Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sox Knockers 2018

I only read 28 books last year!
Well, let's make that FINISHED 28 books last year. I have a couple 300+ page tomes of history that I'm still working my way through..

Let's start with books that I finished this year, but were published before 2018, that are on my Sox Knocker list.

Before the Fall
Noah Hawley
I can't remember why I set this down the first time I read it. I picked it up again a couple months back, and that was it for the day. Utterly and completed swallowed up by the story.

Faithful Place
Tana French
I'm a drooling, slavering fan of Tana French. I have no idea why I hadn't read this when it was pubbed in 2010, but it wasn't on my Library Thing list so I dove in. Reliably magnificent.

The Unwinding
George Packer
This got a lot of attention when it was first pubbed. It's been on my shelf for a while. Finally dove in, and it's terrific.

The Unicorn in the Barn
Jacqueline Ogburn
I didn't hear about this book till this year. The title of course is wonderful and when I read it, I fell in love.

And here's a book I read in galleys, and won't be pubbed till 2019. Add it to your list.
Out of the Dark 
Gregg Hurwitz
I think it's his best novel to date, and that's saying something.

Here are the Sox Knockers I finished this year that were pubbed in 2018.
The Woman in the Window
AJ Finn
I was surprised twice in the book. Utterly captivating.

Fear: Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Required reading

The Word is Murder
Anthony Horowitz
I just want to stand over this author's typewriter and read the pages as he finishes them.
I love everything he writes.

The Lonely Witness
William Boyle
A tour de force. A gent writing a lady's POV and set in Brooklyn. Hard to set the bar any higher; he clears it with room to spare.

Word by Word
Kory Stamper
Who knew dictionaries could be fun? (well, all of us of course) Kory Stamper's voice is so fresh and fun she could write about damn near anything and I'd read it. That she's writing about her job at Merriam Webster is just a bonus. Do not miss this book

And the best novel I read this year, and probably in the last five years:
Laura Lippman
An absolutely perfect novel.
Buy it.
Read it.
Study it
Enjoy it too, of course, but imprint it on your writer's brain.


CynthiaMc said...

I haven't read any of these, so thank you for the list. I do own Sunburn, so that's a plus.

The Unicorn in the Barn sounds like my kind of story.

I just started Dark Horse by Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas and I love it so far.

I though I had left my peacoat at my brother's 50th anniversary party back in February. Thankfully I didn't because it is 44 degrees in Central Florida, y'all. Way too cold.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I must say that Janet has terrific taste in books. I suppose that is her job. I always enjoy the books she recommends. This year was a slow reading year for me as I am determined to stop being an as-of-yet-no-one-ever-heard-of-me-or-my-pug writer. The books I loved are a bit different.

I just finished Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. It could be used as birth control. It looked at the dark side of parenting along the lines of We Need to Talk About Kevin if we got Kevin's POV and the mom fought back. Very creepy. An impulse read and I did it in an evening.

The best thing I read this year was probably Lost Connections by Johann Hari which is a must read for those who have had severe depression impact their lives either for themselves or their loved ones. It is a great case study (non-fiction) about alternative treatments for dealing with crippling depression.

As per usual, Janet has grown by TBR list again.

Unknown said...

Whilst I rarely read crime, I will absolutely TACKLE you over a Tana French novel. Fair warning.

I thought I had read the only perfect novel with, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I'll have to look into Sunburn. Perfect is good. What other perfect novels are out there, I wonder...

Also, I love using the word, "whilst."

Kitty said...

Over the weekend I read Lee Israel's Can You Ever Forgive Me? Memoirs of a Literary Forger. She packed quite a wallop in a mere 127 pages. Looking over my list of reading, which included two books by my beloved author, Nora Ephron, Israel's memoir was my favorite of 2018.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Janet had recommended Word by Word earlier this year and I thoroughly enjoyed that read. So fun.

Three other books I enjoyed in 2018 but not necessarily published in 2018:
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys- a WWII story of 3 young people (Polish, Lithuanian, East Prussian) fleeing the Red Army and the young Nazi on board the MV Wilhelm Gustloff.
Perception by Terri Fleming - Pride and Prejudice's middle sister's story
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson - about 4 young black girls growing up in 1970s Brooklyn and the choices made by them and made for them from within their socioeconomic differences

Sharyn Ekbergh said...

