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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).
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.
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.
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.
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