Once again it’s time for the “look back” post in which we consider how the past reading year has gone, and once again I can be satisfied by the number of books I managed to read, not to mention the short stories I enjoyed between books, a good number of which have made it into reviews.  And here is a visual summary:



The books I read are more or less equally divided between Fantasy and Science Fiction, even though there is a fair number of them that crosses between the genre dividing lines.  What’s comforting is that of the 60-odd titles under my proverbial belt, only two of them ended up in the DNF bin, while the overall rating for the books I read remains a steady 4,1 stars.  Which means I have been quite rewarded by my choices this year.

Here are the books that received the maximum rating of 5 stars: it’s interesting to note that they are all placed in the Fantasy genre, since I used to consider myself more science-fiction inclined. Clearly these past years, and the number of great fantasy novels I enjoyed, have changed my tastes or steered them in a different direction – and in 2018 there was no new Expanse book, or there would at least have been a 5-star rating in the SF field…






On a more personal level, I have said my farewell to GoodReads: the usual annoyances I had to deal with in the past concerning the quirks of the platform and its sometimes unreliable data update have recently been joined by a weird occurrence, which proved to be the infamous last straw.  After reviewing, on December 6th, the latest novel in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, I posted on December 8th a review for the novella Suffer a Sea Change that is included in the book: at the time in which I posted the review there was an independent listing for the novella, as there is for many other shorter works in this series.

A couple of weeks later, while compiling the list for this very post, I noticed that the review for the novella had disappeared, as had the novella itself from the GoodReads database, and only a further search brought me to find out that the novella review had been appended to the review for the book.  There is nothing truly wrong in this, granted, since there might be a valid reason for the removal of the listing, but what bothered me was the fact that the change had been operated unilaterally, and no one had thought of sending the barest of notices my way.

Taken by a sudden suspicion, I went to check on a similar case: at the back of a previous October Daye book, The Brightest Fell (one of my 2017 reviews), there was another novella, Of Things Unknown, which used to have the same separate listing from the parent book and that I reviewed as such. Well, that one was merged as well, still without notice: I have not checked other instances to avoid further irritation…

It’s not an end-of-the-world occurrence, true, but to me it spoke of a lack of consideration, a lack of good manners if you want: GoodReads sends a lot of notifications to me concerning friends’ updates or events, so why not for this change? From what I read, this is nothing new: other members have witnessed the actual eradication of their reviews, which seems to indicate a pattern, one that leaves an unpleasant taste in one’s mouth.

Anyway, I’ve moved my book collection to Library Thing (where the import mechanism worked like a charm, for the record) and will post reviews on GoodReads only in the case of debut novels, since that’s an instance in which authors need the maximum exposure, but I will just write a few words and then link to the complete post to my blog.   It’s a small gesture, a tiny drop in the ocean, I know, but it’s my way of protesting against such rudeness. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it.


Now, moving to a more positive topic: to all of you fellow book lovers…

Have a great 2019 filled with wonderful books!  Happy reading!

14 thoughts on “MY 2018 IN BOOKS

  1. I love seeing all the books you read in a visual format!! I will have to do that next year. I’m sorry to hear about your woes with Goodreads. I’ve always thought it was an imperfect system for many reasons, but I’ve grown used to using it and I can’t see myself ever leaving. Although after reading about your experiences with reviews and books being deleted, I am wondering if that’s ever happened to me!! Happy 2019, Maddelena!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If you do link from goodreads, watch out for them hiding every single one of your reviews. I went back to GR after the debacle in ’13 and did that and had some jackass (insert long string of extremely long pejoratives) go through and report every single one of my linked reviews. I got a notice from GR that they were going to not make my reviews publicly viewable, only to me and and anyone on my friend list. So needless to say I quit again and will not be attempting that.

    4.1 average rating is incredible! And I do mean really incredible. I’m incredibly jealous in fact 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No need to be jealous, I’m quite choosy with the books I pick, so that helps a lot 😉
      As for GR’s policies, what you just shared sounds somewhat ominous and makes me even more determined to stay away. Reading and reviewing books is an enjoyable experience and should not be tainted by any platform’s… agendas.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I didn’t even realize there was no Expanse book this year, they usually come sneaking in at the end of the year, don’t they? No wonder my December felt so empty! 😀 And awesome list, glad to see so much love for Brian McClellan, and the RJ Barker trilogy is now probably one of my favorite fantasy series of all time 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were so many good books going around this year and my only disappointment is that I could not read as many of them as I wanted to – I really need those 48 hours days to be able to enjoy all the titles that catch my attention! 😀


  4. Oh, I understand your trouble with goodreads.. I won’t review on there or socialize and only use it as a virtual shelf. I also like the Reading Challenge option but that’s it^^ I am not a fan of the layout at all.

    I can see why ‘Wrath of Empire’ is 5 stars. I am almost 200 pages in and CAN’T STOP 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, McClellan’s new series is just as good – if not better – than his Powder Mage trilogy: he really made it to my “favorite author” list in no time at all!
      Thankfully Library Thing offers a virtual shelf as well, so I will not miss that option at all, and as for challenges, I’m looking at Worlds Without End to find something that inspire me… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy New Year. You look to have had a great reading year. It’s such a shame about your experience with GR – tbh, I probably wouldn’t know if that had happened to me or not as I don’t think I’ve ever checked back on any of my reviews on there. I don’t use it all the time, I’m a little inconsistent, but I do like it for some things so I’ll probably continue but obviously keep in mind your own experience.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. GR is perfect when you search for the synopsis of a book, the indications about genre or more… mundane details like the number of pages and the various editions, but after this small annoyance and the far more unsettling experiences other book lovers have shared online, I’ve decided to use it only as an information center, and to shelve my books – and reviews – elsewhere. Not without some sadness, though…


  6. I haven’t quantified it, but I suspect I’ve been giving higher ratings to fantasy books than to sci-fi, despite having a stronger interest in sci-fi. I don’t know if the better authors are seeing fantasy as a larger market, or the sci-fi publishers are pushing political agendas in their books, or what the issue is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are some good SF novels (or series) around, but their numbers are overwhelmed by the incredible production of fantasy stories, so that the latter appears to be winning as a genre. And it’s probably a phase, one that might be reversed soon… 🙂


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