Favorite Reads (& Watches) of 2018

I'm not going to give too much of an introduction because we all know why you're here and what this list is. I will say that this is a long list because I've been reading a lot of really great things, and I've enjoyed most of them. I'm really starting to hone in on my reading tastes and what I do and don't enjoy when it comes to that. For your convenience and my sanity, this list is separated into fiction works (mostly novels), nonfiction, and comics. Not all categories are created equal, and a lot of my favorites are actually in the comics section, so, yay! Also, strap in, this is a long one.


  • A Princess in TheoryA Duke by Default - Alyssa Cole: I normally cannot stand romance novels. At least that's what I thought before I found my new favorite, Alyssa Cole. Not only am I sucker for any kind of royal romance, I've finally found one that lives up to being a modern, feminist romance. Because I've tried to read the other "feminist" ones that still perpetuate gross and harmful behaviors. This series is a gift to us all, and the next in the series (a novella) is a F/F romance and the cover is two women looking in love. I'm gonna cry.
  • The Language of Thorns - Leigh Bardugo: I don't know how to even begin to talk about how great this was? These are very good, amazing, magical short stories. Some of them give you hope and others are just horribly dark and cruel. If you like fairytales and Bardugo's writing and haven't read this, you should because it's amazing.
  • An American Marriage - Tayari Jones: Probably the most acclaimed and buzzworthy book on this list. This is very good, top-tier writing and storytelling. It's one of Barack Obama's favorites for a reason. Because it's good. And amazingly written with complex characters and situations and it's really just remarkable. 
  • The Refrigerator Monologues - Catherynne M. Valente: If you stick around towards the end of the list, you'll see how much I love and adore comics. They have been such a large part of my life for the past five years, and at this point, I can't imagine my life without them. And since I started reading comics later in the game, I've read a lot of really great representation of women, that's mostly written by women. But that's not the history of comics. This is one of the two books in this section that completely has my whole heart. This is told in series of short stories, each told by a different woman that has been fridged in their superhero's story. These are the women that are killed, raped, brainwashed, stripped of their powers in order to service the story of their male protagonist. This works best with some working knowledge of comics and the history of fridging (links here, here, and here), and I completely fell in love with it.

  • Beartown - Fredrik Backman: This one wins the award for the book that made me cry the most on this list. This is such a strong story, and incredibly well written. People rave about Backman's stories and writing for a reason. It's amazing, and heart-wrenching and is another one that makes me love and hate the world all at the same time.
  • If They Come For Us - Fatimah Asghar: The only poetry on this list, and of all the poetry I read this year, it's the one that I want everyone to read and is shamefully underrated and needs to be on more people's radars. It is the best poetry collection that I've ever read. This one has my heart.
  • Children of Blood and Bone - Tomi Adeyemi: This book is phenomenal. And whether or not you think it follows certain fantasy tropes or adheres to YA cliches, it is phenomenal because it is a stunning YA fantasy written and starring a black woman. The family relationships far exceed regular YA and fantasy novels. This is a fantasy novel that has a really amazing character, especially for our main character Zelie, but really for all of our featured characters. Really a great story, and I'm incredibly excited to continue.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Taylor Jenkins Reid: Because I don't want to go on for seven years, I'm going to encourage you to read my goodreads review (linked through the title). I have never read a book that I feel more personally about. This book is mine, and it is me on the page. I was laughing and crying and this book encompasses my whole soul. I love it with my whole heart, and it's a new all-time favorite. 

There are also two series that I started and finished in 2018 that I also absolutely loved, both for their individual stories and for their overall series arcs. And here they are: 

Crazy Rich Asians, series (I, II, III) - Kevin Kwan: These are the audiobook stars of the show for this year. (Also, one of the movie stars of the show: stay tuned.) Are these phenomenal literature? No. But are they a good old romp with characters that I love and adore? Yes, I would die for and marry Astrid. And due to the really gossipy, social nature of these books, the audiobooks really sold this series for me, because I felt like I was getting the inside scoop on these characters. It was an experience. 

Binti, series (I, II, III) - Nnedi Okorafor: Afrofuturism is a genre that I've only dipped my toes into, but is already one of my favorites. It combines my love of speculative, science-fiction and culturally-and-character-based stories. Home is my favorite of the series, closely followed by the first. I read all of these fairly close together, and that definitely helped me grasp the story and characters. I really recommend these (also as audiobooks because they really helped me with a lot of pronunciations).


