Elliot’s list is the most organized of all of ours; she’s beautifully laid out her favorites by genre and managed to find one favorite for each genre. It’s a comprehensive tour of some of the best books of 2018, and proves that Elliot’s reading list is one of the most diverse in the store.
Here’s Elliot’s Favorite Reads of 2018:
- Picture Book: Prince & Knight, by Daniel Haack
Wonderful art. Wonderful story. Just all around wonderful. This book makes my heart so happy.
- Teen Read: The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline
How do you write about the apocalypse when your people have already experienced it? You draw deeply from the past. Filled with historical parallels and rife with metaphors this book broke my heart to pieces in a beautiful way. Dimaline asks questions worth addressing, especially here and now. How do you survive in a poisoned world? How does your culture persist when it is being devoured? How do you live when you are a consumable? Best read as an allegory this is the sort of take on annihilation only an indigenous author could manage so masterfully. I was intrigued, horrified, and moved.
- Sci-Fi: The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells
Intriguing, insightful, and funny, these stories are now officially among my favorites – each one is just as good as the last. I look forward to joining Murderbot on new adventures in the future!
- Fantasy: Godsgrave, by Jay Kristoff
If you’ve read Nevernight then you have an idea of what to expect from this book. (And if you haven’t, then you should really go do that.) As with the first book, the language remains florid and snarky. There’s plenty of all the things you have come to expect from this series: blood, action, sex, sarcasm, sneaking through shadows, and intricate plans that always seem to have wrenches thrown into them. You know, assassin stuff. Then this book also surprised me by digging into new depths I didn’t expect. Issues of slavery and social injustice. Examinations of sexual orientation and identity. Weighty stuff sandwiched in between the ill conceived plans and vengeance. It was a nice surprise.
- Mystery: Night Film, by Marisha Pessl
Sovereign. Deadly. Perfect. This book was the creepy puzzle-box of a novel that I have been hunting for over the years. This is what I wanted out of books like House of Leaves (and ultimately didn’t get). This book hits that wonderful sweet spot where you’re never quite certain whether or not what is happening is rooted in the supernatural or if its just plain weirdness. This book is a mesmerizing, compelling, creep-fest that will keep you reading past your bedtime and jumping at shadows.
- Horror: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, by Kiersten White
White has put together a really interesting, and uniquely feminine, take on an old familiar tale. Creepy, unsettling, and dark, as a good gothic story should be. She also wrote one of the best descriptions of the Monster that I have read in recent times. The grotesquery was well imagined. If you want to read a new spin on this classic tale, and you’re not afraid to read about some truly damaged people, pick this one up.
- Short Story Anthology: All Out, edited by Saundra Mitchell
While most of the stories in the collection are straight up historical fiction, some range into magical realism and pure fantasy. Each of them takes on a different time period and flavor, and explores a different teen experience. I was happy to see many different facets of the queer community represented – while most of the stories have gay and lesbian characters there are also trans characters, bisexuals, and an asexual. Including a wider spectrum of inclusion made this collection extra special.
- Graphic Novel: Monstress, by Marjorie Liu
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a series as beautiful as this one. Every panel is as intricate and lovely as the cover art. It’s astonishing that this is a full monthly title and not a short run comic. Add in the carefully crafted plot, well conceived world-building, and full cast of kick-ass characters (most of them women), and this series is a gem. A delicious blend of dark fantasy with a dash of cosmic horror, steampunk, and Asian mythology. Now up to a third collection, this series is not to be missed.
- Poetry: Open Your Mouth Like a Bell, by Mindy Nettifee
Mindy Nettifee won my heart years ago with her collection Rise of the Trust Fall, and she has yet to disappoint me since. Insightful, lyrical, and straight from the heart Nettifee’s verse hits me right between the eyes and in the blood. Filled with several poems written surrounding the 2016 election this collection has a political core and plenty of teeth.
- Nonfiction: Women & Power, by Mary Beard
Mary Beard does a wonderful job of giving historical context to current cultural attitudes. Beard examines how the simple act of speaking is, in point of fact, gendered. Many times it isn’t what is being said that is offensive to some, it is simply the fact that a woman is the one saying it. It also examines how women occupy spaces in power, and how power is also gendered. This slender volume lends fascinating insight into how certain cultural touchstones, such as harping on the sound of a woman’s voice, go back thousands of years. In studying the roots we are better prepared to pull out the weeds.
You can get any or all of Elliot’s 2018 picks by clicking on the titles above, or calling the store to reserve them!