Stop the Presses! Here are 16 Favourite Books of 2018 that are INCREDIBLE
26th June, 2018
Aren’t mid-year and year-end round ups the best? The first half of the year was booming with new literary talent. There were some fantastic releases from established authors while an equally good number of debut novels stole the limelight. Here are the best of 2018.
1.Circe by Madeline Miller (2018)
Circe tells her own story – a direct blow to the versions of her being a seductress and witch who begs for forgiveness at the feet of Odysseus. Madeline Miller gives her the dignity of being a fiery protagonist rather than a side character in the Greek stories told by men.
2.Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman (2017)
You just cannot stop reading this debut novel once you start because Eleanor is such a darling and you will be anxious because she isn’t fine even though she seems to be. Slightly eccentric with an innocent mind, Eleanor will surely win your heart.
3.When I Hit you by Meena Kandasamy (2018)
Brutal! When I hit you is raw, honest and visceral that you will find yourself squirming on your seat. It tells the story of the internal and external conflicts in the mind of a young writer and wife and how she struggles with her abusive marriage within the walls of her house while creating strong, women characters with her pen.
4.The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (2018)
This is a historical romp set in the 1700s and tells the story of a high end courtesan and a merchant who comes in possession of a mermaid. Atmospheric and told in a wonderfully, languid and descriptive prose, this ambitious debut is a visual and literary treat.
6.A Place for us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (2018)
One of the most hyped debuts of 2018 and the first by the new imprint by Sarah Jessica Parker for Hogarth, this is a reader’s delight. A slow burning, emotional family drama that makes us fear if the silliest of our actions might have tragic consequences.
7.Creative Struggle by Gavin Aung Than (2018)
If you are a creative, be it for a hobby or to earn a living, you will love this book. With beautifully illustrated snippets from the lives of famous personalities, this book is very inspiring that you will revisit it many times when in slumps.
8.Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi (2008- )
Amulet is a comic series that will keep you up late at night. The plot is suspenseful, world building elaborate, pacing perfect and the art splendid. The series is not completed yet. But all the seven books so far deserve a five star each. It is that good.
9.The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg (2013)
Stunning! I loved this as much as I loved Isabel’s second novel, One Hundred Nights of Hero, which I thought was a must read. The book is filled with stories centered on the Bible, Greek myths and Scandinavian myths set in an original new world. Coincidentally One Hundred Nights of Hero was on my Favourites of 2017 list and I think Isabel Greenberg is a storyteller to watch out for.
10.Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (2015)
A graphic debut novel from Noelle Stevenson about a young shapeshifter who aspires to be the sidekick of the famous villain, Lord Blackheart. Their adventures will leave you laughing so much until your tummy aches and eye fill up with tears.
11.Ritz and Escoffier: The Chef and the Hotelier by Luke Barr (2018)
This book is a riot of glitz, glam and luxury. While I knew Ritz because of the chain of hotels, the book introduced me to the chef, Escoffier, who was instrumental in the rise of Ritz as a hotelier. Complete with scandals, cameo appearances by literary and political figures, descriptions of luxury in good old times and generous passages on food, this book is a delight.
12.The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (2018)
The Immortalists tells the story of four siblings who are victims to a prophecy of they hear as a child. The book is a serious read about life, death, misunderstanding and the insatiable urge to live life on one’s terms.
13.A general theory of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualosa (2015)
This is a book like no other. We follow Ludo who shuts herself in her house for 30 years while the history of Angola unfolds over the time period. A brilliant fragmented narrative with shifting timelines and many tragicomic consequences for the characters. This underrated novel has a cinematic quality and finesse in writing and I’d highly recommend the book.
14.Florida by Lauren Groff (2018)
Lauren Groff is a genius when it comes to words. This short story collection set in Florida talks about loneliness, grief, vulnerability of humans, rage, contentment and time. Very atmospheric and so good that you would want to underline the whole book.
15.Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan (2018)
Rainbirds is another noteworthy debut of 2018. Slow, atmospheric and deeply reminiscent of a Murakami vibe, this is the story of loss, grief and a yearning to find answers.
16.The Girl who smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (2018)
This memoir recalls the horrific situation of refugees who tried to escape the Rwandan genocide. It is a story of survival, loss and war amidst the struggle to stay alive. It also talks of how nothing ever goes back to normal even after a family reunion as being on the run changes everyone.
If you enjoyed this list, you might love ‘What I Learnt by Challenging myself to Read 30 books in 30 days‘ which was an incredible reading month of mostly 4 star and 5 star reads. If you would like to add more books to your TBR, this list of Favourite books of 2017 might come handy.
Worried about reading tips? Read my personal reading schedule here and also check out reading tips and schedules of five voracious readers on social media.
Have you read any of these or are they on your TBR? What were your favourite reads of this year?