Okay, so last year didn’t go to plan. But failure shouldn’t mean defeat, only an opportunity to try harder next time. So let’s go, 2018! My goal is to read 52 books this year. It’s a modest goal compared to what others are doing, and I’m kind of hoping I blow it out of the water. We’ll see!
Bold means read, plain text means still going (or going to pick it back up later),
red and strikethrough means abandoned.
8 out of 52 down so far!
- (1/1) The Woman Who Fooled the World by Beau Donelly and Nick Toscano – I had this on pre-order last year because I was just that eager for this one. I followed the whole Belle Gibson saga from before the story broke, when it was just a bunch of underground forum snark from a few people who dared to wonder whether she had cancer at all. Anyway, this was fascinating to read, and I really liked the way that it positioned her story alongside a broader overview of the wellness industry (and associated snake oil salesmen) as well as real stories of what cancer actually looks like. Highly recommend this for anybody that likes long form investigative journalism.
- (7/1) Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – this was so good, I could barely put it down. The plot was tight and well woven, and I loved that the conclusion could have equally involved any number of characters in different situations… you could guess, but you just had to keep going. It was also really artful the way that so many characters were spun into highly realistic group situations – I was always clear on who was saying what, but it never took away from the pace or realism of the scene. Now I can’t wait to watch the show.
- (30/1) Lullaby by Leïla Slimani – I had a lot of issue with this book, and sometimes felt that maybe there were things lost in translation. But the characterisation of Louise was terrifying, the whole story thoroughly creeped me out. I liked the way that the author played with race and class though – I think that sometimes UK/US authors can sometimes try to spin things as a sort of lesson in how ‘woke’ or PC they are, but this managed to be critical, unsympathetic and complex in its treatment of all sorts of characters.
February – the leg calamity
- (7/2) My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – ugh. So many mixed feelings. My writer-brain was picking it apart to see how it worked, and it was such a well-oiled machine. So many interconnecting bits and pieces, even if the dramatic irony and symbolism was a little overwrought sometimes. But my reader-brain… Sara Fitzgerald is a hideous character. She was so irredeemably awful, so excruciatingly selfish, and the ending made me so furious that she got exactly what she had always wanted in the end, and Anna’s entire sad life was just a means to an awful person getting exactly what they wanted.
March – no dates, as all days blurred together this month
- 20 and Counting! by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar – morbid curiosity.
- A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar – okay, not funny anymore.
- Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger Duggar – why Johanna why?
- Expecting Better by Emily Oster – I debated whether to include this one here, because it’s extremely premature to be reading a pregnancy book, but it was amazingly interesting and I would recommend it to anybody entering that phase of life. Especially good for fans of Freakonomics, or anybody who likes making their own decisions based on details and facts, rather than just blindly following sometimes inaccurate advice. Will definitely be getting Nathan to read it.
- Bumpology by Linda Geddes – again, I have absolutely no need to be reading these kinds of books this year, but I always do over-prepare. Has some interesting facts, but it seems a bit more prescriptive than the previously listed book – I suppose I like to feel like I’m a smart adult capable of making my own choices, rather than just being told what to do. Still well worth reading though.