In the summer of last year I wrote this post all about how I (and a few of my friends) set a reading challenge each year for how many books we’d like to read. I also proclaimed that I would have lots of time breastfeeding in 2018 and so ooobbbvviously would be reading more. HA! Hahaha! My, how naive my past self can be. The shift from one to two kids back in July has left me with much less time (who’da thunk it?) and so I didn’t hit my goal of 30 books for 2018. Sigh.
But I did read some absolute gems. So I thought I’d share with you the 19 books I did somehow manage to read last year, and a brief little review of each.
Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
To me, this book was totally worth the hype. I find Yuval’s writing style so readable and was in awe of how he was able to cover the scale of human evolution.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Technically young adults fiction I believe, it was the most gorgeous story of a girl with an isolating illness and her friendship with the boy next door. The entire book is also printed in such a creative way. I loved everything about it.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This has to be *the* book of 2018. Most of my friends and family have read it and the opinions were unanimous. It’s an excellent read. The main character Eleanor’s social awkwardness does a great job of making dark situations hilarious!
Grow Vegetables by Alan Buckingham
More of a text book than anything, I ended up reading this book cover to cover. I found the wealth of knowledge in it fascinating. Perfect for any novice vegetable gardners like me.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
What if women had more physical power than men? This book certainly made me think. I found the dystopian direction completely fascinating and the characters very intriguing, although it was much darker than I expected.
The Good People by Hannah Kent
A story of a small Irish village, an unwell little boy and ancient folklore. I loved the peek into old pagan rituals and how they bumped up against the new religions.
The Break by Marian Keyes
When a husband decides he wants 6 months off a marriage to go travel (and have sex with other people) but promises he’ll be back. This was a true Marian Keyes page turner for me. She’s got such a talent for not creating heroes but showing the raw, human side to all her characters.
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
I am a huge Tom Hanks fan and I thoroughly enjoyed most of his short stories. They’re all threaded together with the theme of old typewriters and many of them leave you longing for more.
Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
The premise seems tired: Boy and girl land on desert island… But I really loved this book. I like a cast away story and this one was such a great tale of survival and love with a shocking ending.
The Organised Home: Simple, Stylish Storage Ideas for All Over the House by Julie Carlson
I will be revisiting this book this year for a good spring clean. The images are beautiful (although they feel rather unattainable when you’ve got kidlets). I find it a highly motivating book with great minimising tips.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
The story of an unusual mother and daughter who move into a stepford wife-esque community. This was another huge book for 2018 and while I enjoyed reading it and the characters were great, it just didn’t leave me with any real lasting impression.
Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work by Melissa Gira Grant
While parts of this book gave an interesting insight into the world of the sex worker, it came across as very sterile and defensive, rather than informative. I was hoping for more history and context.
Stuffocation by James Wallman
If you want a kick up the bum to have a good clear out, this might be it. The only reason I stopped at 3 stars was that I found the writing quite flat and repetitive. But the concept works.
Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe
I really like Sara Pascoe and this book is a perfect introduction to her witty and intelligent personality (and sexual experiences). I was a little put off by how self deprecating she was at times, but enjoyed it overall.
Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy by Tim Harford
I found the first half of this book absolutely fascinating but once I was on thing number 26… I started to feel a bit overwelmed by the wealth of information. It would make an excellent gift for any fact hungry friends.
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
I love a good time-travel love story. But this one fell a little flat for me. An easy read that was enjoyable at times, but I think this storyline has been done better elsewhere.
A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto
The message in this book about mindfulness is completely simplistic and really quite profound. But it’s unfortunately very repetitive and became annoying in the end.
Mindfulness for Creativity: Adapt, Create and Thrive in a Frantic World by Danny Penman
If this was the first book on creativity you had ever read, I’m sure it would offer some amazing insights, but because I’ve pretty much read the subject to death, I didn’t really find anything of interest or value in it.
The Postnatal Depletion Cure: A Complete Guide to Rebuilding Your Health and Reclaiming Your Energy for Mothers of Newborns, Toddlers and Young Children by Oscar Serrallach
I was hoping for so much more from this book and probably unfairly so. I wanted a magic solution to sleep deprivation and burn out… But after reading it, I felt like “Of course I would feel better if I followed your highly prescriptive hormone balancing diet plan, but some Wednesdays I can barely manage a cup of tea and a Hob Nob for breakfast let alone homemade buckwheat and quinoa pancakes.”
And that, my friends is a round of up what I read in 2018. The great, the good and the mediocre. Did our book reading choices cross paths at all? Or have you any good recommendations to sling my way?