Reading List: Favorite Books of 2018
(and a few duds)
Hello? There is a new blog post, whaaat? I know I don’t pop over here too much, but I hope you know, you can always find me over on instagram and (sometimes) facebook where I share more frequently. It is nice to have the blog to come back to every once in a while though to put some of my goals and thoughts down in print and to give myself a little accountability. Maybe sometimes I’ll even share something that may be of use or inspiration to someone else!
Last year I set 18 goals for 2018 and one of those goals was to read 24 books in the new year! Although I didn’t reach all of my 2018 goals, I did reach AND SURPASS my book reading goal! I read 30 books last year!!!
Since 95% of the books that I read come recommended from people who I admire/respect/trust, I figured I would pass my list on to you! Finding a good book to read is not always easy. I keep a running list of book recommendations in my phone, and then I put the e-book versions of them on hold at my local library to read on my kindle. I almost always have my kindle in my purse to squeeze in a few minutes of reading in the car line, or while I wait for an appointment. It’s not often that I get to sit down for long periods of reading, but you would be amazed at how much you can fit in when you always have something on hand. You can even get the Kindle app for your phone!
Now these are not all last year’s newest released best sellers. I am not up with the latest trends on pretty much anything these days, but I did read a lot of good books last year, so hopefully you can find something here to add to your list! I personally don’t like to know a lot about a book before I read it. All I need to know is that someone I trust liked it, so I will try not to say too much here unless I really loved something or wouldn’t recommend it at all, and then I’ll leave you to decide for yourself.
I listed the books based on how much I enjoyed them, rather than the order that I read them. I really wanted my favorite recommendations to be at the top. I did read a few super motivating and inspirational non-fiction books last year as well. Those are grouped together at the bottom. (This post also includes affiliate links. Anything that is purchased through one of these links helps to support my little blog with no additional cost to you!).
1. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – This was my favorite book of the year! Liane Moriarty is definitely my favorite author right now. The way she twists a story around and then ties up all the loose ends by the end of the book is so satisfying. She is also the author of Big, Little, Lies which I read last year and loved. If you are not a big reader or never know what to read, try one of her books, So Good.
2. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – I loved this book so much it’s hard to even know what to write. It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching and had me bawling my eyes out.
3. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman So good. So heartbreaking. So so good. I do just want to mention that it is a story that deals with infant loss for those that may be sensitive to that.
4. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – Memoir. This is one of those books that EVERYBODY was talking about a few years ago. I really loved it. I can’t believe that I haven’t seen the movie yet!
5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – Such a good story and now I want to move in with the Boatwright sisters and glue labels on honey jars all day!
6. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel – This was one of my favorites of the year. Definitely brought out some self reflecting, and tugged at my heartstrings as a mom. What kind of mom would you hope to be to a child that doesn’t fit into society’s neat little boxes?
7. Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos – Mrs. de los Santos was my teacher at DelTech in Delaware! She has now written multiple novels and is a New York Times best-selling author. I loved this book, and have added the rest of her collection to my waiting list at the library.
8. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – What would you do if you fell off a spin bike and all of sudden couldn’t remember the last ten years of your life? You are divorcing your husband who you thought you were still madly in love with and don’t remember your kids being born. This was another great one by Liane Moriarty.
9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This was a fun easy beach read.
10. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume – I read this book thinking some of the events seemed ridiculous, until I googled it and realized that although the story is fiction, it IS based on events in history that actually happened! Terrifying. And it’s Judy Blume!
11. Today Will Be Different by Marie Semple – Guys, I can barely remember this book, but in my notes on it I gave it 5 stars! Maybe read it and let me know if I was right? lol.
12. The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine – Girls can be cray-z, that is all.
13. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – This author does a good job of taking you inside difficult family relationships and expectations. This is such a sad book with such sad family dynamics.
14. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty – I don’t really get how the title correlates to the book, but I enjoyed the overall story. There is a little more back and forth in the storytelling than I would like and it often builds suspense just to leave you hanging for a while, but in true Moriarty fashion, all the secrets and mysterious behaviors are tied up and revealed by the end, which always leaves my mouth hanging open a bit.
15-19.The Selection by Kiera Cass– This is a 5 book young-adult series that I have heard described as “The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor.” It tells the story of 35 “common” women vying for the chance to become the next future queen. It came highly recommended from Sherry over at Young House Love AND by Rebekah Hoffer on The Sorta Awesome podcast. I read all 5 books, and enjoyed them, although I didn’t love that they switched the viewpoint from which the story is being told for books four and five. Since it is young-adult fiction, it is an easy read, and we’ve clearly proven over the last few years, that we love the fairytale idea of a commoner becoming a princess.
20. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson – This one is a little dark, a little suspenseful, a little hard to put down.
21. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Acimen You know when you’re a teenager and you become completely infatuated with someone to the point of almost stalking, no? just me? My inner 16-year-old could totally relate to this story, although my life was nowhere near as spicy, lol.
22. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – Suspenseful and keeps you guessing.
23. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng– An interesting look at family dynamics, living up to your parents ideals and what’s really going on behind the scenes of “perfect.”
24. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This was a tough read. It was such a beautiful story, but as someone who doesn’t often get to sit down for an hour to read, this was a bit slow to read 15 minutes at a time, with difficult names and language to process (based during World War II in Germany and occupied France).
25. This One is Mine by Maria Semple – So many unlikable characters, but you continue to root for them. This book was so-so.
26. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – This was the first book I read of the year, and it was the reason that chose to write this list in the order that I enjoyed them, rather than the order that I read them. I did enjoy this book, but it is way more sci-fi than I would normally ever read. It was interesting to read something totally different though, and this definitely was.
27. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout Meh. I felt like I was reading somebody’s journal and she wasn’t even sure if half of the stuff actually happened. I wasn’t a big fan of this one.
28. Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are, So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to To Be by Rachel Hollis – This book was EVERYWHERE in 2018. There was so much hype. Rachel Hollis really is refreshingly “real.” This book is a kick in the pants when you need someone to tell you just to go for it, and who doesn’t need that?
29. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – Very motivational if you are looking to live a more creative life. A little more woo-woo than I’m into, but there was still a lot to take from this book. Elizabeth Gilbert is the same author who wrote the extremely popular, Eat Pray Love.
30. Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist – This book wasn’t everything that I hoped it to be, but there was still a lot of helpful advice to pull from it.
That’s it, my whole list! Hopefully something sounded good or interesting to you! If you are not a big reader, but you wish you had “the time” to read, make it! Like I said earlier, you would be shocked at how much reading you can get done when you squeeze it into those extra minutes of your day. If you have time for social media, believe me, you have time to read, lol.
Does anybody else set reading goals for the year? I think my goal for this year, will just be to beat last year’s. That’s a lot of books… and I can’t wait! (yes, I am fully aware of how nerdy I sound). This year I will be sharing each book as I read it, through my stories on instagram (and maybe facebook if it’s easy enough). I will save them all to a “highlight” at the top of my feed, so you should always be able to find something good to read there!
Thanks for being here!