The Best Books of the Year (So Far)

Posted by Hayley on June 19, 2018
Summer Reading 2018

Summer Reading is sponsored by The Great American Read on PBS.

Here at Goodreads, we spend a lot of time looking forward to the big books on the horizon. However, with the year halfway done, we decided to take a look backward. Which 2018 books have your fellow readers loved the most? We've got the answer.

To find the cream of the publishing crop published from January to June of this year, we focused on the books that have been added the most to Goodreads members' shelves. But we didn't just want what's popular—we wanted the best. So we narrowed down our list to include only books with at least a four-star average rating.

In other words, brace yourselves for some epic book browsing. Don't forget to add the top-rated titles that catch your eye to your Want to Read shelf.


FICTION
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Louisa Clark, the beloved heroine of Me Before You and After You, mixes with New York high society and tries to embrace adventure and romance in this humorous, poignant tale about staying true to yourself.

Check out Moyes' book recommendations here.


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The embodiment of the American dream and the New South, Celestial and Roy have no reason to doubt their bright future. Then disaster strikes, sending Roy to prison for a crime he didn't commit and shaking their relationship to its core.

Discover Jones' book recommendations here.


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In this unforgettable follow-up to Beartown, the citizens of a small town in Sweden rally around their local hockey team, even as a hostile rivalry threatens to destroy friendships, families, and the fragile peace of a volatile community.

Find Backman's book recommendations here.


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From neuroscientist Genova, the author of Still Alice, comes a heartbreaking exploration of redemption. Richard, once an accomplished pianist, now has ALS. With the help of his ex-wife, Karina, he tries to reconcile the past before it's too late.

Read our interview with Genova here.


MYSTERY & THRILLER
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Anna Fox has one lifeline to the real world: her window. Terrified to step outside her home, she spends her days spying on her neighbors—until she witnesses something no one was supposed to see in this chilling Hitchcockian mystery.

Check out our interview with Finn here.


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From the author of The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood comes a tale of spellbinding menace that sees a struggling tarot card reader lured into a web of intrigue, danger, and betrayal by the promise of a tantalizing fortune.

Find our interview with Ware here.


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When journalist Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But then a discovery during the renovations links the death of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden—and a voice that won't be silenced.


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A series of grisly murders leaves clues pointing to men with airtight alibis, sending detective Ralph Anderson racing to uncover the identity of the real killer in this riveting psychological thriller from the beloved bestselling author.


YOUNG ADULT
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Jude was taken to the treacherous High Court of Faerie as a child, but she doesn't want to escape; she wants to belong. To earn her place, she must defy the king's wickedest son and navigate a deadly civil war.

Read our interview with Black here.


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This West African-inspired fantasy, which has already been optioned for film, introduces readers to Orïsha, where magic once thrived but is now persecuted—and where one young woman has the power to turn the world upside down.

Discover Adeyemi's book recommendations here.


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Step aside, Simon. Here, Leah Burke, the best friend of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda's title character, takes center stage, tackling first love, senior-year angst, her own bisexuality, and a fracturing friend group.

Check out Albertalli's book recommendations here.


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Leigh is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Alternating between past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, this is an enchanting debut about the power and magic of family.


NONFICTION
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The sadistic Golden State Killer terrorized California for more than a decade. This masterful true-crime account traces journalist McNamara's obsession with the mysterious and violent predator and features an introduction by Gillian Flynn.


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What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.


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Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. She struggles for self-invention in this universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes.


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Former FBI director Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career, exploring what ethical leadership looks like. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power.


HISTORICAL FICTION
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The author of The Nightingale shifts from World War II to Alaska, telling the story of Ernt Allbright, a former POW who returns from the Vietnam War and immediately moves his family to America's last true frontier.

Find our interview with Hannah here.


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Based on a true story, Lale is put to work tattooing his fellow prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance. With his life given new purpose, Lale attempts to use his position for good.


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German dissenter Franka Gerber hides deep in the Black Forest as World War II spreads across Europe, but her solitary existence is interrupted by the discovery of a wounded airman wearing a Luftwaffe uniform. Their tenuous bond becomes as inseparable as it is dangerous.


ROMANCE
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Natalia just wants to get cocky, annoyingly handsome Hunter out of her system. After a couple of flings, first at a wedding and then at a baby shower, she agrees to spend eight weeks with him in New York City—no strings attached.

Check out Keeland's book recommendations here.


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Brilliant math whiz Stella decides to practice dating by hiring an escort in this heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: There's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Read our interview with Hoang here.


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British rock star Alex needs a babysitter, someone who can keep him out of trouble. Enter sweet, responsible Indigo, who is adorably sure she can resist the serial heartbreaker's advances as the two embark on a whirlwind world tour.


FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION
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This is not Odysseus' story. In this reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, the goddess Circe grows up a strange child, finds herself banished to a deserted island, tames wild beasts, and encounters the Minotaur, Daedalus, and Odysseus himself.

