Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! It's just now 2019 today (happy new year!), so let's look back at the best 2018 books I read last year. As usual for me with this list, I'm only counting books that were released in 2018...I so rarely have a chance to give frontlist reading a spotlight so I like to use the end-of-year list to do it!

Once Upon A River: The last 2018 release I read this year, and I guess I saved the best for last! This story, about storytelling as much as anything else, has echoes of folklore and creates some wonderful characters and I enjoyed it so much.

Seduction: I've loved Karina Longworth's podcast for years, so it's no surprise when she took her talents to the page I enjoyed it just as much! A fascinating look at Howard Hughes and the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The Butcher's Daughter: This book flew under the radar this year, but told a compelling story of religious turmoil of Henry VIII's reign (and what it meant to be a woman in that time frame) from the perspective of a nun.

An American Marriage: This book was on lots and lots of "Best of 2018" lists for a reason...when a young marriage is disrupted by a faulty conviction, where does the blame for the ensuing pain lie?

The Library Book: Susan Orlean's ode to reading and libraries tells a really interesting story about the history of the Los Angeles Library, including a mysterious fire that took place in the 1980s.

Everything Under: This debut novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and the rich atmospherics are a sign of a prodigious talent...but I didn't think her attempts to retell the Oedipus story entirely worked.

The Sky Is Yours: This book about a apocalyptic, dragon-infested New York City is deeply weird but managed to snag my attention and keep it despite how off-putting I often found it.

The Silence of the Girls: Another classic Greek story retold, this looks at the perspective of Briseis, the woman at the center of the dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon in The Iliad. Women's voices in ancient epics are missing, and Pat Barker brings the very real limits of their lives and choices to life.

Children of Blood and Bone: This YA fantasy was one of the buzziest titles of the year, and it's easy to get sucked into...the plot takes off and never slows down over 500+ pages. But that plot movement is often at the expense of character development, and I'm not sure if I'm in any big hurry to read the second one that comes out later this year.

The Romanov Empress: The story of Nicholas and Alexandra, the last tsar and tsarina of Russia, is well known. But his mother, Maria Feodorovna, outlived them and this historical fiction looks at the end of the Romanov era through her eyes, as the Danish princess who became Empress of all the Russias.


  1. I remember hearing how quirky The Sky Is Yours is and I'm super curious about it!

    1. It is...very weird. I felt like it spent a lot of time fighting against its own natural charm. It's one of those books that's really hard to recommend even though I enjoyed it!