Towards the end of the year, I plan my next year of reading. So, at the end of 2017, I went through my notes, my podcast recommendations, and my goodreads saves, to put together a reading list for 2018.
In 2017, I was just trying to get a hold on what was happening to this country, and I was trying to broaden my reading horizons. I ended up reading 21 books, but looking back, I don’t remember most of them. I remember enjoying what I was reading, but the heavier reads just didn’t stick.
My 2017 reading list included White Trash by Nancy Isenberg, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood, Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Some pretty great books, but I wasn’t able to retain or learn as much as I really wanted.
So for 2018, my goal was not to “read more” it was to “learn more”. As I made my list, I also added the goal of starting a book journal, where I write summaries and takeaways from each book once I finished it. Hopefully, this will help me retain more information, and assist me in actually incorporating parts of what I’ve read into my daily life.
I don’t plan on writing those notes and findings here, but maybe at the end of the year, I’ll give a quick takeaway from each book and a rating.
Anyway, here’s what I’m reading in 2018 and why:
- White Rage – Carol Anderson (To learn about the history of the racial divide in the US and to try and understand where some common misconceptions came from)
- Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance (Recommended by a close conservative friend to try and understand the rust-belt and the class and cultural divide)
- The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood (Part 2 of the MaddAddam series that I started in 2017)
- Dark Money – Jane Mayer (Highly recommended by Tommy Vietor and Pod Save the World)
- The More of Less – Joshua Becker (Been in a minimal mood lately. Hopefully I can really stay inspired with this read)
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (I love a good dystopian fiction story)
- Fantasyland – Kurt Andersen (An interesting podcast suggestion, an analysis of American history to see if we’ve been socialized from the beginning to believing ridiculous things)
- The United States of Fear – Tom Engelhardt (How fear tactics have gripped the American conscious and if we can do anything to stop it)
- American Gods – Neil Gaiman (I loved the tv series and I want to read more about these characters)
- Why the Right Went Wrong – E.J. Dionne Jr. (To understand the evolution of the Republican party over the last 60 years)
- Listen Liberal – Thomas Frank (A podcast recommendation to understand the evolution of the Democratic party, seen from the outside and as told by a conservative #nevertrump-er)
- Parable of the Sower – Octavia Butler (I love a good dystopian fiction story)
- The Age of Acquiescence – Steve Fraser (When did American’s stop revolting against the ruling class? Why have we surrendered to a dog-eat-dog capitalism that renders so few winners?)
- Symphony for the City of the Dead – M.T. Anderson (Podcast recommendation. Seems like a sorrowful and beautiful read)
- The Sheep Look Up – John Brunner (A dystopian “classic” I’ve never heard of)
- Ravensbruck – Sarah Helm (Women in War as victims)
- They Fought Like Demons – DeAnne Blanton (Women in War as fighters)
You can follow me over on goodreads if you want!
UPDATE: I changed book 5 to The More of Less by Joshua Becker since I could not find Why Not Socialism by Gerald Cohen in my local library system.