I’ve always enjoyed buying new books, but I never seemed to read them at the same rate. When my wife and I moved to London, we had to donate a bunch of books that we had in our bookcase and that made me very sad. Not because of the donation, but because most of the books there weren’t read. Such a waste.
To avoid similar situations, we put up a plan to read more. As part of this plan, I defined a list of books I’d like to read in 2018. It doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the only books I’m going to read, nor that I’m going to read all of them. My goal is to use this list as a guide, and as a reminder for next year.
I aimed for the list to contain a good mix of authors and themes, ranging from sci-fi and fantasy, dystopian worlds, classic literature and some books that I want to re-read. I’ll publish a similar list containing non-fiction books, and another one with comics. For the books I really end up enjoying, I plan to write up a small review about it.
Without further due, here’s my list:
Fiction books for 2018
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison (1952)
Published in 1952 to instantaneous acclaim, Invisible Man is the story of a man in New York City who, after his experiences growing up and living as a model black citizen, now lives in an underground hole and believes he is invisible to American society.
The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss (2007)
Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.
Grande Sertão: Veredas (en: The Devil to Pay in the Backlands), by João Guimarães Rosa (1956)
Lively reminiscences of bandit warfare in the sertão, the still primitive Brazilian backcountry, told by a wise, retired outlaw chief. Grande Sertão: Veredas (Portuguese for “Great Backlands: Tracks”; English translation: The Devil to Pay in the Backlands) is a novel published in 1956 by the Brazilian writer João Guimarães Rosa.
Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen (1811)
The story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, both of age to marry. The novel follows the young women to their new home with their widowed mother, a meagre cottage on the property of a distant relative, where they experience love, romance and heartbreak.
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margareth Atwood (1986)
The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. originally published in 1986. Set in a near-future New England, in a totalitarian, Christian theonomy that has overthrown the United States government.
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)
Tells the story of the brilliant but conflicted young Raskolnikov and the murder he commits, Fyodor Dostoevsky explores the theme of redemption through suffering.
Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert (1856)
The debut novel of French writer Gustave Flaubert, published in 1856. The character lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life.
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (1958)
First published in 1958 – the year after Ghana became the first African nation to gain independence, as Britain, France and Belgium started to recognise the end of colonialism in Africa and began their unseemly withdrawal – Chinua Achebe’s debut novel concerns itself with the events surrounding the start of this disastrous chapter in African history.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Márquez (1987)
The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as “magical realism.”
Neuromancer, by William Gibson (1984)
[…] science fiction novel by American-Canadian writer William Gibson. It is one of the best-known works in the cyberpunk genre and the first novel to win the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award. It was Gibson’s debut novel and the beginning of the Sprawl trilogy. The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to pull off the ultimate hack.
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (1932)
Dystopian novel written in 1931 by English author Aldous Huxley, and published in 1932. Set in London in the year AD 2540 (632 A.F.—”After Ford”—in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that are combined to make a profound change in society.
A Study in Scarlet, By Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)
The story marks the first appearance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, who would become two of the most famous characters in popular fiction
The Mysterious Affair at Styles, by Agatha Christie (1920)
Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home. When the woman is killed, Poirot uses his detective skills to solve the mystery.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick (1968)
The book follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter who is tasked with “retiring” (i.e. killing) six escaped Nexus-6 model androids, while a secondary plot follows John Isidore, a man of sub-par IQ who aids the fugitive androids. In connection with Deckard’s mission, the novel explores the issue of what it is to be human. Unlike humans, the androids are said to possess no sense of empathy.