Bri's Top Ten Reads of 2018

By now, you should know that I'm a reader. I read much more than the average bear. I've read 70 books this year and have plans to squeeze in one more before the ball drops. I set my goal at 40 books, knowing that I would be busy planning a wedding. Last year, I read 32 books so I thought 40 was a decent, attainable goal. I left that goal in the dust back in August. Rather than set a new goal, I just kept reading to see where I'd land, which is really the goal in the first place.

Here, in no particular ranking order, are my top ten books I read in 2018:

Read: January 
Listened to: November
(Yep, so good I read it twice this year.)
Backman is a new author for me this year. "A Man Called Ove" was one of my first reads of the year and already, I knew it would be one of my favorites of 2018, possibly ever. This story had more depth than I was prepared for and I fell for these characters hard. Backman has a way of making you laugh and cry in the same sentence.

Read: February
Surprise! More Fredrik Backman. Shortly after finishing "Ove," I decided that it was my mission to read everything Backman's ever written. Once again, "Beartown" did not disappoint. It's so hard for me to even articulate why this book is so good. Backman has this ability to create worlds and characters that you can't help but love. His writing is raw, real, and relatable. Bonus - "Beartown" has a sequel that came out this year called, "Us Against You." (I read it, sobbed my heart out, and loved it as well. There's rumored to be a third book in the mix!)

Read: April
While Rainbow Rowell (yes, that is her God-given name) is a young adult author, she's an auto-buy author for me. "Fangirl" took me back to my freshman year of college (the best year of all, in my opinion). I expected this to be a light read, and in a way, it was. But it also left me with a lot of feelings and a lot to process. 

Read: May
"The Immortalists" accompanied me on a day trip to Providence, RI for work earlier this year. In hindsight, I could not have chosen a better book to get lost in during my long day of travel. It raises the question, "If you knew the day you were going to die, how would you live your life?" The story follows four siblings through the course of their lives after learning the dates of their deaths. 

Read: June
This was my first read by Christina Lauren, the combined pen name of a pair of best friend writers. When I tell you I sunk into this book, I mean I devoured all 432 pages of this book in one sitting. Even for me, that's a lot. This is a book about books, book lovers, and growing up. To this day, I think of Macy and Elliot often. This is one I will revisit with a re-read, which is also something I don't do often! 

Read: June
2018 was the year for curmudgeon-ly characters but I assure you - You will fall in love with Eleanor Oliphant. And as I'm sure you've guessed - She is NOT completely fine. I saw a lot of myself in Eleanor - Her past has made her strict, rule-following, set in her ways, and very much an anti-social homebody. Seeing this character come to life and break free from her past was so important to me.

Read: September
(Not pictured)
I'm not sure what I expected this story to be about, but I'll tell you, one thing's for sure: I was wrong. If you've read anything by TJR, this book is nothing like what she's written in the past. This is her peak so far, her turning point. I'm upset that I borrowed this book from the library because it belongs in my collection forever. 

Read: September
I was initially terrified of this book. For starters, it's massive - Almost 600 pages. I also picked this up just a few weeks shy of my wedding so I wasn't sure if I needed a "heavy" read at that point in my life. I'm so glad I got past all that and decided to read it anyway, and I'm also glad that I did a "buddy read" with some fellow readers on Instagram. This is a great book club pick because there is so much to discuss. I definitely got more out of it by reading with others. 

Read: October
I read "Josh & Hazel" while on my honeymoon in Aruba. I devoured it within a day. It's the perfect beach read, light and cute, with enough intrigue to keep you turning pages. I fell in love with Josh and Hazel. This was a feel-good story and I definitely picked the perfect time to read it.

Read: November
My cousin practically begged me to read "All The Ugly and Wonderful Things" for months before I picked it up. The story carries a lot of controversy and mixed feelings and emotions, so I knew I had to be "ready" for this one. It did not disappoint. This book will make you think. It will make you second guess yourself. If you're anything like me, this one will stick with you for a long time. 

Now that I left wedding planning and my stressful job in 2018, I can't wait to see how many books I can get my hands on in 2019! I think I'm setting my goal at 75 books (don't want to get too crazy, ya know?), but I wonder if it's possible to hit 100? Stay tuned to find out! 

What did you read this year? Tell me in the comments! 

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