As I’ve done the past few years, I participated in Goodreads’s annual reading challenge. Having exceeded last year’s goal and finishing at 19, I set my 2018 book goal at 20 books.
I wound up reading almost 30, coming in just short at 29 books.
A few quick reflections on my reading challenge this year:
- I felt a lot faster finishing books this year, in large part because I was not reading the A Song of Fire and Ice series this year, having finished that last year. It took me weeks to finish each of those books with the scant amount of reading time I had, so the quantity of books I read last year took a toll because I read several 1,000+ page books.
- The longest book I read last year was 1,177 pages, whereas the longest book I read this year was 818 pages.
- That being said, I sped through my first five books and then really felt my decrease in velocity when I hit that 818-pager.
- It typically takes me a few days to about 3 weeks to finish a book, given that I read almost exclusively on my commute to and from work. It took me almost 3 months to finish this year’s behemoth.
- I enjoyed reading a lot more mindfully this year. There were days when I would steal away for a quick walk outside to clear my head during the workday, or take lunch by myself on a nearby bench, with my Kindle in tow to get some sunshine and reading done.
- I much preferred the mindful reading to what I find myself doing often, which is walking to and from the subway while reading. This is, admittedly, not a very safe practice.
- But! While doing this in DC one day, I walked past a friend who was doing the exact same thing! She was the one who looked up from her book to recognize me, but I felt so validated seeing her with her open Kindle in hand, too.
- With the end of the Blogging for Books program, I didn’t feel as much of the obligation getting through books I didn’t enjoy but was reading for review this year.
Here are the books I finished reading in 2018:
My favorites this year were:
- Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Sourdough by Robin Sloan
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
- Grokking Algorithms: An Illustrated Guide for Programmers and Other Curious People by Aditya Y. Bhargava as my favorite programming book to date
- The To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han
- Educated by Tara Westover
I’m working on books that I wasn’t able to finish in 2018 but am excited to start strong with a new commute to read these books during in 2019!
What books do you recommend I read in 2019?
What were your favorite reads in 2018?
Do you have any reading goals this year? I am aiming to read 30 books by the end of the year and to read more mindfully (read: not while walking). I also want to see if I can get more comfortable with abandoning books I’m not enjoying, which has always been a huge struggle for me because I crave closure in all things.