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Top Five Books of 2018

Book talk

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1lorannen
Dec 11, 2018, 12:31pm Top

Continuing one of my favorite LT traditions, I asked the staff to list their favorite books they read in the past year, and the results are in! Check them out over on the blog.

What were your top five reads for 2018? Tell us all about it here, or add yours to the list!

2Bookmarque
Dec 11, 2018, 12:51pm Top

I've been working on this lately and a couple great one snuck in this month!

3timspalding
Dec 11, 2018, 12:59pm Top

I love that LT staff have only two overlaps—Homo Deus and Circe. (I detested like Homo Deus, fwiw.)

4lorannen
Dec 11, 2018, 1:09pm Top

>3 timspalding: That is one book you and I definitely agree on, Tim. I keep just wanting to forget I read it at all, so it didn't even make my mentions ;)

5ablachly
Dec 11, 2018, 1:10pm Top

There was also a case of KJ *not* putting a book in theirs because it was already in mine... (The Great Believers).

6Cecrow
Dec 11, 2018, 2:03pm Top

Typical for me, nothing I read was published this year. Maybe not even the last ten years.

1. Islandia (published 1942)
2. The Cruel Sea (1951)
3. The Pelbar Cycle (1979-1985)
4. Unless (2002)
5. Blue Mars (1996)

7thorold
Edited: Dec 11, 2018, 2:38pm Top

There’s still time left, and I might well change my mind...
- El viajero del siglo (Traveller of the century) by Andrés Neuman
- The Good Hope by William Heinesen
- The Makioka sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
- Mr Myombekere by Aniceti Kitereza
- Así empieza lo malo (Thus bad begins) by Javier Marías

—-
Near misses:
- The Dutch Republic: its rise, greatness and fall 1477-1806 by Joseph Israel
- Music at midnight: the life and poetry of George Herbert by John Drury
- Imprudent king: a new life of Philip II by Geoffrey Parker

8aethercowboy
Edited: Dec 12, 2018, 11:18am Top

To date, I've read 120 books this year. Here are my top 5:

1. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

This was like the missing manual for my brain.

2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A very touching and humorous book about suicide.

3. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend edited by Maria Leach

1200 pages of pure awesome interrupted occasionally by an article on folk dancing.

4. The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle

Peter Beagle in bite-size chunks, including a few returns to the land of the Last Unicorn.

5. HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

A creepy ghost story. Like, can't go into your dimly lit basement for a few weeks after reading it creepy.

Honorable Mention:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A wonderful novel about a poor family struggling to make it in 1910s Brooklyn.

9foggidawn
Dec 11, 2018, 5:00pm Top

I hope to read a few more books this year, so I'm going to hold off on making a best list for now. I thought the LT staff ones were interesting -- I had no overlap until I got to Kate's list, though some of Abby and Kirsten's are on my TBR.

10LolaWalser
Edited: Dec 11, 2018, 6:08pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

11mstrust
Dec 11, 2018, 6:21pm Top

A couple of my choices were five star reads, and I don't give those out too often. All of them are stories that have stuck with me and I clearly remember the enjoyment of reading them, so that's a great book.
1. Matilda- I read several Dahl's this year. This one is wild.
2. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?- a Halloween read. Just as chilling as the film.
3. A Season With the Witch- A non-fiction travel guide/memoir of Salem during October.
4. Beautiful Ruins- Finally pulled it off the shelf and was rewarded.
5. Howard's End is on the Landing- loved it!

12Bookmarque
Dec 11, 2018, 6:56pm Top

Rawblood - Catroina Ward because it was twisted and imaginative and really fun.
In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown - Nathaniel Philbrick because it was told so well and just kept me glued to it for two days
The Outsider - Stephen King because it was everything I love about King and he stuck the landing
Reservoir 13 - Jon McGregor for its sheer craft and deliberation and making me care about everyone
The Locals - Jonathan Dee because I was in the hands of a terrific writer who didn't beat me up with the message

13WeeTurtle
Dec 12, 2018, 4:04am Top

I've added my five. For an honourable mention I'll add Nine Lessons I learned from my Father.

I'd personally like to see more little blurbs written on people's selection. 2 of the books I read were published this year, I think, and they also came from Early Reviewers. Good finds!

It almost didn't make the list, but now thinking about it, I had to put Where the Red Fern Grows as my top pick, with My Friend Dahmer as runner up from how much I think back to it.

