Best Books of 2018

I posted my picks for 2017 so late this year that I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to share with you some of my favorites books I read in the year 2018.

Fiction
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton is one of the few books of the epic-story-sweeping-across-generations type that actually caught me off-guard with all of its plot twists and turns. It kept me guessing right until the end.

It’s easy to see why We’ll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes won the Governor General’s Award (which is pretty much the prize you want to get if you’re a Canadian author). It was so beautifully written that it got passed around to all of the neighbours in my building. Warning: foul language afoot! (But it feels more colourful than gratuitous.)

I’ve been waiting for Arundhati Roy’s follow-up to The God of Small Things for years now and although The Ministry of Utmost Happiness doesn’t quite compare in my opinion (although really what follow-up does?), it’s worth the read simply to experience the magic gift Roy has with words.

One of my besties has been begging me to read My Brilliant Friend by Italian author Elena Ferrante for pretty much forever, and I was so glad I finally did. The writing is beautiful and intimate; Ferrante has an amazing talent for finding the words to express even the deepest, darkest emotions of a human being. It’s the first in the The Neapolitan Cycle and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest.

Arcadia by Iain Pears is one of those novels that’s hard to define: it takes its readers across time and space in a way that’s comparable to Cloud Atlas, then takes the best parts of The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland and The Lord of the Rings and kind of mushes them all together into this suspenseful, epic tale. (A little psycho-mathematics helps too!)

Non-Fiction
Your life is possible pretty much because of this woman, so you owe it to her memory to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I’m not even kidding. This book will change the way you think about modern medicine.

Logomaniacs unite! Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary is fascinating not only because of the people behind the authoritative dictionary; it’s the sheer breadth and scope of the task and how they pulled it off that amazed me the most.

What were some of your favorite books that you read in the past year? Did anything on my list show up on yours? Share your recommendations with me by commenting below or by emailing keepingbusyb@gmail.com

Fall 2017/Winter 2018 Reading List

Now that spring has arrived, I better tell you what I’ve been reading this past fall/winter. Spoiler alert: not a whole lot.

Winter is not a great time of year for me. The mornings are dark, the nights are even darker and during the day it’s freakin’ cold! Usually this combo makes the winter months perfect for curling up with a good book, but like the weather (and my mood) my reading routine kind of fell into a rut.

To refresh my reading routine for the new year, I focused on titles that captured my attention, or inspired me- I guess it was my own little way of snapping myself out of my lull and rediscovering my love of reading. Plus, it was a great excuse to stay inside with my blanket and a cup of tea.

As it turned out, I barely noticed the nasty weather when I was absorbed in a book that stretched the limits of my imagination. Lesson learned; I’ll be arming myself accordingly next year.

Fall 2017
  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  2. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
  3. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
  4. Moo by Jane Smiley
  5. The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq

Winter 2018

  1. Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
  2. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
  3. Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark
  4. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  5. Double Fault by Lionel Shriver

What are some of the titles that have been inspiring you recently? Email me your favorites at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or comment below and see if anyone else feels the same way!

Psst- wanna see which books have previously graced my bookshelves? Click here. Want even more fun reading recommendations? I’ve got some for you here. Don’t forget to find me on Goodreads so we can snoop each other’s bookshelves and dish about our favourites.