Can you even believe we’re halfway through 2018? I was literally just doing my favorites of 2017! This year has been a whirlwind so far, and between everything, there have been some great books. This is always one of my favorites lists to put together, and last year I found that nearly half my favorites overall were on my midway check in list. Here are my favorites so far, broken into new releases and backlist books.
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
This is such a tiny book that packs such a punch. I’m still not really over it. Of the books on this list, Tin Man is my most recent read, and I know I’ll still be recommending it by the end of the year.
A love story, a look at life, and so much more, Tin Man tells the story of three people: Ellis, Annie, and Michael, and the way their lives and love connect throughout the course of their lives. Quiet and beautiful, this is one you can read in a day but will stick with you long after you finish.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
I read this pretty ealry in the year when it came out, and it’s another one I’ve recommended plenty of times both on the blog and in real life. Celestial and her husband are newly weds when he’s arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. They don’t get to have the early days of their marriage together, and as time passes, Celestial is confronted with being loyal to her brand new husband or pursuing her own happiness. Another beautifully written book, An American Marriage looks at race, class, and marriage in a way I’ve never seen before.
Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
When I read this book at the beginning of the year, I remember thinking it would be a favorite at the end of the year. Six months in, it’s definitely still in my top ten. If you like Celeste Ng’s books, I think you’ll like this one for sure. We follow multiple perspectives through the lives of two sisters, Miranda and Lucia through the years. Together, they deal with Lucia’s mental illness, love, and loss.
I can’t recommend this book enough. On a list of favorites, this is at the top of my list of things I wish more people would pick up!
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
I’m not usually one for novels in verse, and lately, not even much of a YA reader, but The Poet X is one of the exceptions, and I’m SO happy I read it. It’s written in verse, and follows the life of Xiomara, as she navigates her life as a teenage girl, the daughter of immigrant parents, and an aspiring slam poet.
The character development in a book written in verse like this is usually non-existent, but Elizabeth Acevedo brings an entire cast of characters to life on the page in this book, and I really can’t recommend it enough. It’s an important reminder of just why we need diverse books. I’ve also heard great things about the audio version of this book if that’s more your speed!
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
A nonfiction favorite has to be by Dave Eggers, who I discovered this year and who has quickly become one of my favorite writers. The Monk of Mokha explores Yemen and coffee and will make you want to drink all of the coffee you can get your hands on. It will also make you think more about where it comes from and how it’s made.
Like only Dave Eggers can, he takes one guy and one subject and makes it about so much more than simply “coffee.” A must-read for non-fiction fans or Dave Eggers fans.
What You Want to See by Kristen Lepionka
This was one of my most anticipated thrillers of the year, and it did not let me down. The Last Place You Look, the first book in this series, was one of my favorites of 2017, and What You Want to See was a killer follow up. Roxane Weary remains one of my favorite writers when it comes to thrillers. They’re complex and they dive into topics you would never expect from “just” a thriller. I loved this one and can’t recommend this series enough!
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Two nonfiction books on a list of favorites by me? Who am I? Killers of the Flower Moon is where it all started though, and I can ow completely agree with all those people singing the praise of this book. It reads almost like a mystery novel, and pulls you into the story of the inexplicable murders of Native Americans in the 1920s and 30s. The founding of the FBI, the depth of research the author did, everything about this book is fantastic. Even if you are like me and think you don’t like historical nonfiction, give it a try.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This was one of the first books I read this year, and I knew in January that it would be a favorite of the year. Eleanor is one of the most unique characters I’ve ever read about, and this book was so much more than I expected it to be. It’s hilarious but heart-breaking and so funny I laughed out loud. You’ll get attached to all the characters and will be truly sad to put this book down. Definitely read this one if you haven’t!
The Glass Eye by Jeannie Vanasco
This is another 2017 release that I had heard a ton about at the end of the year, but didn’t think would be for me. Since getting into nonfiction since then, I was SO wrong. This book is about the author’s loss of her father, her life, her grief, and her mental illness. I cried pretty much on and off throughout this book, and I still find myself thinking about it. I would read anything else Jeannie Vanasco writes, memoir or fiction, and can’t recommend this one enough.
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
I’ve already gone on and on about this book and Dave Eggers in general, so I promise to try not to do it again. I was super late to the game on this one, and I could not be happier to have finally picked it up. This looks at a Syrian family in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. It’s heartbreaking and hard to read but overall hopeful. If you’re like me and missed this one, definitely pick it up!
Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
One of the most recent reads on this list, Call Me By Your Name is an all-time favorite book for me. I listened to the audio, which I recommend, as long as you also have a physical copy to mark up because the writing in this book is beautiful. There were so many quotes I love. The love story is like nothing else I’ve ever read. Read this book, listen to Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens, and come cry with me.
What are some of your favorite books of the year so far?