2018 Reading Challenge Conclusion

My bonnet is this large to accommodate my brain.

This year’s Challenge was full of challenging (read: Difficult) reads for me. Of the twelve here three were substitutions for books I had to drop for various reasons. I think I should have vetted the originals better.

As a reader, most of my choices surprised and delighted me. As a writer, the good ones showed me what was possible and the bad ones, what to avoid. And the worst of the list, Twilight,  was very, very bad, so bad I had to live up to my firepit promise for it:


The book that has stuck with me the most was Where Wizards Stay Up Late, even though I could not rate it highly. It illustrated to me both the optimism of the development of Internet technology and, in hindsight, how that free-wheeling openess has gotten out of control and grown into something sinister since when the book was published (1994) and now (2018.)

2018’s books, with final ratings:

1. Get on with it already: A book that’s been on your TBR (to be read) list for over a year.
Hermetech, by Storm Constantine

2. Freebies: A book you (legally) obtained without paying for.
The One Gold Slave,
by Christian Kennedy (A giveaway from the author)

3. Setting sail: A book taking place mostly or all on water.
City of Fortune, by Roger Crowley (a history of Venice)

4. I remember that!: A book about a historical event that took place in your lifetime.
Where Wizards Stay Up Late, by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon (about the creation of the Internet)

5. My hometown: A book by a local author.
Reamde, by Neal Stephenson

5. My hometown: A book by a local author.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

8. Bits and pieces: An anthology (poetry, short stories, whatever).
Undead Worlds, A Reanimated Writers Anthology (Zombie stories)

24. War is hell: A book about war, on the lines or the homefront, fiction or nonfiction.
A Delicate Truth,
by John le Carre

24. War is hell: A book about war, on the lines or the homefront, fiction or nonfiction.
In Pharoah’s Army,
by Tobias Wolff

34. Who was that, again?: A book about a person you know little about.
The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory

29. Keep up with the Joneses: A book by someone everyone else seems to have read but you have not.
Twilight, by Stephanie Myers
NO STARS. This book didn’t deserve any.

31. Nonfiction of any kind: Nonfiction of any kind.
Octopus! The Most Mysterious Creature in the Sea, by Katherine Harmon Courage

38. Coming to a theater near you: A book made into a major motion picture.
Albert Nobbs, by George Moore

48. The butler might have done it: A mystery.
Antiques Swap, by Barbara Allen

49. Pixies and Dryads and Elves, oh my!: A high fantasy.
The Worm Ouroboros, by E. R. Eddison. That’s as High Fantasy as it gets.

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