Another year ended, another year full of adventures through the pages of books. Though 2018 was not a great reading year for me, I am still pretty satisfied with the 40 books I managed to read this year, and I am happy I found few gems! Stories that will stay with me in this lifetime, without further ado, here are my Top Reads of 2018!
1. Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe is my first Madeline Miller book. And to be completely honest I did not know what to expect. It turned out to be at my advantage, I kept my expectations at a minimum and so when the book blew me away I was completely head over heels with it. Circe is a greek god I knew next to nothing about, reading it was a mixture of excitement and of curiosity. Reading Circe is getting more out of a 400 page book, it was so condensed, you have to give your undivided attention to fully appreciate everything. And once you already immersed yourself in it, you’ll notice how everything becomes a distant sound, how you entirely space out completely oblivious of the world around you. That’s one thing a good book could give you, and Circe gave so much more than that. Circe is a character driven book, a kind of book I have not read a lot of. I am more of a plot-driven reader, Circe proved to be a breath of fresh air. This book will make you fall in love with Greek Mythology harder than ever! You can check my full review here. And now Madeline Miller is an author I would always be watching out for.
2. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Call Me By Your Name is unapologetically honest and unabashedly deviant. It is that kind of book you never thought you needed. It will captivate you by how beautifully it was written and it would rip your heart as well by how everything unfolded. I read this book earlier in 2018 and knew to myself I am in for a good reading year. Call Me By Your Name isn’t my usual cup of tea, and that was what surprised me in the end, I didn’t expect to like it this much. Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful story on the discovery of sexual orientation and sexual preference, the inevitable confusion of the people involved and how were they able to reconcile with themselves. It was relevant and painted in such a beautiful light. You feel with the characters like it is second nature. I also immediately watched the movie after reading the book. Best reading experience if you ask me. Check out my review here.
3. Behind Closed Door by B.A. Paris
Behind Closed Doors shook me to my core. It was disturbing and intense, and I don’t say that often. Impossible to put down. It’s the kind of book you finish in one sitting. It is about what seemed to be a perfect married couple with some horrifying secret they both have to keep. I never really had any plans reading Behind Closed Doors, but you know what they say, the perfect book will find you at the perfect moment. I was glad I came across this one, it is the kind of book I wouldn’t have picked up on my own. And can I just say, Behind Closed Doors has one of the best endings. That ending was so good I literally had goosebumps! It was the sweetest redemption, it was poetic justice. Find out for yourself! Check my review of the book here.
4. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
Ahhh this fluffy book! * insert heart eyes and heart fingers* After reading this one I couldn’t quite shake off the smile on my face. It was everything good and then some. I love how it featured an asian male protagonist (a Korean, no less! Oppa) . 2018 has really been a year of breaking stereotypes and I hope I could read more books like this in 2019! And the female protagonist, isn’t our usual damsel in distress, I love love love her eccentricities. Everything was played just right. This is just basically begging to be made into a Rom-Com movie, so Netflix do your magic!
5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Kiss Quotient is by far the best romance book I’ve read of all time! I loved it so much it was bordering obsession already! I love that there is Asian representation, and an accurate one at that. Also The Kiss Quotient is an own voices book, it promises authenticity and rawness like no other. And oh my goodness, it has the steamiest scenes, something you wouldn’t expect. It was a total surprise and was well written you can’t help but hang on to everything that’s happening. It was more than a romance novel, and I highly believe this is how romance novel should be done! You can check my review here.
6. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
I’ll Meet You There is a such a good YA book and I never thought I would enjoy it this much. It was everything YA promises to be: tugs at your heartstrings, wholesome and organic. There was this sense of maturity to it that was hard to miss. I’ll Meet You There is an honest, beautiful and realistic story about two flawed characters trying to deal with their own demons. I love how the romance was played out well, it was a slow burn and just right. I’ll Meet You There is a mixture of depth, great character build-up and realistic life-lessons. This was the story of loss, healing and young love. You can check my review here.
7. Littles Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere is gold. It was a book that lived up to its hype. I didn’t know what I was in for when I started reading Little Fires Everywhere turns out I would be in one emotional ride. Little Fires Everywhere will bring you that sense of foreboding, that feeling that there’s always more to it than what was presented. The lives of the characters are so intricately woven together completing a masterpiece. God, to say I am floored would be an understatement. It was a slow burn (pun intended), but ultimately something that would seep through your bones! I’ve been meaning to read Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You but never got the chance to. After reading Littles Fires Everywhere I knew in my hearts of hearts that I will be reading anything this author writes.
8. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover has done it again! Wow this book made me cried buckets! I didn’t know I could cry like that over a book. But oh my goodness this book just brought out all these crazy emotions I have inside me, I was one tear away from having an emotional breakdown, hahah I kid you not! All Your Perfects is a story about an imperfect marriage. Colleen Hoover’s writing style just keeps getting better through the years. I really thought I was over Colleen Hoover, but boy this is the proof that once a Hoover fan, always a Hoover Fan. You can check my review here.
9. First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith
Finally my first Ali Smith book! I have been collecting her works since 2016, I have heard tons of amazing things about her, but I never got around to actually reading one of her books. I remedied that this 2018 and finally read her collection of short stories – The First Person and Other Stories. As said in the synopsis, Ali Smith explores the ways and whys of storytelling, and that what she did in this collection. It was weirdly satisfying, and I don’t get that much often. The First Person and Other Stories gives off dark humour and bits and pieces of everyday life that you often take for granted. I loved how every story had its own wit, its own take on everyday mundane lives and turned it into something meaningful and relevant. How something so trivial can have such a rippling effect in the future. This book didn’t stop at just telling stories, it transcends into this realm of understanding human flaws that was presented in a captivating light, not just highlighting the good parts but most especially the bad ones. That once it all meld together it was just a beautiful piece of an odd art. You can check my review here.
10. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Spinning Silver is my first Naomi Novik read. I have heard a ton of amazing things about her debut book – Uprooted so I had a quite high expectation with Spinning Silver and it did not disappoint. Spinning Silver is a loose retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. At first I had a hard time getting into the story but once I got the hang of it, I wasn’t able to stop, it gripped me like a vise. Spinning Silver was written so vividly and beautifully it is as if you are there inside the story. You cannot miss its lyrical writing. It is whimsical, layered, complex and unconventional. Truly a gem. You can check my review here.
and you thought I was done there. I’m adding one more book in this list and that is
11. Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami will always have a special place in my heart. Back in 2014 when I am not yet a book collector, I have read Norwegian Wood and fell in love with it, I knew then that I had to fill my bookshelf with his works. His writing style will always be a thing of beauty, it has this calm yet impactful quality to it that is still very apparent in his collection of short stories – Men Without Women. My fave stories in this book were Men Without Women, Kino and Independent Organ. Men Without Women is about the despairs of men and how they go about it. This is a good place to start if you want to read Haruki Murakami’s books.
So that is it guys, the books I enjoyed immensely. I am hoping 2019 would be a great reading year for me. I cannot wait to read my next favorite book. Thank you for sticking around, even if I have a very scarce posts here and there. I promise to do better for 2019! May you have a fruitful year ahead of you, and I hope you’ll get to read your next favorite book too! Happy New Year, fam!