Books of 2018

Time for my annual post detailing the previous year’s reading! This year, I read 171 books (according to Goodreads, this was 39,874 pages). I didn’t keep track of the gender or nationality of the authors this year as I sometimes do, however. Below is a list of my favorites, followed by the complete list of what I read in 2018.

Favorites

As it turns out, I read a lot of really good books this year. I am having trouble narrowing it down to a reasonable number. So, by category:

Fiction – Top 12 (I tried for 10, but I couldn’t do it):

  1. Naomi Alderman, The Power (2017)
  2. M. R. Carey, Someone Like Me (2018)
  3. Joseph Fink, Alice Isn’t Dead (2018)
  4. Tana French, The Witch Elm (2018)
  5. Maria Dahvana Headley, The Mere Wife (2018)
  6. Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives (1972)
  7. Sam J. Miller, Blackfish City (2018)
  8. Caitlin Moran, How to Be Famous (2018)
  9. Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver (2018)
  10. Anne Rivers Siddons, The House Next Door (1978)
  11. Adrian Tchaikovsky, Children of Time (2015)
  12. Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World (2018)

Nonfiction – Top 10 (with a bonus book that I co-edited):

  1. Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (2018)
  2. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965 (2017)
  3. Kiese Laymon, Heavy: An American Memoir (2018)
  4. Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir (2018)
  5. Daegan Miller, This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent (2018)
  6. Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race (2018)
  7. David M. Robertson, Denmark Vesey: The Buried History of America’s Largest Rebellion and the Man Who Led It (1999)
  8. Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (2018)
  9. Brett L. Walker, Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan (2001)
  10. Melanie Yergeau, Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness (2018)
  11. Bonus: Christy Tidwell and Bridgitte Barclay (eds.), Gender and Environment in Science Fiction (2018)

Graphic Novels:

  1. Victor LaValle, Victor LaValle’s Destroyer (2018)
  2. Pornsak Pichetshote (ill. Aaron Campbell), Infidel (2018)

Poetry:

  1. Andrea Gibson, Lord of the Butterflies (2018)
  2. William Evans, Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair (2017)

And the whole list (with all five star books in bold):

January

  1. Catherine Burns, The Visitors (2017) – 4 stars
  2. Naomi Alderman, The Power (2017) – 5 stars
  3. Patrick Phillips, Elegy for a Broken Machine: Poems (2015) – 4 stars
  4. Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things (2015) – 5 stars
  5. Melanie Yergeau, Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness (2018) – 5 stars
  6. Catherine Jean Prendergast, Can I Use I?: Because I Hate, Hate, Hate College Writing (2015) – 3 stars
  7. Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (2015) – 4 stars
  8. Everett Hamner, Editing the Soul: Science and Fiction in the Genome Age (2017) – 4 stars
  9. Mario Beauregard, Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives (2012) – 1 star
  10. Leila Slimani, The Perfect Nanny (2018) – 4 stars
  11. Jody Leheup and Sebastian Garner (ill. Nil Vendrell), Shirtless Bear-Fighter (2017) – 4 stars
  12. Aliya Whiteley, The Beauty (2014) – 4 stars
  13. Koji Suzuki (trans. Robert B. Rohmer and Glynne Walley), Rings (2016; 1991) – 3 stars
  14. Mathias Clasen, Why Horror Seduces (2017) – 3 stars
  15. Renee Bartkowski (ill. ROFry), My Home (1971) – 5 stars
  16. Nick Harkaway, Gnomon (2017) – 5 stars
  17. Lorenzo Servitje and Sherryl Vint (eds.), The Walking Med: Zombies and the Medical Image (2016) – 4 stars

February

  1. Jeff Guinn, The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple (2017) – 4 stars
  2. Diane Adams, Love Is (2017) – 5 stars
  3. Cece Bell, El Deafo (2014) – 4 stars
  4. Sandra Allen, A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia (2018) – 2 stars
  5. Naoki Higashida (Trans. K. A. Yoshida), The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism (2005; 2013) – 3 stars
  6. T. Anderson, Landscape with Invisible Hand (2017) – 4 stars
  7. Lidia Yuknavitch, The Misfit’s Manifesto (2017) – 4 stars
  8. Elyn R. Saks, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journal Through Madness (2007) – 4 stars
  9. Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries: A Memoir (2018) – 5 stars
  10. Susan Stryker, Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2nd edition) (2017) – 4 stars
  11. Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race (2018) – 5 stars

