Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

I may not be posting here much, but I could hardly neglect to check in on the last day of the year, could I? I hope everyone out there has been having a warm and lovely holiday season, and I'd like to wish you the very best in 2019.

As far as my personal life goes, I don't know that 2018 seemed like an exceptionally eventful year. To be honest, I think it mostly passed in kind of a blur. Far and away the most significant thing is that I got my new fake tooth properly installed, and eventually even got to the point where I could confidently chew on it without thinking about the fact that it was fake and worrying about something going wrong with it. And very glad I am to have that whole dental saga behind me.

I did accomplish a few things, too. Like finally getting my aging sewer pipe replaced. And the skylights, once they started leaking. And I made it out to California to visit my mother, for the first time in a decade or so. (Not that I hadn't seen my mom plenty of times during that decade. But, well... Let's just say that I very much owed her a return visit.)

Yes, well, I never claimed to have the world's most exciting life.

One thing I do claim to do, though, is to read a lot of books, which brings us to the traditional end-of-the-year book roundup. You can see a list of all the books I read here. There were actually fewer of them this time than in other recent years. But, despite that, the one-in/two-out method of trying to tame my out-of-control TBR has been working quite well: I now have 34 fewer unread books on my shelves than I did at the start of 2018. Admittedly, at this rate it'd still take me about 27 years to get it down to zero, but I'm counting it as progress.

As is also traditional, here's a list of the best books I read in 2018, or at least which ones I gave at least 4.5 stars out of 5 on LibraryThing:


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip bu George Saunders
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor by Steven Moffat
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness by Zach Weinersmith
Big Mushy Happy Lump and Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work by M.C. Escher
The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down by Howard Mansfield
But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman

Which I swear is an even more motley assortment of books than my usual.

Anyway. That's it for 2018, for me. I'll be back sometime in the next few days with the usual monthly thingamajig. I'm figuring on continuing to do that for the foreseeable future, if only because I'm far too lazy to think of anything else to do with this blog.

Until then, and once again: Happy New Year to you!


  1. Happy New Year!

    The only one of your Books of the Year that I've read is "The View from the Cheap Seats", which I agree is excellent.

    1. And talking of Neil Gaiman, I've just seen this:

      which among its other virtues has some links to various Gaiman projects in it.

    2. Thanks for that! I am really looking forward to Good Omens. (And very glad that, unlike American Gods, it's available on a service I actually have and I won't have to wait for it.)

    3. Unfortunately I shall have to wait for the DVD / DVDs to come out.

  2. There are some good titles there. Of course, I'd be partial to any place that calls itself the Bright Ideas Bookstore, but I'm kind of interested in knowing what makes the Gappers so Very Persistent.

    1. Willpower and a sticky velcro-like surface. :)