What I Read in 2018 Part 2: The Details

As noted in Part 1, I read 63 books in 2018. I missed my goal of 70, but that was a pretty ambitious goal. 63 books over 52 weeks is still a lot. (An aside, here is a fun article about Canadians and their reading habits that I found when I was trying to figure out how many books the average Canadian reads in a year.)

As for the books themselves, I read mostly fiction (a mix of contemporary, romance, thrillers and beach reads) with some memoirs sprinkled in. I abandoned more books that I used to, but I don’t like to track that because it feels mean. I have come back to books I’ve abandoned in the past and enjoyed them which reminds me that frame of mind when reading a book is important.

I didn’t rate or review many of the books I read. I’m not sure if that’s because I don’t want a less-than five-star review to hurt an author’s feelings, or if I was just lazy about it. I’m not sure if I will take specific action on this during this year’s challenge. No sense in overthinking it.

I will share my favourite reads here though. Here is a list of the books I really enjoyed in 2018, in reverse order from what I read them in. I’d love to know what your favourite reads in 2018 were.

 

What I Read in 2018 Part 1: The List

I’ve done the Goodreads Reading Challenge every year since 2013, and 2018 was only the second time I didn’t meet my goal. 2018’s goal was an ambitious one: 70 books read over a one-year span. I ended up finishing 63 books in 2018.

Here’s what I read in 2018. I’m having trouble with the Goodreads widgets this year so I’m going to split my annual what-I-read post into two parts this year. This post for the actual list of books, and a second post for the details.

Melissa’s bookshelf: read-in-2018


goodreads.com

What I read in 2017

It’s time for my annual what-I-read-last-year post! My Goodreads profile tells me I read 79 books in 2017 – the most books I’ve read in a year since I started tracking! The link leads to some stats about the books I read – you may need to be a Goodreads user to see it, despite me changing my settings to make my profile public.

I know a lot of people don’t like ebooks, but I read nearly all of those books on my Kobo. I know I wouldn’t read nearly as much if I didn’t have easy access to library books via the Toronto Public Library’s Overdrive page and new this year, the new Libby app. (And this is not a sponsored post; I just really like this stuff.)

And now, here is the full list:

I'll Take You There
The Couple Next Door
Notes from the Blender
From a Good Home
Play
Lead
Deep
Shockaholic
Wishful Drinking
Behind Closed Doors
The Year We Turned Forty
One More Day
Breaking Out of Bedlam
The Affair
Leave Me
The Second Sister
The Things We Keep
Never Too Late
The Conjoined
This is How It Always Is


Melissa’s favorite books »

I tried to leave more ratings for the books I read this year. I’m a generous rater and I don’t like leaving ratings on memoirs – it feels like I’m rating someone’s life – so I didn’t rate everything I read. I left reviews sporadically. I always feel like my reviews are too light/simple when I see some of the longer/more-thought-out ones so any reviews I did leave are pretty superficial, which is fine.

There were a few books I slogged through this year, but if I really didn’t like a book, I abandoned it and didn’t add it to Goodreads. That way, I didn’t screw up my tracking. I liked most of the books I read, but here’s a list of the books that I really enjoyed, in the order that I read them throughout the year:

For 2018, I’ve upped my reading challenge from 55 to 70. I think I can do it. What have you been reading? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Thoughts at the end of 2017, in no particular order

  • There’s just so much to be thankful for right now. 2017 was a mess for so many, many reasons, but on a micro/personal level, it was pretty good.
  • Run‘ by the Foo Fighters was the song of the summer.
  • Go to War‘ by Nothing More was the song of the fall.
  • I read way more books than I challenged myself to read – that post will come in a few days.
  • I’m pretty sure the only concert I saw this year was the Metallica Worldwired show in July – Sean saw more stuff but had to go with other people (or by himself) due to childcare issues
  • I hired a house cleaning service to come to my house once a month and it makes such a difference to my home and my feelings about it. It feels awkward to admit this out loud, but feeling awkward about it is also a bit shame-inducing. Time to just own it and say it out loud.
  • I’m working at home more which saves me money on commuting and lunch costs (I’ve never mastered bringing my lunch to work – too many restaurants near the office). I’m more productive and I still get dressed every day.
  • My loved ones and I are reasonably healthy and content.
  • Life is mostly small, and that’s okay.
  • I’m trying to write more by journaling. I’d like that to lead to other things, but I’m not working as hard at it as I should if I really want it.
  • I’m restless and itchy to create stuff, but still lost in the ‘no one cares what you have to say’ thought pattern. Which leads to not creating, which adds to the restlessness. It’s a bad hamster wheel to be on. Writing this less-than-interesting post is a baby step.

 

Life has been small

Flora drew this for me a few weeks ago:

It was a quick doodle, done while waiting our turn at an appointment. Something to occupy her that didn’t involve a screen. She didn’t want me to look at it initially. She had drawn it in the middle of my notebook so I’d be surprised when I found it. 

I couldn’t resist peeking and I looked for it later that evening when she was hanging out with Sean and I was doing post-dinner cleanup. 

The love – and joy – pouring out of this little doodle brightened up my day in ways she can’t understand yet. 

Her mouth is a heart! 

I went up, told her I’d peeked and thanked her for her drawing. I tried not to let her see me tear up. 

Life has been small lately: work, parent, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s still cool and rainy with just enough occasional bursts of sun to keep everyone from losing all hope. I’ve been working too much and feel like I haven’t been doing any more than the bare minimum for my family.

I often feel like I’m failing everyone, and everything, in my life.

Yet my daughter still loves me. So does Sean. They love me anyway. 

And I love them.

And it’s reminders like this that get me through the hard stuff.

And that makes me think, maybe I’m not screwing everything up.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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