I did not get into reading until I graduated school. I was one of those people who thought those who read for leisure were crazy given there are so many good TV shows on. I’d had my fair share of books during school and I’m pretty sure the 4th grade core lit book Island of the Blue Dolphins cemented my feelings that books were most definitely boring. With most things, you get wiser with age and it only takes one good book to get you hooked. This past year I have given up so many nights of TV in order to crawl into bed early just to get a few extra pages in. I find that reading is truly the only time I allow myself to relax and let my brain remain still. Mom ADD comes in full-force once the TV is on; my bum hits the couch, the iPhone is whipped out, and I find the need to search every social media outlet, purchase the extra toy on Amazon, and read up on daily current events. I read so many good books this year ranging from fiction, autobiographies, and lets just say the self-help section of our local bookstore had a few visits from yours truly. Here are my top ten picks from books that I read in 2018:
10. The Last Mrs. Parrish: With shocking turns and dark secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Last Mrs. Parrish is a fresh, juicy, and addictive thriller. A very simple “beach-read” that doesn’t take a lot of brain power. I couldn’t put it down!
9. The Silent Sister: Riley has spent her entire life believing that her older sister committed suicide as a teenager. Now, twenty years later, she finds evidence to the contrary. In my opinion, there was a lot of unnecessary character development but it kept my interest from start to finish.
8. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: A smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes that the only way to survive is to open your heart. If you enjoyed reading A Man Called Ove, this is for you, only better.
7. How To Party With An Infant: This book perfectly captures modern parenthood among the privileged and the silent shames of motherhood. This book will not be everyone’s cup of tea but I laughed out loud numerous times.
6. Little Fires Everywhere: A great book on how personalities can spin the world. An artistic mother and daughter who move from place to place and a mother in a town where everything is just perfect, or so it seems.
5. The Lavender Garden: This book moves back and forth from current day to WWII making a beautiful story even more enticing. The WWII details were fascinating and well researched. I thought this book had wonderful characters that were believable as well as characters you would want to share a day with.
4. The Nightingale: This book is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of two sisters in France during World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France. I was late to jump on The Nightingale train so most of you have probably read it. If you haven’t, buy your copy now.
3. Before We Were Yours: This book is based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals – in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. Not to get political but I found this book very fitting in today’s politics when it comes to separating families. This book was heartbreaking and beautiful all at once.
2. An American Marriage: The two main characters – Roy and Celestial – are married just a year when police burst into their hotel room and arrest Roy for a crime he did not commit. In that moment, their marriage and future collapse. I am no english major but this was some of the best writing I have ever read. The chapters where the husband and wife write to each other from jail are incredibly well-written and realistic in how this could unfold in real life.
1. Where the Crawdads Sing: Kya is the “Marsh Girl” and for years rumors of her have haunted Barkley Cove. So when the popular and handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya. I absolutely loved the character development and think about the main character months after I finished reading this book. This is hands-down one of the best books I have ever read.