I started 2018 with a goal to read and review 50 books, and as of today I’ve read 63. Because of the online community of readers and book-lovers, I’ve been exposed to so many new genres and authors that I’d never explored before. I want to share a list of the best books I’ve read this year and explain what it was that I loved so much about them. They cover a wide range of genres and topics, and each has something brilliantly original and beautiful to offer. If you haven’t read these incredible books this year, I highly recommend grabbing them from your local bookstore in 2019.
If your favourite book of the year isn’t on this list, please comment below so I can add it to my 2019 reading list. I love hearing from other readers and I love incorporating their favourite authors and genres into my own reading.
So, in no particular order, here are the best books I read in 2018:
“Milkman” by Anna Burns: This year’s Man Booker Prize winner did not disappoint. Set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles in the 1970s, Milkman tells the story of an unnamed 18-year-old woman who becomes a community pariah because of her habit of reading while walking. She is stalked by a paramilitary leader as she tries to navigate the tense, gossipy atmosphere of her community, and becomes increasingly isolated from those around her. Told with incredibly wit, insight and originality, Milkman is a truly amazing novel. Read my review here.
“Educated” by Tara Westover: In the standout memoir of the year, Tara Westover describes her childhood in the mountains of Idaho where she was raised by Mormon survivalist parents who wouldn’t allow her to attend school. Despite her start in life, Westover managed to earn a Ph.D. from Cambridge and forged a life for herself completely different from the one her family had envisioned for her. Read my review here.
“My Year of Rest and Relaxation” by Ottessa Moshfegh: In My Year of Rest and Relaxation literary star Ottessa Moshfegh introduces us to a 24-year-old New York City woman who hates the world so much that she decides to sleep for a year. It a hilarious, vulgar novel about apathy, mental illness, and human nature. Read my review here.
“Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou: Journalist John Carreyrou uncovers the secrets behind one of Silicon Valley’s most promising biotech startup companies, and the lengths it’s CEO went to to protect herself and her business partners. A nonfiction story that reads like a thriller, Bad Blood is an inside look at the bad side of business. Read my review here.
“The Red Word” by Sarah Henstra: Henstra’s searing depiction of sexual assault and gender relations at an unnamed Ivy League school in the 1990s is incredible. The Red Word, which reads like Greek mythology meets campus novel, is one of my favourite books of the year. It follows sophomore student Karen Huls as she moves into a house of radical feminists and learns from them about the dangerous history of her boyfriend’s fraternity. The Red Word is a startling and uncomfortable investigation into what it means to be a woman on campus, and how far those with differing ideologies will go to bring the other down. Read my full review here.
“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones: Praised by Oprah Winfrey herself, An American Marriage tells the story of a newlywed couple torn apart by the American criminal justice system. It’s heart-wrenching, devastating and absolutely beautiful. Read my review here.
“The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye”: In her stunning debut novel, Harriet Alida Lye takes us on a journey to a remote honey farm in Northern Ontario. Her main character, a young aspiring writer, works on the farm in exchange for room and board, and over the course of a summer begins to realize that something sinister is going on around her. Read my review here.
I’d like to end this post by thanking everyone for keeping up with my reading challenge this year. It has been a fun and exciting year, and I can’t wait to continue in 2019. Books have always been an escape for me, and being able to share my love of them with other people has been really special and lovely. If you’ve enjoyed reading my reviews and blog posts you can subscribe to my website in the sidebar. You’ll get one newsletter on the first of each month, and then updates when exciting comes out.
Thanks again and have a lovely new year!
Amazon links for all of the books can be found below: