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[Saturday Reads] Round Up of My Literary Journey and My Best in Books Across Quarterly Reading Themes

My 2018 in books and favourites across our quarterly reading themes.

SaturdayReads

Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

Literary Voyage Reading Challenge Round Up

I have to confess that this is only a rough approximation – as my numbers, for some reason, do not seem to tally, which is always ugh-inducing. Add the fact that I am only manually counting the books I featured and reviewed here for 2018. Do note that this does not signify all the books I have read throughout the year. There is a strong likelihood that I may have failed to capture other countries that I have decided not to review here in GatheringBooks. There are also certain occasions when I did not indicate US or UK or Canada if they have been duplicated across a single post where multiple books have been reviewed, so this is largely flawed, but a pretty good guesstimate. Regardless, here are my numbers for 2018:

Countries Visited in Books Number
1 USA 82
2 United Kingdom 28
3 Australia 12
4 Italy 8
5 France 8
6 Canada 4
7 Germany 4
8 Poland 4
9 Norway 3
10 Brazil 3
11 Mexico 3
12 Sweden 3
13 Russia 3
14 Iceland 1
15 Switzerland 2
16 Portugal 2
17 Palestine 1
18 Jamaica 1
19 South Korea 2
20 China 1
21 Uganda 1
22 India 2
23 Belgium 2
24 Argentina 2
25 Uruguay 1
26 Burma 2
27 North Korea 1
28 Pakistan 1
29 Cuba 2
30 Spain 2
31 Israel 1
32 Philippines 1
33 Lebanon 1
34 Thailand 1
35 Malawi 1
36 Egypt 1
37 Ethiopia 1
38 Nigeria 1
39 Greece 2
40 Bangladesh 1
41 Japan 1
42 New Zealand 1
43 Denmark 2
44 Ireland 1
45 Iraq 1
46 Turkey 1
47 Persia/ Iran 1
48 Czech Republic 1

My pledge was to read books from at least 40 countries. Hence traveling to 48 countries this year by books, is not bad, but could still be better. Clearly, there is a preponderance of US reads, which is not surprising for me, but definitely sobering and worth noting. This strengthens my resolve to read even more diversely in 2019.

Here are my top ten favourite reads across our reading themes.

January – March 2018: Contours Of Love, Silhouettes of Infidelities, Shades Of Romance

  1. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice On Love And Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (my review),
  2. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (see my review).
  3. Love by Matt de la Peña and Loren Long (see my review).
  4. The One Hundred Nights Of Hero by Isabel Greenberg (see my review).
  5. Now by Antoinette Portis, Ten Tiny Things by Meg McKinlay and Kyle Hughes-Odgers, La La La: A Story Of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim (see my review).
  6. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (see my review).
  7. Life by Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel (see my review).
  8. Devotions by Mary Oliver (see my review).
  9. The Moon Has Written You A Poem by Jose Jorge Letria and Andre Letria with translation by Maurice Riordan (see my review).
  10. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (see my review).

April – June 2018: Memoirs, Biographies, Self-Constructed Narratives

  1. The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (see my review).
  2. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (my review).
  3. I Live Here by Mia Kirshner, J B MacKinnon, Paul Shoebridges and Michael Simons (my review).
  4. Beartown by Fredrik Backman (my review).
  5. Duran Duran, Imelda Marcos, And Me by Lorina Mapa (my review).
  6. Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, And How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lita Judge (my review).
  7. The Seven Good Years by Etgar Keret (my review).
  8. The Book Of Embraces by Eduardo Galeano (my review).
  9. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman (my review).
  10. Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia and Katy Horan (my review).

July – September 2018: Crime and Thriller, Mysteries and Puzzles in Literature

  1. The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (my review).
  2. The Purloining Of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead with illustrations by Erin Stead (my review).
  3. The Encyclopedia Of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (my review).
  4. In The Woods by Tana French (my review).
  5. Circe by Madeline Miller (my review).
  6. Reading With Patrick: A Teacher, A Student, And A Life Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo (my review).
  7. The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh (my review).
  8. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (my review).
  9. The Vegetarian by Han Kang (my review).
  10. Half Of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (my review).

October – December 2018: Breathing Beauty, Tasting Art, Feeling Music

  1. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker (my review).
  2. Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers (my review).
  3. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (my review).
  4. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (my review).
  5. Bloom: A Story Of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julie Morstad (my review).
  6. The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook by Shaun Tan (my review).
  7. The Conference Of The Birds by Peter Sis (my review).
  8. The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (my review).
  9. Photographic: The Life Of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero and Illustrated by Zeke Peña (my review).
  10. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (my review).

Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favourite reads this year?

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