Jill was able to put aside her dislike of short story collections for her one true love: Margaret Atwood. It’s easy to sum this collection up: they all have something to do with murder or revenge in some way. Which is nice. It’s nice to see a dark side of Atwood for once. (hahahaha)
One of the most amazing benefits of full-time travel has been an increase in the number of books I read in a month or year. I’ve always loved reading, but with working full-time and everything else, it seemed to take forever to work through the pages; even when I was loving the book. Now, I find that I have huge swaths of time to allow for reading - waiting time at the airport or train station, waiting time on the plane itself; these are all opportunities to read!
As I looked back at all the book reviews we’ve written this past year, I was amazed at the number of books we’ve read and the diversity in subject matter. Another thing that travel has allowed us is finding a much wider assortment of authors to choose from. It’s been great to see more women authors and non-white authors on the shelves. This variety has enriched our reading for sure.
So here is the list (in no particular order) of our favorite books that we read in 2018 (some of them were written well before 2018, but we’re just getting to them now). Read full book reviews for all these books here.
For the most part you can click on each of the images below to read our review of the novel (if we wrote one!).
If you aren’t fully aware, we have a project where we leave our books around the world and review them and post the reviews on and pictures on Instagram. We encourage anybody who finds them to review and post using #visavisbooks.
For those of you who like lists (which this really is!) here is a list of all the books we consider to be our favorites for 2018…in list form.
Favorite Books of 2018
Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Florida by Lauren Groff
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers
The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson
Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Grand Tour by Adam O’Fallon Price
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie'
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
The History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
Anna Kavan was an interesting person, and this novel she wrote about an impending global catastrophe caused by a slowly freezing planet is hard to contextualize. Written before her death in 1967, Ice almost didn’t get published at all…
The History of Wolves was a delight to read. Set in rural Minnesota, the descriptions of the cold and the lakes and cabin life are comforting and familiar, all while the unfamiliar lives of a teenage girl and the family she baby sits for are made familiar through the skill of the author.
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch had so much promise. We were drawn in by the idea of strong female characters and maybe a little bit by the idea that this would be a great homage to Joan of Arc. It ends up that it wasn’t. We were both so disappointed by this book that we almost took Bill Gates’s approach and just didn’t write about it. You know the old adage “nothing good to say…”. But we felt like we wanted to create some discourse. Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?
We both enjoyed Shelter in Place. It was a journey of loss and a story of the bonds created by tragedy and by family. It starts out with a bang, I’ll say that. Read what both of us thought about this novel.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to live two lives at once? This novel doesn’t exactly answer that question, but it does explore the topic of multiple lives and multiple universes. It’s a very entertaining read that you won’t want to put down.
Lincoln in the Bardo and George Saunders has seemingly been all over the place lately. For a while there it seemed I could barely go one day without hearing about it in some form or other. So we picked up a copy to see what all the fuss was about and Wow! the fuss was not disproportionate to the pleasure of reading this book. We both enjoyed it immensely.