I am never without a book. I’m a Library Director, an avid reader, and a bit of a book nerd. I try my best every year to read 52 books and while I’ll probably fall a little short in 2018, I read some great books this year!

The real problem? I do my best reading on vacation, but between not taking enough vacations this year and spending more time in the Disney parks than at our Disney hotel, even vacation reading was slim.

But thank goodness for plane rides, and some road trips (hello, audio books!), and a few staycation days to help me wiz through some reads.

I love lists; I keep a notebook that has every book I’ve read since June 2008. The first Harry Potter book is the first one on the list, though 2008 was probably my 8th or 9th read of that book (can you tell it’s a favorite?).

So here’s this year’s list. Keep in mind that these are the books I read in 2018; they were not necessarily published in 2018.  And I’ll highlight a few favorites below.

  1. Fairest of All by Serena Valentino
  2. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  3. The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
  4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (shout out to an amazing Netflix movie adaptation!)
  5. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
  6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  7. As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
  8. I Was Here by Gayle Forman
  9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  10. All Fall Down by Ally Carter
  11. Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  12. The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
  13. P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy
  14. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  15. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
  16. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  17. Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
  18. The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond
  19. The Curse of the Boggin by D.J. MacHale
  20. The Watergate Scandal by Kathleen Tracy
  21. The Cuban Missile Crisis by Jim Whiting
  22. Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
  23. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  24. The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
  25. Listen to You Heart by Kasie West
  26. The Year of yes by Shonda Rhimes
  27. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  28. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  29. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
  30. The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
  31. Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  32. Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter
  33. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
  34. Dear Martin by Nick Stone
  35. Vox by Christina Dalcher
  36. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
  37. The President is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson
  38. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  39. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
  40. You Are a Mogul by Tiffany Pham
  41. Get it Together Delilah by Erin Gough
  42. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  43. Renegades by Marissa Meyer
  44. Who Killed Christopher Goodman by Allan Wolf
  45. My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  46. Hamilton & Peggy by L.M. Elliott
  47. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

I got so close to that 52! Maybe in the next week I’ll get through a few more and be able to update this post and celebrate that I hit my goal… maybe. But in the meantime, let’s talk about my favorites from this list!

My Disney vacation read this year was Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. I love everything she writes, but this was especially hard to get into because the character was SO hard to like. I’d read a few paragraphs, get angry at the character, throw the book down, and not pick it up again for a day or two. Once I got past my initial anger, I did get a lot of reading done on the plane. I’d recommend it, but also warn you that the first few chapters are hard to get through, but power through; it’s 100% worth it.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward was so beautifully written. It really yanks at your heart, but oh is it beautiful. The characters are so well developed, so easy to feel emotionally connected to, that you won’t be able to put the book down. On the other hand, the story is hard. It doesn’t sugar coat the struggles or ugly truths of the past of the American south. This is an important read. This is a beautiful read. I bet your library has it!

This next one is on my favorites list for two reasons: it’s an important read and I wish it had been around when I was younger AND the author is a friend =). P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy is a beautiful story of sisterly love. I wish I could have read it when I was a tween/teen and really questioning some things in the Catholic Church’s teachings, but I’m so glad I got to read it now.

If you’re into audio books, or you want to give audio books a try, please please please listen to The Year of yes by Shonda Rhimes. Trust me, you need to hear what she has to say. And Rhimes is an incredible narrator. We even get some recordings of her live speeches and wow; Hearing her speak live is now on my bucket list.

Vox by Christina Dalcher was another hard read for me. Imagine if your fitness tracker counted your words instead of your steps and women were only allowed 150 words per day. That’s the premise of Vox. I struggled because it feels incredibly possible for something this drastic to happen right now, in our crazy political climate, but I couldn’t put it down because I needed to know what happened with the turn of every page. I will say the end felt a bit rushed but definitely worth a read!

I read three books by Kasie West this year and not a single one disappointed. These were great summer vacation reads. I read these at the beach, on family vacations and on a little staycation towards the end of summer.  My all time favorite author is Sarah Dessen and I haven’t been able to find another author I love quite as much until a teen at my library recommended Kasie West. The best contemporary teen romance. The best. So glad I found her. You can bet I’ll be devouring some more in 2019!

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is worth your 5 hours. Seriously. The book is tiny in both physical size and page count. You’ll wiz right through it because you won’t be able to put it down. You’ll love and hate each character. You’ll laugh and cry and want to smack some of the characters, but you’ll be so glad you took some time to pick this one up.

I’m still reading One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus as of writing this post, but oh my goodness it’s so good! I read 100 pages on Christmas Eve and only put it down when it fell on my face (I was obviously pretty tired). Think The Breakfast Club but someone gets murdered. I’m loving all the characters and the writing style is fab. I’m pretty sure I’ll finish this one tonight!

Have you read any of these? Do you have your own favorites of 2018? Leave a comment and tell me all about what you read in 2018!