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:
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.