December was very much like November in the sense that I didn’t get much reading done. End of term busyness, as well as Christmas preparations, kept me away from reading books. On the other hand, I did watch a lot of movies and TV shows, which I will write about next week. However, I did manage to finish reading one book this past month, which I have already written about in a previous post: Janet Evanovich’s latest installment in the Stephanie Plum series, Look Alive Twenty-Five.
While normally in my “Reading Log” series of posts I’d write an overview of my thoughts about the books I read in the past month, I thought I’d instead take the opportunity to do an end-of-year recap of the books I read since starting this blog.
I have read
10 books 11 books in five months since starting this blog in August, and you can look back on my previous posts to see what I thought about each.
- See my post from August about Janet Evanovich’s Turbo Twenty-Three
- See my post from August about Gregory McDonald’s Fletch
- See my September Reading Log
- See my October Reading Log
- As noted in my November Reading Log, I did not finish reading any books in November. [EDIT: Except that I actually did finish one book: Michael Redhill’s Bellevue Square.]
As part of my end-of-year recap, I thought it would be fun to rank the books I read from most-liked to least-liked.
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2018 Reading Log book ranking
[EDIT (January 8, 2019): I had forgotten while I was writing my November Reading Log that I did actually finish reading a book in November, and in fact it was such a great book that I’d rank it above all the other books listed below. Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill is a bit unconventional for a mystery novel, and it’s even unconventional for a psychological thriller, but it is absolutely excellent.]
- Fletch by Gregory McDonald
- A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
- Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
- Gin and Daggers by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher
After compiling the list above, I realized that it is very much indicative of my own personal tastes rather than necessarily their quality.
At the very top is Fletch, mainly because I really love humour, and I appreciate novels that are shorter than average because of my issues with attention span. A touch of humour is also the reason why A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul made it to #2.
On the other end of the spectrum are the two “cozies” at #5 and #6. I’m not particularly against cozies (I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan after all), but I do find that modern cozies such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder tend to portray characters with an outlook on life that I find hard to identify with. Additionally, I put Gin and Daggers (even though I love Murder, She Wrote) last simply because just a few months after I read it I had already forgotten what it was about.
Stephanie Plum book ranking
Because I make sure to read a book from the Stephanie Plum series every month, I thought it would be unfair (and difficult) to compare individual books from that series to books from other series, which is why I didn’t include any of them in the ranking above. Instead, I have ranked the Stephanie Plum books separately.
After having re-read the first book recently, it does seem like the book series is suffering a bit from a sort of fatigue. This can be expected of series that run for a long time and the author begins to run out of ideas, run out of steam, or simply get bored of it. However, I did find Look Alive Twenty-Five to be better than Hardcore Twenty-Four, so perhaps the series is back to an upward swing.
. . .
I’m not super pleased with myself for having only read
10 books 11 books in 5 months, mainly because I know I can do better. I’m sure I can improve my current average of two books a month into something more like four books a month (or a book a week). So here’s hoping I can further break away from my internet/phone addiction and do what I actually enjoy: reading!
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