2018 Reading Wrap-up

Only 6 months overdue but I’ve finally reached the end of the journal notes up to the end of last year and decided book covers are a pretty way to sum up.

List 1: Did Not Finish

  • The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood: I’ve been trying to read this since 1999 and 2018 is the furthest I got into it. It just wasn’t for me really. The more of Atwood’s book I read (and there were quite a few in 2018), I’m finding that I prefer those that are more speculative in form.
  • The Idiot – Elif Batuman: I had to give this up around a third of the way in as it was driving me slowly insane with boredom. For me, it really dragged and I didn’t care about the characters or what they were doing (or not doing). I was enticed by the pretty cover and university setting (much like If We Were Villains) but it taught me only the valuable lesson to stop buying books on impulse after work in the station’s WH Smith.
  • One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson: I started this soon after the first in the series, Case Histories, but found myself getting confused about who was who and what was going on. It didn’t hook me as quickly, though I didn’t hate it so may pick it up again at some point.
  • Caraval – Stephanie Garber: Yet another impulse buy after work trying to find something otherworldly but not badly written or badly characterised so had to bin this by page 12 when the writing style, characters, events so far and curious reading level (was it for adults or children?!) drove me to ‘lose it while moving house’.
  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton: Mentioned elsewhere, I’ve tried to read this several times and have finally given up. I wasn’t enjoying it and it felt more like a project so stopped to look for something else I’d enjoy rather than endure.

List 2: Stopped to Start Again

I was making an effort at the beginning of last year to alternate fiction and non-fiction books in a bid to work different parts of my brain. I have every intention of getting back to each of these.

  • Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker: I was sleeping really badly at the beginning of 2018 (through too many late nights and no bedtime routine not a sleep disorder) so thought I should teach myself the meaning of sleeping well.
  • Solitude – Michael Harris: This was a comfortable and really interesting read and it made me feel peaceful. I think it was interrupted by a holiday so I opted for some beach reads instead and din’t return in the same frame of mind.
  • The Organized Mind – Daniel J Levitin: I don’t think I got too far into this. It was interesting but there was so much to take from it that I wasn’t confident I’d follow it. It turns out I’ll need to work up the confidence to take this on again!

List 3: Everything I read in 2018

  1. The Lake House – Kate Morton
  2. In Other Worlds – Margaret Atwood
  3. The Lola Quartet – Emily St John Mandel
  4. On Writers and Writing – Margaret Atwood
  5. All Families are Psychotic – Douglas Coupland
  6. Bit Rot – Douglas Coupland
  7. A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
  8. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
  9. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober – Catherine Gray
  10. The Girls – Emily Cline
  11. Swing Time – Zadie Smith
  12. How to Murder Your Life – Cat Marnell
  13. The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin
  14. Nomad – James Swallow
  15. The Heart Goes Last – Margaret Atwood
  16. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
  17. Selfie: How the West became self-obsessed – Will Storr
  18. If We Were Villains – ML Rio
  19. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
  20. Lady Oracle – Margaret Atwood
  21. Case Histories – Kate Atkinson
  22. Worst. Person. Ever – Douglas Coupland
  23. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
  24. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
  25. The Small Hand – Susan Hill
  26. The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
  27. Severance – Ling Ma
  28. The Silent Companions – Laura Purcell

Can see this turning into pie charts and bar graphs when I come to wrapping up 2019!

List 4: 2019 Reading resolutions

  • Read at least 40 books
  • Start a book blog
  • Read more recently published books
Book blog in progress…

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