Year End Update: #MustReadin2018

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!

Grump- The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

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.

Sunny Jason Reynolds

Breakout by Kate Messner

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.

Breakout Kate Messner

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.

Vincent and Theo- The Van Gogh Brothers

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.




25 thoughts on “Year End Update: #MustReadin2018

  1. 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!

  2. Pingback: #MustReadin2018 Year End Check In – The Englishist

  3. 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!

  4. Pingback: Year End Update: #MustReadin2018 | the dirigible plum

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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