I’m a little late posting this but we’re still in the first half of January so I don’t think that’s too bad, also better late than never.
Overall 2018 was a mixed year for me. There were plenty of positives – I got promoted at work, travelled to Romania, Dubai, Mauritius, Dubrovnik and Stockholm, and brought a flat in London with one of my best friends – but there were also a fair few negatives. At the end of the year my mental health took a turn for the worse; November and December I suffered from a reading and blogging slump and I just struggled finding motivation to do anything.
Things are getting better now though. I’m back to blogging and reading again, and I’m determined to make 2019 a better year than the last one was, but more on that at the end of this post.
Last year I read a total of 117 books, which was eight short of my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 125 books. Still I’m happy with 117 overall, it’s a lot of books even though it wasn’t my goal and it’s more than I read in 2017 as well.
Of those 117 books 28 were re-reads. One of my aims for 2018 was to re-read more and I definitely succeeded; in 2017 I only managed 12 re-reads so last year I doubled that. Maybe this year I can try and double it again.
Shortest and Longest Books Read
Most and Least Popular
Eighteen Favourite Reads of 2018
If I Had to Pick One Favourite…
Circe by Madeline Miller
When it comes to Greek mythology I think Madeline Miller is going to be my new go-to author. Circe was an incredible read; following the life of Circe as she’s exiled on Aiaia and learns her craft. Despite being exiled she still crosses paths with a lot of well-known figures from Greek myths, and it’s interesting how she influences so many stories.
…New Series I Started
Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell
I had the Spellslinger series sitting on my bookshelves for ages before I finally got around to picking it up. I brought it because the cover caught my eye and the blurb reminded me of one of my favourite series, and I’m glad I did because I am loving these books so far. There’s incredible world building, incredible character development, and each book just seems to get better and better.
Bright Ruin by Vic James
After the cliffhanger ending to Tarnished City I was desperate to find out how the story would go for all my favourite characters, and how Vic James would tie everything up, in the last book. Bright Ruin was better than I thought it would be, months after I finished I’m still thinking about that ending.
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
I loved Scythe but Thunderhead blew me away. We got an insight into the AI mind of the Thunderhead, saw how Citra and Rowan continued to develop (especially after everything that happened to them both in Scythe), and that cliffhanger ending had my mouth hanging open.
All for the Game by Nora Sakavik
I was convinced to pick up these books by a few bloggers who were raving about them, plus I kept seeing plenty of hype for the trilogy on Tumblr and I couldn’t resist. I was hooked from the first chapter; I haven’t sped through a series the way I did this one since I read the Heroes of Olympus books in 2017.
The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
There’s not a lot of people talking about this book, which is a shame because it is amazing. The Exact Opposite of Okay is such an important read, and I loved Izzy’s voice as she told us her story; her humour was so engaging and seeing how what was happening affected her made her story so real.
…Author I Discovered this Year
Everyone who’s read a book by Neal Shusterman has loved his writing. I’ve heard good things about his Unwind series, which is on my to-read list for this year, and if it’s anything like his Scythe series I have a feeling it will end up on my end of year recap for 2019.
Worst Book of the Year
The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr
I mentioned this in my previous post but I’m going to mention it again. The only positive thing I can say about The Truth and Lies of Ella Black was that the setting was well written, other than that there was nothing else I enjoyed; the storyline was ridiculous and I hated the characters.
Disappointments of the Year
These books weren’t necessarily bad, most of them got four stars from me, they just didn’t live up to my expectations.
There was so much hype for Children of Blood and Bone, and while it was a good book it just couldn’t live up to the hype for me. Again Leah on the Offbeat was another book that just couldn’t live up to the hype, plus there were a few parts which I felt were slightly problematic.
Both My Plain Jane and Wildcard couldn’t live up to the previous books in their series, and The Crimes of Grindelwald was not what I expected in all the bad ways. I really preferred Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
As I mentioned earlier in this post I fell into a major blogging and reading slump when my mental health took a bad turn at the end of 2018, to help combat that and make 2019 a better year I’m going to try something new and cut back on my goals.
Last year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal to 125 books, and if I hadn’t been in a reading slump at the end of the year I probably would have beaten that easily, but I was and I didn’t. This year I’ve set my goal to 75 books, and while there hasn’t been a year yet where I’ve read under 100 books I feel like this will just allow me to take it easy, not worry about meeting my goal, and enjoy reading again.
Books I Want to Read in 2019
No 2019 releases here, simply because I’ll be publishing a Top Ten Tuesday post tomorrow with my top ten most anticipated releases for the first half of 2019. I figured there was no point duplicating that list here when you can all read it tomorrow.
My writing was something I fell down on a little in 2018 as well. I failed at my goals for Camp NaNo in July and NaNoWriMo in November. This year I’m going to do better; not only will I be pledging in both the April and July Camp NaNo’s but I am determined to exceed the 50k goal in November.
My aim for this year if to finish my current WIP, which I have been working on since 2017 NaNoWriMo, before November so I can start working on one of the new WIPs which have been floating around in my mind come 2019 NaNoWriMo. To help with this I have created a spreadsheet and set myself a word count goal and I’m going to try and write between 2k and 5k words per week.
As you can see I didn’t do too well in week one, but my excuse was I had blogging I needed to catch up on. Week two will be a better one for working on my WIP for sure.
My main goal for the year is to put my mental health first. I ended up in a really bad place last year and I don’t want to find myself back there this year.
I’m going to continue blogging because I want to read my four-year blogiversary – I want to make more of an effort to comment and blog hop, and I want to continue enjoying what I write and post – and I’m going to make time for my other hobbies because I need a life outside of work and this blog – I want to start baking again, and I want to try and learn another language.
How did everyone else do with their 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge? Did anyone else fall a little short at the end or was it just me? What was your favourite book of the year, can you pick just one or do you have a whole list as well? Do you have any resolutions for 2019? I’ll keep my fingers crossed we all manage to keep them.
I hope everyone else had a brilliant Christmas and a happy new year, and I’m wishing you all the best for 2019.