My Favorite Books of 2018

This year was HUGE for me in terms of reading. At the beginning of 2018 I set a goal to read 40 books. The year prior I had read 36 (and felt pretty good about that!) so I upped my goal to 40 books, thinking I would barely meet that goal. Little did I know that disconnecting from my phone and social media would allow me not only to achieve my goal of 40 books, but surpass it by reading exactly 100 books! While I could be embarrassed about that high number, I’m not because reading is something I truly enjoy and it’s something I am passionate about. I can’t tell you how excited I am when I get messages from you all saying you have read more this year because of my posts! Whether you read 2 books, 25, 52, or 100, it’s something to be proud of and I encourage everyone to pick up a book this year.

One of my most requested posts was a roundup of my favorite books that I read in 2018. While I was excited to start this post, I was a little overwhelmed at the thought of narrowing down my favorites out of the 100 I read. To put it into perspective, I read 35,348 pages – and of that 53 thriller/suspense, 33 fiction (mix of romance, light reads, etc.), 9 historical fiction books & 5 audiobooks. This year I hope to break out of my thriller and fiction box and open myself up to more genres like non-fiction and add in more historical fiction. I honestly didn’t even realize just how many thrillers I read until I typed it out haha! No wonder I had nightmares this year 😉 best books of 2018 life with emily-1

THE 30 BEST BOOKS I READ THIS YEAR

I did my best to narrow down the books I read this year into a comprehensive list that you all can look back on if you’re in need of a good book! None of them are in any particular order, but I did put them into categories! Each of the books I mention have been reviewed on Life with Emily this year, so be sure to use the search feature to find the review if you’re curious! At the bottom of this post I shared reader favorites from the year (these all came from answers on my IG story!) You can find all of my best books of 2018 HERE.

Fiction books

There are so many gems in this category, y’all! An American Marriage and How to Walk Away are the standouts of the group; both of them left me with a new perspective. I would recommend all of them for different reasons!

AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones

ALL WE EVER WANTED by Emily Giffin

HOW TO WALK AWAY by Katherine Center

THE DINNER LIST by Rebecca Serle

THE BOOK OF ESSIE by Meghan MacLean Weir

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LULULEMONS by Laura Weisberger

SHOP THE BOOKS BY CLICKING THE COVERS

best books of 2018 life with emily-1

Historical Fiction books

I have a great appreciation for historical fiction, which is why I want to include more of these books in my reading lists this year. Each of these are great books and all of them are very different. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors and her book The Great Alone was really, really good. She touches on life in Alaska in a very compelling way. We Were the Lucky Ones was an incredible book – made even better by the fact that it was based around the author’s family.

WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES by Georgia Hunter

THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah

THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris

RUST & STARDUST by T. Greenwood

SHOP THE BOOKS BY CLICKING THE COVERS

Romance Fiction books

I am a total sucker for a romance book. Sure, some are cheesy and totally predictable, but I just can’t help picking them up and devouring them! A few of the standouts amongst this group are Love and Other Words, Matchmaking for Beginners, All Your Perfects, My Oxford Year, and The Kiss Quotient! All were so engaging & dealt with interesting subject matter in addition to being romance books!

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER by Josie Silver

FIGHT OR FLIGHT by Samantha Young

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS by Christina Lauren

MATCHMAKING FOR BEGINNERS by Maddie Dawson

ALL YOUR PERFECTS by Colleen Hoover

JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING by Christina Lauren

THE KISS QUOTIENT by Helen Hoang

MY OXFORD YEAR by Julia Whelan

A NANTUCKET WEDDING by Nancy Thayer

THE HATING GAME by Sally Thorne

SHOP THE BOOKS BY CLICKING THE COVERS

best books of 2018 life with emily-1

Suspense/Thriller books

As apparent by the 53 books I read in this genre this year, I am a total thriller junkie. To be honest, this genre can be total hits or huge misses. Some are so similar that they’re unremarkable – while others are so remarkable that they creep you out until 4 a.m. when you have stayed up all night to finish them! All of these have reviews, except Verity which will be coming up in January’s reading list! A few noteworthy titles are The Kind Worth Killing, The Other Woman, The Good Daughter, and The Silent Sister! Each one kept me guessing until the very end! The others are very good and worth reading, too!

