What I Read this Year

Not enough! So many books, not enough time. But perhaps there are a couple of books on my list that didn’t make it onto yours, and maybe you’ll want to add them to your TBR pile:

fire and fury Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff lived up to its hype. I don’t know that there was anything startling in it, because this administration has been reported on every day. And by now, there’s just so much more…

Galway Stories Galway Stories by Kevin Barry and Mary Costello really helped me understand more about Galway, the setting for my most recent novel. Sometimes gritty, sometimes delightful.

No Excuses No Excuses by Yolanda Alvarez. Let yourself be uncomfortable as you read this stark memoir. My bet is that your upbringing was very different from the author’s. Still, in spite of all the negatives that can be associated with Alvarez’s childhood, she survived. And thrived. And succeeded. Her story will fill your heart.

The Paris Wife The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. This book is about Ernest Hemingway’s wife Hadley Richardson. Written mostly from her perspective, this is a must-read.

This Unfamiliar Road This Unfamiliar Road by Jill Fague. Fague’s first-person account of her battle with breast cancer will move you. With clear and honest writing, she details not only the procedures but all of her emotions.

Thirteenth Star Under the Thirteenth Star – an anthology of writing by Rhode Island authors is the Association of Rhode Island Authors’ second annual anthology. Inside you’ll find a variety of selections from some of Rhode Island’s best.

corey I’m Still Here by Corey Calligano. Another young woman who battled breast cancer. Calligano writes in an honest voice, holding nothing back. A brave and compelling journey.

Damiani Il Bel Centro by Michelle Damiani details her family’s year abroad in the small town of Spello, Italy. Written with humor and introspection, you’ll follow the Damiani family from their home in Virginia to their new home in Italy.

Whitman Have Mercy by Barbara Ann Whitman. Using her extensive knowledge as a family support counselor, Whitman created a novel based on a young girl in the foster system. You’ll feel as if you know Mercy as she navigates the complex road to adulthood.

Matilda Messing with Matilda by Cat Lavoie. Lavoie is one of my favorite romantic comedy authors, and for a sweet escape, pick up this one. Actually, read everything Cat has written!

How to Walk Away How to Walk Away by Katherine Center. Give me a book about hope and despair and I’m hooked. This one ticks all the boxes, with wit, raw emotion, pain, heartache, and ultimately, love and acceptance. Probably the best book I read this year.

North Haven North Haven by Sarah Moriarty. I’ll admit, I picked up this book because I lived in North Haven (Connecticut) for a short time as a small child. This story, however, has nothing to do with Connecticut and everything to do with an island in Maine and a family vacation home. It’s a great summer read.

Hood The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood. Hood’s early works are magnificent, but like The Obituary Writer and An Italian Wife, this one left me less than thrilled. It’s somewhat autobiographical, and the ending was so far-fetched I was left disappointed.

Stranger Stranger or Friend by Silvia Villalobos. This thriller will grip you from the beginning. The writer uses tension skillfully in her scenes, and if you’re a murder-mystery reader, grab this one.

Mai Crossing the Bamboo Bridge – Memoirs of a Bad Luck Girl by Mai Donohue. You’ll find it difficult to pause your reading of this riveting memoir. From her forced marriage in a Vietnamese village to her escape and survival, against extreme adversity, you’ll come to admire this remarkable woman.

truth The Pendulum’s Truth by Leigh Brown and Victoria Corliss. The writing team of Brown and Corliss make team-writing work so well, you’d think they were just one person. They convey emotion with excellence and tell a great story that you’ll truly enjoy.

How Hard How Hard Can it Be? by Allison Pearson is a laugh out loud funny, brutally honest account of how women of ‘a certain age’ find themselves being pulled from both directions. So relatable to women dealing with work, kids, aging parents, and marriage.

Fear Fear by Bob Woodward. I probably didn’t need to read another book about the chaos in the White House, by the chief chaos creator, but it’s Bob Woodward. This account of the Trump presidency is spot-on, but it’s not like you’re going to feel any better after reading it.

print A Printer’s Choice by W.L. Patenaude. I’m not typically a reader of science fiction, but I was thoroughly engrossed in this well-written novel about the classic battle between good and evil.

A Place of Springs A Place of Springs by Hannah Colby. Colby’s big book was years in the making, and her dedication to scene and detail is evident. An epic tale of love and loss, despair and hope, against a backdrop of the horrific Bosnian War.

Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen. How I missed this one is beyond me. No wonder she’s one of my favorite authors.

Well, that’s it! How about you? What was the best book you read in 2018? What book are you looking forward to?

11 thoughts on “What I Read this Year

  1. I love lists like this to see what we have in common! In this case, only 2: Messing with Matilda and How Hard Can It Be? I enjoyed both of those but found Matilda less depressing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Nicholas Nickleby for fun. The rest I finished were basically were one I was stuck reading for school. I am in the middle of a book now, which I am not finished with yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read 46 of my 50 book goodreads challenge (I think I’ll fall short of the mark by a couple). Since my taste in reading is eclectic in the extreme, it’s a big hard to choose a favorite, so I settled for my top two: “Grant”, by Ron Chernow, a biography of Ulysses S. Grant, who reigns high on my list of admirable American historical figures, and a re-read of Chris Bohjalian’s “The Double Bind.” And “Bits of Broken Glass” by Martha Reynolds. Like you, I read “Fear,” not that I wanted to read more about that heinous man but for the same reason you read it: Bob Woodward. Unlike you, though, I found “The Paris Wife” to be unreadable and quit about a quarter of the way through. I read “Books that Matter Most” by Ann Hood. While not my favorite of her excellent books, I think I liked it a bit more than you did, but do agree it did not quite reach the level of “The Obituary Writer,” “The Red Thread,” or”Comfort: A Journey Through Grief,”

    I am currently reading Barbara Kinsolver’s newest, “Unsheltered.” At the top of my vast TBR list (and multiple piles of books all over the house are “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owen, “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, “Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult (for my book club), “The Cookbook Collector” by Allegra Goodman, and a number of books by Allen Furst and Caleb Carr.

    Oh! Lest us not forget a couple of fine local writers: “Wired” by Paul Caranci and “April in Galway” and “Villa del Sol” by Martha Reynolds.

    A few books you read this year are also on my TBR list: “Under the 13th Star,” “The Pendulum’s Truth,” and “Crossing the Bamboo Bridge.”

    Finally, “No Excuses” sounds marvelous. I may have to add that to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your wide range, Connie! I did try to expand my genres, and did enjoy both the sci-fi and the murder mystery books.
      You’ll enjoy “The Nightingale,” and I’ve got Kingsolver’s and Owen’s on my list.
      Oh! I forgot about Anna Quindlen’s “Alternate Side.” I should amend the post. 😉


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