14Dilara86
Dec 12, 2018, 4:33am Top

Here's my top five (so far this year):

L'autobus and La pièce du fond by Eugenia Almeida - I gave them both five stars
Revenir by Raharimanana
The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante
Mémoire de fille by Annie Ernaux

If I could add one last book, it would be La Petite Dame en son jardin de Bruges by Charles Bertin

Most of these haven't been translated into English as far as I know, which is a huge shame...

15sturlington
Dec 12, 2018, 8:30am Top

The month's not over yet, but the strongest reads for me this year so far included three great works of feminist speculative fiction: Her Body and Other Parties, The Power, and Red Clocks. I also was blown away by American War, a speculative depiction of the second Civil War brought about by climate change. And finally, I have to include Roxane Gay's Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, which is so powerfully and personally written.

Just squeaking out of the top five was The Reapers Are the Angels, a really different take on the zombie apocalypse.

16reading_fox
Edited: Dec 13, 2018, 6:41am Top

Mostly re-reads for me, out of 90 odd books, only 7 (plus some of the rest of the series') made it to 5*

4 - ready player one - silly but fun SF/gaming mash-up
2- this day all gods die - dark space opera from a master
5- traitors gate - conclusion to a fairly average low-fantasy series, that blows all your prior assumptions out of the water
1 - signatures - one of the best urban fantasy I've come across, a wonderful balance between power and responsibility
HM -sleeping giants (but not the rest of the series which was sub-par
HM - after atlas - police procedural/locked room in an SF setting, works really when once you've realised it shares almost no characters with the 1st in the series

and one non-fiction
3 - how to tame a fox - delightful look at genetics.

EDIT - just for Lilthcat below ;-) I've added the numbers for the top 5 (and Honourable Mention to the other two)

17lilithcat
Dec 12, 2018, 10:29am Top

>16 reading_fox:

So which of those are your top five?

18ahef1963
Edited: Dec 12, 2018, 10:38am Top

19Euryale
Dec 12, 2018, 11:28am Top

Always hard to narrow down, but my five favorites are:

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Gnomon by Nick Harkaway
Ambiguity Machines by Vanadana Singh
Blacksad: A Silent Hell by Juan Diaz Canales

20perennialreader
Dec 12, 2018, 12:00pm Top

In no particular order

Fiction
World War One Series by Anne Perry (This is actually 5 volumes but I am counting it as one)
Lethal White Best of the Cormoran Strike books
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel by Mark Sullivan

Non-fiction
Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me by Adam Brown
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

These books all got 4 stars this year. No books made the 5 star category for me yet. I am currently reading Where the Crawdads Sing and hope springs eternal that this one will be a fiver. It's good so far.

22mainrun
Edited: Dec 13, 2018, 6:15am Top

Doc: A Novel
Surprising laugh out loud dialog. I record date, number of LibraryThing members, and average rating when I enter books: 7/29/2015: 822 members; 4.13 average rating. Now, 12/12/2018, there are 1,109 members with 4.11 average rating.

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel
This was one of those "unreliable narrator" books that usually does not work for me. The author was able to pull it off. 10/10/2018: 749 members; 3.76 average rating. Two months and two days later: 815 members; same average rating of 3.76

Lost: A Lacey Flint Novel (Lacey Flint series Book 3)
Can't go wrong with Sharon Bolton. On 11/18 there were 257 libraryThing members with this book; 4.06 average rating. Now there are 259 members, and the new members bumped the average rating up to 4.07.

The Girl With All the Gifts
Zombie / end of the world book that had many common elements, but written well. 11/26/2017: 2,332 members; 4.01 average rating. 12/12/2018: 2,991; 4.02 average rating

Tie: Commander in Chief & True Faith and Allegiance: Both are Tom Clancy Jack Ryan Novels
Commander in Chief: 8/5/2018: 284 members; 3.81 average rating; 12/12/2018: 291, 3.83 average rating
True Faith and Allegiance: 8/29/2018; 173 members; 4.08 average rating; 12/12/2018: 182 members; 4.04 average rating

23jnwelch
Edited: Dec 15, 2018, 10:50am Top

Here are my top 5 of the year:

The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson (beautiful translation, and now my favorite)

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (what a book!)

The Overstory by Richard Powers (book of the year for me)

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami (he takes on the act of creating in this one)

Citizen Illegal by Jose Olivarez (poetry book of the year for me)

Touchstones fixed.

