Friday, January 18, 2019

Favorite Books of 2018

I set a reading goal of 52 books last year and I was pretty optimistic when I read 9 books in January alone. But alas that was a bit of a fluke and, even though I made a big push during my two kid-free trips to Colorado this year, and pounded out 7 books in December, I finished two books short! I think it had something to do with the fact that Tommy became a little bit more wiggly and distracted during nursing sessions which prevented me from doing any more reading while nursing.

Regardless, here are some of my very favorite books from this past year that I managed to read in between wrestling my little wild child and sneaking in a few pages at night before my husband passive aggressively pulled a pillow over his head and said "uhhh... so bright..."
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Throne of Glass (series) - Sarah J. Maas
If you like fantasy, magic, a badass heroine (or two or three), a world shaking, heart breaking love story... this is for you. The best part is that's it seven books and even then I didn't want it to end.

Beartown - Frederik Backman
Dark, sticks with you, gets under your skin, breaks your heart, makes you cry, makes you mad, makes you feel things about being young, about being a mother and a daughter. The extremes we go to, tearing apart our lives, just to break something, just to hurt so we can feel like we're doing something to take away the hurt in our children's lives.

Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
Speaking of mothers and daughters.... oh this was such a complex and devastating story about that most complicated relationship. 

"To a parent, your child wasn't just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present your were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once. It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in. And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again." 

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
A fantastical, magical heist. Oceans Eleven with the same impossible odds and an eclectic crew of capable misfits, but set in a make believe world. "No mourners, no funerals!"

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
I started this one skeptically and at first thought it was a little weird and not my thing, but because everyone was talking about it, and my mom loved it, I kept reading and it totally softened my heart and was worth all the hype. Eleanor is not annoying, as I initially thought, she is uniquely endearing and unapologetically herself in the face of incredible childhood tragedy. It made my heart hurt for the lonely and also made me think twice about how flippantly we answer "fine" to the question "how are you?"

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
For book lovers and lovers of book lovers. For anyone who's ever been changed by a really good book.

"...a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us...when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day." 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore - Matthew J. Sullivan
Long live the bookstore!! An unexpected mystery, twisted and connected through hidden clues cut out of the well loved and well worn pages of books.

The Great Alone - Kristin Hannah
What's more dangerous? The unknown wilderness of Alaska or the unknown wilderness inside your own family?

A Man Called Ove - Frederick Backmam
Another by this author quickly becoming a favorite of mine. It's totally different from Beartown but equally as wonderful! This title has been out for a bit but I just read it at the end of the year and it was the sweetest feel good way to end the year! Just lifts the spirits and puts a smile on your face!

Educated - Tara Westover
It would be unbelievable if it wasn't a true story. The things children are capable of surviving at the hands of their damaged and damaging parents...

My Oxford Year - Julia Whelan
A fun quick read and a sweet little love story set in one of my favorite places in the world. If you liked Me Before You, and especially if you didn't like it because you hated the ending and overall message... this is 100x better.

Into the Water - Paula Hawkins
"Some say the women left something of themselves in the water; some say it retains some of their power, for ever since then it has drawn to its shores the unlucky, the desperate, the unhappy, the lost. They come here to swim with their sisters." 

I got a kindle for Christmas and I’ve already got a few books checked out from the library on my nightstand. I set the same reading goal for 2019, 52 books, so wish me luck and leave me your best recommendations!

3 comments :

  1. I only read for a few minutes at bedtime, after my Bible reading and devotional, and I have all my other books on my Kindle Fire so I don't need a light on. I might read 20 books a year but have never set a goal. Good luck on your new goal!

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  2. Definitely adding some of these to my list! I loved The Great Alone and just requested Educated from my library. Did you read Before We Were Yours - one of my favorite books!

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  3. I just finished The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. So good! Just started Kate Morton's The Clockmaker's Daughter which I expect to love because I love all of her books.

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