March

  1. Alison Kinney, Hood (2016) – 3 stars
  2. Elizabeth Hand, Wylding Hall (2015) – 5 stars
  3. Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows (2015) – 4 stars
  4. Jamie Glowacki, Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right (2011) – 3 stars
  5. John Scalzi, Lock In (2014) – 4 stars

April

  1. Kate Harding, Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About It (2014) – 4 stars
  2. Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (2018) – 5 stars
  3. Ira Levin, This Perfect Day (1970) – 4 stars
  4. Edmund Cooper, Gender Genocide (1972) – 1 star
  5. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, False Dawn (1978) – 4 stars
  6. Sarah Juliet Lauro, The Transatlantic Zombie: Slavery, Rebellion, and Living Death (2015) – 4 stars
  7. Adrian Tchaikovsky, Children of Time (2015) – 5 stars
  8. A. Paris, Behind Closed Doors (2016) – 3 stars
  9. Brian Staveley, The Emperor’s Blades (2014) – 4 stars
  10. Colin Winnett, The Job of the Wasp (2018) – 3 stars

May

  1. Brian Staveley, The Providence of Fire (2015) – 4 stars
  2. Brian Staveley, The Last Mortal Bond (2016) – 4 stars
  3. Zora Neale Hurston, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” (2018; originally written 1931) – 4 stars
  4. Tatiana Teslenko, Feminist Utopian Novels of the 1970s: Joanna Russ and Dorothy Bryant (2003) – 2 stars
  5. Angelika Bammer, Partial Visions: Feminism and Utopianism in the 1970s (2015; originally published 1991) – 4 stars
  6. George Yancy, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America (2018) – 3 stars
  7. Jessica Albarn, The Boy in the Oak (2010) – 4 stars
  8. Nnedi Okorafor, Binti (2015) – 3 stars
  9. Araminta Hall, Our Kind of Cruelty (2018) – 4 stars
  10. Brett L. Walker, Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan (2001) – 5 stars
  11. Victor LaValle (ill. Dietrich Smith), Destroyer (2018) – 5 stars
  12. Warren Ellis (ill. Declan Shalvey), Injection, Vol. 1 (2015) – 4 stars
  13. Andrew Hart, Lies That Bind Us (2018) – 4 stars
  14. James Follett, Ice (1978) – 3 stars

June

  1. Arnold Federbush, Ice! (1978) – 3 stars
  2. Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness (2018) – 4 stars
  3. Crawford Kilian, Icequake (1979) – 3 stars
  4. Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male (2017) – 5 stars
  5. Maxine Trottier (ill. Isabelle Arsenault), Migrant (2011) – 5 stars
  6. Kate Wilhelm, Juniper Time (1979) – 4 stars
  7. Tomi Ungerer, Tomi Ungerer: A Treasury of 8 Books (2016) – 5 stars
  8. Ransom Riggs, Tales of the Peculiar (2016) – 4 stars
  9. Janet Lansbury, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting (2014) – 3 stars
  10. Bruce Shaw, The Animal Fable in Science Fiction and Fantasy (2010) – 2 stars
  11. Arie Kaplan, Jurassic Park (A Little Golden Book) (2018) – 3 stars
  12. Jeff VanderMeer, The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (2017) – 4 stars
  13. Jad Smith, John Brunner (2013) – 4 stars
  14. Lauren Wolk, Wolf Hollow (2016) – 5 stars
  15. Monte Beauchamp, Popular Skullture: The Skull Motif in Pulps, Paperbacks, and Comics (2014) – 3 stars
  16. James A. McLaughlin, Bearskin (2018) – 4 stars