I'm still learning how to accurately talk about nonfiction books, so this section should be a nice reprieve from all my writing. Also, all of these are pretty popular and well-read, so most of you have probably already read or heard of them.

  • The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls: The most popular book that I read in 2018, and I know why. Jeannette Walls had a truly fascinating childhood. The common thread with all these nonfiction books is that they kept me engaged during the reading process. 
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness - Susannah Cahalan: This is a terrifying but fascinating recollection of a month of Susannah Cahalan's life. I could not put this down. It's so well-written and always kept me engaged.
  • Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates: This is the one that blew me away out of this section. It is so profound and amazing. Definitely recommend listening to the audiobook, as it's read by Coates himself. This book covered a lot of ground, and is one that I will think about for a long time.

  • In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom - Yeonmi Park: This book really took the world by storm a few years ago, and I finally got around to reading it. It still feels so relevant. It was endearing and heartbreaking and horrifying. If you've gone without reading this like I had, I definitely recommend it.
  • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - Caitlin Doughty: I found Caitlin's YouTube channel earlier in 2018, and I bought this soon after. This is part memoir, part facts about death and dying and different options for what happens to you after death. This is really, very good, and is the one that I will reference and revisit as I need to.


  • Goldie Vance, vol. 34 - Hope Larson: I love a queer Nancy Drew. I'm not sure if we're getting more of this series, and that makes my heart hurt a little bit. This is a precious story with so much heart, and I adore it.
  • Aquicorn Cove & The Tea Dragon Society - Katie O'Neill: These are the cutest, most adorable short children's stories. They are compassionate and educational and I love the art. Everyone loves these for a reason.
  • Bitch Planet - Kelly Sue DeConnick: Standout comic writer of the year for me is Kelly Sue DeConnick. I am a true stan now. I love her so much. This comic is set in near-ish future where the men in charge send the women they deem "non-compliant" (those who aren't content to simply comply to their patriarchal overlords) are exiled to a different planet. I'd been meaning to read this for years, and I really enjoyed the story and the feminist nature of it. It's great, please read it.

  • Giant Days, vol. 8 - John Allison: If there's ever a year where this comic doesn't make my favorites list, it will be a truly sad day. This is the only series I've ever followed from the beginning for this long. Allison always keeps me interested in these characters and their day-to-day adventures. I love this series so much.
  • The Life of Captain Marvel - Margaret Stohl: Okay, okay, so after you read the 2012 run of Captain Marvel (see: next entry), you have to read this. The collected volume doesn't come out until later this month, but I read the single issues of this as they released towards the end of 2018, and I've got to applaud this story. As a bit of a *nerd, there were some story issues that I wasn't immediately a fan of, but this story has sat with me since I finished it. I think what this story does is very important and a vital change that Carol's story needed. Please just read it, this is a truly spectacular series.
  • Captain Marvel (2012) - Kelly Sue DeConnick: I love Captain Marvel's story. And this is the arc where she was promoted from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel. This first volume isn't my favorite, but the overall arc of this series (1: In Pursuit of Flight & 2: Down & 3: Avengers: The Enemy Within) is so good. And though I'm partial to the 2015 run of Carol's story because that's how I was introduced to her, this is really spectacular writing, and it really established DeConnick as one of my favorite comic writers of all time and Carol as my favorite superhero.


So, if you haven't heard of letterboxd, and you watch a lot of movies like I do, it's basically a goodreads (but better!) for movies. The full list of 20 movies is here for you to peruse, but just quickly here are my top favorites from that list (ordered roughly with my absolute favorites at the top):

The Shape of Water
Sorry to Bother You
Inside Llewyn Davis
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

And that's it. It was a long one, but I had a whole lot of favorite things this past year and I wanted to share all of them with you. I've been reading less bad things and more things that I know I'll enjoy, which is why this post has been seven years long.

Please tell me down in the comments any of the favorite things you've read or watched this year, if you've read any of my favorites, or if you have any favorites you'd think I'd enjoy please let me know! I'll see you all soon(er than I have been). 

Be First to Post Comment !
Post a Comment