Honorable mention: One Goal by Amy Bass (uplifting true story of Somali immigrants on a Maine soccer team)

24nrmay
Dec 14, 2018, 11:57am Top

>23 jnwelch:

Now I'm quite excited to start reading Overstory that I just brought home from the library!

25jnwelch
Dec 15, 2018, 10:04am Top

>23 jnwelch: It's so good! I hope you enjoy it. What a remarkable writer he is.

26NarratorLady
Dec 15, 2018, 12:46pm Top

>25 jnwelch: Overstory is at the top of my 2019 list Joe! Sounds like a positive way to begin the year!

27rocketjk
Edited: Dec 15, 2018, 1:53pm Top

I have several honorable mentions, and if the wind changes direction I might want to replace one or two of these, but right at this moment I'd say my top five most enjoyable/interesting books read in 2018 are:

Speak to Me, Dance with Me by Agnes de Mille
de Mille's fascinating memoir of her early days trying to break into the world of dance and choreography

Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty by John M. Barry
A very interesting history about the first American leader, decades before Jefferson, who posited the theory of separation between church and state

The Surrounded by D'Arcy McNickle
First published in 1936, this compelling novel describes life on the Salish (Flathead) Indian Reservation in Montana during the 1920s.

True North by Jim Harrison
A brilliant novel, full of sparkling, thoughtful writing, about the ways in which guilt filters down through multiple generations.

Field Gray by Philip Kerr
The seventh and so far best (for me) entry in Kerr's "Bernie Gunther" Berlin Noir series. We go back to early 30s Berlin, live through some of the horrific deeds perpetrated in the Ukraine during World War 2, and are plunged into Cold War Berlin, circa 1954.

28jnwelch
Dec 15, 2018, 3:28pm Top

>26 NarratorLady: Debbi's loving The Overstory, Anne. Great pick to start '19!

29benitastrnad
Edited: Dec 17, 2018, 1:35pm Top

I only have three that made my Top 5 Fiction list.

1. Strange the Dreamer a YA fantasy novel by Laini Taylor was captivating. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but it is out and I have my copy waiting for me.

2. Machineries of Empire space opera series by Yoon Ha Lee. This is 3 books but I read books 2 and 3 this year and liked them. This author can write battle scenes. It was a strange series to get started in, but those nail biting battle scenes put these over the top.

3. Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff another fun YA space opera trilogy. All three books were written using a unique format and with an interesting plot and great narration on the sound recordings this was a unbeatable series. Great fun.

31WeeTurtle
Dec 18, 2018, 4:22am Top

I'm curious at how few of these seem to be shared. I guess it's differing reading habits. I don't think I've read anything outside of my own 5.

32anglemark
Dec 18, 2018, 5:04am Top

On the current first page, I have read eight in addition to my own contribution, but most of them not this year. One of those would have made it to my "bottom five" list for the year that I read it. And there are more than one book there that I have actively avoided after having sampled it and read reviews of it. So yes, we're all different.

33thorold
Edited: Dec 18, 2018, 7:32am Top

>32 anglemark: And we’re a small sample dipping into a large ocean - 83 people have contributed to the list so far, so at most there should be 415 distinct titles there, out of the millions of books we could have been reading. Even if you limited it to books published in the last two years, we’d still only be dipping a bucket in a lake.

Not counting my own contributions (which no-one shares), I’ve read ten of the first hundred in the list at the moment. Of those I’d be prepared include Middlemarch, Nights at the circus and The tin drum in some kind of list of favourites, but not the rest.

34HelenGress
Dec 18, 2018, 11:42am Top

I have an eclectic list in no particular order:

1. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver- family tales, financial pressures, environmental concerns, and Darwinism all in Kingsolver's delightful prose.
2. Beartown by Fredrik Backman- small town hockey fervor, crime, family pressures- the author could easily be describing a Canadian story- but is set in the author's home country of Sweden.
3. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows: A hilarious and heartwarming novel by Balli Kaur Jaswal - looking for a bit of mystery, a bit of danger, a bit of empowerment, and bits of humor? You will find it all as well as glimpses into the class conscious Indian immigrant microcosm in England.
4. Memory Wall: Stories by Anthony Doerr- short story collection- with the shared theme of memory. This writer's command of prose is beautiful! I don't re-read often- too many books call my name- but I will read these selections again.
5, The Overstory by Richard Powers - i learned quite a bit while listening to this one. Four very different central characters- each drawn to environmental activism by, for trees.

