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2018 in Books

Some of the many books I read in 2018!

Some of the many books I read in 2018!

We’re two weeks into the New Year, so it’s high time I post my traditional round-up of the books I read over the year that just ended. I held off on doing so because I hadn’t written & posted as many reviews of my 2018 reading as I would have done ideally; still, I suppose that if I do write additional reviews, I can always update this post later with the new link. The magic of the Internet!

As per usual, I’ve split the list in two: one for plays and one for everything else. Because this is a public blog, I list plays only if they’re available in published form to a general audience (as opposed to listing drafts of scripts by playwrights of my acquaintance). Works that were rereads for me this year are marked with an asterisk. Works that I read for my book club are marked with a dagger.

Non-Plays:

  1. The Awakening and Selected Stories, by Kate Chopin

  2. The Household Tips of the Great Writers, by Mark Crick

  3. Ingrid Bergman, by David Thomson — my thoughts

  4. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein

  5. The World Only Spins Forward, by Isaac Butler and Dan Kois

  6. * Ex Libris, by Anne Fadiman

  7. A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki

  8. The Girls in the Picture, by Melanie Benjamin — my thoughts

  9. † * Vile Bodies, by Evelyn Waugh

  10. * Decline and Fall, by Evelyn Waugh

  11. When in French: Love in a Second Language, by Lauren Collins

  12. † *The Odyssey, by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson (note: this was my first read of this recent translation, but my 4th read overall)

  13. * Wild Magic, by Tamora PIerce

  14. * Wolf-Speaker, by Tamora Pierce

  15. * Emperor Mage, by Tamora Pierce

  16. * The Realms of the Gods, by Tamora Pierce

  17. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

  18. Cassandra at the Wedding, by Dorothy Baker

  19. The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett

  20. North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell

  21. Etiquette & Espionage, by Gail Carriger

  22. Curtsies & Conspiracies, by Gail Carriger

  23. It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis

  24. Waistcoats & Weaponry, by Gail Carriger

  25. Manners & Mutiny, by Gail Carriger — my thoughts on the 4 Carriger “Finishing School” novels

  26. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë — my thoughts

  27. The Little Pleasures of Paris, by Leslie Jonath, illustrated by Lizzy Stewart

  28. The Magic Toyshop, by Angela Carter

  29. * The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter

  30. * Wise Children, by Angela Carter

  31. * Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter

  32. Take Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life, by Samantha Ellis — my thoughts

  33. Soulless, by Gail Carriger

  34. Changeless, by Gail Carriger

  35. Blameless, by Gail Carriger — my thoughts on these 3 Carriger “Parasol Protectorate” novels

  36. * Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers

  37. * Mary Poppins Comes Back, by P.L. Travers

  38. Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, by Nick Bantock

  39. * Look, I Made a Hat, by Stephen Sondheim

These books, by the numbers:

  • 22 American, 13 British, 2 Australian, 1 Italian, 1 Greek

  • 29 books by 16 different women, 10 books by 9 different men

  • 25 new reads, 14 rereads

  • 19 adult fiction, 10 YA/kids’ fiction, 7 nonfiction, 1 humor, 1 narrative poem, 1 adult picture book

Plays:

  1. The Moors, by Jen Silverman

  2. Lascivious Something, by Sheila Callaghan

  3. Roadkill Confidential, by Sheila Callaghan

  4. That Pretty Pretty, or The Rape Play, by Sheila Callaghan

  5. The Revenger’s Tragedy, by Thomas Middleton

  6. The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas Kyd

  7. * Hamlet (1603 quarto), by William Shakespeare (note: this was my first read of the “bad” quarto, but… it’s still Hamlet)

  8. Antonio’s Revenge, by John Marston

  9. The Tragedy of Hoffman, or A Revenge for a Father, by Henry Chettle

  10. The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie

  11. Ten Little Indians, by Agatha Christie

  12. Appointment with Death, by Agatha Christie

  13. The Hollow, by Agatha Christie

  14. Witness for the Prosecution, by Agatha Christie

  15. Towards Zero, by Agatha Christie

  16. Verdict, by Agatha Christie

  17. Go Back for Murder, by Agatha Christie — my thoughts on these 8 Christie plays

  18. * R.U.R., by Karel Čapek, translated by Claudia Novack-Jones — my thoughts

  19. Cambodian Rock Band, by Lauren Yee — my thoughts

  20. Dear Octopus, by Dodie Smith

  21. * The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

  22. Pillars of the Community, by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Deborah Dawkin and Erik Skuggevik

  23. * A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Deborah Dawkin and Erik Skuggevik

  24. * Ghosts, by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Deborah Dawkin and Erik Skuggevik

  25. * An Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Deborah Dawkin and Erik Skuggevik (note: this was my first read of Ibsen’s original version as opposed to Arthur Miller’s adaptation)

  26. * Heartbreak House, by George Bernard Shaw — my thoughts

  27. * Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand (note: I read two editions of this this year: Rostand’s original French and the blank-verse translation by Brian Hooker)

These plays, by the numbers:

  • 14 plays by 5 different female playwrights, 13 plays by 10 different male playwrights

  • 14 British, 5 American, 4 Norwegian, 2 Irish, 1 Czech, 1 French

  • 19 new reads, 8 rereads

  • For the first time, I read more plays by women than by men! Of course, 8 of them were Agatha Christie potboilers, and Christie is known to be a statistical outlier among female playwrights, making the numbers for female writers in our profession look better than they actually are.

Previous Years in Reading lists (on my old blog): 2017, 2016, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007