December 9th, 2018
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Danielle Dresser | My Year in Reading: 2018

**Today we are joined by Fresh Fiction Reviewer Danielle Dresser and what she’s noticed about her reading trends over the last year.**

Between reviewing for Fresh Fiction, belonging to a book club, and being an all around avid reader, I’ve read a LOT of books this year. It’s the time of year when bloggers, reviewers, and publications are releasing their “Best Books” of the year lists, and while I don’t always think it’s super fair to do that (I’m too indecisive to be so definitive), I did notice some things about my 100+ books read this year…

I read almost exclusively female authors. Call me biased or my little way of sticking it to the patriarchy, but aside from a few books in my book club, over 90% of the books I read were by women/female-identifying authors. It wasn’t totally on purpose, but when I noticed this over the summer, I made an extra effort to make sure I was reading books by women. A lot of the books I review for Fresh Fiction are romance novels, which is a genre mostly written by and for women, and I think that’s pretty bad-ass. It also leaves a ton of room for this genre to be scrutinized, written off as frivolous, and portrayed as only being read by bored housewives or spinsters with too many cats (to be fair: some may consider me a housewife and I have two cats). While thinking over my mostly female reading list, I’ve realized that women write books of all shapes, sizes, genres, styles, and on and on and on. No two books I’ve read this year have been the same, and I think female voices are among the strongest out there to be read widely by anyone, preconceived notions aside.

2019 Goal: Continue to read mostly women, but double and triple check that I’m intersectional in my choices: reading more LGBTQAI+ authors, different races and ethnicities, and adding a cool dude to the mix here and there.

I didn’t read nearly enough nonfiction. I’ve always gravitated toward fiction; there’s definitely a sense of escape and finding something new in the unknown, but I’m also of the camp who believes that there’s truth in fiction, and it shows us more about our realities than we may know. That being said, I only read THREE nonfiction books in 2018, and they were all memoir/biographies! I read a lot of historical fiction, a lot of which was based on real people or events, so it should be relatively simple to expand my reading horizons into more types of nonfiction. I’m currently reading Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which may lead to me reading one of the Obama White House staffer books. Easier said than done, though!

2019 Goal: figure out the type of nonfiction that works for me. Maybe I really just am a biography/memoir reader, but perhaps more cultural commentary, niche exposés, and whatever else looks interesting.

I judge books by their covers. I know, I know… I’m not supposed to! But look at a few of my favorite covers from this year - they’re so pretty! Book cover design is a serious aspect of the publishing process, and if I like what I see at a quick glance, I’m more inclined to pick it up.

2019 Goal: Keep up with the pretty covers, LOL!

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams

All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

What have you noticed about your 2018 reading trends? Since there are a few more weeks left in 2018, maybe I’ll get a jump start on my 2019 reading goals!

**Later in December, the Fresh Fiction reviewers will be sharing some of our Favorite Reads of 2018. We hope you’ll check them out, and share some of yours, as well!**




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