Happy New Year, everyone! It’s that time where I usually post wrap-up posts. I wasn’t sure if I should skip the wrap up and put everything in a 2018 summary post or do a monthly wrap-up anyway. I opted for a wrap-up post and a separate one for my reading challenges.
This wrap-up is going to be a little different this month. First, the section that reviews my December posts show will be a little shorter. Second, I’m including a few lists that encompass my favorite reads of 2018. Then I’ll list the five most-viewed posts of the year on Cat on the Bookshelf. Finally, I still want to showcase some interesting finds from this month, which I normally do.
My Month in Review
I wrote three book reviews this month: The Last Leaves Falling by Fox Benwell, Eartha by Cathy Malkasian, and The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas. In sum, the first and last are great, but Eartha is not. I’m also reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, and it’s captivating.
Because it’s the end of the year, I wrote several posts that involve reading challenges. One is the announcement post for the 2019 Fanfiction Reading Challenge, and another was a post that holds all of the graphics for the challenge. I also signed up for the 2019 challenges I want to participate in.
Favorite 2018 Reads
I want to highlight some of my favorite reads of 2018. Since I read very few books that were published in 2018, keep in mind that you will see many books that were published in years past.
Of the graphic novels, my favorites are Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle, Orange: Vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano, Hearts for Sale by Julia K. (Miyuli), Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges, Songy of Paradise by Gary Panter, and The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Vol. 1 by Kore Yamazaki.
The next list was harder to put together. Of the YA books, my favorites are The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Orange: Vol. 1 by Ichigo Takano, The Last Leaves Falling by Fox Benwell, and The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas. I see a trend of surviving sexual assault in some of these.
Now, to give a round up of my overall top 5 books of 2018. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali, and Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle.
Most Viewed Posts of 2018
- Five Favorite Drarry Fanfics
- Killing Stalking, Season 1 by Koogi
- A Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Book Bloggers
- Do you think Satan from Paradise Lost is at all a sympathetic character?
- When Are Vampires Fantasy or Science Fiction?
Elley the Book Otter wrote a post, describing crafty things you can do with your old ARCs. I love these ideas, and two of them were very relevant for the holiday season.
Dani from Perspective of a Writer shared her 11 lessons from NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). They’re great takeaways for writing for that challenge and for writing in your regular life.
On a similar foot, I don’t shy away from writing negative reviews on this blog. On the subject of writing, Krysta from Pages Unbound explains why “Negative Reviews Are the Highest Form of Respect.” I like that this post gets into how it’s respectful to the author, even though I target readers as my audience for book reviews.
Alexia Cambaling from The Bookworm Daydreamer explains why they believe the excuse of “historical accuracy” for a diversity problem in fantasy is disingenuous. This is a subject I need to think more about, but her argument makes a lot of sense to me.
The Orangutan Librarian talks about the developing stereotypes of strong female characters, Mary Sues, and Manic Pixie Dream Girls. It’s a good post about how this newer stereotype came about. It’s made think about how the stereotype has affected my reading tastes.
If you saw any of the drama between Tomi Adeyemi and Nora Roberts earlier this month, you should read this thoughtful discussion on “The Double Standard Applied to POC in the Book Community” from Vicky Who Reads. Even if you didn’t follow that online scuffle or have no desire to read about the scuffle yourself, Vicky’s post is well worth the read.
Caz from The Little Book Owl shares how she annotates her books. I haven’t seen such an intricate page-marking system before, and I admire it.
How were the holidays? What was one of your favorite 2018 reads?