15 Books that Entertained, Educated, or Changed Me in 2018

Books can entertain, educate, or even change one’s thinking.

When I looked back over the list of the 56 books I read in 2018, I was amazed at the variety and the things I learned. I learned some history while I was entertained, and I hope I learned something about writing. Several of the books changed my thinking. You can’t ask a book to give you more than that.

The books that entertained, educated, or changed me or my thinking in 2018 are listed here in alphabetical order by author.

Fascism:  A Warning, by Madeleine Korbel Albright

The Taster, by V.S. Alexander

The Atomic City Girls, by Janet Beard

White Chrysanthemum, by Mary Lynn Bracht

Climbing Over Grit, by Laleh Chini and Abnoos Mosleh-Shirazi

Another Ocean to Cross, by Ann Griffin

Sea Prayer, by Khaled Hosseini

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris

A Bigger Table:  Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community, by John Pavlovitz

Fighting to Win:  Samurai Techniques For Your Work and Life, by David J. Rogers

The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James

Undaunted:  Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back, by Jackie Speier

The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware

Educated:  A Memoir, by Tara Westover

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

Since my December 17, 2018 blog post

My December 17, 2018 blog post was more than a bit pessimistic. The title described my current dilemma:  https://janetswritingblog.com/2018/12/17/to-write-or-not-to-write/.

I have heard from a number of you since then. You have offered encouragement and helped prop me up. Knowing I have blog readers in quite a few countries from around the world in addition to those in the US who cared enough to take time to leave comments has boosted my morale and helped me to determine that I must continue to work on that historical novel I’ve worked on off and on for a decade.

Even if there are days I can only write for 15 minutes, then that’s what I’ll do in 2019. Slowly but surely, I will finish writing that book!

For those of you who read my blog from last Monday, https://janetswritingblog.com/2018/12/24/do-you-believe-in-miracles/, I hope you were moved by this real life story from 40 years ago.

Until my next blog post

At Home on the Kazakh Steppe: A Peace Corps Memoir, by Janet Givens

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading At Home on the Kazakh Steppe:  A Peace Corps Memoir, by Janet Givens. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. You can check out her website at https://janetgivens.com/.

If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.

Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog. I appreciate it and I welcome your comments.

Let’s continue the conversation.

What are some of the books that educated you or changed your life or your thinking?

Happy New Year!

Janet

The Piece of Luggage Less Hasn’t Lost

Today’s blog post highlights several sentences I like from Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Less. Arthur Less is a downtrodden writer who bumbles his way around the world in order to avoid attending a wedding.

Less by Greer
Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

I read Less in April and wrote about it in my June 4, 2018 blog post, Reading in May 2018.

“He supposes he is meant to experience humility; by now, he is well acquainted with humility. It is the one piece of luggage he has not lost.” – from Less, by Andrew Sean Greer.

Perhaps you must read the book or at least part of it in order to get the full benefit of that quote, but it encapsulates the dismal life of the 50-year-old failed novelist in this hilarious novel.

Another line I like from the novel because it paints such a vivid mental picture is the following:

“The driver works the horn like an outlaw at a gunfight.” – from Less, by Andrew Sean Greer

That analogy leaves no confusion in the mind of the reader. I aspire to write in a way that gives the reader such a clear image of what is happening.

Since my last blog post

I’ve enjoyed reading a variety of books and spending some time with long-time friends and some special cousins.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading Fascism:  A Warning, by Madeleine Korbel Albright, which if I had to sum up in one word it would be “chilling.”

If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.

Thank you for reading my blog. You could have spent the last few minutes doing something else, but you chose to read my blog. I appreciate it!

I look forward to your comments about today’s post. Feel free to share a line you like from a book you’ve read.

Janet