I started off the year reading pretty heavily, had a mid-year lull, then got back on track in September and pretty successfully read about a book a week from then 'til now. Enough to compile a list of this sort. These aren't necessarily books that came out in 2018, although most are fairly recent.
Other novels I enjoyed include THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey, THE SEAS by Samantha Hunt, and a quirky little book called THREE TO SEE THE KING by Magnus Mills.
2018 is also the year I was introduced to sci-fi/weird fiction writer Jeff Van DerMeer. ANNIHILATION - the first book in his Southern Reach trilogy - is another that is now an all-time favorite of mine. I loved the spell this book put me under...sci-fi with elements of Lovecraft or THE ROAD. I feel like ANNIHILATION stands on its own as a complete work. I also read the next two books in the series, AUTHORITY and ACCEPTANCE, but those didn't sparkle for me as well as the first book.
Another book of short stories that I loved this year is TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING by Ben Loory, which is a follow-up to his equally entertaining STORIES FOR NIGHTTIME AND SOME FOR THE DAY. Loory's stories (hey that rhymes!) are so unique and imaginative that it makes me wish I had written them myself. They are almost like Russell Edson poems expanded to a few more pages.
Speaking of Russell Edson, this year I became aware of another poet I would consider to be in the same league as him. I'm talking about James Tate. Tate passed away in 2015 but he left behind a lot of work. I purchased his DOME OF THE HIDDEN PAVILION and have been perusing it when the mood strikes.
In the world of non-fiction, when I found out there was a book covering the inner squabbles and struggles of the four surviving members of the the Grateful Dead Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann in the post Jerry Garcia years, I just had to read it. The book is called FARE THEE WELL by journalist Joel Selvin. It was an eye opening read.
The book that had me laughing out loud the most this year wasn't CALYPSO by David Sedaris, although I liked that one a lot. No the book that had me chuckling uncontrollably was VACATIONLAND by John Hodgman. Don't let Hodgman's previous books of hobo facts be a deterrent. VACATIONLAND is a turn towards dry, whimsical, nerdy, essays. Like dad-rock in written form. I'm hoping there's more where that came from.
Along comes Liz MacDowell's VEGAN KETO - a compilation of recipes that take take into account two restrictive diets and through what must have been a lot of trial and error finds the Venn diagram where they can deliciously meet. What I love about this book is she doesn't in any way sacrifice her Vegan Keto principles in an effort to gain flavor - she holds fast to the format and then finds ways to create incredible meals within those restrictions.
I haven't gone completely vegan or completely keto or completely anything in my overall existence, but I have cooked almost exclusively out of this book at least for dinner almost every day since after Thanksgiving and everything I have made has been not just tasty but also healthy and positive. These are meals you have no complaints about afterwards.
OK I think that covers it!