This is always such a tough post to write. How am I supposed to narrow things down? I’ve read so many great books this past year, how do I choose which to include on this list? Well, this is going to be a long list, so I’m breaking it up into three sections. (This is how I justify having a long list, hahahaha! Ahem.) There will be two top ten lists followed by my overall top five books of 2018!
Top Ten Favorite Books Published in 2018
Putting together this list, one thing I’ve come to realize is that there’s been an impressive number of excellent debut novels this past year. Nearly half of this list is debut novels! Each of these books is special in their own way, but they made this list because they made me experience strong feelings while reading them–everything from fear, anger, love, sorrow, wonder…you name it, these books cover the full range of human emotions. What an interesting roller-coaster ride of emotions this year has been! Links go to my full reviews, so please check them out if you want my thoughts on the individual books.
- The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang – Debut
- Witchmark by C. L. Polk – Dubut
- Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse – Debut
- The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – Debut
- Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
- The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
- Circe by Madeline Miller
- Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
- The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
- The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Top Ten Favorite Books Published Pre-2018
This list is of books that were NOT published in 2018, but I read and loved them in 2018. Really there were so many great books I read it was tough to even limit it to these two lists of ten! Most of these were published within the last few years, except Daughter of the Forest which was published back in 1999 (and was also a debut novel, by the way).
- Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng
- Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
- Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
- A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi
- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
- The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
- Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
- Year One by Nora Roberts
- Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
Overall Top Five Books Read in 2018
And the top five overall reads of 2018 are….drum-roll please….
These five books stood apart for me the most as they not only made me feel a lot but they also made me think about them as they each express strong themes and points of view.
- Circe by Madeline Miller – This book was such a journey. I loved the way Miller twisted the familiar and put a new spin on it, showing a not so favorable character from a different perspective.
- The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal – I’ve read quite a few feminist themed books this year (not on purpose, somehow it just happened) and this is one of the most unabashedly feminist stories I’ve ever read and I loved every minute of it, even when parts of it made me so angry I wanted to spit fire.
- The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty – In a way I’m surprised that I feel so strongly about this book because some sections in the middle lost me a bit, but that ending! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had such a long and productive climax to it. For that alone, this one earns my love.
- The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer – This book is so steeped in symbolism and theme and it really resonated with me on an emotional level. Such beautiful prose, and a wonderful message about learning to love oneself.
- Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw – There’s just something about this book and these characters that I fell in love with. It’s a feel-good urban fantasy. Like a warm hug, but also with vampires.
So, those are my top books read in 2018! Thoughts on these? What are some of your faves? Leave a note in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