14 December 2018

8 Best Books of 2018

I know we’re not quite halfway through December and there’s still plenty of reading time left. Still, I thought I’d share my best of the year list today.

I haven’t divided my selections into audiobooks and print or into genres. And what’s more, I have only 8 titles on my 2018 list. Although I read plenty of books I liked and many I’d recommend, when I went through my reviews, these are the books that really jumped out and made me say, "Oh, yeah—that was a great book."

So here, in alphabetical order, are my top 8 reads of the year. The links lead to my reviews/thoughts.

  • Best books of 2018 from Beth Fish ReadsThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press): a novel set in Alaska in the 1970s. I liked the difficult themes (PTSD, domestic violence) and the tribute to the stark and beautiful Alaskan landscape.
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books): a novel about a group of special-needs sixth graders, set in New York. Through the voices of the children we learn how many of the larger contemporary social issues affect even the most innocent.
  • The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara (Ecco): a novel set in New York at the start of the AIDS epidemic (based on true events). A heartbreaking story of the Latino ball scene and the boys and men who were rejected by their families and society, left resource-less with few options for survival.
  • How Long ’Til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit): a collection of short stories; speculative fiction. The powerful and fully realized pieces in this book explore feminism, fertility, being different, motherhood, and other themes universal to Jemisin’s work.
  • Best books of 2018 from Beth Fish ReadsI’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (Harper Books): investigative journalism; true crime. An engaging yet graphic account of the search for the Golden State Killer; includes details on the crimes, victims, and suspects.
  • Look Alive Out There by Sloan Crosley (Macmillan): a collection of personal essays. Through sharp observations and a dose of humor, Crosley explores adulting in contemporary New York.
  • Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth (Harper Books): a novel set in the Australian outback in the late 19th century. A coming-of-age story of two very different brothers finding their place in a harsh world in the aftermath of a family tragedy.
  • Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison (Viking): a novel set in Rocky Mountains in the 1880s. The story of survival, choices, and consequences as a young woman searches for her brother, an outlaw with a bounty on his head. A fresh look at the lawless American west.

13 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 12/14/18, 6:16 AM  

Lots of good stuff there! I don't think Jacqueline Woodson ever makes a wrong note; not surprised she is on your list!

bermudaonion 12/14/18, 7:35 AM  

My wish list groans this time of year. You have several on here I want to read. I haven't even started to think of my best of 2018 yet because I think I have another book or two in me.

Daryl 12/14/18, 8:04 AM  

interesting choices ...

Tina 12/14/18, 9:50 AM  

Definitely want to get that Paul Howarth book for next year as I may join the Australian reading challenge again.

I had avoided Kristin Hannah books as I thought they were romance! The premise of this one sounds great.

Sherry Fundin 12/14/18, 10:20 AM  

Love the post and I will be looking into some of those books.
sherry @ fundinmental

JoAnn 12/14/18, 10:23 AM  

I love this time of year! A couple of these books are new to me and have been added to my list.

Vicki 12/14/18, 2:00 PM  

I've barely skimmed my list of books for this year but plan on picking 10 for my "Best Of 2018" list. I loved Harbor Me.

Greg 12/15/18, 1:32 AM  

Whiskey When We're dry sounds great, I think that would be super interesting. Look Alive Out There sounds interesting too. Gonna make note of both of these since they're on your Best Of list!

Sue Jackson 12/15/18, 9:32 AM  

Great list! I agree on The Great Alone and Look Alive Out There - guess I have some catching up to do on the others! I especially want to read the Jacqueline Woodson one.

Glad you had a good reading year! Thanks for sharing your favorites!

Sue

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 12/17/18, 7:34 AM  

I really liked I'll Be Gone in the Dark and the Crosley essays! Neither made my best of the year list, but they were both solid 4 stars for me!
But, I have to disagree on The Great Alone - haha!

Susie | Novel Visits 12/17/18, 8:39 AM  

Several of these I've not read and may need to take a closer look at, especially Only Killers and Thieves. It's one I've looked at several times, but kept passing on. I liked The Great Alone, except for the last 50 pages and then it got too neat and tidy for me. Fun list!

Lisa notes... 12/17/18, 11:39 AM  

Love seeing your list. I have Kristin Hannah's book on hold at my library. Hopefully it'll become available soon. I'm off now to look up Harbor Me!

(Diane) bookchickdi 12/18/18, 8:27 AM  

This is a great list, I put The Great Alone on my most compelling books of 2018. Happy Holidays!

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