Wow! We’re in that funny time between Christmas and New Years where we don’t know what day it is or what we’re even supposed to be doing. And I’ve hardly had time to breathe, much less clean my house or write in this here blog the past few days. It’s been a whirlwind of just holiday madness I guess.
I wish it wasn’t like that. I keep trying to slow down, be mindful and find some peace and quiet. Right now my kids are busy making slime. (What is it with that stuff?? Tell me! I want to know!) And I’m not sure I’ll have another chance before the new year to share the best novels I read in 2018 so I wanted to do it here and now.
The FIVE Best Novels I Read in 2018
Gold Fame Citrus – This popped out at me from a bookshelf in a bookshop on the island of Grand Cayman. Does that ever happen to you? Suddenly a book seems to just command your attention? The premise: dystopian drought engendered apocalypse. Not my typical read. But, when I was finished, and someone asked me if I’d liked it I sat with the question for a moment and then realized that yes, yes, I’d liked it quite a bit.
The Wonder – This also called out to me at the aforementioned bookshop (Books and Books) on Grand Cayman. This was by far my favorite novel of 2018. It is the story of a young, poor Irish girl who goes on a hunger strike (or does she)? Is she a miracle child destined for sainthood? Or is something sinister at work here?
Little Fires Everywhere – I read this as an ARC before it was released. And I liked it. Our reps had told us that it would be an Indie Next pick and the subject matter sounded interesting to me. I grew up on a farm in northeast Ohio and knew a little about Shaker Heights. There is a lot going on here. But, if you haven’t read it I do believe it is/was worth the hype.
My Absolute Darling – Another ARC that was getting lots of great reviews from reps, etc. Pretty disturbing, dark subject matter but the author draws such a vivid portrait of the family’s decrepitude intertwined with the tangled beauty of Mendocino that you can’t help but keep reading.
The Dinner – Wow, not what I was expecting. Such an excellent way to present the story. This was a hot book for a while. We couldn’t keep it on the shelf, which is why I took the plunge. Definitely engaging and equally disturbing. In fact, all of these books are disturbing in their own right, which begs the question…what is a novel but not “disturbing” on some level?
And there you have it – the top five novels I read in 2018.
In 2019 I’m joining the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! It’s without a doubt (of course imho) the very best reading challenge out there. Created and written by Rachel Manwill, you’re not only offered 24 challenges (two per month!! you can do it!) like “a book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character” (The White Bone!!!) and “a book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse,” but Manwill provides short lists of suggestions. I’m excited about this and hope you’ll join me!