Favorite Books Read in 2018
For the past several years, I have shared a summary of my favorite books of the year. (Here are 2017, 2016, and 2015). This year, I read a total of 98 books (and counting), many of which I rated either 4 or 5 stars, which means I enjoyed a great majority of the books I read this year. Here are some of my favorites (in no particular order) with a five-second blurb to give you an idea why I love it so.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Stunning atmospheric descriptions of North Carolina marsh town, coming-of-age tale of a lonely, yet strong female character, and a mysterious death
Home by Marilynn Robinson: Quiet, yet powerful family story of a prodigal son and an older daughter that feels forgotten (Gilead and Lila are the other books in this trio series; all favorites!)
East of Eden by John Steinbeck: Family story with melancholy tone and plentiful metaphors from Genesis, specifically Cain and Abel and themes like nature vs nurture and free will vs predestination
Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker: A retelling of Jane Eyre from his perspective. I typically avoid retellings of my favorite classics but this was so good, I emailed the author to gush about it!
When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin: A retired heart surgeon befriends a frail girl who reminds him of his beloved wife, bringing healing to many along the way.
Common thread: These books all had a somber tone with some heartbreaking events, yet they all held onto a glimmer of hope that reminded me that even the darkest nights end with a sunrise.
NON-FICTION: MEMOIR & HISTORY
Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon: Basically a guide to being a southern gal from the ever-entertaining and adorable Reese. Audiobook is read by her, which is loads of fun!
Educated by Tara Westover: Bone-chilling and sometimes infuriating story of a woman's upbringing in a fundamentalist family that didn't believe in modern medicine or formal education.
The Color of Water by James McBride: A Black son's tribute to his white mother, who raised her eleven children mostly on her own in the projects of Brooklyn, with thoughts on race and identity.
Everything Happens for A Reason by Kate Bowler: A theology professor is diagnosed with late-stage cancer, re-examines prosperity-gospel and Christianese platitudes that suddenly don't make sense or bring any comfort as she walks through suffering. Thought-provoking and made me more aware of the things I say to those who are grieving or going through hardship.
When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning: 120 million pocket-size books were sent to soldiers during WWII, bringing a small, yet powerful respite to their gruesome circumstances.
NON-FICTION: THEOLOGY & CHRISTIAN LIVING
Cultivate by Lara Casey: Her resources have been life-changing in the ways I approach goal-setting with this book looking at the metaphor of gardening to cultivating priorities and goals from a Christian perspective. Incredibly practical and grace-filled.
Longing for Motherhood by Chelsea Patterson Sobelik: Part memoir of Chelsea's experience of infertility, partly theological exposition on suffering, and part practical encouragement for both those who are walking through infertility and those who want to come alongside them.
He Speaks in the Silence by Diane Comer: An honest look at the nearly faith-crushing journey of gradual deafness and the ways God was near to her in confusion, anger, eventual surrender and joy.
The Lifegiving Home by Sally Clarkson: Chock-full of ideas of intentional ways to creating a home where family and guests feel they are loved and belong. Definitely will revisit when I am a mom!
What have been YOUR favorite book you read in 2018? Any you think I would enjoy? I love a good book recommendation!
P.S. For a fun infographic showing all the books I read (and some fun stats), click HERE for the Goodreads Year in Books summary.