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Please Pardon My Absence

My husband and I will be traveling internationally until mid May 2019. During that time our internet access will be limited and SLOW. I’ll try to post periodically, but new posts will probably be few and far between.

However, I will try to catch up by publishing back-dated posts after we get home in late May. I hope you’ll check for new posts periodically but won’t give up if you don’t see anything new for a while.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.

The Classics Club Spin #20

It’s time for another CC Spin, The Classics Club Spin #20. Yes, this is the event that made me decide it was time to redo my entire Classics Club list. This spin is based on that new list.

Here’s the procedure: By Monday, April 22nd, I am to create a list of 20 books from my Classics Club list and post it here. On Monday the CC bloggers will choose and post the lucky number. I must then read the book with that number from my spin list by May 31st.

Check back here next week for the announcement of which book I’ll be reading.

  1. Brookner, Anita. Hotel Du Lac
  2. Jackson, Shirley. Just an Ordinary Day: Stories
  3. Highsmith, Patricia. The Tremor of Forgery
  4. Cather, Willa. O Pioneers!
  5. Styron, William. Darkness Visible
  6. McEwan, Ian. Atonement
  7. Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  8. Rendell, Ruth. The Crocodile Bird
  9. Agee, James. A Death in the Family
  10. Sarton, May. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
  11. Howard, Elizabeth Jane. The Long View
  12. Piercy, Marge. Woman on the Edge of Time
  13. Connell, Evan S. Mr. Bridge
  14. James, Henry. The Beast in the Jungle
  15. Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment
  16. Wharton, Edith. Ghost Stories
  17. Jewett, Sarah Orne. The Country of the Pointed Firs
  18. Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd
  19. O’Neill, Eugene. The Iceman Cometh
  20. Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

 

Update: The Lucky Number Is . . .

Number 19!

So I will be reading The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill. I never think to grab a play to read (probably because there are very few plays on my shelves), so this is a good thing.

Look for my review some time before May 31st.

New Classics Club List

A recent call for a Classics Club Spin reminded me that I need to re-examine my Classics Club commitment. When I originally signed up for the Classics Club back in March 2014, I put together a list of just over 50 books that I pledged to read by March 1, 2019.

Well, that date has come and gone, and I’ve read fewer than half of those books. Even when I made an effort to go back and look at that list to choose the book I’d read next, I usually couldn’t find something that appealed to me. These are the books from that original list that I managed to read over the last five years:

1. Adams, Richard. Watership Down
2. Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio
3. Brink, Carol Ryrie. Caddie Woodlawn
4. Burns, Olive. Cold Sassy Tree
5. Jackson, Shirley. We Have Always Lived in the Castle
6. Joyce, James. Dubliners
7. Koestler, Arthur. Darkness at Noon
8. Masters, Edgar Lee. Spoon River Anthology
9. Miller, Walter M., Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz
10. Montgomery, L.M. Anne of Green Gables
11. Morley, Christopher. Parnassus on Wheels
12. Pym, Barbara. Excellent Women
13. Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea
14. Smith, Dodie. I Capture the Castle
15. Steinbeck, John. Cannery Row
16. Steinbeck, John. Tortilla Flat
17. Tarkington, Booth. The Magnificent Ambersons
18. Vonnegut, Kurt. Slaughterhouse Five
19. Williams, Tennessee. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
20. Yates, Richard. Revolutionary Road

I’ve simply run out of entries on that list that appeal to me any more.

Consequently, I’ve decided to scratch the original list and start over again. During the past few years I’ve filled my Kindle with about 1,300 books, most of which I chose because they sounded interesting when they came up on my daily emails of bargain offerings. When I took a look at those ebooks, I discovered many of them are literary classics.

Here, then, is my brand new Classics Club list. It includes mostly new titles, though I’ve also included a few from the original list that I still want to read.

