A Year In Reading - 2018

2018 was a wonderful reading year. I read almost exclusively fiction, which is par for the course around here. While I sometimes make lofty goals to broaden my reading horizons, I find that I struggle when I feel I *should* read something. Reading is my love, a passion, and I don't see a reason to stray from what I truly want to read.

I read a lot of middle grade novels in 2018, probably more than any other year, a majority of them by debut writers. The talent on display in this genre never fails to amaze me. I close many books wishing I had written them. That's not envy or jealousy. It's admiration. And it drives me to put my own best work on every page I write. If you are looking to understand the world, to see it new, and question it, if you are looking for nuance and complexity, I always believe that children's literature is a quiet, burning swell of riches for adults and kids alike.

Most of the books I bought this year, I purchased so I could read and then donate them to classrooms or communities in need. If they weren't ARCs, then they came from the library. My shelves are growing more sparse, which is my goal every year. I am the rare breed of writer who does not feel a physical attachment to many books.

This year, I'm looking to read the books I want to fall in love with. I hope to feel less overwhelmed and obligated to read certain books (As a reviewer, I receive stacks of ARCs in the mail, which may seem like a dream come true, but if you saw the physical piles, how they tower and spill, you might feel as overwhelmed as I do...) Many times this year, I found myself making lists: once I get through reading this, this and this, I will finally read what I love. I used to find myself rushing to cross off each book on the list so I could get to my reward. I hope to do less of that this year, if possible.

I read far fewer graphic novels and adult fiction than in years past and I hope to remedy that in 2019. I am also looking to take a deep dive into the "quiet" novel. Novels that are emotionally driven rather than plot driven. (If you have any recommendations, please let me know.)

That being said, I truly enjoyed every book I finished in 2018 (I've long ago decided not to push myself to finish books I am not digging) so you won't see anything here I wouldn't recommend.

As always I hope you'll share where we overlapped in our reading lives and I look forward to a bookish 2019. I've made a very conscious decision to limit how I use social media and use it with more intention: I've discovered that I most want to use it to celebrate the books I read and love.

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