Reading List 2018

In 2016 I finished my PhD, moved house and renovated the house, got married, and, oh yeah, had a baby. In 2017 I... did none of those things, and yet I only read four more books than in the previous year. I'll blame the baby/toddler for that. (He's pretty decent, though, so we won't bear a grudge.) I have an abysmal track record at keeping resolutions (apart from the year I stuck to my vow of reading one graphic novel a month - that was good, if a little pricey), so I'm not making any grandiose 2018 reading promises, except that: I need to be strict about alternating reading books for review, new/current books, and books that have been lingering on the shelf for years. To that end I've kicked off with a new one (David Keenan - amazing) and I'm following it up with an old one (Ivy Compton-Burnett). Also I found I read more non-fiction than usual last year, and I'd quite like to keep that up too, but we'll see how I get on with the dusty old pile first.

June
30. Unthology 10. I'm biased because I've got a story in this, but it's a great anthology.
29. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin. Cracy that I've only just read this. Brilliant.

May
28. The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner. Excellent.
27. Shift, Mia Gallagher. Excellent story collection.
26. Follow Me To Ground, Sue Rainsford. Creepy and original.
25. Problems, Jade Sharma. Brilliant novel about addiction.

April
24. Jude: Level 1, Julian Gough. Satirical Irish novel - funny.
23. The Overstory, Richard Powers. Excellent stuff - brings out my inner eco-warrior.
22. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman. Didn't like this much at all.
21. The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann. Very long! Loved parts, found some sections a drag.

March
20. Break.up, Joanna Walsh. Meditation on online relationships.
19. The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer. Another great one, all about friendship and envy.
18. The Vagrants, Yiyun Li. Outstanding novel. I'd enjoyed her short stories before but this was phenomenal.
17. History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund. Didn't get on with this one.
16. Room For a Single Lady, Clare Boylan. Really funny & sharp - if you like Muriel Spark, etc.
15. Anything You Do Say, Gillian McAllister. Crime / guilt / relationship drama; puts you off shoving people down the stairs, that's for sure.

February
14. Sorry To Disturb The Peace, Patty Yumi Cottrell. Odd, funny, bleak: really enjoyed it.
13. Outer Dark, Corman McCarthy.Well, that was bleak as hell. Maybe don't read if you have a little baby?!
12. Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado. Short stories - very thought-provoking.
11. Feel Free, Zadie Smith. Essays and reviews. Pretty long but very good.
10. The Cone Gatherers, Robin Jenkins. Fantastic Scottish novel; gutted I've only come to it now.
9. The Minister and the Murderer, Stuart Kelly. Non-fiction. Review to follow.

January
8. Changing My Mind, Zadie Smith. Essays. Some excellent, some (the film section in particular) not so much.
7. Homesick for Another World, Ottessa Moshfegh. Stories. Very Flannery O'Connor-eqsue.
6. Honoured Guest, Joy Williams. Story collection. Great stuff.  If you like Lorrie Moore, etc.
5. Swing Time, Zadie Smith. Great take on two girls' long friendship (Cats Eye va Elena Ferrante).
4. The Earlie King & the Kid In Yellow, Danny Denton. Debut novel from an Irish writer: totally mad, very exuberant.
3. Nightwood, Djuna Barnes. I appreciate the cultural significance and modernist innovation but I didn't really get much out of it which was a shame (and isn't anything to do with the quality of the book, obviously).
2. Winter Papers, Vol. 3, ed. Kevin Barry & Olivia Smith. Irish arts annual. Favourite bits were stories by Anakana Schofield and Cristín Leach.
1. This Is Memorial Device, David Keenan. Took me a little while to get into it, but then, bloody hell: astounding stuff. 

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