Merry christmas, everyone! I look forward to making this post every year, because I never get bored of shouting about my favourite books. I read 247 books this year, so obviously I have a lot of opinions about my favourites. These are all 2018 releases, with a few at the end which I adored but were published before 2018, that I needed to included.
Finally, a reminder from an author – if you’re making your own list of favourite books of 2018, please make sure you thank the author by adding your reviews to Amazon. It’s a small, quick thing that can make a huge difference to authors.
2017 favourites | 2016 favourites | 2015 favourites | 2014 favourites
A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland (Goodreads/Amazon)
An old man is trapped in prison, accused of witchcraft. An old man who has spent his life learning how to tell stories, and manipulate perceptions. An old man who will do anything to get free. An old man, who single-handedley manages to take down an entire government from a prison cell…..
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers (Goodreads/Amazon)
Becky Chambers is such a reliable author, and her books never fail to make my heart brim with love for humans and her wonderful visions of aliens. Her books always offer such unique and optimistic looks on difficult issues like gender, social equality, racism and hope. I wouldn’t mind living in her future, which isn’t something I say often about science fiction.
Death in the Spotlight (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries #7) by Robin Stevens (Goodreads/Amazon)
My favourite detectives had their best adventure yet. Robin writes the most diverse, authentic, wonderfully researched historical fiction. It’s full of BAME and LGBT characters of all ages.
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell (Goodreads/Amazon)
I kind of wish I hadn’t read this because it was the most stressful book I’ve ever read. I want to simultaneously never leave my house again and do as many things as possible while I can because LIFE IS FRAGILE.
This far exceeded my expectations, which were already far too high. I have no background in Greek mythology, and The Song of Achilles blew me away because it somehow made these complicated myths feel real, even with all the gods and nymphs running around. That book was a lot easier to root for, because it revolved around the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. This time around, there is not only a far bigger and more complicated cast, but there’s no central relationship to hook you into the story. Despite that, Miller has somehow managed to create a book that you are completely invested in, feels totally real and believable, and contains characters who jump of the page.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Goodreads/Amazon)
One for fans of the You Must Remember This Podcast – old Hollywood royalty, publicity manoeuvring & more scandals than you can wave an Oscar at.
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Goodreads/Amazon)
This is described as ‘Eurovision in space’, which is EXACTLY what this is. A loving ode to Douglas Adams, updated for the 21st century, this is funny and imaginative and colourful. The alien performances were truly excellent.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (Goodreads/Amazon)
The graphic novel about a prince that hires a dressmaker to make him dresses to wear is SO DAMN CUTE. It was so uplifting and positive and really cute.
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Goodreads/Amazon)
A meteorite has hit Earth and triggered an extinction event. Humans have a decade or less to get off the planet before the sun disappears beneath skies of dust, and crops die off. But it’s the fifties, and the space race has only just begun. The remnants of the US government team up with space agencies around the world to fast track a moon settlement mission. The WWII pilots are chosen to train as astronauts – but only the men. Which isn’t much use when you’re trying to start a colony. The human calculators, all women, and WASP pilots, start a publicity campaign to be allowed to train for the mission. HIDDEN FIGURES meets INTERSTELLAR, this is part science-based adventure and part uprising for race and gender equality. Maths and feminism: is there any better combination?
The Invitation by Keris Stainton (Goodreads/Amazon)
Keris’ books always make me feel like I can achieve anything I set my mind to. Heart-warming, body-positive, sweet and caring, I am going to be thinking about these characters for a long time.
Bonus – my favourite books published before 2018:
Think of England by K.J. Charles (Goodreads/Amazon)
This was the most excellent English country house heist/murder mystery, it was a RIOT. One of the best romances I’ve ever read!
The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin (Goodreads/Amazon)
This is – well, it’s a science fiction and fantasy series set in a world where extinction events destroy civilisation every hundred years, the survivors have to try and relearn how to create a society from the remains of cultures that surround them. This is exactly my sort of thing – archaeology as a means of survival. It’s about legend and science, and how to work out which is which. It’s about found families and slave races and something like magic.
It’s diverse and full of plot twists and changes in perspective and the most wonderful characters. But what makes this series really special is that it uses the writing in a completely different way from anything I’ve ever seen. It’s a masterclass in originality.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Goodreads/Amazon)
Science fiction short stories about the effects of birth, death and life on women’s bodies. The stories are all different – paranormal detectives, apocalypses & magical realism – but so very powerful.
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (Goodreads/Amazon)
A rejected son unexpectedly inherits the throne and has to learnt to become emperor in a court that wants to take him down. SO satisfying. Full of courtly intrigue and machinations.