A Novel List: 2018

Updated December 31, 2018

Back at the start of 2018, my wife and I sat down and figured out our yearly goals. Usually, we come up with 3-4 goals that we want to strive for completing by the end of the calendar year. Now, those who know me well are aware that I read. A lot. Like, a super-lot. During an average week, I am reading at least 4-5 things (mostly books). I’ve always estimated that I read to completion roughly 50 books a year. But I’ve never actually tracked it.

This year would be different. (

I set a modest goal of 50 completed books over the course of the year. I’m pretty sure I’ll exceed that number, but I’m also highly aware that I start and abandon a lot of books as well.

My typical approach for any novel is to read the first 100 pages. That gives me a great feel for the writing style, structure, characters, plot, etc. By then, I know the answer to the question “Am I compelled to find out how this ends?” The bottom line is that I tend to abandon a lot of books through the year, because why waste time slogging through something you hate?

So, to that end, I kept a running list of completed books to see how I fared by the end of 2018. (One caveat: this list will not include game reference/setting books that I use/read for my weekly gaming group.)

I set out for 50 completed and overshot that goal by a few. Less than I actually thought I would, but considering I read a lot more comics and game material from October onward, still a pretty great accomplishment.

2018 Completed Books

NF=nonfiction title

The Last Dragonslayer (Jasper Fford)
Ready Player One (Ernest Cline)
Before the Fall (Noah Hawley)
Endgame: Rules of the Game (James Frey)
Vanishing Grace (Philip Yancey) NF
Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase (Greg Cox)
The State of Play (edited by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson) NF
Noggin (John Corey Whaley)
As You Wish (Cary Elwes) NF
Homeland (R.A. Salvatore)
Exile (R.A. Salvatore)
Sojourn (R.A. Salvatore)
Sungrazer (Jay Posey)
Leadership & Self-Deception (The Arbinger Institute) NF
Solar Singularity (Peter J. Wacks, Guy Antony DeMarco, and Josh Vogt)
HALO: Legacy of Onyx (Matt Forbeck)
Gender Roles (Taffi Dollar) NF
Reality Is Broken (Jane McGonigal) NF
Children of the Divide (Patrick S. Tomlinson)
Besieged (Kevin Hearne)
Not a Tame Lion (Terry W. Glaspey) NF
The Last Policeman (Ben H. Winters)
Hell on Water (Jason M. Hardy)
Smoke Eaters (Sean Grigsby)
Heart Berries (Terese Marie Mailhot) NF
The Regional Office Is Under Attack! (Manuel Gonzales)
Last Shot (Daniel José Older)
The Assistants (Camille Perri)
The Sacred Romance (Brent Curtis and John Eldredge) NF
The Traitor God (Cameron Johnston)
Under the Pendulum Sun (Jeanette Ng)
HALO: Retribution (Troy Denning)
Shadows Down Under (Jean Rabe)
Little Wolves (Thomas Maltman)
Trail of Lightning (Rebecca Roanhorse)
Mr. Monk and the New Lieutenant (Hy Conrad)
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Michael Wolff) NF
Mortal Engines (Phillip Reeve)
The City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)
Thrawn: Allegiances (Timothy Zahn)
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch)
There There (Tommy Orange)
Ship of Fools (Richard Paul Russo)
Artemis (Andy Weir)
Lexicon (Max Barry)
Red Seas Under Red Skies (Scott Lynch)
Crimson (Kevin R. Czarnecki)
Fear (Bob Woodward) NF
The Republic of Thieves (Scott Lynch)
Sleeping Giants (Sylvain Neuvel)
The Book of Strange New Things (Michel Faber)
Paradise Lost (John Milton)
HALO: Bad Blood (Matt Forebeck)
Flash (Rachel Anne Ridge) NF
Break the Wheel (Jay Acunzo) NF
Tales from the Cobra War (edited by Max Brooks)

Current total: 56 (13 NF)

And, for fun, the total number of books I’ve abandoned this year: 30

All in all, I started 86 books during the year, completing 2/3rds of them. Not bad at all.

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