2018 delivered some exciting reads which made it to the Must-Read list of almost all avid readers.
Some of the books lived up to their hype while the others fizzled halfway.
I am soo glad that I was able read a lot of books in 2018 from almost all genres, thanks to my Book Club, Online Reviews, and of course the Library.
To purchase the book click the title or the cover.
In no particular order, here are my top 18 picks from 2018.
I heard the audiobook version and it was a real treat as the book is read by none other than Michelle Obama herself. Once you read/listen to the book you will have nothing but sheer admiration for the former First Lady.
She is admirable, powerful, strong, and unique in her own way.
The book starts with Michelle Obama’s childhood, then school and college life and how she met Obama while working at a law firm in Chicago. It then goes deeper into their lives together and how she disliked politics , whereas Obama chose it as a career.
I admired the way she explained how the First Lady has no executive powers but how she managed to make an impact on people lives via her speeches and actions despite public obsession over her clothes and other ridiculous things.
My favorite excerpt from the book is as follows:
“Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child — What do you want to be when you grow up?
As if growing up is finite.
As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.“
GENRE: Non-Fiction/ History
A horrifying tale of corruption, greed and racism.
The book details the conspiracy against the Osage Indians in Oklahoma, once the richest people per capita in world during the 1920s, thanks to the discovery of oil. The book outlines a series of crimes with dozens of people ending up murdered in cold blood.
The book opens with the disappearance of Mollie Burkhart’s sister who was later found shot to death. An investigation into her death leads to a series of alarming findings on how the Osage were specifically being targeted and poisoned.
It is also this series of events which led to the formation of the “Federal Bureau of Investigation”.
A horrendous stain on American History.
GENRE: Fiction/ Suspense
The baby is dead. It only took a few seconds…..
This is the start of the book….Chilling!
It is story of Paul and Myriam and their two kids. Myriam, once a brilliant lawyer is now a sad Stay-at-Home Mom wanting to get back to work. When the work opportunity arises, they hire Louise, a perfect nanny to take care of their children. What follows is a series of chilling events which lead to the death of one kid and other struggling to stay alive at the hands of their nanny.
This book has been translated from French so yes there are times when you feel it could have had better translation but overall a thought-provoking book, especially for all Moms out there.
Quinn and Graham meet at a difficult point in their life and their love story which starts in an unconventional way, quickly blossoms ending up in marriage. A marriage which is perfect to the outside world. A marriage which was exemplary, until one day it was not. It is a story of a perfect love in an imperfect marriage.
The book alternates between the past and the present and after reading the hurting present the past comes to the rescue as a breath of fresh air.
Colleen has presented it in a beautiful way. It is a story of love, struggles, the hurt and the happiness. A story so real and relatable that it will hit you in the gut.
NO MARRIAGE IS PERFECT. THERE WERE TIMES WHEN SHE GAVE UP ON US. THERE WERE EVEN MORE TIMES WHEN I GAVE UP ON US. THE SECRET TO OUR LONGEVITY IS THAT WE NEVER GAVE UP AT THE SAME TIME.
You will be checking and re-checking your doors and windows for days.
A powerful true crime account of the Golden State Killer, a serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade. It is unfortunate that Michelle could not finish the book and died during the investigations and the books was completed by her team members, but the amazing thing is that, it is only due to her that the guy was finally arrested last year.
Unless you have the nerves of steel I do not recommend reading this book at night, better yet don’t read it alone.
It is the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth and is written by Fatima Farheen Mirza. A powerful, thought-provoking novel about an Indian-American Muslim family settled in California.
It is the story of a traditional family surviving in the modern culture.
It is the story of love and betrayal and explores what it means to be both an American and a Muslim in today’s world. A story of dedicated parents struggling to keep up their traditions. A story of life, trust, and faith. Keep it in mind that it is a slow read.
Tara and her six siblings were raised in a Mormon survivalist family in Idaho. He distrusts all medical advances and public school system, hence the family has set foot in a hospital or a school.
The kids worked at the scrapyard and suffered a large number of injuries and burns. Not attending school meant no formal learning.
She learnt everything on her own and when got into Brigham Young University, family tensions started. But she ever gave up. The sad part is that she became estranged from most of her family during her process of self-discovery.
A true story of self-discovery and always trying and never giving up hope.
GENRE: Non-Fiction/ Self-Help
A self-help book aimed towards women, more specifically millennial. If you want to take control of your life, do something positive about it then you will find some good no-nonsense tips but if you want to wallow in your grief and don’t wanna change your ways, then skip this book.
That being said it is more of a library kind of book which you can read and return so find one near you today.
GENRE: Fiction/ Drama
Roy and Celestial, a young and hardworking couple from Atlanta have only been married for over a year when Roy is arrested and incarcerated for 12 years for a crime he did/did not commit.
Will their marriage survive? Will Celestial be able to cope with his absence and still love him? Will Roy be able to prove his love from behind the bars?