July

  1. Andy Weir, Artemis (2017) – 3 stars
  2. Caitlin Moran, How to Be Famous (2018) – 5 stars
  3. Adam O’Brien, Film and the Natural Environment: Elements and Atmospheres (2017) – 3 stars
  4. Ellen Samuels, Fantasies of Identification: Disability, Gender, Race (2014) – 4 stars
  5. Kenneth Lacovara, Why Dinosaurs Matter (2017) – 4 stars
  6. Omar El Akkad, American War (2017) – 5 stars
  7. Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone (2018) – 4 stars
  8. Penelope Banka Kreps, Carnivores (1993) – 2 stars
  9. Samantha Hunt, The Seas (2004) – 4 stars
  10. Britt Rusert, Fugitive Science: Empiricism and Freedom in Early African American Culture (2017) – 4 stars
  11. John Brunner, Bedlam Planet (1968) – 4 stars
  12. Naomi Novik, Spinning Silver (2018) – 5 stars
  13. Robert Marasco, Burnt Offerings (1973) – 4 stars
  14. Delphine C. Lyons, The Flower of Evil (1972) – 2 stars
  15. Sprague de Camp and P. Schuyler Miller, Genus Homo (1950) – 2 stars
  16. Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad Are Friends (1970) – 5 stars
  17. Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad Together (1972) – 5 stars
  18. Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad All Year (1976) – 5 stars
  19. Arnold Lobel, Days with Frog and Toad (1979) – 5 stars
  20. Arnold Lobel, Owl at Home (1975) – 4 stars

August

  1. Sherryl Vint, Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal (2010) – 4 stars
  2. Sam J. Miller, Blackfish City (2018) – 5 stars
  3. Jack Horner and James Gorman, How to Build a Dinosaur: Extinction Doesn’t Have to Be Forever (2009) – 3 stars
  4. Maria Dahvana Headley, The Mere Wife (2018) – 5 stars
  5. Lilith Saintcrow, Afterwar (2018) – 4 stars
  6. Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives (1972) – 5 stars
  7. Michelle McNamara, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (2018) – 4 stars
  8. Katarina Gregersdotter, Johan Höglund, and Nicklas Hållé (eds.), Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism (2015) – 4 stars
  9. Richard Marsh, The Beetle (1897) – 3 stars
  10. Elaine Tyler May, Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy (2017) – 3 stars
  11. Richard Marsh, The Beetle (1897) – 3 stars
  12. Paul Tremblay, The Cabin at the End of the World (2018) – 5 stars
  13. Megan Abbott, Give Me Your Hand (2018) – 4 stars
  14. Stephen Gregory, The Cormorant (1987) – 3 stars
  15. Lynda Barry, Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor (2014) – 4 stars
  16. Roxane Gay (ed.), Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture (2018) – 5 stars

September

  1. Francesco Verso, Nexhuman (2016) – 3 stars
  2. Christina Dalcher, Vox (2018) – 4 stars
  3. Richard Matheson, Hunted Past Reason (2002) – 3 stars
  4. Nnedi Okorafor, Lagoon (2014) – 4 stars
  5. Deij Bryce Olukotun, After the Flare (2017) – 4 stars
  6. Tade Thompson, Rosewater (2018) – 4 stars
  7. Roy Scranton, Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (2015) – 4 stars
  8. Tom Sweterlisch, The Gone World (2018) – 4 stars

October

  1. Daegan Miller, This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent (2018) – 5 stars
  2. Gary E. Machlis, The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water (2018) – 3 stars
  3. James Montague, Worms (1980) – 4 stars
  4. Harry Adam Knight, Slimer (1983) – 2 stars
  5. Tana French, The Witch Elm (2018) – 5 stars
  6. Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (2018) – 4 stars
  7. Stephanie Perkins, There’s Someone Inside Your House (2017) – 3 stars
  8. Hank Green, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (2018) – 4 stars
  9. Nadya Tolokonnikova, Read & Riot: A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism (2018) – 4 stars
  10. Dennis Culver, Marvel’s Black Panther: The Illustrated History of a King (2018) – 3 stars
  11. Rebecca Traister, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger (2018) – 4 stars