My New clasics club list

Start date: May 1, 2019
Completion date: May 1, 2024

1. Agee, James. A Death in the Family
2. Auchincloss, Louis. Last of the Old Guard
3. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice
4. Baker, Nicholson. The Mezzanine
5. Borges, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths
6. Bradbury, Ray. Dandelion Wine
7. Brookner, Anita. Hotel Du Lac
8. Caspary, Vera. Bedilia
9. Cather, Willa. O Pioneers!
10. Christie, Agatha. Crooked House
11. Connell, Evan S. Mr. Bridge
12. Connell, Evan S. Mrs. Bridge
13. Didion, Joan. Play It As It Lays
14. Dos Passos, John. Manhattan Transfer
15. Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment
16. Eliot, George. Middlemarch
17. Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom!
18. Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
19. Greene, Graham. Brighton Rock
20. Hardy, Thomas. Far From the Madding Crowd
21. Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom the Bell Tolls
22. Highsmith, Patricia. The Tremor of Forgery
23. Howard, Elizabeth Jane. The Long View
24. Jackson, Shirley. Just an Ordinary Day: Stories
25. James, Henry. The Ambassadors
26. James, Henry. The Beast in the Jungle
27. Jewett, Sarah Orne. The Country of the Pointed Firs
28. Kosinski, Jerzy. The Painted Bird
29. Lessing, Doris. The Golden Notebook
30. Lowry, Malcolm. Under the Volcano
31. March, William. The Bad Seed
32. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. One Hundred Years of Solitude
33. Matheson, Richard. I Am Legend
34. McCarthy, Cormac. All the Pretty Horses
35. McEwan, Ian. Atonement
36. Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire
37. Nabokov, Vladimir. Pnin
38. Oates, Joyce Carol. With Shuddering Fall
39. O’Neill, Eugene. The Iceman Cometh
40. Piercy, Marge. He, She and It
41. Piercy, Marge. Woman on the Edge of Time
42. Proust, Marcel. In Search of Lost Time, vol. 1
43. Rendell, Ruth. The Crocodile Bird
44. Sarton, May. As We Are Now
45. Sarton, May. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
46. Stegner, Wallace. The Spectator Bird
47. Styron, William. Darkness Visible
48. Styron, William. Lie Down in Darkness
49. Tevis, Walter. The Man Who Fell to Earth
50. Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle
51. Wharton, Edith. Ghost Stories
52. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway
53. Wyndham, John. The Day of the Triffids

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

A Sea Change: Coming Home Early

We were scheduled to return home from our world cruise on May 11, but during late March, while we were visiting Australia, I began to feel what I thought was the start of a sinus infection. The ship’s doctor said, “No, I think you have something wrong in your tooth.” He sent me to a dentist in Albany, Western Australia, who really tried to help me but finally admitted that my situation, an abscessed tooth, was more than she could deal with. “You need to see a specialist,” she told me. 

The doctor and the dentist each prescribed a different antibiotic, and the two medications soon reduced the infection enough that I was no longer in pain. But the dentist emphasized that there was no way to tell when the infection would flare up again. At that time we were about to embark on a 7-day at-sea cruise across the Indian Ocean toward Africa, during which I would have been unable to get off the ship. We therefore had to make a decision quickly, and we chose to come home to see a specialist. 

We left the ship in Perth, Australia, and, after two horrendously long flights, arrived home on Friday evening, March 29th. We had gotten no sleep overnight and therefore slept most of Saturday morning. When I called the dentist’s office on Saturday afternoon to see about getting an appointment, I was surprised to get a recording informing me that the office closes at noon on Saturdays; it never occurred to me that a dentist’s office wouldn’t be open all day Saturday.

Yesterday (Monday) morning I got in to see the dentist, and that tooth has now been gone for a little over 24 hours. (Recovery will involve a lot of time sitting around reading.) We had been scheduled for a 3-day, 2-night wildlife excursion in South Africa, which I’m sad about missing. An African safari is still on my bucket list, so that will have to be the basis for a future journey. 

If I had to have some medical condition, an abscessed tooth was probably a relatively good thing to have. Last year we had 7 or 8 broken legs on the world cruise. I’m glad I didn’t have to negotiate the long flights home while in a wheelchair.

Life lesson learned: Always purchase trip insurance.

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

My Reading Plan for 2019

I’m going to be a bit less formal in my reading plan for 2019 than I was last year.

