I’m not sure what the statistics actually show, but I feel that I read more books in 2018 than I’ve read in years. Most importantly, for the first time in my publishing career, I read at least half or more of the books I brought home from BookExpo before they were actually published.
Not surprisingly, I had a few favorites in those books and, as with anyone in publishing, those favorites often inform my MSWL for the upcoming year. Most importantly though, these are the books I have recommended over and over and can’t stop talking about and the books I recommend you consider for gifts if you haven’t yet finished your holiday shopping.
Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan (Memoir) Any fans of Nora Ephron should be reading Kelly Corrigan, any woman looking to buy a gift for another woman in her life should consider this thoughtful, funny, touching, and tear-filled collection.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh (suspense) I don’t think it should take you long to see that there’s a theme in the books I’ve chosen–family relationships and motherhood. This book launched my obsession with Clare Mackintosh so this is the book I will pick. Filled with suspense, both physical and psychological, I couldn’t stop turning the pages.
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton (Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Upmarket Fiction) I feel like I have talked so much about this book you guys must be sick of me now. What I think I loved most about this book (besides the story and writing) is how much I learned. I love reading fiction that truly takes me to new places and new time periods and where I walk away with more knowledge than I had when I started. I’ll admit, I knew nothing about the Cuban Revolution and this dual timeline story is about a grandmother, a granddaughter, and Cuba. I’m really looking forward to Chanel’s next book and desperate to find more stories just like this set in other countries.
Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks (Nonfiction/Memoir/Parenting/Narrative) A BookExpo Buzz Book, Kim Brooks was arrested for leaving her child in a car while she ran into the store for five minutes (her child was unharmed), but the story isn’t about that. This book is about how we as a society came to parent out of fear, what has happened that everything our children do causes fear and dread. Kim’s writing is amazing and I was riveted from page one.
Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Schusterman (YA) was another pick at BookExpo and one that James became obsessed with and Tracy grabbed. I think each of us read it in two days. And it’s a big book. This riveting and engaging story will change the way you think of every glass of water you drink and every decorative water fountain you pass. This work of speculative fiction is set in California when the drought reaches catastrophic proportions and one teen girl (and her friends) are forced to survive.
For a complete list of the books I’ve been reading or the books I read in 2018 please follow me on Goodreads.