I am about to finish one of the best books I’ve read all year and since I’m going to spend the last few weeks of the year finishing off books I’ve already partially read, I feel like it’s a good time to talk about my favourite books of the year. In other words, I don’t think there will be any late additions to the list, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong. Note: these are books that I read in 2018, not all were written or published this year.
My top five+ in alphabetical order:
Dare to Lead
By Brené Brown
Brené Brown said that she wrote “write a book that would change how the reader thinks about leading, would result in at least one meaningful behaviour change, and could be read cover to cover on one flight.” Coincidentally, I started this book on a flight (shorter than the one she referenced) and finished it on the flight home. Leadership is an important topic to me and I look to Brené Brown for guidance in all aspects of my life. I returned my library copy of Dare to Lead once I was done and promptly purchased my own. Here’s one of my favourite quotes from the book and a link to my Instagram review.
Half Spent Was The Night: A Witch’s Yuletide
By Ami McKay
I was waiting to borrow this one from my library and it arrived at the perfect time: early in December. Before I got my hands on it, I hadn’t realized the “witch’s yuletide” tagline so the timing was divine and it helped get me into the Christmas spirit to read it. I’d read The Birth House when it first came out ten years ago and I enjoyed it immensely, but my reading hiatus got in the way of ever reading any of her other books. Now, I’m inspired to go back and catch up on the ones she’s written since then and I’m going to buy a copy of Half Spent Was The Night so that I can make reading it a holiday tradition. Find my Instagram book review here.
Sex and the City and Us: How Four Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love
To be clear, this list isn’t of the *best quality* books I read, just the books that meant the most to me. In some cases, those are the best books, but in other cases, they are the best experiences and Sex and the City and Us was certainly one of those. I was a latecomer to the show, but I still knew that Sex and the City had meant a lot to me when it was airing. I hadn’t realized exactly how much until I read this book. It was packed full of behind the scenes information I wasn’t aware of, reminders of and explanations for some of my favourite scenes and episodes and some background about cultural shifts that I just never clued into. If you were even a casual viewer of this show, I’d recommend you read through this retrospective. Here’s a link to my Instagram review of this book.
The Mars Room
I’m at that delicate point at the end of a book when I can push through what’s left (in this case, about 40 pages) but I know that once I start, there’ll be no turning back. And I don’t want this book to end. The Mars Room is a fictional reflection on women in prison in America and it is meaningful, heart wrenching and so, so compelling. This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is worthy of that kind of praise. No matter how it ends, I am so thankful I picked this one up this year.
The Perfect Nanny
By Leïla Slimani
I was tipped off to this book when it was the selection of The Social Chapter. Despite the fact that all of the women on the panel disliked it, I loved it. I thought that it was tragically heartfelt and I found it was one of the best representations of living in Paris that I’ve ever read. It isn’t an easy subject and it’s an uncomfortable idea to swallow, but I felt like it really flexed my compassion and I like that. This is a link to my Instagram review of this book.
Anything by Caroline Kepnes
After I read Providence in August, Caroline Kepnes basically took over my reading life. I read You in October and Hidden Bodies in November. In addition to reading it, You was made into a TV show on Lifetime. We finagled a link to watch it weekly, but it’ll become available on Netflix on December 26th.
Tell me about your favourite reads of 2018. I love a good book recommendation!