What I Read in 2018

I always used to set my reading goal at 52 books a year. It’s enough books that I have to push myself a bit to keep on reading, but also enough that I can usually exceed it and therefore feel accomplished and good about myself. Cut to my masters degree and my reading stats significantly dropped, and instead of ending the year with good feelings of accomplishment I found myself feeling bad about not reading “enough”. One of my 2018 resolutions was to be more gentle with myself, and one small way to do that was to lower my reading goal from 52 books to 30 books. Of course, I finished my degree in April and my reading took off, and I finished the year with a grand total of 71 books read.

I’m gonna insert a caveat here for the folks at home. I read a lot! Me reading a lot doesn’t make me a better person than anyone else! There is no reason to feel bad/guilty/ashamed if you read less than anyone else! Okay now to the list.

In the order I read them, with some notations:

Key: underlined = non-fiction, *asterisked = comic, bold = re-read, ^this symbol = in a series

  1. *The Coldest City / Anthony Johnston
  2. From Here to Eternity / Caitlin Doughty – if you read one book about death rituals this year let it be this one.
  3. Rosemary’s Baby / Ira Levin – terrifying!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. ^Akata Witch / Nnedi Okorafor – Nigerian magic school!!
  5. *^Monstress, v. 1 / Marjorie Liu, et al – the art in this series is truly remarkable.
  6. *Hostage / Guy Delisle – I read and enjoy pretty much everything I find that Delisle writes, and this is in my top three of his books.
  7. *^Monstress, v. 2 / Marjorie Liu, et al
  8. */ Jon J. Muth – LISTEN I appreciate the Art of this book but if I wanted to watch I would just WATCH it I don’t need to read an exact transcription!!!
  9. *Mr. Higgins Comes Home / Mike Mignola
  10. *^Silk, v. 0 / Robbie Thompson, et al
  11. *^Silk, v. 1 / Robbie Thompson, et al
  12. Iron Cast / Destiny Soria – between this and Hadestown I can’t get enough of Prohibition.
  13. *^Silk, v. 2 / Robbie Thompson – a curse on Marvel for cancelling this ongoing!
  14. Horrorstor / Grady Hendrix
  15. *^Paper Girls, v. 1 / Brian K. Vaughan
  16. The Rules Do Not Apply / Ariel Levy
  17. The Book of a Thousand Days Shannon Hale – I have listened to this audiobook so many times that I have a great deal of it memorized; I love it so much. Whenever Josh is out of town I check it out of the library and listen to it to fall asleep.
  18. Attachments / Rainbow Rowell
  19. ^The Rook / Daniel O’ Malley – you can tell I was in the throes of the end of my last semester by three comfort reads in a row.
  20. ^Retribution Rails / Erin Bowman – I LOVE REVENGE.
  21. *^Paper Girls, v. 2 / Brian K. Vaughan, et al
  22. ^Birds of a Feather / Jacqueline Winspear
  23. ^Annihilation / Jeff VanderMeer – highly recommend this book, highly do not recommend reading it “to fall asleep” because you won’t and if you do have fun with those dreams.
  24. The Midwife’s Apprentice / Karen Cushman
  25. Overture to Death / Ngaio Marsh
  26. *^Scott Pilgrim, v. 1 / Bryan Lee O’Malley – it is almost jarring how many of the locations in this book are EXACTLY replicated in the movie (because they were modeled on irl places).
  27. *^Paper Girls, v. 3 / Brian K. Vaughan – if you like Stranger Things you will like Paper Girls.
  28. The Beauty / Aliya Whiteley – perhaps the weirdest book I have read in my entire life and that’s saying something. I loved it.
  29. The Ivington Diaries / Monty Don – I love plants, here I stand I can do no other.
  30. Eileen / Ottessa Moshfegh – I think I stared blankly at a wall for a good ten minutes after finishing this book.
  31. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death-Cleaning / Margareta Magnusson
  32. *^Scott Pilgrim, v. 2 / Bryan Lee O’Malley – tbh at this point I kinda lost interest in this series!
  33. The Princess Diarist / Carrie Fisher
  34. The Fire Next Time / James Baldwin – this was my first time reading Baldwin and I was absolutely floored. This slim volume is a must-read, for your own good.
  35. ^Pardonable Lies / Jacqueline Winspear
