2018 Year of Books – Part One: All the books I’ve read so far

Not much time left in 2018 now!
So it isn’t a surprise that as of late more and more blogs and vlogs appear with lists about the things that we could still do with the rest of 2018 to make it amazing. This one is about books.

I am reading. Are you?

At the beginning of the year, I set a New Year’s resolution to read more. I finished 12 books so far and completely rekindled a passion for reading. Also, I switched over to a Kindle earlier this year so that all the new books are not taking up space or burning through too many resources.

I have another 6 physical books on my list for this year and an addition of two audiobooks. But let’s get back to those in part two.

Here’s the lot of those I already read.  I shall give them to you starting with the one I liked the least all the way through to the one I liked best, even though there was no book amongst those that I strongly disliked. Maybe it’s inspiring for you if you’re looking for your next read to pick up.

Books I have read so far

1 Look who’s back – Timur Vermes

Fiction. It is 2013 and all of a sudden, for reasons no one can explain, one of the darkest figures in world history is back. Adolf Hitler finds himself in present-day Berlin and more or less accidentally stumbles into a career in the media whilst he is trying to figure out what has happened to him (and to the nation, in his absence). A deeply worrying thought experiment about what might happen if the “right” (or rather wrong) person were to exploit the current political and social climate. An idea that will never not be relevant, however, in my opinion, the book takes it down a rather absurd route which waters down the point a little. Still happy I read it, though.

2 Wild by Nature – Sarah Marquis

Non-Fiction about the latest tour of extreme hiker and adventurer Sarah Marquis. In this book, she recounts her experiences on her three-year-long walk from Siberia to Australia and everything that happened to her on the journey. I am normally a big sucker for books like that but for whatever reason didn’t warm up with Sarah. Totally a me-thing, still a great book.

3 Light is the new Black – Rebecca Campbell

Non-fiction. Light is the new black is certainly not for everybody, it has to be said. This book is very much on the spiritual side of things, which the reader has to be into to get something out of this book. Generally, it deals with the idea of how your thought patterns foster different emotions and perspectives on your life which then in turn influence how we perceive and live our lives. The more spiritual passages in the book I took as hypothetical thought experiments just to try and see things from a different angle than the one I am used to. I filtered a lot out of this book even though the spirituality in this book is not fully in line with my own. But since it might be with yours it’ll be more relatable to other readers.

4 Die Welt der Drei Fragezeichen (The world of the three detectives) – C.R. Rodenwald

Non-Fiction, even though it is about fiction. Also a German-only book up to now as the American young adult fiction series “The three detectives” rose to immense popularity in Germany, more so than in its country of origin. And this popularity and love reflects in the work of Mr Rodenwald as he dug up every last nugget of knowledge there is about the history and evolution of the three detectives, their stories and the writers behind it.

5 The elephant whisperer – Lawrence Anthony

Non Fiction written by the owner of the Thula Thula National Park in South Africa and the story about how he acquired a herd of disturbed elephants despite him not knowing much about disturbed elephants. He recounts the events of all those years where he and his team gave everything they had to make life work for the animals and the people in the park.

6 Ohne Wenn und Abfall (no ifs no rubbish; pun on the German “ohne wenn und aber” which means no ifs no buts) – Milena Glimbovski

Non-fiction. A book by the founder of the first plastic-free shop in Germany. An interesting mix this one, as in the first half she explains how she founded and runs the business and in the second half gives valuable tips on how to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives. I don’t think this book has been translated into any languages other than the original German version, but for German speakers, it is certainly very thought-provoking.

7 The Savior’s champion – Jenna Moreci

Fiction. Perfect summer holiday read on the plane, by the ocean and in the hotel room! The story takes place in a fictional realm that loosely resembles ancient Greece or Rome and we are thrown into a tournament between people who all entered to marry the leader of the realm, the Savior, and harvest all the benefits that come from this bond. It’s a bit like the Hunger Games in ancient Greece and I loved it!

8 Crushing It – Gary Vaynerchuk

Non-fiction. Crushing it is the follow-up book to Vaynerchuk’s earlier work “Crush It” which is referenced a lot. It is about building a business and a personal brand with the help of the online world. It is half personal success stories of people who started working with the messages from the first book and half manual how to use online tools to build up a business idea online.

9 Thirty days to simplify your life – Michelle Barnes

Non-fiction. This short and sweet little book is the accumulation of many other tidying and simplifying books (including the konmari one) and offers tangible action plans to take on decluttering. If you read the life-changing magic of tidying up and want to get to work but don’t quite know where to begin: This is the book for you!

10 The top five regrets of the dying – Bronnie Ware

Non-fiction by Australian writer Bronnie Ware, who became the caretaker of people in the final stage of their lives. She would live with them, spend lots of time with them and sometimes would have very insightful conversations about life and death and everything in between. What Bronnie took away from these conversations she shared on her blog and then in this book that she wrote. A book that although about the sad topics of death and regret is not really a sad book. But a book that makes you think about your own life, your priorities and the bigger picture.

11 One more ride on the Merry-Go-Round – Tiziano Terzani

Non-fiction. An account of the years that followed when newspaper correspondent and author Tiziano Terzani got diagnosed with cancer. He went on a journey of re-defining what health and illness means and how different people approach it. He shares many life lessons on the way. A fascinating yet slow read since it challenged me to really think through all the ideas, concepts and interpretations that he brings up and see how I feel about them.

12 From here to Eternity – Caitlin Doughty

Non-fiction and easily my favourite book that I have read in 2018. I have been following Caitlins YouTube channel for a while before I picked up the book, so when I read it, I practically heard her reading out everything in my head (another benefit to an already great book, audiobook version read by her also available by the way). Caitlin, a mortician, travels the world to learn about different perspectives on life and death as well as different understandings of grieving, burial and remembering loved ones. It touched on many anthropological and cultural aspects, talked openly about tabooed subjects and is overall as educational as it is amusing.

And there you have it, the list of all my 2018 books until the end of October. Pick one of them up if you feel like it, or head over to part two with all the books I still intend to sink my teeth into this year. Read along with me or leave me a comment of what your latest read has been!

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