Whoa, whoa, whoa you may be thinking. What is this onesteelesister chick trying to pull? She said she was going to keep summarizing and reviewing these books she read in 2016 so why is there one giant post here?
Well, because it’s 2018.
I was looking over the list of books still to go and realized I’m never going to finish catching up on this. So rather than just abandon the project, I’m giving you a wrap-up post that will include everything I hadn’t written about yet. Each book is clearly identified and given a very brief reaction.
I hope you enjoy and have your own reading goals for the coming year! Mine is to read more female authors because looking over this list… yeah. I mean, women aren’t completely unrepresented, but definitely outnumbered. If I could read half female authors in 2018 I would be pretty happy with that. I’ll try to hold myself accountable on Twitter (@OneSteeleSister) if you’re curious.
The rest of the list:
The Paper Chase by John Jay Osborn Jr. – If you liked the movie, you’ll probably like the book; the screenplay was very faithful. I’m mostly in it for laughing at the finals scene.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – This is another one: if you like Hemingway, this is great, and if you don’t, this won’t change your mind.
1984 by George Orwell – I FINALLY read this–somehow it slipped through in my education. Very interesting but incredibly depressing given what was going on in the world.
Wonder Woman Volumes 1-5 by Brian Azzarello – I now have all 6 but this was my “catch up” before the next volume was released. I don’t have any other Wonder Woman I’ve read to compare it to, but I loved the characterizations.
Looking for Alaska by John Green – It was a good quick read but not my favorite John Green. I think I spent too much of the time overthinking how it had become such a Young Adult classic.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – Shockingly I LOVED this. It is L-O-N-G but moves along very well. Gets a bit repetitive plot-wise in the middle but worth it. Also, no mention of the sandwiches. So disappointing. 😛
Star Wars: A New Hope by “George Lucas” – Actually ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster and fascinating for the changes from what actually ended up going on film. One of my favorites.
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster – The first of the Star Wars “EU” novels, written before The Empire Strikes Back existed. An “eh, it’s fine” story overall but incredibly entertaining for the budding romance between Luke and Leia (whoops there George).
Love Story by Erich Segal – Another book to which the movie was very faithful. I think I read this and The Paper Chase looking for more insight than I got from the films and so was a little disappointed. That said, it wasn’t a bad read or anything–I just felt like I could just go watch the movie I love and enjoy coveting Ali McGraw’s clothes instead.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin – I decided to go with some horror for October and this was on the Rory Gilmore reading challenge I was working on. Another classic if you like analyzing women’s rights in the 20th century and scaring the pants off yourself from being so creeped out.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Hello female author! This is another book where I have known the story for years but never read the original material. The time jumps threw me off a bit but every so often there would be a passage that was just so dang good it made it worth it.
Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood – We read this for book club and it was another book that clearly started as a series of essays or articles and then was expanded into a book. Some chapters were fascinating, others I just skimmed over.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville – I made it through this book! Even my American Lit class only had us read specific chapters. My eyes did glaze over a bit in the middle there but it was much more engaging than I expected from its reputation. It really didn’t feel like it was taking long at all to read.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri – I needed a quick palate cleanser after so much heaviness, so I went back to a childhood classic. Maybe it’s having reread The Secret Garden recently too, but I had never put together how many of these books revolved *spoilers* around kids relearning to walk through the power of nature.
Captain America: Man Out of Time by Mark Waid – Amazing story of Captain America’s initial reaction to finding himself in the modern era (as opposed to the 1940s).
Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M.M. Blume – I meant to read this much closer to rereading The Sun Also Rises but it took a while for my turn on the library holds list. Although it made me SO ANGRY AT STUPID MEN at several points in the book, as a writer myself I found it fascinating to see how he twisted his real life into the fiction that he wrote.
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw – I was debating weeding this book from my collection and decided to read it again–and couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. Although the fawning over the Greatest Generation which this inspired can be a bit much it was still so wonderful to read these stories.
Cold War:A New History by John Lewis Gaddis – Look this is a nonfiction history classic and about one of my favorite eras of history and I read it and I wrote down that I read it and now I sit here and I can’t tell you a thing about it. *sigh* I guess it didn’t make much of an impression on me!
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell – So creepy. So good. Another book I’m happy to be able to say I’ve read rather than just knowing the story from cultural osmosis. I read it SO FAST because I couldn’t put it down.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling – I could critique this play all day but I think it says more that once I hit somewhere around the second half of the printed book I had trouble putting it down. I remember sitting up with the light on so much later than I should have because I just had to know what happened next. Isn’t that the best sign of a good story? I would LOVE to see it performed; the stage directions in the book I’m sure don’t do a good theater justice.
The History Boys by Alan Bennett – One British play led to another. I absolutely adore The History Boys and probably reread it every year.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – I really wanted to be pleasantly surprised by how quickly I read this because I got caught up in the story, like what had happened with so many long tomes I read earlier this year. It didn’t happen. I didn’t hate this book but I was so bored and really had to force myself to keep going until I finished.
The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings) by J.R.R. Tolkien – You may be wondering why just this one volume from The Lord of the Rings. Well, I actually read this because I started having panic attacks towards the end of 2016. I ended up seeing a therapist and starting medication in 2017, but before I could reach that point what calmed me down when I literally couldn’t breathe was reading Tolkien. I picked The Two Towers because Eowyn is my favorite, but it was Tolkien’s prose that helped me. Every paragraph, heck, every sentence is so dense that you’re forced to focus on it word by word, and that’s what I did.
Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher – I hadn’t read any of her books before and everyone was freaking out over The Princess Diarist, so I grabbed this one from the library. I really liked her writing style, although you can get a little whiplash between the chapters since they rarely flow into each other. I learned so much I’d never known about her and of course had to add all her other books to my “To Be Read” list for the coming year.
Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life by William V. Madison – While I was finding Fisher’s book I passed about twenty biographies/autobiographies that looked fascinating. I managed to restrain myself to just this and the next book on this list. I have adored Madeline Kahn’s acting as long as I can remember but I realized reading this that I knew NOTHING about her life.
How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor – After all the Star Wars books I’d read this year this seemed like a no-brainer. I was reading this when Carrie Fisher passed away and everything hurt, so it was nice to lose myself in something related but not focused on that. While it’s not written/organized how I would have done it, I enjoyed many of the stories especially about his hunt for someone who didn’t know about Star Wars which he opens the book with. A little bit of hope for the new year.