself, and others!

Meeting my book goal

So, I had set a book goal to read 48 books in 2018, which would give me four books a month. Some months, this is totally do-able, but some months not so much. Looking at my list, it seems like the third quarter is my weakest, which is certainly something to consider in 2019. My final tally is 32 of the 48 book goal. That is the same number of books I read in 2017. 32 books for the year is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s disappointing not to hit the goal. 

For 2019, my goal will be 36 books to get a true 3 books in per month. 

How did you all do on your book goals for 2018? What goal are you setting for 2019? 

For a more thorough review of a majority of books, check out my book reviews.


3 thoughts on “2018 in books

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