2018 in Books

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:

Collage of book covers
The covers of the 29 books I read 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!

If you’re interested in seeing how I rated all the books I read in 2018, find me on Goodreads, where you can also see my year in books and other fun facts about how my reading is and has been going.

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.

Previous years: 2017 | 2016

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