My Year In Books: 2018

Jan 1, 2019 | What I Read

To see the full list of books I read this year, click here.

Last year I modified my approach to this annual entry, by letting Goodreads display my reading statistics. I will continue to do that this year, and going forward. However, I always like to reflect on what I read throughout the year, the trends or themes of the year, and look forward to my reading material for the next year.

While last year was a year I read a lot of standalone novels, 2018 was a year in which I focused almost exclusively on series books. I started off the year by catching up with the published novels in The Expanse series, which are incredibly good books. I am very eagerly awaiting the next book in the series Tiamat’s Wrath, due out in 2019.

I also used the year to catch up with the Old Man’s War series, which I’d been neglecting for a long time. Those are also very good books, though each has its own flavor, and feel, even though they’re set in the same universe, and are by the same author.

Other series books this year included:

  • The 4th book of the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown
  • The 2nd book of the Lock In series by John Scalzi (one of my new favorite authors)
  • The 8th Academy book by Jack McDevitt
  • The 2nd Wayfarers novel
  • The last of The 5th Wave trilogy
  • Two more books of the Star Quest series by Ben Bova
  • Origin, the 5th book in the Robert Langdon series of Dan Brown’s
  • The first two books in the Yesterday’s Kin trilogy
  • The 2nd book of the Interdependency series by John Scalzi
  • The first of the short Murderbot novellas, of which I plan to read more.
While not technically a series, I read a couple of the new Star Wars books that came out recently. One of them was quite good, while the other was decidedly not. Oddly enough this year, most of my favorite authors (other than Scalzi) didn’t have new books, or they came out late, and I haven’t read them yet. With the exception of McDevitt, I didn’t read any Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Charles Wilson or Stephen Baxter (the latter three didn’t release books in 2018.) There is a Kim Stanley Robinson book queued up to read very soon, though. As for recommendations, here’s where things get rather interesting: none of the books I read this year particularly stand out as ones I’d recommend. Part of that is because they were either part of a series—which means you’d likely need to read the beginning of the series anyway—or means they just didn’t really stand out as excellent or throught-provoking novels. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone an entire year without reading something worth recommending. Hopefully 2019 is not another year like that. Speaking of 2019… I have 111 books on my Want to Read list, which is quickly growing out of control. Some of these books I fear I’ll never get around to reading. The Culture series is still just sitting there, waiting for me to pick it up, as it has for years now. While some of the books on my list are series books, many of them are standalones, or the start of new series, and a great many of them are by authors I haven’t read before. Perhaps I’ll try to make 2019 a ‘new author’ year, where I focus on books by those that are new to me.

There are a few books I’m anticipating coming out in the new year, none of them are ones that I absolutely can’t wait for. That’s a shame. Still, I’m happy to say that I surpassed by reading goal for 2018. I set myself the challenge of reading 18 books, and ended up reading 23 (and starting a 24th one.) For 2019, I’d like to set myself a goal of 20, but the first three I’m reading are particularly long, and will definitely take me some time. I figure if I can have those 3 done by the end of March, I may have a shot at 20; so I’ll set that for my goal. Let’s see how I do.

My Year In Books: 2018

time to read (approx.): 3 min