Recently I was asked what my favorite book of the year was. I totally flopped and didn’t have an answer. However the first thing that did come to mind was what genre did they want to know my favorite book in, because I have a lot of favorites and that’s only thinking back on this year. So I bring you my 2018 favorites so far out of the 178 books I have read, their genre, and a little bit about why.
Adventure - Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
I reread this series in March. My first read was in 2014. This is a series following a young man and his journey to becoming a full ranger. It’s a quick, easy read and one I would recommend to young teenage boys. Though I think girls would enjoy it too. It makes my favorite list because even on a reread I just plowed through the entire series, enjoying every minute of it. I originally reread to decide whether or not it was worth purchasing the last book and it definitely was.
Autobiographies - Landwhale by Jes Baker
If you don’t follow Jes Baker, you should go do that now. I loved her Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls book and Landwhale lived up to her writing. It was different though, much more serious and it told you upfront that she did not have all the answers when it comes to overcoming body image issues. I recommend this to anyone who is starting their body positive journey
Children’s - Whichwood, book two of Furthermore Series by Tahereh Mafi
I really enjoyed Whichwood, which surprised me because I did not enjoy book one. Usually if I don’t like the first book of the series I won’t bother with the second one, but for some reason I continued on and it was worth it. This covers the unique topic of death from a very different perspective and has some very light hearted moments. I wish there were more illustrations, I think they would be a perfect addition to the story. If it ever came out with an illustrated version I would buy it.
Comics - Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiano Staples
The issue with comics and manga is the rareness in which they come out. I own one through eight and will now continue to buy this series as I can and it has the making of being a long one. The art is nice, the production is nice, but the story is refreshing. Stereotypes that I see in books are broken here, from breast-feeding being treated like a normal process and with no shame to the adult graphic scenes. It’s well done and as said, I’ll continue to buy it for forever.
Contemporary - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Walk into a book expecting nothing and be blown away. Between this story and my choice for the romance genre I’d have a hard time choosing a number one for the year. This story took something and ran away with it, in the most elegant way. It surprised me and made me happy. Writing about it makes me want to dive into it again, except tears. This is a story that will make you cry and if it doesn’t would have me questioning your heart.
Fantasy - The Final Empire, Mistborn book one by Brandon Sanderson
I do not want to talk much about this book or this series as I’ll have a proper review of it coming out. Suffice to say, that I loved the Final Empire and even if I hate the rest of the series I’ll be getting this for my shelf.
Feminism - We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamnda Ngozi Adichie
The title of this book says it all. Everyone should read this and we shouldn’t be arguing over feminism qualities, but over the rights of humans and how we can bring about equality for all.
Fiction - The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
Another little book that took me by surprise. As someone who connected deeply with the local librarian as a teenager, this one touched my heart. I hope that all children have a librarian they remember with fondness. I don’t think runaway is a good thing, but I know that sometimes it’s the only option to people. It’s a sad reality and it’s one that we could fix with a little more love and a whole lot of conversation.
Health - Your Body Your Yoga: Learn Alignment Cues that are Skillful, Safe, and Best Suited to You by Bernie Clark and Paul Grilley
It’s hard to say if this is my favorite as book two is coming out in November. However this book changed my yoga practice in regards to alignment and while I don’t agree with everything written in it, I am so happy to own this book. The ability to know better placement and how one thing might not work for me but will for others has been a great help, especially when doing yoga at home. Certain poses, like lizard, have been completely changed for a deeper stronger position and others, like pigeon, for less fold. If you practice yoga, I recommend this book so much!
High Fantasy - The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
I need more… that is the most I can say about this book. I finished it and immediately wanted to reread it and also have a second and third book to go to. This is not a book I would ever have though to enjoy. It’s very political, it’s not an adventure, hero fantasy story. A goblin becomes the emperor and he does good. He learns the game of politics while riding the moral line. I very much need to buy this.
Humor - Bloody Acquisitions and The Fangs of Freelance, books three and four of Fred, the Vampire Account series by Drew Hayes
This book was listened to on Aubible. The series was one of the first I actively choose to listen too and I found it to be a good laugh along with book. Drew Hayes tends to be very repetitive in his writing so I definitely have qualms about his quality of work (that said, writing a book is hard and he’s done a lot of writing and I have never read a story). This story take the traditional role of a vampire and flips it on it’s head. Giving you a character that you would expect to find boring.
