Favorite Books of 2018

Photo by  Alisa Anton  on  Unsplash

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

I did a lot of reading in 2018. A few of the books I read were critically acclaimed literature, but most of them skewed more to YA and romance (contemporary and historical). In true Pisces fashion, reading has always been my escape, but I intentionally substituted tracking news events closely for reading more books that simply made me happy. The socio-political events happening in the U.S. and other places around the world is super stressful and upsetting. Reading books is one way I deal with it. My top three favorite books of 2018 were YA written by black women. I LOVE the YA genre and am so happy to see more diversity in the books targeting teens. I also read books this year by authors like Jasmine Gulliory and Alyssa Cole that had protagonists that I could relate to and see myself in because they were adult women of color who were complex and imperfect. I love reading across the board from authors of all types of cultural and racial backgrounds, but it was so nice to read several books this year that were personally relatable. Thankfully I also read a couple of books that will have sequels coming out in 2019 so there are even more good reads to look forward to!

Top Five Favorites

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Legacy of Orisha #1)

There was a lot of buzz around the book that in my opinion was well deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed this book it met all of my YA expectations in that it had drama, action, conflict, badass female protagonists. The fact that the book was set in fictitious Africa also seemed appropriate for a book that came out during the same year as Black Panther. I truly wish books like this existed when I was in the YA target demo (not a full grown adult woman). This book was the first in a series so I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

I loved this book too. Another YA book that covers ground that has been exhaustively shown before from other perspectives other than black people. This book also had a badass protagonist that was quite modern in her humor, sarcasm and confidence juxtaposed to a setting where a women of any race was expected to be quiet and only do what she was told and obey the men around her.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

I honestly didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did. I honestly would love to see it come to life in film form with amazing set design, cinematography and costumes. If you like political saga, period dramas and dystopian YA novels, give this book a read.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

This book was heartbreaking but really good. There was a lot of buzz around this book and I tend to at least consider reading a book that “Mother” Oprah vouches for. Sometimes I love books she recommended but often they are so so sad. This book definitely had its sad moments, but it also shined a light on black relationships in a way I hadn’t read about in contemporary literature before.

We’re Gonna Need More Wine: Stories that are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union

I didn’t really read many memoirs this year (Becoming is at the very top of my reading list for 2019!). But Gabrielle Union’s book was a stand out memoir I read earlier this year. She’s insightful and talked frankly about some of the challenges she’s faced professionally as a black woman in Hollywood and in her personal life. It’s a quick read and I highly recommend if you didn’t get around to reading it in 2018.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

This book was a multi generational saga that was so compelling and I learned about a period in history and a culture I knew nothing about. I thought about the characters in this book long after I finished it. It was a standout read for me this year.

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