Look, I know it is way past time for me to be posting this.
In the Year of Our Lord 2018, I read 65 books. I will be honest, I thought this number would be a lot lower. I went through a serious slump in the middle of the year when I was under writing deadlines and feeling blah about multiple books I was reading at the time.
Least in a Month – In July and August, I only read three books, six total for those two months. There are two reasons for this downturn. I was under a large writing deadline at the time and the weather here in Wyoming is ridiculously nice that time of year. A lot of my free time was spent sitting outside drinking beers with friends and hiking around the mountains. I have no regrets.
Most in a Month – January wins this handedly with 13 books. Looking at the list for that month, I can tell you it is because I inhaled some graphic novels and finished up some nonfiction I had been reading through the fall the previous year.
2018 could be called the Year of the Series because I read or binged quite a few of them. I also stuck to some authors that I loved. There are a lot of books by Alyssa Cole, Kit Rocha, and Ilona Andrews books on this list. I read across genres more than I normally do and that has more to do with the two books clubs I am in than anything else. I read some truly exceptional nonfiction this year. Every NF on this list is amazing.
Favorite Book of the Year – I am starting to hate that I ever begun picking a favorite for the year. I always hate choosing. My favorite books of the year have an asterisk beside them in the list below. I am going to pick three that stood out and this is my writing space so I can do as I please.
The book that come up first in the list is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. This is the first of a trilogy, all of which are now out. I have only read the first one. The second is very high on my TBR list. I could tell you about the inclusiveness of the cast, the way this books deals with all different kinds of sexuality, the theme of found families that is woven into multiple places of the narrative, the beautiful characters that Chambers has created, the serious questions of humanity, AI, and loyalty, or the fact that this is a space opera and you would know this book is amazing. I still think about it often. It is over the top wonderful.
The second book that I loved was A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole. Cole is an auto-buy for me no matter what subgenre of romance she is writing. I adore her. This book was especially delightful because I loved Coming to America as a kid and this points to that cultural icon often. This book is also dominated by a whip-smart STEM heroine who has had to fight her way to where she is and a hero who comes to appreciate and understand what giving your partner autonomy means. This is also the first in a series and the rest of the books are predictably awesome.
The third book I loved was Undead Nation by Justina Ireland. On the surface, this is post Civil War America with zombies, but this book is vastly more than that. Ireland takes what is on its own a great plot and weaves in all kinds of things from who is disposable, girls’ finishing schools, what does slavery and ownership mean, a deconstruction of Jim Crow, and a character that is so bad ass that I loved her from the first page. Even if you don’t like zombies, this book as an examination of race and worth are in itself a reason to pick it up.
Least Favorite Book: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. There are not enough explicatives for me to use when describing this book to you. I was already frustrated by this book, but there are two things that pushed it into burn it all down territory for me. SPOILERS: The main character is a total shit to the only person/thing that is nice to him, his dog. You know who is mean to dogs? Terrible people. Then, in a true fit of shittiness, the dog dies to save the main character in what is a heart wrenching and awful scene. Ness also does one of the things that is an unforgivable act for me and that is ending the book on a cliffhanger. I am not talking about things are a little unresolved, I mean one of the characters is in mortal danger and all the progress that has been made goes to shit in the last scene. Basically, he ended the book in the middle of the Black Moment and I was FURIOUS. I still am to be honest. The ending of this book, and the other problems I had with it (misogyny much?), cemented the fact that I will never, ever buy or read another book by this author.
I know cliffhangers are a very common thing in YA and I do like YA, but I still hate cliffhangers. It is a cheap way to emotionally manipulate your readers. Don’t be a lazy a-hole and finish writing the book for the love of Pete.
See, I still have a LOT of feelings about this.
Favorite reread – In a shocking turn of events and for the first time ever, I had only one reread on this list, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I feel like giving it my favorite reread title would be cheating since it was the only one. It was fun to read it again. I also read most of The Order of the Phoenix because I needed some resistance in my life. I did not include it in the list because technically, I did not finished reading it. DA all the way.
January – 13
*The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Saga v. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Chew vol. 4 by John Layman and Rob Guillory
Saga v. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
*We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry by Stanley J. Grenz and Denise Muir Kjesbo
*Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
Chew vol. 5 by John Layman and Rob Guillory
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C. O’Brien
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
February – 4
Saga Vol. 7 by Fiona Staples and Brain K. Vaughan
Hidden Hearts by Olivia Dade
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
*Tempest by Beverly Jenkins
March – 5
*A Princess In Theory by Alyssa Cole
Etched In Bone by Anne Bishop
*Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
*Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Monstress Issue#1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
April – 6
Ashwin by Kit Rocha
A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St-Onge, and Joy San
*Undead Nation by Justina Ireland
The Viking Queen’s Men by Holly Trent
The Chieftain’s Daughter by Holly Trent
May – 6
Gladiator by Anna Hackett
Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoet
Princeless Book One: Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley and M. Goodwin
The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill
The Wolf Lord by Ann Aguirre
The Coyote’s Cowboy by Holly Trent
June – 4
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
East of West vol. 1 by Hickman, Dragotta, Martin
A Letter to My Congregation by Ken Wilson
Deacon by Kit Rocha
July – 3
*Ivan by Kit Rocha
Scales and Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon’s Maw by Girner, Galaad, and Powell
An Ember In the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
August – 3
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
*Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
*Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston
September – 6
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Trade Me by Courtney Milan
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
*Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
*Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews
October – 4
*Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Curran POV Collection by Ilona Andrews
November – 5
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
*A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
How The Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Shupe
Tikka Chance On Me by Suleikha Snyder
The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross
December – 5
A Hope Divided by Alyssa Cole
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare