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  • Ryanne Harper

Reading Challenge: Recap Edition

The Goal: fifty-two

Final Count: Sixty

I'm not real sure how to do this, so let's just make up some categories, shall we?

Top Five Reads of the Year:

1. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

2. I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara

3. The Book of Essie, Meghan MacLean Weir

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman

5. There There, Tommy Orange

My top five is comprised entirely of debuts. Which is dope. Well, let's put an asterisk next to Michelle McNamara; she was an accomplished blogger and writer before taking on I'll Be Gone. It is her first and, unfortunately, her last novel. She died prior to finishing it. But, the Golden State Killer has been caught and I hope they play her afterword, Letter to an Old Man, on repeat until he dies.

Solidly Four Stars, in no particular order:

1. Baby Teeth, Zoje Stage. Another debut.

2. Less, Andrew Sean Greer

3. Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk, Kathleen Rooney

4. The Line That Held Us, David Joy

5. Circe, Madeline Miller

6. Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz

7. The Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz

8. An American Marriage, Tayari Jones

9. The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

10. Fortunately, the Milk, Neil Gaiman

Straight Up Middle of the Road, in no particular order:

1. Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras. I blame the narrator for this one. It's probably a four or five star story.

2. Modern Lovers, Emma Straub

3. Exit West, Mohsin Hamid

4. The Flight Attendant, Chris Bohjalian

5. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart

6. Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Peterson

7. The Perfect Mother, Aimee Molloy

8. The Outsider, Stephen King

9. The Impossible Fortress, Jason Rekulak

10. Before the Fall, Noah Hawley & Robert Petkoff

11. The Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn

12. It, Stephen King

Books That Simply Weren't For Me, in no particular order:

1. Ghosted, Rosie Walsh

2. Halloween Party, R.L. Stine

3. The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner

4. The Good Girl, Mary Kubica

5. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, Fredrick Backman

6. The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult

7. How to be Both, Ali Smith

8. Life After Life, Kate Atkinson

9. Artemis, Andy Weir

Books in a Series, ranked best to worst:

1. Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss (Y'all, read this book)

2. Lethal White, Robert Galbraith

3. Saga, Brian K. Vaughn

4. Lost in a Good Book, Jasper Fforde

5. Scythe, Neil Schusterman

6. Small Steps, Louis Sachar

7. Wicked Appetite, Janet Evanovich. This book is wet garbage and I'd like to officially retract every nice thing I've said about Janet.

Non-Fiction Reads, ranked best to worst:

1. On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft, Stephen King. Without a doubt, the best writing guide I've ever read.

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

3. Calypso, David Sedaris Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

4. A Higher Loyalty, James Comey

5. Educated, Tara Westover Word By Word, Kory Stamper

6. Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain

7. Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northrup

8. How to Write Pulp Fiction, James Scott Bell

9. Word By Word, Kory Stamper

10. I Might Regret This, Abbi Jacobson

Books I Either Co-Wrote or Edited So I Can't Rank Them:

1. The Hill, Kevin Johnson

2. Fall: An Ermahgerd Merstery, Smoky Lynx & Charlaine LeRoux

3. Winter: An Ermahgerd Merstery, Smoky Lynx & Charlaine LeRoux

Short Stories, ranked best to worst:

1. Different Seasons, Stephen King. Based on Apt Pupil alone. That story is awesome.

2. Fox 8, George Saunders

3. Bring Out the Dog, Will Mackin

4. Vermeer to Eternity, Anthony Horowitz

So, that's my 2018. I've already started working on my 2019 list. And I've joined/started a book club. So, here's to another great year of books!

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