First, because I read so many books last year, I’m boldly going to increase my annual Goodreads challenge to 50 books for 2019.

Second, I’m going to avoid any other particular reading challenges and instead just encourage myself to read in the following categories:

    • translations
    • science fiction
    • speculative fiction
    • memoir
    • biography
    • general nonfiction
    • plays
    • poetry
    • books by local authors
    • books by people of color or about other cultures

Third, I’m going to make the effort to cross off at least four titles from my original Classics Club list.

What about you?

Do you devise a reading plan at the beginning of a new year, or do you prefer to choose books as you go along?

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

The Best Books I Read in 2018

As with all my annual reading lists, this one comprises books I read in 2018, regardless of when they were published.

In past years I’ve limited my list to 15 books, broken down into the best (10) and honorable mention (5). This year I found it particularly hard to distinguish between those two divisions. I was tempted to present just a single list of 15 items, but, because of that hobgoblin of little minds—consistency—I did subdivide it. However, I won’t mind if you think of this presentation as a single list of 15 items.

Listed alphabetically by author’s last name:

The Best

  • Connelly,Michael. Dark Sacred Night
  • Ferrante, Elena. My Brilliant Friend
  • Galbraith,Robert. Lethal White
  • Grann, David. Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Mandel, Emily St. John. Station Eleven
  • Marra, Anthony. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
  • Ng, Celeste. Little Fires Everywhere
  • Piercy, Marge. Gone to Soldiers
  • Stein, Garth. The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • Thomas, Angie. The Hate U Give

Honorable Mention

  • Benjamin,Chloe. The immortalists
  • Follett, Ken. A Column of Fire
  • Ford, Jamie. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • French, Tana. The Witch Elm
  • Harper, Jane. Force of Nature

How about you?

Did you read any of the same books I did in 2018? If yes, what did you think of them?

And what’s on your list of the best books you read in 2018?

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

Did I Fulfill My Reading Plan for 2018?

Back in January I put together My Reading Plan for 2018. My follow-through has been mixed: I overly fulfilled some intentions but failed woefully in others.

Reading Challenges

Goodreads Challenge

I crushed my Goodreads challenge to read 45 books by knocking off 63.

Here, according to Goodreads, are my additional statistics for 2018:

  • I read 22,380 pages across 63 books.
  • The longest book I read was A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, at 927 pages.
  • The average length of my books was 355 pages.
  • My average rating was 3.7.
  • The most popular book I read was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which was read by a total of 659,539 people.
  • The least popular book I read was Cash McCall (1955) by Cameron Hawley, which was read by a grand total of 51 people (and I’m surprised the number is that high).
  • Of all the books I read, the one with the highest overall rating on Goodreads is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, with a rating of 4.56—which doesn’t surprise me at all. It was THAT good.

Finally, a number of the books I read every year are unabridged audiobooks. I’m not sure whether their page equivalents are included in Goodread’s algorithm for total pages read or not.

Off the Shelf’s 18 Reading Resolutions for 2018

(1) Read more books by women

Although this intention leads off this challenge, I didn’t much worry about it or even track the titles I read that fulfill it because I always read a lot of books by women—not by conscious intention, but because many women write in the fictional genres that I primarily read, mysteries and psychological thrillers.

(2) Read more diverse books

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I need to do much better on this one in the future.

(3) Read a book more than 500 pages

I am not afraid of Big Books.

  • A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, 927 pages
  • Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy, 703 pages
  • Penmarric by Susan Howatch, 704 pages
  • The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons, 624 pages
  • Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, 647 pages

(4) Read a book written by someone under the age of 35

  • My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
  • The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

(5) Read a book written by someone over the age of 65

  • A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

(6) Read a collection of short stories

None

(7) Read more nonfiction

I find it hard to believe, but I read only one work of nonfiction this year: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann.

