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