My books of 2018
Each year I set myself a goal of reading 12 or so books, and then at the end of the year I try to come here and review them. It’s a silly idea, because I can barely remember what I thought at the time when it comes to doing the review.
So this year I’ve made a change. Instead of just a number of books, I’ve picked fourteen actual books and as I finish them I’m going to come here and update this post. My aim is 12, but I chose 14 because I’m bound to want to abandon at least one if not two.
This does mean, of course, that you’ll all see me start off with good ambitions and slowly stall before, in about November, realising I’m well behind and going on a reading spree.
Books marked with a 🎧 are audiobooks.
- Shop Girl – Mary Portas 🎧
I found myself disappointed that I’d come to the end of this, which is a rarity because even with books I’ve enjoyed reading by the final few chapters it’s starting to feel a bit predictable. Onto the next challenge and all that. This book, however, concluding as it does while Mary is still progressing through the early stages of her career and continuing to recover from the loss of her Mother and Father, was a disappointment to reach the end of. Autobiographies are always a win with me, and given I’ve been enjoying Mary’s work on the telly for many years I’m not surprised that I enjoyed it – particularly as she read it herself. My surprise with the fact that stores used to have prop departments and employ oh-so-many people to dress windows was only replaced with sadness when I got thinking about how much we lose with our mass-produced world. I’m hoping there’s a second book on the way.
📅 9 February 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- Too Much Information… or Can Everyone Just Shut Up for a Moment, Some of Us Are Trying to Think – Dave Gorman
I found Dave Gorman last year in about November (I was aware of him, but I’d never really paid attention), and the next few weeks were filled with just a little bit too much Dave Gorman. This book filled a gap that’ll keep me going until his show in November. A top read if you like stats, facts, logic and being taken on a journey which feels coincidental but which is entirely intentional.
📅 3 April 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
- And Furthermore – Judi Dench 🎧
Fairly entertaining, but not exactly revealing the woman behind the actor, this book is basically a look back into how things “used to be”. A nicer time, perhaps? Certainly a lot more density of talent and a much more considered theatre. Who can’t love Dame Judi, anyway?
📅 26 February 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’ve also read some extras which I hadn’t planned…
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises – Fredrik Backman 🎧
A nice bit of escapism, mixing an easy-to-guess story with harder-to-guess twists in a way which pleases me – just because I’m really impressed when things pan out to have been planned all along. Which, of course, they were – because it was bloody planned, pitched, commissioned and written. Still, one to keep you company on a long car ride.
📅 28 March 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
WTF: What have we done? Why did it happen? How do we take back control? – Robert Peston
📅 14 March 2018 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Moranifesto – Caitlin Moran
📅 30 June 2018 | ⭐️⭐️
Still to come
- The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance – Tony Schwartz
- Me. You: A Diary – Dawn French
- Lessons I’ve Learned – Davina McCall 🎧
- The Happy Depressive: In prsuit of Personal and Political Heappiness – Alastair Campbell 🎧
- Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine – Derren Brown
- Finding My Virginity: The New Autobiography – Richard Brason
- Anita and Me – Meera Syal
- Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! – Nicholas Carlson
- The Joy of Tax – Richard Murphy
- Who Really Runs Britain?: The Private Companies Taking Control of Benefits, Prisons, Asylum, Deportation, Security, Social Care and the NHS – Alan White
I might come back to this at the end of the year (if there’s time), but it was just incredibly dense and from the part of it that I did read I just came to one conclusion: private companies sometimes don’t deliver contracts as they should, but most of the fuss comes from private companies delivering what they were asked to.