2018: My Year in Books - Part I: The Books

2018 was another INCREDIBLE year of books! With a baby on the way (I was due in February with my son) and the regular busy-ness of everything else in life with my husband, daughter and pup, I made the crazy goal of reading 100 books over the course of the year!

There were times when I thought that 100 was far too many, and others where I thought I could make 125 or more, but at the end of the year, it turned out that it was a perfect number, and I read exactly 100 books!


In added craziness, I tried to focus on reading as much of my own shelves as possible and banned myself from buying any books for the year! The only books that I bought were a few I ordered through Audible because I could only put my membership on hold for 6 months and then needed to use up some credits. Otherwise, the only physical books that I acquired were gifts and so I am very happy to say that my to-be-read (TBR) shelf barely grew for the first time ever! 

I'm breaking this year's post into two parts, this one - on the books, and a second one that will be focused on a breakdown of those books - genre, which ones were my shelves vs library, female authors, poc authors, pages read, etc! 

And so, without further babbling, here are the books that I read in 2018, in the order that I read them, and the months in which they were finished! My favorites are in hot pink, and any I listened to on Audio have an "(A)" next to the title!

January

1. Castle of Water丨Dane Huckelbridge
2. Ajax Penumbra 1969丨Robin Sloan
3. They Cage the Animals at Night丨Michael Jennings Burch
4. Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History丨Katy Tur (A)
5. Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town丨Jon Krakauer
6. You丨Caroline Kepnes
7. One of Us is Lying丨Karen McManus
8. When We Were Worthy丨Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
9. This is How It Always Is丨Laurie Frankel
10. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century丨Timothy Snyder

February

11. Sing, Unburied, Sing丨Jesmyn Ward
12. All-American Boys丨Jason Reynolds
13. Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose丨Joe Biden (A)
14. Behold the Dreamers丨Imbolo Mbue
15. The Fall of Rome丨Martha Southgate

March

16. The Selection丨Kiera Cass
17. The Versions of Us丨Laura Barnett
18. The Elite丨Kiera Cass
19. The One丨Kiera Cass
20. At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe丨Tsh Oxenreider
21. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things丨Bryn Greenwood
22. The Heir丨Kiera Cass
23. The Crown丨Kiera Cass
24. The Smart One 丨Jennifer Close
25. Salt to the Sea丨Ruta Sepetys
26. The Futures丨Anna Pitoniak
27. The Weight of Blood丨Laura McHugh
28. Straight Talking丨Jane Green
29. Gold Fame Citrus丨Claire Vaye Watkins

April

30. Behind Her Eyes丨Sarah Pinborough
31. Seven Days of Us丨Francesca Hornak
32. The Circle丨Dave Eggers
33. Outlander丨Diane Gabaldon
34. Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood丨Trevor Noah (A)
35. The Nightingale丨Kristin Hannah
36. After I Do丨Taylor Jenkins Reid
37. Lily and the Octopus丨Steven Rowley
38. The Underground Railroad丨Colson Whitehead
39. The Sweet Life in Paris: A Recipe for Living in the World's Most Delicious City丨David Lebovitz
40. In a Dark, Dark Wood丨Ruth Ware

May 

41. French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered Ten Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters丨Karen Le Billon
42. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter丨Erika L. Sanchez
43. Britt-Marie Was Here丨Frederik Backman
44. The Mothers丨Brit Bennett
45. Nevertheless丨Alec Baldwin (A)
46. The Good Daughter丨Karin Slaughter
47. The Problem with Forever丨Jennifer L. Armentrout
48. Columbine丨Dave Cullen
49. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone丨Brene Brown (A)

June

50. How to Walk Away丨Katharine Center
51. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir丨Patrisse Khan-Cullors
52. Since We Fell丨Dennis Lehane
53. Educated丨Tara Westover (A)
54. Fierce Kingdom丨Gin Phillips
55. Love, Hate & Other Filters丨Samira Ahmed
56. Revolution is Not a Dinner Party丨Ying Chang Compestine
57. This is Where it Ends丨Marieke Nijkamp
58. The Castaways丨Elin Hilderbrand
59. The Storyteller丨Jodi Picoult