Discover Miller's book recommendations here.


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Brown returns to Mars (and beyond) in a new trilogy set shortly after the events of his Red Rising books. This time Darrow grapples with mending a galaxy he helped break as new heroes vie for vengeance and redemption.

Find Brown's essay on shaping our world through stories here.


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Welcome to the Tower of Babel, the greatest marvel in the world. Here, mild-mannered headmaster Thomas searches for his wife in a steampunk world of geniuses and tyrants, navigating madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters.

Check out our interview with Bancroft here.




Comments Showing 1-50 of 88 (88 new)


message 1: by erica (new)

erica Great list! Just wish it was longer


message 2: by Ankit (new)

Ankit Garg Erica wrote: "Great list! Just wish it was longer"
Well this is just for the first half of the year ;)


message 3: by Anissa (new)

Anissa Good comprehensive list, GR! I've only read 32 books so far this year and one of them is on the list (The Woman in the Window). There are a couple here I do want to get around too but nothing stoking burning desire. It's always good to know what the majority is reading & enjoying in large numbers, even when I'm not similarly inclined. Can't wait to see how 2018 resolves overall. I'm hoping for lots of great things to read in the latter half.


message 4: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald Oh, for a book addict this is difficult!😱I enjoy recommending books that I’ve read to others, so here goes!(Can’t list only one!)📚
Young Adult: Love, Hate, and Other Filters
Historical Fiction: Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
Non-Fiction: Voices From the Second World War
Fiction: A New Leash on Love (Sit Stay Love series)
Middle Grade Fiction: The Art of the Swap
Young Adult Mystery/Thriller: Aftermath
These are all wonderful books to add to your reading lists!


message 5: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Ooh!! There are some great recommendations and it’s only June! 🤩


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Fitzgerald Oops, need to make a correction. For Fiction I meant to recommend the novel called Sit, Stay, Love by Debbie Burns, the second in the Rescue Me Novel series. Number #1 is A New Leash On Love, which is also a good read!


message 7: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Children of Blood and Bone!


Mayke (acozyliving)☕️ Nice list to turn back to!


ToniHiggsReviews I've read 41 books so far but none of these. None of these interest me personally. Best books I have read that got released this year are:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen

All my other favourites of the books I've read so far are ones from other years.


message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark Lawrence Great to see Senlin Ascends on the list. Everyone should read that.


message 11: by Amber (new)

Amber I enjoyed The Traitor Prince. That is one of my favorite books of the year that has come out this year.


message 12: by CARISSA (new)

CARISSA E I don't know how Leah On The Off Beat made it on this list. Even though Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda was a great book, Leah's book was just plain awful. Except of course the parts with Simon & Bram in it. They were the only reason Leah On The Off Beat was even readable!


message 13: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Reeser Great list! I have read 4 books on this list and I want to read 3 of them


message 14: by Tara (new)

Tara @CARISSA agreed!


message 15: by Biagio (new)

Biagio Pipitone Children of blood and bone


message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine Ricci Was there a mistake? Senlin Ascends looks like a great book, but it was published in 2013. Check out the series information here. The third book isn't due to be published until September this year. I thought this list was for top rated books published in 2018.


message 17: by Mandalay (last edited Jun 19, 2018 03:14PM) (new)

Mandalay Calypso by David Sedaris was wonderful.


message 18: by Kristin (new)

Kristin "Still Me" by Jojo Moyes was a true five star read!


message 19: by David (last edited Jun 19, 2018 04:22PM) (new)

David Holy shit, congrats to Josiah Bancroft for getting picked up by Orbit and for making it onto this list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBAl9...

Christine wrote: "Was there a mistake? Senlin Ascends looks like a great book, but it was published in 2013. Check out the series information here. The third book isn't due to be published until September this year..."

It was self-published originally. Was published by Orbit this year.


message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Trotter The best book I've read, this year, is The Last Astronaut

Coming in a very close second is The End of the World Running Club


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Trotter Toni wrote: "I've read 41 books so far but none of these. None of these interest me personally. Best books I have read that got released this year are:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Ace of Shades by Amanda Foo..."


I'm definitely checking out Herding Cats - thank you!


message 22: by Tamsen (new)

Tamsen I still believe GR should include a category for short stories... This is admittedly a 2017 publication, but my best book (short stories, yeahhh) read in 2018 was What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky. Of the 2018 published works (so far), I would choose Neverworld Wake.


message 23: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I've read 5 of these and interested in several more.


message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle CARISSA wrote: "I don't know how Leah On The Off Beat made it on this list. Even though Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda was a great book, Leah's book was just plain awful. Except of course the parts with Simon & ..."

