We’ve reached that time of year to start doing a book wrap up. Kottke has a roundup of various best books of 2018 lists so if you’re curious, go there. I find some of the longer lists to be overwhelming though. But here are my personal favorite books that I have read this year (so I have no idea when any of these were actually published)
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. This one I may be jumping the gun on since I’m only halfway through. But the first half is amazing.
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. The book starts off with a boy and his father watching a car plunge into a lake. The father jumps in to save the driver who was apparently already murdered setting up what you would think is a straight forward murder mystery. But it really isn’t. The writing style is reminiscent of an early Stephen King novel and there are so many twists to this that I gave up trying to figure out what it was even about and just enjoyed the ride.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I enjoyed the first 2/3rds of this book more than the final third but there aren’t too many good prehistoric books that have kept me riveted as this did.
Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. A classic book that I hadn’t learned about until I read a Michael Pollan book referring to it. I stopped eating mammals back in July and have started weaning myself from poultry/fish (which is difficult) and eat more veggies and fruits. He makes a lot of strong arguments about animal suffering that I believe he’s just plain right about.
Collusion by Luke Harding. Out of all the anti-Trump books, this was my favorite and most informative. Maybe it’s because all of the jewels of Woodward’s book made it to the media, or maybe it’s because this was just better written. But Harding lays out all the facts known at the time of publication in a concise and clear narrative that just is shocking.
Grant by Ron Chernow. I picked this up to begin adapting it into a hip hop musical production but was pretty surprised at how good it actually was. (Personally, I liked it better than Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton).
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (Robin Buss translation). I have tried reading this book over the years but due to its immense size I would end up giving up. But everybody would mention the Robin Buss translation (I think I was reading whatever was in Gutenberg) so I plunked down the 12 bucks and gave it a shot. What a difference. Such an amazing book when it’s translated properly. (No way I was going to read 1100 pages in 19th century french and expect to be finished with it within the next few years). In the top 10 books I have ever read.
Here was my GoodReads challenge for the year which it appears I’m not going to hit. Leave some of your favorite books in the comments. I’m curious to see what you all have been reading.