Best Books (So Far) of 2018

Is it just me or has 2018 been a trying year? I am tired. BUT. I just returned from a fabulous vacation in Northern California where I saw actual whales, rode a motorcycle, and drank wine with one of my best friends. And it wouldn’t be a vacation without books 🙂

This time last year, I was living in Prague, and I’d read 43 books. I wrote about my favorites here.

After moving back to the states and starting a new job in December, my time for reading shrunk tremendously (so sad.), but I’ve still managed to read 27 books this year! I love book lists and am impatient, so thought I’d make my own now rather than waiting until the end of the year.

Here are my Four Favorites So Far of 2018.

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Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
If Mamma Mia! were a mystery set in Italy, it would be Auntie Poldi. This book is funny and plot driven. It isn’t what I would call a ‘page-turner’ but it is highly entertaining and charming. I want to be Auntie Poldi when I grow up. For fans of The #1 Ladies Detective Agency, Beautiful Ruins, and Mindy Kaling.

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The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Remember when ‘humble bragging’ was a trend? I’d like to bring that back by saying that I bought this book in London because it was the Waterstones (aka British Barnes and Noble) book of the year. It isn’t exactly a mystery, but it has mysterious elements. And the writing is really, really good. It was the first book I read this year and so far it’s one of the best! The title reflects the content: is there a serpent in Essex? Is it a figment of the town’s imagination? If not, what is it doing there? The main character is a widow who is determined to find answers to each of these questions.

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Himself by Jess Kidd
Like The Essex Serpent, this novel also takes place across the pond. It’s a ghost story! Which is far outside my typical genre but the ghosts are delightful and add a very unique element to the book. Also, I listened to it on audio and the narrator was Irish *insert heart eyed emoji*. I chose this because ‘a book with a one word title’ is on my 2018 Reading Challenge. If you’re a gigantic nerd like me, you should Google ‘reflexive and intensive pronouns’ just for fun. The book opens with a gruesome murder and follows the narrator as he tries to determine what happened.

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A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
Quite frankly I don’t even know how to describe this book except to say that I cried through the last twenty pages, in the middle seat on an airplane. I read it on my Kindle and upon finishing it, immediately went out and bought the hard cover. The author is 26, I tweeted at her how amazing and inspiring and beautiful her book is and she responded ‘thank you Haley’. Mic drop. EVERYONE READ THIS NOW. I don’t even want to tell you the plot so that you’ll be forced to look it up. IT WAS SO GOOD.

 

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