Top Books of 2018

Granted, I realize I have some time before the end of the year, and I do plan on finishing up a few books before the dawn of 2019, but if you’re like me, you ask for books (or Amazon gift cards) for Christmas. And you, like me, may have a Goodreads list with dozens of books listed there. Well, here’s some more you might want to add. Please note that few of these were published this year. I just grab books either because I notice them at the library or on Goodreads or someone passes them along to me. I have very little reason other than, “Hmm. Looks good.”

First off, let’s have a comprehensive look at the books I’ve read this year, not counting my top four.

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon (Fantastic post- apoplectic book, but too disturbing at times)

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory (Obviously I love Philippa Gregory; great historical fiction writer, always a satisfying read – but did not make my honorable mention or top book list)

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Great story, disappointing climax)

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (Also, I hear she’s coming out with a sequel!)

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

Dance, Stand, Run by Jess Connolly

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Okay. I’m pretty satisfied with that list. With that list alone, you have variety with good writers of fiction and nonfiction. That list alone could get you through 2019. But now let’s go through honorable mentions, because I couldn’t pick just one:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Don’t roll your eyes, but, for real, the book is better than the series. I’ve watched the first season of the series, which covers the first book. It’s not that it’s not good, but I’m just not a fan of torture. That’s one of the reason why I gave up Game of Thrones. I’m not into that. Gabaldon does a better job conveying her story than Starz does.

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
I mean, come on. It’s Bob Woodward. BOB WOODWARD. How could you not want to read this? But, in all seriousness, it was a fantastic book because Woodward does a great job being unbiased. It’s a good, solid piece of journalism here. My only complaint was the obscene use of profanity throughout the book. I understand he is quoting these individuals directly and that, as it was in a book format and not a newspaper, he has more than the necessary freedom to print those words. It was just a lot. A. Lot.

The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman
I actually took an online class with literary agent Rachelle Gardner over the spring, and I picked this book up at our library on a whim when I saw it. Good, solid advice that echoed Gardner’s classes.

Now, the part we’ve all been waiting for.

Drumroll, please.

My Top Four Books of 2018

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The first rule of Fight Club is that you don’t talk about Fight Club. Oh, Chuck Palahniuk. I listened to this on audiobook on my way to New Orleans for a conference. It was a terrible travelling experience, but this audiobook made the trip worth it.


Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts
I will buy this book for everyone because it is that good. So many times we want to help friends or loved ones who are dealing with a debilitating disease – but we don’t know how. This book offers practical, real-life advice through personal experience and testimony. Props to my cousin’s wife, Nikki, for recommending it on Instagram.


Faith and Doubt by John Ortberg
This is another one that I would buy for everyone – if it were readily available. I have had a hard time finding copies of this, but if you happen to see it, GET IT. Rachel Held Evans’ book “Searching for Sunday” talks about her disappointment in the church and wavering belief in God. This book is what her book wanted to be. It is real, it is honest, it is backed by Scripture, and it is good.


Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
If I had to pick a book of 2018, it is this one. I LOVED this book. I probably quoted the majority of it to Kyle. It has changed the way I parent my children for the better, and I am thankful to Kimmel for sharing his wisdom on this subject.


There you have it! My top books of 2018! I still have a couple more I’m finishing up, but I’ll talk more about them in January.

What books did you love this year? Did you read any from my list?


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