Can you believe it’s already 2018?
So many exciting things are happening this year! I’m getting married (woot, woot!), I’m traveling out of the country for the first time, and I’ve officially started writing my debut novel!
In the meantime, I’ll be reading as always, and these are the first six books on my Goodreads to-read shelf for 2018.
Disclaimer: I purchased all of these books with my own money. Links in this post, particularly to Amazon, may be affiliate. All opinions are my own and can’t be bought. More legal information is available here.
1. On Writing by Stephen King
Everyone is surprised that I haven’t read this yet, but as of January 5, I am smack-dab in the middle of it — and reading fast! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, because I know a lot of the writers that I associate with online worship it (and Stephen King) like the Bible (and God, respectively). I’m not the hugest fan of King, however, but I was willing to give his memoir a shot. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.
I expected to enjoy the second half of the book more, because that’s when King starts talking more about writing and less about his life, but I’ve found that, so far, this isn’t the case. I was completely captivated by the snapshots of his life that he depicts in the first half of On Writing. So far, the second half — “on writing” — hasn’t captivated me quite as much. I plan to trudge through, though!
2. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
I have to admit — I’ve actually already started this book. I “DNF’d” (did-not-finish…ed) this book some time early last year. But I want to give it another shot! That is partially because I was never a Harry Potter fan, so I want to find a fan of Rowling in me, but it’s also partially because I tend to love character-centric stories, which I’ve heard that The Casual Vacancy is. In fact, I’m hoping to find a little Daisy Miller in this novel. But maybe that’s just a far-off dream…
In any case, my goal is to actually finish this book in 2018, and give it the honest review it deserves. Just because it didn’t totally captivate me from the start like On Writing did doesn’t mean it isn’t a great book! I just have to get there.
3. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
My experience with Go Set a Watchman is pretty similar to the one I had with The Casual Vacancy — I started it, wasn’t pulled in, and put it down (seemingly forever). But again, I’m giving it one more chance! I loved To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee’s most popular work, and since this novel takes place in the same universe, I can’t imagine I wouldn’t enjoy this, too.
But since I’ve heard Lee never wanted it published, I won’t feel too guilty if I don’t love it. Maybe she just wasn’t happy with it yet.
4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Yes, technically this is a re-read. But I have a good reason!… There’s a new cover to go with the new movie that’s out!
I’m a huge fan of Agatha Christie, and I actually read the entire Hercule Poirot series when I was in middle/high school, so I know I’ll love it yet again, but I’ll probably write a new review of this one too!
5. Persuasion by Jane Austen
Yes, Persuasion is yet another one of those books that I started and never finished. What can I say? Life happens. But what’s important is that I’m going back and reading them now…right?
In any case, I loved Pride and Prejudice (I’m really into this kind of literature, which shouldn’t be surprising coming from an English major), so I’m so sure Persuasion will be right along those lines. It’s been a long time since I’ve opened it — several years actually — but I know it’s another romance and it involves a military man. Sounds like the right kind of book for me!
6. The Secrets of Story by Matt Bird
Like On Writing, I’ve already started this book, but unlike many of the other books on this list, I’m actually actively reading it! I wandered into a bookstore one day looking for a more narrative-style book on writing (kind of like On Writing…) and found this one. It’s informal, and reads like a blog post, but has a lot of information on the craft that is both unique and candid.
Bird isn’t claiming to be an expert — although he is considered one by many in writing community — he’s just telling his own experiences as a writer. So far, I’d highly recommend!
So that’s what I’ll be reading in 2018! Here’s to a great year!