18 in 2018

Here is my spin on the 18 in 2018 – 18 books I want to read in 2018.

These are books I’ve been meaning to read – seriously – but for whatever reason haven’t yet got around to. They’re the best of the best, books I’m pretty sure I’ll love. They’re books I want to read slowly, to savor. Many of them are candidates to become “heart books,” as Andrew Kern calls them. I want to read them when I can fully enjoy them, when I can totally immerse myself in them. Which is why maybe I haven’t gotten to them – because I put too much stock in them and it’s never the “right” time to read them.

I read over 200 books last year, many of which inspired the books on this list. I am sure that even if I get through all of these, they will be replaced by more great must-reads for next year.

  1. Home by Marilynne Robinson. Also, Lila. I read Gilead last year and loved it. These two books finish the series.
  2. Dinner at Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler or Breathing Lessons. I so loved A Spool of Blue Thread when I read it last year. It was the perfect book, and I want to read more by Anne Tyler.
  3. My Antonia by Willa Cather. I began the Prairie Trilogy last year and read O Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark, the latter which I had never read before. My Antonia will be a re-read but it’s a classic so well worth it.
  4. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy followed by The Crossing. Or The Road. I’ve heard lots of chatter about these books on the Close Reads podcast, which means they come very highly recommended.
  5. Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. This was a Well Read Mom selection before my time (I didn’t join until the third year), and it’s been discussed in several of the more serious book groups I belong to on Facebook.
  6. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I got the audio version of this on Audible shortly after reading Half of a Yellow Sun a couple years ago. I really want to read more works by this author. [Listened to this in January – check!]
  7. The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner. Another book I’ve heard mentioned regularly that I own and really want to read. [One more read in January – check!]
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. This is the next to the last book in the series. I read the series several years ago and then started listening to the audio versions, which are excellent. It’s a comfort read, and comfort reads are always a good thing to make time for.
  9. Either Angle of Repose or The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner. I loved Crossing to Safety and want to read more by this author.
  10. The Goldfinch or The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Two more books recommended in serious book groups I frequent on Facebook. As much as I loved The Secret History, chances are pretty good I’ll love these also.
  11. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I’ve never read anything by this author, but I hear she chooses issues and explores them well (which basically sums up why I like to read).
  12. A major classic I haven’t read. Candidates include The Count of Monte CristoMiddlemarchWar and Peace, and Northanger Abbey. 
  13. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I’ve had my eye on this book and the next one he wrote, Books for Living, for some time. The only reason I’ve hesitated on these is because I fear they will explode my to-be-read list.
  14. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. This just came out in December, but I love books like this and it comes highly recommended by several trusted sources. The library has a long wait list and I don’t want to rush through it, but the price is giving me pause (as all new/full price books do).
  15. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand or The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. A couple books that keep flashing by my radar – or maybe keep catching my eye because of the pretty covers. I suspect these will be great light reads at some point.
  16. Plainsong and Eventide by Kent Haruf. I’ve never read these and, once again, I keep hearing great things about them from very trusted sources. Also, they are somewhat local books so I really ought to read them.
  17. Being Mortal or Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance or Complications by Atul Gawande. All three have been on my to-read list forever and it’s time I finally got to them.
  18. The Lost Art of Learning by Dorothy Sayers. Since I’m educating my own children, I try to read several books on education every year. This is a classic I’ve been meaning to read but haven’t yet gotten to. It’s time.

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