2018 in Books

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Sorry for the delay, but January proved to be a very busy month. I have my recap and some favorites below, so please take a moment a peek at those. Otherwise, I read a total of 137 stories(novels, graphic novels, short stories & novellas), so don’t be too amazed by that count.

Without putting this off anymore, I present my stats for 2018 below:

Science Fiction 47
Fantasy 27
Horror 7
Romance 1
Mystery 2
Historical Fiction 4
Thriller 8
Non-Fiction 10
Graphic Novel/Comics 31
Total Books 137

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Again, not a surprise that I read so much science fiction, but a fun new trend I saw was my interest in graphic novels. I have really begun loving the medium, with the highly stylized art and new methods of getting at themes that I really love. I’ll name off some of my favorite series when I look at my highlights.

I also read a lot of short fiction. This was in part to my commitment to reading the shortlist for the Hugos, but I actually have found that I really enjoy reading shorter works. Maybe it’s because I’m a dad and I can’t get invested in door-stoppers, since they take me months to finish, but either way I’m glad that I’m branching out medium-wise.

Another take away is that because I’m branching out, I’m doing more research on different genres. I read a bit more horror and fantasy this year and it’s my hope to continue that trend. I love my bread and butter sci-fi, but if I want to grow in different/new ways as a writer, I need to expand my genre horizons.

Here are some of my favorites from last year:

The Spectacle of the Void by David Peak – This was a great analysis of existential horror as well as looking at various themes that are currently in our culture now and how that informs the genre.

The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley – I reviewed this for the fine bunch over at Three Crows Magazine, and this book was by far a pleasure to read. Headley’s writing is effortless and this new spin/update to the old tale of Beowulf does everything a work looking to make homepage to such an epic. Crisp, beautiful poetry fills these pages and a startlingly human center makes this book stand out for me.

Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda – I haven’t reviewed them here since the series is still ongoing, but it continues to be in my top 5 graphic novels to date. The artwork by Takeda is to die for as well as the incredible world building that Liu has managed to go through the three volumes I’ve read thus far.

At The End of the Day I Burst Into Flames by Nicholas Day –  I reviewed this novella for a friend of mine and despite this, I was taken aback by this deeply intimate story. The horror notwithstanding, this story proves again, that horror is meant to get at the heart of the human condition, it just sometimes takes a longer unflinching look.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – This was my absolute favorite book of 2018 and I will continue to rant and rave about it in years to come. A literary masterpiece of how we deal with ourselves in the aftermath of civilization and how both tenuous and wide the bonds of family, friendship, and love bind us. It is truly a beautiful book.

And that’s a wrap! I’m honestly very happy to finally have this up, thank goodness.

Enjoy!

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