December was a productive reading month with a total of eight books read:
- The Daisy Children by Sofia Grant – a lovely book based around the real-life destruction of an American school which stole a generation of children from a small town. This book uses that as the inspiration and imagines the long-term impact of the families who, once bereaved, decided to have more children; The Daisy Children.
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – I absolutely LOVED this book. Definitely one of the year’s highlights for me. When a teenage girl from a poor Black area witnesses the shooting of a friend by a police officer, she has to decide whether to reveal the truth and fight for justice.
- My Morning Routine by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander – a nice little book that features the routines of many successful people. As you’ll know if you read much on here, I’m quite obsessed with studying other people’s routines and seeing what works for them. If you share that interest, you’ll enjoy this.
- Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti – I really enjoyed this novel that follows the lives of several women who are involved in the campaign circuit because of partners who are running or working on the trail. It was a good quick, light read.
- Death in a Cold Climate by Robert Barnard – this was a really enjoyable murder mystery. It’s a pretty old book. My husband bought it for me because I really enjoy reading things set in cold places. The writing style is perhaps of the age, or maybe just of the author, but either way I really got lost in it and enjoyed it a huge amount.
- Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris – my first book by this author. I hugely enjoyed this tale of the goings on in an upmarket boys’ school. The character of the building was brilliant and I really felt that I was spying on what was happening in a real place and by real people. Excellent writing. I’ll read more of her work for sure.
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – this was a really interesting memoir. I enjoyed it at the time but as I look at this month’s list, it’s the title that stands out in my memory least.
- Between Stone and Sky by Whitney Brown – a memoir by a female dry-stone waller! I enjoyed this although I’ll admit I skim read some parts and was almost more interested in the potential love interest than the drywalling itself, which was a surprise.
And that rounds off 2018 as a 79 book year. I was pretty desperate to reach 80 for the year but I couldn’t settle on a new book to read to reach that total.
Looking back, I’ve read a pretty wide variety of titles this year. I’ve discovered some new authors, and continued loyally reading others. I’ve discovered the thrill of pre-ordering books before their release, meaning they arrive at my house on release date and since I don’t log the release dates they often come as a surprise to me when they arrive. I’ve done that with lots of titles and will keep doing it, although with a December birthday and then Christmas, I won’t need to buy any books for a good while.
I’ve made a conscious effort to be on my phone less in 2018 and I’ve replaced that mindless scrolling on social media with more reading time, which is always a bonus. There’s something magical about being lost in a book.
I don’t set goals for how many books I want to read in a year. I do think there’s a powerful argument that it’s not the number of books that matters, but the quality of them – and especially that the non-fiction ones are turned into lessons learned and actions taken.
All I will say in terms of hopes for the new writing year is: I’d like to read more fiction in 2019.