Self-Care

18 Books that I absolutely loved in 2018 [#101audiobooksin1001sdays]

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As you may already know, I am completely obsessed with audiobooks. This happened sometime after I confessed that I am a writer who doesn’t read… and then discovered audiobooks. They have since become my sanctuary and the only way that I am able to indulge my love of reading while also taking care of shit around the house. I am QUITE obsessed with them, really, which is how I not only committed to reading 101 audiobooks in 1001 days but was also able to read a whopping 90 (!!!) books this past year.

And, as with anyone, I have my favorites. Although it was difficult to put together this list, I wanted to present you with my top 18 books that I read in 2018. These are the books that moved me, that made me laugh, that made me cry, and that most of all made me learn something new about myself or the world. So, without further ado, here they are!

1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I read this wonderful book just before the movie (Love, Simon) came out and absolutely LOVED it. It really warmed my heart and made me a life-long Becky Albertalli fan. I have since read her follow-up and the book she co-wrote with Adam Silvera (who I read last year and also loved).

2.My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean by Amy Dresner: I read this book after hearing Amy Dresner speak on the Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast and absolutely loved her book. It was so… powerful and emotional. I’ve since read other addiction memoirs but this one definitely stands out in my mind.
3. Getting Off: One Woman’s Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction by Erica Garza: I absolutely LOVED reading this book by Erica Garza. It is such a dark, unexpected topic that a lot of women don’t talk about. Hell, we barely talk about women’s sexuality in general… So it was thrilling to read her foray into sex and porn addiction that is raw and honest.
4. Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children by Sara Zaske: I found about about this book in a Facebook group and was super glad I did. I’ve been meaning to read something like this and was especially thrilled with my first foray into parenting books. Although I am not a parent (yet!), I would love to adopt something like this… And in the meantime, I can read about it.
5. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez: I feel like Erika Sánchez was looking into my soul when she wrote this. I have often felt the need to be the “perfect” immigrant/Latina daughter, and it’s so tough. It’s just not me. This young adult novel is one that I highly recommend to any Latinx person or, really, anyone struggling with identity and family.
6. The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype – and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More by Michael Breus: I really loved this book about one’s chronotype. It helped me to figure out why I feel the way I do during certain times of the day. The premise of the book is guiding people on when they should do certain tasks, like exercise or go to sleep or creative work. It’s wonderful.
7. The Healthy Writer: Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Health, and Build a Writing Career for the Long Term by Joanna Penn & Dr. Euan Lawson: I feel like I really, really needed this book this year. It was an amazing foray into how to be healthier as a writer, especially bits and pieces about fighting loneliness, more movement, and the like. I would definitely say this book changed my outlook on a lot of things as a writer.
8. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight: I absolutely ADORED this book. Yes, I read the original that the title comes from, but this one is so much better. And it’s especially better than a book that is currently very popular that also uses the word “f*ck”. In fact, I loved Sarah Knight’s work so much I have now read all three of her books and am super looking forward to the firth!
9. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker: This is by far the best book I read this year. I highly recommend it to absolutely everyone. It’s a very interesting book on, literally, why we sleep and especially the important of sleep. It has changed the way I treat my sleep and how I emphasize getting 7-9 hours of rest every single night, no matter what.
10. How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety by Ellen Hendricksen: I don’t have social anxiety and I am not an introvert, but I have people in my life who are. I read this book for them and, to be honest, learned a ton. I even learned quite a bit about myself, which was helpful too. It has especially helped me to understand why I and my extrovert husband differ in things and, well, that helps our marriage be stronger. 
11. Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy by Angela Garbes: As someone who hopes to be a mother someday, I thoroughly enjoyed this feminist, science-based book on pregnancy. There was a lot to learn and dissolve in this book and the chapter on placentas is especially still in my mind. I really love the way Angela Garbes explained everything with humor and sensitivity.
12. Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks: Yet another parenting book makes my list primarily because of the topic, parenting in the age of fear. It was absolutely shocking with how much the world has changed in the past several decades, especially when it comes to the culture of being a parent. It kind of scared me, to be honest, but was a very important read. 
13. Nothing Good Can Come from This: Essays by Kristi Coulter: As someone who is trying to read more addiction memoirs in order to understand my own addiction to alcohol (and my own sobriety journey), this book couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since Kristi Coulter’s essay “Enjoli” was published a couple of years ago.
14. The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives, Too) by Gretchen Rubin: I’ve so far read all of Gretchen Rubin’s previous three books and am looking forward to her fifth, but her fourth probably has had the biggest impact on me. It’s likely my second favorite book of the year if only for the simple fact that understanding my tendency has heavily impacted my work life and helped me to let go of some of the guilt I feel about being an Obliger.
15. It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort: Of all the books I read this past year, this one touched me the deepest. Nova McInerny’s memoir was so touching that I cried several times… but I also loved the way she was able to keep the humor in this book, too. I actually pre-ordered her next book because I loved her voice SO much in this one.
16. Becoming by Michelle Obama: The book that I very much hope is on everyone’s “best of” books list this year is obviously Michelle Obama’s memoir. I absolutely loved it and, in fact, my favorite quote of the year came from this book. I especially enjoyed reading about her early life and how she became the women that she is BEFORE meeting her President husband.
17. Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward by Gemma Hartley: If you are a married woman, you need to read this. If you are a married person, you need to read this. If you are a human, you NEED to read this. There is so much that I learned from this book by my friend Gemma Hartley and so much more that I know I need to learn. Here’s to rereading this one for sure.
18. How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up by Emilie Wapnick: The last but definitely not the least book on my list is one that helped me to understand my nature. Clearly, those kinds of books account for a big chunk of this list but it’s well deserved. If you are someone who doesn’t feel that they have “one thing” that they are meant to do, then perhaps this book is for you, too.

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Freelance Writer & Editor | I am a Moscow Chica: Half-Russian, Half-Cuban, All-American.

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