Wonderful Indonesia

Best of 2018: Books

Well, hello! I am ashamed to say that its been nearly a year since my last confession blog post! I was lurking reading some friends’ recaps of 2018 and I decided to round up a few of my own. I do always like looking back at my own recaps sometimes a few years later. So, even if its just for my own eyes, here goes nothing!

Each year I list a few of my favorite books from the last year of reading. In 2018, although I spent hundreds of hours studying for the CFA, I still rewarded myself with a good book at the end of the day. My goal for the year was 52 books, but I actually surprised myself and ended up with a total of 67!

You can find prior best of book lists here: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter: Of course, book numero uno is a book about WWII. Set in 1939, this details an entire Jewish Polish family, split into a million tiny pieces after the commencement of the war. For years they try to survive however they can, they dodge Germans and Russians, they get sent to France and Africa and South America. I am amazed by how resilient some people were during these times, how much death and suffering they had to witness and how some of them overcame it all and survived.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman: This is a book regarding the small town politics surrounding accusations of sexual harassment against players on the award winning junior hockey team. This book reminded me a little of the book Missoula, which also touches on the same conflicts. Although translated from Swedish, this book flows like water and I finished it in no time at all.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: A single mom and her daughter rent an apartment from a wealthy family in town and before you know it, they are all tangled together in life. As the story progresses, secrets are uncovered that were supposed to remain buried, and a twist comes unexpectedly at the end. I also enjoyed her book Everything I Never Told You.

This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel: A touching book about gender stereotypes and the prejudices surrounding them. Five year old Claude is a little boy who likes to wear dresses and to play princess and who identifies as a girl. We grow up with Claude (Poppy) and the family and we learn about the hardships that come along with bucking the “norm.”

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain: Yes, its another book about my foe, Ernest Hemingway. But its not really a book about him. It’s about one of his (many) wives. I am annoyed with these women, who cheat with him and then get cheated on, but it doesn’t make the situations any less fascinating. Although I don’t love the characters, I like learning about the time and the author tells her story well. This is the third book I have read by her and she does not disappoint.

Here are a few others that made the cut: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. You can also find several others that I gave 4 stars to here.

What were your favorite reads of 2018?