I debated whether to put this list together because 18 books is a lot! And I’m concerned that it will wind up just being stressful for me to give myself a list like this. But one of my main goals in 2018 is to read more diversely across authors and genres, and putting this list together is a good way to remind myself to prioritize some of these books. Plus a few are ones I’ve been meaning to read for ages but just never get around to, so I really do need to read those in 2018!
I’m adding as a caveat for myself that there’s no guilt if I don’t get to all of these books in 2018 or if I lose interest in them! This is really just meant to help me prioritize some of these books and not make myself feel bad if I don’t get to them all.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
I’ve been wanting to read Crazy Rich Asians because I’ve heard good things about it, plus I don’t know much about Singapore where this book is set, and I know Joce from Squibbles Reads likes it because it shows a lot of the different dynamics between different Asian cultures, which sounds really interesting to me. What’s really motivating me to pick this up, though, is the fact that it’s being made into a movie! So this is definitely a book I need to read in 2018 before the movie comes out.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Seriously, I’ve heard so, so many amazing things about The Fifth Season from so many different people, and I really need to read it, especially since the trilogy is concluded now. I’ll admit, I’m a bit hesitant to finally read this because I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and I’ve heard that this can be dense to get through, but everyone says it’s worth it, so it needs to happen this year!
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I don’t know what rock I was hiding under as I only heard about Between the World and Me when it was named a finalist for the One Book, One New York book club choice last spring, but I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. It’s supposed to be one of the leading essay collections on race and a must read, plus it’s pretty short, so I definitely want to read this in 2018.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
I’ve seriously been meaning to read The New Jim Crow for years because it covers such an important topic, and I’m putting it on this list so I finally get around to reading it. It’s a nonfiction book analyzing how the U.S. judicial system is effectively a form of racial control, essentially arguing that we haven’t done away with a racial caste system, merely redesigned it. Like I said, it seems like a really important read and I’m overdue to pick it up, so I’m planning to get to it this year.
The New Odyssey by Patrick Kingsley
I first heard about this from Kate at Parchment Girl, and it’s another nonfiction book that I think is a really important read, which is why it’s on this list. The New Odyssey tracks the stories of refugees and the dangerous conditions they experience while trying to flee to Europe and find safety for their families. Considering that we’re in the midst of a massive refugee crisis, I think this is a topic that is important to be educated about, and this book sounds like a great starting point.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
I’m a bit reluctant to read The Underground Railroad even though it seems to be incredibly popular (plus it won the Pulitzer Prize) because I’m not much of a literary fiction reader. But it’s gotten so much hype and been so praised that I want to give it a shot.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah is one of the books on this list that I already have on my shelves, and I’m super ashamed I haven’t read it yet since it was the One Book, One New York pick last spring and I’ve seen Adichie talk about it in person. I have no idea what it’s about and I’m a little intimidated since it’s not a book from my usual genres and it’s pretty long (my copy is almost 600 pages), but I love Adichie’s essays and I really want to try her fiction, especially since I’ve heard amazing things about this book.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
I mentioned in my goals post that I wanted to read a book this year from my banned book list, and I conveniently found a copy of Beloved in my closet at my parents’ house that I have no recollection of buying, which seems like the perfect excuse to finally read it. I don’t know anything about this book, but I know it’s a classic and that Toni Morrison is a highly respected author, so it definitely feels like something I should read. Also, how have I gone this long without having read any Toni Morrison? That seems blasphemous.
Once Upon a Marquess by Courtney Milan
So I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I’ve read The Duchess War by Courtney Milan and didn’t like it that much, so I haven’t read any of her other works. But I keep hearing amazing things about her books, and since starting my blog and joining social media, I’ve been super impressed by what she has to say on Twitter. So I’m committing myself to giving Milan another try in 2018, starting with Once Upon a Marquess (though I really want to read Trade Me, too).
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
I don’t really watch the late night comedy shows, so I didn’t know who Noah was or that he hosts The Daily Show. What interests me about this memoir, though, is that Noah is South African and was born to a black mother and a white father during a time when such a union was illegal. That sounds like the makings of a fascinating story, so I’ve been wanting to read Born a Crime for ages, but I keep hearing that it’s best on audio and my library doesn’t have it on audio, so I haven’t read it yet. BUT I just got an Audible deal for $5 a month for three months, so I signed up and downloaded this as my first book and it is absolutely being read this year.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I’d never heard of Celeste Ng when Little Fires Everywhere was announced (I apparently missed the hype around Everything I Never Told You), but literally everyone listed this as one of their most anticipated reads this fall, and then everyone included it in their yearend list of favorites. Again, this isn’t something I would normally gravitate towards, but I want to read more diversely and try new things, and this seems like an excellent place to start.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing is another book that I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about but that I normally wouldn’t pick up. Again, I want to read it as part of my attempt to read more diversely (both in terms of diverse authors and diverse genres), but I’m also really interested in it since it’s set in Ghana, a country I know next to nothing about.
Hunger by Roxane Gay
As a huge fan of Bad Feminist, of course I want to read Hunger, and seeing it make so many yearend favorites lists has only reinforced that. I know it deals with some really difficult topics, which is why I’ve been hesitant to read it, but it’s important to read things like that and I have no doubt that Gay handles them flawlessly. I’m already planning to read this in 2018 since I have a copy of it in my shelves and I want to read all of the books that I purchased in 2017 by the end of 2018, but I’m really prioritizing it by putting it on this list.
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
I’ve heard so many amazing things about Adam Silvera’s books from so many different people and I really need to finally jump on the bandwagon. Again, his books aren’t something I would normally pick up on my own because I’m not the biggest YA contemporary reader and I really don’t gravitate towards books that deal with grief, which seems to be a major theme in Silvera’s works. That makes his books a perfect way for me to challenge myself to read outside my comfort zone. The sci fi element in They Both Die at the End appeals to me, which is why I specifically selected that book, but I’d be happy with myself if I read any of Silvera’s works in 2018.
Indigo by Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins is one of those authors that I don’t understand why I haven’t read more from. I read one of her newer releases in 2017 and wasn’t the biggest fan, so I figure I should start by going to some of her classics. Indigo is the one I’ve heard the most praise for in my book club, though she has several others that are also classics of the genre. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, and I’m hoping that putting it on this list will be a good reminder to prioritize her books in 2018.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
I’m not much of a comic or graphic novel reader, but I do enjoy them occasionally, especially when they’re memoirs. Satrapi grew up during the Iranian revolution and eventually emigrated to France. I’ve heard amazing things about Persepolis and I’m really interested in reading more about her experiences, so I definitely want to read this in 2018.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
I probably should have noticed Pachinko when it was first released and generated a bunch of buzz, but what really put it on my radar is when someone in my book club mentioned that she edited it and everyone started talking about what a good book it is. It sounds interesting, as it’s about the experiences of Korean immigrants in Japan, but seeing it make a bunch of yearend favorites list (including topping Roxane Gay’s!) is what made me decide to commit to reading it in 2018.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Every Heart a Doorway is about a school for children who come back from other worlds like Narnia and have trouble adjusting to regular life again, and it sounds like everything I want from a book. But for some reason, I just haven’t read it yet! It’s not even that long, so I really have no excuse for not having read this series yet. It’s definitely happening in 2018.
Alright, there you have it! Eighteen books that I need to read in the next year. What are some of the books that you want to make sure and get to in 2018? Let me know in the comments, as well as where you think I should start with this list if you’ve read some of these books already!