It’s that time again, where I look back on my reading year and round up my favorite books. To be honest, I didn’t read as much as I would have liked. But, I can confidently say that I did read some QUALITY books in 2018. So here are my top book picks of the year:
EDUCATED by Tara Westover
If you’ve been anywhere near Lemuria Books this year, you’ve probably heard me rave about this book. This captivating and inspirational memoir about a girl breaking free from her eccentric family’s ideals to pursue an education will stay with you for a long time. It’s perfect for fans of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. Hands down, Educated is my favorite book of 2018. Check out my full review here.
A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrick Backman
A heartwarming, Swedish tale about a grumpy old man named Ove who discovers a new reason to live. It’s a completely adorable and hygge read that made me smile, laugh, and cry. I’m so happy I discovered this author through my book club, and I’m planning on reading more of Backman, particularly Beartown, in 2019.
SAVE THE DATE by Morgan Matson
Morgan Matson is pretty much the queen of adorable summer YA romances and her latest book about a family wedding gone wrong was exactly what I needed to survive the Mississippi heat. It’s an easy, sweet read that convinced me to automatically add Matson to every summer reading list.
COME MATTER HERE by Hannah Brencher
I’ve been a HB fan for some years now and follow her blog religiously, so I was highly anticipating this book. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Part memoir, part pep-talk, Come Matter Here is about how to be present in a world obsessed with highlight reels and instant success. With grace and wit, Hannah discusses how to dig deep in relationships, how to walk with faith through the valleys, how to show up and stay for people, how to find a church, and so much more. A must read for anyone in their twenties. Check out my full review here.
WAITING FOR EDEN by Elliot Ackerman
One of the more literary books I read this year. A powerful novel about the choices we make and how they affect the people we love. This book isn’t for everyone, but I found the writing brilliant and the moral dilemmas thought-provoking.
TO SHAKE THE SLEEPING SELF by Jedidiah Jenkins
I’m so happy I discovered Jedidiah Jenkins through Instagram this year. I thoroughly enjoyed his debut book about his 14,000-mile bike journey from Oregon to Patagonia.The pages are filled with thoughts about his faith, his sexuality, and what it means to really embrace life. I love travel memoirs, and Jed’s writing and the heart behind his story made for a great read. Read my full review here.
FLORIDA by Lauren Groff
I’m not usually a fan of short story collections, but Lauren Groff completely changed my mind about them. I loved every single story in this book. From hurricanes that blow in ex-boyfriends to two girls surviving on their own in the Florida Keys, the characters and Groff’s writing pull you in and refuse to let go. This was nominated for the 2018 National Book Award for a reason, and I can’t wait to delve into more of her work.
CONGRATULATIONS, WHO ARE YOU AGAIN? by Harrison Scott Key
Harrison Scott Key is a funny man, both on the page and in person. So when I picked this up, I knew I was in for a laugh. This book is perfect for people who want to be writers, but it’s mostly about pursuing your passions and the hilarity that comes with the decision to do what you love for a living. Also check out his first book, World’s Largest Man.