My Reading List from 2018

This year, I focused on classic literature I had been really wanting to read, but also trying out newly  published novels. I honestly loved every single book I read this year, although it wasn’t as many as I had hoped for. Online book clubs such as Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Emma Robert’s Belletrist certainly have kept me in the know of great books and new releases! If you haven’t read any of the following novels, add them to your 2019 reading queue!

 

Rebecca

Rebecca is a hauntingly beautiful novel by Daphne Du Maurier. A women weds her way into a mysterious man’s life and by doing so, she is tormented by the figurative ghost of her husband’s past, his late wife, Rebecca. I loved this novel because it does such a great job of slowly revealing character and motive, not to mention it’s written so well! I love Gothic-horror fiction books during the winter, but it could make a great spring book, too!

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Another great classic Gothic-horror novel is The Picture of Dorian Gray. If you’re not familiar with the storyline, Dorian Gray has a picture painted of him, but knowing he is growing older and longing to stay as young as his painting, he makes a wish to stay young forever. The story highlights the classic theme, “be careful what you wish for.” While Dorian stays young and beautiful, his painting gradually reflects his age and sin until Dorian can no longer stand to look at it. Oscar Wilde is such a brilliant writer! 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

This novel was one of the newly published books I read this year. It was one of the picks for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and was perfect for spring time – a much more happy read involving love, a little mystery, and the power of storytelling. The author, Balli Kaur Jaswal, said in an interview that although her novel helped many Punjabi women talk more openly about sex, her biggest thank you’s were from men, as the story was a big eye-opener for them.

Under the Tuscan Sun

 

As many of you I’m sure, I loved this movie so much and had been wanting to read the book for awhile. So in June, I did just that! The story was a slow start for me, so I put it away for about a week, not knowing if I would return to it. But then, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So, I picked it up and then couldn’t put it back down! This book was great because it’s based on a true story and is so detailed. I also loved the Italian recipes that the author, Frances Mayes, incorporated.

Something in the Water

So fun fact, I did script coverage for my job when I lived in Los Angeles (this means I read scripts that are looking for producers/funding/directors and rate them on whether or not our company should pursue the script). Often times, authors send books as well, and this was one of the books I did coverage on! I remembered loving it, but decided to read it again after it had been officially released and I loved it even more the second time! It keeps you at the edge of your seat and is definitely a Summer read that you’d want to read by the pool or at the beach!

Surprised by Joy

This book was the pick for my friend Shruthi’s (www.thehonestshruth.com) book club! First off, C.S. Lewis is an amazing writer! Although some parts of this biography were hard to read, it was so brilliantly written, I didn’t mind going back and reading it a few times. I felt I had gained intelligence just by reading this novel and learned so many new words ( as a writer myself, this is a beautiful thing). If you are going through a spiritual crisis, or are questioning your faith, this would be a great read for you! Or if you’re just interested in C.S. Lewis because let’s face it, he’s amazing.

The Secret Life of Bees

I can not say enough good things about this novel. It is such a beautiful, character-driven story. I love each character so much because they’re unique and add their own little quirks to the storyline. You really feel as if you know them and are a part of their lives. I highly recommend to anyone looking for a feel-good story!

IT

After watching the movies and loving them, I decided I wanted IT to be my first book of my Stephen King endeavor. What a ride, man! In 1200 pages, you most definitely understand and know each character so well. They make you laugh, they break your heart, they disgust you, they warm you — you honestly can’t read this entire book and not feel like apart of you is with them in some way.  I loved the book better than the movies simply because there’s so much more detail and information that gets lost in translating the story into film.

The Cider House Rules

Another great character-driven novel. This story by John Irving captures your heart in so many ways as it uncovers and dives deep into the relationships involving the main character, Homer Wells, and his fellow companions. The complexity of this rich story will bring you tears, joy, and will make you question your own beliefs regarding abortion and the notion of “family.”

Crazy Rich Asians

This novel was so fun to read! It’s very lighthearted compared to my other reads, but still suspenseful,  and will cause you to gasp at the audacity of some of these rich women. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but if it’s as good as the book, I will absolutely love it!

 

Overall Superlatives:

The novel that made me cry the most: The Cider House Rules
The novel that made me laugh the most: Crazy Rich Asians
The novel that was most suspenseful: (tie) Something in the Water and IT
The novel I will most likely reread first: Rebecca
The longest novel: IT (1138 pages)
The shortest novel: The Picture of Dorian Gray (224 pages)

*I am currently reading One Day in December, but I am not finished reading it, so I will add it later!

 

I hope you found a book in here that you are excited to read! I really enjoyed each of them and can’t wait to begin the new year with fresh reads! Feel free to comment what you read this year below 🙂

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