2018 Books In Review

The Big Ol’ Book Roundup, Vol. 2

Last year, I resolved to read a book every two weeks, and as I documented my progress on Instagram under the hashtag #carissareads, I surpassed my goal with 29 books. This year, I did my best to continue the trend of logging my books and I’m ringing in the new year with 39 new books swimming around in my brain.

In taking inventory of the books I read this year, I’m happy to see a few more women and people of color than I read in 2017, as well as more books I would honestly recommend. As you’ll see, I still love memoirs, American literature, and stories of faith communities. But I also branched out a little into sci-fi and fantasy this year.

I wrote in more detail about the books I read in separate posts in January, February, March, April, May, June-July, and August-December.

Once again, I’ve compiled them here for quick ‘n easy recommendations for your new year.

For a peek into the best of classic (mostly American) literature…

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

For a book that will stir your desire for racial reconciliation and social justice…

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

For a trip to the world of science fiction…

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Martian by Andy Weir

Artemis by Andy Weir

For a story with characters so endearing and special you’ll be cheering for them

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

For a memoir that will shift your perspective…

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Educated by Tara Westover

The Polygamist’s Daughter by Anna LeBaron

What I Talk About when I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

For a renewed vision of community and faith…

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

Everybody Always by Bob Goff

Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate by John J. Thompson

The Ministry of Ordinary Places by Shannan Martin

Remember God: How to Ruthlessly Believe in an Incredibly Kind God by Annie F. Downs

For a fun and endearing just-because read…

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Am I there Yet? by Mari Andrew

How to Be a Perfect Christian by The Babylon Bee

For a novel with excellent storytelling…

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Paper Towns by John Green

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Shameless Plug: For a book that’s grammatically flawless because I copy edited it (and that will teach you a lot about Mormonism)…

Sharing the Good News with Mormons with editors Eric Johnson & Sean McDowell

Thanks for listening to me prattle on about books all year. Stay tuned – my goal is to continue reading more and more this coming year. I received an almost-comical number of books as Christmas gifts, and I’m excited to dive in.

What books would you recommend for 2019?

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