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Books of 2018

January 1, 2019

Like I mentioned in my last post, I have been reading a lot, probably more than sewing/crafting. And unlike my sewing projects, I actually like listing out all the books I finished in a year so that’s what you get!

  • Babel-17 – Kindof pulpy sci-fi, but the story is really good and this is one of my sister’s favorite books. The main character is a woman of Asian decent, so for a book written in the 60s that’s pretty interesting.
  • Hidden Figures – I think I listed this in last years list too because I had to take a break reading it, it’s pretty heavy an information. It’s still fast paced and interesting but there’s a lot going on (and a lot of women named Katherine, so that was a little confusing). The ending made me a little depressed because women’s positions in the workplace obviously stagnated somewhat from the 80s to present.
  • The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – Very short book, and some really good points without being judgmental. Also pretty funny and exactly what the title says it is.
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Very bad science, but what can you really expect from a science fiction book written in 1864. Can’t say it wasn’t fun, even if I didn’t particularly care for most of the characters.
  • Stories of Your Life and Others – I actually only read half of this book of short stories. They’re really good, but somehow very heavy mentally. I started it because one of the stories is the basis for the movie Arrival which I loved, but I think I liked the movie more than the story. A few of the other stories will stick with me more.
  • Caliban’s War – Book 2 of the Expanse series (also a super amazing tv show). I love the tv show and the books, but I fear this will be an never ending series. We’ll see how many I read. I dislike when series just keep going and going.
  • Washington: The Indispensable Man – I asked my dad if I could borrow a biography of George Washington and he lent me 7… This was the most comprehensive of them and it is very good. The USA would not exist if George hadn’t been patient enough to be our first president, not even joking. Also, we didn’t really win the Revolutionary war, France did it for us basically. It’s really interesting to see how the history I learned in grade school was distorted.
  • Circe – I love Greek mythology and I love twisted fairy tales or retellings, so this was perfect. Circe is a minor character in the Odyssey portrayed as a witch who entraps sailors for no reason. This book is from Circe’s perspective and it’s really awesome. Odysseys still plays a big roll, but Circe’s life does not revolve around him. She is still a witch, but in a more ground breaking way because she and her siblings are the first.
  • Sharp Objects – I watched the tv show first and couldn’t get enough of it so I read the book. I think the two support each other really well, there are details in both the show and book that would be difficult/impossible to have in the other. And thankfully the book has a bit more of an epilogue than the show. Amy Adams might be my favorite actress.
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle – And I read this because I saw there is a movie version coming next year that looks good. For some reason I thought this was going to be a ghost story but it wasn’t, more of a murder mystery told by an unreliable narrator (who I did not like at all, but that’s probably the point). The visuals were really good, the story very interesting, I had a hard time placing it in time but I think it was supposed to be set in the 50s. It annoyed me a little that things like paying property taxes or electric bills was never a problem after the ~big event~ at the end that I can’t spoil. But I guess I’m just being too practical with a fictional story.
  • The Bookshop on the Corner – This is basically a hallmark movie in book form. I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a hallmark story yet because it would be a good one. There’s nothing earth shaking here, it’s a lighthearted romance about a woman who has to start her life/career over in a new place. But it was really fun and set me on the look out for more fluff romance books. Strangely, this is the Americanized title and makes zero sense with the plot because there is no bookshop on the corner. The British title is The Little Shop of Happily Ever After, which makes more sense contextually.
  • Hotel du Lac – I guess I’d call this one a romance too kindof, except it’s more about the main character, Edith, choosing not the get married. I liked it, but I wish the ending gave a more clues about what Edith did after she left the Hotel du Lac. It won the Man Booker Prize in 1984, so it’s not just me that thought it was good 🙂
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Another book where I really didn’t like the main character at all. But it is a really good take on a good verses evil story, I’m surprised it isn’t classified as fantasy or horror.
  • The Proposal – When I’m on planes I read, so when I finished Hotel du Lac but still had a layover and second flight to get through, I bought this at an airport bookstore on a whim. And it was exactly what I was looking for after finishing Bookshop on the Corner! A modern day romance in LA, dealing with the impacts of social media and some racism (though it kindof glossed over that even though the main character is black). I really want to read the previous book by this author that takes place in the same “universe,” and there’s a third book coming out next year.
  • Acorna’s Quest – This is the second book to one I read last year about a futuristic unicorn alien race. Acorna, the unicorn girl, is on a quest to find her home planet and figure out what alien race she’s from. Not sure I’ll read anymore of these (and trust me there are a lot more of them, like any semi-popular sci-fi series), but it was fun and colorful, if not the best plot.
  • The Glass Dragon – And speaking of decent, but not ground breaking, sci-fi/fantacy book series, here’s another one! There was plenty of silliness in this, but still good fun and I might read the next one if I can find it. Set in a magical medieval country, there’s a mysterious power slowly eroding the current (stagnant) government system that is supported by dragon magic. A new magician with unorthodox powers unravels most of what’s going on to save the last female dragon.
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – Apparently this is a true story, told from the author’s point of view, except the author took liberties with the timeline. I could not tell it was real until I reread the back cover halfway though and honestly I don’t like that he wasn’t actually there for most of the events but acted like he was. Kindof a boring story too.

Pedro and I visited Minnesota’s north shore along lake Superior

17 books is pretty good I’d say!


One Comment leave one →
  1. kssews permalink
    January 2, 2019 2:52 pm

    17 books is great! I have a goal of 12 this year. I hate that I’ve basically quit reading.

    I will have to look into some of your recs. Though I cannot handle anything too mentally draining right now.

    I’m reading The President is Missing (Bill Clinton/James Patterson) and it’s okay. I’m glad I was patient and didn’t buy it though!!

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