2018 Reading Challenge

2018 reading challenge books cat

In 2018, I managed to beat my goal and read 28 books, so next year, I’m aiming for 30! Here were my faves from the year.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
I was kind of hesitant to read this one because it seemed so over-hyped. But, it lived up to the hype. Some of the other books I read this year with brash characters were just irritating and annoying (Sorry to Disturb the Peace, See What I Have Done), but Eleanor was really relatable in many ways and the story was truly touching.

There There
I found it relevant to read a book about Native Americans in today’s Oakland by a Native American author over Thanksgiving break. Things I loved about this book: intertwining stories, strong and unique characters, getting a taste of a very specific community.

Pachinko
Who doesn’t love a multi-generational family saga? The timeframe and setting of Korea and Japan throughout the 1900s made it especially unique.

Less
I had no idea what to expect from this book but I liked the cover. It was surprisingly touching! It’s a quick read that’s kind of depressing at times but ultimately uplifting.

The Immortalists
Loved the plot and the stories made me surprisingly emotional. I really got attached to the characters.

The Interestings
Was there a book on this list that I didn’t cry during at some point? Nope. Good characters, good plot.

Fates and Furies
If it was good enough for Grace & Frankie, it’s good enough for me! The book examines both sides of a marriage, with the first half from one spouse’s perspective, and the second half from the other’s. But it’s not gimmicky and doesn’t have anything just for shock value. It was just a good look at a relationship from two sides that shows that you don’t really know someone completely.

4,3,2,1
It was intimidating to follow four potential versions of someone’s life, but it was a really interesting look at the role of fate and destiny, and how much a life can branch out when you have the outcome of one moment turn out differently.

Also, while not my favorites, I did want to share some honorable mentions:

  • Killing Commendatore – I LOVE Murakami, and his ability to create a palpable environment and atmosphere are nearly unrivaled. However, I felt like some of the themes were a bit repetitive from his other novels, and considering it was a 700-page book, I wish some more of the plot points were more concretely resolved.
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing – a really heartbreaking story.
  • Little Fires Everywhere – great plot.
  • Exit West – super creative & imaginative.
  • Home Fire – really interesting story that takes a lot of twists and turns.

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