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Member's Corner > The Year in Review, 2018 Style

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Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12434 comments I saw this in another group, and thought some of you might like to share your thoughts. As to the 2019 questions, I know we have a personal goals thread, but maybe you have something more general to say.

What was the best book you read in 2018?

What was the worst book you read in 2018?

Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018?

What are your reading plans for 2019?

Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 12434 comments What was the best book you read in 2018?

Too hard to narrow it to just one, so (in no particular order) A Dry White Season, The Widow, News of the World and A Very Long Engagement shine among those I loved.

What was the worst book you read in 2018?

Hands down, Ties

Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018?

Elizabeth Taylor, Georges Simenon are the two that stand out, but there are others.

What are your reading plans for 2019?

I will be reading some longer books in 2019. I also plan to read more mysteries. This was something I added in more of in 2018 and enjoyed my increased time spent with them.

Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?

In conjunction with the longer books, Upton Sinclair, but also for the Cazalet Chronicles, Elizabeth Jane Howard

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?

I joined 3 groups in 2018. An Elizabeth Taylor group, which will wind down in 2019, but also a 20th Century Group and a Mystery group have enhanced my reading. I'll never be sorry for joining them.

Of course, even with those, every read is for RwS, and those only make the challenge greater.


message 3: by Ann (last edited Dec 03, 2018 09:40AM) (new)

Ann (lit_chick_77) | 431 comments What was the best book you read in 2018?
The Bone People

What was the worst book you read in 2018?
I read a lot of books I didn’t like and a few that were truly awful, but the most irredeemable was Beautiful You


Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018?
Kate Morton for comfort books, Toni Morrison for rewarding reading.

What are your reading plans for 2019?
No plans at all, just free-wheeling with RwS.

Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?
I think I’ll finally get to Station Eleven.

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?
Until this year, I never even came close to finishing an RwS challenge, but I Mega Finished twice! It’s been great getting my reading mojo back.

reply | flag *


message 4: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Brown | 2516 comments I always enjoy looking back, at the end of the year, over what I've read. Of course, we still have 27 days to squeeze a few more in! :)


What was the best book you read in 2018?

So far, out of 103 books read, I've rated 17 5*. This year was low on duds. I won't mention the sci-fi and magic realism books that rated 5*, 'cause I get those 'polite smiles' when I rave about them in real life. Instead, I loved Candide; Snow Falling on Cedars; Lila; News of the World; and The Third Policeman.

I can't help it I have to mention two stand out sci-fi reads: War with the Newts and The Forever War


What was the worst book you read in 2018?

By far: The Blazing World. As I said at the time (spring season??) - I took it for the team reading that.

Not as bad, but if Cavendish hadn't sewn up the lead.... I can confirm I really dislike John Updike and will not waste my time on another of his books.


Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018?

I got back to, and still love: Tom Robbins

Definitely want to read more of: Arturo Pérez-Reverte; John Connolly; Octavia E. Butler; Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Qiu Xiaolong.


What are your reading plans for 2019?
much the same as this year.

Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?

My A-Z Classic Author challenge will be mystery focused this year and I am really looking forward to that.

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?

I want to give a special mention to For Whom the Bell Tolls. This book was a 'slow burn' for me. It took a long time for me to get through, a month I think, which is unusual. I like Hemingway, so I thought maybe it was the subject matter. If it hadn't been "H" for my classics challenge I may have quit - the majority of the book was a slog. Then I got to the last 70 pages and it all came together. That book stuck in my mind for at least another month after I finished it. Because I stuck with it I can probably say 'yes' it is his best book; although it shouldn't be your first foray into Hemingway.


message 5: by Owlette (last edited Dec 04, 2018 04:50AM) (new)

Owlette | 490 comments Thanks for posting this little survey. I look forward to reading the posts. I think I read 40 books this year, thanks to RwS.

What was the best book you read in 2018?

4 Nonfiction favorites (in no particular order): My First Summer in the Sierra, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life, and On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

4 Fiction favorites (no particular order): The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Firefly Lane, and A History of Loneliness.

What was the worst book you read in 2018?
Fiction: Wish I could forget ever reading Esperanza's Box of Saints

Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018?

