Books I’ve Read In 2018

2018 taught me that’s okay to not finish books. If there is one thing I blame the internet for is the concept of racing to read more books. But in the end, why should we read more books? Why should be even counting them?

When I was younger, I read when I could, I skipped days, it took me months to finish certain books and only a couple of afternoons (neglecting my student duties) for others. I had no idea of how many books I’ve read in a year and, still, I recall them as my best reading years.

In 2018, I started caring less and less about numbers, I DNF more books than I expected and my reading life improved a lot compared to the last couple of years (when I tried to keep up with the bookstagram community). This is probably why I mostly use Goodreads to read reviews and decide my next reading rather than tracking my own experience, I’ve even abandoned my bookish Trello board. Now, I only keep a (private) reading log inside my journal and that’s it.

I took me ages, but I’ve finally found a reading life that fits me and it has been a whole less stressful reading year. I’m also happy to see that I kept reading despite my limited free time and the amount of stuff I’ve been writing both for my thesis and blogs.

Here is my list:

  • Deep Work by Cal Newport
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Still Life by Louise Penny
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  • The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  • Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer by Wendell Berry
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
  • Beren and Luthien by JRR Tolkien
  • Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson
  • Unwilling Key by Sarah Beth Moore
  • Do Your Thing by Melissa Camara Wilkins
  • A General History of the Pyrates by Daniel Defoe
  • Destination Simple by Brooke McAlary
  • How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price
  • Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle
  • Wedding Cake and Big Mistakes by Nancy Naigle
  • The Year of Less by Cait Flanders
  • Break the Twitch by Anthony Ongaro
  • Out of Focus by Nancy Naigle
  • Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
  • Murder, She Wrote: A Fatal Feast by Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain
  • Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling
  • I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
  • Slow by Brooke McAlary
  • The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
  • Crime at Christmas by C.H.B. Kitchin
  • The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers

Currently Reading

  • J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter
  • The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Observations

This year, almost half of the books I’ve read were non-fiction. This isn’t actually surprising for me because I love non-fiction as much as I love fiction. If the topic of the book is something I enjoy, I’d have no issue to finish it in an afternoon!

Best fiction book of 2018: Sweet Tea and Secrets by Nancy Naigle

I’ve picked up this book among the new to me ones since this year I’ve reread many favourites of mine. This book wasn’t a literary classic nor a masterpiece of literature, it was a simple romance with a mystery twist. But it’s exactly its simplicity (and the timing of my reading) that made me enjoy it that much. After all, I’ve spent the whole month watching Hallmark Christmas movies. 🙂

Best non-fiction book of 2018: The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

I loved this book and, in my opinion, it was exactly what the world needed now that the internet is saturated with bullet journal videos, posts, photos. This book, written by the creator himself, brings you back to basics and explains how the method was born, it also debunks the myth of the need of being an artist in order to have the perfect bullet journal pages. Since bullet journaling became such a pop-culture thing lately, I’ve started getting annoyed and almost stopped using mine in the last few months. Thankfully, the book remembered me the WHY (and the basics) so I managed to get back into it in my own way.

Moving On

I don’t have specific reading goals for 2019, except for finishing my LOTR rereading and maybe purchasing The Fall of Gondolin and expanding my Tolkien library. I’m also going to keep logging the books I’m reading in my journal.

And now I’d love to know. What’s your favourite book read in 2018?

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16 thoughts on “Books I’ve Read In 2018”

  1. Hey Alice, I’m trying to find something you wrote (at least, I think it was you) at one point about one of the reasons you took up blogging being to counter your tendency to be chatty and talkative (your words, not mine! 🙂) I don’t recall it being an actual blog post; more likely something in a piece of “About” blurb. Am I right that it was you, and if so where is it? I’ve looked about in what I think are the most likely places (e.g. on or hanging off your About page) but I can’t find it. Needless to say, I found it memorable because it seemed to be a good description of my own experiences. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Thomas, to be honest, I don’t remember writing that. I’m a shy person by nature and, while I can easily talk a lot with close friends and relatives, I wouldn’t describe myself as a talkative and chatty person. Blogging is a way for me to share my thoughts and feelings and to connect with like-minded people. But, as a true introvert, I’m more chatty here than in my everyday life, so I’m afraid it wasn’t me, sorry! 🙂

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  2. I was interested in your review of Ryder’s book. My bullet journal has always focused on the practical rather than the pretty and has evolved to become more simplified than it’s ever been. I think I may seek out his book to remind myself of the basics.
    Good luck finding some good books in 2019.

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    1. Thanks, Claire! I can tell you that even seasoned bullet journalist would find The Bullet Journal Method an inspiring reading. I’ve known all the “rules” for years now, but it was only after reading the book that I’ve realized that the Daily Log can be much more than just a daily to-do list, it’s basically the core of the whole method. I hope you’ll enjoy the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Alice, it’s fun to read your book list, thanks for sharing them. I am reading LOTR and current at 28% completed. Kindle apps provide the percentage and I was curious where you were in that journey?

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    1. Thanks, Michael! I’ve stopped my LOTR rereading in December and I don’t remember the percentage (I’m reading it on Kindle too), but I’m about to reach Rohan for the first time so I guess I’m 1/3 in The Two Towers. I’ll continue my rereading once I’ll finish Tolkien’s biography (highly recommended, btw). I usually don’t like to jump back and forth from book to book, but I started my rereading at the wrong time I guess since I love reading seasonal stuff like Christmas books in December.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your recommendation, I will add the biography to my list as I haven’t chosen the next Tolkien book. LOTR is a big book and I’m a slow reader, not wanting to rush through it. Reading LOTR is much like school even though I am a college graduate. I have to look up terms for geography, flowers and elvish so I can better appreciate the experience. Happy New Year!

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  4. i really need to get some of your newfound chillness about not finishing books. even before the internet, i had problems allowing myself to not finish one. now, pairing little time with being low-key anxious about not finishing a book means i get even less reading done. and that’s really not good for anything. 😦

    speaking of good non-fiction books: just recently, ‘typeset in the future’ was released and it’s really really good. it’s a book about typography and design in scifi films, and how we go about making things look futuristic. it’s delightfully detail-obsessed. easily one of my favourite books of 2018.

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    1. I totally get what you mean. I used to force myself finishing bad books no matter what but we only have one life so I guess we should stop being too strict with ourselves and read what we like. Thanks for the book recommendation, I will definitely check it out!

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