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. 🙂
38 thoughts on “Favorite Reads of 2018”
Great picks! Most are on my list. I need to read Circe soon. This had to be hard to narrow down! I think it would be easy for me this year because I’ve read more children’s than adult. 😆 Hoping for a better 2019. Great post! ❤💚❤
Thanks, it was tough! I’ve read about 180 books this year and loved most of what I read so there’s such a large pool, haha. Hope you read a lot of great stuff in 2019!
And I think my fave this year is The Dream Daughter. 😉
That one sounds amazing! Added it to my TBR list!
Fantastic list! Also I’m amazed that I haven’t read any of your top five myself. You know what that tells me? There are just too many books being published these days! ( well, actually you can never have too many books so never mind😁) Glad to see Trail of Lightning on here, it will be on my “best of” list too.
There are SO many books coming out! I was just putting together my anticipated books list for 2019 and it must have around 40 books on it…haha.
I really loved Trail of Lightning. It was super tough narrowing this down to a top 5.
Great list. I added several to my TBR! And I have a couple already, might start one next. (The Poppy War)
The Poppy War is so brilliant and at times a harrowing read. I hope you love it.
I’m really happy to see that you have put Nevernight and Magic Binds in your list! ❤ And in your lists there are some books that I hope to read, sooner or later (sooner would be great, but I am not making promises here! 😉 ).
Those are both really fun books, couldn’t leave then off. 🙂
Great list! I share many of your top tens, but Im struggling to compile my own list. I think I need some more thinking time. I loved the Poppy War, Trail of lightning and City of Brass too. Totally adding Oddling Prince to my TBR tho. That sounds intriguing.
It was definitely tough coming up with this list! I almost wanted to sit on it for a few more days, but I think I’m happy with it in the end. 🙂
The Oddling Prince is a book I loved very much, but I’m not sure it will be for every reader. It’s prose is thick (which I loved, personally) and there is a ton of symbolism, which I think some readers didn’t pick up on. But it was just my type of thing. If you try it out, I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
I liked that you divided it between this years releases and other too. Hm, thanks for the heads up. I’m not good with thick language. But I’ll check it out before making up my mind. Thanks! 😁
The Poppy War and Daughter of the Forest are probably my favorites of the ones you read this year, and wow, I’m happy I’ve actually read four of your top five! 😀
Woohoo! Great minds think alike, I guess. 😉
Great list! And so many I still need to read. Glad to see The Poppy War on here as its easilyh one of my favorites of the year. And I really want to find the time to read Daughter of the Forest!
The Poppy War was just so amazing. I think it’s going to end up on a lot of top lists this year. Can’t wait for that sequel!
Daughter of the Forest was amazing. Very long, but very worth it. I love her writing.
Ooh I love the way that you’ve divided up this post – I might have to steal the idea! ;D It looks like you’ve had a great year of books, I’m still hoping to slot The Poppy War in before the end of the year but it’s already half way through the month so we’ll have to see haha.
Thanks! I felt like it was a sneaky way to fit in more books, haha. 🙂
It was a really great year! The Poppy War is definitely worth the time. If you don’t get to it this year, there’s always 2019. 🙂
I MUST read Circe! And The Poppy War! And Year One and AHHH! I’m so happy you found some new favorites this year😊❤
Thanks! So many good books! The sequel to Year One just came out recently, I have to pick that one up. 😀
I can’t wait to see your thoughts on it!
I loved Nevernight! Its one of my favorites this year too ❤ I haven't read any of the other books on your list, but a lot of them are on my TBR 🙂
Nevernight is so much fun! Really looking forward to that third book. 😀
I am currently reading Trail of Lightning and HOLY CRAP is this book amazing?! Rebecca is such a talented writer and it is hard to believe this is her debut.
Oh my gosh, yes! I absolutely loved that book. Really excited for the sequel too.
It is such a fantastic book and I cannot wait to finish and hype it to the moon and back!
Really great list! I’m so excited for poppy war and iron gold! And I love circe too 🙂 So awesome that it was in your top five!!
Thanks! It was so tough to narrow down, there were so many great reads this past year!
Loving your list and there are a few there that I want to read, like Poppy War, Circe, and Under the Pendulum Sun.
It’s crazy because they’re all such different books but I loved them each for different reasons. Under the Pendulum Sun is very strange and very gothic and I think it’s one that you’ll either love or hate, but it was so strange I couldn’t help but love it. 🙂
Well, I’ll see when I get to it, but from all I’ve heard, I think I’ll really like it.
I hope you do!
I loved reading this and it’s made me want to pick up Circe immediately.
Circe was so amazing. I highly recommend it.