>>Wrapping up the year that was, but wait… wasn’t it just January?<<
2018 sure did go by in a blur! Currently, it’s the season for celebrations, family and friends, and reflections on the year as a whole. And I’m glad to add my bookish reflections along with other bloggers as we look back on our literary lives in 2018.
Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.Brad Paisley
This was one of the best years of reading for me. I read a total of 130 books in 2018! That included hardcovers, paperbacks, Kindle versions, audio CDs, Google Play books, audio versions on YouTube, and Audible audiobooks. I bought a lot of books this year (mostly used), but I also took advantage of my local libraries more than ever.I was able to get several popular, new-release titles fairly quickly through my library’s hold system, which really is an excellent resource. And the best part about that? It’s free!
Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.Anne Herbert
Most significantly, in 2018 I started my blog! That New Book Smell celebrated its first birthday on December 29th and I’m so proud of my achievements over the past 365 days. I[‘ve joined a community that is friendly, inclusive, and dedicated to one of the things I love best – Books! I am looking forward to seeing what new things 2019 brings my way for TNBS. I already know that somethings will definitely be different. For one thing, I got a job! So, posting new reviews every Monday like I did this year may not be as feasible as it was this year. But I will be posting as often as I am able to finish books. Hopefully, this will help me to become a much faster reader!
In 2018, I used September to clear several books from my bookshelves at home and that worked really well for me. I ‘m hoping to add at least one more month of “shelf-discipline” so I can make more room for monthly book hauls!
I’m discontinuing the monthly events and book deals sections of the blog – nobody ever looked at them anyway, so no loss there. But I will continue posting my seasonal and mini-hauls, and any reviews my daughter wants to contribute. She read a lot of books this year too, and I love to hear how a ten-year-old reviews what she reads.
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.Oscar Wilde
Five-star books seemed hard to come by this year. I’m not sure if that was because I was less generous with my reviews, or if my picks were just less than perfect in 2018. But some of the following books made my list of best reads, even if all of them didn’t get the coveted 5 stars:
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
(Pub Mar 2018) This book changed a lot of my opinions about YA Fantasy books, and when I got to meet Tomi Adeyemi in October, I became a fan for life.
Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker
(Pub Oct 2018) The perfect spooky prequel to the classic Dracula. This one kept me up late at night!
Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey
(Pub Aug 2018) This book surpassed my expectations and ended up being one of my favorites. Taut, suspenseful, and captivatingly conflicted.
Past Tense by Lee Child
(Pub Nov 2018) I love this series and Past Tense is easily one of the best books in it. Jack Reacher is in perfect form and the action is perfectly paced.
Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard
(Pub Dec 2018) Sean, the quintessential unreliable narrator, won me over in this suspenseful whodunit.
(Pub July 2018) Loved, loved, loved this re-imagining of the classic tale of Rumpelstiltskin. The only problem with this book is that I wanted it to last longer.
I read other highly-rated books this year that were released prior to 2018:
- Station Eleven (2014)
- Beanstalker (2017)
- Court of Mist and Fury (2016)
- Pride an Prejudice and Zombies (2009)
- Little Fires Everywhere (2017)
- Silver Sparrow (2011)
- Cold Flat Junction (2001)
- Illuminae (2015)
In 2018, I also received a surprisingly large number of requests from authors and reps alike to read new books. And, no, I didn’t get through most of them, but still, it was nice to be asked to review someone else’s work.
Along that same line, I joined Netgalley his year. It has been a great resource for new releases and for discovering new authors. Even though some of the denials were frustrating, I’ll stick with it for 2019 because many of the approvals were well worth the effort. My feedback ratio is at 84%, so hopefully, that will mean more request approvals in the upcoming year.
I hope your year of reading was a great one and that you’re looking forward to 2019 as much as I am. Happy New Year and Happy Reading!