July

60. The Last Mrs. Parrish丨Liv Constantine
61. Neverwhere丨Neil Gaiman
62. Sourdough丨Robin Sloan
63. Delirium丨Lauren Oliver
64. Pandemonium丨Lauren Oliver
65. Requiem丨Lauren Oliver
66. The Book of Essie丨Meghan MacLean Weir
67. Beartown丨Frederik Backman
68. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be丨Rachel Hollis (A)
69. Just One Day丨Gayle Forman

August

70. The Virgin Suicides丨Jeffrey Eugenides
71. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win丨Jo Piazza
72. All We Ever Wanted丨Emily Giffin
73. Bury This丨Andrea Portes

September

74. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania丨Erik Larson (A)
75. Who Do You Love丨Jennifer Weiner

October

76. No One is Here Except All of Us丨Ramona Ausubel
77. Homeless Bird丨Gloria Whelan
78. Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body丨Kate Hudson (A)
79. The Lying Game丨Ruth Ware
80. The Silkworm丨Robert Galbraith

November

81. So You Want to Talk About Race丨Ijeoma Oluo (A)
82. Turtles All the Way Down丨John Green
83. Luckiest Girl Alive丨Jessica Knoll
84. The Sunshine When She's Gone丨Thea Goodman
85. Family Pictures丨Jane Green
86. Becoming丨Michelle Obama (A)
87. In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It丨Lauren Graham (A)

December

88. What I Saw and How I Lied丨Judy Blundell (A)
89. Unaccustomed Earth丨Jhumpa Lahiri (A)
90. The Walking Dead, Compendium 2丨Robert Kirkman
91. The Reluctant Fundamentalist丨Mohsin Hamid
92. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City丨Matthew Desmond (A)
93. The Perfect Stranger丨Megan Miranda
94. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret to Transform Your Life Before 8 AM丨Hal Elrod
95. From the Corner of the Oval丨Beck Dorey-Stein (A)
96. Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love and Baking Biscuits丨Reese Witherspoon
97. The Magnolia Story丨Chip and Joanna Gaines (A)
98. Still Life丨Louise Penny
99. Dinner: The Playbook丨Jenny Rosenstrach
100. Labor Day丨Joyce Maynard

Ah! So many incredible, wonderful books this year!! At 100 books, that's an average of 8+ books a month throughout the year!

Those listed as hot pink above were my five star reads - books that absolutely blew my mind, changed my thinking or wildly affirmed it, and have stayed with me all year long. BUT! That doesn't mean that there are others that I didn't enjoy! Those not highlighted in pink above, but that I really liked a lot (4 star reads!) were: Ajax Penumbra 1969, One of Us is Lying, When We Were Worthy, All-American Boys, The Versions of Us, At Home in the World, The Circle, After I Do, The Underground Railroad, When They Call You a Terrorist, Fierce Kingdom, Love Hate & Other Filters, This is Where It Ends, The Storyteller, Sourdough, The Book of Essie, Girl Wash Your Face, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, All We Ever Wanted, Dead Wake, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Evicted. 

My goal for next year is set at 80 books. While I think I may surpass it, I do know that maternity leave allowed me more time than usual to read and I focused on that when I set my 2019 goal. I also set my Read Your Shelves (RYS) goal at 50 - and while I'm no longer banning myself from buying books, this year of no buying really made me think long and hard about the books I do want to own and I think my days of mindless book buying are over! So I'm looking forward to borrowing from the library and diving further into the stack below my nightstand - there are still quite a few there to read! Do you have tons of books in your shelves too? Focusing on reading them instead of buying more this year?

What were your favorite books this year? Did you set a reading goal or do you just see where your literary adventures take you? Are there must reads on your list for 2019? I'd love to hear from you!!

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