It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love, and tells about all the books they read in the past year. Wait, just me? Well that’s okay. I had a busy reading year in 2018 and I’ve been looking forward to writing about it for a while!
So, without further ado, here are the books I read in 2018:
- May 2017-4/1: Den of Thieves, by David Chandler (print & digital)
- 12/29/17-1/11/18: A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War, by Jospeh Loconte (audiobook)
- 1/4-16: The Craft & Business of Screenwriting, by Ken Miyamoto (ebook)
- 1/11-12: Sacred Sex, by Tony Evans (audiobook)
- 1/12-30: Kingdom Marriage, by Tony Evans (audiobook)
- 1/17-29: Hedges, by Jerry B. Jenkins (ebook)
- 1/25-UNFINISHED: A Man’s Guide to Work, by Patrick Morley (print)
- 1/31-3/8: Grace-Based Parenting, by Tim Kimmel (audiobook)
- 2/1-3/5: The Tombs, by Clive Cussler & Thomas Perry (audiobook)
- 2/7-20: The Nifty 15, by Honoree Corder and Brian D. Meeks (ebook)
- 2/9-3/31: Be the Dad She Needs You To Be, by Kevin Leman (ebook)
- 2/21-22: The Author Startup, by Ray Brehm (ebook)
- 3/1-3/19: Christian History Issue #78: J.R.R. Tolkien, by multiple authors (audiobook)
- 3/9-5/31: Positive Discipline: Parenting Tools, by Jane Nelsen (audiobook)
- 3/9-16: Spartan Gold, by Clive Cussler & Grant Blackwood (audiobook)
- 3/19-4/8: Atlantis, by David Gibbins (audiobook)
- 3/19-4/10: Developing the Leader Within You, by John C. Maxwell (audiobook)
- 3/31-5/25: Boundaries, by Henry Cloud & John Townsend (audiobook)
- 4/3-UNFINISHED: Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson (ebook)
- 4/4-25: Work Simply, by Carson Tate (ebook)
- 4/11-8/23: The White Tree, by Edward Robertson (audiobook)
- 5/1-6/27: Let’s Get Digital, by David Gaughran (ebook)
- 5/30-6/20: Your One-Year Old, by Louise Bates Ames (ebook)
- 6/1-21: The Way of the Wild Heart, by John Eldredge (audiobook)
- 6/22-8/10: The Grace of God, by Andy Stanley (ebook)
- 7/29-9/5: Write Your Novel from the Middle, by James Scott Bell (ebook)
- 8/24-11/27: In the Region of the Summer Stars, by Stephen Lawhead
- 9/12-15: Invisible Ink, by Brian McDonald
- 9/28-11/9: Fun Loving You, by Ted Cunningham
- 11/12-12/1: How To Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any, by Erick Wecks
- 12/1-2: Improve Your Memory Now, by Gary Small
- 12/3-FINISHED IN 2019: The Art of Adaptation, by Linda Seger
- 12/10-27: Unleashing the Idea Virus, by Seth Godin
Three Things to Notice
You’ll notice one thing compared to last year: I read over double the amount of books. I read more fiction this year than I have in a long time, and also several family books. My wife’s and my daughter is near two years old and every few months there is a new development that needs researching.
Another thing you might notice is how many of the books are digital. I only read two print books in 2018: one of them I only finished because I switched to digital, and the other I still haven’t finished. Being a husband, father, manager, freelance, and house owner doesn’t live much time to prop the feet up and read a physical book, however much I enjoy that experience. The digital revolution of ebooks and audiobooks enabled me to read the most I’ve read in years.
A keen eye would also notice one last thing: 24 of the books on this list were read in the first 6 months of the year. I was reading at a breakneck speed, fueled by the adrenaline rush of the library’s 3-week due date. It wasn’t until my wife graciously pointed out that I seemed anxious and restless that I realized I was constantly talking about a new book I was starting, even though I had five others in progress. The last straw came when she suggested I slow down, and I promptly found a book called Restto learn how to do so. The irony of the situation finally struck home, and I did slow down. The result was indeed more rest and peace in my mind. I still looked for new books, but it was at a manageable pace and I felt much the better for it.
I read a good deal more fiction this year than I have in a while, and it was great. Den of Thieves, by David Chandler was a welcome step back into fantasy, but was a little too dark and gritty for me. Edward Robertson’sThe White Treewas really well written, but had a pretty sarcastic and macabre tone. I have the audiobook trilogy, so I’ll probably read book 2 eventually just because I have it.
Inspired by a new book series I’m going to write, I ventured into the genre of adventure/treasure hunting. Clive Cussler is the main name in that category, and his books The Tombs and Spartan Goldwere great fun, especially since they star a married couple. (Mark that up for first married couple fiction I’ve read 🙂 I preferred Spartan Gold (co-written (Cussler normally co-writes his big series) by Grant Blackwood), but either are good. I’m trying to find other names in that genre, but I look forward to more Cussler.
I also explored adventure/treasure hunting fiction, which was the first new genre I’ve tried in… possibly ever. Turns out, I really enjoyed it!
Lastly, probably my favorite fiction book of the year was Stephen Lawhead’s In the Region of the Summer Stars.
My favorite non-fiction book of the year, hands down, was A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War, by Jospeh Loconte. I’ve read several Tolkien biographies, so honestly I was expecting a surface-level look at Tolkien and Lewis’s involvement with World War I. It was, in fact, the opposite in many ways. First, Loconte dug into WWI in more detail than I expected and also clearly laid out the philosophical world of the early 1900s, both in the general public and among literature. Into that world he then brought Tolkien and Lewis and looked at how their writings were a biblical response to it all. A Hobbitis by far one of my favorite books on these authors, second only to Tom Shippey’s A Road to Middle-Earth. I am certain I will be reading Loconte’s book again.
Reading in 2019
There was one side effect that a reader couldn’t see in this list: toward the end of 2018 my thumbs began to develop the pain and soreness associated with tendinitis. I thought it might be the size of my phone (bigger than ever) or the writing of books or text messages I did on it. Once again, though, my wife pointed out (what would I do without her??) that I had done more reading on my phone this year than ever before (both 2018 and 2017 were predominantly Kindle reading). I think that played a huge part in consistently stressing my thumb muscles.
Thus for this year, I’ve decided to transition all of my digital reading to my Kindle Paperwhite or Fire Tablet. It’s only been about a week since I made the shift, but my thumbs already feel better, my phone use time has dropped about two hours a day, and I’m really enjoying the simplicity of reading on a single-use device.