My Favorite Books of 2018

One of my goals for 2018 was to read at least 50 books.  I am a total bookworm so I knew this would be a challenging goal but not something I would dread doing.  Since there’s still a little shy of two weeks left in 2018, I can’t give you a final total quite yet but as of the writing of this post I’ve read SEVENTY!!! books.  This should give you an idea of how non-existent my social life has been this year!  🙂  If you are interested, I have documented all of the books I’ve read in 2018 on my Instagram page (strong.in.sd).  They are all over the place genre-wise, from the Fifty Shades trilogy to “What Happened” by Hillary Clinton.

I decided to share this list on my blog geared towards personal finance because I think reading is a fantastic hobby that doesn’t have to be expensive.  Most of the books I read were physical copies I already owned, physical copies I checked out from the library, or eBooks I was also able to check out from the statewide digital library, which I accessed with my library card.  For once in my life, I actually purchased very few books this year.  After I have finished reading the books I own, I conduct an honest assessment and determine if it is something I really will read again or refer back to.  If it is, I will hold onto it and display it on a bookshelf in my home.  If not, I add it to a tote for my annual springtime garage sale.  Before my garage sale, I will likely do another pass through of my current books to see if there’s any others to add to the sell pile.

I really tried to narrow it down to my top five, but I just couldn’t.  There were several others that were top contenders as well.  Here are my top six choices, in no particular order:

  • “Educated” by Tara Westover.  Possibly my favorite book of this year.  The story line was fascinating and it took me no time at all to read.  This is the memoir of a girl who was born to a family of radical Mormon survivalists in Idaho (her father was heavily influenced by the Ruby Ridge incident).  They did not believe in modern medicine or formal education and kept her out of school as a child.  She eventually leaves and earns a PhD from Cambridge University.
  • “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. I think all people (but women especially) should read this self-help book.  It has great information on how you can tap into your intuition and keep yourself safe and analyzes human violence and its warning signs.
  • “Hand to Mouth: Living In Bootstrap America” by Linda Tirado.  An eye-opening book told with a good sense of humor.  It talks about poverty in America from the perspective of someone who has lived it.  The author talks about why poor people smoke, eat fast food, and have kids when people who are more well-off sometimes don’t think they should spend money on such things.  My favorite chapter (which I also think helps sum up the book well) was: “I’ve Got Way Bigger Problems than a Spinach Salad Can Solve.”
  • “Five Days at Memorial” by Sheri Fink.  A non-fiction book about Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, where thousands of people were in the hospital without power and medical staff chose to euthanize patients who were unable to be evacuated.  Especially for an emergency management practitioner, this book provided an eye-opening discussion about legal, political, and ethical issues during disasters.
  • “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover.  This was a true page-turner and not at all what I expected from a book that’s categorized as romance.  I can’t say too much about the story line without totally giving it away, so just take my word for it.  🙂
  • “A Higher Loyalty” by James Comey.  Provides a lot of insight into his tenure as FBI Director and what happened before the 2016 election.  I can really see how he was between a rock and a hard place and no decision he made would have been ideal.  Comey provides some thought-provoking points and is actually a rather humorous author.

What are your favorite books?  I would love to hear additional recommendations.  Have you read any of the books I’ve listed?  Let me know in the comments!

~Autumn

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