It is a story of love and loyalty, of race and injustice, of staying or moving on. An American Marriage is a book which deals with loyalty, traditions, and race. It digs deeper into the divisions within the African-American Community. It portrays how a tragic event can rip good families apart.
GENRE: Non-Fiction/ Autobiography
Whiskey in a Teacup is the most bubbly and cheerful non-fiction I read this year. It is a mix of Southern hospitality, recipes, memoir, lifestyle and much more.
Everyone is familiar with Reese Witherspoon but I loved the fact that this book is nothing to do with her being famous or about her glorification. It is about a woman who loves her family and her Southern heritage and wants to share it with everyone.
The title comes from the phrase Reese’s grandmother often used:
Southern women are like whiskey in a teacup … beautiful and presented well on the outside … fierce and very strong on the inside.
The book is all about Southern living, Southern Charm, Southern Women. How to entertain, how to decorate. If for nothing else, pick this book up for it’s vibrant photography and heartfelt stories.
GENRE: Fiction/ Fantasy
Greek Mythology Fans Rejoice!
Circe is the daughter of the sun titan Helios and a sea nymph Persa.
She feels like a outsider in her house, and due to a series incidents she is banished to an uninhabited isle of Aiai. It is there on the island, where she reflects and makes something out of herself.
Once settled in and finally thinking of the island as her home, she encounters a lot of mythical creatures. The story spans over generations and we meet many greek gods along the way.
But despite all the big names, this story belongs to Circe only.
If you loved Agatha Christie novels, then you will surely enjoy The Widows of Malabar Hill.
Set in 1920’s in India, the story follows Perveen Mistry, India’s first female lawyer who is Zoroastrian.
When the book opens Perveen is working in her father’s law firm when one of their client passes away. He was a Muslim who has left behind 3 widows. Going through the paperwork, she realizes all three widows have donated their inheritance to a charity.
She is puzzled and wonders what will they live on if they donate everything. Something does not feel right.
Since the widows lives in purdah and cannot talk to any man, Perveen is sent to investigate.
As she digs deeper, she realizes her suspicion is true and someone is taking advantage of them.
What really happened on Malabar Hill and she protect these widows?
Set in Oakland, There There is the story of the interconnected lives of 12 Urban Indians.
Unique in their own way, each has come to Oakland to attend the first big Powpow. Everyone is drawn for a different reason and their individual though interrelated story explains the reason.
The novel is sad, tragic,brave, moving and there are many times when you will be mad. But the story is so heartfelt that you will be unable to put the book down.
It is a story of Urban Indians trying to rediscover and understand who they are and how they came to be.
The ending is perfect, chock-full of emotions.
Being Indian has never been about returning to the land. The is everywhere or nowhere.
It is the story of survival, hope, loss, love, grief, justice.
Where the Crawdads sing is the story of Kya also known as the Marsh girl. Her mother abandoned her when she was little and had to learn to take care of their family including he abusive, drunk dad. She lives in the marshes hence the name.
Overtime she finds ways to make money and support her family. As she grows, she befriends two men, one of hom is Chase. She is surprised that despite being quite popular around the town, Chase has chosen to be with her instead of any other girl. Di he actually love her?
Then one day Chase is found dead or was he murdered?
The whole town blames the Marsh girl.
Did she do it? What was the objective behind it?
A horrifying true story of one of the biggest corporate frauds by Theranos, a multibillion-dollar startup by Elizabeth Homes. The company was founded with the aim of creating a device that could run multiple blood tests from a single drop of blood.
It is amazing to read how many people did they fool including big pharma chains and high-profile investors.
A real page-turner which highlights even the minutes details leaves you wondering how did Holmes and her partner Sunny Balwani were able to get with soo much for soo long.
Freshwater is the story of Ada, a young Nigerian woman with multiple personalities thanks to the gods who have made home in her body and mind. It is a disturbing and dark portrayal of the malice within us. It sheds light on the psychological effects of multiple personalities and how they make or break you.
She fights with herself trying to set herself free but her demons refuse to let her go.
Freshwater is different. It is powerful, poetic, dark and disturbing. It is one of those novels you will either love or hate, there is no maybe.
GENRE: Fiction/ Psycological Thriller
This book has major The Lovely Bones vibes to it.
Ellie was 15 years old when she went missing.
Her mother, Laurel, fell apart after her disappearance losing her marriage, kids and life. It has been 10 years but her search for her daughter is still going on.
One day a stranger enters Laurel’s life and sweeps her off her feet and she decides to move on. It is when she meets his family and is shocked to see that his younger daughter Poppy is a split image of Ellie, that all the unanswered questions come flooding back.
Where is Ellie? What happened to her?
GENRE: Graphic Novel
This is the most sugery-iest collection of comics about everyday silly moments which bring joy to a relationship. It is a basically a quirky picture book for adult.
Short and sweet, you can flip through it in one sitting or slowly enjoy it with a loved on.
The cute images will definitely bring a smile on your face and trust me alot of them are relatable.