What I Read in 2018

2018 was a good reading year for me. I set a goal to read 40 books and I surpassed that by reading 46 books by the years end. I did a mid year review for the first 24 books in this post and I wanted to update the list with the books read in the second half of the year. I’m learning it’s OK to put books down if they aren’t for me and it really helps with the quality of books I’m reading. This post includes my thoughts and Goodreads rating on each book.

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Us Against You
This is the sequel to Fredrik Backman’s book Beartown, which I loved even more than this one, and that’s saying a lot. The writing is beautiful, the story is captivating and I want to continue reading more books about these characters and their hockey loving community. 5 stars

The Astonishing Color of After
This is a beautifully written YA novel about a young girl traveling to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents and learn more about her family history. This book touches on some serious topics such as suicide and depression but it does so in a respectable way. I loved reading more about Chinese/Taiwanese culture and the author describes it in a descriptive and colorful way. I found some of the magical realism elements to be a little confusing but overall I really enjoyed this book. 4 Stars

Stay With Me
This is a powerful novel of a marriage seen through the eyes of both husband and wife. Akin and Yejide have always agreed polygamy is not for them but four years into their marriage, Yejide is still not pregnant. Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family. 4 stars

Everything Here is Beautiful
Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is a heart-wrenching story about family and relationships. This novel gives a detailed look on how mental illness can affect not only the person suffering, but everyone around them. 4 stars

You Think It, I’ll Say It
Truthfully I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book since it’s made up of  short stories but I found it very entertaining. Each story grabbed my attention and there were a few I felt could have been expanded on and made into a novel. These essays are about first impressions and judging others, but written in a funny and relatable way.
4 stars

Little Big Love

This book was a little slow for me at first but halfway through it really started to pick up and I got to a point where I had to keep reading to find out the ending. Little Big Love is about a 10-year-old boy’s mission to meet his father and told in alternating views through his perspective, Juliet, the mother and Mick, the grandfather. It’s a charming story centered around unconditional love, family, betrayal, forgiveness and long-buried secrets. 4 stars

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky
Shifting between the 1950s and present day and told in alternating voices, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is a drama involving family, friendship, secrets, sacrifice, and courage. I could not put this book down and plan to read more books by this author. 5 stars

Small Great Things
Goodness, Jodi Picoult touches on topics that really make you think and this book is no exception. Small Great Things is a powerful book about race, told from the perspective of two different sides. It’s an eye opening novel with an important message and Picoult writes it in a beautiful and engrossing way. 5 stars

Wishful Drinking
I listened to this book on my Hoopla app and found it to be hilarious and entertaining. This book gave me an insight into Fisher’s life (which I really didn’t know anything about) such as growing up in a celebrity household,  her addictions, bipolar disorder and the after effects of playing Princess Leia in STAR WARS. 4 stars

I hesitated to read this book because if I’m being honest the title and description really wasn’t grabbing me. I’m so glad I did though because I LOVED it. Pachinko spans several generations with a rich, cultural look into Japanese and Korean history. While that may not sound interesting, there’s lots of family drama, and the characters are very relatable. Once I got into the story I could not put this book down. 5 stars

Next Year in Havana
This historical fiction novel is set in Cuba and goes back and forth between 1950’s Cuba and present day. It gave me a glimpse into Cuba’s history, which quite honestly I don’t know much about, and now I want to know so much more. It was a fascinating read about love and courage and the depths one will go to for their country. 4 stars

When Dimple Met Rishi
This is another book I listened to on Hoopla per the suggestion of one of my friends. It’s a sweet YA novel and an easy listen if your looking for something lighthearted and fun. The strength of the story comes from its blending of Indian culture and values into a modern-day romance that many readers can relate to. 4 stars

A Place For Us
This book received lots of glowing reviews this past year and it definitely lives up to the hype. It’s a moving, well-written family saga of identity, love, loss, and the struggle for spiritual connection. While I found the beginning to be somewhat complicated to read and rather slow, it quickly picked up and I’m still thinking of this family and the characters long after I’ve finished. 5 stars