THE OTHER WOMAN by Sandie Jones

THE KIND WORTH KILLING by Peter Swanson

THE LAST TIME I LIED by Riley Sager

THE LAST MRS. PARRISH by Liv Constantine

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

THE SILENT SISTER by Diane Chamberlain

THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Karin Slaughter

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn

VERITY by Colleen Hoover

SHOP THE BOOKS BY CLICKING THE COVERS

My reading lists from 2018

January | February | March | April | May | June |
July | August | September | October | November | December

Reader’s Favorite Books of 2018

I asked on IG stories for my followers to share their favorite books of the year and I was absolutely overwhelmed at the response!  Y’all read some really, really great books this year! There were hundreds of responses and I tried my best to get all the ones that were listed numerous times (that I hadn’t already named!). There are so many that are on my list to read for this year (that I didn’t get around to last year!) so I was excited to see that y’all loved them so much!

Where the Crawdads Sing (reading this now and LOVING it!) | The Identicals | How to Find Love in a Bookshop | A Place for Us | Next Year in Havana (on my list!) | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine | Behind Her Eyes (on my bookshelf!) | Circe | The Alice Network (reading soon!) | The Sound of Gravel (have this on my kindle!) | It’s Always the Husband | Educated (about to read for my book club!) | Beneath a Starlet Sky | Pachinko | It Ends with Us (omg so good!) | This Is How It Always Is | Beartown & Us Against You | Sadie | Becoming | Before We Were Yours | The Radium Girls | The Perfect Couple (read this over the summer – so good!)

Leave a Reply

43 Comments

  1. Sam wrote:

    Wow! I was so excited for this post after you teased it on Instagram. Definitely adding some of these to my list for 2019!

    xx
    Sam

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      You’re so sweet, Sam! Thank you – it was such a fun post to do! Happy reading xo

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  2. Olga wrote:

    What an amazing accomplishment! Thanks for sharing your favorites, I loved a couple of these as well. I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series now but after, I definitely want to read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and An American Marriage!

    Olga
    http://www.littlethingsolga.com

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Ah! The Harry Potter series are always a good re-read! And E.O. is on my list to read this year too… it’s been on my bookshelf for too long! 🙂

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  3. Lisa Davila wrote:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can’t wait to read the ones I’ve missed on this list.

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      You’re so welcome, Lisa! Excited for you to read the ones you missed! xo

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  4. I’ve read so many of these (per your recommendations) and can’t wait to keep adding to my list. Thank you so much for these posts, they are truly appreciated!

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Thank you so much for the kind comment, Shea! It makes me happy that you’ve enjoyed many of the same ones that I have! Cheers to more good books in 2019 XO

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  5. Nailil wrote:

    You have made me want to pick up a few books. I mean, 30 books? That’s a lot of reading, I love it.

    Xx, Nailil
    thirtyminusone.com

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      If I can make even a few people pick up a book from my posts, then I’m happy! it was hard to narrow down to 30 from the 100 that I read haha! 🙂

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  6. Megan wrote:

    I just started reading a lot and there are so many of these that I would read.

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      yay! I hope you find a few that you like in this list. Enjoy! xx

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  7. kileen wrote:

    Ooh, definitely need to check these out!! Love reading suspense and thriller books so I need to add these to the list!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    Posted 1.10.19 Reply
  8. Liz wrote:

    All of these sound amazing! I’ve been looking for some good reads 😀

    Posted 1.11.19 Reply
  9. Jess wrote:

    I’m always looking for a new book to read! Will have to add a few of these to my list

    Posted 1.11.19 Reply
  10. Kim wrote:

    I actually read a lot of these books and loved them! I was so happy Emily Giffin came out with a new book and anything Colleen Hoover is always a win in my book!

    xoxo,
    Kim

    Posted 1.11.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Totally agree, Kim! In my mind, Colleen Hoover can do NO wrong. I love every single one of her books!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  11. Rach DiMare wrote:

    I have yet to read when life gives you lululemons. Good to know it was your top read!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    Posted 1.11.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      I think you’ll really like it, Rach! It totally made me LOL and brought back so many great characters from Devil Wears Prada! 🙂

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  12. These are such great books!! I need to get reading!

    xo, Hillary | hillheady.com

    Posted 1.11.19 Reply
  13. Mona wrote:

    Going to read most if not all the books you posted

    Posted 1.12.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Yay! This makes me happy, Mona! I hope you enjoy them!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  14. Anabelle wrote:

    I need to read more books in 2019! I don’t think I read one in 2018!

    Posted 1.12.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      You should totally make it a goal to pick up at least one book this year 🙂 You may find that you enjoy it more than you think!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  15. Kristina wrote:

    Oh my gosh girl, I can’t believe you’ve read SOOOO many books! I’m quite the opposite of you and would much rather watch a movie and the only time I really read is when I’m on a plane or on a beach somewhere. But thrillers are my fave too! The one book I read this year was ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and really enjoyed it!

    Posted 1.12.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      I wish I had the attention span for TV! I can only watch so much, plus the screen gives me terrible headaches (thanks a a lot bad eyes haha!) Behind Closed Doors was a good one, glad you enjoyed it!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  16. lyddiegal wrote:

    I think 100 books is amazing! I had a goal last year to read 12 books, and I surpassed that and was happy enough!
    Chic on the Cheap

    Posted 1.12.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      12 books is a great goal that you accomplished! One book a month is more than some people read in numerous years – way to go girl! 🙂

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  17. Marlene wrote:

    Wow you read so many in a year!! The nightingale was great, I’ll have to check out these recommendations!

    Posted 1.13.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      The Nightingale is hands down one of my favorite books EVER! I think I recommend it to everyone!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  18. loveforlacquer wrote:

    Definitely adding a ton of these to my list – Looks like some great picks!

    Posted 1.13.19 Reply
  19. Stephanie wrote:

    I’ve always been such a bookworm, but I’ve started slacking over the past few years. I still read plenty, but I don’t read quickly – so I take a month or so to usually get through just one book. I gotta pick up the pace in 2019!

    Posted 1.13.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      I’m glad you still pick up a book, though!! There are definitely times that I’m so busy that it takes me longer to finish books, so you’re not alone ha!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  20. Hillary wrote:

    The Alice Network was one of the best things I read this year; highly recommend it! I have Matchmaking for Beginners and the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo are both on my list for 2019.

    Posted 1.13.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      I cannot wait to read The Alice Network! I took it on a work trip a few months ago but never got any down time to start it 🙁 It’s high on my list for this year!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  21. henatayeb wrote:

    These are some great reads.. I also enjoyed A Kind Worth Killing but didn’t like All I Ever Wanted.. though I see many people did.
    So many of these are on my TBR. In fact The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is on my nightstand right now just waiting to be read.

    Posted 1.13.19 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      While All We Ever Wanted certainly wasn’t my favorite book of hers, I thought the message was a timely and important one, especially in this age of social media! I thought it could help put things into perspective for others, especially teens who don’t always understand the consequences of their actions! I hope you enjoy Seven Husbands – so good!

      Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  22. Liz wrote:

    wow 100 books??! That’s amazing!! Definitely going to look into your recommendations!

    Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  23. Morgan wrote:

    Pinning this for sure! My goal this year is to read a book a month!

    -Morgan

    Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  24. Kelsey wrote:

    Okay this post is AMAZING! Definitely saving it for my 2019 reading list!!

    Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  25. Jami Ray wrote:

    I have a lot of the same favorites! If you haven’t read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I highly recommend. It’s so funny and endearing!

    Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  26. You read 100 books?! That is amazing! I am absolutely setting a reading goal for this year, I am so inspired by you!

    Posted 1.14.19 Reply
  27. Meli wrote:

    I gave up social media for the month of January and so far have read 3.5 books – my goal is 50 books (or ~1 a week) but without mindless scrolling I think I am going to surpass that! There’s a few new ones from your list I am adding to my to read list!

    Posted 1.14.19 Reply

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