2018: Quite a Story

Like any year, like any day, like anything, really, 2018 had its good and bad points.  I went skiing in Winter (as no year really feels complete without it) and to India with Lou in Spring, which was most definitely and easily the highlight. I finished reading my hundredth book of the year (A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry) in flight from Mumbai to Goa, a book which kept me company for much of the trip, including a 17 hour train journey. I might add that audiobooks were an additional graceful saviour during said journey. I read books aloud to Lou, even as she fell asleep and later swore she was enjoying it. Perhaps she was, so on those grounds I continued. I finished working at the bookshop for a full time job at the library – something I’m still figuring out and impatient to feel competent in. Three weeks in and I’ve not burnt the library to cinders, which I’m chalking up as a small victory. I’m still all about achievable goals. One of my brothers got married, and I’m to become an aunty in 2019.  With this pleasing news, I’ve been entrusted a child’s literary upbringing. Which is just as well, as it’s the only branch of adult guidance I feel naturally inclined toward and rather think I’m a good choice for the job. Any tips on auntying are otherwise welcome, if you please.

It hasn’t all been the fun of expansive travel horizons and career progression, and even my reading habits took a hit after Luke died. I think I said all I needed to for cathartic release in the previous post, so I’ll say no more about it here. I was happily distracted while in India but on my return picked up books I would ordinarily probably quite enjoy, then put them down for inability to focus. I turned instead to the comforting familiarity of Harry Potter rereads and even a Marian Keyes. Achievable goals, once again.

On balance, I think I’ve come out ahead. I read more books than ever in previous years. Highlights were Normal People by Sally Rooney, Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale, and Lethal White by Robert Galbraith. I don’t tend to finish books I’m not enjoying, since there are so many good books out there that it just seems like a waste of time. I’m not sure why I stuck with Katerina by James Frey, since I didn’t enjoy it or find it well-written, and it’s not one of those literary buzz titles that I thought I needed a professional opinion on. I’m naming it as my least favourite book of the year, so I guess that’s something.

Without further ado, this is what I read in 2018:

  1. A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard
  2. The Dry by Jane Harper
  3. Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion & Annie Buist
  4. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
  5. The Simple Act of Reading edited by Debra Adelaide
  6. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  7. One Day We’ll All be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
  8. Indian Takeaway: One Man’s Attempt to Cook his Way Home by Hardeep Singh Kohli
  9. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  10. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  11. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  12. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
  13. This House of Grief by Helen Garner
  14. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
  15. Night by Elie Wiesel
  16. The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben
  17. The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta by Kushanava Choudhury
  18. Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice
  19. The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
  20. Travelling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor
  21. The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth
  22. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
  23. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane (Scots Edition) by J.K. Rowling, translaitit intae Scots by Matthew Fitt
  24. An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney
  25. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  26. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  27. The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells
  28. Room by Emma Donoghue
  29. The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser
  30. Denial: Holocaust History on Trial by Deborah E. Lipstadt
  31. One Life One Chance: A Story of Adrenaline and Adventures in the Most Unforgiving Places on Earth by Luke Richmond
  32. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  33. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
  34. Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
  35. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  36. The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton
  37. Saga Land by Richard Fidler & Kari Gislason
  38. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  39. Circe by Madeline Miller
  40. The Moth edited by Catherine Burns
  41. Couchsurfing in Iran: Revealing a Hidden World by Stephan Orth
  42. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
  43. The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
  44. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  45. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
  46. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  47. Extinctions by Josephine Wilson
  48. Nine Lives by William Dalrymple
  49. Lovesome by Sally Seltmann
  50. Staying by Jessie Cole
  51. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
  52. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
  53. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
  54. Sinning Across Spain by Ailsa Piper
  55. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  56. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusal
  57. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  58. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaur by Steve Brusatte
  59. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
  60. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  61. Broken Republic by Arundhati Roy
  62. We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (this one was a reread)
  63. The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
  64. Cedar Valley by Holly Throsby
  65. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  66. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  67. Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh
  68. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
  69. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  70. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
  71. The End of the Moment We Had by Toshiki Okada
  72. Christopher Robin by Elizabeth Rudnick
  73. Shock for the Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
  74. Danger Music by Eddie Ayres
  75. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman (reread)
  76. The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd
  77. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (reread)
  78. Take Nothing With You by Patrick Gale
  79. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson
  80. Snap by Belinda Bauer
  81. You’re Just Too Good to be True: A Love Story about Lonely Hearts and Internet Scams by Sofija Stefanovic
  82. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  83. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
  84. Pretend I’m Dead by Jen Beagin
  85. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
  86. Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard
  87. Journeys to the Other Side of the World: Further Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough
  88. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
  89. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  90. The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures by Louis Theroux
  91. How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
  92. Katerina by James Frey
  93. Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith
  94. Ignorance by Milan Kundera (reread)
  95. The Women in Black by Madeleine St John
  96. Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales
  97. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (reread)
  98. Hippie by Paulo Coelho
  99. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  100. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  101. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
  102. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  103. Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith
  104. Milkman by Anna Burns
  105. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  106. Every Word is a Bird we Teach to Sing by Daniel Tammet
  107. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (reread)
  108. Enid Blyton: the Biography by Barbara Stoney
  109. Making it Up as I go Along: Notes from a Small Woman by Marian Keyes
  110. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  111. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
  112. The Children Act by Ian McEwan
  113. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (reread)
  114. Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
  115. Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald – the Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  116. Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman
  117. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (reread)
  118. The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder
  119. Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino
  120. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (reread)