Sunday, December 30, 2018

My Favorite Books of 2018


Reflecting back on 2018, this seems to have been a year of distractions... mostly political. I often found it hard to concentrate on reading and that's reflected in my overall numbers. Still, I read some great books. These are my favorites of 2018 - obviously not all were published this year.

FICTION

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
My number one book of the year... and my book club loved it, too.


The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
Meg Wolitzer is at the top of her game here... this is a brilliant, well-written novel. I read it shortly before the movie was released, but still haven't seen the film.



The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
I read three novels by Meg Wolitzer this year. This, her most recent, is a character-driven story that's hard to put down. A read/listen combination for me, Rebecca Lowman's narration is perfection.



Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
I loved the structure, writing, and the way this story slowly unfolded... easily a 5-star read!



The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman
One of a handful of  2018 releases I read, this 5-star book was reminiscent of The Big Chill.



Improvement by Joan Silber
These short stories are connected only tangentially, but form something unique and beautiful when woven together.



Much more contemporary than Pachinko, and a rollicking good story!



This is the book everyone seems to have read. I still find myself thinking about Eleanor.




NONFICTION

by Nina Willner, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
My favorite nonfiction this year. Excellent on audio.


by Debby Irving, narrated by the author
An eye-opening book! I went on to read several other race-related titles.



by Kate Moore, narrated by Angela Brazil
A read/listen combination, this book has everything I love in nonfiction - science and medicine, a legal battle, human drama, and good writing, too!

Honorable Mention:



I'll be back with one more post of final stats and thoughts to wrap up 2018 and a look ahead to 2019. Happy New Year!


22 comments:

  1. I've whittled my favorites list down but haven't had a chance to write my post. Pachinko will be on it for sure. I want to read Free Food for Millionaires and Forty Autumns soon.

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    1. Kathy - I'll look forward to your list. Think you will enjoy both Free Food and Forty Autumns.

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  2. Radium Girls was my favorite read of the year, glad to see it on your list!

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    1. Angela - Thank you so much for recommending it!

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  3. I'm listening to I Can't Complain right now (thanks to you!!) and it's delightful... Happy New Year, JoAnn!

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    1. Audrey - Isn't it wonderful? And such an unexpected treat because I had no idea such a collection even existed!

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    1. Vicki - There are definitely some goods ones here!

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  5. I've got my list made, but I haven't written my post yet. The only one on yours that I've read is Eleanor Oliphant and I loved it.

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    1. Kay - I've seen Eleanor Oliphant on so many lists this week!

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  6. JoAnn,
    I understand that you may not feel that this past reading year has measured up, but I absolutely must say that I thought your reads this year were fascinating and informative. Thank you for your blog!

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    1. Judith - That is so good to hear... thank you!

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  7. Replies
    1. Midlife Roadtripper - Yup... my #1 book this year!

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  8. Happy New Year to you too! I have just one more post of statistics to wrap up my 2018 as well.

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. I'll keep an eye out for your post :)

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  9. Great List. I too had The Female Persuasion on my Best Of list. I also liked Eleanor Oliphant. I still want to read Forty Autumns and Pachinko -- and think I'll read both this year. wahoo.

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    1. Susan - I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy both Forty Autumns and Pachinko!

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  10. Eleanor was on my list too. Several of the others are on my TBR list already (maybe even because of you :)).

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    1. Stacy - Eleanor Oliphant seems like it was on my tbr list for ages before my sister finally convinced me to read it. Hope you get a chance to read some of the others... so many great books out there!

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  11. I love these end-of-the-year lists and savor them, making notes for future reads, and simply enjoy the recommendations from my fellow blogmates. I'm going to recommend Pachinko, Forty Autumns and Radium Girls to my book group later this month when we pick our books for 2019. They sound wonderful. I loved Eleanor Oliphant and, like you, find myself thinking about the characters a lot, almost wondering how they're doing. I wonder if there will be a sequel? I'm also adding a few of your other favorites to my TBR list, so many thanks for the great list!

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    1. Les - I do the same thing with year-end lists and often refer back to them periodically during the year... some of my best books come from them every year! Pachinko was very well-received by my book club, as was Eleanor Oliphant, and they provided two of our best discussions in 2018. Hope your group goes for at least one of your suggestions.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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