Bi representation is harder to come by. Becky Albertalli very well might not right another book that matches Simon, but all of her books are beyond inclusive, and in ways that are still not the norm.


message 25: by Chrislyn (new)

Chrislyn Potesta The Cruel Prince, The Belles,Children of Blood and Bone and Thunderhead!!!!


message 26: by kimberly (new)

kimberly lanham The Cruel Prince was the best thing I’ve read so far this year! I can’t wait for the next book!


message 27: by Bibli-ophelia (new)

Bibli-ophelia Clerico Room on Rue Amélie needs to be on this list!


message 28: by Smith (new)

Smith I have read six books on this list , no one of them wowing me


message 29: by NREVIEW (new)

NREVIEW what is the considerations for such a choice?


message 30: by Erica (new)

Erica hello why isn't the year one on here nora Roberts.


message 31: by Nicko (new)

Nicko D Omg Jojo Moyes and best book is oxymoron


message 32: by Christine (new)

Christine Ricci David wrote: "Holy shit, congrats to Josiah Bancroft for getting picked up by Orbit and for making it onto this list.

Thanks David! I didn't realize Bancroft self-published first. I found his interview with Goodreads in January here. Definitely looks like a good book!


message 33: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Trotter Tamsen wrote: "I still believe GR should include a category for short stories... This is admittedly a 2017 publication, but my best book (short stories, yeahhh) read in 2018 was [book:What It Means When a Man Fal..."

Thank you for providing links to the books you mentioned.


message 34: by Sheri (new)

Sheri Don't miss the non fiction essential, Goodbye Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg...I don't why it is not on this list already!


message 35: by Caryl (new)

Caryl Barnes The overstory


message 36: by Meg (new)

Meg Agreed! Was hoping for more recommendations in each category. My library provided a great list, so am going with that list (most of the titles here mentioned on library list as well). Possibly your library has such a resource, too. Might be worth checking out. Happy Summer reading!


message 37: by Lekeisha (new)

Lekeisha The Booknerd I've read 5 of these, and 2 are on my to-read shelf. Great picks!


message 38: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie I enjoyed WARLIGHT by Michael ondaatje, also THE IMMORTALIST BY CHLOE BENJAMIN.


message 39: by Andrea (new)

Andrea DeGennaro Best book so far this year for me was "Sometimes I lie" by Alice Feeney..


message 40: by S (new)

S Lynn Not a new book but I’m reading nonfiction Sons and Soldiers by Bruce Henderson and loving it. Great story!


message 41: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Nicko wrote: "Omg Jojo Moyes and best book is oxymoron"

How so?? If her writing style was not your taste, say that but don't bash a good writer just because you can. Some people use the reviews of books on here by strangers to determine if they will ever read anything by that author. Don't be that person that steers someone away from what could have been a wonderful read for them, even if it wasn't for you...


message 42: by Ann (last edited Jun 21, 2018 11:46AM) (new)

Ann Madison Nicko wrote: "Omg Jojo Moyes and best book is oxymoron"

Thank-you, I agree. Her writing is juvenile and not in a “young adult literature “ way.


message 43: by Jill (new)

Jill My favorite book so far this year is The Monk of Mocha by Dave Eggers.


message 44: by Maurits (new)

Maurits Lourens Jill wrote: "My favorite book so far this year is The Monk of Mocha by Dave Eggers."

Thanks for the tip! I didn't know he already wrote a new one.


message 45: by Marian (new)

Marian Librant Loved The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin and The Great Alone by Kristin Hanna. Just finished The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner and would recommend it for its rawness (is that even a word?). Was not impressed in the least by The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I could identify with the Mommy Blog theme.


message 46: by Christine Anne (new)

Christine Anne 129 books read, so far, this year.
Favorites: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson, Only Child by Rhiannon Navi, The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook, Semiosis by Sue Burke, The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro, Stray City by Chelsey Johnson, and Gateway to the Moon by Mary Morris.
All published in 2018.


message 47: by Elissa (new)

Elissa I've begun many books so far this year but have only completed 21 to date. Of those books, there are only a few novels I consider to be well written and worthy of recommendation:
The : Ruined House by Ruby Namadar-award winning book trans. from Hebrew: examination of beliefs, faith, tradition,love,marriage
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday-debut book-topic U.S. Mideast conflict: immigration
Exit West by Moshin Hamid-some magic realism; immigration; violence in daily life
Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yate-Suspenseful and unpre- dictable;two teens bound together in a crime.
The Immortalists by Chloe Bejamin-4 siblings discover their destiny; page turner


message 48: by Marlene (new)

Marlene Best of this year: Less. Also loved The Illusionists, Asymmetry and Ruined House.


message 49: by Aimee (last edited Jun 21, 2018 09:14PM) (new)

Aimee Bark I LOVED Educated by Tara Westover. Such an intriguing book. I actually listened to it on audible and I could not turn it off. A book hasn’t affected me like this one has in a long time. I highly recommend it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


message 50: by DLingrid (new)

DLingrid PSleest Rebel Heart and Heir by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland... And the Hitman series by Alexis Abbott


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