My Favourite Reads of 2018
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
Every year, social media book platform Goodreads invites their members to do a reading challenge for the new year. You get to choose how many books you would like to read over the next 12 months. For 2018, I challenged myself to read 20 books which I just read in the knick of time.
A lot of my being able to complete the challenge was listening to audiobooks as I drove. As mentioned in my 2018 Favourites post, I mentioned hibooks, the audiobook app. It is really the best way to listen to audiobooks. This isn't an ad at all, I'm just sharing my genuine love for it.
There were three titles I really loved this year out of all of the books I read in 2018. They are all fairly different, and deal with very different cultures and times in history, but they were equally as captivating and were a pleasure to read.
The Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy by Kevin Kwan
I guess this kinda counts as three books, but since it is a series, I'm going to count it as one of my top favourites (my blog, my rules). As I mentioned in my 2018 Favourites, I really enjoyed reading through these books. I literally inhaled the first book in five days. I was so hooked to the story, characters, and culture. As I'm not familiar with Asian culture (particularly Chinese culture as that is where the story focuses), I loved how well Kwan laid out everything. I was especially grateful for the translations of common phrases used. It left me feeling much more at ease with the story and didn't take me out of it. The entire series was wonderful and the twists and turns throughout were perfect. There weren't too many to leave you confused, just enough for an intriguing read.
Longbourn by Jo Baker
We all know Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is a classic tale of classes in Victorian England. However, we only hear the story from the perspective of Elizabeth, who, by all accounts, lives a very comfortable life in her home with her family. Longbourn shares much of the same time frame as P&P but from the perspective of one of the Bennett's servants, Sarah. Sarah's story follows her and the rest of the help at Longbourn as the Bennet girls go through the trials and tribulations of the events in P&P. A new male servant joins the household and immediately intrigues Sarah's interest. It is a love story at times yes, but also a wonderful insight to the world of downstairs in the Bennett household. The story actually continues past the end of P&P when Sarah is asked to go with Jane to her new life as Mrs. Bingley. I don't want to give too much away, but you'll love Sarah's honesty and spirit throughout the book.
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
This book was given to me by my Oma (grandmother) a few years ago. She and I share a love of reading so she gifted me this book. Over this past summer, I was able to finally read it. I was deeply intrigued by the story being told by Bethia, a 1st generation American whose family came from England. Bethia befriended a Native American boy named Caleb. As they grow up together, Bethia's pastor is able to get Caleb to be educated with Bethia's village and he eventually becomes the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. It was an eye-opening look at the struggle Natives faced entering such a world. It was also an eye-opening look at what that time was like for women like Bethia. It was a fascinating and historical look at the world. I really enjoyed the story.
I am excited for the books I will be reading in 2019. If anyone has recommendations for books, please share!