2018: My Year In Books

2018 was going to be a big year in books for me from the start. At the end of 2017, I realized I had averaged more than 70 books in each of the last two years, so I set myself what I saw as an ambitious goal: 108 books. It started out as a specific list of books, with the acknowledgement that I would add the occassional Advance Reader Copy (ARC) and would probably end the year at 120 or so – still nearly double my recent average. I distinctly remember even 53 books being very difficult in 2008, but my life had also been much different at the time, as a new person in my day job profession, new husband, and driving 100 miles one way to work for over half of that year. 2018 was going to be much easier – I was working a fairly easy job in a settled position in my career, married to the same lady from 2008, and working just 15 minutes from home.

I started the year with a couple of 19th century philosophical works, Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thorau and On Liberty by John Stuart Mills. Those would be the oldest books I read this year, and the only books published before the current Millenium. Over the course of the year, I would find many amazing books, a few duds, march through my mountain of a TBR (while adding even more, peril of a bookaholic), joined several more book and author groups, started a book blog, and overall surprise myself in a couple of ways:

1) I surpassed my original goal of 108 books in *October*. I closed the year at 156.
2) I didn’t realize it until counting yesterday, but of those 156 books, 46 of them turned out to be ARCs!

But let’s take a brief look at some “best of 2018”, shall we? I believe we’ll break it down by month before finally picking from those selections for the annual award.

January
Total books: 15
Series of the month: Spinster Series by Becky Monson
Humor of the month: Thirty-Two Going On Spinster by Becky Monson
Tear jerker of the month: n/a
Nonfiction of the month: Endurance by Scott Kelly
Audiobook of the month: Endurance by Scott Kelly
Most Interesting of the month: Endurance by Scott Kelly
Book of the month: Endurance by Scott Kelly

February
Total books: 11
Series of the month: The God Tools by Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly
Humor of the month: The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose
Tear jerker of the month: n/a
Nonfiction of the month: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Audiobook of the month: n/a
Most Interesting of the month: Infinity Lost by S Harrison
Book of the month: The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

March
Total books: 8
Series of the month: Sabel Security Thrillers by Seeley James
Humor of the month: Element 42 by Seeley James
Tear jerker of the month: Infinity Rises by S Harrison
Nonfiction of the month: Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us by Shane Claiborne
Audiobook of the month: n/a
Most Interesting of the month: Infinity Reborn by S Harrison
Book of the month: Sabel Security Thrillers by Seeley James

April
Total books: 11
Series of the month: Breakthrough by Michael C Grumley
Humor of the month: n/a
Tear jerker of the month: Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi
Nonfiction of the month: Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi
Audiobook of the month: Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi
Most Interesting of the month: Breakthrough by Michael C Grumley
Book of the month: Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi

May
Total books: 14
Series of the month: Rebel Wing by Tracy Banghart
Humor of the month: Hawaiian Punch by Rick Chesler and Douglas Corleone
Tear jerker of the month: n/a
Nonfiction of the month: Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Kranz
Audiobook of the month: An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth by Chris Hadfield
Most Interesting of the month: Body Count by Jeremy Robinson
Book of the month: Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Kranz

June
Total books: 8
Series of the month: Lake Haven by Julia London
Humor of the month: Death Warmed Over by Kent Holloway
Tear jerker of the month: Space At The Table by Brad and Drew Harper
Nonfiction of the month: Learning To Speak God From Scratch by Jonathan Merritt
Audiobook of the month: Space At The Table by Brad and Drew Harper
Most Interesting of the month: Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
Book of the month: Space At The Table by Brad and Drew Harper

July
Total books: 14
Series of the month: Project Eden by Brett Battles
Humor of the month: #SecondCivilWar – Letters: Letters from America’s Second Civil War by U. Ray Moran
Tear jerker of the month: Dancing With the Sun by Kay Bratt
Nonfiction of the month: The Black And The Blue by Matthew Horace
Audiobook of the month: n/a
Most Interesting of the month: The Space Between by Dete Meserve
Book of the month: The Space Between by Dete Meserve

August
Total books: 9
Series of the month: Sweetwater Trilogy by Lisa Clark O’Neill
Humor of the month: The Comfort Of Secrets by Christine Nolfi
Tear jerker of the month: n/a
Nonfiction of the month: Sleepyhead by Henry Nicholls
Audiobook of the month: Sleepyhead by Henry Nicholls
Most Interesting of the month: Sleepyhead by Henry Nicholls
Book of the month: The Waiting Room by Emily Bleeker

September
Total books: 15
Series of the month: Jurassic Dead Trilogy by Rick Chesler and David Sakmyster
Humor of the month: n/a
Tear jerker of the month: Granite Mountain/ My Lost Brothers by Brendan McDonough
Nonfiction of the month: Granite Mountain/ My Lost Brothers by Brendan McDonough
Audiobook of the month: Granite Mountain/ My Lost Brothers by Brendan McDonough
Book of the month: Gold by Steven Savile

October
Total books: 19
Series of the month: Brainrush by Richard Bard
Humor of the month: Space Force by Jeremy Robinson
Tear jerker of the month: Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew
Nonfiction of the month: Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger
Audiobook of the month: Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
Most Interesting of the month: Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger
Book of the month: Space Force by Jeremy Robinson

November
Total books: 14
Series of the month: Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale
Humor of the month: The Perfect Match by Maggie Dallen
Tear jerker of the month: Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale
Nonfiction of the month: Twain’s Feast by Andrew Beahrs and Nick Offerman
Audiobook of the month: Twain’s Feast by Andrew Beahrs and Nick Offerman
Most Interesting of the month: Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie
Book of the month: Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie

December
Total books: 16
Series of the month: Sanctuary Sound by Jamie Beck
Humor of the month: Shy by Brad Tanner
Tear jerker of the month: Alter by Jeremy Robinson
Nonfiction of the month: In Defense Of Food by Michael Pollan
Audiobook of the month: In Defense Of Food by Michael Pollan
Most Interesting of the month: Vessel by Lisa A Nichols
Book of the month: Alter by Jeremy Robinson

2018
Total books: 156
Series of the Year: Project Eden by Brett Battles. Of all the Series of the Month winners, this one gave the most epic tale and the most complete story arc.
Humor of the Year: Space Force by Jeremy Robinson. Quite simply one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, laden with pop culture (and specifically gaming) references.
Tear jerker of the Year: Granite Mountain/ My Lost Brothers by Brendan McDonough. I don’t think it is possible to read the full text of this book for all the tears you will be shedding near the end.
Nonfiction of the Year: Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Kranz. Kranz was at Mission Control through most of the major NASA missions that set them apart in the American consciousness, and this book is an amazing tale of those events through his eyes.
Audiobook of the Year: Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi. Hearing her story in her voice was very powerful, particularly at the end when she is dealing with the complexities of her life once she decided to have a child.
Most Interesting of the Year: Infinity Lost by S Harrison. Quite simply, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
Book of the Year: Gold by Steven Savile. In the end, the 6 year wait and amazing payoff had to be rewarded. Note to authors: If you’re going to wait so long between books, make sure they are at least this good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *