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2018 in Books

Another year, another reading goal. After struggling a bit last year to meet my goal of 75, I decided to scale back a bit and go for 50 again, which I knew would be easily attainable but still require me to read often. In the end, I made it to 55.

I continued working toward my goal of reading more women/non-binary authors and more POC. I am relatively happy about the results of the former; I could do better with the latter. Below are some specifics:

Books by Women/Non-Binary Folks: 38
Books by Men: 12
Books by Co-Authors of Multiple Genders: 5
Books by People of Color: 21
Books I Edited: 4
Books that Were Rereads: 2

This year I ended up throwing in the towel on three books (if I remember correctly). One was Picnic at Hanging Rock, which we read at book club, and I couldn’t get into it, and I missed the discussion, but then I watched the movie and concluded I didn’t miss anything. Another was Vagina by Naomi Wolf, which was just too freaking long and soooo boring. And finally, Beloved by Toni Morrison, which I struggled with for a long time. I want to try reading some of her other books, but this one was just not the entry point into her writing (for me).

Over the past couple days, I also started adding books I’ve read with my son. These don’t count toward the total of ones I’m reading annually, but I still wanted a way to track them — especially the ones we’ve checked out from the library.

For 2019, I am trying to simplify my life a lot and I hope that will give me more time for low-key activities that this introvert needs to recharge — more specifically, wasting less time on my phone and instead spending that time being more present with my family and reading more often, and aiming for eight hours of sleep a night. I haven’t yet decided how many books I want to aim to read. Should I go big and set a target of 75? 100? Is that too much extra stress or just the push I need? Should I aim for 50 again and be pleasantly surprised when I go beyond? I’m leaning more toward a higher goal just to see if I’ve got it in me, but we’ll see.

Other goals are to finish up the in-progress books I’ve had on my list (kind of like inbox zero, but for books I’ve already started), read some more chapter books in German, and continue to not beat myself up about books I just can’t finish.

And now, here are the books I finished in 2018. I’ve bolded the ones I liked the most.

We Are Okay -Nina DeCour
Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years -David Litt
Fresh Complaint -Jeffrey Eugenides
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures -Anne Fadiman
Stay with Me -Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Strong Female Protagonist: Book One -Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly Ostertag
Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59 #1) -Attica Locke
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith -Barbara Brown Taylor
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) -Tana French
The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story -Hyeonseo Lee
App Architecture: iOS Application Design Patterns in Swift -Chris Eidhof, Matt Gallagher, & Florian Kugler
Heart Berries: A Memoir -Terese Marie Mailhot
Hey Natalie Jean: Advice, Musings, and Inspiration on Marriage, Motherhood, and Style -Natalie Holbrook
Everyone Knows You Go Home -Natalia Sylvester
Daygloayhole Quarterly Two -Ben Passmore
Your Black Friend and Other Strangers -Ben Passmore
Ministry of Moral Panic -Amanda Lee Koe
The Power -Naomi Alderman
Egg Cream #1 -Liz Suburbia
I’m the Girl Who Was Raped -Michelle Hattingh
The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying -Nina Riggs
Alone Rewinding: 23 Years of Fatherhood & Music -Jonah Matranga
Hold Still -Nina LaCour
The Sympathizer -Viet Thanh Nguyen
Pachinko -Min Jin Lee
Manhattan Beach -Jennifer Egan
Landline -Rainbow Rowell
Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) -Kevin Kwan
Exit West -Mohsin Hamid
China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) -Kevin Kwan
The Argonauts -Maggie Nelson
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture -Roxane Gay
Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3) -Kevin Kwan
Salvage the Bones (Bois Sauvage #1) -Jesmyn Ward
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) -N.K. Jemisin
The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth #2) -N.K. Jemisin
Turning -Jessica J. Lee
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth #3) -N.K. Jemisin
This Really Isn’t About You -Jean Hannah Edelstein
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready -Meaghan O’Connell
Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children -Sara Zaske
No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson
In a Dark, Dark Wood -Ruth Ware
Pinky and Pepper Forever -Ivy Atoms
Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food -Melissa Hartwig
Fuck Off Squad -Nicole Goux & Dave Baker
The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2) -Tana French
All This Belongs to Me -Petra Hůlová
Asymmetry -Lisa Halliday
Ink in Water: An Illustrated Memoir (Or, How I Kicked Anorexia’s Ass and Embraced Body Positivity) -Lacy J. Davis & Jim Kettner
Red Clocks -Leni Zumas
Tyler Johnson Was Here -Jay Coles
My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One -Elena Ferrante
Dumplin’ (Dumplin’ #1) -Julie Murphy
New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay -Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, & Carrie Wittmer

Want to see what I’ve read in years past? Here are my lists for 20172016, 2015, and 2014.

TL;DR: Here’s my Year in Books on GoodReads.