(8) Read a novel based on a real person

  • A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, based on the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth and some of her supporters

(9) Read a collection of poetry

  • Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

(10) Read a book about an unfamiliar culture

  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

(11) Read a book from a genre you might not normally read

  • Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart (romantic suspense)
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (science fiction)
  • The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North (fantasy, or at least some variety of speculative fiction)
  • The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons (ditto)

(12) Read a book by a local author

  • The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • The Writer by D.W. Ulsterman
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

(13) Read a book about mental health

  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay

(14) Read a “guilty pleasure” book

  • My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart
  • Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
  • Penmarric by Susan Howatch

(15) Read a book with an LGBTQ theme

  • Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy

(16) Read a book to learn something new

Most people would assume that this category refers exclusively to nonfiction. But I gained a lot of factual knowledge from fiction this year:

  • A Column of Fire by Ken Follett taught me about the Elizabethan era, particularly about the origin of espionage and the political machinations involved in acquiring and maintaining power.
  • The epic Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy taught me about World War II, especially the French Resistance.
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra taught me about the Russian invasion of Chechnya, about which I had known almost nothing.

(17) Read an inspirational memoir

Alas, I didn’t read any new memoirs this year, although reading Dorothy Allison’s autobiographical novel Bastard Out of Carolina felt like reading a memoir.

(18) Read a book you’ve had on your shelf for years but haven’t gotten to yet

  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
  • Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Personal Reading Goals

In an effort to read outside of my usual comfort zone (primarily psychological novels), I planned to read some of these types of books in 2018:

translations

  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein
  • The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante, trans. by Ann Goldstein

science fiction

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

biography

None

fantasy

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (at least it’s speculative fiction)
  • The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August by Claire North (ditto)
  • The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons (ditto)
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (talking dogs are fantasy, right?)

plays

None

poetry

  • Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

The Classics Club

I had planned to tick off six items this year, but I only managed three:

  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
  • Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

 

© 2019 by Mary Daniels Brown

Remembering Those We Lost in 2018

Preparing the annual list of people from the writing whom we lost over the year is the least favorite of my year-end blogging tasks. Rereading the list always painfully takes my breath away.

Ursula K. Le Guin, 1/22

Barbara Wersba, 2/18

Lisa Garcia Quiroz, 3/16

Philip Kerr, 3/23

Anita Shreve, 3/29

Drue Heinz, 3/30

Sergio Pitol, 4/12

Joan Chase, 4/17

Alice Provensen, 4/23

Edwin G. Burrows, 5/4

Peter Mayer

Tom Wolfe, 5/14

Tom Murphy, 5/15

Philip Roth, 5/22

Richard Peck, 5/23

Philippe de Baleine, 6/7

Nina Baym, 6/15

Donald Hall, 6/23

Anne Tolstoi Wallach, 6/27

Harlan Ellison, 6/28

Christine Nöstlinger, 6/28

Jessica Mann, 7/10

Patricia Hermes, 7/11

Anne Olivier Bell, 7/18

Betty Miles, 7/19

Burt Britton, 7/21

Judith Appelbaum, 7/25

Vladimir Voinovich, 8/3

Anita Miller, 8/4

Anya Krugovoy Silver, 8/6

V.S. Naipaul, 8/11

John Calder, 8/13

Tom Clark, 8/18

Carie Freimuth, 8/19

Hanna Mina, 8/21

Neil Simon, 8/26

Peter Corris, 8/30

Amanda Kyle Williams, 8/31

Stephen Jeffreys, 9/17

Judith Kazantzis, 9/18

David Wong Louie, 9/19

Evelyn Anthony, 9/25

Dave Anderson, 10/4

Lee Hochman, 10/6

Kate Dopirak, 10/10

Anthea Bel, 10/18

Todd Bol, 10/18

Tony Hoagland, 10/23

Ntozake Shange, 10/27

María Irene Fornés, 10/30

Jin Yong, 10/30

Christopher Lehmann-Haup, 11/7

Juris Jurjevics, 11/7

Janet Paisley, 11/9

Donald McCaig, 11/11

Stan Lee, 11/12

Fernando del Paso, 11/14

William Goldman, 11/16

James H. Billington, 11/20

Meena Alexander, 11/21

Andrei Bitov, 12/3

Justin Cartwright, 12/3

Meng Lang, 12/12

Amos Oz, 12/28

Jane Langton, 12/22

© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown

New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out

Source: New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out – The New York Times

This coming year marks the first time in two decades that a large body of copyrighted works will lose their protected status — a shift that will have profound consequences for publishers and literary estates, which stand to lose both money and creative control.

