Hi y’all! I’m not usually one for instagram reading challenges, but I’ve seen a few people doing the #ReadingSuperlativesChallenge by @absorbedinpages and thought it seemed like a fun way to sum up the year! So, here we are!
A Book That You Loved This Year by A Person of Color
Becoming by Michelle Obama
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one. (It took me three tries to find a bookstore that had it in stock when I went to buy a physical copy for my mom’s Christmas gift — it’s that popular.) You get both a wonderfully written narrative of Michelle’s life growing up and her own successes as well as an inside look at the White House and juggling her job as both First Lady and mother. You gotta pick this one up.
A Favorite Debut Novel You Read This Year
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Guys. As I’ve said a million times, I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book. It is one we desperately needed, and so so important. You can read my full review of it here.
A Book That Disappointed You This Year
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Hot take: I dislike David Sedaris. I know, I know, I’m supposed to love him, and I desperately want to, which is maybe why this one was a letdown for me. I think that I personally don’t find him as genuine as I would like, which is hard to say since I think that’s what a lot of people value him for? I’m not sure — let me know what you think, because I’d like someone to change my mind on this!
A Book That Made You Cry (or LOL)
The Unseen World by Liz Moore
Um, yeah, this was definitely a crier. And, okay, there are a few books that have made me cry, but this one stuck with me. I listened to it on audiobook, and I think it might have been the first book of the year for me back in January. It’s a thick one, but was worth it. Think an adult version of The Impossible Fortress mixed with something like the family drama from Little Fires Everywhere.
Your Favorite 2018 Read
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
This was a difficult one to get into, but gorgeous and haunting once you get used to it, and a must-read for me. It is a touch strange, but I can’t recommend it more. You can read my full review here.
An Underrated Book You Loved
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman OR This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Radio Silence is one of those where I can’t exactly tell if it is quite “underrated” or not. I hadn’t heard of this book until recently, and I hadn’t seen a lot of it in the book world until I read it. Now I occasionally see it pop up as a favorite of some people, which makes me happy and wonder how on earth I hadn’t seen it sooner! So, maybe it isn’t quite so “underrated” as it is a kind of hidden gem?
And, I also have to give a plug to This One Summer, which was just a beautiful read all around, from the art to the story itself. Although I know the debate on whether graphic novels are as worthwhile as traditional novels is divided, this one proves just how valuable they are. (Plus, I’m on the side of reading being important regardless of what format it is in!) Give it a shot — I promise it’s worth it. (In fact, I think I picked up this recommendation from Leigh Bardugo, so if you don’t believe me, believe her!)
Your 2018 Favorite Book Cover
The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
While this book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I think I was partially drawn to it by how eye-catching the cover is! I wouldn’t say that the illustration completely matches the tone of the book, but it did a good job convincing me to pick it up! There are, of course, a ton of book covers I love (Exit West, This One Summer, Turtles All the Way Down, All the Crooked Saints, Black Hole Blues, I Might Regret This — I think you’ll notice a theme with my tastes here), but I think The Ensemble wins out!
A Book that Taught You Something
Educated by Tara Westover
I mean, I feel like this is an obvious choice since it seems like everyone around me this year has fallen in love with this book. It is an incredible story ofperseverance and strength and opens a door onto lives that aren’t that of your average family. There are so many lessons to be learned in this one, not to mention (as the title would suggest), it stresses the importance of education itself.
And that’s a wrap on 2018! Woo! The only superlative I chose not to do was “A Book You Hope to Read in 2019” because, well, there are obviously a million I want to read next year! If you’re interested in seeing some of what is on my to-read list, check out my GoodReads at @9racereads.
See y’all in the new year!