Archives: Books Read 2018

January

  • The Daily Show: An Oral History, by Christ Smith (C – interesting collection of quotes, but lacking overall context/arc)
  • The Long & Faraway Gone, by Lou Berney (B+ – I’m not usually into detective thrillers, but this one was fun – easily a screenplay)
  • The Portable Veblen, by Elizabeth McKenzie (B – what it lacks in plot, it makes up for with quirky characters that Wes Anderson would enjoy)
  • You Can’t Touch My Hair, by Phoebe Robinson (A – surprisingly hilarious for a book that spotlights race issues)
  • Who Do We Choose to Be, by Margaret Wheatley (B+ – leadership book that tackles how to lead in a civilization in decline)
  • All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (B – the battle of nature vs technology in the end of times with a lot of magic sprinkled in)

February

  • IQ by Joe Ide (A- – fun Sherlock-esque detective novel set in LA) 
  • The Book of Lost Things, by John Connelley (D – married my dislike for fantasy with my dislike of allegory – I spent the whole book waiting for its point) 
  • Righteous, by Joe Ide (B- – second book in the series, fun but flawed)
  • Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay (C – I liked her essays on race and women, but I struggled with her play-by-play reviews)
  • When I’m Gone, by Emily Bleeker (D – dead wife confesses secrets through post-mort letters that culminate in a kidney transplant – NOPE)

March

  • You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero (C – read this because a lot of clients referenced it – very woo-woo self-helpy but I can see where there’s a specific audience for it)
  • Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng (A – loved this story and how she wove together three different but related plotlines)
  • The Power, by Naomi Alderman (B – Margaret Atwood and Stephen King’s lovechild elopes with the Girl with All the Gifts)

April

  • The Crossroads of Should & Must, by Elle Luna (A – short and sweet book for clients who are doing what they think they should instead of what they know they must)
  • Rework, by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried (A – short and sweet – challenges conventional assumptions about business)
  • The Opposite of Everyone, by Joshilyn Jackson (D – I would like my brain cells back – divorce attorney reconnects with lost family she doesn’t know she has)
  • Mischling, by Affinity Konar (C+ – story of twins at Auschwitz – very dark and unevenly written)
  • Coming Clean, by Kimberly Rae Miller (B+ – memoir of a daughter of hoarders)
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Schriver (C – a fictional school shooting told by the mom of the shooter – interesting concept but the pacing was irritating)

May

  • The Lightkeepers, by Abby Geni (D+)
  • Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate (D)

June

  • The Outsider, by Stephen King (B+)
  • Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout (A)
  • Calypso, by David Sedaris (A – as always)
  • Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett (C+)
  • Love and Other Consolation Prizes, by Jamie Ford (B-)
  • Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green (A)

July

  • Vacationland, by John Hodgman (A)
  • The Testament, by John Grishman (C+)
  • Children of Blood & Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi (B)
  • Neverworld Wake, by Marisha Pessl (C-)
  • Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch (C+ – the voice/tone is bro-like, but the Shroedinger’s Box concept is well executed) 
  • The Banker’s Wife, by Cristina Alger (C – fast-paced read whodunnit that shoots itself in the foot with an over-the-top happy ending)
  • Black Book, by James Patterson (D – reminded me why I don’t read him)

August

  • Educated, by Tara Westover (A – pretty incredible story of a survivalist who gets a PhD)
  • The House of Impossible Beauties, by Joseph Cassara (B- – 1980s NYC told through the lens of the Latino/trans experience)
  • Night Road, by Kristin Hannah (D – melodramatic and ridiculous)

September

  • Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King (B – somehow I’d never read this vampire thriller)
  • The President is Missing, by Bill Clinton & James Patterson (C- – guessed the twist from the beginning – maybe if I knew nothing about cyber-security this would’ve been gripping?)
  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky, by Mark Sullivan (B- – mostly true story of an Italian teen who has a pretty incredible role in the  WWII resistance)
  • The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah (B+ – Vietnam POW takes his family to Alaska and things get very dark)
  • Less, by Andrew Sean Grier (C – it had more potential than it lived up to)
  • How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig (C – interesting time-travel premise but a bit all over the place)
  • The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living & Dying, by Nina Riggs (A – beautifully written account as a mother faces her final days with cancer)

October

  • Spoonbenders, by Daryl Gregory (A – psychic family – reads like Arrested Development written by Carl Hiaasen)
  • It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, by Jason Fried & David Hansson (A – for owners/founders who want to challenge assumptions and create a calm culture)
  • Only Child, by Rhiannon Navin (B – story of a family meltdown after a school shooting told from the perspective of the 6yo surviving son)
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo (A)
  • The Animators, by Kayla Rae Whitaker (C-)
  • One More Thing, by BJ Novak (B- – quirky short stories, mainly funny)

November

  • The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure (C – solid plot but women were objectified)
  • The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin (B – fun premise, solid writing, bit magical)
  • The Way I Used to Be, by Amber Smith (C- – first-person survivor fiction about rape)
  • Becoming, by Michelle Obama (A++ – loved this top to bottom)

December

  • Hillbilly Elegy, by JD Vance
  • The Summer Wives, by Beatriz Williams
  • The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez (B+ – lovely book about dogs, mortality, and writing)
  • My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout

Abandoned

  • You’re On an Airplane: A Memoir, by Parker Posey (irritating style)
  • Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee (got bored about 75% of the way through it)
  • My Brilliant Friend, by Ellen Ferrante
  • The Sympathizer, by Viet Than Nguyen
  • Playing Big, by Tara Mohr
  • The Chalk Artist, by Allegra Goodman
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post, by Emily Danforth
  • Designing Your Life, by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans 
  • The Art of Tough, by Barbara Boxer
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