2018 Reading Challenge

Everything I read in 2018: The Best and Worst

This is my sixth year of completing the Goodread’s Reading Challenge!

I initially started this challenge because I realized I wasn’t reading as much as I normally read. I thought, if I’m not making a priority for the greatest love of my life, what am I doing wrong?  These challenges have helped me to carve out time every day for reading.

Once again, thanks to Perpetual Page Turner for this survey!

My 2018 Reading List

  • The Only Cafe – Linden MacIntyre
  • An Astronaut’s Guide to Life – Chris Hadfield
  • Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
  • Born a Crime – Trevor Noah
  • A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
  • Never Cry Wolf – Farley Mowat
  • The City of Ember – Jeanne DuPrau
  • Sharp Objects – Gillian Flynn
  • The Dogs of Nam – Christopher Kevin Oldfield
  • The Deep End of the Ocean – Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
  • Crow Lake – Mary Lawson
  • The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
  • Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed
  • The Illegal – Lawrence Hill
  • Cubicle to Cuba – Heidi Siefkas
  • Faking It – Jennifer Crusie
  • Dinner With Persephone – Patricia Storace
  • Beyond Belief – Jenna Miscavige Hill
  • Two Brothers – Ben Elton
  • Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali 
  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit Sethi
  • This Is My South – Caroline Eubanks
  • Vagabonding – Rolf Potts
  • After You – JoJo Moyes
  • Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
  • The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl – Roald Dahl
  • The Life We Bury – Allen Eskens
  • Throwaway Daughter – Ting-xing Ye
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

My friend Eline in Berlin gave me her copy of The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl because I made a comment about how I didn’t like short story collections. I started reading her well-loved copy on the plane and was beside myself with laughter and delight.

I can’t express how much I loved these stories. It’s a 500+ page tome, and eventually I started reading just one story a day so I could savour the experience. At the end of almost every story I had to put the book down to digest what I had just read. I adored every minute of it. Katina was my favourite story.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

A Wrinkle in Time. I read it years ago as a child and loved it — for some reason this time around just didn’t inspire the same excitement.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Vagabonding. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but I picked up this book at a conference where the author was speaking because everyone was WILD about it. Like, worshipped the author. I’m also just a little tired of the male narrative in travel writing, tbh.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Born a Crime. I typically hate celebrity memoirs because they’re so self-indulgent. Trevor Noah’s memoir actually focused a great deal on his mother but while also telling the story of his insane childhood. I learned a lot about post-apartheid South Africa, and I couldn’t put this book down.

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

I read City of Ember for a book club YA option, and was surprised to really enjoy it. I have a thing for post-apocalyptic fiction, it seems. I haven’t continued the series yet but I will.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Jandy Nelson. I’ll Give You the Sun was easily my second favourite read this year.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I Will Teach You to Be Rich. I don’t generally do self-help books, but this was a great read. I read it on Kindle though and I feel like I need the hard copy to really put my learnings to use. (I like having a reference.) Anyway, now I’m on a total self-help kick.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

I read The Woman in Cabin 10 in one day. The main character is a little too much like me.

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’d like to take my time going through I Will Teach You to Be Rich again.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

I’ll Give You the Sun.

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Katina from the story of the same name in the Roald Dahl collection. I think about her often.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Gosh, other than Roald Dahl I don’t know if I read anything overly “beautiful.” Perhaps Tiny Beautiful Things.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahlor InfidelAyaan Hirsi Ali’s life story is incredible but it shed some fascinating light on refugee integration in Europe (and not all good).

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth. I’m SUCH a Chris Hadfield fan girl – I adore everything he does. The sheer work ethic he describes in this book left me in awe.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“I wasn’t lonely. Loneliness, I think, has very little to do with location. It’s a state of mind. In the centre of every city are some of the loneliest people in the world. If anything, because our whole planet was just outside the window, I felt even more aware of and connected to the seven billion other people who call it home.” – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life On Earth

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Shortest: City of Ember (270 pages)
Longest: The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl (768 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Born a Crime. What an ending!

18. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Jude and her twin brother Noah in I’ll Give You the Sun.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I LOVE Moriarty’s voice. She’s so quirky and wonderful! This book was fantastic.

20. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Crow Lake. My mother suggested I read it. A dark but great story about life on the Canadian prairies.

21. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Maybe Keita Ali from The Illegal. Boy can run.

22. Best 2018 debut you read?

Hmm, don’t think there were any.

23. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

City of Ember.

24. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl. Pure storytelling genius. Oh, and my colleague Chris’s The Dogs of Nam! Hilarious travel stories.

25. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl. Weird, usually I cry a lot more.

26. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Dogs of Nam.

I’m a picky book reader so I’m always hesitant to try books written by my friends, but I LOVED this collection. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and downright funny.

27. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The Collected Short Stories of Roald Dahl.Because I was sad when I finished it.

28. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

I’ll Give You The Sun. I love these new quirky YA authors. This was difficult to get into at first (Noah and Jude are infuriating) but goddamn was it ever good.

29. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Me Before You. I kinda liked but also kinda HATED Louisa. For fucksakes get over yourself and move out of your shitty town.

I would LOVE to know your favourite reads from last year. I’ve started off 2019 with some self-help (You Are a Badass) and I think I’m a little hooked on this genre. Good vibes and meditation ‘n all that bougie stuff. I just picked up her book about making money, so bling bling.

  • January 18 2019

    I don’t see anything on your list by Fredrik Backman. Love his writing! A Man called Ove is one of my fav books and Beartown and it’s sequel, Us Against Them are both so, so good. I can’t recommend him more!

    • February 10 2019

      My friend URGED me to read “A Man Called Ove” a few days ago hahaha so it’s on my to-read list now!

  • January 21 2019

    I read Becoming at the end of the year and really enjoyed it. Am also in the middle of The Vegetarian by Han Kang (style of writing and subject matter reminds me of Haruki Murakami) and The Innocent Man by John Grisham (one of his few non-fiction books) and am enjoying both. Also highly recommend Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, was probably my favorite book of 2018. Happy reading!
    Tharani recently posted…New life, old city

    • February 10 2019

      Definitely added all these to my list :) Thank you!

  • February 20 2019

    Some favourites from 2018:

    Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguru (A reread)
    My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
    A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles (An all time favourite)
    The Only Story – Julian Barnes (One of my favourite authors)
    American Bloomsbury – Susan Cheever
    Mrs. Oscar Wilde – Anne Clarke Amor
    Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal (Doesn’t that title just make you want to go out and get it)
    Cold Comfort Farm -Stella Gibbons (a delightful classic)
    The Glass castle – by Jeanette Walls (This was a reread)

    These are just a few of the fabulous books I read this year.

  • February 20 2019

    Some of my favourites from 2018 are:

    Never Let me Go -Kazuo Ishiguru (A reread)
    Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons (A delightful classic)
    American Bloomsbury – Susan Cheever
    Erotic Stories for Punjabi widows – Balli Kaur Jaswal
    The Glass castle – Jeanette Walls (Another reread)
    Mrs. Oscar Wilde – Anne Clarke Amor
    The Only story – Julian Barnes (One of my favourite authors)
    My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
    A Gentleman In Moscow – Amor Towles (Best read in a long time)

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.