Skip to main content

Angie's Best Books of 2018

It is the last day of the year. Are you with me? We made it this far. I think we'd better keep going. I always enjoy arriving at this final post of the year so much. I love seeing all of your lists and all of the books and words and hearts and monumental efforts that gave you life this year. That helped get you to this point. With me. I have felt rather keenly these last 365 days how in it together we are. How we have to be. And I am grateful for you. For each of you who leave comments and send recommendations and write and read and push forward into the darkness. I'm so grateful for you. 

And so here I leave my best books of the year. It's a whopping 28 titles, guys. Twenty. Eight. I haven't had a list that long in a handful of years at least. That is something to smile at. A record of a year well read, indeed.

Photo by @aamith
(in the order in which I read them)


FYI, that's 11 contemporaries, 10 historicals, 3 fantasies, 2 mysteries, 1 urban fantasy, and 1 steampunk. Of those, 15 were romances, 3 were retellings, and 1 was a novella. So, contemporaries and historicals were neck and neck this year, and romances were hugely on the rise. I think that after the last two years, I have needed places to land that were at once soft and fierce, smart and loving. I am grateful to have found them.

Best New Discovery of 2018

Given that she has something like a few dozen books out already, it's actually a bit of a shock that I only discovered Jenny Colgan this year. But thank heavens I did, because I fell irretrievably in love at the mere epigraph of The Cafe by the Sea. And by the time I landed on the shores of Mure along with Flora, it was all over. That island is now a fixed point on the literary map of my life. And it is simply not a hardship loving these characters. Not a hardship at all.
hiraeth (n): a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home that maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for lost places in your past
Biggest Character Crush of 2018
Rowan Whitethorn
www.gabriellabujdoso.com

Look, I will always be devoted to Chaol Westfall. From the moment he stepped up to the line. But there was also a moment when this grouchy Fae burst onto the scene in Heir of Fire and was forced to contend with our girl on every single level. And that moment led to that unforgettable reunion scene in the alley in Rifthold. And it all added up to me being kind of a fan of Rowan Whitethorn. And like Rowan's heart, mine proved itself large. Big enough to hold them all.
To whatever end.
Book I Reread the Most in 2018
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I read it every November. For obvious reasons. But this year I also read it aloud to my teenage boy, an unparalleled and deeply satisfying experience. I read the final line, and he stared at me and finally said, "And you're sure there isn't a sequel?" I know, kid. I know. And now we have that shared memory and those beloved characters in common. Which means this perfect, perfect book is not yet through giving gifts to me and mine. If you haven't read it, it has something for you, too. I left it on someone's doorstep this holiday season.
Does anyone ask you why you stay, Sean Kendrick?"

"They do."

"And why do you?"

"The sky and the sand and the sea and Corr.
Best Books I Read in 2018 that were Published in a Different Year


Happy New Year!

Comments

  1. I remember talking to you about each of these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Angie, I cannot wait to read some of the books I love so dearly with my own kids the way you are doing. I mean, I get to now but it's beloved picture books and I can't wait for more. Going to read some Jenny Colgan this year as she sounds precisely up my alley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the absolute best. So much to look forward to! And I feel sure you're going to enjoy the Colgan. Definitely start with The Cafe by the Sea.

      Delete
  3. That's one high pile! I always love seeing the physical copies.

    I've the Kearsley in my TBR pile - will have to bump it up the list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol. Isn't it, though?

      And, yes. I loved the Kearsley. It's incredibly sweet and romantic.

      Delete
  4. I’ll have to try Somme of these! I remember seeing My Oxford Year and wanting to read it but never got around to it

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

In the Beginning, or the First Ten Books I Reviewed on the Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl
It's been awhile, but this topic was too good to pass up. When I thought about it, I genuinely could not recall which were the first ten books I actually reviewed here on the blog. So then, of course, I had to know. The thing is, I originally started the whole thing simply posting a once a month list of my favorite reads and rereads of the month. That went on for some time until lo and behold I went ahead and wrote and posted my first review on November 9, 2007. In hindsight, I probably should have known exactly which book pushed me over the edge into full fledged reviews. So this was a rather delightful journey back in time. Do you remember the first book you ever reviewed (in any forum) or what made you take the plunge? Here are my first ten (and I have to say, looking at this snapshot from the past, these remain some of my absolute favorite authors and a pretty spot-on array of the genres I read and love tod…

Interview with Alexandra Bracken + Brightly Woven Giveaway!

I fell in love with the cover of Alexandra Bracken's debut novel--Brightly Woven--last fall and the scant synopses I could find at the time certainly piqued my interest. After managing to get my hands on an ARC, I found myself surprised and pleased with this unique fantasy. You can read my review here. As the release date approached, I invited Alex to participate in an interview and giveaway here on the site and, despite her crazy busy schedule, she kindly accepted. Enjoy! First things first: When did the idea for Brightly Wovenfirst hit you and what (if anything) did you know right off the bat? I remember the exact moment it hit me—what I was doing, who I was talking to, what song was playing on iTunes.  :)  I had just come back from Winter Break my sophomore year in college and was sitting on my bed chatting with my mom.  Sophomore year was pretty remarkable in terms of the insane weather that we had in Virginia (where I was in school) but it had also been a bizarre year in Arizon…

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

It's fascinating to me how, given two quite similar books or styles of book, one will leave you cold and the other has you at hello. I think about this phenomenon all the time and wonder what quality it is that pushes one over into a reading match. Most recently I found myself pondering this as I read Alexandra Bracken's debut novel Brightly Woven. The cover caught my eye back in October and, really, it is at once so attractive and nicely representative of both the book and the character. I then read several pretty exciting reviews and was delighted to win an ARC in a giveaway hosted by the generous Anastasia Hopcus. I eagerly awaited its arrival in the mail and cracked it open the day it came.

Sydelle Mirabel has always lived in a small, dusty town in a small, dusty corner of her country. An accomplished weaver, Sydelle lives a quiet life completing her chores, helping her hardworking parents, and sneaking what moments she can to roam on the hills with her childhood friend an…