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Reading Goals

I did pretty well with my 2018 reading goals, considering 2018. I read 47 books, only three short of my goal of 50. Of these books, 19 were by authors of color (better than my 40% target), and I read books by 11 new-to-me authors of color (beating my target of 10). For more details, and the run-down of my goals for 2019, click here.

Books Published in 2018

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi -- Easily the best new YA book I read last year. I didn't realize it was the first book of a trilogy until I reached the breathless cliffhanger ending, but I love it enough to forgive that.

Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee -- I've enjoyed all the books in this series, but this book wraps up the trilogy as a whole so well that I have to bump it up into my favorites. Jedao without his past was so compelling to me, and Hemiola was a wonderful character. An ending that makes this series more than the sum of its parts.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik -- Novik keeps hitting it out of the park with her fairy tale retellings (although I'm starting to get impatient with her choices re. romance -- the fact that this book still gets five stars and is listed among my favorites tells you just how much I love everything else about it).

State Tectonics by Malka Older -- Another favorite that's as much about the entire series as about the specific book, although I did like this book a whole lot. Special mention for best title. Ever since I finished, I've had thoughts brewing on political corruption and systems of revolution in this book as compared to Yoon Ha Lee's Machineries of Empire but it hadn't coalesced into anything solid yet.

Head On by John Scalzi -- I know Scazli's Interdependency series is getting all the attention right now, and it certainly deserves it, but the world of Lock In remains my favorite of his fictional universes, and Head On gave me no reason to change my mind. The narrator, Chris, is one of Scalzi's greatest creations, and the near-future post-body society he created is a source of endless fascination for me.

The Murderbot novellas by Martha Wells -- There's no way I can pick just one of these, and since three of them came out this year it's totally not cheating to list them all together.

Books Published in Other Years

Jane, Unlimited by Kristen Cashore (2017) -- This twisty turn-y story, which is really several stories in one, scratches my "what other way might this story have gone" itch so brilliantly. Jane visits a mysterious mansion, is faced with the opportunity to make a choice, and then we see all the potential outcomes. Each version of reality is in a different genre, and although I found some of the stories more compelling than others, it works beautifully as a whole.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty (2017) -- Maybe my biggest surprise of the year, since I'm not usually much for murder mysteries or for space travel stories. But throw in some unreliable narrators and an effective use of non-linear narrative, and I'm sold.

Provenance by Ann Leckie (2017) -- I expect a good space and society story from Ann Leckie. What I wasn't expecting was for it to be laugh-out-loud funny. And I really enjoyed getting a look at this universe outside the lens of the Radch.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (2016) -- Another surprise for me, since I don't usually vibe well with magical realism. But the magical elements worked for me here, because they integrated so nicely with the characters, and the themes of identity and change.

The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang (2017) -- I loved a lot about this story, but what tipped it over into favorites for me was its marvelous worldbuilding. I've enjoyed the other two novellas in the series a lot, too, but this one introduced me to Yang's universe, so far that it gets the edge.

Movies, TV, and Other Media

Ant-Man and the Wasp -- Really fun. Gives Hope Van Dyne the starring role she deserved from the beginning. I also like Lawrence Fishbourne's character a lot. Don't watch the post-credit scenes.

Black Panther -- I mean, how does this movie not make my list? Hands down the best MCU movie, possibly the greatest superhero film ever made.

The Magpies -- A real-play podcast, using a dark fantasy setting and a heist-based RPG system (Blades in the Dark), with an all-female, all-queer cast? How was I ever not going to love this, and recommend it to everyone I know? Fantastic storytelling, excellent found-family feels.

Ocean's 8 -- One of my most-anticipated films this year, and it did not disappoint. It was fun and stylish, with excellent chemistry among all the players, which is exactly what I want out of an Ocean's movie. If there aren't an Ocean's 9 and Ocean's 10 at some point, I will be very cross with Hollywood.

Reigns: Her Majesty by Nerial -- Fascinating mobile game with an unusual mode of storytelling. See May 2018 favorites for a full review.

Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse -- One of the greatest superhero films ever, and one of the most beautiful animated films. I've rarely seen a movie where the art serves the storytelling so well.

Star Trek: Discovery -- It took me a little while to get around to this one because I didn't want to pay for CBS All Access, but I finally gave in, and it was worth it. Michael Burnham is one of my all-time favorite Trek characters now. Some awesome twists. I am both excited and a little trepidatious about what comes next.

Travelers -- I wrote a review of this in our January 2018 favorites post. At the time, I hadn't realized that a third season was coming. I haven't had time to watch it yet, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Widows -- As you can see, lady-led heist media was something of a theme for me this year. While darker and more violent than I expected, I also found this to be a compelling story with amazing acting and compelling political themes.

One other goal I've set for myself is to write more reviews in 2019, so I hope you will see more of my favorites written about throughout the year, rather than only in bursts at the end. And I hope you'll share your favorites, too!

Date: 2019-01-10 07:15 am (UTC)
renay: artist rendition of the center of a nebula (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
DON'T watch the post-credits scene? DON'T?

I am amused by how much our 2018 reading overlaps!


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