2018 Best Books I’ve Read

I read 52 books in 2018. Though it was the first year I tracked my reading progress, I can confidently say that it’s the most I’ve ever read in a single year. While not ever book was amazing, the 11 books below were. They’re easily the best books I’ve read in 2018.

Reading what equates to one book per week meant that I didn’t have to be picky. If something interested me in the slightest, I read about it. This list crosses many genres and all sorts of authors. It’s the best reflection of what a weird and wonderful year I’ve had.

2018 Best Books I’ve Read

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo The most serious and critically acclaimed book on this list for sure. The story is of a shepherd who leaves his home to follow his dreams and listen to his heart in search of treasure in a far away land. I found myself highlighting large paragraphs of the wisdom Coehlo imparts. It feels a little bit like reading a fable or fairy tale.

Artemis by Andy Weir A heist story on the moon. It’s entertaining in a this-is-totally-going-to-be-a-movie-someday kind of way. Perfect for when I needed to shut off my brain and be entertained.

At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider If you know what my life has been like this year, it won’t surprise you that this book made my 2018 best books list. At Home in the World is a memoir of Tsh and her young family’s trip around the world. This was a case of a perfect book at the perfect time for me, as I read it right before leaving LA for a life of long-term travel.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson Definitely the darkest and eeriest book on my list. I love everything I’ve ever read of Erik Larson’s and while this didn’t surpass Dead Wake for me, it was still a gripping way to learn a real story in American history.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee This Young Adult read was just plain fun. It combines so many of my favorite genres. Young Adult? Check. Historical fiction? Check. A splash of romance? Check. I can’t wait to read the sequel The Ladies’ Guide to Petticoats and Piracy this year.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin The book was all over #bookstagram and for good reason. One: The cover is gorgeous. Two: It’s an enthralling saga about four siblings who visit a psychic and learn the dates of their death. What follows is an interesting look at the effect that the threat of death has on life.

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My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff Considering I haven’t actually read J.D. Salinger’s most famous book, The Catcher in the Rye, this might seem like a strange book to make this list. It’s a memoir of Rakoff’s year as an assistant to the literary agent that represents J.D. Salinger in the late 90’s. I had fun imagining a life in publishing while reading this book.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King Continuing our publishing theme here. I haven’t read a single Stephen King novel, but I can appreciate a titan of industry when I see one. It’s more than a memoir and more than an instruction manual. It’s the best of both things. It feels like getting writing advice from your most honest friend.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo I love the Six of Crows series with my whole heart. It’s the first “if you like Harry Potter, read this” series that hits the mark for me. The characters are just the best, the plot keeps you guessing, the magic doesn’t get in the way. It’s on my list of books to reread in 2019.

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire I went on a Queen Victoria binge after watching the Victoria series on PBS. I read this book on a plane to London and in the courtyard of the Victoria & Albert Museum. I read this book on the lawn in Hyde Park, in view of a statue of Queen Victoria herself. This book brought London to life for me. I’m not sure that my time there would have meant as much without it.

What are the best books you’ve read in 2018? 

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