  36. Death With Interruptions / Jose Saramago – I was glad to have read Blindness before delving into this one. It was good to be a little bit prepared.
  37. *^Paper Girls, v. 4 / Brian K. Vaughan, et al
  38. ^Messenger of Truth / Jacquline Winspear – what can I say, I like a good mystery with a good female protagonist.
  39. ^Jurassic Park / Micheal Crichton – 2018 was the Year of the Dino for me and I have no regrets.
  40. Killer Fashion / Jennifer Wright – too short
  41. Undead Girl Gang / Lily Anderson – promising premise, ultimately disappointing.
  42. Pride and Prejudice / Jane Austen – I wanted to re-read this and discover if it is better than teenage me thought and newsflash: this book is an absolute treasure, how am I the FIRST person to figure this out?
  43. *Super Late Bloomer / Julia Kaye – recommend!
  44. ^Binti / Nnedi Okorafor
  45. The Problem With My GardenKendra Wilson
  46. *World War Z / Max Brooks – another audiobook I listen to repeatedly every year.
  47. NigelMonty Don – did I cry while reading this book about dogs and gardening? YES.
  48. Scatter, Adapt, and RememberAnnalee Newitz
  49. *^Inkheart / Cornelia Funke
  50. ^All Systems Red / Martha Wells – this is book one of the Murderbot series, and I urge you: do not pass go, do not collect $200, read Murderbot AS SOON AS POSSIBLE this is not a drill.
  51. The Poisoner’s Handbook / Deborah Blum – this book has it all: Prohibition! Poison! The beginning of modern toxicology!
  52. ^Binti: Home / Nnedi Okorafor
  53. Malagash / Joey Comeau – this is such a beautiful book, I want everyone to read it.
  54. One Bloody Thing After Another / Joey Comeau – Malagash was so good that I had to IMMEDIATELY read more by Joey Comeau.
  55. The Essex Serpent / Sarah Perry – not NEARLY enough paleontology, WAY too much adultery!
  56. Down to Earth / Monty Don
  57. The Mist / Stephen King – sometimes I get an Urge to read horror novels. I don’t know why!
  58. ^Binti: The Night Masquerade / Nnedi Okorafor – this series is excellent, I highly recommend for anyone who a) likes science fiction, or b) wants to expand their reading horizons.
  59. *Woman World / Aminder Dhaliwal – fun!
  60. ^Artificial Condition / Martha Wells – I’m not kidding: read Murderbot.
  61. *^Monstress, v. 3 / Marjorie Liu, et al
  62. They All Love Jack / Bruce Robinson – IT GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!
  63. Sunshine / Robin McKinley
  64. *Spill Zone, v. 2 / Scott Westerfeld – kinda lackluster and unsatisfying, unfortunately
  65. Bird Box / Josh Malerman – saw the preview and said “it is time” and then went and got this book off my shelf and finished it post haste. It’s fine.
  66. *An Age of License / Lucy Knisley – I really like Lucy Knisley and “license” has got to be top ten worst words to spell in the English language.
  67. ^River of Teeth / Sarah Gailey – what if the wild west but with hippos?
  68. *The Initiates / Etienne Davodeau – tbh I’m not exactly sure when precisely I read this book this year because apparently Goodreads didn’t track it?? But I know I did, otherwise I wouldn’t have read Sabrina. Also: it is very good!
  69. *Sabrina / Nick Drnaso – I read this one because Nick Drnaso is one of the artists mentioned in The Initiates, and going in to the book I didn’t actually know what it was about. I’m not sure if that made the experience of reading it better or worse, and I’m not sure I liked this book.
  70. No Stone Unturned / Steve Jackson – if you’re interested in forensics this is a v good read.
  71. ^Rouge Protocol / Martha Wells – me, chanting: MURDERBOT! MURDERBOT! MURDERBOT!

Overall, a very good reading year! Here’s to 2019 and all the books to come.

I’m going to end this post with a strong exhortation to suggest books to your local library if that’s a thing you can do! In Edmonton I can suggest five books a month, and I try to hit that number regularly. Suggest authors from independent presses! Suggest books you think should have a wider audience! Suggest books you think would fill a hole in the library’s collection! Take part in the collection building at your local library!

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