With 2019 here I’ve been looking over the year, from the memories to the things I’ve bought to the books I’ve read. I read some books I really loved last year, and there are few things I enjoy more than sharing a good book recommendation. I want to read even more next year, especially some more biographies and history books - I got a little lax about that this year. The novels I read were just so great though! Here are my favorites -
Best Historical Fiction Books of 2018
Lilac Girls - This book follows the story of three very different women during and after WWII. It was an amazing read, and I still think about it all the time. I learned so much, and thought about so many different points of view during the war I never had before. I highly, highly recommend it.
A Column of Fire - This book is the third in the Pillars of the Earth series. I loved it because it follows the reign of Elizabeth I, and has so many engaging characters. I think it’s clever the way the author links the families in the series over the centuries as well.
Before We Were Yours - I devoured this book about a family of orphans in Tennessee. Such a sad book, but also happy and inspiring. It also involves so many questions that are relevant to day about wealth and privilege and children.
Best Light Reads of 2018
The Hating Game - This romantic comedy is just so fun. It is about a pair of work colleagues who hate each other, until they don’t. I don’t read a lot of rom-coms, and I’m so happy I read this one. I laughed and got mad and felt all the wonderful feelings. It’s a great read for a long trip, too, since you could read it in one sitting.
Small Admissions - This novel is also a quick read (I read almost the whole thing on our 7 hour train ride). It is the story of how one woman puts her life back together after a break-up while working at a prestigious NYC prep school. I liked that the story was told from a bunch of points of view, and the cast of characters was great. They were crazy and funny and delightful / horrid.
Tempests and Slaughter - This is the newest book by Tamora Pierce, one of my all time favorite fantasy YA authors. This book is the beginning of the story of Numair, one of the most powerful wizards in Tortall (the land the books are about). I love the mix of fantasy and adventure in Pierce’s books, and how grown up the lessons learned by the characters are. I can’t wait for the next ones in this series to come out!
Best Thought Provoking Novels of 2018
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness - This book took me a long time to get through, but it is well worth it. It is the kind of book that makes you realize how little you know about the lives of people across the globe, especially the lives of the under-privileged. It involves so many stories it’s hard to summarize in a sentence or two, but to be very broad it is about the conflict between Pakistan and India, and the way that it shapes so very many lives.
A Man Called Ove - This is a book about the neighborhood curmudgeon, and why he isn’t a curmudgeon after all. It is very heartwarming, and I loved the descriptions of The Cat. It also made me thing about how everyone has a story, and one should never be quick to judge someone’s grouchiness. It’s best to just get to know them.
Birth of Venus - This is a novel about a young woman in Renaissance Florence who yearns to become a painter. The prose in the book are gorgeous, you feel like you can touch the frescoes and smell the paint. It made me want to learn a lot more about Renaissance art, and also made me contemplate the role of women in the Renaissance.
Best Thrillers of 2018
Lethal White - I love all the Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) books, and this newest release is no exception. It is about a murder that takes the detectives into the homes of the old nobility as well as Parliament. I love the main characters, and was satisfied with the complexity of the mystery as well.
One of Us Is Lying - This murder mystery includes a bunch of high school kids in detention at the wrong time. It feels a little like the Breakfast Club but with a murderous twist.
Something In The Water - This book is the tale of a couple on their honeymoon who find something in the water, and how everything spirals out of control afterward. I liked all the plot twists, and found it a fun and engaging read.
What great books did you read? Please share, I love adding new finds to my list!