2018 in Books

2018 in Books

It’s literally been a year for the books. For the past several years I’ve set out to read 24 books each year – two each month. Each time I’ve set that goal, I’ve come in somewhere around 26-28, so this year I challenged myself to read 30. If you’ve been following along, you know that didn’t exactly happen.

A bit of a victim of wander lust, here’s what I’ve found: When I read, I can go places I won’t actually ever get to go. In 2018 alone, among other places, I traveled to Nepal, New York City, Nantucket Island, Nigeria, Germany, France, India, Pakistan, England, Texas, Danbury Correctional Facility, Rwanda, Alaska, Mexico and even 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! I met some of the most amazing people – people who’ve seen and/or experienced far more than I’ll ever see and/or experience. I learned about our correctional system, about political upheaval in many other nations, about the introduction of the isolette to NICUs, about adoption, about love…

Goodness, this year’s reading was amazing. Allow me to break it down for you, should you be interested. To see all of my 2018 book reviews, click here. Otherwise, at least check out “The Book(s) I’m Most Likely to Recommend to Others” below!

Books read:
47

Pages read:
14,675

Average Page Length:
312

Longest Book:
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity

Shortest Book:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (an adaptation) by Andrea M. Clare

My Average Rating:
3.4

My Highest Rated Books (5 stars):
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya
Sold by Patricia McCormick
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

My Lowest Rated Books:
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (1 star)
Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand (2 stars)
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson (2 stars)
Courage to Soar by Simone Biles (2 stars)
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (2 stars)
Mercy by Jodi Picoult (2 stars)

Goodreads Highest Rated Book of my 2018 Books:
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (4.62 average rating)

Goodreads Lowest Rated Book of my 2018 Books:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (an adaptation) by Andrea M. Clare

My Favorite Book of 2018:
The Girl Who Smiled Beads
by Clemantine Wamariya – Clemantine’s true story of her fleeing the Rwandan Genocide as a young girl.
Sold by Patricia McCormick (first runner up) – A realistic fictional story of Lakshmi, a Nepali girl who was sold into prostitution.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (second runner up) – A realistic fictional story of domestic voilence and the attempt to survive in the untamed wilderness of Alaska.

The Book(s) that Changed the Way I Think About Something:
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – A true story of Bryan Stevenson’s journey toward ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman – Piper’s true story of her time in a women’s prison for a crime she committed a decade previous to being caught.
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung – Nicole’s true story of her adoption, the consequences that came with it and her reunion with her birth family.
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider – A realistic fictional story of Lane’s experience in a sanatorium upon his diagnosis of modern day “Total Drug Resistant Tuberculosis”.
Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork – A realistic fictional story of two siblings in Juarez, Mexico who battle poverty, violence, justice, right and wrong and love in the tangled web that is the violence and cartel activity of Juarez, which forces them to make the trek of illegal immigration.

The Book(s) I’m Most Likely to Recommend to Others:
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya – Clemantine’s true story of her fleeing the Rwandan Genocide as a young girl.
Small Country by Gaël Faye – A story based on Gaël’s childhood in Burundi Africa pre-Rwandan Genocide. Born to a Rwandan mother and a French father, Gaby was forced to flee to France.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – A true story of Bryan Stevenson’s journey toward ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – A fictional WWII story that shows the demands of war, the desire to do good and the devastation greed and power can cause.
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – A speculative fictional story of April May’s overnight fame due to her discovery and how she deals with the pressures of said fame amidst am excited and confused world.
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider – A realistic fictional story of Lane’s experience in a sanatorium upon his diagnosis of modern day “Total Drug Resistant Tuberculosis”.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn – A realistic fictional story based on the true story of the work of spies during the Great War. 

The Book(s) I’m Least Likely to Recommend to Others:
Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Scariest Book I Read:
The Line that Held Us
by David Joy

The Happiest Book I Read:
Calypso by David Sedaris

If you’ve made it this far, you must be a reader as well. Please comment to let me know your book recommendations!

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