I read 43 books this year, many of which I enjoyed. I also love attending book club each month; we alternate between fiction and non-fiction. Speaking of which, this year I read 17 fiction books to 26 nonfiction books. Of those 17, I only enjoyed six of them, all of which were mystery/suspense/spy/thriller novels. Goal for 2019: more seriously vet my fiction book choices!
Below are my six favorite books of 2018. Unsurprisingly, I enjoyed more nonfiction books, but I make sure to include my two favorite mysteries of the year. I end with a short paragraph about my least favorite books.
Favorite Books of 2018
Becoming, by Michelle Obama
This book was the best selling book of 2018 and it came out in NOVEMBER! I love memoirs, and memoirs of powerful, inspiring women top the list. It was also fascinating to get behind the scenes info on living in the White House and learn more about our 44th president as a person. Y’all. I bought four copies of it.
Yes, We (Still) Can, by Dan Pfeiffer
From my Five Faves: Dan Pfeiffer served as the Director for White House communications under President Obama and is now a host of Pod Save America. This book gave an inside perspective about the Obama White House, what happened in 2016, and where progressives can go from here. His optimism about the future of politics was refreshing.
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
A book like this could easily come across as preachy or corny, but it wasn’t. Rubin shared the month-by-month approach she took to be happier. I found this to be a fun Spring Break read and tried to implement some of her ideas (e.g., stop reading books I don’t enjoy).
To Shake the Sleeping Self, by Jedidiah Jenkins
After listening to Jenkins’ interview on Sounds Good with Branden Harvey, I began following him on social media. I like his personal vibe, and after following the writing and publishing process, I wanted to support him. I also love memoirs, so I had a feeling I would enjoy this book about Jenkins’ bike ride from Oregon to Patagonia.
The Woman in the Window, by AJ Finn
I had to include this book because suspense/mystery is my favorite genre and I could not put this book down! However, I recommended this book to a friend and she hated it. She couldn’t get past how annoying the main character was, which I kind of understand. It has a Girl on the Train vibe, but I liked this book better.
The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith
This was my first foray into Robert Galbraith (a.k.a., post HP JK Rowling). After hearing terrible reviews of The Casual Vacancy, I was pleasantly surprised with this crime noir. The same girl who didn’t like The Woman in the Window recommended this book to me and I loved it; evidently she knows my preferences better than I know hers.
Least Favorite Books of 2018
I don’t want to trash any books because everyone likes something different. As evidence, many of the books I disliked are critically acclaimed. However, I just had to get a few of these off my chest and hope for better in 2019!
The Girls, by Emma Cline (just weird). Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (I don’t like dystopian/apocalypse books). Force of Nature, by Jane Harper (I did enjoy her other book, The Dry). But What If We’re Wrong, by Chuck Klosterman (a good premise, but it was repetitive and I failed to see a tangible takeaway). Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, by Alida Nugent (truly the worst book I read this year, and I LOVE self help books…don’t read to be inspired or even laugh). The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang (I knew how it would end the entire time and I was caught off guard by the light erotica). The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica (this book was not good, but it was lent to me by a friendly flight attendant after I lost my Kindle on the first leg of my trip to Europe).
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