The 11 Books I Read This Year

My 2018 Reading List

11 Books I Read This Year - Reading List 2018 - Nicole Guido

If you follow me on Instagram or we’re friends in real life, you know that reading is one of my favorite pastimes. I’m always in the middle of one (or three), with another in the queue. I mean, currently my bedside table consists of a lamp and four books AND my Kindle (which has, like, four more books on it). I have a problem.

But really, my love of reading started at a young age. When one book ends, another book begins. It’s kinda like a rotating door over here.

I’m not super picky about the genres that I read… though I really love to learn something new. I’m fascinated by a good military history or non-fiction novel. One of my all-time favorites was about cave diving. Oh, then there was the one about the early space program and the astronauts wives. Or the one about the women of “Atomic City” and the building of the atomic bomb. Occasionally, I’ll read a good romance novel, or some personal development (Big Magic, anyone??). And sometimes I like to get lost in fantasy-land… after all, Harry Potter is one of my absolute all-time favorite series ever written. Total side note: that series is one for all ages. My dad used to pre-order the books and read them before I could even get my hands on them.

My reading list fell by the wayside a bit in college… because hello, college reading. Anyone else? But once I graduated from college I found that I had ALL this free time that I didn’t have before. So I picked reading back up and made it a personal goal to read 50 books a year. Have I actually achieved that goal? Definitely not. But honestly, it doesn’t bother me. It really just gives me something to push towards.

I DO, however, track the books I read in a year. And now that we’re nearing the end of 2018, I’m sharing the books I read this year, my thoughts, and recommendations. And I’ll follow this blog post up with books on my list for 2019. So if you’re looking for a few good reads, keep scrolling. If not… well, I get it. Reading isn’t for everyone. But maybe you’d be more interested in some of my recent sessions instead.


1. The Goldfinch

I’ll be totally honest, I started this one in 2017 and finished it in 2018. I started and restarted. And once I finally got past the first few chapters, I couldn’t put it down. It was a good read, but not a quick one.


2. A Dog’s Purpose

I don’t generally cry at books… but this one made me cry. I haven’t seen the movie yet. But this is a must-read for every single person, pet-owner or not.


3. The Reef

I started and finished this book on our trip to Belize. A hand-me-down from my grandma who also enjoyed reading, it’s a quick and easy adventure/romance.


4. Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers

Picked this one up at the airport on our way home from Belize when I had finished The Reef. It was a cute little story and I mostly grabbed it because, well, Hawaii.


5. The Operator

Military non-fiction at its finest. And actually, I think I listened to this as an audiobook. But hey, it counts in my opinion.


6. Grace Over Perfection

Super great, easy, and applicable read by none other than planner guru, Emily Ley. It’s just like it sounds… a permission to live with grace instead of the pressure of constant perfection.


7. The Summer House

Another light, hand-me-down summer read. Romance, scandal, suspense all wrapped in a pretty bow.


8. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

I threw a little business development in there this year… it’s an interesting read and I learned a bit about social media.


9. Full Body Burden

I happened across this book at Goodwill (reader’s tip: you can find hardcover books for $2-$3 at thrift stores!!). It was actually VCU’s freshman orientation book of the year a few years back. And talk about fascinating. It’s an autobiography about growing up at the base of a nuclear plant and the bureaucracy that comes along with it. Eye-opening and sad, but one I couldn’t put down.


10. American Radical

Another military history, friends. Interesting and quick, not my fave.


11. Rocket Men

Okay, so I’m obsessed with space. I LOVE reading things about space travel, the astronaut program, anything of the sort. I picked this one up on our trip to Chicago, where we visited the planetarium. This book is about the event before the event that we all know of (the moon landing). What we often forget is that the space program had to get a spaceship around the moon and back to Earth before it could try to land on the moon. And this is the story of that. SO good and highly recommended. (Also, the author of this book wrote the cave diving book that I really liked, Shadow Divers.)