30th December, 2018

Bookish Stuff: Looking back on the reading year: reading challenges, FAVOURITES, ETC. 

It's almost the last day of the year so it's the time when people tend to look back on the last 365 days and make resolutions for the next year. Privately, 2018 was a very challenging year with lots of upheaval, many uncertainties and, honestly, quite a few tears. It did have its nice moments but the emotionally stressful ones were definitely dominant. Things have settled down a little now, so I feel I can look back on my reading year without mentally attaching the books I read to all the private stuff that happened. 

So what was 2018 in books like? - I can proudly announce that I completed my Goodreads challenge again and exceeded it by 22 books. I've been doing the Goodreads yearly challenges for almost a decade now and I always aim for 100 books per year. The only exception was in 2013 when I was pregnant with our son and those hormones simply didn't let me focus on anything. Haha. Anyways, I really like this reading challenge as it gives you so much leeway: you can read whatever you want and it's simply a number you have to reach. Easy peasy. What I totally failed at was another challenge set up by a good friend on Litsy, and I mean fail as in big-time-totally-embarassing-fail! That challenge was for classics and we basically compiled a list from A-Z (title or author) of classics we wanted to finish in 2018. So guess how many I actually managed. A measly and totally pathetic total of 2 classic books. Yes, I know, I should be ashamed and hide in a closet till next year. ;-) 

What this latter challenge has showed me though is that I'm simply not cut out for such "restrictive" reading challenges. I am very much a mood reader and while I adore the classics, all those new publications out there are just very tempting. For 2019 I will try to put a few more classics on my TBR but will not beat myself up if I don't get to them. I mean, I read most of the canonical stuff during my studies so it's not like I'm a complete philistine when it comes to these books, so why should I make myself anxious for something that should be fun? 

Recently, a friend asked me about my favourite books of 2018. I don't know if people just don't realise but this is such a hard question to answer! It's like you're supposed to pick a favourite child, i.e. simply impossible. I do have some books, however, that I really loved and that I constantly recommend to other readers. One is Kate Atkinson's Transcription, which I reviewed a few weeks ago for this blog. Other titles would include Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, Daisy Johnson's Everything Under, and Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

2019 already looks very promising with quite a few releases I'm looking forward to. One of these is Katie Hale's My Name is Monster, a post-apocalyptic story set in Scotland, which will be out in June with Canongate Books Edinburgh. They kindly sent me an ARC, so expect a review soon. :-) Another new publication is Debbie Tung's Booklove, a collection of bookish cartoons and graphics. Then Kate Atkinson is supposed to release a new Jackson Brodie novel in the summer, another book I am keen to get my grubby hands on. That's just a few titles but there are so many more that look amazing.

I guess we'll see what happens in 2019. I definitely want to say thanks to you for reading my blog. It was a bit of work to get this thing off the ground in the autumn but I love doing it and look forward to providing you with more reviews next year. So whatever you're doing on New Year's Eve: Stay safe and I'll read ya on the other side. :-*

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