2018 in Review

I truly wish I had a better excuse for abandoning The Falling Shelf for so long…unfortunately, even my initial reasoning that I was knee-deep in my first semester of college is only applicable from August on, making my mid-March departure from blogging simply inexplainable. I’ll just say I fell into a reading void, shall I? That seems good.

Moving right along, though: I am SO excited about picking up blogging again. A 2019 resolution of mine is to be more intentional in producing content, as well as committing to following through. I am one of those people who has ideas that I get really excited about, but then drops it as soon as I lose interest, choosing to move onto a new project instead. Am I going to be a serial entrepreneur one day? Couldn’t tell ya (probably not, I’ve just been listening to a lot of Gary Vee podcasts lately.)! Yet all that being said, let’s go through the books I ended up reading this year — all in alphabetical order, but with stars out of five as I marked them on my Goodreads account (if I rated them at all!).

Books for School

As a double History and English major, a large chunk of my time at school is devoted to, luckily for me, READING. To be totally honest, when I was thinking of what job I wanted after graduating from college and I landed on being a professor, a big plus is that you literally get paid to read and write. So now I get to practice that before the paychecks start rollin’ in. Here is the list of books I read for school in 2018.

  • Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare — ★★★★★

  • Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, Amy Ellis Nutt — ★★★★★

  • The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx (yes. I did indeed read this for class, and no, I did not rate it)

  • Coriolanus, William Shakespeare

  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles

  • In Defense of a Liberal Education, Fareed Zakaria

  • Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare

  • The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death by Jill Lepore

  • Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar — ★★★★★

  • The Rape of Lucrece, William Shakespeare

  • Troilus and Cressida, William Shakespeare — ★★★

Here are a few facts about my class schedule that you probably have guessed already: I did take a Shakespeare class this semester, focusing on his Roman plays; I took a gender and sexuality history course; and I actually enjoyed everything I read this term! In particular, I would recommend In Defense of a Liberal Education for any college student considering — or not considering! — taking liberal arts courses. It was a really quick, interesting read, and one I didn’t even have to read for class. Yet I definitely procrstinated homework to read it! Whoops.

Historical Fiction and Fantasy Books

I know I mentioned just a moment ago that I want to be a professor after I graduate (and graduate again at least a few more times, I’m very content with the fact that I’ll be in school for nearly another decade), but I also intend on moonlighting as a historical fiction and fantasy author! I just think Historical Fiction as a genre is such a terrific and engaging way to learn about history, and it definitely pulls people into being more interested in subjects than they thought they would be. As for fantasy…I grew up on Harry Potter, what more can I say. Anyway, here’s the list of historical fiction books I read this year (again, in alphabetical order).

  • Ash Princess, Laura Sebastian — ★★★

  • Fatal Throne, Candace Fleming, M. T. Anderson, Jennifer Donnelly, Stephanie Hemphill, Deborah Hopkinson, Linda Sue Park, and Lisa Ann Sandell — ★★★★★

  • The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern — ★★★★★

  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Katherine Howe — ★★★★

Realistic and YA Fiction

Growing up, I rarely had the patience for realistic fiction. It always seemed boring in comparison to my aforementioned love for fantasy. As I aged into YA, though, I started liking it more and more! Can’t say I love romance (at least, straight romance) when it’s the only plotline, but the realistic/YA fiction I read this year always had more going on than JUST a love story. In alphabetical order:

  • The Accidental Bad Girl, Maxine Kaplan — ★★★★★

  • Austenland, Shannon Hale — ★★★

  • Four-Letter Word, Christa Desir — ★★★

  • The Girl with More Than One Heart, Laura Geringer Bass — ★★★

  • S.T.A.G.S, M. A. Bennett — ★★★★★

  • Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now, Dana L. Davis — ★★★★★

  • What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty — ★★★★

In 2018, I hoped to read 50 books. However, as you can see, there are 22 books on this list…Goodreads says I read 24 or 25, whether I’m looking at my account on mobile or on my laptop. REGARDLESS…this year, I’m setting my sights just as high and putting it out there, into the universe, that my goal is 50 books again. Hopefully I get even closer!

Next post will be some of the books I want to read this coming year, new and old. Until then!

Review: The Accidental Bad Girl