Books! Books! Books! – Best of 2018 Edition

2018 has been a booktacular year! (Sorry.) I’ve read even more books this year than I did during last year’s book-reading competition with my wife. And I’ve read better books too, since I didn’t feel the pressure to grab whatever book was closest so I could just keep reading and prevent her from building an insurmountable lead.

But I also haven’t had a chance to review all these great books, so I thought I do some “best of” posts for the end of the year. And just to clarify, when I say “best of 2018” I don’t mean books that were written in 2018, just books that I read in 2018. And I’m sorry to admit that I’m still catching up on a lot of classics that I should’ve read a long time ago. Ok, let’s get started, with…

Best Fiction Book of 2018

The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler

There’s a reason this is considered a classic and its tropes and form and style permeate American culture. It really is that good. All the hard-boiled, tough guy stuff you expect is in here. We consider it cliche now, but the reason we do is because Chandler did it first, and set the table for decades of imitators. In Chandler’s hands it is literature. I’d say kids should have to read it in high school English class, but this was so much more enjoyable than most of the stuff I had to read in high school it wouldn’t be fair to all the other books. An American classic.

Honorable Mention

Fight Club –¬†Chuck Palahniuk

If you liked the movie, and you like to read, you’ll probably like the book too. Don’t worry about spoilers; it’s fun just to watch the way Palahniuk builds this weird world inside one guy’s head (oops, spoiler). I know this because Tyler knows this.

Annihilation –¬†Jeff VanderMeer

Speaking of weird worlds, don’t go into this one thinking you’re going to get any kind of explanation. Annihilation starts weird and stays weird throughout. But that’s exactly how an alien invasion would look when told through the eyes of the invadees, and it works in this book. Weird, and compelling.

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