Bonus-- who can be satisfied with only 5? Feeding my Mother by Jann Arden. This one - part memoir, part recipe book, part photo album- explores Arden's life as she copes with the challenges her aging parents face- it resonates with me on too many levels.

35HelenGress
Dec 18, 2018, 1:19pm Top

I have read 11 other than my own- but agree we have varied tastes. But that is one of the things I love about LThing. I look forward to trying a few of those picked by other readers.

36aethercowboy
Dec 18, 2018, 2:00pm Top

I've read 21 of the books on the list (aside from the five I listed). Of them:

3 were on my "bottom five" for the year I read them.
3 were on my "top five" for the year I read them (but at least one of those wouldn't get back on that list if I read it now).

The rest were all 4-stars or more.

372wonderY
Dec 18, 2018, 2:18pm Top

It was kind of a crap year for me in reading - I spent a lot of time sampling and tossing books. But it's still hard to narrow down the very best to only five.

Well, here are mine

Three non-fiction
Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare - details the development of alternative warfare technology and tactics. The book is rich in previously untold stories and heroes.
Last Hope Island - describes the European governments-in-exile in England, how they all got there and how they contributed to the war efforts.
Montaigne in Barn Boots - Michael Perry is mighty versatile. I'll read anything he writes.

both fiction are science fiction
Six Wakes - a closed door murder mystery on a space ship. Good characters and well executed.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) - replicant AI that originated from one human. The variations and their different missions allow for lots of SF trope play.

38mandojoe
Dec 20, 2018, 3:43pm Top

I used to think that The Iliad was the first and last word on war. This year I read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and find that I was too hasty re Homer.

39Violette62
Dec 20, 2018, 5:47pm Top

I have 2 historical fiction and 3 graphic novels on my list:

White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
Berlin by Jason Lutes
Brazen by Penelope Bagieu
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

40chrisstevenson
Dec 20, 2018, 9:18pm Top

I re-read Seabisquit and just loved it again. Of course, my personal favorite is Blackmailed Bride by Stevenson.

41RebeccaRoberts
Edited: Dec 20, 2018, 10:50pm Top

>jnwelch Finally someone lists this terrific tome. Powerful writing, powerful content. Haven't even finished and it's my absolute #1 read of 2018.

42RebeccaRoberts
Edited: Dec 20, 2018, 10:51pm Top

>nrmay Very! I'm devouring it and begging eveyone tonread it!

43anglemark
Dec 21, 2018, 3:03am Top

>41 RebeccaRoberts: You need to put the post number after the greater-than sign, not the username.

44Bowerbirds-Library
Dec 21, 2018, 6:56am Top

My five (in no particular order) are;
Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively
The Garden of Reading ed. by Michele Slung
The Blue Rose by Anthony Eglin
The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
Collected Ghost Stories of M.R.James
An eclectic year but still with plenty of gardening!!! :-)

45brewergirl
Dec 21, 2018, 9:34am Top

>43 anglemark: This is off topic, but just this morning, over breakfast, I was getting more and more frustrated trying to remember how to link to a specific message post on another thread. I have been on LT almost since the beginning but rarely comment on Talk messages. I tried searching several different ways to find it but only found older instructions on using the HREF tag to create a link, etc. I went to work with a very bad attitude, getting more and more annoyed at everything. I decided to try one more time but thought I'd check out this group first. And there, totally unbidden, was your helpful comment about how to do exactly what I wanted. Serendipity? Hand of God? Dumb luck? Whatever -- thanks!

46juliecracchiolo
Dec 21, 2018, 10:11am Top

it was a great year for reading for me:

