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Best Books of 2018       View List as Printable PDF

Library Staff Share the Best of 2018


Best Books of 2018


12 rules for Life : an antidote to chaos

12 rules for Life : an antidote to chaos
by Peterson, Jordan B.
170.44 PET
This book is for those that appreciate a hard look at the challenges of creating a meaningful life.


Alice Isn't Dead

Alice Isn't Dead
by Fink, Joseph
FICTION FIN
This book is equal parts hair-raising and heartwarming; it's about boogeymen, road trips, surviving anxiety, and finding home in a person.

All Systems Red

All Systems Red
Series Title: Murderbot Diaries
by Wells, Martha
SCIENCE FICTION WEL
This is a 4 part series of novellas that offers an entertaining narrative of an android security unit's amusing/refreshing perspective alongside its fellow human employers

American Gods

American Gods
by Gaiman, Neil
FICTION GAI
Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies...and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing - an epic war for the very soul of America - and that he is standing squarely in its path. I liked this book because it was as much of a road trip of America as it was a fantastical story about Old Gods and New Gods fighting for dominance.


American prison : a reporter's undercover journey into the business of punishment

American prison : a reporter's undercover journey into the business of punishment
by Bauer, Shane
365.973 BAU
The author is a trained journalist who spent 2 years imprisoned in Iran. Having some empathy for and knowledge of the prisoner-guard dynamic, he decided to go undercover in a for-profit american prison in Louisiana. The narrative weaves together a well written history of the prison system in America with accounts of his day-to-day experiences working in the prison. The history of prisons alone is alarming, yet the book brings you to consider the history of race, corporate profit, mass incarceration, and the cultural systems of inequality that persist to this day. As a white privileged female, I recommend that white people read this book.

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None
by Christie, Agatha
MYSTERY CHR
I know it's not new but I just finished listening to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It's actually my first Christie novel ever and I don't know why it's taken me so long to read one! It's got all of my favorite elements of a mystery: a secluded location, a mysterious host, red herrings, plot twists, and lots of murder! I was definitely surprised at the end of the book.

	 Astounding : John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the golden age of science fiction

Astounding : John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the golden age of science fiction
by Nevala-Lee, Alec
809.38762 NEV
This is the first Biography of the the great golden age science fiction editor John W. Campbell. It was very interesting to get a glimpse at these legends as just everyday people.


Becoming

Becoming
by Obama, Michelle
BIO OBAMA
I'm currently listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama (narrated by the author!) and though I haven't finished it, it's shaping up to be one of my favorites from this year. I am enjoying reflecting on how our "stories" are created, and how each challenge, surprise, delight, and experience can influence who we are.

The Best We Could Do : an Illustrated Memoir

The Best We Could Do : an Illustrated Memoir
by Bui, Thi
GN 973.0495 BUI
A wonderful book which tells the story of a woman's family who escaped Vietnam during the revolution and how it affected them later in life.


Circe

Circe
by Miller, Madeline
FICTION MIL
Meet Odysseus from a perspective not usually available...a Titan goddess. But being a goddess doesn't spare her the struggle of being a strong female in a man's world.


Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
by Vargas, Jose Antonio
BIO VARGAS
Simultaneously heartbreaking and humorous, this courageous memoir challenges assumptions about undocumented immigrants while bringing to life the anxiety of growing up undocumented in the United States.

Educated

Educated
by Westover, Tara
BIO WESTOVER
Educated by Tara Westover was an excellent (and horrifying) story of how we are shaped by our family relationships.

Hey Kiddo

Hey Kiddo
by Krosoczka, Jarrett J.
YA GN 362.29 KRO
Hey Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka is the powerful story of growing up without a father and a mother addicted to heroin.


The house of Broken Angels

The house of Broken Angels
by Urrea, Luis Alberto
FICTION URR
Dying patriarch, Big Angel, has one last birthday party that lasts the weekend. The party and his life celebrate the first generation Mexican-American experience of living two lives... one on each side of the Mexican/US border. It ends with hope: "All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."

	 Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art

Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art
by Gabriel, Mary
700.411 GAB
This is a history of the U.S. Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940's and 1950's told through the collective biographies of Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler. It is a particularly interesting view of what it was like to be a Federal Art Project artist with a steady income, engaging work assignments, and equal standing among female and male artists. Nicely written nonfiction.

Obsidio

Obsidio
Series Title: The Illuminae Files
by Kaufman, Amie and Kristoff, Jay
YA FICTION KAU
This was one of the best books I read that was published in 2018. It is the third in a trilogy of YA action packed Sci Fi Novels, the first of which is Illuminae. These books tell their story in wonderfully unique ways as collections of chat logs, scanned documents, descriptions of security footage, and stunning text images. I hope to see more unique reading experiences like this in the future!

Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents

Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents
by Souza, Pete
973.932022 SOU
The former official White House photographer compares the most recent two administrations via photos of Barack Obama side-by-side with tweets, headlines, and quotes from the Trump administration. #ThrowShadeThenVote

The Silence of the Girls

The Silence of the Girls
by Barker, Pat
FICTION BAR
Briseis was won by Achilles as his prize for killing her husband and brothers in battle. She is Achilles' slave until his death. Briseis describes the familiar tales of the Trojan War from the perspective of women who have not been heard in the other retellings of these stories. Another staff review: Imaginative and brutal retelling of the Trojan War (Homer's The Iliad) from the perspective of Briseis, a female war captive. A brilliant way to capture the costs of war on women's bodies and psyches. I love how retellings of classic tales call into question our assumptions about how stories are told and whose story is really being represented.

Stonehenge: The Story of a Sacred Landscape

Stonehenge: The Story of a Sacred Landscape
by Pryor, Francis
936.2319 PRY
Archaeologist Francis Pryor describes Stonehenge in succinct era-based chapters, using illustrations and photos as additional information sources, the complete history in about 200 pages. Best ever book on Stonehenge, and I've read many!

There There

There There
by Orange, Tommy
FICTION ORA
There There by Tommy Orange will stay with me for the rest of my life.

There There is a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.

Thornhill

Thornhill
by Smy, Pam
J FICTION SMY
Haunting book about two lonely girls separated by 30 years. The author alternates diary entries with stark black and white drawings.Part mystery, part ghost story.


Tin Man

Tin Man
by Winman, Sarah
FICTION WIN
Winman is an expert at weaving the story of someone's life; this is a story about the complexities of love and loss.