Best books of 2018

After reading 56 books in 2018, I thought it was worth mentioning which were the absolute best. These are the books (that I read for the first time in 2018) that I couldn’t stop recommending, that stuck with me, that I keep eyeing for a reread.

Note: they are listed in reverse chronological order; nothing preferential about their sorting here.

The Fifth Season

N.K. Jemisin

The entire series is incredible, of course, but the first book was still the absolute best. The moment when it all comes together was transformative and it made me reconsider my position on an entire genre.

The History of Love

Nicole Krauss

This was one of those books that made it into my "non-lender" category within a few pages. I knew I was going to love it and it did not disappoint. One of the most touching books I've read in ages.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Anthona Marra

I read this after loving The Tsar of Love and Techno, which I'd read earlier in 2018. Often, the second book by an author can disappoint, even if only slightly, but this lived up to all my expectations.

A Manual for Cleaning Women

Lucia Berlin

Lucia Berlin is an author that I knew less than nothing about, but her stories deserve so much more attention than they get. Even a somewhat frustratingly high number of pages at the start devoted to commentary aboutthe book could not detract.

The Tsar of Love and Techno

Anthony Marra

Billing itself as a book of short stories but functioning more like a novel of vignettes, a la Moral Disorder or A Visit from the Goon Squad, the characters in this book won my heart in just a few short pages.