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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments

It's that time of year folks!

Here is the thread to post your favorite reads and the ones you detested in 2018.

The book does not have to be published in 2018, only read by you in 2018.


If you could provide a link and a few words on each book that would be great.


message 2: by E.R. (last edited Dec 16, 2018 12:21PM) (new)

E.R. Yatscoff (focstay) WORST Robert Parker's 'A Wanted Man'
Set in England but the only thing British about it is the setting. No slang, and for an ex-SAS soldier member that is unbelievable. No suspense. Dialogue sounds American. The protagonist leaves his biggest secret and key to his future with a guy he recently befriended in bar. Ridiculous.


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments E.R. wrote: "Robert Parker's 'A Wanted Man'
Set in England but the only thing British about it is the setting. No slang, and for an ex-SAS soldier member that is unbelievable. No suspense. Dialogue sounds Amer..."


That does sound bad. Thanks for the warning.

Welcome to Book Nook Cafe ! Thanks for joining and posting.


message 4: by Julie (last edited Dec 16, 2018 01:09PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2265 comments Best Reads of 2018
1) A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr 5/5 stars Fiction - Beautifully written classic romance!

2) The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George 4.5/5 stars Mystery - Lynley and Havers are back in their latest mystery.

3) Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe by Cullen Murphy Non-fiction - Fascinating book on cartoonists and their lives.

4) The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig 5/5 stars Non-fiction. A great read on the invention of the pill.

5) A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss 5/5 stars Childrens - Wonderful book about inclusion

6) Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin 5/5 stars Biography - If you like Jackson, this is the biography to read!

7) Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman 4.5/5 stars Biography - Fascinating look at two very complex men.


message 5: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments Nice list, Julie !


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 16, 2018 07:00PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments I rate my books 0-5

- Zero- Painful, back away ! Not fit for man nor beast- Don't even
think about it.
- 1- awful - not for me
- 2- Disappointing- fell below expectations
-3- Good- Okay- solid read
- 4- Above expectations - very good - special
- 5- Wow- good on all fronts. Top of its genre

My top 5 star rated books in 2018

Bobby Kennedy A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit--Chris Matthews

Endurance A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery--Scott Kelly

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine--Gail Honeyman

The War to End All Wars World War I by Russell Freedman The War to End All Wars: World War I--Russell Freedman

And Then We Danced A Voyage into the Groove by Henry Alford And Then We Danced: A Voyage into the Groove--Henry Alford

Fear Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward Fear: Trump in the White House--Bob Woodward

My lowest rated books for 2018

I didn't have any zero or 1 rated books

My 2 rated books are: 2 rating is not the worst books I've ever read but they fell below my expectations.

The 8-Hour Diet: Watch the Pounds Disappear Without Watching What You Eat

The 5:2 Diet Book

Exit West

Lab Girl

Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America's Role in the World

A Separation

The Death of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic


--My stats for the year so far are:
Non Fiction - 26
Fiction- 12
Total books read- 38


message 7: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments It's always fun to read this yearly list. I cannot link from my iPad but have selected most of mine. I have high hopes for one I'm reading now, so i'll wait.

Good list, Julie.

ER, that book does sound bad. Pity.

For me, i know A Separation will be on my worst list, so i agree with you there, Alias. While Exit West isn't on my best list, i liked it much more than you did, despite its flaws.


message 8: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 2265 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I rate my books 0-5

- Zero- Painful, back away ! Not fit for man nor beast- Don't even
think about it.
- 1- awful - not for me
- 2- Disappointing- fell below expectations
-3- Good- Okay- solid ..."


I really liked Honeyman's book- great read!


message 9: by John (last edited Dec 31, 2018 06:14PM) (new)

John | 1069 comments Fully agreed on Eleanor Olyphant, even though a popular mainstream title with a romantic angle would be ordinarily not be my thing. Also, I saw the Big Reveal fairly early on (usually I don't).

Three notable finds for me:

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica

Murder on Black Swan Lane

A couple of disappointments that I honestly cannot recommend:

Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan


message 10: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments John wrote:A couple of disappointments that I honestly cannot recommend:

Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History.."


That's too bad. I like her on MSNBC.
I didn't know she had a book out.


message 11: by John (new)

John | 1069 comments I didn't go into detail on each book in the above references. However, with her book the problem was that I was not the least bit interested in her personal life, so when she stayed on the focus of the campaign itself I thought the book was okay.


message 12: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments John wrote: "I didn't go into detail on each book in the above references. However, with her book the problem was that I was not the least bit interested in her personal life, so when she stayed on the focus of..."

