Books Read in 2018

Compared to previous years, I read a lot more fiction and reread a lot more books. I read more in general than last year, though it is a mix of short, easy stuff like the Amber series and the Wayward Pines trilogy, and meatier stuff that took up a lot more time. I self-consciously tried to fill in some major gaps in my knowledge by reading Homer and Milton, and while this felt like homework, I think it was worth the effort.

Fiction (18)

Declare was easily the best fiction I read this year, and right now I’m thinking of it as one of my top 10 books of all time. True Grit was worth reading despite being so faithfully represented in both movie versions because the writing is so unique. The Wayward Pines trilogy was like popcorn. Probably the least likable book on this list is The Pesthouse, but I liked that one well enough. A good crop of books, all in all.

  • The Peripheral by Gibson, William
  • Declare by Powers, Tim
  • The White Cottage Mystery by Allingham, Margery
  • The Fall of Hyperion by Simmons, Dan
  • Green Magic by Vance, Jack
  • The Last Town by Crouch, Blake
  • Paradise Lost by Milton, John
  • Wayward by Crouch, Blake
  • Pines by Crouch, Blake
  • The Wolves of Paris by Mannix, Daniel P.
  • The Devil in a Forest by Wolfe, Gene
  • True Grit by Portis, Charles
  • Casino Royale by Fleming, Ian
  • The Pesthouse by Crace, Jim
  • Murder On Monday by Purser, Ann
  • Island Nights’ Entertainments by Stevenson, Robert Louis
  • All the Pretty Horses by McCarthy, Cormac
  • The Iliad by Homer


More of a mixed bag, as usual. Dark Territory and The Jungle Grows Back were both revelations for me, two alien perspectives on the world that will leave their marks. Fooled by Randomness was much better than The Black Swan, but Taleb is a good thinker and writer whom I will continue with. Same with Pierre Bayard: a fun new thinker worth more exploration in the next year.

  • Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong by Bayard, Pierre
  • The Black Swan by Taleb, Nassim Nicholas
  • Do Anything Volume 1 by Ellis, Warren
  • The Jungle Grows Back by Kagan, Robert
  • Dark Star Safari by Theroux, Paul
  • The Unwinding by Packer, George
  • How to Talk to Anyone by Lowndes, Leil
  • 1453 by Crowley, Roger
  • Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead?by Pinker, Steven
  • Literary Feuds by Arthur, Anthony
  • Dark Territory by Kaplan, Fred
  • Graphic Design Visionaries by Roberts, Caroline
  • The Road to Somewhere by Goodhart, David
  • Ghosts of the Tsunami by Parry, Richard Lloyd
  • The Greek Myths by Graves, Robert
  • Elbert Hubbard’s Scrapbook by Hubbard, Elbert
  • Everybody Lies by Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth
  • Design As Art by Munari, Bruno
  • Fooled by Randomness by Taleb, Nassim Nicholas
  • The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Booth, Michael
  • A Gentleman Publisher’s Commonplace Book by Murray, John G.
  • The Possessed by Batuman, Elif
  • The Red Atlas by Davies, John
  • How to Make Sense of Any Mess by Covert, Abby
  • Adventures in the Screen Trade by Goldman, William
  • Soonish by Weinersmith, Kelly
  • The Shallows by Carr, Nicholas
  • Paul Valery: An Anthology by Valéry, Paul
  • How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read by Bayard, Pierre
  • The Secret Lives of Color by St Clair, Kassia
  • What I Learned Losing a Million Dollarsby Paul, Jim

Rereads (13)

This is the fourth time I’ve reread the entire Amber series, and there are some books in it that I’ve read ten times at least. I read Beowulf in high school English, but thought it was worth another shot as an adult (it was fine). Herbert and Banks were reread as part of a book club

  • Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Heaney, Seamus
  • Consider Phlebas by Banks, Iain M.
  • This Immortal by Zelazny, Roger
  • Hyperion by Simmons, Dan
  • Prince of Chaos by Zelazny, Roger
  • Knight of Shadows by Zelazny, Roger
  • Sign of Chaos by Zelazny, Roger
  • Dune by Herbert, Frank
  • Blood of Amberby Zelazny, Roger
  • Trumps of Doom by Zelazny, Roger
  • The Courts of Chaosby Zelazny, Roger
  • The Hand of Oberon by Zelazny, Roger
  • Sign of the Unicorn by Zelazny, Roger