Books I’ve Read in 2018 [Christmas wrap-up]

Stacks of books

It has become an annual tradition of sorts on this blog to post a list of books I have read in the last twelve months. This might perhaps provide some inspirational reading ideas for you, dear readers.

Besides, I think it’s the perfect opportunity for me to take a moment, stand back, and admire the books I have consumed (not literally).

The total number is no great feat in itself, considering some readers I know would devour this amount in under two months. Still, I’m extremely pleased with both the number and the kind of books tackled (not least the fact that three or four of these were tomes in excess of 800 pages each).

So onto the books themselves …

  1. The Once and Future King – T. H. White
  2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari
  3. S.P.Q.R. A History of Ancient Rome – Mary Beard
  4. The Nature of Things – Lucretius
  5. The Second World War – Antony Beevor
  6. The Odyssey – Homer
  7. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. The Chapel of the Thorn – Charles Williams
  9. The Fall of Arthur – J.R.R. Tolkien
  10. Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle – Juliet Barker
  11. Origin – Dan Brown
  12. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
  13. Taliessin Through Logres and The Region of the Summer Stars – Charles Williams
  14. Eirik the Red and other Icelandic Sagas – translated by Gwyn Jones
  15. Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold – Stephen Fry
  16. The Fall of Gondolin – J.R.R. Tolkien
  17. The Divine Comedy: Inferno – Dante Alighieri
  18. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
  19. Tales from the Perilous Realm – J.R.R. Tolkien
  20. Beowulf – anonymous (tran. Michael Alexander)
  21. The Ice Dragon – George R. R. Martin
  22. The Norman Conquest – Marc Morris

Unsurprisingly, I feel like a lot of Tolkien has been read this year. With the recently released The Fall of Gondolin, and re-reads of both The Fall of Arthur and Tales from the Perilous Realm, these have made this year’s reading list somewhat biased in favour of the said author — naturally.

A nice surprise was undoubtedly T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. I had no idea of the content of this book (other than it being based on Arthurian legends), but decided to read it purely on several readers’ positive reviews. And what a great choice it was! Besides the stories, I just fell in love with the writing itself — so eloquent and simple and accessible, yet insightful and deep at the same time.

I also finally checked my “Bucket List of Books” and read The Odyssey. It was one of those works that, for many years, I always wanted to read (and knew I would enjoy) but was daunted by the prospect of the archaic style of writing. Thankfully, this translation was the perfect opportunity to dive into the ancient Greek world and take on Odysseus’ journey.

In the meantime, I’m tempted to offer a favourite read from the list above. I won’t make light of the fact that it is a difficult task, as I rarely find myself not enjoying a book. The ones I read this year were all top-notch but, excluding anything by Tolkien, I’d have to say that Juliet Barker’s book on the Agincourt campaign earns the top spot. The historical backdrop, complemented by the author’s excellent writing skills, together with the subject matter itself, made this read a fantastic experience in its own right.

Well, and I guess that’s all for today (and probably 2018). My, my! What a year!

So as I write this post on Christmas Eve, I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank you all (be you blog followers or just occasional visitors) for your continued support, and wish you a very pleasant Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Till next time …

6 thoughts on “Books I’ve Read in 2018 [Christmas wrap-up]

  1. Love these posts! Mine is scheduled for next Sunday. 🙂

    In my opinion, numbers aren’t very important when it comes to books. One year we read a lot, one year we don’t. What matters is what we get from those pages.

    I’m hoping to read both Origin and Mythos in 2019, would you recommend them?

    I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Awesome! Regarding Origin and Mythos – yes absolutely! Especially Mythos. I just wish I had Stephen Fry as my school teacher. He just has a way with words and connecting with the reader.

  2. I also reread The Silmarillion in 2018! I really love it. I am planning to reread The Odyssey this year, but I decided to read the Metamorphoses first. Have you read The Iliad yet? I read the Robert Fagles translation in 2018 for a challenge task which was: reread a classic. I thought it was amazing, I got much more out of it the second time (although I did enjoy it the first time as well).

    The Once and Future King is great, I have read it 3 times.

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