I understand.


message 13: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10259 comments Before we left for our holidays, i took note of my favorites and least favs. THEN, i couldn't connect upon return. So, belatedly, i add my list.

FAVORITES:
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
The Vegetarian by Han Kang. This was told in 3 sections, each at least a month later from the previous. When one family member decides to eat a vegetarian diet, the family reacts...and not in a good way.

Every Day (Every Day, #1) by David Levithan
Every Day by David Levithan
This is a YA novel. A teenager wakes up every day as someone else. Sometimes all goes okay, all things considered, but somedays are truly awful. I really liked the way the book progressed. And it introduced me to a couple of other YAs that were new to me.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is the story of a woman who seems lost in the world until finding the ideal job for her mental stability, becoming a convenience store woman. The uniqueness of this story, set in Japan, surprised me by showing up as one of my favorites.

America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui. This story alters points of view but wasn't confusing. It is about a widow who decides to visit the US in hopes of finding where her dead son is buried. Other POVs are of a travel agent, her guide/companion and another random person or two.

The Next Three are Nonfiction.

The Spy Who Couldn't Spell A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee
The Spy Who Couldn't Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee. It's a bizarre story of a man who tried to betray our country. It's as sad as it is strange, imo.

Hidden Figures The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space by Margot Lee Shetterly. I know most people read this when it was first published or when the film was released but i didn't make the time. Pity. I really found the story of these women informative, while also learning much more about our space program.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
The Library Book by Susan Orlean is an absorbing book. The topics are more varied than one might think, given the title. It begins with a huge fire at the LA, California, but covers books, fire investigation, the story of the person tried for the crime but, the best part, the story of the books and the people who kept them. Good book.


message 14: by Alias Reader (last edited Jan 18, 2019 03:35PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments madrano wrote:Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata is the story of a woman who seems lost in the world until finding the ideal job for her mental stability, becoming a convenience store woman. The uniqueness of this story, set in Japan, surprised me by showing up as one of my favorites..."

Something about this sounds appealing, so I am adding it to my TBR. Though I think when you read it I did put it on my mile long list. So I am adding it again as I have started another new notebook for my TBR.

I did read a non fiction book on a convenience store that I found interesting.
My Korean Deli: Risking It All for a Convenience Store----Ben Ryder Howe

I really appreciate you adding to this thread.


message 15: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments madrano wrote: "The Vegetarian by Han Kang. This was told in 3 sections, each at least a month later from the previous. When one family member decides to eat a vegetarian diet, the family reacts...and not in a good way..."

I'm glad this made it to your favorites for 2018 as I have it on my TBR list.


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10259 comments The concept of those convenience stores was new to me. When i began the book i was thinking of something along the lines of a 7-11 but once buying furniture from them was mentioned, i was befuddled. Upon concluding i looked to correct my image and learned that the author actually worked in one for a number of years, even after her first book or two was published.

I forgot to add my Worst books.

WORST BOOKS of 2018--

A Separation by Katie Kitamura
A Separation by Katie Kitamura. Alias Reader already mentioned it as one of her least favorite but i wanted to echo her opinion.

The other books were just disappointing in Big Ways.

The Melungeons The Resurrection of a Proud People An Untold Story of Ethnic Cleansing in America by N. Brent Kennedy
Melungeons: Examining an Appalachian Legend by N. Brent Kennedy. This was just too much about his own family, as well as some broad speculation. Only one chapter in the book really worked well and that was the history of the name, country of origin debate and presidential musings. Unless you are related to the family, the rest lacked interest.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson. I suppose much of my disappointment was because she had few ideas of how to progress, only stories about why and benefits of this notion. To me it seems that if someone has picked up the book they are already in the mindset and want help.

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis. i so disliked his non-ending that it left an awful taste in my mouth for the entire book. I see that it is on many "favorites" lists for the year but no one seems to mention the abrupt ending. I kept wanting some wrap up but found none. That written, i must say i liked the stories of the departments covered & the stories of the people he highlighted.

