The Great Thoughts’ Top Books of 2018
It is that time again. It is never easy to choose the top books of the year. 2018 was an exceptional year for really great fiction. Given the absurd amount of political news, 2018 was a year in which we absolutely NEEDED fiction. This year’s Top Books’ posts will span the next four days so check back daily to see all the categories.
Without further ado, here we go…
Top Ten Books of 2018
These ten books represent my very favorite books of 2018:
My Top Books of 2018 are (in alphabetical order by title below):
The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger– How refreshing for a reliable female author to write a reliable female narrator in a thriller. This book has no missing kids, no mysteriously dead women, no extraordinary mental illness, no demonic females with psychoses- just a great thriller! And, it will soon be on your ipad or TV as a limited series starring Rosamund Pike from the Homeland writer/director team.
Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch– OMG this book. What a magnificent realistic love story and what an intricately structured novel. Winn Scotch knocked it out of the park with this book. Every author should read this book to analyze the incredible structure. Every reader should read the book because it is fantastic.
Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza– I am the consummate political junkie so it was with great pleasure that I relished every page of this book. This book has the best character development of any I read this year. A wonderful fictional portrayal of a female politician trying to have it all and realizing how hard that is.
The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain– I have long been a fan of Chamberlain’s books but this book- wow, just wow! I had no idea of the subject matter when I read it and I encourage you to do the same. Don’t read the book description but just read the book. This is the most intricately written plot of any of Chamberlain’s books and she nails it. A masterpiece!
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang- I did not read this book before it came out but a few months later.”I don’t read romance.” I said. But after the glowing praise the book got EVERYWHERE, I decided to read it. And I read it in one-sitting. And guess what, it is sexy, romantic, poignant and simply over the top fabulous. I love the book, the author, the message, Michael’s tattoo and so on. Helen Hoang is to be commended and promoted to royalty for bringing autism and diversity to fiction. The great news is that she has another book coming next Summer. Now I do, by the way, read romance and encourage others to do the same!
Limelight by Amy Poeppel- I loved this book and I adore this author. Amy Poeppel is funny and we so need funny right now. A suburban Texas mom, Allison, and her family move to New York City where she accidentally becomes the mother figure/personal assistant to a teen pop star who is starring in a Broadway show. Allison is the mom in all of us. The book is hilarious, warm and fabulous. And, Kevin Kline is in the book so what more can we ask for?
The Lost Family by Jenna Blum- This book is simply perfection. I dare you to read it and not fall in love with Peter. I liken this book to a mix of The Two-Family House by Lynda Loigman (a Top Book of 2016) and Madmen. If only Jenna Blum wrote faster and published a book a year! The characters are flawed which makes them perfect. And the food in the book will make you drool. I truly believe this book should have hit the NYT immediately as her first book, Those Who Save Us, did. It is that spectacular.
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren- In a year with WAY too much political news, I gravitated to a few lighter reads. (I read romance now as you read above!) This book is delightful, sexy, funny and fabulous. This was my first Christina Lauren novel. Any book that makes me laugh out loud like this and fall in love with the characters is my kind of book. I also really enjoyed My Favorite Half-Night Stand by this author (a writing duo) that comes out this week.
The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances- Pysch thrillers are not typically my cup of tea. When I started this book, I truly had no idea what it was about. And then I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading this book and then recommended to all. We can all imagine a nightmare of prospective daughter-in-law but The Girlfriend takes it to new lows. A quick but very satisfying read with very intense writing.
Marriage Vacation by Pauline Brooks- I needed escapism during the Summer so I binge watched Younger, thanks to my of my book besties, Suzy Approved Book Reviews. I was then DELIGHTED to see that a novel based on the book had just been published. It was like another season with the characters. Love the show and loved this book! The author, Pauline Brooks, is actually a character in the show. The ghost writer is Jo Piazza of Charlotte Walsh fame above. #TeamCharle
Top Books of 2018- Best Writing
This year, four books stuck out in my mind for exceptionally good writing. Here is a quote from each:
Dreams of Falling by Karen White- “Ivy had always driven the same car, just a newer model each year. Daddy bought her one annually, on the same day of his dental exam. He always said both were important to his well being, keeping his teeth in shape and knowing that Mama was safe out on the road. If I didn’t know any better, I might even think they had a good marriage.”
My Ex-Life by Stephen McAuley- “Even his support of Mitt Romney had had an aura of aggression towards her, a how-do-you-like-that? quality she’d sensed but had been unable to label at the time.”
The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams- “I had thought, after so many years, I should approach the house like an old friend with whom you had quarreled long ago and since forgiven so far as to forget what the quarrel was about.”
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn- “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all my time working with children, if I could whittle those years down to a single revelation, it’s this: They are extraordinarily resilient. They can withstand neglect; they can survive abuse; they can endure, even thrive, where adults would collapse like umbrellas.”
Top Books of 2018- Unsung Heroes
Four books stuck out in my mind that deserved MUCH more acclaim than they received:
Between Me and You by Allison Winn- A masterful novel and an incredible love story. This book rocks and everyone should have read it or needs to read it now. And, it should be a movie!
Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins- Every woman who has ever thought about her weight (all women?) must read this book.
Limelight by Amy Poeppel- See my gushing above. It is exceedingly well-written and so funny. It is shocking that this book was not on the NYT list.
One Day in December by Josie Silver- This book just came out and is a truly joyous love story. Note: I chose this book as an Unsung Hero BEFORE Reese chose the book. Kudos Reese Witherspoon!
Top Books of 2018- Grace Under Fire
The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable– Gable’s book got a horrific review from USA Today. This was not a bad review but an incredibly mean review. I honestly am amazed that the newspaper would ever use this reviewer again or that they published it in the first place. And, the review was astonishing as the book is excellent and had over 500 4-star and higher reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I can only conclude that the reviewer thought Gable looked like someone who was mean to her in middle school or she read a different book.
Rather than angst and curl up into a ball, Gable stood tall and posted on twitter. In her own words, “1st you cry thanks to scathing review, then decide the reviewer doesn’t know it’s fiction, since she attributes things characters said to you. Then you laugh because your new book is “the hate-read of summer” which is so mean yet so great at the same time.”
Congrats Michelle Gable on the first Great Thoughts’ Grace Under Fire award!
You can find all of these books in the Great Thoughts’ Amazon Store (affiliate link) here.
More Top Books of 2018
Check back every day this week for more Top Books of 2018.
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