Well, if you haven’t had enough year-end review from me, are you in for a treat! Here’s my summation of my 2018 year in reading.
The first thing I notice when I look through my Goodreads for the year is that I’ve given an average of 3.9 stars, which was higher than I would have expected. Here’s my general approach to rating books on Goodreads:
1 star: Really, really didn’t like. This needs to be EARNED.
2 star: Didn’t like, but had some redeeming qualities. This is the standard “I didn’t like the book” score.
3 star: Like it. And I mean that – I have no regrets about reading a three star book, and I would assume that is probably close to my average rating. I liked it.
4 star: I really liked it. These are books that go above and beyond, that really made me enjoy them. They weren’t quite perfect, but close.
5 star: My personal perfection. I try to hand these out sparingly.
So, that being said, I was surprised my average was closer to four than to three. But as I’m looking through the list of books I read, I’m not as surprised. 2018 was a great year for books. Let’s break it down:
Probably the highlight of the year was that I finally got around to reading two very famous and well-known series that I hadn’t read. The first was Harry Potter (maybe you’ve heard of it?) and the second was Wheel of Time.
As of this writing, I’m not quite done with Wheel of Time. I’ve got a few hundred pages left in the final book. But I will be done by the end of the year, and there will probably be a post about that as well. In short, I struggled mightily with the middle of this series, but it seems to have redeemed itself at the end. I believe its status as a classic is well-earned.
I’ve also written a series of posts on Harry Potter. Honestly, I wasn’t entirely certain I would like it. I didn’t really enjoy the movies much, and I generally do not read YA lit. That being said, I ended up really, really liking the series. I don’t have the fervor for it that so many seem to, but I thought it was really well done.
One dramatic difference from previous years was that I didn’t read a lot of non-fiction this year. Part of this was intentional. Doing this review in previous years, I found I was reading almost entirely nonfiction, much of it fairly repetitive. This year I only read nonfiction I was really interested in that promised a fair amount of new learning. So while there weren’t many books, the ones I read I really liked.
Mastery by Robert Greene
The Warrior Ethos by Steven Pressfield
Story by Robert Mckee
Most of the year was taken up by Wheel of Time and Harry Potter, as already mentioned. Beyond that I listened to the First Law trilogy (great writing, incredible journey, but very mixed feelings) and started reading Way of Shadows.
Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (so good)
Jade City by Fonda Lee (so good and so unique)
I’ll admit that I didn’t read as much sci-fi this year, primarily because of the huge amount of fantasy I waded through. That being said, I did come across some absolutely fantastic books. Note that I’m not through with The Expanse books, but every single one I read has been amazing thus far.
Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells
The Expanse books: by James S.A. Corey
I’ve noticed this year that my preference has changed a little bit. I’ve gone from more the Marvel comics universe to desiring the depth of Graphic Novels. I’m hoping to get more into them in the next year. But the work I’ve enjoyed the most so far is Monstress by Marjorie Liu
And that’s that – I’m really looking forward to an awesome year of reading in 2019 – I’ve got so many books on my kindle to get through!