LGBT - A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, Marlon Bundo, and E.G. Keller
The circumstances regarding why we bought this book are kind odd. Last week tonight has a way of convincing of you some things occasionally. This is one of those things I don’t think I’ll ever regret. It’s a good story and it has a good story behind it’s creation. As such it sits proudly displayed on my mantel. Also if you have any suggestions for good LGBT books, let me know!
Manga - Black Butler by Yana Toboso
Like the Saga Comics I will forever be buying volumes of this for forever. I currently own 25 and I typically wait until there are three new ones before making the plunge. For the moment I refuse to watch the anime as I don’t want to ruin my fascination with the Butler. I love the art, the covers, and the characters. I’d love to pull out a scene and say this one is my favorite but it’s so hard to do that. It might be one a certain character dressed opposite and was adorable. Manga art is fantastic.
Mystery - Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan
I have not read many mystery genre books however this one tops all the ones I’ve read. I read this as well as my choice for Fiction on the recommendation of Jen Campbell and I am so glad I did. A story based on a bookstore and it’s uniqueness was not a boring tale at all. It very much made me want to find a cozy book store to snuggle up in and people watch.
Non-Fiction - So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
One of the most powerful books I have read this year. If you take anything from this list, it’s that you must read this book.
Poetry - the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace
Choosing a poetry book felt hard until I scrolled back further and saw this one this year’s read list. I loved the first book and the second one was just as good. I think I’ll be picking up anything else Amanda Lovelace reads.
Realistic Fiction - The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I think out of all the books I read this year, this one was the hardest. It was beautifully written. The thing is, it hits close to home. Not from an experience point of view but from the point of view of seeing history unfold exactly as in the book. Watching it happen right in front of me. This book lays out the experiences of young black women in America and I know that that experience is happening everyday. I find it hard to believe that people bring children into this world willingly.
Religion, Spirituality, & New Age - The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele
Seems odd to be putting this book under this category and yet that is definitely where it fits. The Yamas and Niyamas as very interesting and so different from the Christian belief system I grew up with. Ethics are important and it is nice to see history in a practice not surrounded by blood shed, at least on the side of those who originally followed the practice.
Romance - Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
As I said earlier in the post under the contemporary category, this book ties for first place. I bawled my way through it. It’s a book that heavily covers mental health and not in that sappy way a Nicholas Sparks novel does. It is a moving story and one I need to purchase for my shelf.
Science - Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye
I bought this book in 2014 for Kevin to read. It did not interest me. Then we got it on audible and began to listen. It is such a good book. It explains a lot, put questions I had to rest, and did it in a way that wasn’t soul crushing the way science is sometimes taught. I shouldn’t be surprised by this, as it’s written by Bill Nye, the science guy, but I am. I think that if I gave myself a few years and reread this I would be amazed by all the things I missed the first time around.
Science Fiction - Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Sci-Fi wasn’t a genre I had read before at least willingly. I always thought it to be the stuck up part of the fiction genre. However I really enjoyed this series and how it covered “diversity” in it’s characters. I do feel like Pierce Brown could have benefited from more input on his work from a large group of people. However it’s a great push in a good direction by a white author.
Self Help - Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon
Everything I could say about this book is written better here. I’ll say that if you are struggling in your body positivity journey this might be a good book for you. I found it to be a book that continued to push me in the right direction.
Series - The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
This series is not finished yet and this is sad because I hate waiting for new books to come out and they always take forever. Renee Ahdieh has written a great story and I need more of it. Also the covers are simply beautiful and I would want them on my shelf good story or not just because they are beautiful works of art. However the story is good and so that makes it all the better.
Short Story - Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
I am not a fan of short stories. So part of me wanted to be frustrated with the novella sized books and the shortness of Binti’s world. I wanted more. However the three books in the set are beautiful, elegant, and fascinating. Highly recommend if you want some space love without all the Sci-Fi stuff that usually follows space.
Trilogy - The Broken Earth Series by N.K. Jemisin
I read the first book from the library and then purchased the series before I finished. This is a great series, with a unique story. With authors like N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, and Renee Ahdieh I felt new worlds open up for me. They broke a lot of the stereotypes found in the writings of white authors and they do it well.
Young Adult - The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Another unfinished series. The fae world is a unique world and not one I’ve spent much time in this year. However I love it and I’ll keep coming back to it. The bullying in this books is horrible but the story is good. I can not wait for more of this series to come out.
And there you go; 26 Genres - 77 books - 45 by women - 38 by people of color - 5 from Aubible - 10 from the library - 62 owned - 23 bought this year. A lot of reading and a lot of good books found.
Have you read any mentioned in my list? Also tell me what your favorites are from this year?
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.