Fly Girls How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien
The Fly Girls by Keith O'Brien. How an author can make the stories of these women bland is beyond my understanding. There was more history of aviation than quality material about the women themselves.


message 17: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments madrano wrote: "The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis. i so disliked his non-ending that it left an awful taste in my mouth for the entire book. I see that it is on many "favorites" lists for the year but no one seems to mention the abrupt ending. I kept wanting some wrap up but found none. That written, i must say i liked the stories of the departments covered & the stories of the people he highlighted.."

Darn. I have this on my TBR list. I've read a few of his other books and enjoyed them. Oh well, if I do read it, it will be one I get from the library.


message 18: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10259 comments Don't misunderstand me, i liked the book and found much interesting. It's just that the abrupt ending left me dissatisfied enough that it spoiled the book for me. When i explained my feelings about it my husband, who has read a couple other Lewis books, he said sharing about regular people and their stories is what the author does best. The ending surprised him.


message 19: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Carrington | 7 comments I liked all the books I read in 2018, but one stood out more than the others for me. My best read was

Believing by P.S. (Pam) Winn

I just loved the paranormal theme, the story was nicely constructed and thoughtful, like all this author's books.


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments Marcia wrote: "I liked all the books I read in 2018, but one stood out more than the others for me. My best read was

Believing by P.S. (Pam) Winn

I just loved the paranormal theme, the story was nicely constr..."


Thanks for sharing, Marcia. I see the author is a GoodReads author.


message 21: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Marcia, the reviews are generally good, i see. I haven't read anything like this in some time, so it's nice to see they are still enjoyed.


message 22: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Carrington | 7 comments I generally read a little of everything, but find an uplifting supernatural/paranormal book just makes me feel good after reading it. There's something about the positive themes in these books which balances my other reading which may treat similar themes but in a different manner.


message 23: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments It's the upbeat aspect which caught my attention. When i used to read them, i usually ended up feeling still a bit down by what i had read. Some of them are downright frightening to even think about later.


message 24: by Marcia (new)

Marcia Carrington | 7 comments I know what you mean, but this book is balanced in tone, with a nice ethereal atmosphere.


message 25: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Very nice, Marcia. Here's hoping you find more books that please you in this way.


message 26: by Soraya (new)

Soraya Cohen (sorayacohen31gmailcom) | 1 comments Best diet book: Eat Hot, Look Hot
Best Self-help Book: The Elon Musk Method
Worst book: Not sure


message 27: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 29, 2019 07:21AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments Soraya wrote: "Best diet book: Eat Hot, Look Hot
Best Self-help Book: The Elon Musk Method
Worst book: Not sure"


I know I want to read a bio on Musk. I've been thinking of putting this one on my TBR

Elon Musk Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future---Ashlee Vance

There are close to 3000 reviews of it on Amazon.


If you wish to post about your book, we have a thread for that.
Folder: General Conversation
Thread: Author's corner.

All other posts will be deleted.


message 28: by Annette (last edited Nov 01, 2019 09:58AM) (new)

Annette (annetteshistoricalfiction) | 102 comments I've read a few good books set during WWII in 2018, but my favorite pick is a different subject and it might be that it's my pick because it's something different.

The General's Cook
The General's Cook by Ramin Ganeshram

Hercules was a cook to General Washington. He was a master chef, highly praised by Washingtons. But the story also reveals a darker side of the history. When “President George Washington came to serve his tenure in Philadelphia in 1790 bringing enslaved ‘servants’ with him from his household in Virginia, most were eventually sent back to their estate, Mount Vernon, because the First Couple feared they would take advantage of Pennsylvania’s 1780 Gradual Abolition Act, which allowed for enslaved people to petition for freedom after six months of continuous residency. (…) He moved them out of Pennsylvania and into slave states to reset their tenure. (…) This rotation of enslaved people lasted throughout the Washington’s seven years in Philadelphia.”

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 29: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17665 comments Annette wrote: "I've read a few good books set during WWII in 2018, but my favorite pick is a different subject and it might be that it's my pick because it's something different.

[book:The General's Cook|3856354..."



Wow. I never heard this before. Thanks for sharing.


message 30: by madrano (new)

madrano | 10259 comments I didn't realize there was a book about this, so i thank you, Annette. When we were in Philadelphia a few years ago we visited the National Park (i think it was), where they had a loose "outline" of the residence in which the family stayed while there. There were some low walls, windows and doorways outlined. In different spots the story of the Washington slaves was shared, particularly this cook's story. It was eye-opening for me, as it's not one well-known but important to the times...and ours. I like knowing about this book.


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