It’s that time of year again. I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for days, but I’ve been waiting for the sun to come out so that the photo would be a bit better – hah! Good thing I’ve got a new phone now that’s better in low light.
In 2018 I read 138 books. Poetry collections 34, short story collections 4, Non-fiction 23, literary journals 21, the rest were novels. All the books in the picture are new reads, and chosen sort of randomly from my shelves – I’m sure I missed a few good ones too, but mostly they are the ones that stand out for me as I reflect on the year. (I notice I didn’t make anywhere near as much effort to narrow the field as I did last year).
Only 29 this year were re-reads, which wasn’t something I was particularly aiming for, but I’m pleased, because I tend to re-read when I’m feeling tired or down, and so this number means my concentration and energy were in general better this year, but a large proportion of the poetry was re-reading – why have I not been reading much new poetry??
New-to-me authors has definitely been a thing, with my first Murakami, first Ishigur0, first Winterson, first Morrison, first Murdoch, first Joyce – I’m planning to read more by all of these, so would welcome any recommendations. It was also very much the Year of Ali Smith. I read Autumn in December last year – my first of hers, and loved it so much I have worked my way through almost her entire backlist during this year. I have about three left I think. Sarah Waters is going to be my feature author for 2019, I have been meaning for years to read more of her work and have finally decided to just get to it.
Goals for 2019? I wanted to read more novels this year, and I did, but at the expense of poetry I think. So more poetry next year. I also wanted to read more work in translation, and only managed 8 (and a half, I’ll probably finish today) so I will try harder on that. I think it’s really important to get out of the west regularly, and I’m loving Japanese and Korean work at the moment but because I haven’t been seeking it out, it hasn’t come up much. 4 short story collections seems a bit lame too, so let’s add a bit more to that list.
What have you read this year and loved? What would you recommend, and what are your own reading plans for next year?