Book Review, Reading Log

Reading Log: December 2018

December was very much like November in the sense that I didn’t get much reading done.  End of term busyness, as well as Christmas preparations, kept me away from reading books.  On the other hand, I did watch a lot of movies and TV shows, which I will write about next week.  However, I did manage to finish reading one book this past month, which I have already written about in a previous post: Janet Evanovich’s latest installment in the Stephanie Plum series, Look Alive Twenty-Five.

While normally in my “Reading Log” series of posts I’d write an overview of my thoughts about the books I read in the past month, I thought I’d instead take the opportunity to do an end-of-year recap of the books I read since starting this blog.

I have read 10 books 11 books in five months since starting this blog in August, and you can look back on my previous posts to see what I thought about each.

As part of my end-of-year recap, I thought it would be fun to rank the books I read from most-liked to least-liked.

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2018 Reading Log book ranking

[EDIT (January 8, 2019):  I had forgotten while I was writing my November Reading Log that I did actually finish reading a book in November, and in fact it was such a great book that I’d rank it above all the other books listed below.  Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill is a bit unconventional for a mystery novel, and it’s even unconventional for a psychological thriller, but it is absolutely excellent.]

  1. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
  2. A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul by Shamini Flint
  3. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  4. Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
  6. Gin and Daggers by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher

After compiling the list above, I realized that it is very much indicative of my own personal tastes rather than necessarily their quality.

At the very top is Fletch, mainly because I really love humour, and I appreciate novels that are shorter than average because of my issues with attention span.  A touch of humour is also the reason why A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul made it to #2.

On the other end of the spectrum are the two “cozies” at #5 and #6.  I’m not particularly against cozies (I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan after all), but I do find that modern cozies such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder tend to portray characters with an outlook on life that I find hard to identify with.  Additionally, I put Gin and Daggers (even though I love Murder, She Wrote) last simply because just a few months after I read it I had already forgotten what it was about.

Stephanie Plum book ranking

Because I make sure to read a book from the Stephanie Plum series every month, I thought it would be unfair (and difficult) to compare individual books from that series to books from other series, which is why I didn’t include any of them in the ranking above. Instead, I have ranked the Stephanie Plum books separately.

  1. One for the Money
  2. Turbo Twenty-Three
  3. Look Alive Twenty-Five 
  4. Hardcore Twenty-Four 

After having re-read the first book recently, it does seem like the book series is suffering a bit from a sort of fatigue.  This can be expected of series that run for a long time and the author begins to run out of ideas, run out of steam, or simply get bored of it.  However, I did find Look Alive Twenty-Five to be better than Hardcore Twenty-Four, so perhaps the series is back to an upward swing.

. . .

I’m not super pleased with myself for having only read 10 books 11 books in 5 months, mainly because I know I can do better.  I’m sure I can improve my current average of two books a month into something more like four books a month (or a book a week).  So here’s hoping I can further break away from my internet/phone addiction and do what I actually enjoy: reading!


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