I love recapping my year in books because I love looking back at all the great books I read throughout the year. I’ve been doing these posts for two years now (read 2015’s and last year’s post) and this year will be no exception! I wrote a mid-year recap this year so not all of these books will be news to you, but I did read a few great ones to round out the year and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Something else exciting happened this year: I met my reading goal! I set a goal of 25 books for 2016 and came just short of it. This year, I was determined to reach it and stayed on track with my reading through most of the year. I’m keeping my goal in 2018 to 25 books as well just because I know grad school is going to kick into high gear and I want to keep my goals realistic. One day I’d LOVE to read 52 books (one per week for the year) but this year there’s just no way it could happen.
If you want to make a reading goal for yourself and follow along with what I’m reading in real time you can follow me on the website Goodreads! It’s like Facebook but for books and I find it holds me much more accountable and I love updating my status with where I’m at in a book.
Anyway, now let’s talk about the books I read this year…
1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
I read this book on the plane to Florida back in January! This one was a super quick read. I love Mindy Kaling from The Office but I don’t know much about her other work. I haven’t seen the Mindy Project and she talked about it a lot in her book. If you’re looking for something lighthearted and you love funny, smart women this book would be a good pick for you! 3.5/5 stars
2. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
The prequel to HIDDEN BODIES, YOU, is one of my all-time favorite books. So creepy, so amazing. Kepnes has me falling in love with the bad guy and after I finish her books I’m always confused about my own morals lol. I can’t explain it, these books are just SO good and I’d recommend them to anyone. HIDDEN BODIES is the sequel to YOU and I couldn’t read it fast enough. I devoured it over two days at the beach in Fort Myers. If you like thrillers and are okay with some suggestive content and being in the mind of a creepy stalker character, you should definitely read these. 1000% recommend. 5/5 stars.
3. THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 BY RUTH WARE
Really liked this one! This is sad but it’s the last book my Nana ever bought me before she passed away this summer. The beginning and middle were very slow for me. There were SO many characters to introduce and I had a hard time keeping them all straight. It took me almost a month to finish it because of this. I was just not in the mood to pick it up. However, the ending of this book was MIND BLOWING and definitely got me back into the book and forced me to give it 4/5 stars.
4. MODERN ROMANCE BY AZIZ ANSARI (AUDIOBOOK)
One of the first Audiobooks I ever read! I need to start listening to more books because I feel like I could get through a lot more books since I drive to school every day. Ryan and I listened to this as an audiobook on Audible while we were road tripping along the east coast. Let me start by saying this book was NOTHING like what I thought it was going to be. I was really surprised that it talked a lot about research and actually studying modern relationships and how they have changed over time. I loved listening to this with Ryan because we’re in a relationship and we could definitely connect on some parts of it together. Only downside was that it sometimes got boring. Aziz as a narrator made up for that though. 3.5/5 stars.
5. WHAT SHAMU TAUGHT ME… BY AMY SUTHERLAND
This one was a pretty quick read. I needed to read it for a behavior analysis class but I actually thought it was pretty interesting! Sutherland gives a very beginner perspective on animal training and behavior analysis and how we can apply those principles to our daily lives with our boyfriend/mother/spouse/co-worker. Really interesting and easy to get through. It teaches you something without being too daunting and filled with jargon. 4/5 stars.
6. THE HUSBANDS SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY
I read this one during a book swap with one of my friends in the spring! This was another book that I couldn’t get into until about halfway through. There was lots of action and a good twist though so I ended up really enjoying it. 4/5 stars.
7. EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING BY NICOLA YOON
I had this e-book for a while but hadn’t cracked into it. I ended up deciding to read it because the movie was coming out. YA used to be the only genre I’d read but now I’d say I’m much more interested in thrillers! This book was cute but I do think the movie trailer spoiled the heck out of this book for me. I pretty much guessed the ending right from the first few chapters. Overall, I liked the characters. I hate when YA authors make high schoolers super whiny and annoying! I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars.
8. I LET YOU GO BY CLARE MACKINTOSH
This book had another slow start! The middle and ending really picked up for me and made this one totally worth reading. The author is from England and this book follows a detective so there’s a lot of police slang that I didn’t understand because 1. I know nothing about law enforcement and 2. I’m not from England. If you can get past the jargon, this book is a great read. The twist absolutely threw me for a loop. 4/5 stars.
9. SINCE WE FELL BY DENNIS LEHANE
This was the first monthly book I ever received from the Book of the Month club! I liked this one but, again, it had a slow start and lots and lots of background. I don’t know if the ending really packed enough of a punch for me though so I’m going to have to give it 3/5 stars.
