I did a little reflecting on my reading goals for 2018. About all I accomplished was to read a book a month. Okay, I beat that, but I think I did pretty a pretty good job.
This is only an account of what I finished. I have a problem with starting and then never finishing books. And some I can set down and pick back up a year later and know exactly where I left off. So here is the end result. Everything I finished.
There were some unexpected favorites in here, and a couple that turned out to be way denser than I’d expected but I would recommend all of these books! Here’s the rundown with my super brief synopsis (in order as they are pictured above):
1. The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwall
Yes, it what The Last Kingdom on BBCA is based on! In the 9th Century, England is several small kingdoms slowly falling to invading Danes (Vikings), and only one man can halt the fall of the entire island to Danish rule. Spoiler! Uhtred is not that man.
2. Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of Conflict in Northern Ireland by David McKittrick and David McVea
If you watched Derry Girls and were like what is happening in Derry, this is the book for you. This is like a book I would have been assigned in college for one of my history classes. If you want to know EVERYTHING about the Troubles, read this book.
3. Juliet, naked by Nick Hornby
I’ve read a lot of Nick Hornby books. I’ve liked every single one. Annie and her boyfriend of ten years get into a crazy fight about Juliet, naked – an album by the boyfriend’s (obsessively) favorite musician. The fight brings out other issues, forcing them to split. Things spin towards crazy when Annie starts communicating with the favorite musician. And crazier still when he finds himself in her sleepy town.
4. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
If I had to pick a least favorite book I read this year this would be it. A young and impressionable girl ends up getting really into feminism in college. Awesome! She gets a job working for her mentor and the women who is sort of the face of feminism. (I assumed she’s supposed to be akin to Gloria Steinem.) Her dream job strains her relationship with her high school boyfriend who has his own life and family things going on.
5. Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
The story of growing up poor in America and actually succeeding in college and beyond. This book looks at how the poverty of generations of people living in the Appalachians has impacted family generations later, even after moving away from the mountains that were home for a better opportunity.
6. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
Alternate (possible future) reality where women aren’t getting pregnant, agriculture is failing and the government breaks down as a new, more conservative government forms in its place. The main character finds herself pregnant, and unmarried, and certain her child will be taken from her.
7. Windy City Blues by Renee Rosen
Set in 1950’s Chicago on the southwest side, this book – fiction with a lot of accuracies – follows the life of a young Jewish girl, finding her way in the music business, running the office for a friend’s recording label, and falling for a black musician who needs a record deal.
8. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
Weylyn is raised by wolves and can stop a stop a storm in its tracks. He’s always known he’s different, as is his pet pig Merlin. This is his story, told by the people who know him over his life.
9. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline Engel
Do I really need to give a synopsis of this? If you haven’t read it, you should.
10. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I started the year with a plan to do the Book Riot Reading Challenge, which called for a celebrity memoir. Ta-da! I chose this one. It’s really funny and was a quick, entertaining read – just as you’d expect from Anna Kendrick.
11. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Wavy doesn’t trust people. Her childhood is spent on a farm in the midwest, where her parents have set up an extensive meth lab well hidden from the main road. With little adult supervision and no accountability, she has one person in her life she can count on. Kellen is the only thing that makes her life feel normal. But tragedy pulls them apart and forces her into an unknown world she doesn’t fit into.
12. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Read this. Please. I don’t care who you are.
13. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
Have I mentioned I like memoirs? Ariel Levy’s memoir covers her first loves, coming out to her parents, her career taking off while her marriage crumbled around addiction and lies.
14. Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams
Mark Adams follows Hiram Bingham’s steps in finding Machu Picchu, telling both is own story and that of Bingham’s. Bingham was a likely inspiration for Indiana Jones, so if you’re a fan this is a great book to read.
15. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Bundle up and settle in for the story of what happened on Everest in May 1996. What was looking to be the easiest summit expedition for most of the experienced climbers on the mount turned deadly in just a couple hours.