My 2018 in books: Last day of the year

At the beginning of 2018,

I decided to, once again, sign up for the Goodreads reading challenge. After successfully completing my 2017 goal of reading thirty books I challenged myself to read thirty-six books during 2018.

On September 29th, I officially completed the challenge, and I’m ending 2018 with fifty-three books read.

I think there are several reasons why I read so much more than I thought I would.

I believe the most important reason is that I’ve read quite a few long series. For me, it always helps knowing I have a certain number of books ready and waiting. I don’t have to think about what to read next, and if I enjoy a series, I’m always eager to spend more time with the characters.

Audiobooks is another reason. For me, audiobooks open up so much more time for reading, and it takes away the forced choice between reading and doing something else I enjoy. Thorugh audiobooks I’m given the opportunity to do both; I’ll play video games, and then, when I have to adult, I can do laundry, cook, clean and exercise while listening to my book.

So, what have I read during 2018? 

(Because I read in two languages, I’ve decided not to include books unavailable in English. If you’re interested in what books I’ve read in Swedish, you can find my list of books read in 2018 HERE on my Goodreads page.) 

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett: I’ve read twenty Discworld novels this year, I’ve now read twenty-five of the forty-one books in the series. With one exception I’ve read them in the order they were published. My plan for this year was to read up to novel twenty, the Christmas themed “Hogfather” and read that during December. I managed to do that, then I got a bit carried away and read another five. I’m currently reviewing this series, you can find my introductory post and links to my reviews HERE.

The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski: This was, without competition, my favorite read of the year and easily one of my favorite fantasy series, ever. I loved this. There are eight books in total, I read one last year and the remaining seven this year. I can’t adequately express how sad I am that there are no more books in this series for me to read. I’m currently reviewing these books. You can find my introductory post and links to my reviews HERE.

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan: I planned to read at least two out of fourteen books this year; I read three, then I gave up. This was my biggest disappointment of the year. I tried to love this, tried harder than I’ve ever tried before, but I just didn’t like it. You can find my introductory post to the series as well as links to my reviews of the first three books, HERE. If you’re curious why I abandoned the series I give a fairly detailed explanation in my review of the third book which you can find HERE.

The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper: This is a reread of one of my favorite series from my childhood. It’s one I’ve revisited many, many times even as an adult. I read this series every few years.

As far as stand-alone novels go,

they make up the minority of the books I read this year. When I hit the six-month mark of the reading challenge, I wrote THIS post talking about four of them. I’ve read a few more after that, including,

En man som heter Ove, (A man called Ove) by Fredrik Backman: During 2012-2013 you could bearly mention the word book without having a random Swede start raving about this particular novel. In Sweden it’s still immensely popular, it’s been translated into multiple languages, adapted into a movie as well as a critically acclaimed one-man show.

I think it’s an enjoyable book, with a few genuinely emotional moments. But, I’m not as ecstatic about it as most people seem to be. There were aspects of the central conflicts I found unrealistic, and although a charming cast of characters, none of them stayed with me, not even Ove.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman: This book was on my list over books I wanted to read this year. It’s described as a sequel of sorts to the novel, American Gods. However, having read both, I would say it’s more a case of the books existing in the same world than this book being an outright sequel. I really enjoyed this book, not quite as much as American Gods, but it’s easily one of my favorites this year.

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris: A well-written retelling of Norse Mythology using Loki as an unreliable narrator. It’s a subject I love but, unfortunately, one of my least favorites reads this year, you can find my review of it HERE.

Two other novels I’ve read are A Skinful of Shadows by Francis Hardinge and The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. I’m currently working on reviews for both of these books.

Summarizing, 2018 has been a good reading year for me.

One thing I regret is my growing number of unread comic books. I’d planned to read season eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer this year, as well as some other comics I’ve bought, that did not happen, I’m hoping to do better in 2019.

The highlights of the year were definitely The Witcher Series, several novels from the Discworld Series my favorites being, Pyramids, Guards! Guards!, Reaper Man, Small Gods, Men at Arms, The Fifth Elefant, and Night Watch. Stephen Fry’s retelling of the Greek myths in Mythos was fantastic, (I talked about it in my six-month update), Anansi Boys and A Skinful of Shadows were two other stand-alone novels I really enjoyed.

So, that’s it for my 2018 in books. Now it’s time to start making plans for 2019. How about you, how was your 2018 in books? Good, bad? What was your favorite and what amazing book did I miss?

Happy New Years!

Ms. F

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