The end of the year is finally here, huzzah! While the real world has been busy and stressful my reading life has gone much better. Escapism for the win! 😉
So here’s my yearly list of favorite reads. Just like last year there’s an even mix of romance, other fiction, and non-fiction, and authors from marginalized groups show up in a big way. Let’s jump into it, with the titles listed in reverse alphabetical order by title, just because:
White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
This book left me infuriated, shocked, and heart-broken in turns. Court cases may have guaranteed African-Americans equal rights, but this book showed me that they needed to be fought for outside of the courts two and three times over.
Warday by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka
Suppose the US and the USSR had a nuclear exchange in 1984. What would happen? Where would get targeted and why? What would the days, weeks, months, and years after look like? Strieber and Kunetka dive deep into all of that in this epistolary-esque account of their travels around America some five years after “Warday”. It’s chilling and brings the aftermath of nuclear war to life.
Syncopation by Anna Zabo (Twisted Wishes #1)
An m/m romance with an aromantic protagonist written by a non-binary author, centering on a Queer rock band? Yes, please! Add in some BDSM elements, great characterization, and the best anaphylactic shock I’ve read and I’m in love.
The Lonesome Bodybuilder by Yukiko Motoya, translated by Asa Yoneda
Weird, wonderful short stories that spin out realistic absurdities while examining the role and status of women in Japan. My favorite piece is An Exotic Marriage, a novella about a husband and wife who find themselves resembling each other in more concrete ways than you’d expect.
Invisible: How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine by Michele Lent Hirsch
Part memoir, part anecdote, and part research, Invisible does an amazing job looking at women society deems “too young” or “too pretty” to be sick. Own voices for health issues and being queer, it’s full of thoughts and discussions us relatively healthy folk have never even had to think about while being intersectional to the hilt. Maybe the most underrated new release I’ve read this year.
Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas (The Ravenels #4)
Historical romance based on the first woman doctor in England is totally my thing. Kleypas’ writing is as solid as ever with an extra dose of suspense and some great story arcs for secondary characters as well as the main couple.
Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag, translated by Srinath Perur
A short book that builds up the story in layers, one chapter at a time. We look into the lives of different members of an Indian family and their rags to riches story… but how did they get all that money so quickly, anyway?
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
The history of nuclear weapons, which is more like a history of nuclear near-accidents, and a gripping account of an incident at an American missile silo. If you’ve never heard of the Damascus Accident don’t look it up now – let Schlosser guide you through it minute by minute in a great example of narrative nonfiction.
The Chateau by Tiffany Reisz (Original Sinners #9)
A flashback set in the Original Sinners series, The Chateau is great for anyone that’s already in love with Nora, Soren, Kingsley, and the rest of the gang. It’s a gender-flipped and toned down version of The Story of O and includes a killer mind fuck.
All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West
The character work in this classic is just great. Lady Shane’s husband, a prominent politician, has died and her children have gathered to decide what to do with mother. When she proclaims her own wants, maybe for the first time in their lives, the kids have no idea what to make of it.
There we have it, my favorite books of 2018! What was your top read of the year? Are there any new releases you’re anticipating next year?