Friday Review: Reading in 2018

I did okay in 2018, as far as my reading goals went. I had set a goal of 28 books, and managed to read 34. My Goodreads total says 36, but there were two that I just couldn’t finish, so I don’t count those in my list.

I’ve also been trying to diversify my reading in the past few years. I started keeping track back in 2011 and when I looked at my list of completed books, each year was mostly fantasy, with a couple science fiction sprinkled in. Those are my favorite things to read, and they still occupy the majority of my lists, but I realized that I was kind of stuck in a rut of reading mostly similar books. So, I decided to try to remedy that. I think I have been pretty successful. I am definitely mixing more non-fiction in the list, and reading some fiction outside the usual. Here’s the breakdown:

(Note: Yes, I know the numbers may add up to more than 35, but some books do fall into multiple categories. For example, Memoir/Biography and Nonfiction. Or Mystery and Romance.)

Fantasy: 15

Nonfiction: 7

Science Fiction: 6

Literary Fiction: 4
Memoir/Biography: 3

Mystery: 2

Romance: 2

Horror: 1

Audiobooks: 11

 

Fantasy is still the winner, and probably always will be. But I am working some different (for me) stuff in there, too. The surprising category to me this year is the Literary Fiction. I am not a fan of many of the books that fall under that umbrella, but like most book genres, there are a few things that appeal to me. I just have to work a bit harder to dig them out.

So, into 2019. My goal is 29 books. Yes, I read well more than my goal last year, but my rule has been that if I complete this year’s goal, I add one to it for next year, no matter how many I go over by. I have two reasons for that. One, I suspect that I will, at some point, find a sweet spot for how many books I can realistically read in a year. I am not a fast reader, and I have other things I need/want to do, so reading time is budgeted. I think I will hit a number that I just can’t go beyond. I plan to run up to that one slowly.

Two, about a third of the books I finished last year were audiobooks, and that number will go down this year. I added a few more podcasts to my list and that is going to cut into audiobooks. So that will impact the total books I read, also.

Still, 29 is a respectable number. I have a tentative reading list planned (which I have upset already!), so I will not be at a loss for “what to read next?” 2018 was a good year for reading. I think 2019 will be, too.

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Two's Company small thumbnailMedusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, it’s up to Deuce to figure out what’s going on, and how all the pieces fit the puzzle. Along the way, she reconnects with an old friend and discovers someone is stalking her. Deuce will need to connect all the dots fast, because more lives are at stake than anyone suspects.

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A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.

 

 

 

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A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.

 

 

 

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In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
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Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here

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Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.

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