Well we’re in the final hours of 2018 and I think I can officially call time on my list of books read this year. According to my notes, I read 26 books this year. This translates to roughly 1 book every 2 weeks which is honestly pretty great for me. My goal for the year was 30 books but I had enough dry spells throughout the year that I’m unsurprised that I didn’t get there.
I gave a 5 star rating to the following titles:
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Finished 4/23 – This book has gotten a lot of hype and in my opinion it deserves every ounce of it. Raw, emotional, important and surprisingly well balanced. Grab a box of tissues and hold on for the ride.
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – Finished 6/2 – Slightly different from the movie version but every bit as enjoyable. Definitely planning to continue the series.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling [audiobook] – Finished 7/12 – We listened to the audio book as a family during our last family road trip and it proved well worth a “re-read” – I think I enjoyed it more the second time around.
- My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – Finished 8/16 – The retelling of Jane Eyre that you never knew was missing from your life. I loved this as thoroughly as their last book and was frankly disappointed when it ended. Can I demand a sequel?
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Finished 12/30 – A perfect YA romance. Makes me want to run off to Paris basically immediately. I definitely plan to read more of her books.
My goal for 2019 isn’t really a number. Like previous years, I’d like to read more of the books that I already own. I don’t want to make any declarations about not buying new books or anything, I’m just putting it out there. I also want to listen to more audiobooks. So far I’m still on board with my theory to try listening to non-fiction especially.
I’m also planning to lean into my preferred genres. Rather than pretend I want to read big lofty tomes, I want to follow my reading passion. More YA and middle reader titles. More memoirs and cozy mysteries. Lastly, I’m planning on writing more book reviews here on the blog.
Anyway, for those keeping track, here are all of the books I read in 2018:
- The Wonder by Emma Donoghue (JAN. BOOK CLUB) – Finished 1/22 – Frustrating, emotional, disturbing and mostly just not the book I thought it would be. You’ll need an emotional palate cleanse after this one or maybe just a hug. 2 stars
- The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula Le Guin – Finished 1/25 – A moral dilemma that will definitely make you think. The author’s commentary before and after are nearly as good as the story itself. 3 stars
- The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay – Finished 1/29 – Not your typical Austen inspired novel. Yes there is a love story and Austen references abound, but not in the way you think it will. Thoroughly enjoyed. 4 stars
- The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman – Finished 1/31 – My first time reading Backman, won’t be my last. For a short story, this book packs a big punch. 4 stars
- The Cafe By The Sea by Jenny Colgan – Finished 3/5 – Well she ended up with the wrong guy but other than that I loved it. A love story that will give you wanderlust and possibly make you hungry. 3.5 stars
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (APRIL BOOK CLUB) – Finished 4/23 – This book has gotten a lot of hype and in my opinion it deserves every ounce of it. Raw, emotional, important and surprisingly well balanced. Grab a box of tissues and hold on for the ride. 5 stars
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – Finished 6/2 – Slightly different from the movie version but every bit as enjoyable. Definitely planning to continue the series. 5 stars
- A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout (JUNE BOOK CLUB)– Finished 6/25 – A difficult, heartbreaking read. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Fascinating and disturbing in equal measure. 4 stars
- Save the Date by Morgan Matson – finished 6/27 – Refreshing to read a book with more of the focus on personal growth and family Dynamics than the love story. Fun premise with lots of unique characters and a sweet little love story on the side. 4 stars
- Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han – Finished 7/12 – This one pretty much got by on nostalgia for me. Perfectly fine but not as good as the first two. 3 stars
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling [audiobook] – Finished 7/12 – We listened to the audio book as a family during our last family road trip and it proved well worth a “re-read” – I think I enjoyed it more the second time around. 5 stars
- Gone Rogue (Wires and Nerve Vol. 2) by Marissa Meyer – Finished 7/16 – Less recappy than the first one, it delves into the story more, covers more ground. It kept me up late towards the end, wondering how everything would play out. 4 stars
- The Borrowers by Mary Norton – Finished 7/19 – I read this out loud to the kids. The story was interesting but it was kind of a bear to read out loud. The first half is pretty slow and the whole books seems like it’s written with a bigger vocabulary than the target audience is likely to possess if only because of all of the outdated terms. 3 stars
- From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon – Finished 7/24 – Very bingeable YA book. Stayed up late 3 nights in a row with this one (old person late, like 11pm). Sahlil will be your next book crush. 4 stars
- My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows – Finished 8/16 – The retelling of Jane Eyre that you never knew was missing from your life. I loved this as thoroughly as their last book and was frankly disappointed when it ended. Can I demand a sequel? 5 stars
- The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde – Finished 9/12 – I continue to love Fforde’s world building. This was a fast paced beginning to a new series, this time geared towards a more Middle Reader / YA crowd – but he’s not dumbing it down for the kiddos. I really enjoyed it and plan to read the next one. 4 stars
- Rainbow Magic: Natalie and the Christmas Stocking Fairy by Daisy Meadows – Finished 10/18 – I read this as research for my current Work in Progress at the recommendation of my nine year old. I was honestly just trying to get a feel for things like ideal sentence length and amount of descriptions, etc. for a book for the 8-12 age range. This was a cute story, it’s actually written like several of the shorter Rainbow Magic books combined into one larger book. Jury is still out on whether the sentence length is typical for books for this age range or not. My daughter would highly recommend it to girls her age and their mothers. 😉 4 stars
- The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and D. Ross Campbell – Finished 10/20 – The same premise as the original 5 Love Languages book, this basically just gives advice on how to use the 5 love languages with your kids and how to figure out their love language (mostly by paying attention to your kids and what they respond most to). Some very preachy chapters, some repetitive, but definitely some good information to be found. 3 stars
- Geek Parenting by Stephen H. Segal and Valya Dudycz Lupescu – Finished 10/27 – A fun concept. Lots of quick essays on parenting lessons that can be learned from popular book, movie, and tv show fandoms. Perfect to read in small bursts. There’s some good advice in here and you’ll likely end up with a list of shows to watch and books to read. 3 stars
- Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham – Finished 11/6 – It took me such a long time to finish this one. When I was reading it, I was interested – but for some reason I kept putting it down and forgetting about it. Then I decided to use one of my Audible credits on the audiobook version and I flew through the rest of the book in a matter of days. 4 stars
- Mirage by Somaiya Daud – Finished 11/19 – Exciting start to a series. Good world building and a compelling plot. 4 stars
- As You Wish by Carey Elwes – Finished 12/13 – I listened to the audio book which was a real treat. Listening to Elwes narrate was almost as good as watching one of his movies. He also does terrific impressions and used that skill frequently throughout the book. This was a sweet love letter to The Princess Bride. I learned a lot of things about the cast and the making of the movie and now I need to rewatch it with my newfound knowledge. 4 stars
- On Christmas Eve by Ann M. Martin – Finished 12/20 – Heavier than I was expecting, but filled with Christmas magic. A sweet Holiday story. 3 stars
- Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall – Finished 12/26 – Good concept, but nothing groundbreaking. 3 stars
- My True Love Gave To Me by Various Writers – Finished 12/23 – A mixed bag. Some of the stories are pure gold, some we’re like getting coal in my stocking on Christmas morning. This is pretty par for the course with these compilations. It was worth it for Rainbow Rowell alone. 3 stars
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – Finished 12/30 – A perfect YA romance. Makes me want to run off to Paris basically immediately. I definitely plan to read more of her books. 5 stars