My Top 7 Books of 2018

I read a grand total of 75 books this year. Some were good, others were bad, and a few were amazing. Here is a list of my top 7 books that I read in 2018.

 

Swift to Chase – by Laird Barron

Laird Barron is one of my favorite authors. Over the past ten years since I first picked up a copy of The Imago Sequence while working at a Seattle Barnes and Noble’s I’ve tried to read everything I could find by him. I especially love his short story collections and this one did not disappoint. ‘Andy Kaufman Creeping Through the Trees’ still sticks with me. You can read my more detailed review of Swift to Chase here: {Book Review} Swift to Chase by Laird Barron

 

Annihilation – by Jeff Vandermeer

I know, I know. I’m late to the game with this one. But I did know about it before the movie, but only barely. It did take the movie coming out to finally get my butt in gear and read this, and boy am I glad I finally did. This story was gloriously strange. I loved all of the weird WFT moments in it. I also read the rest of the trilogy, and the other two books were good, but nowhere near as good as the first. The movie was good as well, but it was missing my favorite components from the book.

 

Sawdust Mountain – by Eirik Johnson

I came across this photo book at my local library. My family and I are there at least once a week to pick up books/movies put on hold and to browse the shelves. This particular book stood out to me due to its subject matter: the Olympic Peninsula. As you will probably learn from reading this blog, I am a bit obsessed with the Olympic Peninsula. It is like visiting a whole other world. It is only sparsely inhabited due to the density of mountains and nature, and people only live in a small belt between the mountain slopes and the surrounding bodies of salt water. This book highlights the dichotomy of the natural world versus the industry of those who live there. Books like this give a face to those who work in industries some find controversial. To see some of the beautiful photos please check out the author’s website: http://eirikjohnson.com/sawdustmountain/sawdustmountain

 

The Final Forest – by William Dietrich

Speaking of my obsession with the Olympic Peninsula, here’s another book dealing with the history of controversies faced by the region’s logging industry. I used this book to do research for a short story I wrote this year (which was published in a local anthology, yay!). This book is also special to me because I was lucky enough to meet the author this year at the Chuckanut Writer’s Conference. If you want to learn what the region around Forks, WA is really like give this book a try, and bypass all of the Twilight movies and books.

 

The Fisherman – by John Langan

This book was a luxuriantly dread filled slow burn of a novel. It’s hard to pull off a ‘story within a story’ well and John Langan succeeds. If you like your literature to have a smattering of cosmic horror, or you like your cosmic horror to read like something much much more than pulp fiction, give this a try. You can read my more detailed review here: {Review} The Fisherman by John Langan

 

The Ritual – by Adam Nevill

This book had been on my TBR pile for a long time, and, yet again, it took the movie coming out move this up to the top of the pile. The Netflix movie came out and I was dying to see it. Now that I’ve read the book, I’m not sure if it would’ve mattered if I’d watched the movie first, since the screen adaptation took a completely different direction part way into the story. Both mediums were wonderful, but I do understand why some complain about the direction the written version takes. I had no problem with it and I look forward to reading more of Adam Nevill’s work.

 

Perdido Street Station – by China Mieville

I’d forgotten how much fun reading fantasy could be. This was my absolute favorite read of the year. Not since reading Clive Barker’s Imajica had I had so much fun drowning in a sea of surreal characters and locales from the mind boggling to the grotesque. China’s world building is utterly fantastic and completely engrossing. I never thought I would have so much empathy for a character with the body of a human and the head of a full scarab. By far the greatest creatures of the book are the Wyrmen. They are short humanoid horned creatures with arms in place of legs who fly around the city insulting people and doing odd jobs. Even after 700 plus pages I didn’t want the story to end. Luckily there are two sequels, and they are going directly into my TBR queue.


If you’d like to purchase one of these books for yourself just click on the cover images above. That will take you to amazon and a small percentage of your purchase amount will help to support this website.

What were your favorite reads of the year? Let me know down in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for interesting reads.

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