Wednesday, January 9, 2019

All the Books I Read in 2018

December Books

Before I talk about what I read in 2018, I need to quickly recap the books I read in December.  I was only able to get through three books last month, partly due to the holiday season and partly due to one book which took a considerable amount of time to read.  But it was a good book, so that's okay.

I started off the month with Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders, a collection of nonfiction short stories written by a journalist.  I typically don't read short stories but Dirty John drew my attention.  I'd seen the tv series (I think) based on the story advertised and I'd rather read than watch.  Not all of these stories are true crime but the author is such a good storyteller, I enjoyed reading all of them.  Goffard's ability to develop a character is amazing.  Within a couple of pages, I really felt like I knew these people.

I'd been meaning to read this book for years and years and years now.  If you read it when it was originally published in the '90s, you may want to check out the updated ending.  In the early 1990s a young man from a well-to-do family left his life behind after graduating from college.  Christopher McCandless gave away his possessions, broke off communication with his family and hitchhiked across the US, never staying long in one place.  He made friends along the way and those people helped the author pull together the story of Christopher's time on the road.  In 1992, he hitchhiked into Alaska, walked into the wilderness and was found dead four months later.

Into the Wild attempts to solve the mystery of what happened to Christopher and explain his actions.  I couldn't help but feel sympathy for Christopher and the life he wanted to live, which most would consider to be unconventional.

I enjoyed reading The Mars Room so much that I decided to pick up another book by the same author.  So while The Flamethrowers doesn't have a storyline as interesting as The Mars Room, it reaffirmed my thought that Kushner is a top notch author.  I like detail when I read and she writes books with amazing detail.  The focus of this novel is Reno, a young artist and the art scene in New York in the 1970s.  Note that this is not a quick read.  It's one of those book you become a part of as you read it.

2018 Books!

I read a total of 57 books in 2018.  In keeping track of what I read, I categorized the books by type.  The results were interesting.  Not surprising.  It appears that I really enjoy thrillers/suspense, followed by the general "fiction" category.  Below, I've listed all the books under the different categories.

I like to highlight my favorites of the year and, this time, I'm going to limit it to 5.  With 57 books, it's easy to remember the favorites because those stick out from the other books.  Despite enjoying all those thrillers, they are quick reads and, unfortunately, most of them are forgettable.  Not all of them though.

So, my top five, in no particular order:

1.  The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Being a book lover, I like to scroll through the "best of" lists at year-end.  I was happy to see The Mars Room listed on several.  One even had it as the number one book of the year.            

2.  I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

3.  Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

4.  A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

5.  The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

And because I read so many thrillers, I'll throw out honorable mention to The Wife Between Us and The Cabin at the End of the World.

Here's everything I read in 2018:


1.  The Wife Between Us

2.  The Woman in the Window

3.  Two Girls Down

4.  The Last Mrs. Parrish

5.  Need to Know

6.  Sometimes I Lie

7.  Lie to Me

8.  The Innocent Wife

9.  The Other Mother 

10.  The House Swap

11.  Then She Was Gone

12.  How It Happened

13.  If You Knew Her

14.  MacBeth

15.  The Daughter

16.  The Outsider

17.  Grist Mill Road

18.  The Cabin at the End of the World

19.  The Marriage Pact


20.  Pachinko

21.  Sing, Unburied, Sing

22.  Everything I Never Told You

23.  The Immortalists

24.  Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

25.  Little Fires Everywhere

26.  The Great Alone

27.  An American Marriage

28.  The Mars Room

29.  Fahrenheit 451

30.  Castle of Water

31.  A Place for Us

32.  All We Ever Wanted

33.  The Vacationers

34.  The Flamethrowers


35.  Down City

36.  Hope

37.  18 and Life on Skid Row

38.  The Only Girl in the World

39.  Flat Broke with Two Goats   

40.  I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death

41.  Educated

42.  The Girl with Seven Names

43.  The Sound of Gravel

44.  Red Notice

True Crime

45.  Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

46.  American Fire

47.  I'll Be Gone in the Dark

48.  Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders


49.  Fire and Fury

50.  Five Days at Memorial

51.  Janesville 

Apocalyptic/Future World (Yes, it gets its own category!)

53.  California 


54.  The Power 

55.  The Emissary 


56.  You Are A Badass


57.  Into the Wild

For links to all my book reviews, click here.

What about 2019?

I typically don't set reading goals or participate in reading challenges and that will remain in effect as we roll into the new year.  I'm going to read what I want to, when I want to.

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  TGUH is a participant in the Amazon Services Associates Program LLC, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


Marie said...

I enjoy reading about the books you have read. I ended up reading nine of the books on your list that you have mentioned reading throughout the year. Currently, I am listening to the audiobook of Pachinko and am really enjoying it. I never would have read/listened to this book had you not had it in your top 5 books of the year along with The Mars Room and The Immortalists. Thank you for continuing these book posts!

Sarah said...

You're welcome! I'm always looking around to see what others are reading.