I read 35 books in 2018! That somehow feels like both a lot and barely any, especially when I look at how many books there are I have never read. There's probably some obscure word in Japanese for the anxiety of not being able to read all the books one wants to read. If not, there should be.
I may have read more than 35, but I rated 35 on Goodreads. Sometimes I forget to update, and I don't ever add the romance books I read unless they are unusual or unforgettable (the ones I read are usually neither, but I like them anyway).
Looking over the list, it's hard to pick favorites. None knocked me off my feet quite like Tell the Wolves I'm Home last year, but several really stuck with me. Like a good, solid meal.
This hit a few major boxes for me:
-Sweeping, multi-generational (four generations, multiple perspectives from each generation)
-A time and/or place I have never thought about (Japanese people of Korean descent through most of the 1900s??)
-Pulled off an omniscient narrator. This is impossible, but Min Jin Lee got you inside almost everyone's heads, sometimes even within the same paragraph, and still it felt personal
I couldn't tell you now what my takeaways from the book were, but I enjoyed it immensely.
2. Fates and Furies
Among the more literary and pretentious books I read a bunch of this year, Fates and Furies was fascinating. It was a microscope on a single relationship over the course of each person's life, the first half from his perspective, the second half from hers.
3. Year of Wonder or Caleb's Crossing, both by Geraldine Brooks
Year of Wonder is set in a small English town during the Plague. Caleb's Crossing follows the friendship between a white Puritan girl and Native American boy in Martha's Vineyard and Boston.
Both got me thinking about places and eras I never have before, both had strong, complex women as narrators. Both had me wishing I could have experienced life centuries ago (not that I'd want to be near the plague or the destruction of Native American civilization).