by Malcolm Rowe

Books of 2018

[Insert obligatory “well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything for this blog” paragraph here.]

With 2018 finally complete, I thought it might be fun to take a quick look at the books I read last year. All of these are from my Goodreads profile, though I tend not to write reviews for individual books there.

Goodreads has a “reading challenge” each year wherein you can set a target number of books to read. In 2016, I hit my target of 34 books, albeit only by cramming both the SRE book and The Calendar of the Roman Republic (long story) on the last day of that year. Buoyed by success, I increased it to 38 books for 2017… and then got distracted by life and fell a bit short.

So, for 2018, I kept the same target as for 2017, and tried to not get distracted. A few weeks ago, I’d got a little bit ahead of that — woohoo me! — and decided it might be fun to put together a short review of each. So here are all the books I read in 2018, in (roughly) chronological order.

To sum up: I managed to read 40 books last year, almost all of which were fiction, mostly urban fantasy and sci-fi, to nobody’s surprise. (I also started and failed to finish a bunch of non-fiction books).

I think I did a better job of picking books with diverse protagonists this time round, and while most of the books I read were published in the last few years (40% were published in 2018), I managed to also seek out a few older ones (Kindred, for example, I’m really glad I got round to reading).

Onward to 2019!

  1. I’d have called it sci-fi purely because it has time-travel, but I ran across an interview with Butler in which she points out, “Kindred is fantasy. I mean literally, it is fantasy. There’s no science in Kindred.” She has a point. 

  2. … though from what I can tell, 6 Ma is squarely in the Miocene epoch, not the Pliocene. In A Pliocene Companion, Word of God resolves this by stating that, in-universe, the Pliocene is considered to start around 11 Ma (not 5.6 or 5.33 Ma, as in our reality). 

  3. And to a large extent, discrimination that’s still present today: there’s a line where our heroine says that “people would ignore what I said until [my husband] repeated it”, which sounds familiar enough.