In January, I had 30 titles on my #MustReadin2018 list and a plan: read at least 20 books on the list. Permission to read most of the titles makes for a more enjoyable year of reading. I still have unread titles on my list. Some I likely will not read and some just haven’t been read yet. The year isn’t over – perhaps I will be updating this post in the next few days!
Making a list like this is about being enthused about a year of reading ahead. It is also about building community. 24 other bloggers joined me in making #MustReadin2018 lists of their own. Many people remained connected all year, posting (purely optional always) updates. Others only occasionally glanced at their lists. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about being excited about an ever growing and changing book list. And sometimes, just making the list signifies a commitment to being a reader even if you don’t read a single title from your list! Other reading happens.
This year, I finished 23 out of the 30 titles. I am very pleased with this as I feel like my reading “volume” has slipped a lot this year. I am working hard to have work life balance and while reading is definitely in the “life” not “work” category, other things have pulled me away from being constantly lost in a book. Like dance classes. My family. The garden. I can read while folding laundry but don’t think I will ever figure out how to read and still tap dance!I have posted updates all year so will include just a few words about the last books on this list that I finished. Our last update was in September. I finished these four titles since that date.
Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl ShurtliffI
I was so very pleasantly surprised that I was able to fall into this story so fully and be transported to the imaginative fairy tale world that Shurtliff can build so wonderfully. I still love Rump the best, but this title is a close second. Can’t wait to see where Liesl Shurtliff goes next!
Sunny by Jason Reynolds
I so loved Ghost, the first title in the Track series. Through first Patina and now Sunny, we have been able to read about the other characters in depth. It was hard to sit still while reading this book (now I understand why the audio edition is so highly recommended). The reader needs to bounce, tap, shimmy and shake while reading. Sunny is a must meet character.
Whoa. This book has so much going on beyond a prison break in a small town. It tackles a myriad of themes: friendship, systemic racism, small town dynamics, growing up. It is told through a collection of pieces meant for a time capsule: news articles, journal entries, text messages, transcribed recordings and some pretty incredible poetry (with hat tips to some sensational writers like Jacqueline Woodson, Nikki Grimes and Lin Manuel-Miranda), One main character has a brother in the prison, one has a family member soon to be named as a suspect and one has a father who is the superintendent of the town’s maximum security prison. Highly recommended.
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman
Such a read. Walk through Vincent and Theo Van Gogh’s lives as though walking through a museum. Stop and enjoy a scene from their childhood. Marvel at their supportive connections. Shake your head at their many intense quarrels. Peek at their relationships – often unrequited, hidden or secretive and never ending in happiness. watch as Vincent settles into the life as artist. It is far from easy. But each step is fascinating. An emotional, beautifully written, well-researched story of the lives of Vincent and his brother, Theo Van Gogh.
Want to know more about #MustReadin2018? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read in 2018 lists.
Thinking about joining us for 2019? Please do! Make a list and read some, none or all of the titles on it. Reading is amazing but reading plans are pretty wonderful too! Just reading all of the lists is a great reason to pour a big cup of coffee and do some book dreaming! I am always in awe of the creative ways people plan and think about their reading lives.
We will be sharing lists beginning January 1st 2019! Please join in using the twitter hashtag #mustreadin2019 or by leaving me a comment on this blog (when the post is up) and I will add your list.
I enjoyed reading this. If the volume of your reading dipped, and for the best of reasons it appear, the quality did not. I also really loved Breakout and it is currently being passed hand to hand by many of the grade six girls in my class this year. I have to think that I really should have done it as a book club. As you say, there is so much going on in that book, and I think most of the elements you have presented would benefit from discussion. My family finished Grump as a read aloud last night, and we also, as usual, enjoy being transported to this world that she has created. Sunny was also on my list this year, I have enjoyed it. The Track series was not super popular in my school last year, it had a few loyal fans. I would say it is more popular this year, and particularly with a group of grade five boys that I see in the library. I want to read Lu but is has been out a lot since I put it in the library.
