Saturday, December 29, 2018

Best Books of 2018

There's a lot of things I miss about blogging regularly. I use to love sitting down and writing book reviews after finishing a book, as something to refer back to on why I might have loved it so much. (But the last one I posted was back in 2016!) Also, I used to love wrapping up a year reflecting back on what occurred. (The last time I did one of those was even longer in 2015!) So on a whim I decided to bring them both back with a list of my favorite reads from the past year. In years past I've actually ranked books where #1 was my absolute favorite, but for simplicity sake, I just have them all in the order I read them.

1. Apprentice by Maggie Anton
I LOVED Anton's Rashi'a Daughters Trilogy and was so excited to read another one from her. It's a time period that I haven't read much about (Persia in 300s), and I found everything fascinating. There is a sequel to it, which I can't wait to pick up.

2. Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon by Kelley Benham French and Thomas French
This is such an incredible memoir about a couple recollecting their duaghter's premature birth. Thankfully, everything worked out for the family and they now have a healthy daughter years later. I just remember not being able to put this down, because even though you know how it works out, you just had to see the journey there.

3. The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams
This was a fun book written by 3 different authors told over three time periods. Of the authors, I had only read Willig before (whose Pink Carnation series I love!), but I've heard great things about Williams especially. It was definitely fun trying to match either author up with the story they likely guided the most. Each story centers around a room in a NYC house and features a different love story. It was so fun trying to figure out how the characters and stories were all interwoven.

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
So far, I've loved everything I've read by Rowell. Which actually is now only two, but I'm still excited to read the rest. I felt like this book so captured the feeling of being in college. I also loved the fan fiction aspect of it, which brought me back to when I used to read and write it back in high school. (Yes, seriously! Backstreet Boys fan fiction in case you had to know! Sadly, or maybe not so, anything I wrote no longer exists.)

5. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
I feel like I'm so late to this one! But like everything else, reading has also dropped off lately. I picked this up just in time for The Royal Wedding. It really was just as good as everything said, and I'd love to read a sequel to check in on Nick and Bex.

6. Somerset by Leila Meacham
After reading Roses by Meacham years ago, I've been meaning to read more by her. This was actually the second by her I read this year (the first being Titans), but the one I liked better. It had such an interesting perspective. It is another epic family story. I loved some of the details, things like the discovery of dinosaur bones and the idea of adoption in the early 1900s. Actually this was one of many books I read this years that discussed adoption in the early 1900s, definitely a bit of a rabbit hole I fell into.

7. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Another epic family historical story. This one though taking place in Korea and Japan. Like many of the others, it's a period I knew little about which is part of the reason I loved it. There are a lot of characters and a lot of time passing in this book, which meant certain aspects weren't as developed as they could have been. Still I absolutely loved the book and getting to hear the family's story.

8. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I remember being intrigued by this one when it came out, and can't believe it's taken me so long to read. It's an interesting perspective of WWII, one I hadn't read before. There's 2 separate stories told throughout, and I loved how they finally intertwined at the end.

9. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Another one I know I'm crazy late on! I haven't seen the movie yet, but based on the previews, I'm not sure it can compare to the book. The title of this one definitely lives up to its name. I've since gone on and finished the trilogy and while I loved them all, I think the first is the best because you really go into it not knowing what to expect.

10. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Remember a couple of paragraph's ago mentioning how I read several books about adoption, this is one of those. (The other big one was The Orphan Train, which just missed this list.) It's another one with two story lines that intertwine by the end. I actually loved the historical one so much more than the present day story, although I do realize the importance of having the other perspective.

11. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I just couldn't stop at 10, and for those of you that have read this, you understand why. It's a book you start and don't quite get, but as you continue to read and understand the story it's heartwarming and one you can't put down.

I feel like 2018 was the first year in a while where I really, really loved what I read. Hence the reason I wanted to write this post. I didn't hit my goal of 52 books in a year, although assuming I finish the book I'm currently reading, will be only 7 books away. I'm hoping that now that the babies are getting older and I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself again, I can get back to reading and blogging more often!

To see my favorite books from years' past go here:


  1. You will definitely get more reading time as your kiddos get old. Now we all read together and it's so lovely :) Looking forward to hopefully reading more from you. I miss your blog. And your book recommendations!

  2. I have heard good things about many of these but I haven't read any yet!

  3. Waving hi! Great to see some posts from you popping up. I LOVED The Royal We when I read it a few years ago. I also read Before We Were Yours this year and really enjoyed it, what a heartbreaking story! Hard to believe that really happened.

  4. I haven't read most of the books on this list so will have to add them to my ever-growing TBR list! I finished The Royal We around when I was getting induced and it was a great distraction!!