My Year in Books: 2018

Happy (belated) New Year!

As this blog has been a bit quiet over the past year, here’s a lil insight into my year based on my favourite books read. I read 31 books in 2018, which was sadly not as many as I would have liked. You can check out my year in books from 2017 also, here.

I chose not to blog much last year due to personal reasons. My year was full of ups and downs, and sadly, devastating losses. I took a step back and reflected on what was important to me, focusing on my personal relationships. I still kept up my waste-free attempts as well as I could. I took a hiatus from my tiny house build when things got too complex. Progress has been slow since the tiny has been weather-tight (early last year), but I am starting to get back on track!

My Favourite Reads of 2018:


Rise & Resist – Clare Press

Disclaimer here, It might seem a bit biased to pick this book as I am actually featured in it(!), but regardless, I loved it.  I met Clare (and Kate, also in the book) in early 2018, and fed her dumpster dived cake while she interviewed me. The book focuses on the environment and women’s issues, and the wonderfully inspiring people who are doing amazing things to create change. Also, the keen observer may have noticed that Clare was on my 2017 favourite book list also!


Waste Not – Erin Rhoads

Another slight bias here, as I’m also in this book! I got to write a little section on low waste pet keeping, although I definitely think I’m lucky here as my cat, Riley, is very low maintenance.

Many of you may know Erin as The Rogue Ginger. This book is a great guide to get started on reducing your waste and environmental footprint. The book is thorough and covers all sorts of topics from babies, travel, household waste to lobbying your government.


The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

This was a re-read, as I first read Anne Frank’s diary in high school. I will admit to taking 6 months to re-read this book, due to the difficult subject matter. Eventually, I listened to this in audiobook form, as read by Helena Bonham Carter. Anne is such a witty writer, and I love that she writes and complains about typical teenage things even while enduring extreme hardship & injustice.


The Nature Fix – Florence Williams

I tried to get into this in hardback form at the beginning of the year, but got distracted by summer (oh the irony!). By the end of the year, I got into audiobooks (which is totally not cheating, as I’ve been listening to dense books that I would never have gotten through in actual book form) and ‘picked this up’ again. Florence takes an in-depth look into the many ways that nature improves wellbeing and productivity.
Here’s a full review by fellow eco-blogger The Word of the Wild.


The Course of Love – Alain de Botton

This book about relationships is both fiction & non-fiction, as it’s set as a novel, with philosophical interjections. I’m classing it non-fiction here, as I wouldn’t read the book for the plot, which is a typical romantic storytelling timeline (boy meets girl, falls in love, gets married, has children etc). The storyline makes the book easy to read, as it provides examples for the psychological analysis.

How We Met – Michele A’Court

Another book about love and romance, this is an NZ book by comedian Michele A’Court, about how couples met. It’s very sweet, but also quite humorous and even scandalizing at times. And as it’s NZ, there were a few names in the book that I recognized!


Hera Lindsay Bird and Pamper Me to Hell & Back – Hera Lindsay Bird

I loved these two collections of poetry, by fellow millennial, bisexual, New Zealander, Hera Lindsay Bird. Her work is very relatable, and I recommended these books to many of my friends. One of my favorite poems “Everything is about to go wrong forever” describes feeling on the edge that everything is going to change. I read this, unfortunately, at a time in my life where everything did go wrong forever, so this hard-hitting poem has stuck with me ever since.

“… I don’t know what this impending reckoning is 

only that it will haunt me from this point onwards

and become the kind of thing people associate with me for the rest of my life 

it will be so bad people will forget I ever wrote poetry…”



Call Me By Your Name –  André Aciman

The first book I read in 2018! The story is beautifully written, capturing a (seemingly) unrequited love set amongst a luscious Italian summer. The movie is also as equally beautiful, they compliment each other well.


Stardust – Neil Gaiman

A fairytale for adults, this book is an easy read and way better than the children’s movie.


Tess of The D-Ubervilles – Thomas Hardy

Here’s a controversial favorite, as when I shared I was reading this on Instagram, so many people wished me luck or told me how much they hated reading this in school. This book is depressing, long, and infuriating. as hell. Yet, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted Tess to pull through and win, and she was definitely quite a strong character at times (*Spoiler* although I do wish she would have just gotten over her hypocrite husband). The setting was also quite enchanting also, and I liked how everyday things Tess did seems romanticized compared to modern times.

Honorable Mentions:

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng. A heartbreaking read.

The Book of Unknown Americans – Cristina Henriquez. Also heartbreaking, but very sweet.

Milk & Honey – Rupi Kaur. For stuff like this:

Let me know if you have any great book recommendations for me, I’m always looking for more to read! You can follow along my 2019 year of books on my Goodreads.


  1. jenna   •  

    Great post – these all sound like amazing books to read! I will definitely be adding a few to my “to-read” list. I have been a huge fan of reading books about sustainability ever since I started my journey towards zero waste last year, so I always love some good recommendations!
    -Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? The Chic Cupcake

    • Amanda   •     Author

      Awesome, thanks Jenna & happy reading!

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