In 2017 I gave myself a goal of 52 books, and managed to end the year with 55. This year I set a goal of 60 books this year, and managed to end 2018 at 74. (There is a part of me that's really debating trying to cram one more in today so that it's a good 75, but it's probably not going to happen. Alas...) As always, I don't count kid books or books I read for work. I also had many DNF (did not finish) books. I have wholeheartedly embraced Gretchen Rubin's advice and I don't suffer through books anymore. If it's not interesting, I don't finish it.
I really leaned toward the creepy this year, so many of my books have a twisted quality to them. My favorites that will give you nightmares: The Last Mrs. Parrish. SUCH an interesting plot and so creepy. You never really knew who to root for. I loved it. The Hunger. Woah. This was a weird one. It's the Donner party reimagined with a supernatural bent and it was super weird and interesting.
Best Non-Fiction: I'll be Gone in the Dark. OMG. OMG so much. This case took place very close to where I live and he was arrested literally miles from my house. I LOVE a good crime story and this one was phenomenal. He was so evil and so smart about it. The author was brilliant in her investigation. Read this book, even if you have to sleep with the lights on for a month.
Best Fiction that probably won't give you the heebie jeebies: The Great Alone. I read this book early in the year and I still think of it often. The Hate U Give. I don't need to talk anyone into this one. I will say though that this was one of a couple books that Eli and I both read this year and he loved it as much as I did. If you've got a tween/teen, I highly recommend this as a joint read. State of Wonder. This was a great story on it's own, but it's also one of the few that I keep reflecting back on because of the underlying themes.
Best Memoirs: I typically don't enjoy memoirs, so I was surprised to see how many were on my list for this year. Most of them were "eh" but a couple stood out for me. We are Never Meeting in Real Life. This book is HILARIOUS. Like, laugh out loud and then desperately try to find someone to read the passage to hilarious. This caused some issues because most of the funniest excerpts are decidedly not family friendly. After the first time you try to censor a finger-banging passage so your husband knows why you're laughing like a maniac, you learn just to text him a picture of the paragraph. Meet the Frugalwoods. I liked this one because it wasn't as self-aggrandizing as some memoirs are, especially if the content is about life satisfaction and finances. The Frugalwoods are a couple that became famous for their blog as they were trying to buy a homestead and essentially retire in their thirties. She acknowledges that many of their choices are unconventional but it's written in a way that I found more inspiring than preachy. If "stop being a financial idiot" is on your resolution list (like it is mine. Again.) you might check this out.
I really wanted to like these books more than I did: The Future Home of the Living God. Maybe I wasn't in the right space, but this one didn't live up to the hype for me. Same with Little Fires Everywhere. Sure, it was good but I didn't think it was Earth shatteringly wonderful. Ghosted. One hundred percent "eh." If I'd started this one earlier in the year I probably wouldn't have finished it. Us Against You. Oh man. I guess they can't all be winners. I'll still read everything Fredrik Backman writes, but this one didn't do it for me. If you're just starting on his canon, don't start here. The Outsider. I think maybe I overdosed on weird AF storylines, because this one just didn't do it for me. It was weird and interesting, but not nearly as good as some of the other ones I read this year.
These are the books that I wanted to love, and couldn't even get through. Girl, Wash Your Face. I so wanted to embrace this and love it, but it just seemed like if someone wrote a book about all the inspirational memes people post on Facebook. Children of Blood and Bone. I think maybe I'll try this one again next year. It was a dense read and I just never really found my pace with it.
So that's my 2018! I'm still debating my goal for 2019, but I think I might shoot for 100. So help me out; What are you guys reading? Any goals for next year, or books you can't wait to get your hands on? I've been stalking my hold for Michelle Obama's Becoming (221 out of 650!) but other than that, 2019 is a pretty blank slate for me. I still haven't read It or Anne of Green Gables, so maybe those?