2018 Book Roundup

curved bookshelf
In 2018, my friend Claire challenged me to read 100 books in a year. In general, I’m not really big on reading challenges. I don’t want to get so focused on hitting goals that I’m not enjoying my books anymore. But 100 books was exactly the right challenge for me. I could still read whatever I wanted, and that number was only a little higher than what I have read in previous years. If I eliminated just a couple of my bad habits, I had enough time to increase my reading time. (That said, if the goal were much higher, it would be totally unattainable, and I wouldn’t bother. Reading is my favorite thing ever, but I do have other hobbies.)
I had a great reading year, because I won’t finish a book I don’t like. There is just no time, my friends. I have no problem setting a book aside if it’s boring. In fact, I think I set more books aside this year than I ever have in the past. 
In addition to the 100 books in 2018 goal, I had three more specific goals: I haven’t read a Jane Austen in a few years, I wanted to re-read Howard’s End (my all time favorite book; it’s been a couple of years since I read it) and I wanted to read the entire Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. I didn’t do ANY of those things! That just means I will add them to my goals for 2019.
Otherwise, I had my usual 50/50 fiction and nonfiction. I don’t do that on purpose, but I do tend to alternate between them throughout the year. In the fiction, I stuck to most of my favorite genres: literary fiction, historical, romance, YA. I did branch out this year into the Cormoran Strike thrillers, and I’m SO glad I did. They are much darker than I’m used to (the second one, especially, is very gruesome) but gaaaaah they are so good.
Here is the overall list, with links to buy if you are interested. And, if you are in the mood for a deep dive, you can also check out my 2017 and 2016 book lists.
Can’t wait to hear what you think, and what suggestions you have for me to read next!


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Surrender the Pink by Carrie Fisher

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Book of Essie by Megan MacLean Weir

No Day Like Today by Amy Teegan

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

The Story of Alfred Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam

Ghosted: A Novel by Rosie Walsh

We the Animals by Justin Torres

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

Goodbye Paris by Anstey Harris

The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett

Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him by Patricia Marx

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Alternative Remedies for Loss by Joanna Cantor

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Historical Fiction

Madam by Libbie Hawker

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray

The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

The Crucible by Arthur Miller


Bronze by Adele Huxley

Cocky Author by Fettucine Holliday

Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel by Mia Hopkins

Holly Freakin’ Hughes by Kelsey Kingsley

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Mr. Wrong by Tammi Labrecque

Tikka Chance On Me by Suleikha Snyder

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory


The Wife Between us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Still Life by Louise Penny

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

November Road by Lou Berney

Children’s/Young Adult

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

VIII by H.M. Castor

What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

This is Not the End by Chandler Baker

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This is Me, Period: The Art, Pleasures, and Playfulness of Punctuation by Philip Cowell and Caz Hildebrand


Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things by Amy Dickinson

Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza

Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents by Pete Souza

France is a Feast: The Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child

L’Appart by David Lebovitz

Calypso by David Sedaris

Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden

Matched by Denise Massar

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Graphic Novels

Love is Love: A Graphic Novel by Marc Andreyko and Sarah Gaydos

The Museum of Broken Relationships by Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic

The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York by Peter Tomasi


Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach

Happiness Lessons from the Dalai Lama for Busy Adults by Shannon Berry

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Gmorning, Gnight: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Johnny Sun

The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett

Cookbooks/Food & Drink (Yes, I Read These Cover to Cover, Like a Novel)

Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table edited by Amanda Hesser

Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes by Alison Roman

Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food by Marcy Carriker Smothers

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry and Laren Devine

Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

The Ultimate Book of Cocktails: How to Create Over 600 Fantastic Drinks Using Spirits, Liqueurs, Wine, Beer, and Mixers by Stuart Walton


Designing with Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin

The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney

Moth Orchid Mastery by Raffaele di Lallo

Historical Research for an Upcoming Book, You Will Never Guess Where It’s Set

The Historical Atlas of New York City: A Visual Celebration of 400 Years of New York City’s History by Eric Homberger

Jay’s Journal of Anomalies by Ricky Jay

Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis by Kevin Walsh

When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? by Staff of the New-York Historical Society Library

America’s Boardwalks from Coney Island to California by James Lillefors

Coney Island: The History of New York City’s Most Famous Amusement Park Resort by Charles River Editors

Coney Island and Astroland by Charles Denson

Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir by Truman Capote and David Attie

Lost Brooklyn by Marcia Reiss


Write Your Novel From the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsters, and Everyone In Between by James Scott Bell

Making it in Historical Fiction by Libbie Hawker

The 7Ps of Publishing Success by Mark Leslie Lefebvre

Killing it on Kobo by Mark Leslie Lefebvre

On Writing by Stephen King

Author Business

Learn Amazon Ads by Mark Dawson

Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens

Amazon Decoded: A Marketing Guide to the Kindle by David Gaughran

Market Like a Boss by Honoree Corder and Ben Hale

Strangers to Superfans: A Marketing Guide to the Reader Journey by David Gaughran

Mastering Amazon Ads: An Author’s Guide by Brian Meeks

Stop Trying So Fucking Hard by Honoree Corder

This Post Has One Comment

  1. joe s

    i’m still in awe of you, and proud to call you my wife.

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