I really enjoyed reading your updates, and thanks so much for hosting this year. I plan to write my final update once I finish one more book, and it is a super long one that I am almost done. Hopefully, I finish this afternoon and post today, although the little bit of snow we got might call our family to the outdoors. Happy Holidays to you and your family!
So true Aaron. I didn’t read as much but wow, what I read was fantastic! Grump was a really wonderful surprise for me. I liked it a lot more than I expected to. Thrilled to hear that Breakout is so popular with that age group. What a book!
I agree with Aaron and your comments about Breakout! There is a lot to take in, and it begs to be discussed with others. These lines from it are some of my favourite from the whole year, “I believe people are never as perfect as their best days. But always more than their worst.”
I have added Vincent and Theo to my 2019 list.
Here is my update https://dickenslibrary.blogspot.com/2018/12/must-read-in-2018-final-update-and.html
Loved reading about your update! Yes, Breakout is a wow kind of book. And Vincent and Theo very worth it. I was completely engrossed.
Well. I’m just over here adding Grump, Breakout and Vincent and Theo to my 2019 list of possibilities. Thank you for continuing to take good care of us! Happy Reading!
Thank you Kendra for continuing to be a part of this community! Happy Reading!
Pingback: #MustReadin2018 Year End Check In – The Englishist
Okay, I’m going to read Breakout based on the comments I’ve seen here. Good stuff. I didn’t read any new titles since our last update, but it’s all still worth it. I love this little community you’ve created. Thank you!
I am so pleased that you are a part of it! I really love having a list to try and get through. Keeps me grounded.
I finally managed to post my update here. https://wrigglingbookworms.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/must-read-in-2018-final-final-update/
I agree with Akilah’s comment above, this has been a great community to be a part of.
Heading over to your blog right now! Thanks for posting.
What app/program do you use to create your book cover reading list?
I used to use Pic Monkey but it is no longer free. So I use BeFunky
Sorry that I didn’t post Carrie. I enjoyed yours, but I have not read any ‘new’ ones from the last time I posted, just too many others are taking my reading time. Thanks for carrying on. I think I’ll be much more prudent in crafting my next list. Happy New Year to you & the family!
Happy New Year to you too Linda! I hope you will be joining in 2019! I never worry too much about the progress. The intentions are always sweet!
Pingback: Year End Update: #MustReadin2018 | the dirigible plum
I read a bunch of books very quickly this week so I’d have something to post. Still didn’t make it to all of them on the list, of course, as that wouldn’t be like me! Next year, I am definitely loosening my expectations and inviting myself to consider the challenge met if I read a certain number of books on the list rather than the entire thing. Finishing up the Jason Reynolds track series is definitely one of my reading plans for 2019. https://thedirigibleplum.wordpress.com/2018/12/30/year-end-update-mustreadin2018/
That’s exactly my plan each year – “most” meaning more than half and closing in on 70% plus is the ideal!
Me too. Usually think about 2/3 or 3/4 is great.
Thanks so much for hosting this. I was out of town this past week, but got my update post finished today https://readingtl.blogspot.com/2018/12/mustreadin2018-final-update.html I am adding Breakout to my 2019 list. I loved Sunny’s voice. Vincent and Theo was such a wonderful book! It made me ugly cry though.
Vincent and Theo really got under my skin. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Breakout.
Just when I thought I was done with my 2019 list, I come here and see more that I want to read. Breakout is one that I do not own, but need to buy. I just finished the Track series, and this is one that my 6th graders who struggle with stamina can get into! Thank for being our curator!
I love the Track series – Lu is going on my #mustreadin2019 list. Oh those ever growing lists! I get it.
Reading lives fluctuate. As long as happiness is being achieved, it’s all good 🙂
Mine and Ricki’s final update:
Finally sharing my year end update! I’m committed to posting my #mustreadin2019 this week.