November

  1. Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (2018) – 5 stars
  2. Mark Waid (ill. J. G. Jones), Strange Fruit (2017) – 4 stars
  3. Bernard Taylor, The Godsend (1976) – 5 stars
  4. Bernard Taylor, Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977) – 4 stars
  5. Joseph Fink, Alice Isn’t Dead (2018) – 5 stars
  6. Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth (2018) – 4 stars
  7. Patrick Ness, And the Ocean Was Our Sky (2018) – 4 stars
  8. Anne Rivers Siddons, The House Next Door (1978) – 5 stars
  9. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965 (2017) – 5 stars
  10. Robert Kirkman (ill. Paul Azaceta), Outcast, Vol. 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him (2015) – 3 stars
  11. Ira Levin, Son of Rosemary (1997) – 1 star
  12. David M. Robertson, Denmark Vesey: The Buried History of America’s Largest Slave Rebellion and the Man Who Led It (1999) – 5 stars
  13. Scott Snyder (ill. Jock), Wytches, Vol. 1 (2014) – 4 stars
  14. Laboria Cuboniks, The Xenofeminist Manifesto: A Politics for Alienation (2015) – 4 stars
  15. Andrea J. Loney (ill. Carmen Saldana), Bunnybear (2017) – 4 stars
  16. Dashka Slater (ill. Eric Fan and Terry Fan), The Antlered Ship (2017) – 5 stars

December

  1. Shane Bauer, American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment (2018) – 4 stars
  2. Jessa Crispin, Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto (2017) – 5 stars
  3. Philip Ridley, In the Eyes of Mr. Fury (1989) – 4 stars
  4. L. Hughley (and Doug Moe), How Not to Get Shot and Other Advice from White People (2018) – 3 stars
  5. Christy Tidwell and Bridgitte Barclay (eds.), Gender and Environment in Science Fiction (2018) – 5 stars
  6. Pornsak Pichetshote (ill. Aaron Campbell), Infidel (2018) – 5 stars
  7. Andrea Gibson, Lord of the Butterflies (2018) – 5 stars
  8. Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris, The Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy (2018) –
  9. Johanna Sinisalo, Birdbrain (2008) – 3 stars
  10. Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (2018) – 3 stars
  11. Yōko Tawada (trans. Margaret Mitsutani), The Last Children of Tokyo (2014; 2018) – 4 stars
  12. Claire Schwartz, Bound (2018) – 3 stars
  13. Marguerite Bennett (ill. Rafael de Latorre), Animosity, Vol. 1: The Wake (2017) – 4 stars
  14. Shane Hawley (ill. Joel Erkkinen), ABC Death (2018) – 3 stars
  15. Donte Collins, Autopsy (2017) – 4 stars
  16. Rachel Wiley, Nothing Is Okay (2018) – 4 stars
  17. Steve Niles (ill. Alison Sampson), Winnebago Graveyard (2017) – 3 stars
  18. William Evans, Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair (2017) – 5 stars
  19. Kiese Laymon, Heavy: An American Memoir (2018) – 5 stars
  20. Jeremy C. Shipp, Bedfellow (2018) – 4 stars
  21. Jessica Hische, Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave (2018) – 5 stars
  22. Adele Clark and Donna J. Haraway (eds.), Making Kin Not Population: Reconceiving Generations (2018) – 5 stars
  23. Tracy K. Smith, Wade in the Water: Poems (2018) – 4 stars
  24. Alexis Lothian, Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility (2018) – 4 stars
  25. R. Carey, Someone Like Me (2018) – 5 stars
  26. Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer (2018) – 4 stars
  27. Banu Subramaniam, Ghost Stories for Darwin: The Science of Variation and the Politics of Diversity (2014) – 3 stars
  28. Timothy Morton, Being Ecological (2018) – 2 stars

Ranking Distribution: 

5 stars – 47 (27.5%)
4 stars – 77 (45%)
3 stars – 36 (21%)
2 stars – 8 (4.7%)
1 star – 3 (1.8%)

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