My Favorite Books from 2018!

More books! I’ve spent the last couple weeks curating and hashing over the details of this list. I have finally narrowed it down to my absolute favorites and I am so excited to share all of these books with you.

First the details of my year. I read a lot. A lot a lot. More than I’ve documented reading before, but I’ve also read sooo many amazing books this year. Here’s how they break down in various ways.

Random details

  • 138 total
  • 77 Fiction, 61 non-fiction
  • 109 by women, 30 by men
  • 44 books by authors of color, 94 by apparently white authors. (I want to do better here this year!)
  • 107 library copies, 17 review copies, 14 purchased new, thrifted, or found on cheap kindle deals.

Goals for 2019 Reading:

  • More diverse authors.
  • More of the books from my own bookshelf.

Here are a few of my favorites. There could be more, but I’ve narrowed it down to a couple dozen so your eyes don’t glaze over right away. The non-fiction is listed in the order in which I read it, fiction is loosely grouped genre/feeling. Enjoy!

Non-Fiction

Fiction

  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (YA) – navigating friendship, highschool and relationships while questioning social constructs around body image and assumptions about who can do what. This book was sweet, sassy, and hilarious. Such a body positive read and the audiobook is delightful (The narrator’s southern drawl is perfect). (In my opinion the content is appropriate for young adults, not young teens.)
  • If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim – Tragic, honest, This is a story about young woman finding her way after becoming a refugee during the Korean war. Motherhood, womanhood, mental health, family. I was rooting for this story.
  • A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza – This book is just as good as the hype. The second fifty pages were slow for me, but the next 200 went by in a flash. A beautiful story of family dynamics, cultures, and family history.
  • Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa – Glad I picked it up on a whim! A charming story about learning a craft, tradition, relationships between generations and carrying on. Set in modern day Japan and translated from Japanese. This one was such a pleasure to read.
  • The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – (Middle Grade Fiction) Such a lovely story. History, hard reality faced with persistent hop, good strong kid characters with grownups who emphasize their inherent worth and belonging. There are some difficult plot lines driven by a terrible mother, but the other adults in the story make up for it. I’d recommend these to any human who can handle a three hundred page book.
  • The Crescent Stone by Matt Mikalatos – YA fantasy. A fascinating story. It reminded me all the same time of Neverwhere, Narnia, and The Phantom Toll Booth. I am looking forward to the sequel later this year!
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – fantasy, magic, politics, sociology, some similarity to history history with a firebrand heroine. It is a very lively tale and I would read it again.
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – This. was. magic. I want more like this – Culture + Fantasy + Well-done relationships! A fantasy/dystopian world set in China with all the surrounding cultural history.  The second book comes out this August!
  • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R Pan – about a teenager dealing with the loss of her mother to depression told through a magical collision of memory, present day, raw emotions, and fascinating surrealism. Stunning, devasting, brilliant, and beautiful.
  • The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Perveen Mistry Novel) by Sujata Massey – Another series I will be happy to follow up on. The story of three muslim widows living in purdah and their female lawyer who, particularly motivated by her own past, hopes to solve the mystery surrounding their estate. Really intense at times, but I love a chance to look into another time and culture with strong notes of feminism and women doing the job. If you like Louise Penny, this is for you.

These are just a few of my very favorite books from the year! What’s a favorite book you read last year? Any reading goals? Any questions about my reading habits?

Bonus Material: My favorite books from 2017 and 2016: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Memoirs, and A Few Extras.

(Disclaimers: I received a few of these as review copies, but all my devotion and opinions are my own. And: If you purchase something through my Amazon Affiliate links I might receive a small commission. Thanks!)

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