My 2018 reading review

In 2018 I read 128 books according to my notebook however I seem to remember that my Goodreads Challenge tallied up to 131 at least, but that challenge thingy seems to have disappeared, along with the previous years so I can’t check it. Seventy-five by female authors

Female authors
– 76
Male authors – 52

I read fourteen books originally aimed at children, but if you had asked me I would have said I had read a lot more than that. There weren’t any duds in the children’s fiction, but that’s to be expected as they were all classics really, or had been Carnegie medal winners.

Only twenty-four books were written by Scottish authors – I must do better in 2019. I intend to catch up with Ian Rankin’s Rebus series this year so that should bump up my tally.

Only fourteen books were non-fiction. I think that’s pitiful but I’m putting that down to all the Brexit chaos not being conducive to reading anything that you have to put much thought into. I’ve definitely been finding solace in light reading recently.

I think my favourite non-fiction was The Oaken Heart by Margery Allingham, her account of life in rural Essex during World War 2. I really liked the Diana Athill books that I read too.

Casting my eyes down the pages I must admit that some of the titles don’t mean a lot to me. No doubt if I read the blurb or even my own scanty thoughts on it then it would come back to me. Others are still very vivid in my mind.

I’d like to read more books by new to me author Amor Towles as I really enjoyed his A Gentleman in Moscow. I also read Rose Tremain for the first time and I’d like to read more by her.

I’ll definitely read anything by Andrew Taylor that I can get my hands on.

The classic book that disappointed me most was The Leopard by Tomasi de Lampedusa. I didn’t hate it but it just wasn’t as good as I expected it to be.

The series that I enjoyed most was the R.F. Delderfield trilogy A Horseman Riding By. I hope to read more by him soon.

The saddest book was The Red Pony by John Steinbeck.

Penelope Lively is becoming one of my favourite authors.

I loved King Hereafter by Dorothy Dunnett. The only things holding me back from reading her Niccolo series is the heftiness of them and the fact that you have to really concentrate on them.

I’m going to continue reading D.E. Stevenson’s books. I think they’ll be perfect for the chaos to come in this Brexit year.

My 2019 reading didn’t begin well, my own fault for being seduced by a library book that I knew nothing about. This year I definitely intend to concentrate mainly on my own books, the unread piles are just getting out of hand despite me being much pickier about what I buy nowadays. New bookcases are desperately required!

16 thoughts on “My 2018 reading review

  1. I’m just starting the third Delderfield book in the series God Is An Englishman. I have enjoyed this series…looking forward to reading the ones you mentioned. I have learned so much from his books and find the characters believable and interesting. And, I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that D. E. Stevenson is near the top of my all time favorite authors.

    • Paula,
      I haven’t bought any of the books in that series yet, but I intend to, I’m hoping I’ll see them in an actual secondhand bookshop. I’m going to begin reading a D.E.S. book soon – Katherine’s Marriage I think.

  2. I keep a close track of my reading too, with stats and all. And I know what you mean about looking at a title and going completely blank. Uh, I read THAT? What was it about?

    Fortunately, besides my slightly obsessive spreadsheet, I also keep a journal, using any nice little notebook that finds its way into my house. Even just a few words about the book helps assure me I’m not totally losing it. A few pages on a books indicates I found it completely captivating or, sometimes, completely frustating.

    And of course, D E Stevenson is indeed good balm for the chaos of, well, any year.

    • Susan D,
      I should definitely emulate you and set up a wee code for myself, it should help to jog my memory. I have several unread D.E.S. books and I intend to read them all this year.

  3. Dorothy Dunnett’s books do require concentration, even the Dolly books – which are still great fun. I think though that Niccolo Rising is one of her best, particularly the setting in Bruges.

    I still have some of Penelope Lively’s children’s books to read, and the most recent on gardening. And it’s been so long since I’ve read some of her books that I’ve forgotten much of the story, so I can look forward to re-reading them.

    • Lisa,
      Strangely I had never even realised that she had written the Dolly books, I’ve never seen any – you sent me to Wiki. I must say it’s slightly sickening that one person was so talented – with her portrait painting and such. I’ve been to Bruges so I know I’ll love Niccolo Rising.

  4. I didn’t read much non-fiction in 2018 either, but The Oaken Heart was my favourite too. I still have the last book in the Horseman Riding By trilogy to read, then I’m looking forward to moving on to some of Delderfield’s other books.

    The Niccolo books are great – I’m sure you’ll enjoy them since you loved Lymond and King Hereafter, but you do need to pick the right time as they are so long and complex.

    • Helen,
      Dunnett’s books certainly aren’t easy bedtime reading although I have ended up sitting up in bed reading until after 2 am, unable to put her book down!

  5. Hi Katrina,
    I have so many comments I’d like to make on this post that I don’t know where to begin!! I know for myself that my reading direction and reading goals have suffered terribly since POTUS blighted our lives.
    But this year, with the election of so many Democrats and so many more women!! to the House of Representatives I feel renewed strength and much less downcast. I do hope that the dire predictions of what will happen with Brexit just don’t come to pass–praying so!
    In any case, I want so much to read Delderfield. I have A Horseman Riding By and want to get to it–just not sure when.
    I think you would do well to fly like a kite with all the books that feel right in this coming year.
    I, too, thought you had read more children’s books AND I thought for sure you had read more books by Scottish authors. It seemed to me all this past year that you were being quite diligent in that respect.
    But, I think you’ll have some fun catching up with Rankin’s Rebus this year–
    I must read The Oaken Heart.
    And Amor Towles!! I too enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow.
    Are you interested in reading his Rules of Civility??? That was the first Towles book that came onto my radar and I have had it waiting to be read for a number of years–oh, gosh, that embarrassing TBR pile.
    Best to you!

    • Judith,
      Funny that you should mention Rules of Civility because I did read it not long after A Gentleman in Moscow, it’s good but not as good as the ‘Gentleman’. It hasn’t stuck in my mind so much!
      I just can’t believe what awful, useless, feckless and ignorant politicians we have – we deserve better.

  6. It is so difficult to pick books at the end of the year, especially when you look back at the title – so blankly like me! Well I must have enjoyed, but don’t ask me what it was about.

    I need to read more of my own books this year, too much on kindle!

    Better get on with my list.

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