Top Books of 2018
I set myself a target to read 52 books in 2018; and so far I have read 52 books. I suspect the count will be 54 – as I have one book I have nearly finished and I suspect I will come across a book that I did not log at some point in the next few months. This is less than in previous years – however I have not counted most of the academic reading I have done; this is as it is mostly academic journals and sections of books rather than complete books.
To log and record my reading I use goodreads; you can see all my 2018 reads listed here. My full profile on the site is available at https://www.goodreads.com/gceyre which catalogues all my reading. This year I have also catalogued the books my wife and I own as part of our house moving project. This is using librarything and tiny cat – this has created a searchable catalogue which is useful when you have a fair number of books in different formats and locations. The full catalogue can be viewed here: https://www.librarycat.org/lib/gceyre
When I viewed my list of 2018 reads there were none that were stand out amazing books. However if I was have to come up with a top five they would be:
Best Education Read – How I wish I’d Taught Maths – Craig Barton
Although I am not a Maths teacher this was a great read – it was able to mix practical advice with the theory that underpins it. There is something in this book for everyone; not just Maths teachers! Craig has a down to earth writing style with all the tips routed in his experience as a classroom teacher.
Best Non-Fiction Read – First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power – Kate Anderson Brower
This year was dominated with a number of high profile ‘tell all’ style books about US Politics. This book took a very different approach – there was information about the current Trump administration but it was not exclusively about the Trump/Pence relationship, but instead talked about the role of the Vice President in a historical context. This is a quick and easy read and balances politics with the personal stories.
Best ‘Geography’ Read – Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls – Tim Marshall
This book is all about borders and not just the US/Mexico border. The walls discussed in the book are also not just physical walls but much broader. I have blogged about this book separately here. An interesting fact from the start of the book is: At least sixty-five countries, more than a third of the world’s nation-states have built barriers along their borders; half of those erected since the Second World War sprang up between 2000 and now. Within a few years, the European nations could have more miles of walls, fences and barriers on their borders than there were at the height of the Cold War.
Best ‘Fiction’ Read – Stolen Prey (Lucas Davenport #22) – John Sandford
This book typifies nearly half of the books I read – fairly disposable crime fiction / thrillers. The likes of Lee Child, Ian Rankin, and Michael Connelly. However I choose this book because it is the first I read by John Sandford and the first I read of the Lucas Davenport series, though the 22nd in the series! I have since read a few more in the series and will probably finish the back catalogue throughout 2018. Frustrating the library does not have all of the older books so some I have had to resort to buying second hand on AbeBooks.
Best ‘Academic’ Read – Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research – Barney Glaswer and Anselm Strauss
The reason why this book made the list as it is an accessible academic read – many academic books are not accessible or I do not read them all as only part is relevant. This book was both accessible and relevant. It clearly laid out grounded theory as a research methodology and gave practical advice for the researcher.
|This is going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor – Adam Kay||Nov 2017|
|The Midnight Line – Lee Child||Nov 2017|
|Becoming – Michelle Obama||Dec 2018|
|The Rooster Bar – John Grisham||Dec 2018|
|Camino Island – John Grisham||Oct 2017|
|Fire and Fury – Michael Wolf||Feb 2018|
|No Middle Name||Jul 2017|
|Munich – Robert Harris||Dec 2017|
|Prisoners of Geography – Tim Marshall||Jul 2015|
|Why I am no longer talking to White People About Race||Oct 2017|
The list shows that I read 10 of the 100 bestselling paperbacks and hardbacks of 2018. This is based on sales from 31st December 2017 to 8th December 2018. Some of the books on this list I suspect it refers to the paperback version and I will have read the hardback version.
Goals for 2019
My only reading goal for 2019 is to read; and so again I will set myself a target of 52 books