The Perfect Couple
Elin Hilderbrand is known for writing the perfect ” beach read” and this time she’s added in some mystery. The story is made up of wealth, scandal, secrets and lies I was hooked from the very beginning. 5 stars

Remember God
I listened to this book on Hoopla, read by Annie herself, which I really loved.
She uses her own personal stories of heartbreak and sadness to show how God has continued to love her during those times. Life doesn’t always go as we plan, or want it to go, but He will go to great lengths to show us his love and kindness. 4 stars

A Spark of Light
Picoult chose to tell this story in reverse and started with the conclusion, Which for me, made it hard to keep track of the events happening. I also felt less interest in the story than what I hoped I would. In typical Picoult Fashion, this story gives the reader lots to think about (in this case pro-choice or pro-life) and the amount of research she puts into her work is very impressive. 3 stars

Where the Crawdads Sing
I was intrigued with this book as soon as I heard it was part of Reese Witherspoon’s book club. This is a beautifully written  novel about survival, hope, love and loss and you will fall in love with the main character, Kya. There’s a love story and mystery woven throughout the story, making for an unforgettable and engaging novel. 4 stars

The Middle Place
This is an older novel but after some encouragement from a friend I decided to give it a listen. Since I was a little girl I’ve always been a daddy’s girl so this book really hit home for me. In this memior, Kelly writes of her husband and daughters, her mother and her brothers, but it’s her father’s love that sustains her. You will cry with her when she reveals that George (in addition to herself) has been diagnosed with cancer. under these circumstances she emerges as a survivor yet, she will always be her father’s daughter. 4 stars

Before Amen
We read this book over the course of a few weeks with our Life Group at church.Max Lucado brings a fresh perspective that prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. He suggests a basic outline that we can build our own prayers on using the example given by Christ himself (The Lord’s Prayer). It’s simple, it’s memorable, and it will be helpful for anyone who wants to pray better, deeper, and stronger. 4 stars

Tell Me More

I was excited to read this, especially after just finishing her previous memior, The Middle Place. This book will have you laughing and crying as Kelly writes in a beautiful and relatable way. Each chapter reads as a short story making for a very quick and easy read. The last chapter alone will have you feeling all the feels and it left me in a puddle of emotions. 4 stars

Nine Perfect Strangers
I had high hopes for this book considering how much I’ve enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s previous books. However, I found it to be a little over the top. I had a hard time connecting with all the characters and it’s being marketed as a psychological thriller which I don’t agree with at all. For me the story turned silly and weird halfway through and I found there to be very little suspense.3 stars

I was in a sorority in college so I was intrigued to read this southern fiction novel about Greek life at Ole Miss. It’s a charming novel about fairness, empowerment and forgiveness. My Greek Life experience wasn’t quite like the book but it was fun to reminisce on my college days a bit. 4 stars

So there you have it,  46 books read in 2018 and Twenty-Two books since my last update in July. If you read something worth noting that I didn’t include please let me know in the comments.


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By | 2019-01-03T20:33:49+00:00 January 3rd, 2019|Food|7 Comments


  1. Kelly Jones January 4, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Wow this is impressive! I rarely read other than nutrition / exercise science literature so it’s definitely a goal of mine to fit in more pleasure reading. Awesome resource list.

  2. Cara January 4, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    I loved “Small Great Things”, I’d also have to give that one 5 stars!

  3. Jenny Shea Rawn January 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Amazing that you read so many books this year. Saving for when I have time to read a book … hopefully one of these years ;).

  4. admin January 4, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Do you have any nutrition books you would recommend?

  5. Farrah January 4, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    I read Small Great Things last year too–definitely a thought-provoking book! I’m gonna have to check out A Spark of Light too! Dunno how I missed that one–I thought I’d read them all! 😛

  6. Friday Favorites- 1/11/19 - Key Ingredients January 11, 2019 at 7:52 am

    […] My recap of the 46 books I read in 2018 […]

  7. Aggie February 10, 2019 at 10:58 am

    We have read a lot of the same books! I felt the same about Jodi Picoult’s and Liane Moriarty’s newest ones. Not my favorite.
    I want to read The Perfect Couple.
    You Think It, I’ll Say It was the first book of short stories I read and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it!

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