I love this time of year as everyone shares their top book lists of 2018. Although on one hand, I’m anxious to write my own list, I’m also a bit torn. There are still five whole days of 2018 left, and in those five days, I plan to spend a great amount of time reading. Nonetheless, here are my top picks for 2018 (in no particular order).
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon opened my eyes to a whole part of our country’s history that I knew nothing about. I thought this book was going to be about the FBI, but really it was about how rich white men stole land, money, and power from the Osage, while others went to great lengths to prevent the truth from surfacing. I appreciated how this book was well-written and engaging while being a true and honest account of the history.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Educated was a bit like passing a bad accident on the freeway. On one hand, you’re horrified, but on the other, you can’t help but look. Westover shares her story of growing up as the daughter of a Doomsday-prepper in Idaho. She fights against this and pursues education, which helps her break free from her father’s domineering ways. This book is an interesting insight into how books, family, and opportunities impact our paths in life.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
The Gifts of Imperfection has changed my life. Brené Brown does a great job of naming so much of what I feel in my quest for perfection. This book is full of great tools and practices for fighting against the need for perfection in favor of living a whole-hearted life. I also have greatly enjoyed this accompanying workbook which pairs the contents of the book with Biblical scripture and thought-provoking questions.
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network was intense, but also really good. Based on a true story, The Alice Network tells the story of Eve Gardiner, a spy during WWII. As the story progresses, Eve must decide what she’s willing to give up of herself to help the war effort. I was so gripped.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Another WWII novel based on real events, Lilac Girls tells three intertwining stories, centering on the story of Herta Oberheuser, a nurse who works in Ravensbruk. In Ravensbruk, Herta must wrestle with what to do as the camp’s inmates were given terrible operations and injections by the Nazi physicians. Heartbreaking and insightful into what life was like within that camp.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
I read Piecing Me Together right before I read the more famous The Hate U Give. Both books tell the story of African American teen girls trying to make sense of their identities. Both girls find themselves torn between cultures and looking for a place to belong. I found Piecing Me Together allowed me to better understand the character and what she was thinking and feeling. This book really helped me develop empathy for those torn between two cultures.
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
I read everything by Kate DiCamillo. She writes for children, but her books give me all the feels every single time. Louisiana’s Way Home was no different. This is Louisiana’s story of belonging and forgiveness as she seeks to find out who she really is. The last sentence of the book will make you stop in your tracks.