My Reading List 2018

I plan to read 25 books this year. This is one of my new year’s resolutions and I have planned out all the books I want to read to achieve this. Last year I only read six and would like to have reading as a consistent habit to increase this number.

I really enjoyed the books I read in December of last year and early January this year (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and The Beach by Alex Garland) and really feel reading provides experiences no other medium can. Readers are required to use their imagination and concentration to be truly rewarded by a book. I want a better influx of these experiences this year. Also reading allows you to escape reality and responsibilities when you need to for half an hour.

25 books will definitely be a challenge. I will meet this challenge by reading 25 pages a day in the morning when I wake up and before I go to bed at night. I watched a YouTube video saying these were the good times to help form a habit for reading.

The selection for this years reading was partly motivated by a blog post I read on Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Novels, but mostly by the books I had collecting dust on my windowsill that I haven’t got around to reading for a few years.

This is the most neat this windowsill has ever been.

I will also be doing one book review video a month over at my YouTube channel.There you will be able to see me and my sister talking about books in real life! Well not really, it’s a video, but still!

Anyway, the books are (in the order I hope to read them):

  1. The Beach by Alex Garland

I read this late December, early January and absolutely loved it from beginning to end. I so enjoyed the show-not-tell writing style the book employed and all the interesting twists and turns it takes. I would highly recommend it.








2. Artemis by Andy Weir

I read The Martian by Andy Weir in 2015 and thought it was the best sci-fi book I had ever read. This meant I had high hopes for this book and was thoroughly disappointed. The main character Jazz is annoying and unbelievable, the story is pretty bare bones and formulaic and the infrequent mini space and science lectures I found a bit long-winded. The Martian did a similar story mixed with notes on space and science, but those were bearable and informative I felt. However, I did learn some interesting moon facts I didn’t know before I read this book and for that I am grateful. I look forward to Andy Weir’s next attempt and do not believe The Martian will be his last good literary effort.








3.We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

My sister Cait recommended this book to me. She previously recommended me The Beach by Alex Garland, which I loved, so I am taking her word this one is good. I am currently reading this one.








4. Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Kenneth Cukier

I like nerdy things and Big Data seems to be a big thing at the moment so it might be interesting to see what all the fuss is about!








5. Become Your Own Financial Advisor: The real secrets to becoming financially independent by Warren Ingram

My dad bought this for me because he believes it is an extremely important book to read at my age and now I do too. Personal finance, saving and investments are one of the most important things that will make one a successful adult and, from what I’ve read so far, Warren Ingram demystifies it all remarkably. This is a must read for everyone, especially young adults in South Africa.







6. It by Stephen King

I recently watched the movie with Bill Skarsgård and Finn Wolfhard, two amazing actors, and I was absolutely blown away. “What a wonderfully creepy world” I though and I knew I had to find out more by reading the book. It will be my first Stephen King novel too, so I pretty keen!








7. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This is another book I’ve wanted to read for years. I got it at a second hand shop and have had it lying on my shelf for a while. The whole post-apocalyptic genre really captivates my imagination, even if it is fairly done-to-death in today’s media. This book looks like Book of Eli (which is great) meets The Last of Us (also great), it was adapted into a movie with Viggo Mortensen and it won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. What more can I say?







8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Being my mom’s all-time favourite book and one of the great classics of English literature, I have to give Emily Brontë’s only novel a try. Time for some Victorian love triangle action!








9. Mars one. Humanity’s next great adventure by Norbert Kraft et al.

As I said before, The Martian by Andy Weir really interested me and my mom picked this up from a second hand shop and I though it would be interesting to find out more about the practicalities of getting to and living on Mars. Can SpaceX, Mars One and others do it in the next 20 years? I’ll read this, find out and report back!







10. 1984 by George Orwell

This is another classic I want to read to broaden my literary horizons. I want to know about canon literary dystopian depictions of the future and feel this would be a good place to start. I found Animal Farm very thought provoking when I read it as a set work for school in grade 10 (2014) and I hope to come away with similar interesting perspectives when I read 1984.







11. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I read The Color Purple by Alice Walker in grade 11 (2015) and thought the book was very eye-opening to the struggles of women in the deep American South in the 40’s between World War I and II. The book gave me a new perspective on hope, beauty and gratitude for what I have and I would highly recommend it. I have heard similar high praise for The Help, which tells a similar story of three women set in the 60’s in Mississippi. Cait said she found the book a bit boring, so hopefully I can finish this one. Wish me luck!







12. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki

Kawasaki’s website puts it as “Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, small-business owner, intrapreneur, or not-for-profit leader, there’s an over-abundance of advice. The Art of the Start 2.0 solves that problem by distilling Guy’s decades of experience as one of the most hardworking and irreverent people in business.”

I want to read this to get some entrepreneurial ideas flowing in case I want to start a business one day. I have polar reviews for this book, but if it is a lot of fluff like some people say, I’ll skim through it and report back!






13. The Digital Filmmaking Handbook: The definitive guide to digital filmmaking by Mark Brindle

I’m always looking for ways to improve my YouTube channel and hope to get some valuable tips from this book. Most of my knowledge of filmmaking comes from YouTube videos ironically, but to have a reference book like this will come in handy!








14. Introducing Ethics: A Graphic Guide by Dave Robinson, Chris Garratt

I recently finished the Crash Course Philosophy series on YouTube (I’m MAD woke now) and thought this would be a useful follow up and reference to that series.








15. The Mad Science Book: 100 Amazing Experiments from the History of Science by Reto U. Schneider

I have always enjoyed science and picked up this book just for some extra insight into weird experiments throughout the ages.








16. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

I have always been interested in the World Wars and this books portrayal of the average person, not fighting in the war, experienced. It follows the author as a nurse in the armed services, in London, Malta and on the Western Front. This book also portrays how the youth at the time lost their lives, hopes and dreams due to World War I.  Its sounds a bit depressing, but necessary literature for me I feel.







17. Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs—A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder by Ben Mezrich

From goodreads “Once Upon a Time in Russia is the untold true story of the larger-than-life billionaire oligarchs who surfed the waves of privatization to reap riches after the fall of the Soviet regime…”

I just started reading this one and it is definitely a page turner. This book sounds cool as fiction, but the fact that it is true is crazy!







18.  Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade by Oliver Bowden

I have played most of the Assassin’s Creed games, but never got around to playing the 2007 original. I am pretty sure the gameplay is pretty repetitive and outdated by now, but I have heard the story is good. Solution: read the book!








19. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

This is another classic novel which follows Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier in WW2, and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to fight off insanity while completing their service requirements so that they can return home. My dad read this book and the concept of a catch-22 sounds interesting, so that’s why it’s on this list.







20. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Damn, this might be a pretty distressingpainful and heartbreaking year. Here is another dystopian novel I plan to read. This one is about a near-future world where a scientific elite keep a lower class in check using genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs. Let’s go!








21. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Last year I watched the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes series with Benedict Cumberbatch and quite enjoyed it. Again, I thought it would be a good idea to check out the source material – and hence this book makes the list.








22. Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku

I read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking  in grade 11 (2015) and although I got a bit lost towards the end, found it mind-bogglingly awesome and powerful. My friend Sam lent this book by Michio Kaku, a great science author, and I knew I had to read it. P.S. I promise I will return this Sam, I know it has been like 2 years.








Although I said 25 books at the beginning, I am leaving three spots open for books I discover throughout 2018. I am bound to find new interesting adventures to read about or develop new hobbies. Some of the books on this list might not get read to completion too, but I just hope to develop a habit of reading every day and these are the books I hope to do it with. Wish me luck!

Check out my YouTube channel, share this page with your brother, aunt and dogs and I’ll hopefully see you in about two weeks for another book-related blog post!