In 2018, I read 177 books in various formats or 57,618 pages (this does not count the books you pick up to check one thing, although sometimes that leads to several chapters). Most of these were some kind of mystery or suspense (50 adult, 7 romantic suspense (adult), and 6 juvenile or YA suspense). My next most read genre was 32 Young Adult novels (including fiction, fantasy, and suspense). Next was 29 historical fiction (including 5 YA and 5 juvenile).
I listened to 20 audio books (primarily in the car on weekends or on short trips). To my surprise, I read 29 books electronically. This is not really my preference but a lot of my review copies are PDFs or ebooks these days, and occasionally I find books are available at the library only in ebook format. By adjusting the font size on my Kindle, I can read while I run (slowly) at the gym but it is a surly gadget, always with a low battery.
Best Audio: The Thief, Kill the Boy Band, The Wright Brothers
Multiple Author Reads:
5 – Nicci French, K. M. Peyton (this included rereads)
4 – Jill Shalvis (write a book about a group of friends and you may draw me in to read several)
2 - Erin Beaty, Dorothy Gilman Butters (she dropped the Butters along the way)(such a shame we were once at a party together but I didn’t know it until after she had left), Eileen Dunlop, Rachel Grant (wildly improbable plots), Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (and imagine if you read the entire Morland Dynasty in a year), Goldy Moldavsky, Laura Ruby (I normally dislike magical realism but I found Bone Gap unusual and appealing), Douglas Schofield, Anne Stevenson, and Sarah Ward (I hope St. Martin’s will continue publishing her in the U.S.).
It was nice to hear from the daughter of Anne Stevenson who read my review of A Relative Stranger.
Several times my sister Clare and I found ourselves reading the same book at once, which, in a way, is not surprising as our taste is similar, and if they are new and got great reviews we both saw like Our House (which we both liked) or The Hazel Wood (which I disliked). She did not like Nicci French’s crime solving psychotherapist as much as I did (admittedly, Frieda is too cold and analytical) but still read half the series.
Book I had not previously read by a childhood favorite: Dancing Girl. Thank you, Interlibrary Loan!
Book that Camilla Corcoran tried to make me read years ago which it almost made my end of year favorites: The Thief (it reminded me of Lloyd Alexander, which is a huge compliment).
Book I read without remembering I had ever read it before: Murder is Academic (it was only average but I wanted to read something set in the other Cambridge before I visited).
Romance sensation: Jasmine Guillory’s local event was sold out before I was even fully aware she was coming to Boston. This is good for the genre. I enjoyed The Wedding Date, which had a cute concept and fabulous cover, but while fun and escapist, it was repetitive and substituted sex for character development.
Series You Should Be Reading: I read the sixth Stevens & Windermere book; start with The Professionals, either on audio or book form.
Best trilogy: The Red Sparrow books by Jason Matthews were so good (although horribly violent) I even went to an author event but the third book, while just as well written, ended on a disappointing (although probably realistic) note. I was not tempted to see the movie, however. Jennifer Lawrence seemed miscast and the violence would have been unavoidable (in a book, you can turn the page!).
Funniest typo – I’ll Be Your Blue Ski. I just noticed this and fixed it.
Sometimes gems like The Rose Garden, Campion Towers, and The Thief can be on your (physical) bookshelves for years but one gets distracted by library books with short due dates or review deadlines. In 2019, I plan to read more books I already own.