Resolution Success: Every Book I Read in 2018

I’m a committed resolution setter.

Heavy eye rollers out there are staring HARD at the back of their eye sockets with my mere suggestion of setting New Year resolutions.

It’s cliche, the whole, new year/new me thing. I get it. But, hey, you want to get more out of life, feel better, do better? I say, “MORE POWER TO YOU!”

And if you don’t quite hit the mark you set for yourself, it’s really not that big of a deal. Did you learn something? Did you gain some kind of insight? Maybe you realized doing/being/achieving what ever it was you resolved to do isn’t as important to you as you thought it might be?

As far as I’m concerned, trying and failing is a valid use of time—it’s called the learning process.

At this point in my life, I don’t linger too much on the societal shame game. I see NOTHING wrong in trying… and failing. I have exactly zero F’s to give shamers. The judgey Janises of the world can throw shade if that is what it takes to make them feel better. I’ll be over here figuring out what brings me joy… and what doesn’t.

I resolved in 2018 to both read and write more. I didn’t set any real benchmarks beyond more. The hard core goal-getters might say that was a mistake. I’ll refer them to the earlier statement designated for the Janises.

I managed to create 8 (if you count this one) blog posts. Compared with 25 in 2017. Whoops. Didn’t quite achieve more with that one. I learned that when I don’t have something specific I want to share, I don’t blog. I’m okay with that.

I worked on novel manuscripts 3 times in 2018. Now, this realization… was downright depressing. AND that is teaching me novel writing is still important. It’s on the resolution list for 2019.

Image-1-3I’m not sure how many books I read in 2017. For 2018, I used an app called Book Buddy to track my reading history. It worked like a charm.

I read 34 books in 2018. (UPDATE/EDIT — I read 34 books for pleasure. I’m not including the 4 parenting books, nor the 2 nutrition/lifestyle books I mostly read. They are so specific to my personal life, I don’t believe they apply to this post.)

There are many who read far more in a year’s time, and those who do not read as much. This resolution was not about setting a record. It was about KNOWING MYSELF. It was about realizing I LOVE TO READ and making it a priority to do so because I want to make, both, experiencing joy and understanding myself, priorities.

People ask me all the time if I’ve read anything good lately. This year I was able to tell them, “Yeah! And I’ve read some not-so-good books too.”

Below you will find my 2018 READ list. They are listed by title, author, and my rating—5 being the highest rating I give.

I’ll tell you some of them I listened to instead of reading from the page. I absolutely LOVED listening to The Martian. It is now on my top 10 list of favorites, but I don’t think I’d have enjoyed reading from the page as much as I was thrilled by the audio performance. Also, listening to the Harry Potter Series (1-3) was a blast. Image-1-4

You’ll notice there aren’t any 1 ratings. I just can’t do that to anyone who has the guts to publish their words for others to read. If it got a 2, I didn’t think much of it. On the other hand, anything with a 3 or 4 I thought was good and very good (respectively). And a 5, well, that means I either LOVED it or it made me dig deep into my own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs—challenging me to thoughtfully consider a different perspective.

No matter the rating, I don’t believe a moment was wasted reading any of these 34 books. I feel dang good about what I consider accomplishing my read more resolution.

And… I learned I’m going to have to work harder at making novel writing a priority if I want the same feeling of accomplishment come the end of 2019.

So, friends, resolution away. You have me in your corner if any one gives you sh*t. And if you read any of these books, shoot me a message and let me know what you thought. I’d love to hear your… random thoughts.

Beartown Fredrik Backman 4
Born a Crime Trevor Noah 5
Educated Tara Westover 4
Flight of the Sparrow Amy Belding Brown 3
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets J.K. Rowling 4
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. Rowling 5
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling 4
Hillbilly Elegy J. D. Vance 4
Holidays on Ice David Sedaris 2
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Jamie Ford 5
Interview With the Vampire Anne Rice 2
Miss Jane Brad Watson 3
New Mercies Sandra Dallas 3
One Thousand White Women Jim Fergus 3
Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys 4
Scandal Becomes Her Shirlee Busbee 2
Silent Night Stanley Weintraub 4
Small Great Things Jodi Picoult 4
Tallgrass Sandra Dallas 3
The Chili Queen Sandra Dallas 3
The Gender Fall Bella Forrest 2
The Gender Game Bella Forrest 2
The Gender Game 2 Bella Forrest 2
The Gender Game 3 Bella Forrest 2
The Gender Game 4 Bella Forrest 2
The Hate U Give Angie Thomas 5
The Heretic’s Daughter Kathleen Kent 4
The Last Midwife Sandra Dallas 2
The Martian Andy Weir 5
The Other Einstein Marie Benedict 4
The Stranger in the Woods Michael Finkel 3
The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heaher Morris 5
The Thirteenth Tale Diane Setterfield 4