10. THE MAGNOLIA STORY BY CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES
This story was SO cute and I read it in one afternoon! I’m a huge fan of Fixer Upper and I love Chip & Jo. I didn’t think it was possible, but after reading this I’m even bigger fans of them. They are so inspiring and such hard workers. There were so many anecdotes that they shared that made me love them even more. Not only do I admire their work ethic and their gorgeous homes, I admire their friendship and relationship. SUCH a good read and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I’d recommend it to anyone! 5/5 stars.
11. WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR BY PAUL KALANITHI
This was another audiobook I finished! I really enjoyed it, maybe because I am a neuroscience nerd. This is a memoir, written by a neurosurgeon who has terminal cancer. The messages he presents are interesting and really got me thinking. However, I was expecting this book to be a bit more poignant. I think it lacked what I was looking for because I was listening to it as an audiobook instead of reading the words for myself. Not sure though! 3/5 stars.
12. WONDER BY RJ PALACIO
Had super high hopes for this book! I had it on my TBR list for at least a year and I finally bought it on a whim at Target over the summer because I wanted to read it before the movie premiered in November. I picked up WONDER because I wanted something easy and quick to get through. I did enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but I do think I hyped it up a lot in my head. This book is written for children, which was sort of hard for me to keep in mind at times. I did really enjoy it though and thought the movie stayed true to the book for the most part. 4.5/5 stars.
13-19. The Harry Potter Series
In 2017, I finally completed my goal of reading all the Harry Potter books! I know, I know, it took me a while but I’m so glad that I can say I’ve read them all and that I really enjoyed it! I cried a lot during the last 2 books and it felt super weird to start reading something that had nothing to do with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Can you think of any other series or “classic” books I should read in 2018? 5/5 stars.
20. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
I bought MILK AND HONEY and THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS together during the fall because I had never read them and wanted something light to transition out of reading HP. I really liked this, it was a quick read and the poems were both powerful and beautiful. I’m not a super huge fan of poetry, those are the only two books of poetry that I own, but I really enjoyed this and think you will too! 4/5 stars.
21. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
This was another book I received through Book of the Month. I picked this one because it was short and I read it in like, 2 hours while Ryan was out playing basketball. The book was a little different than I was expecting but I enjoyed it. 3/5 stars.
22. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
I was really excited to read another book by one of my favorite authors, Colleen Hoover, but this one sorta missed the mark for me. I enjoyed it but it didn’t pack a punch like her books often do. The main character was in high school and like I said above, I’m sorta outgrowing the whole YA thing and just felt like I couldn’t connect with her as much. I was entertained though but things didn’t start picking up for me until at least halfway through the book. 3/5 stars.
23. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I picked up this book because I really want to start watching the TV show that’s on HBO. I really, really liked this book! It was slow to start for me but I loved it and the ending! Definitely recommend. I thought it would be more of a thriller but it’s more of an adult contemporary book. Don’t read if scenes about domestic violence would bother you. 5/5 stars.
24. Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino
Not my favorite by Renee Carlino. I read this one on my Kindle over a few days. It was interesting enough for me to get through but I thought it was a little extra if that makes sense. This is why I stick with Thrillers for the most part… some love stories are just too much for me! 3/5 stars.
25. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
TJR is probably one of my favorite authors now. Ever since reading ONE TRUE LOVES last year, I’ve been loving her. After reading EVELYN HUGO, I’m even more in love with her. I need to read more of her books! This book covers subject matter that I don’t usually *love* reading about because it feels so unrealistic and stereotypical. However, I think TJR succeeded in writing a book that was both extremely interesting and also heartwarming. Definitely pick this book up in 2018! So glad I was able to close out the year reading this. 5/5 stars.
And now for the giveaway…
Are you still around? Good! It seems like everyone and their mother is doing a book giveaway right now but I mean, who doesn’t love giveaways? I polled you guys on Instagram and Twitter to see how you’d rather enter a giveaway. Most people said Instagram but I also want my faithful blog readers to be rewarded too!
So here’s how this is going to work. You can enter two ways: by commenting here on the blog and/or commenting on my Instagram post. That’s it! I’ll be drawing two winners: one from IG and one from the comments here on the blog and sending you one (or two, haven’t decided) of the books I read this year. BUT, here’s the cool part, you get to pick! Share the two books I’ve listed in this post that sound the most interesting to you and I’ll buy them for ya.
Let’s kick off 2018 by reading some amazing books together!