Reading “more” was a 2018 resolution for me. I didn’t read as much as I wanted to (see my thoughts on that here), but I feel like I should share the books that I raved about to friends all year.
Here are my 2018 favorites:
No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the US Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald
This memoir came out in 2015, and I’m pretty mad at myself that I waited this long to dive in, being the IT security nerd that I am. I heard a lot about the scandal in my college coursework, but I should have taken the time to really explore this before now, because it is fascinating.
Glenn Greenwald wrote No Place to Hide to tell the story of how he was pulled into Edward Snowden’s plan to be a whistle blower to the NSA, what exposed, how the plan was acted out, and what the aftermath was like for journalists, federal employees, and the American people.
If you’ve ever wondered how you can be viewed through your online or day-to-day cellphone activity OR how that information can be used against you, read this book.
I technically listened to this one on Audible, because the story is so captivating.
I’ve told all my friends and coworkers about the book. I gave a copy as a gift. I’ve also studied up on research about what the NSA and other government agencies track for Americans (and those in other countries) to the point where I now realize I sound paranoid.
Am I actually paranoid? No – I’m clearly posting my opinions on the internet for the world to read right now, and I still have practically every social media account I’ve ever opened (lookin’ at you, Myspace).
But am I acutely aware of what I share now? Absolutely.
I’m half terrified and half excited to see how all this data gets used in the future.
Three Dark Crowns Series by Kendare Blake
I am obsessed with this series. It feels like Game of Thrones in a matriarchal society. There are family and friend story lines, there’s romance, and there’s Hunger Games-style warfare.
Triplets are born to a queen every generation, and they have to battle it out to be the last one standing and next queen. That queen will have triplets who battle it out. And so on. You get the picture.
The one Fantasy-genre thing that almost made me say “pass” on the book (because the fact that guaranteed triplets to the winner every generation wasn’t enough for me to be like “nope, too unrealistic.”) is the fact that each triplet has her own gift. One can kind-of talk to animals, one can control the elements, and one can ingest any poison. You can see how those probably help in their Family Feud (see what I did there?). The whole gift thing ended up being very fun to read about and fit the plot nicely.
It sounds like a lot. It’s kind of a lot. I loved it.
I cannot wait for the last book in this series!
The series has 3 books out (the 4th/last to be released this year), and a handful of novellas. I read all of them (most in one-sitting), so I have no idea what the audio-book performance is like. Don’t worry, I’ll still link it for you.
Novella Book: Queens of Fennbirn – Buy the book. Sorry, no audio-book yet.
Find your local library here.
Note: I didn’t actually finish too many books in 2018. I read parts of a lot of them. I read some that ended up being duds. I read some that I kind-of liked, but not enough to get all the way through them. I read the first 4 chapters of a TON of self-help books, realized I got the point, and moved onto another.
Here’s to hoping 2019 brings more good books into my life!
If you want a review of my favorite opening chapters of books (haha) or those I bought with the intention to read, let me know in the comments.
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