I set a new personal best for number of books read in a year in 2018. While 21 books might not seem like much to some of you, it was quite the accomplishment for me. I hope to hit somewhere close to that mark again in 2019; however, I set my goal for 15 knowing that life will be a bit unpredictable this year.

Here is a quick look at what I considered the top books I read in the past year. I could speak about all of the books I read, but I will try to do better at that moving forward instead. Let me know what some of your favorites were in the comments.

*Note: These are books I read in 2018, not books that came out in 2018

The Southern Reach Trilogy

Great writing style that kept me engaged with characters that I found interesting. A little bit of language but nothing I found to be gratuitous. A refreshing take on dystopian  science fiction.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

A classic for a reason. No flashy, over-the-top action that could never be possible in real life. No crazy conspiracies. This is a spy novel written by a former spy for people who care about characters and realism. A must read for anyone who loves spy novels or for those who don’t like what the genre has become.

The Bourne Supremecy

Love the movies; love the books (so far). This is another classic spy novel. More over the top and much less real than anything le Carre does; however, the attention to detail and ability to pull the reader into story and lives of the characters makes this a must read. Ludlum was theater professional before becoming an author, and it shows in the Jason Bourne series.

The Bassoon King

If you love Dwight from The Office, then you will want to read this book. Rainn Wilson is hilarious. His upbringing is a big part of that. He writes with incredible wit and honesty that made me want to read the entire thing instead of just jumping around to get the gist.

If We Were Villains

This book is a little slow at various parts; however, it is an excellent modern character study that had me thinking for weeks after I finished it. I couldn’t help but try to determine the motives of different characters and how events shaped them. The contemplation this book caused me is reason alone to put it on the list. The writing style and research that went into it make it deserving as well.

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

The most recent book I read and one of the most impactful. If you want to know important context behind the creation of the Special Olympics and some disability legislation then this is a good read. This also sheds light on how many of the wealthier people in society historically viewed people with disabilities (warning: this does not paint the Kennedy family with flattering light or detail).

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