Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bi-annual reading update


1. Saving Tarboo Creek - Scott Freeman and Susan Leopold Freeman
2. Forty Autumns - Nina Willner
3. The Bones of Grace - Tahmima Anam
4. Braving the Wilderness - Brené Brown
5. The Dry - Jane Harper
6. Milk and Honey - Rupi Kaur
7. If This Isn't Nice, What Is? - Kurt Vonnegut
8. A Nest for Celeste - Henry Cole
9. Another Quest for Celeste - Henry Cole
10. Bagel in Love - Natasha Wing and Helen Dardik
11. Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
12. The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
13. The Radium Girls - Kate Moore
14. Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night - Dee Leone and Bali Engel
15. A Couch for Llama - Leah Gilbert
16. Artemis - Andy Weir
17. Force of Nature - Jane Harper


18. Down and Across - Arvin Ahmadi
19. Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Al Franken
20. The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas
21. Being Mortal - Atul Gawande
22. Only Killers and Thieves - Paul Howarth
23. I Am the Boss of this Chair - Carolyn Crimi and Marisa Morea
24. The Statue and the Fury - Jim Dees
25. Our Native Bees - Paige Embry


26. The Brontë Sisters - Catherine Reef
27. Black Fortunes - Shomari Wills
28. Nothing Left to Burn - Heather Ezell
29. The Broken Girls - Simone St. James
30. Orphan Monster Spy - Matt Killeen
31. The Saboteur - Paul Nix
32. The Woman Next Door - Yewande Omotoso
33. Supergifted - Gordon Korman
34. Good Behavior - Blake Crouch
35. Bus! Stop! - James Yang
36. Up in the Leaves - Shira Boss and Jamey Christoph
37. Gloria's Voice - Aura Lewis


38. Princesses Behaving Badly - Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
39. The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody - Matthew Landis
40. Look for Her - Emily Winslow
41. Rocket Men - Robert Kurson
42. If You Come Softly - Jacqueline Woodson
43. Sleep Train - Jonathan London and Lauren Eldridge
44. But the Bear Came Back - Tammi Sauer and Dan Taylor
45. Albie Newton - Josh Funk and Ester Garay
46. How to Forget a Duke - Vivienne Lorret
47. Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders
48. Isosceles' Day - Kevin Meehan
49. Tin Man - Sarah Winman
50. Warren the 13th and The Whispering Woods - Tania del Rio and Will Staehle
51. The Reckless Rescue (The Explorers #2) - Adrienne Kress
52. Daddies Do - Lezlie Evans and Elisa Ferro
53. Boots on the Ground - Elizabeth Partridge


54. Mad Boy - Nick Arvin
55. The Endless Beach - Jenny Colgan
56. Obscura - Joe Hart
57. Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
58. Out of Left Field - Ellen Klages
59. Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor - Yossi Klein Halevi
60. The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik - David Arnold
61. The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses) - Terri-Lynne DeFino


62. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
63. Hollywood Beach Beauties - David Wills
64. Goodbye, Sweet Girl - Kelly Sundberg
65. Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue - Jeff Seymour
66. As You Wish - Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
67. Siracusa - Delia Ephron
68. Abridged Classics - John Atkinson
69. Wed Wabbit - Lissa Evans

I'm usually pretty awful at doing the end-of-year round-ups, these days, so I decided to do a 6-month wrap-up, instead -- and, hopefully, I'll also do this at the end of the year. As of this point in time, I've written at least a line or two about every book except Don Quixote and Wed Wabbit, so you can click on the links to see either my reviews or a short description in a monthly reads-in-review post, depending upon whether or not I reviewed them.

My goal in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2018 is 100 books so every book is a percentage point and that means I finished 69% of the books I've challenged myself to read this year, by the end of June. Admittedly, I did set the goal line deliberately low. My average tends to fall around 125 books in a year with a peak of 202 in 2009. Roger Ebert actually tweeted a link to my complete "Books Read" list when I posted the 2009 list in 2010, so it was a peak in more ways than one.

As to the first half of 2018, I think it's been pretty terrific, in general. Because I devoted several months to Don Quixote, I've only read two classics in 2018: the other is Flowers for Algernon. Both were marvelous in entirely different ways. I was both depressed and impressed by Flowers for Algernon. I was alternately entertained, horrified, bogged down and delighted by Don Quixote.

Some favorites: 

  • The Dry and Force of Nature by Jane Harper are my favorite mysteries. 
  • Forty Autumns by Nina Willner, Saving Tarboo Creek by Freeman and Freeman, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken, Our Native Bees by Paige Embry, The Saboteur by Paul Nix, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, Rocket Men by Robert Kurson, Boots on the Ground by Elizabeth Partridge (a children's book), and As You Wish by Cary Elwes are favorite nonfiction titles.
  • Nature's Lullaby Fills the Night by Leone and Engel, A Couch for Llama by Leah Gilbert, The Brontë Sisters by Catherine Reef, Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen, Bus! Stop! by James Yang, Up in the Leaves by Boss and Christoph, The Not-so-Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew Landis, If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson, and Wed Wabbit are favorite children's books (for a variety of ages, from preschool through YA). 
  • Some other fiction favorites (again, a variety) are Artemis by Andy Weir, The Broken Girls by Simone St. James, The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso, Tin Man by Sarah Winman, Mad Boy by Nick Arvin, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Of all those books, the ones I seem to think about the most are Mad Boy by Nick Arvin, Tin Man by Sarah Winman, The Saboteur by Paul Nix, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and Al Franken, Giant of the Senate -- all for different reasons. Mad Boy was unique, made me smile and cringe, and I would say definitely is my favorite of 2018, so far. Tin Man had a character who was a little obsessed with Vincent Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" series and I keep seeing references to those paintings that take me back to the book. I learned about the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in The Saboteur and it was frequently mentioned in Foyle's WarBeing Mortal keeps coming to mind because I've been thinking about the future and how we'll handle both retirement and end-of-life decisions, one day. And, I just loved Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

A good first half of the year, I think. Onward!

©2018 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Awesome numbers! I only set my goal for 75 this year and I’m at 57 so hopefully I surpass it.

    1. Thanks. You're doing fabulous, Jenny! Looks like you're going to go way beyond 100 if you keep up the pace.

  2. It looks like you are on a roll with reading good books!

    1. Yes, definitely. I've read some terrific books, this year. I'd count both of my classic reads as favorites - forgot to say that.


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