Year In Books

Next in the yearly round-up is… books!

My last round-up was actually in July 2017, as July 2016 is when I started my Months in Review posts, so this post will actually cover books from August 2017.

I can’t believe I did it, but I also completed my 2018 GoodReads reading challenge of 24 books! It wasn’t looking great (I had about 15 books read by October), but with the quick read of the Harry Potter series helped me get my feet back and put seven books quickly under my belt.

Also, a few months ago, I cleaned out and organized my GoodReads account, so check out that post if you haven’t already!

First, a little bit about how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): One of my new favorite books of all-time
  • (★★★★): Really enjoyed it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Without further ado, here is my Year (and a bit) in Books are in reverse chronological order…

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (★★): About what would happen in nature if humans suddenly disappeared. Some interesting bits, especially as Arizona got a lot of shouts, but nothing memorable.

Replay by Ken Grimwood (★★★★): Such an interesting premise: man dies and wakes up in his 18-year-old body and another chance at life. The cycle continues as he wakes up later and later in his life and meets a fellow replay-er along the way. Kind of like Groundhog Day, but good.

How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee (★★★★): This book is really interested and easy to read about the exhaustive environmental impact of everything from (you guessed it) bananas to a nuclear explosion.

Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay (★★★): Non-fiction.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (★★★★★): Crime thriller.

Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (★★★★): Not only does this talk about factory farming but also animal testing, which I didn’t know much about.

Why Is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond (★★★): Popular science.

The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah (★★★★): A good WWII historical fiction, but The Storyteller is better.

Memory Man by David Baldacci (★★★★★): Such an interesting premise of a man who remembers everything and uses it to solve his family’s murder.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult (★★): Fiction.

Dead Zone by Phillip Lymbery (★★★★): Popular science.

Farmageddon by Phillip Lymbery (★★★★): Popular science.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (★★★): Fiction.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (★★★★★): Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I have read two other books by Krakauer and enjoyed them, but this one left me speechless. This book is a recollection of what happened in the 1996 Everest disaster and left me on the edge of my seat throughout and gasping for air at the climax. I cannot recommend this book enough, probably my favorite book I’ve read this year.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (★★★): I remember thinking this book escalated (and deescalated) really quickly, I wish it was a bit longer as it’s a really interesting concept.

The Shining by Stephen King (★★★): Actually, my least favorite book by him. It wasn’t as scary as people lead on. I might have liked it more if it wasn’t so hyped.

Wide Open by Gracie X (★★★): Biography.

Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro (★★★): A dystopia novel about kids growing up in a secretive boarding school as they try to find out the meaning of their existence. While the story of the kids growing up in this school was interesting, what happened to them once they got out was anti-climactic. It was a bit emotional, but if you were looking for a book that ended with a bang, this wasn’t it.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (★★★★★): This book is about a junior doctor’s journey through the ranks at the hospital through humorous encounters with colleagues and patients. This book had me laughing out loud, after a few chapters I realized I couldn’t read it on the bus. To my recollection, this is the first memoir I’ve read and I was not let down.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (★★★★): Yes, I read these for the very first time. My client’s son and daughter-in-law were watching the series over a period of a couple of weeks and made me what to immerse myself into the magical world for the first time since the last saga movie came out. I enjoyed the books and all the detail in them compared to the movies, it was really well thought out. I reserve my five-star reviews for my all-time favorite books, so Harry Potter fans, don’t jump down my throat for the four-star review. At the end of the day, the target audience is children and I’m not a child. Not to mention, the author is problematic.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (★★★): I was reading this book holding out for a twist or at least something somewhat profound and it never came. Too bad.

Room by Emma Donogue (★★★★): Anyone who has seen the movie knows it’s a masterpiece. The book is genius and really evokes thought.

Sweet Home by Carys Bray (★★★): As a collection of short stories, this isn’t usually the type of book I’d go for. But it’s a quick read for anyone looking to expand their horizons.

To my surprise, I met my 2018 reading goal of 24 books! I know that’s not much, but I hope to get back into reading properly again in 2019. I hope to read 30 books (baby steps).

What were your favorite reads this year?

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T

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1 Comment

  1. December 17, 2018 / 8:55 am

    I love this idea. Well done on completing your challenge and reading 24 books! I only set a small goal this year of around 10 books. Around the middle of the year, I stopped keeping track, but I think I managed it. I need to aim higher next year.

    I’ve heard lots of good things about Adam Kay’s book and again, here, in your post, so I think that’s one to look into. Eleanor Oliphant was one of my favourite books, but more so for it’s portrayal of mental health than the actual plot.

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