Favorite Books of 2018

Since I can remember, I have loved to read. After the lunches have been made and the dirty dishes are cleaned up; I crawl into bed and treat myself to a compelling read. In case you are looking for something new to read, here are my favorites from 2018 (in no particular order).

Americanah – Though fictional, this book holds gallons of insight into life as an African American. The main character is mesmerizing and the whole book is chalk full of characters and relationships. I thought about this book a lot and the different ties that bind as all together.

Educated: A Memoir – I am a sucker for memoirs and this one kept me on the edge of my seat. Having grown up in a small town, conservative environment, I could relate to a bit of it.

Interpreter of Maladies – This is a collection of short stories with main characters from India. I didn’t want it to end.

Little Fires Everywhere – This book starts with the sentence “Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.” Good luck putting this one down once you start!

The Great Passage – Have you ever thought about how dictionaries are made? Me either but found it fascinating to follow the fictional characters as they decide what all these words mean.

You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – I don’t usually read self-help books (is this what everyone says?) but found this one surprisingly lighthearted as well as enjoyable to read. Discussing it in my book club lead to many interesting personal insights.

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia – I enjoy all different types of genres and Science Fiction is no exception. I particularly enjoy anything and everything by Ursula K. Le Guin. This book takes place on two alien planets. Though the setting and characters are alien, the complex societies and interpersonal relationships feel very familiar. I found myself looking deeper at my own views about myself and the society in which I live.

Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World – With JP in middle school, I found this book really helpful in understanding the group dynamics of boys. There were definitely some good takeaways, including communication techniques.

Let’s Stay In – How could I not mention this one? Recipe testing for this cookbook was a highlight of my year. The food, writing and photography are inspiring and the perfect accompaniment to any gathering, big or small, with friends and family.

Favorite Food-Related Memoirs

I grew up in a family of readers, where you could almost always find someone with their nose in a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So in first grade when I started painfully sounding out each simple word, it felt like such a big accomplishment.  I felt included into a secret world and could now join in on the family past time. Recently, my 5 year old has joined his older brother and has also started reading. I see the same pride in him that I felt. Last week, while rubbing his eyes and yawning, he told me that he woke up early so that he could read one of the books that was laying by his bed. I totally get it.

I still love to read and always have a book or two on hand that I’m working my way through. My favorite books are food related memoirs.  After reading one, I feel like I’ve met a new friend, and am inspired with a whole new set of recipes that I want to devour. It’s a cross between a cookbook and a memoir, which is a win-win to me. So if you’re looking to dive into something new, here are my favorites.

Delancey: a Man,  a Woman,  a Restaurant,  a Marriage” by Molly Wizenburg

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table” by Ruth Reichl

Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home” by Jessica Fechter

Hope you get a chance to cuddle up with a good book this weekend and let me know what you’re reading. Enjoy!

xoxo,

Rachel