It’s about that time, my darlings!! 2018 isn’t quiiiiiiiite over, I thought I’d go ahead and share my Best Books of 2018 with you in case you’re looking for some reading recommendations (or a last minute Xmas present)!
The best books I read in 2018.
Goodreads says I read 207 books this year, which isn’t as many as last year but is still a pretty healthy sampling of books. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones!
This book is first on my list for a reason. It’s SO GOOD. If you like fantasy at all, you must read it immediately. There’s a super creative world (inspired by Middle Eastern and Islamic folklore), a strong female main character, and an enthralling, edge-of-your-seat storyline. I didn’t realize how badly I was craving epic fantasy that takes place in a society that doesn’t resemble feudal England. Read this immediately.
This is such a weird book and I loved it. It’s primarily about two things: deep, abiding female friendship (something I love reading about) and unlikely magic. There’s also murder, mystery, and zombies.
I’ve been continuing my mission to broaden my mind by reading more contemporary romance novels (instead of just historicals) and this one was truly fantastic. The main character is a high powered statistician whose Asperger’s is getting between her and her ability to have a physically fulfilling relationship. She decides to hire a uniquely qualified tutor, and from there, events unfold!
A reminder before we move forward that when I say “romance novel” on this list, I do mean the kind with sex.
The first book in this series was on my 2017 best books list and I’m delighted to put this one on the 2018 list. Not every series is strong in every single installment, but so far, this one is. The hero in this contemporary romance is a Scottish swordsmith. The main character is a newly sober NYC socialite who moves across the ocean to take a job as the armory’s social media manager. #swordbae
There really isn’t much that I love more than a good YA fantasy novel with a strong heroine at the helm, and this is a fantastic one. Like City of Brass, this is the first in an incomplete series, so if that’ll make you crazy, don’t read it yet. Also like City of Brass, this book stands out because it’s fantasy that’s not based on a feudal European world. Children of Blood and Bone‘s world is inspired by the author’s Nigerian heritage, and the plot addresses many vital contemporary issues, especially those of racial prejudice and xenophobia.
I’m not sure we’ve discussed my love for Arthurian legends before, but they’ve been a particular weakness of mine ever since I read Mists of Avalon in fourth grade. This book takes place several generations before the mythical Arthur and it centers on Languoreth, who the summary describes as “a powerful and, until now, tragically forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legendary character of Merlin.” Um, yes please!
New from Tessa Dare, one of my favorite romance novel authors! This book is a perfect example of why she’s one of my favorites. The story starts on a high note with a very unusual and adorable funeral (yes, I said a funeral is adorable) and continues creative and delightful all the way through.
Have you seen the movie Dumplin’? It’s good, but it’s a pale shadow of the original book’s magnificence. (It’s here in my Best Books of 2015). Puddin’ is the squeal to Dumplin’. It’s the expanded story of Millie Michalchuk, one of the lovable misfits who is a minor character in Dumplin‘.
Puddin’ is not quite as magical as Dumplin‘, but it is still a delight and I enjoyed it thoroughly. A genuinely heartwarming story of a young woman trying to figure out who she wants to be while facing the extra challenge of being fatter than society thinks she should be.
This is the latest series from Sarah MacLean, another of my favorite romance novel authors, and it’s fantastic. It’s classic Sarah MacLean: a woman who usually follows all the rules meets a man who follows none of the rules and romance and personal growth ensue. Just a little dark and utterly delicious.
Science Fiction is my least favorite book genre (other than nonfiction). It just doesn’t generally float my boat. So when a good friend of mine with excellent taste in books and her librarian sister recommended this SciFi romance series over and over again, my response was “ehhhh.” But I finally gave these books a chance and they’re fantastic. I’ve only read the first nine or so and some are better than others, but overall this series is creative, vividly written, and fully devourable.
If you want to see what else I read this year, you can check out my Goodreads here. Spoiler alert: I read a LOT of romance novels. #noshame
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