This was the first year I a) tracked my reading and b) took part in the Modern Mrs Darcy Reading Challenge, and both ended up doing good things for my reading life. As the calendar year is winding down, I thought it would be fun to take a peek back at what I read for my 2018 reading challenge.
To be clear, these were not the only books I read this year — after looking back over my reading log, I’m on track to have read 52 books before January 1! Since this was my first year tracking my reading, I’m not sure how many books I usually read in a year, but it seems likely this was more than I’ve read in at least a few years. The simple act of tracking my reading helped keep books in the forefront of my thoughts throughout the year…which led to watching less Netflix and picking up more books. Hah!
Now, on with the books…
A book recommended by someone with great taste.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Was I the last person to read this book? It sure felt like it considering the number of people (both online and off) who recommended it to me! When I finally picked up my mother in-law’s copy, I devoured it.
A book in translation.
The Odyssey by Homer, as translated by Emily Wilson
This is the one book from 2018 that I want to press into everyone’s hands. Emily Wilson’s translation of this classic work is shimmering in its simplicity, and the story reads like a thrilling page turner.
A book nominated for an award in 2018.
There There by Tommy Orange
This was already on my TBR, and we scored a copy for Christmas, so it just moved to the top of my list. I’m currently reading it, but I expect to be done by Jan 1!
A book that’s more than 500 pages.
The Witch Elm by Tana French
French is one of my favorite authors, and while I didn’t love this as much as the books in her Dublin Murder Squad series, it still came together in that signature twisty way of hers that I love.
A book by a favorite author.
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
Reading Louise Penny feels like coming home to a cozy house with the fire blazing and a big mug of something hot to drink. This year’s book was quite possibly my favorite of all.
A book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller.
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
When the indie bookseller squeals as she hands you a copy of a book, saying, “I loved this so much!!!” you know you’re on the right track. This was my first de los Santos, and it didn’t disappoint.
A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity or religion than your own.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I had to step away from this novel about halfway in, but when I picked it up again I was so glad I did — the second half had me completely engrossed.
Have you ever participated in a reading challenge? If so, what was your experience like? Are you planning any challenges for 2019? I’d love to hear!