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye (historical fiction)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (inspirational)
Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones (biographical fiction)
The Great Sugar War (The Land without Color Book 2) by Benjamin Ellefson; illustrated by Kevin Cannon (Grades 4-6)
Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century by Nicholas J. C. Pistor (nonfiction)
I Only Have Lies for You by (Robert J. Randisi; Rat Pack mystery #11) (historical mystery)
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis (historical fiction)
The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall (historical fiction)
The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable (historical fiction)
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (contemporary/historical fiction)
The Land Without Color (The Land without Color Book 1) by Benjamin Ellefson; illustrations by Kevin Cannon (Grades 3-4)
Mind Platter by Najwa Zebian (Poetry/Philosophy)
Ike and Kay by James MacManus (historical fiction)
The Last Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell (historical/contemporary fiction)
Young Lincoln by Jan Jacobi (historical fiction; middle grades)
Love Letters Home: Love in a Time of War (1942-1945) by Chapman Deering (historical fiction/nonfiction)
The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall (southern gothic/literary)
Love and Ruin by Paula McLain (historical fiction)
Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanna Bischof (historical literary)
Abraham Lincoln, Pro Wrestler (Time Twisters #1) by Steve Sheinkin (early chapter book)
Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters by Amy Davis (nonfiction)
The Cozies: The Legend of Operation Moonlight by T. L. Fisher (Grades 4-6 fantasy)
The Baseball Fanbook: Everything You Need to Know to Become a Hardball Know-It All (A Sports Illustrated Kids Book) by The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids (sports nonfiction)
Zoey & Sassafras: Monsters & Mold by Asia Citro (author) and Marion Lindsay (illustrator) (children 6-10 years)
Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro (author) and Marion Lindsay (illustrator) (Kindergarten – 5 years)
It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell (memoir)
A Different Plan: A True Story of an Adrenaline Junkie Who Found God’s Plan…and Lived by Johannes Adendorff (inspirational memoir)
The Mourning Parade by Dawn Rose Langely (contemporary fiction)
Survivor Diaries: Overboard by Terry Lynn Johnson (YA Adventure/nonfiction)

47anglemark
Dec 21, 2018, 11:45am Top

>45 brewergirl: Serendipity, definitely! Or, if you're religious (I'm not): God provideth!

48DeltaQueen50
Dec 21, 2018, 12:03pm Top

None of my top five reads of 2018 were "new" books but these are the ones that I loved this year:

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman - deliciously creepy!
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene - as read by the fablous Colin Firth
Under the Skin by Michael Faber - one of my favorite authors
Old Man's War by John Scalzi - a really fun read
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah - another book enhanced by the author reading the audio version

49Cecrow
Edited: Dec 21, 2018, 1:31pm Top

>46 juliecracchiolo:, is that a thirty-way tie for first, or how exactly should we interpret this?

50FAMeulstee
Dec 21, 2018, 4:21pm Top

Of the 24 books I rated with 5 stars, nine were rereads, and five only available in Dutch. Of the remaining ten books these were my favorites:

All quiet on the Western front by Erich Maria Remarque
Go, went, gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
Regeneration by Pat Barker
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
The world of yesterday by Stefan Zweig

The complete list of 5 star reads in 2018 can be found at my wikipage at LT.

51jimi99
Dec 21, 2018, 4:36pm Top

Invisible Man--Ellison
Eugene Onegin--Pushkin
If On a Winter's Night a Traveler--Calvino
Chief Bender's Burden--Swift
The Haunting of Hill House--Jackson

52LyndaInOregon
Edited: Dec 21, 2018, 6:05pm Top

There's still time for another "best of" to pop up, but here's the list to date...

First-Time Reads: Fiction
-Knitting, Anne Bartlett
-The Double Bind, Chris Bohjalian
-The Yarn Woman, Brooks Mencher

First-Time Reads: Nonfiction
-Ava's Man, Rick Bragg
-Evicted, Matthew Desmond
-Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

Re-Reads: Fiction
-In the Woods, Tana Frencjh
-The Light Fantastic, Terry Pratchett
-The Once and Future King, T.H. White

Re-Reads: Nonfiction
-The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe

If you're going to force me at gunpoint to pick only five ....
Ava's Man
Evicted
Killers of the Flower Moon
The Once and Future King
The Light Fantastic

54jjwilson61
Edited: Dec 23, 2018, 4:49pm Top

The list should have been created as an unordered list since it's quite difficult to rank them when we're already choosing the top five of the year, especially between fiction and non-fiction.

I didn't match with anyone else's list which is probably because I get all my reading from the library so none of them were published this year or even last year.

City of Stairs, City of Blades, City of Miracles
Three Parts Dead
Steelheart
Reality is Not What it Seems
The First Tycoon

55jjwilson61
Dec 23, 2018, 6:49pm Top

And why are people thumbing down entries in the list? People are just listing their favorite books so thumbing down an entry means that you know better than that person what their favorites were.

56Bookmarque
Dec 23, 2018, 6:58pm Top

yeah that's dumb. People just don't understand the list and the creator didn't disable it. Stooopid.