I like authors who can pull me into the story without using a ton of descriptive details or profanity; some detail is fine, of course, but not to the micro-level. Three living novelists I hope to read more of: Kristin Hannah, John Boyne, Jacqueline Winspear.

Not an author, but I discovered and liked the steampunk genre, at least in this book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

What are your reading plans for 2019?
For winter, I feel like reading 18th or 19th century novels, something with fireplaces, drawing rooms, and hot beverages. :)

Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?
The ones on my BtE2 itinerary.

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?

1. Most books from the Canon were a slog to get through. Finished them, but did not enjoy getting there.

2. There seems to be a trend in current novels to quote other novels. When done repeatedly, I find it annoying and distracting.

3. My enjoyment of a novel seems to depend heavily on the protagonist and how much I like him/her.

4. I enjoy memoirs and autobiographies. Looking for a respite from ones centered on addiction, mental illness, abuse, current U.S. politics, homicide, or suicide. Maybe books without those topics have little chance of publication unless the author is already famous.


message 6: by Deedee (new)

Deedee | 1935 comments What was the best book you read in 2018?
Top 5 in 2018 – Here they are, in author alphabetical order:

Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
In the Shadow of Statues A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
Hero of the Empire The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard
Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard
All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1) by Martha Wells
All Systems Red by Martha Wells

What was the worst book you read in 2018?

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018?

Martha Wells -- I had read one of her books years ago and forgot about her and then I rediscovered her with All Systems Red

What are your reading plans for 2019?
Read more books 400+pages; read sequels, specifically, the sequels of The City of Brass and of All Systems Red; and, read more translated authors; plus at least one of Charles Dickens!

Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?

Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin
The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley (pub. January 2019)
Famous Men Who Never Lived by K Chess (pub. March 2019)

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?

I read more books that have been on my reading radar for a long time – including
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
All of which were 3 or 4 star reads.

I also read fewer books due to Real Life in 2018. Hopefully life will settle down some in 2019 and I'll read more.


message 7: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4355 comments I will answer after Jan 1. Still trying to get a book or two finished before year ends


message 8: by Rebekah (last edited Aug 30, 2019 11:06AM) (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 4355 comments Rebekah wrote: "I will answer after Jan 1. Still trying to get a book or two finished before year ends"

Sure got behind on this one!
1. Best Book(s) 2018
Unbroken A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Middlemarch by George Eliot Middlemarch by George Eliot
An American Family A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Khan An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Khan
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Dopesick Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
The American Claimant (1892) by Mark Twain The American Claimant by Mark Twain
The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
Strange as This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake Strange as This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake
The Devil's Highway A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea
The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston
Fascism A Warning by Madeleine K. Albright Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine K. Albright
The Small House at Allington (Chronicles of Barsetshire #5) by Anthony Trollope The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
Little Liar by Clare Boyd Little Liar by Clare Boyd


2. Worse Book(s) 2018
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson
The Green Mouse by Robert W. Chambers The Green Mouse by Robert W. Chambers
Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus

3. Author(s) fell in love with, rediscover or just discover
Bessie Head if my list wasn’t already too long, I would have added the 3 books of hers I read to best books.
Muriel Spark
George Eliot
Ann Pancake
Jodi Taylor
Brian Panowich

4. Reading plans for 2019
Catch up on Pulitzer winners for fiction

5. Book(s) most looking forward to in 2019
I didn’t know about it at the beginning of the year but now it is The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale, #2) by Margaret Atwood The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
And ones I looked forward to and read were
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce, #10) by Alan Bradley The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley
Although I hardly ever read brand new books until they come out in paperback unless they are gifts


message 9: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 274 comments What was the best book you read in 2018?
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

What was the worst book you read in 2018?
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Which author(s) did you fall in love with, or rediscover, in 2018? Erich Maria Remarque for All Quiet on the Western Front and W. Bruce Cameron for A Dog's Purpose.

What are your reading plans for 2019?
Well there were quite a few and now I have read a lot of completely different books than I thought I would.


Which author(s) or book(s) are you most looking forward to reading in 2019? There were so many.

What else do you want to say about what you read in 2018?
I really enjoyed a book that is well known in Australia My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin


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