Books Read in 2018

Unlike previous years, I’m not doing a premediated reading list this year. I never finish them anyway. I’ll just see where things take me this year.


  1. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. “Capitalism is bad, man.”
  2. The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, by Daniel Pinkwater. Read this aloud to H. He seemed to enjoy it. A bit dated (what’s with all the indoor smoking?), but fun–a few real clangy sentences, but it got better as it went along.
  3. The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Sad butler thinks about a general philosophy of butlering, among other interesting (really!) topics. This is the sort of book that wins prizes and gets taught in school.
  4. Neuromancer, by William Gibson. Significantly mixed feelings.


  1. Night Vision, by Claire Wahmanholm. I’m not usually a poetry reader, but this was pretty amazing. Tiny horror stories, traced with carefully selected words.
  2. The Iliad (book 1 only), by Homer, Robert Fitzgerald, trans. Too much sulky manchildness. Reads aloud well though.
  3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick. Mood “594: pleased acknowledgement of husband’s superior wisdom in all matters” (p. 7). Yeah.


  1. Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. Space colonialism! Linguistics! Philosophy! Action! What’s not to like?
  2. Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie. The economics of space colonialism are actually pretty complicated. I’m not totally convinced that you can run a space empire the way you’d run, say, the Roman empire. Nor that you can correct inequalities in said empire that rival those of, e.g., French Indochina just by having a quiet word with the proper administrators (and, at the right moment, the subalterns). Still, an exciting book, and I look forward to part three.
  3. The Baby-Led Weaning Family Cookbook: Your Baby Learns to Eat Solid Foods, You Enjoy the Convenience of One Meal for Everyone, by Gill Rapley, PhD, and Tracey Murkett. It feels weird to list this because I didn’t read every recipe or anything, I just wanted to read the first part about baby-led weaning (BLW). BLW is kind of ideal if you are lazy like me or pressed for time, because the cornerstone of the philosophy is the baby gets to decide when/how much food goes in his mouth. Easy enough, right? On the other hand, after about a month and a half of this, I can still count on one hand the number of times he seems to have actually eaten any solid food. (Book says this is extremely normal, so I’m not worried or noting this as a negative, it’s just something that has been in my mind.)
  4. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. Read aloud. Excellent use of very little and spare language.
  5. Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer. Stories can’t save you now.
  6. Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie. I wasn’t ready for this series to be done. ūüôĀ Am sad now.


  1. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. Well-written but blah.
  2. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle. Read aloud. Mixed feelings on the religious aspects. The writing was good but a bit clunky in places–for example, Meg is constantly shouting/screaming/yelling.
  3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. Nice people who are nice to each other all the time. In SPACE.


  1. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. I cried. Twice.


  1. We Go to the Gallery, by Miriam Elia. This was amazing.
  2. The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin. Clearly an ancestor of the Imperial Radch trilogy. She does a lot of stuff here, and most of it is pretty exciting and bears further thought.