2018 Favorites

Can you believe we’ve almost made it to the end of 2018? I absolutely hate the saying, or any allusion to the concept, of time going by without us realizing it. I just want to live every moment and have so many moments to come! Call me sentimental, but what this means is that I love to look back on the year that just past and recognize the length of it and all the great books I’ve read along the way.

At this point I’ve reviewed almost all of the books I’ve read this year on this blog (since I started keeping up with it in April!) Instead of reminding you which of (ALL) the books I read this year I loved the most, I decided to keep my wrap-up to books published in 2018 only.

Of the 22 books I read published this year, I gave 10 of them five stars. That’s pretty high praise for the books that came out this year! And so as to not leave any out, I’m going to be quick and organize them by genre for you. Hopefully this will inspire you to pick one of them up in early 2019.

One of my favorites questions I’ve seen going around Bookstagram recently was “What was your favorite book of 2018/What should be my first book of 2019?” I loved that this question was one in the same, because I love this community of sharing book recommendations and enthusiasm. I hope you decide to pick up one of these great books and I hope to hear what your favorites of 2018 include!

My FAVORITE Genre going in to 2018: LITERARY FICTION

When it’s good, it’s SO good: NONFICTION

A (Generally) Less Well Liked by me genre: Historical Fiction

 

Your turn! Let me know which books you’ve enjoyed this year, and which of these, if any, you think you’ll pick up!

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Top Five Favorites: Nonfiction

It’s November! And I’m excited to be participating in Nonfiction November, so to kick that off, I wanted to share some of my favorite nonfiction reads. There are so many others I could mention, but I’ll leave you with five for now, and hopefully talk about more over the course of the upcoming month!

Each of the books below opened my eyes to a world I hadn’t known before and that is why I love reading. I’ll just write a few notes on the books here, but I’ll link to their Goodreads Page so if you’re interested, you can check them out there!

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

My high school had truly amazing history classes for a high school, and I read this one for a class called African Issues. This is probably the only book I read in high school that I read every page of on the day it was assigned, and enjoyed it. I was obsessed with this book and wanted to get Beah to come talk at our high school. Unfortunately Beah was in high demand and couldn’t make it, but the fact remains that learning about the Boy Soldiers and the Sudanese Civil War was life changing to someone growing up in Western Pennsylvania. Can’t recommend this book enough!

Dead Wake by Erik Larson

Erik Larson was a go to author for me after reading Devil in the White City in high school (it was a required summer reading selection!). I found Dead Wake to be insanely readable and eye opening. Larson is able to share intimate details from both a presidential romance and the experience of being in a German U-boat in WWI. It was a truly remarkable work of narrative nonfiction and I didn’t want it to end.

The Profiteers by Sally Denton

This book is the definition of an eye opener. In my senior year of college I took a course called “History and the Environment”. It was an absolutely fascinating class that tied things going on in nature, with those going on in politics. One major topic we focused on was the oil and the Iraq War. As an engineering major, some of this was over my head, but all the holes were filled in when I read The Profiteers. I read this right around the 2016 election and it felt so timely — and when the CEO of Exxon was appointed as Secretary of State, I felt that I understood the motives completely and knew exactly why I was not OK with it. If you want to be clued in to the financial motives spearheading politics, check this book out.

Ranger Games by Ben Blum

I haven’t read a slew of military nonfiction, but I imagine this is one of the most open and honest books in the genre out there. Written by a close cousin of Alex Blum, a former golden boy turned criminal by way of the army, the answer at the heart is what happened to Alex when he left home to become a U.S. Army Ranger. While this book is not for the feint of heart, its dives incredibly deep in to the psyche of our soldiers going through this intense training process. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone I know.

Missoula by Jon Krakauer

I posted about this recently, but I’ll just repeat a bit of that here: This book is a nonfiction account of a town in Montana that had way too many rapes of high school and college students. Be prepared for a brutal read – this book takes you through trials where no details are spared, but if you want to know the facts about rape, read this book. I mean, let’s be honest, you don’t want to hear the facts necessarily (because they’re hard to hear), but they’re so important. I learned so much and my life has never been the same.

Do you read much nonfiction? Do you have any recommendations for me?