2018 Reading Recapitulation


We’ve completed another revolution around the sun and 2018 has ended. It’s time for my annual reading recap. I start each year with several goals:

  • I want to read a minimum of 20 books,
  • I want to read at least one classic,
  • I try to read one book about baseball.

For the ninth consecutive year, I have met or exceeded my goals with the exception of the baseball book. I never got around to reading a baseball book this year. I did read a book about football, so I guess that kinda meets that goal. 9780451530578

In 2018, I read or listened to 30 books. There was a lot of science and a lot of space – naturally. I reread two books – one on purpose and one by accident. I read four biographies/memoirs.

I find I’m listening to more books than I’m actually reading. I’m having a hard time reading at night because I’m so tired. I do always have a book to read, but it’s been slow going at night. I read a few pages then get sleepy, so I stop for the evening.

I only read one classic but it was a great one: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I loved it. It is an awesome story.

The best books I read in 2018?  This is hard because I read a lot of good books.  My top three in no particular order were:

Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11  – A book about 9/11 written by an airline pilot that tells the story from the perspective of the pilots, air traffic controllers and military.

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle  – an great recounting of the battle at the Chosin Reservoir. It’s fast-paced, fascinating and filled with drama and heroism. Someone needs to make a movie about this.

One Second After  – In an instant America is plunged back into the dark ages. This is the story of one town and how it struggled to cope and survive.

Other favorites included; The Good Shepherd – a fictional account of a World War II destroyer captain and the convoy he’s responsible to keep safe. I believe there is a movie in production based on this book.md13227743805

Here’s my complete list of the books I read in 2018 – I’ve indicated audiobooks and linked some of my favorites. In 2019, I’ll have to make up for the missing baseball book. Anyone know a great book about baseball?

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice

First They Killed My Father (Audiobook)

The Good Shepherd 

The Universe (Audiobook)

Seveneves – I loved the first half of the book. The second half was good but not nearly as good as the first.

Atomic Adventures (Audiobook)

One Second After (Audiobook)

What it’s Like to be a Dog (Audiobook) – Boring. I fell like the title and summary of this book are misleading. Its really not that much about “what it’s like to be a dog.”

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery (Audiobook)

Stone by Stone: The Magnificent History in New England’s Stone Walls. I saw this book referenced on Chronicle and thought it would be interesting. It was for about 60 pages. I slogged through the other 244 pages. I should have just stopped.

Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight (Audiobook)

Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods (Audiobook)

A Tale of Two Cities (Audiobook)

The Hidden Lives of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature’s Most Elusive Birds (Audiobook)91v+9486xvl

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong (Audiobook)

The Long Tomorrow

Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto

Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator – Great title, not a great book. I didn’t get much out of this. Not recommended.

Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Shuttle and Her Crew

Artemis (Audiobook)

I, Me, Mine – This is a biography of George Harrison. As I was reading it, many parts seemed quite familiar. As it turns out, I read it about ten years ago.

Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of El Faro – This was very good.

Cuba Libre: A 500-Year Quest for Independence (Audiobook)

Opening Wednesday at a Theater Or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American 1970s (Audiobook)

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle (Audiobook)

Gridiron Genius: A Master Class in Winning Championships and Building Dynasties in the NFL (Audiobook)

Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11 (Audiobook)138775_1

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon (Audiobook)

Rendezvous with Rama (Audiobook) – This may be my favorite science fiction book of all time. This was the third time I’ve read/listened to it. It never gets old. I love Clark’s style. A classic of hard sci-fi. Highly recommended.

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