57WeeTurtle
Dec 24, 2018, 5:47am Top

I think it's a way of expressing opinions I suppose. Maybe the person wanted to allow for thumbs us options, but one comes with the other as well. Not sure.

>50 FAMeulstee: All Quiet on the Western Front is on my top 5 for best reads of all time.

58gaeta1
Edited: Dec 27, 2018, 3:31pm Top

This has been just a so-so year of reading for me, and I have read the fewest books--44, with two in progress--in many years. Partly that is because I have been reading extracts of books to pick out selections for a U.S. History book group which I lead, and partly because I am listening to more podcasts and fewer audiobooks. I am also ticking my way through 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, which cuts into my reading time.

A few favorites:

Less A witty book that works perfectly as an audiobook. This was a favorite of my other RL book group.
Spinning Silver Slightly overstuffef, but enjoyable.
Last Call by {Daniel Okrent} a re-read for me that I looked at much differently from the distance of five years. Okrent 's examination of the forces stre swing American society takes on new meaning post 2016.
Self-Portrait with a Boy Grat book on being a struggling young Artist in 1990's DUMBO

Big disappointments for me:

Essex Serpent. This novel was all over the place. No one in my book group liked it. So many lumpy and disparate parts,

Manhattan Beach such a disappointment after her last book. Gangsters from Warner Brothers, a woman doing a job that no woman ever did in WII but the author shoehorned her in anyway cause it was cool, and research shoved in every page because, you know, RESEARCH.UGH.

My goals next year: To not get sucked in by reviews, to read more older titles, and continue my ratio of two novels to every work of non-fiction.

Happy reading!

59NarratorLady
Dec 27, 2018, 10:06pm Top

>58 gaeta1: Couldn’t agree more; I disliked Manhattan Beach for the same reasons. I attended an author reading where Egan talked about her many years of research for the book and it was fascinating stuff. But I do think the story suffered by being buried under the weight of the research.

60NarratorLady
Edited: Dec 27, 2018, 11:03pm Top

I began the year listening to Trevor Noah’s fabulous Born a Crime, a truly wonderful performance that can’t be adequately experienced in print. Then I hit a fallow period of sub par reading only to have things perk up in the last half of the year so that now I need to divide my faves into fiction and non.

Fiction
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald*
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

* Technically non-fiction but the author made up (and left out) so many details, I read it as fiction.

Non-fiction
Jane Austen At Home by Lucy Worsley
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman
Educated by Tara Westover
Marmee and Louisa by Eve LaPlante
Rise and Shine by Cyra McFadden

62Bookmarque
Dec 30, 2018, 1:38pm Top

Oooh...si, have you seen the movie adaptation of Ripley's Game? It has Malkovich and Ray Winstone. It's fab.

63jnwelch
Dec 30, 2018, 7:35pm Top

>60 NarratorLady: Nice lists, Anne!

If I'd done a NF Top 5, Jane Austen at Home would've been at the top.

65norabelle414
Dec 31, 2018, 9:04pm Top

I've also created a list for "Dishonorable Mentions", if anyone is interested: https://www.librarything.com/list/20331/all/Dishonorable-Mentions-of-2018

66foggidawn
Dec 31, 2018, 9:04pm Top

Here are my Top 5:

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Honorable Mention:

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

69the_red_shoes
Edited: Jan 6, 10:15pm Top

My top five basically (OK lol no, more than five) (also, I can't rank books)

Edited after I realized Touchstones don't provide author names or any info other than the title. :-/

fiction
Felicities Maximized - L.A. Hall
Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott
Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn
A Study in Honor - Claire O'Dell
Drinking Gourd - Barbara Hambly
Exit Strategy - Martha Wells

and non
The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume II
Bunk - Kevin Young
Imperfect Harmony - Stacy Horn
Jell-O Girls - Allie Rowbottom
We Were Eight Years in Power - Ta-Nehisi Coates
Hope in the Dark - Rebecca Solnit
Ghosts of My Life - Mark Fisher
Words Are My Matter - Ursula K. Le Guin

70the_red_shoes
Jan 6, 9:17pm Top

>43 anglemark: THANK YOU, that has also driven me nuts for years!

71si
Jan 8, 1:42pm Top

>62 Bookmarque: Sorry only just noticed your post!
I have seen that film. Very underrated. There's a Wim Wenders film as well called 'The American Friend' which I've always liked,

72Bookmarque
Jan 8, 2:43pm Top

Oooh, I'll have to check that out! Thanks.

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