Best reads of 2018 and books I want to read in 2019

Looking for some new reads? After spending the year reading these are my best reads of 2018 and the books I’m really looking forward to reading in 2019. Find a new author, grab a cup of coffee, and settle in for some great words.

 best books to read this year
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I made a goal to read at least thirty books during 2018 and I blew that out of the water! I forgot to keep track of every single book because there were times when I finished book after book and moved on before recording them. Whoops!

A large portion of the books I read came from recommendations of friends and other bloggers while the other portion were books I came across through Amazon or my library’s recommendations. See a theme? I look for books that I can get a heads up about from others!

Because I flew through so many books this year I don’t necessarily remember small details about all of them. The books below, however? They stuck with me. They are the books that I still think about, even months later. Those are the books that I love, the kind that continue to have an impact, long after I’ve shut the last page.

If you are looking for a new read, these may spark your interest. There is a little of everything in this list. Non-fiction, fiction, suspense, romance, comedy, and thrillers. I’ve linked to the Kindle versions of the books but don’t forget to check your library or these other ways of finding cheap or free books if you are interested!

 best books to read this year

Best Reads of 2018

The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin

This is one of my top picks for the year. Rachel Martin’s writing is honest, funny, moving, and motivating. She reminded me that while I have dreams that God has put on my heart, He’s not going to accomplish them for me – I need to get brave and take action! This book would make a great gift for any woman this Christmas or for Mother’s Day.

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

I picked up this book after listening to Katie Ganshert on Crystal Paine’s podcast this fall. I couldn’t put it down or stop telling Micah about it. I’ve tried to put my thoughts into words several times but keep falling short. It’s a strong reminder that the way we think life should happen and what we think is “fair” or “unfair” is completely different than another’s perspectives. The actions we take and the little things we dismiss as minor can be huge for another person. I highly recommend picking this one up!

The O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson

The first series on the list! I flew through most of this series in a week while Micah was out of town. I laughed out loud and actually cried ugly tears at one point. If you’ve never spent time reading about the O’Malley family get ready for a roller coaster ride with characters that will stick with you long after you close the book.

The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

The next few books I picked up as part of the First Reads program with Amazon Prime. Each month you can pick one of five new release books for free. I have found some great books, and some not as great books with this program. The Frame-Up was a great book!

I finished this in a matter of hours… spread out over about 2 days 😉 The main character is a sassy female comic book geek that teams up with a straight laced detective to solve a series of crimes that mimic old comic book frames. It’s a fun read with several twists that kept me hooked!

The Speed of Sound by Eric Bernt

This is another book I got through the First Reads program. It’s fascinating! Can you imagine if whole conversations could be recreated because of the sound imprint left in the surroundings? Imagine walking into a room, turning on a machine, and hearing a conversation from a week ago, a year ago, several decades ago?

The main character Eddie only wants to hear his late mother sing, but his “echo box” could be used for much more if the wrong people get their hands on it. It’s a face paced thriller that kept me biting my nails as I flipped pages to find out what would happen.

 best books to read this year

Not Perfect by Elizabeth LaBan

This is a book that I think we can all relate to in an age of social media. We tend to portray our lives in a specific way to those around us, but when everything crashes, how hard do we try to keep up the illusion?

Lantern Beach Mysteries Series by Christy Barritt

I discovered this series thanks to my Kindle Unlimited subscription. I randomly downloaded book 1, Hidden Currents, and spent the next week reading the other five books. Mysteries, a little light romance, humor, suspense, and faith… this series has it all!

Life After by Katie Ganshert

After reading No One Ever Asked I decided to check out another of Katie Ganshert’s books. While I enjoyed No One Ever Asked a little more because of the message, this one was still incredibly strong.

Imagine you were the sole survivor of a horrific tragedy; how would you go on after? Would you be burdened with guilt or make the most of your time?

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

This book was sent to me through SheSpeaks and it took me a bit to finally pick it up. Even through the first few chapters I wasn’t completely pulled in but I stuck with it. Holy buckets it was so good! I had no idea what it was about when I started so the whole concept was a surprise. I wrote a spoiler free review here. I ended up passing this on to my mom because I enjoyed it so much.

Where am I getting most of my books?

A good portion of my top reads from the year are available through Prime Reading, First Reads, and Kindle Unlimited.

Prime Reading is included for Prime members – yay for books! Prime members have access to over 1,000 books, audiobooks, magazines, and comics. New items are added each month… but some disappear at the end of a month as well!

First Reads is another Prime member perk – and I think I love it more than Prime Reading! One the first of each month I get an email with five to six books that are set to be released that month and I get to pick one – for free! Quite a few of my top reads this year were found because of First Reads.

Kindle Unlimited is an extra subscription, but it’s not limited to Prime members. For only $9.99 per month you have access to over one million books, plus current magazines, unlimited audiobooks through Audible narration, and it all works on any device with the Kindle app. You can read my honest review in this post.

If you are an avid reader and love having books at your fingertips at anytime Kindle Unlimited is a worthwhile investment. The inventory grows frequently and the selection is fantastic with lots of current releases added on a regular basis. I signed up again last week and I’ve already read 4 more books!



 best books to read this year

On My Reading List in 2019

I don’t usually keep a huge list of “must read books” because I get so many of my book suggestions from other people. If I kept my reading to only books that I come across on my own I’d miss tons of great reads! Instead I usually have a few that I’m interested in and then see where the year takes me.

Loving My Actual Neighbor by Alexandra Kuykendall

I was on the launch teams for both Loving My Actual Life and Loving My Actual Christmas and they both had a strong impact on me. I have been keeping my eyes open for posts in the hopes to be on the launch team for this book as well because Alexandra is such a wonderful writer with a beautiful heart.

The Sound of Echos by Eric Bernt

This is the second book in the Speed of Sound series. I didn’t realize it was coming out so soon but I’m looking forward to reading this when it comes out during the summer. The first book was such a fascinating idea for a story that I’m sure this one will continue being just as thrilling.

Chesapeake Valor Series by Dani Pettrey

I started this series in 2017 but never finished. I’m going to go back and start from the beginning so I can read through the whole thing all at once! I’ve read so many other series since reading the first book that I want to make sure the characters are fresh in my mind before continuing with book two.

It’s short, I know, but I’m positive I’ll find other books to keep me busy in 2019. And I’m always open to hearing suggestions from my readers, friends, and family. Make sure you share yours in the comments!

By the way, did you know I keep a running list of the books I’ve read this year? Go check it out and get some ideas of what to look for in all these book hunting places!

Want to fit more reading in to your life? These are my best tips for sneaking in reading whenever I can. And these are my favorite places for finding books for super cheap or even free!

What are your top reads from 2018? What is on your reading list for 2019?

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 best books to read this year

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