I am an advocate of the library. I believe that libraries are equalizers, housing some of humanity’s most valuable possessions–books. What’s more the library makes those books available for anyone to access and enjoy, facilitating empathy by enriching our understanding of the world and each other, and encouraging the pursuit of knowledge in anyone with a vague interest and a valid form of ID.
One of the possibly lesser known features of most public libraries is Overdrive, a service that allows library patrons to check out movies, ebooks, and audiobooks for free (obvs, library) online. The cool thing about Overdrive is that you’re able to have a ton of books checked out at once (I think 10 or something equally ridiculous), and there are no late fees. When the books are due they simply disappear from your account. It’s a pragmatic solution for those who want to read, but have a complicated relationship with physical books and the late fees they incur.
I have mixed feelings about audiobooks. For a long time I was flatly opposed. But as with e-readers, another invention I protested until the utility became simply too great to deny, (I now possess both a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Paperwhite) I eventually had to let go of my purist nonsense, and admit that audiobooks hold a lot of appeal.
At my previous job I worked sort of insane hours. 7:30am to 7:30pm was a fairly common day, and after my first year, and realizing that engineering may not be my heart’s great calling, I found myself struggling for motivation. In waltz the audiobooks. When I immersed myself in an audiobook it was possible to be both at work…and not at work. I could CAD the day away listening to Barbara Holloway or Kinsey Millhone solve another case (I did a fairly deep dive into detective novels for a while), and the days would fly by. In the months leading up to me leaving my job I was finishing roughly one audiobook a week, and once I started the blog back up I resolved to do what I do best…make lists.
So here it is, my favorite books of 2018. They are organized in the order in which I read them. The bold correspond to my favorites of the favorites. Laini Taylor is bolded a lot, and this is because after reading her series last year, she is quite possibly my new favorite author. Celest Ng is a very close second. A Man Called Ove is both bolded and underlined, because it the best book I listened to/read last year. Ove had me literally crying at my desk.
I hope you guys enjoy!
- The Last Days of Night, Graham Moore & Johnathan McClain
- The Tresspasser, Tana French
- Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
- The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
- Strange the Dreamer, Laini Taylor
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things, Patrick Rotfuss
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor
- Dreams of Gods & Monsters, Laini Taylor
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Days of Blood & Starlight, Laini Taylor
- Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Circle, Dave Eggers
- A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas
- My Not So Perfect Life, Sophie Kinsella
- A Conspiracy in Belgravia, Sherry Thomas
- Everything I Never Told You, Celeste Ng
- A Man Called Ove, Fedrik Backman
- The Leftovers, Tom Perrotta
- Night of Cake & Puppets, Laini Taylor
- One Man Guy, Michael Barakiva
- The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty
- The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
- Graceling, Kristin Cashore
- The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis
- The Gate Thief, Orson Scott Card
- The Lost Gate, Orson Scott Card
- Gatefather, Orson Scott Card
- The Secrets Between Us, Thrity Umrigar
- Hunger, Roxane Gay
- The Hating Game, Sally Thorne
- A Short History of the Girl Next Door, Jared Reck
- Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
- Life as We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer
- Sourdough, Robin Sloan
- Echo, Pam Muñoz Ryan
- Into the Water, Paula Hawkins