But it will also be a boon for readers, who will have more editions to choose from, and for writers and other artists who can create new works based on classic stories without getting hit with an intellectual property lawsuit.

Best Books of 2018: More Lists

Related Post:

The Best of the Bunch: Bookish’s Favorite Books from 2018

THE 2018 OSCARS, BUT FOR BOOKS

The Oscars (but less white and for books) is in its second year here at Book Riot, and we’re honoring the best of the best 2018 releases in Hollywood fashion!

Fiction Faves: Novels and Stories to Read Over the Holidays

From Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN, USA.

The Best Books of the Year

This list from Barnes & Noble includes these categories:

  • fiction
  • young adult
  • young reader
  • thrillers & suspense
  • best books (apparently an inclusive category that contains both fiction and nonfiction)

World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2018

Best books of 2018: Young Adult

From BookPage:

The year’s best young adult books aren’t just for teen readers. Read on for our favorite immersive historicals, sweeping fantasies, stories that tackle some of today’s most headline-grabbing social issues and more.

Best Books of 2018: Children’s Books

Also from BookPage:

Although the year has been a challenging one, the effervescent world of children’s literature has been filled with diverse voices, messages of hope and plenty of silliness. Here are our editors’ picks for the 30 best children’s books of 2018.

The Best Historical Fiction Books of 2018

From BookBub

BOOK RIOT’S BEST OF THE BACKLIST 2018

Most “best books of the year” lists prepared by the publishing profession include only books published during the year in question. But this list uses the same approach I use every year for my own list of “best books read”: It includes the best books people read during the year, no matter when the books were published.

And this list earns bonus points for including one of my Top 5 Novels of All Time.

The Best Backlist Books We Read in 2018

Here’s another list like the one above.

Readers’ Regrets: The Books We Wish We Read in 2018

It’s comforting to know that even professional reviewers can’t keep up with the staggering number of new books published every year.

Four Books That Deserved More Attention in 2018

Here’s another variant on the “best books of the year” round-up.

Editors’ Picks: Highlights From a Year in Reading

Cal Flyn—writer, journalist and the deputy editor of _Five Books_—lists the 10 best books she read this year.

Goodreads Staffers’ Top Three Books of the Year

We’ve already looked at the Goodreads Readers’ Choice Awards. Here, several Goodreads staff members each share the top three books they read this year.

The Best Science Books Of 2018

From the folks at Science Friday.

The Best Food Books of 2018

From The New Yorker.

Marilyn Stasio Plays Bad Santa in This Holiday Crime Column

Because I like mystery/thriller/crime novels, I can’t resist offering you this list by Marilyn Stasio, mystery reviewer for The New York Times:

Ho-Ho-Ho, kiddies. Here comes Bad Santa with another gift sack filled with mysteries, crime stories and body parts. Ugh, what’s that gooey red stuff dripping out of Santa’s bag? Not to worry, just some melted candy canes. Now, on to this year’s rundown of the best Good Books for Bad Grown-Ups.

See who wins her awards in categories like “most original murder method” and “most unprintable dialogue.”

CRIME FICTION SUPERLATIVES: THE BEST AND MOST OF 2018

Here’s another list similar to Marilyn Stasio’s. The categories here also vary widely: “best title,” “most studious,” “best conspiracy,” “best use of new media,” “Rotary Club Award for new small business owners.”

Favorite Books of 2018

A beautiful list from the inimitable Maria Popova of Brain Pickings.

Best Thrillers and Crime Fiction 2018: The Critics’ Picks

Again, because I like crime fiction, here’s a list from Books in the Media:

Our team have collated the best of the year selections from the following publications: The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The New York Times, Evening Standard, The Spectator, Daily Mail, Financial Times and Slate.

