Books I’ve read in 2018

Goodreads tells me I’ve read 48 books in 2018. I set myself the goal of 36 so it looks like I beat it hand­i­ly. But includ­ed in that count are quite a few role­play­ing game books and comics. If I dis­card those I’m left with 28 titles. Still a decent amount but noth­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly remark­able. Below are a few lists and some notes to go with them.

Most of the non-fic­tion is some­where on the inter­sec­tion of design, tech­nol­o­gy and Left pol­i­tics. A lot of this read­ing was dri­ven by my desire to devel­op some kind of men­tal frame­work for the work we were doing with Tech Sol­i­dar­i­ty NL. More recently—since I start­ed my PhD—I’ve most­ly been read­ing text­books on research method­ol­o­gy. Hid­den from this list is the aca­d­e­m­ic papers I’ve start­ed con­sum­ing as part of this new job. I should fig­ure out a way of shar­ing some of that here or else­where as well.

I took a break from tech­nol­o­gy and indulged in a deep dive into the his­to­ry of the thir­ty year’s war with a mas­sive non-fic­tion treat­ment as well as a clas­sic picaresque set in the same time peri­od. While read­ing these I was tran­si­tion­ing into my new role as a father of twin boys. Some­what relat­ed was a brief his­to­ry of The Nether­lands, which I’ve start­ed rec­om­mend­ing to for­eign­ers who are strug­gling to under­stand our idio­syn­crat­ic lit­tle nation and go beyond super­fi­cial­i­ties.

Then there’s the fic­tion, which in the begin­ning of the year con­sist­ed of high­brow weird and his­tor­i­cal nov­els but then ven­tured into clas­sic fan­ta­sy and (utopi­an) sci-fi ter­ri­to­ry. Again, most­ly because of a jus­ti­fi­able desire for some escapism in the sleep deprived evenings and nights.

Hav­ing men­tioned the arrival of our boys a few times it should come as no sur­prise that I also read a cou­ple of par­ent­ing books. These were more than enough for me and real­ly to be hon­est I think par­ent­ing is a thing best learned through prac­tice. Espe­cial­ly if you’re rais­ing two babies at once.

So that’s it. I’ve set myself the mod­est goal of 24 books for this year because I’m quite sure most of my read­ing will be papers and such. Here’s to a year of what I expect will be many more late night and ear­ly morn­ing read­ing ses­sions of escapist weird fic­tion.

Pre­vi­ous years: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011, 2009.


Also pub­lished on Medi­um.

Published by

Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.