I read most of those but added a couple to my TBR list. Couldn't handle Fear but the library was happy to have a second copy.

Read all of Lee Child except a few short stories.

I lived in Dublin so I love Tana French's language. I saw there is going to be a TV season of the Murder Squad books.

Julie Weathers said...

Those sound fun.

I read the Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. They are middle grade/young adult about a skeleton detective and his mortal girl sidekick. I started on them because Landy's book dedications were included in a list of fun dedications. I thought if his dedications are this fun, how entertaining will his books be?

Theoretically, I bought them for my grandson, but I had to read them to make sure they were not too scary. I had to read the entire series, of course. What fun, if dark sometimes, books.

I had to go back and read some James Lee Burke books because reading them primes my pump when it comes to writing descriptions. I always come away inspired to write something more beautifully.

C.C. Humphreys published a new book, Chasing the Wind, about a contemporary of Amelia Earhart's who gets in all kinds of trouble including stealing art from a high-ranking Nazi Germany official. It was a real departure from his normal books. (The Jack Absolute books are awesome.) I zoomed through it.

Most of the rest of my reading has been confined to non-fiction though some of these memoirs and journals are pretty darned entertaining.

I just moved and my helpers buried my books I keep close to the desk somewhere. It's making me antsy having mostly empty bookcases on and beside my desk.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I loved The Unicorn in the Barn. Such a great mg voice. 💗

Kitty said...

Is it possible to read The Likeness by Tana French without having to first read In the Woods? I wanted to read her first book but could not get past the fact that it involved children. Books about children haunt me forever.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I read so many good books in 2018, I wouldn't even know where to start in recommending them! I did manage to get my greedy little hands on a couple of ARCs I thoroughly enjoyed, both coming out in early 2019 -

MY LOVELY WIFE by Samantha Downing - creepy, dark and twisted (in a good way!)

THE NIGHT TIGER by Yangsze Choo - historical fiction set in 1930s Malaysia, full of mystery and myth.

Theresa said...

Love these kinds of year end lists, especially when they alert me to books that hadn't been on my reading radar.

I'll be posting my best of 2018 list on my blog near the beginning of the new year. Here's a quick preview of the fiction:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees
White Houses by Amy Bloom
The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

KariV said...

I second Janet in saying that Anthony Horowitz is a genius and I love everything he writes! The Word is Murder is both unique and interesting.

Jen said...

Yay! I love adding more books to my reading list. This year has been more a binge on NF than fiction for me. If you haven't read it, make sure you pick up "Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup." It had me on the edge of my seat. Could NOT put it down. It's pure 5-star rating on Amazon is well-deserved.

Gigi said...

Thank you so much for this list! I've been on a bit of a bad reading spree where I can't seem to find anything that really captures me. Sounds like Sunburn should be next on my list and maybe shake up my losing streak.

InkStainedWench said...

Kitty, The Likeness is my favorite of all the Tana French Novels, and yes, you can enjoy it without having read In the Woods.

InkStainedWench said...

Oh, and thank you SO much for the Goodreads review!

Craig F said...

I haven't been blown out of the water by anything yet this year. I will check out SUNBURN, if for reason other than that I have never met a perfect book, always something.

The Hurwitz book; are you sure it isn't due out until 19? I read it about six months ago and checked it out of the library. It is his best book, his plotting is getting better, he didn't write himself into a corner on this one.

Kitty said...

Thank you, InkStainedWench.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Tana French’s In the Woods Is next on my list. I think I will do Sunburn after before moving on another of Tana French’s. My tbr pile is going to need its own postal code.

Nom de plume said...

Sunburn is going to be my first buddy read of 2019 with my mom. I almost made it to 40 books this year, which is a miracle. I have a toddler & I don't know how I managed. Especially since he makes me read the same board book 800 times a day.

Brenda said...

Thank you. I’m out of reading material and grateful for new fodder. Kinda surprised that Eleanor Oliphant didn’t make the list. Sunburn is superb but I’d side with Gail Honeyman in an alley fight.

Brenda said...

Tana French’s books stand alone so if you have to skip the first one you can. It would be a missed treat is all. I read them in order and loved each detective (although I confess to a penchant for Frank). She doesn’t get gory in In The Woods if that helps.

Megan V said...

Dare I comment with some of the sox-knockers I read this year?

I'm afraid that list would be way too long, though I will say that there was a lot of solid YA contemporary out there.