2018 in Books

What a year! These 365 days have passed like a blur and I cannot seem to fathom how time is speeding by when the clocks are still ticking in their slow hypnotic way! It’s been an incredible year, full of new experiences, adventures and obviously some wonderful books as well! 2018 is the year that I decided to leave my comfort zone and discover new genres, new authors and new ways to read books. It’s been a year where I discovered my love for classics and reaffirmed my obsession with historical fiction books. This year I also bought the Kindle Paperwhite, which has been a huge game changer for me. Thanks to e-books, I have stopped buying physical books in bulk, thus allowing for more shelf space and giving my bank account a much needed break! It made me aware how much money I was spending on random physical books, a great number of which I lost interest in and eventually gave them away.

I guess what has changed the most this year is the way I’ve come to appreciate books even more, not only for their covers and designs but also the beauty of the written word itself, and how some authors can manage to create something so beautiful with a few simple words. I’ve become more aware of the act of reading itself, and how a simple sentence could change the way I think or feel. I’m truly thankful for this year and I hope 2019 will offer even more beautiful stories and adventures.

Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 14.46.02

Number of books read: This year I managed to finish my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 80 books! In fact I read a total of 81 books and if I didn’t get sick over the Christmas holidays I would have definitely read more. I’m quite pleased with the number and actually quite surprised with myself considering the number of reading slumps that took hold of me multiple times during the year.

Number of reread books: I guess you already know by now how much I love rereading old favourites. In fact, this year I read a total of 23 books, most of which were part of a series. I honestly love revisiting my favourite characters and places, even when most of these books make me cry for weeks! Rereading Harry Potter and The Night Circus has become a sort of yearly tradition and I’m definitely looking forward to read them again next year!

Genres most read: This year I read mostly adult fiction books, most of which were classics. I also read quite a number of young adult fantasy books, which is one of my favourite genres, although lately I’ve become quite picky when it comes to YA, mostly because of the unnecessary romance that seems to crop up everywhere. Unfortunately I only managed to read 6 non-fiction books and I really want to focus more on this genre next year.

Longest book read: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas [1276 pages]

Shortest book read: The Canterville Ghost by OScar Wilde [45 pages]

Top 10 Books: [in no particular order]

  1. The Unseen World // Liz Moore
  2. The Count of Monte Cristo // Alexandre Dumas
  3. Lady Windermere’s Fan // Oscar Wilde
  4. What we see in the stars // Kelsey Oseid
  5. The Raven Cycle series // Maggie Stiefvater
  6. Frankenstein // Mary Shelley
  7. The Essex Serpant // Sarah Perry
  8. All the Light we cannot See // Anthony Doerr
  9. City of Thieves // David Benioff
  10. Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions // Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Honorary mentions:

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle // Shirely Jackson
  • Sappho: Poems and Fragments 
  • The Mistletoe Murder and other stories // P.D. James

 

New favourite authors I discovered this year:

  • Oscar Wilde: I read The Picture of Dorian Grey a few years ago, back when my relationship with classics was still hesitant and sadly, I didn’t truly appreciate Oscar Wilde’s brilliant and witty writing. Recently however, I came across this particular quote that impelled me to look up it’s source and read the whole thing pronto and that was: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” from the play: Lady Windermere’s Fan. The play was such a joy to read. The dialogue was equal parts hilarious, clever and thought-provoking. What I love about Oscar Wilde is his use of humor to criticize social situations, entertaining us with his words while at the same time making us think on a more profound level about life and our actions. I’m definitely looking forward to read more of his works.
  • Shirley Jackson: During Halloween I decided to read We Have Always Lived In The Castle. The book was unlike anything I was expecting. It was dark, creepy and complex, with beautiful poetic writing that made it feel almost like a dream. It’s not your typical horror story, but is still terrifying in it’s own way, mostly in the way it slowly creeps up on you and chills your brain to the core. Shirley Jackson has such skill when it comes to writing her characters, giving them distinctive voices and utterly disturbing personalities. Her books will surely be on my TBR next year!
  • Agatha Christie and P.D. James: These two talented authors have introduced me to crime fiction and murder mysteries, the likes of which I’ve never read before. I honestly cannot believe that it took me so long to finally read their books and I’m so glad that I picked up Murder on the Orient Express and The Mistletoe Murder and other stories this month, both of which I enjoyed immensely. They made me acutely aware how much I need a good mystery novel in my life! I’m definitely looking forward to discover more of their books next year.

Favourite Quotes:

“The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.”

 -The Count of Monte Cristo

…………………………

Awed by her splendor

Stars near the lovely
moon cover their own
bright faces

when she
is roundest and lights
earth with her silver”

-Sappho
…………………………

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

-1984

…………………………

“The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”

-A Midsummer Night’s Dream

…………………………

“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”
 
“Beware, for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”
-Frankenstein
…………………………
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
 
“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”
“But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely – or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.”
-Lady Windermere’s Fan
…………………………
“If all you ever see is reality, you just want to die. The only way to get over barriers, she said, is to live in the spirit of already being over them”.
“We were born in order to see and listen to the world.”
-Sweet Bean Paste
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I hope you all had a lovely year and may 2019 be even more wonderful.
x

7 thoughts on “2018 in Books

  1. You had such an amazing reading year! I’d love to re-read some of my fabourites next year, and up my goal from 50 to 60 books 🙋‍♀️ I read a couple of plays and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde this year too and loved them! Definitely a favourite of mine. Hope you have an amazing 2019! X

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like you had such a great year with books, that’s great! 😀 I only managed to read between 20-30 books this year, but I’m hoping to read more in the new year. And how is the Kindle Paperwhite? Right now I use the Kindle app on my iPad, but I’ve been wondering for a while as to how different using a Kindle might be. Hope you have a great 2019! 💜 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you enjoyed most of the books you read this year 😊 I used to use the Kindle app on my phone before I bought the Paperwhite and I very much prefer the latter, mostly because it doesn’t strain my eyes and the screen feels like actual paper. It’s small so it can easily fit in any bag and it has wifi as well so you can access the amazon kindle store and goodreads as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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