Best of 2018 and the Year in Review
It’s once again that time of the year where I look back at the last twelve months and round up my favorite reads! As always, my methods are going to be rather haphazard, but as you know I read a TON of books and having to narrow it down to just “Top 10” or even “Top 20” is a difficult (if not impossible) task. That’s why I’ve opted not to do a traditional list, and instead I’m going to be breaking this post down into different genres/categories to highlight all the books that 1) were my favorites of the year, 2) I thought were most memorable, or 3) I think should be getting more love and attention. The one thing they have in common is that I loved them all.
You can see my reviews and more information about the books by clicking on the images and following the links.
Fantasy is typically my biggest category, though this year there were fewer contenders for top spots, or maybe I’ve just gotten pickier. Still, 2018 saw some epic releases, including The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, which is also notable for being my favorite debut of the year. There were some great sequels, including Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames, as well as King of Assassins by RJ Barker which capped off a phenomenal trilogy. A couple of my favorite authors also dazzled with new projects like Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett and Starless by Jacqueline Carey, and one of the year’s biggest surprises came in the form of Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven, a swooningly scrumptious romance fantasy.
This was also a decent year for science fiction. My favorite sci-fi read of 2018 was probably Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. Other standouts include Before Mars by Emma Newman, Artificial Condition (as well as the other novellas in the Murderbot Diaries) by Martha Wells, Head On by John Scalzi, as well as a backlist book by Andrew Mayne called Station Breaker that I was really glad I got to read. I also got to sneak in one great sci-fi read before the end of the year, in the form of Outpost by W. Michael Gear.
But wait, there’s more! This year The BiblioSanctum once again participated in the month-long Sci-Fi November event, so if you’re interested in seeing a more detailed list of all my favorite sci-fi reads this year, be sure to check out the Top Ten post I put together for the wrap up!
I did not read as much Horror in 2018 compared to previous years, but I did love The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell, and I also enjoyed Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey and The Chrysalis by Brendan Deneen.
2018 was a good year for me when it comes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, or just fantastical spec fic that doesn’t really fit neatly into either the high fantasy or science fiction categories. Speaking of being hard to categorize, The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri was one of my most memorable reads of the year. The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller was also one of my biggest surprises. An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris and Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse were both gifts to post-apocalyptic UF, and if we’re talking more traditional urban fantasy, we have Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovich closing out the first major story arc of the Rivers of London series. Finally, King of the Road by R.S. Belcher was a book I only finished a few days ago, but it might just be my favorite paranormal read of 2018.
Like most years, there were a number of highly anticipated Young Adult releases that fizzled for me in 2018, but thankfully there were also a number of amazing reads that balanced out those disappointments. Among them are books by a couple of my favorite authors like Skyward by Brandon Sanderson and Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell. I also discovered a couple gems from new-to-me authors, including Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf, and The Hazel Wood by debut author Melissa Albert. In terms of sequels, I had a blast with The Defiant by Lesley Livingston, and Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was a worthy finale to the Illuminae trilogy.
2018 was the year I made a real effort to read more Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller – and it shows. There were quite a few books I loved in this category, including debuts like Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman and The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor, sequels like Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne and This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong, as well as a couple of awesome reads by new authors I discovered like Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier and The Winters by Lisa Gabriele.
Overview: Books Read in 2018
We still have a few more days left in the year so these numbers aren’t going to be final, but the below charts and statistics taken from Goodreads should provide a good general overview of my 2018 in books. It would be cool if I could reach 200 books read for the year!
On My Shelves…
By a Male Author: 49.2%
By a Female Author: 47.7%
Unknown/Male & Female Co-Authored: 3.1%
For Review: 95.4%
Genres (some crossover):
Science Fiction: 29.9%
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal: 17.3%
Children’s and Young Adult: 22.8%