Kat's Reading List

What I Read in a Year: 2018

I read a lot of books last year. Like, a lot. 60+, with some short stories and essays thrown in as well. I read books that fundamentally changed how I view the world and how I live my life, such as 12 Rules for Life, Food Freedom Forever, Mother Teresa, The Gulag Archipelago, and The Everlasting Man. I read classics, such as Dostoevsky’s The Karamazov Brothers, for the first time. I re-read some of my all-time favorites, such as Ender’s Game, The Hobbit, and the entire Chronicles of Narnia. I started to explore some of my new favorite authors, such as G.K. Chesterton and Flannery O’Connor. G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis really started to dominate the second half of the year, which was probably a result of attending my first Chesterton Conference, and yet there is still so much more to read of both of them. As more of my nieces and nephews have started reading on their own, I also began delving into more Children’s and YA fiction, such as Gregor the Overlander, Redwall, and Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, so that I would be able to both offer recommendations on decent books and be able to discuss those books with them as well. I attempted (and failed) to read the Harry Potter series. Again.

I have always loved books and reading, but I don’t think I have ever read as much in as short a time frame as I did last year. But there were a few different factors that made it possible. First, I started to actually take myself seriously as a writer. Writing is a career, requiring a good education and training. Yes, I have a degree in English/Creative Writing, but four years of navigating college life and taking a couple of English classes per semester is hardly sufficient for the level of writing I would like to accomplish. Many careers require you to take Continuing Education in order to stay at the top of the field or even just to maintain the status quo and stay up-to-date. I have no interest in graduate school or more formal education of that sort, but I can certainly put together a curriculum for myself. The second thing that made all of this reading possible was reassessing my time and priorities. Pretty early in the year, I deleted my Facebook account and started to limit time spent on other social media apps and my phone in general (I finally deleted my Instagram and Snapchat accounts, as well). And I helped prioritize my reading and commentaries by posting my monthly blogs, which helped keep me accountable and created an expectation both in myself and others that I was taking what I read seriously. Writing the commentaries also helped me to process and remember what I was reading, otherwise there is no way that I could have told you what I read or what I thought about it this time last year. I already have a great list of books to read this year and can’t wait to see where it all takes me.

For the complete list of what I read in 2018, with links to each monthly summary, just keep scrolling. Happy reading!

January
The Mystery of the Magi, by Dwight Longenecker
The Clothes Make the Girl (look fat?), by Brittany Gibbons
The Life You Save May Be Your Own, by Paul Elie
Little Sins Mean a Lot, by Elizabath Scalia
Barhopping with Bukowski, by L. Davis (short story)
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

February
Money Honey, by Rachel Richards
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
Particles of Faith, by Stacy A. Trasancos
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
The Book of Esther
My Badass Book of Saints, by Maria Morera Johnson

March
Prince Caspian, by C.S. Lewis
Food Freedom Forever, by Melissa Hartwig
Mother Teresa, by Kathryn Spink
12 Rules for Life, by Jordan B. Peterson
Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace, by Scott Hahn
Why Dinosaurs Matter, by Kenneth Lacovara

April
Big Fish, by Daniel Wallace
The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
Jack, by George Sayer
Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, by Dean Bakopoulos
The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare

May
To Chance the Church, by Ross Douthat
Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins
Landwhale, by Jess Baker
The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett

June
Storm in a Teacup, by Helen Czerski
Redwall, by Brian Jacques
Loving My Actual Life, by Alexandra Kuykendall
Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers

July
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
G.K. Chesterton: Apostle of Common Sense, by Dale Ahlquist
Orthodoxy, By G.K. Chesterton
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis
The Everlasting Man, by G.K. Chesterton
The Lightening Thief, by Rick Riordan

August
A Good Man is Hard to Find, by Flannery O’Connor (short story)
The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
The Gulag Archipelago (Abridged), by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis
Running Down a Dream, by Tim Grahl
Miracles, by C.S. Lewis

September
The River, by Flannery O’Connor (short story)
Goodbye, Good Men, by Michael S. Rose
Are You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor
The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis
What’s Wrong with the World, by G.K. Chesterton
Introduction to the Book of Job, by G.K. Chesterton (short essay)
The Storytelling Animal, by Jonathan Gottschall
The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, Michael Walsh

October
History of Philosophy Vol I: Greece and Rome, by Frederick Copleston, SJ
The Fiery Angel, by Michael Walsh

November
The Anna Karenina Fix, by Viv Groskop
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
An Actor Bows, by Kevin O’Brien
My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok
A Preface to Paradise Lost, by C.S. Lewis

December
A Horse and His Boy, by C.S. Lewis
A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote (short story)
The Magician’s Nephew, by C.S. Lewis
Joseph of Nazareth, by Frederico Suarez
Parker’s Back, by Flannery O’Connor (short story)
The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis
A Cook’s Tour, by Anthony Bourdain
How to Read a Book, by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

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