There are some titles here that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

The Best Thrillers Of 2018, According To One Of The Best Crime Writers

The Real Lolita author Sarah Weinman on the crime writing that burrowed deep into her psyche and stayed there for a long, long time

THE BEST NOIR FICTION OF 2018

From CrimeReads:

Trends in this year’s noir releases include a revival of PI stories and classic hard-boiled tales of the “starts bad, gets worse” type; rural noir continued to make a strong showing, while procedurals featured a wide variety of protagonists, arrayed along a vast scale of crooked to incorruptible. Noir tends to be the crime world’s voice of conscience, fully on display in many of the works below, and the prominent presence of 1970s settings harkens back to the last great era of conspiracy fiction. To make our selection process more reader-friendly, we divided our selections into three categories: Private Eyes, Police / Procedural, and that most ineffable, expansive, and existential of labels: straight-up Noir.

Criminal Element’s Best Books of 2018

The staff of Criminal Element choose their favorites.

THE BEST PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS OF 2018

It was a banner year for psychological thrillers, with Trump-induced anxieties and #metoo stories entering into prominence in a genre already concerned with dangers at home. It’s no surprise that two years after the election, a mess of crime novels newly focused on the psychology of betrayal and the effects of toxic masculinity, but it did come as a bit of a surprise to see several novels that fit in perfectly with the #metoo era, and we’re sure to see many more over the coming years. As has been the trend for the past few years, psychological thrillers have shifted towards exploring relationships between women as much, if not more, than the domestic interactions that were once the subgenre’s bread and butter (so much so that for a few years, the crime world was inundated by the aptly named sub-sub-genre of domestic suspense).

Editors’ Picks: Favourite Nonfiction of 2018

There are many interesting entries on this list by journalist and Five Books editor Sophie Roell.

More Books We Loved in 2018

More from The New Yorker.

The Best Books of 2018 (So Far)

From  Town & Country magazine.

Readers’ Choice: The Top 25 Most Shelved Books of the Year!

Off the Shelf is a web site that allows users to set up their own shelves on which to place books they want to read. This list includes the books that readers most often placed on their shelves.

Crime fiction: The best mysteries and thrillers of 2018, part 1

Adam Woog, crime and mystery fiction reviewer for The Seattle Times, lists some of his favorites of 2018. He promises part 2 of his list in his first column of 2019, which should show up on the second Sunday of January.

From me, Woog gets bonus points for describing Tana French, author of the recent hit The Witch Elm, as “ a ridiculously talented Irish writer.” That she is.

10 Poets On Their Favorite Poetry Collections Of 2018

From BuzzFeed News.

Year in review: The best books of 2018

This extensive list from John McMurtrie, book editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, contains both fiction and nonfiction.

The Best of 2018: The Top 10 Book Lists of the Year

To feed the need for a meta fix, Off the Shelf lists its lists from 2018 that drew the most reader responses.

34 of This Year’s Highest Rated Books on BookBub

To mark the end of the year, we’re looking back at the books that BookBub members enjoyed the most in 2018. With an average of over 4.5 stars each, these books are tried and true reader favorites across all genres.

26 of the Best Debut Novels of 2018

I was a bit surprised to see that a lot of these debut novels are also on a lot of “best of 2018” lists.

The Observer: Best books of 2018

Includes graphic novels, music, politics & history, art, poetry, fiction, society, cookbooks, tech, theatre, architecture, thrillers, photography, and science.

BEST EPIGRAPHS OF 2018

OK, this is not a list of the year’s best books, but it may lead you to some new books from this year. Epigraphs are those little quotations from earlier writers that are often featured on one of the opening pages of a newer work. Epigraphs are easy to overlook, but they often lead to new insights about the work. And they’re often more meaningful if we look back at them after we’ve finished the book. Imagine the possibilities.

And finally, let’s look forward:

The 10 Most Anticipated Books Of 2019, According To Independent Bookstores

Including Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale.

LIT HUB’S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019

here are Literary Hub’s most anticipated books of 2019 (so far)—look out for another installment this summer. NB: All dates listed subject to change at the whims of the publishers in question.

Books 2019: Which top fiction picks will you choose?

8 brilliant book series to start your 2019 off right

The titles here aren’t newly published books, but rather first-in-a-series books to get you started reading in 2019.

 

© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown