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With the New Year fast approaching, now is the time to reflect on the past year. There’s been so many amazing books published this year!
I started Book Club Chat in 2018 in an effort to provide a book destination of previews, reviews, book club questions and author Q&As. While I’ve always been a reader, I definitely took it up a notch this year and it’s been an absolute blast connecting with authors and fellow readers around the world.
Okay, so I can’t let the year past by without highlighting my favorite reads of this year. I’ve always loved contemporary fiction and women’s fiction but I’ve embraced historical fiction this year. As well as reading more thrillers. I believe it’s important to read different genres while also making sure to read diverse reads as well.
Here are my favorite reads published in 2018:
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton is a beautiful and passionate book about the strength of sacrifice. It’s part historical fiction, part women’s fiction and just an overall fabulous story. Full review here. I can’t wait for the sequel When We Left Cuba, which will publish in April 2019!
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis is a beautifully-written novel about two women striving to make their mark on the world. This historical fiction novel is set in the Grand Central Terminal in New York City in both the ’20s and ’70s. Full review here.
The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson is a moving story about loss, survival but most of all—love. While the story centers around the making of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown, it follows the people behind the scenes making her gown. Full review here.
The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner is an engrossing tale of a woman forced to confront her past. When a young widow’s reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind. Full review here.
Limelight by Amy Poeppel is everything I hoped it would be and more. Full of humor with plenty of heart, it’s such an enjoyable book. The story is about a family’s move to New York City brings surprises and humor as their lives merge with the captivating world of Broadway. Full review here.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is a very well-written, timely novel. Unlike her previous books, this one is definitely not a romance but instead deals with timely issues of social media abuse and consent. It also covers class, race and a bit of politics. Full review here.
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah is a moving and rich story about family secrets and lost love set in the vineyards of Burgundy. If you enjoy mysteries, historical fiction, wine, French culture with a love story mixed in, you’ll love this one. I sure did. I put this as contemporary fiction because we mainly read about it in present time but it does have flashback scenes in letter form to WWII. Full review here.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a fantastic novel that will stay with you long after you finish the last page. Set in coastal marshes of North Carolina, the story is part coming-of-age tale, a murder-mystery, romance with some courtroom drama mixed in. Full review here.
The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle is a compelling story about love, heartbreak, forgiveness—with a little magic, too. The story is unique for the fact alone it covers the concept of gathering the people you love—dead or alive—at a table for one night. Full review here.
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger is an international thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. It’s a fast-paced read that features the mysterious world of private banking for the ultra-rich. At the heart of the story are women who become their own heroes. There’s plenty of twists and turns in this one. Full review here.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is a heavy and thought-provoking read. The writing is excellent and there are many layers to this epic read. Tradition, culture, love, family, freedom, faith and betrayal: this covers all the different layers of a family. Full review here.
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is crazy. And I mean that in the best possible way. This one is Agatha Christie meets Groundhog’s Day meets something all its own. If you’re looking for an inventive, clever book that takes a different spin on the mystery novel, this one is for you. Full review here.
Circe by Madeline Miller is about the character Circe who is best known as as turning Odysseus’ men into pigs in Homer’s The Odyssey. In that story after he challenges her, she takes him as a lover, allowing him and his men to stay with her and aiding them when they depart. Miller reimagines Circe’s story and gives her a full arc that changes the perspective. Once I got into the story, I couldn’t put it down. Full review here.
What a fun reading year! Let me know what was your favorite read of 2018!