I did something amazing (for me) this year. I read 52 books in 2018.
Did you hear me? I READ FIFTY-TWO BOOKS! For a woman who’s lucky to read one or two books a year, this was quite an accomplishment, and I’m very proud of myself.
2018 was the Year of Audible for me. I discovered I can get TONS of reading done if I use my ears instead of my eyes, so that’s what I did. Long trip? Listen to a book. Doing chores around the house? Listen to a book. Running errands? Listen to a book. Audio took a while to get used to, and I still supplement with Kindle (especially when I get really into a story), but overall, it’s been a game changer for me.
Below is a run down of my favorite books, broken down by genre and listed alphabetically by title. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought! Happy New Year!
Best Literary Works:
CAT’S EYE by Margaret Atwood – I read this one because my son was required to read it for his AP Lit class. It blew me away. It’s a simple story written in a beautifully complex way, and Atwood’s descriptions are the stuff of magic. (Read on Audible and Kindle)
THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood – I picked this book up because I was told it had a similar vibe to George Orwell’s 1984. Though it was written decades ago, its eerie similarities to the real world of 2018 left me feeling gutted. And very, very afraid. (Read on Audible)
THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern – I’ve had this book on my Kindle for ages and opened it on a whim. I instantly fell in love with the rich, dark, complex world and couldn’t put it down. (Read on Audible and Kindle)
THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD by Zora Neale Hurston – A heart-wrenching glimpse into the life of an African-American woman with some of the most beautiful descriptions I’ve ever read. Also, Ruby Dee’s narration is To. Die. For. (Read on Audible)
BECOMING by Michelle Obama – ***Tie for BEST BOOK OF 2018*** I listened to the entire 19 hours on Audible. Mrs. Obama’s writing was stellar, and her story gripped me like few ever have. This is a true American fairy tale that will stay with me for the rest of my life. (Read on Audible)
BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah – I picked this one up because Trevor Noah is one of my favorite comedians. His story about growing up in South Africa was funny, scary, sad, and inspirational. I loved every second of it. (Read on Audible)
DREAMS FROM MY FATHER by Barack Obama – The former president shares stories from his life as a young boy on O’ahu all the way up to his adult life as a community organizer in Chicago and a U.S. senator. It truly is a story of hope, and it’s a great complement to Mrs. Obama’s BECOMING. Must read! (Read on Audible)
YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes – This isn’t exactly an autobiography, but it’s close enough. I haven’t watched Ms. Rhimes’s shows, but I know who she is and what she stands for. I thoroughly enjoyed her positivity and wit. Her words changed my way of thinking about the world. (Read on Audible)
NORSE MYTHOLOGY by Neil Gaiman – I’m a huge fan of Mr. Gaiman’s “Sandman” comic series and have read several of his novels. I got a big kick out of his take on the Norse myths, and I especially enjoyed his narration. I loved this one so much, it inspired me to write my own series about the Norse gods. (Read on Audible)
Best Young Adult
SCYTHE by Neal Shusterman – Completely badass utopian story about a young lady and a young man who are chosen to become killers in a society where few people die. It’s disturbing, heart-breaking, and full of intrigue and action. (Read on Audible and Kindle)
THUNDER HEAD by Neal Shusterman – The follow-up to SCYTHE, this book takes the reader deeper into the world of Scythes, but now the intrigue level has spiked to the stratosphere. I can’t wait to get my hands on the last book in the series. (Read on Audible and Kindle)
SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo – This book is billed as young adult, but it seemed pretty adult to me. I had no idea what to expect. This heist story with a grungy, slightly dystopian twist left me with my jaw hanging open. I have CROOKED KINGDOM, the next book in the series, and hope to read it in 2019. (Read on Audible and Kindle)
Best Science Fiction
ESCAPOLOGY by Ren Warom – I’ve been a fan of Ms. Warom’s words since I had the privilege of working on an anthology with her in 2012. Her stories are complex and boast some of the richest, most beautiful language I’ve read. (Read on Kindle)
TANGLED by Emma Chase – I’m not a fan of most romances, but this one snuck up and jabbed me in the funny bone when I wasn’t looking. The smart-ass hero and his hilarious family had me laughing out loud and kept me in stitches. My favorite romance! (Read on Kindle)
Best Thriller/Tie for BEST BOOK OF 2018
THE PRICE YOU PAY by Aidan Truhen – This book. Holy hell, this book. It’s called a thriller, but I laughed my ass off all the way through. If you enjoy high-intensity stories infused with nonstop action and comedy, grab this book.
Disclaimer: The author doesn’t believe in quotation marks, so it takes a little while to adjust to the style, but for me, it was totally worth the minor inconvenience. (Read on Kindle)