I read 100 books this year. It is the most I have ever read in a year. Setting personal reading goals while challenging, in the area of goal setting I seem to always meet or exceed my goal. I suppose it says something. I really like to read. I prefer goals that I can lounge around, snuggle under a throw, drink a cup of coffee, all the while meeting that goal. Ha. Ha.
I also enjoy rounding up, putting the finishing touches on my reading year. Reflecting on what I've delighted after. The hours of enjoyment, of pleasurable escape. Last year I did a playful my best books of 2017 list and that is what I'm going for again this year.
Without further ado:
Best book I most often mentioned in conversation: Even if those conversations were with myself as I skimmed the book titles on my bookshelf and my hand slides over the book and I say to myself, "I love this book!" I am referring to Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay as the book I most often mention.
Honorable Mention: If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey and The End of Me by Kyle Idleman (probably because this is the first book this year I read aloud to Jeff)
Favorite new author I discovered in 2018: Definitely Katherine Reay! I only read two of her books, Dear Mr. Knightley and Lizzy & Jane and I loved both of them almost equal, but in decidedly different ways.
Honorable Mention: Ruth Reichl, who wrote Delicious! and Kyle Idleman, a Christian author
Best Christian non-fiction book of 2018: I read quite a few amazing Christian non-fiction books and honestly the best of this year's best is a toss up. I was blown away by If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey who found grace - and freedom - in allowing Christ all the parts of her life, even the very messy parts, and mistakes. The End of Me by Kyle Idleman which examines The Sermon on the Mount and the upside down teachings of Jesus Christ that are the only way to live an abundant life. The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning shows off the unending grace of God, His reckless, radical love.
Best Non-fiction book of 2018: I'm going to stick with strictly non-fiction because I gave Christian non-fiction its own category. The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah MacKenzie was my favorite non-Christian, non-fiction.
Honorable Mention: Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson
10 Best J.D. Robb books: I read through the entire In Death collection except book #47 which came out in September (not sure when I'm going to get to read). These are re-reads (except #46 which came out in February). My 10 best J.D. Robb books (in no particular order) and still my most favorite book series:
Treachery in Death | Survivor in Death | Delusion in Death | Creation in Death | Origin in Death | Born in Death | Divided in Death | Reunion in Death | Naked in Death | New York to Dallas | Portrait in Death | Kindred in Death
Best J.D. Robb book: When I think to myself what is my favorite In Death book the first one I always think of is Survivor in Death. 9-year old feisty Nixie Swisher, sole survivor of a gruesome family murder with an overcoming spirit softens the heart of the fierce and battle-scarred Lieutenant Eve Dallas (and wins mine), and hangs on the assurance that Dallas always catches the bad guys. I was hoping Robb would bring Nixie back in future books and was delighted to see her cameo appearance in a more recent book.
Honorable Mention: Treachery in Death (Dallas and Peobody take down a dirty cop ring) and Portrait in Death (Roarke meets his extended family he didn't know he had)
Best fiction book of 2018: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. It is not surprising that I enjoyed this epistolary offering, especially when my 2017 best book was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, another epistolary that held me captive with the first letter posted, just as dear, Dear Mr. Knightley.
Honorable Mentions: Lizzie and Jane by Katherine Reay, as well. And, Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
Best un-put-down-able book in 2018: This one is tough! But, I'm going with Dear Mr. Knightley, again, by Katherine Reay but her latest, Lizzy and Jane, is a close second. I finished each in under 8 hours.
11 Best Books of 2018 (in no particular order):
(1) Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (2) Delicious! by Ruth Reichl (3) Soul Keeping by John Ortberg (4) The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning (5) Survivor in Death by J.D. Robb (6) If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey (7) The Fallen by David Baldacci (8) Letters to the Church by Francis Chan (9) The End of Me by Kyle Idleman (10) Lizzy & Jane by Katherine Reay (11) The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
Best Book of 2018: It's no surprise, right?
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
And, that is a reading wrap for 2018.