We are well into the new year now, and I usually like to write a whole blog post analyzing my readings in the previous year. I was so excited to sit down and look at all my data only to realize that my 2018 Goodreads Challenge was gone! Apparently, Goodreads only lets you go back through the years that you completed your reading goal (I fell a few short of my 200 book goal). I know I could go back into my “read” category, and manually count all the books and everything, but I opted to make like Elsa and
I now have my Goodreads books organized into 42 anal-retentive categories, so this travesty will never happen again. Why, yes, I am a nerd. And proud of it.
Despite not having all my numbers compiled, I was able to look back through and choose my favorite reads from 2018. So here they are, in no particular order.
My two-year-old son loves this book. We borrowed it from the library and probably read it 100 times (I’m not kidding) over a 3 week period. So we bought it for Christmas. The illustrations are super vibrant and cute. They make you want to pantomime the different emotions, which is perfect for parents and small children.
I love Stephen Gammell’s artwork. I grew up reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, so I was delighted to find this older gem. I love the relationship of the boy and his mom. Despite her being a monster, he still loves her just the same and she loves and cares for him just like any good mother would. The color palette, as well as Gammell’s signature illustration style are perfect.
I. love. this. book. It is remarkably simple, yet wonderfully beautiful. Elisha Cooper’s text and black and white illustrations evoke so much emotion. If you are a pet lover, this is an absolute must read.
This has become a favorite bedtime story in our house. Jane and Heidi’s sweet lullaby text is beautiful. And Melissa Sweet’s illustrations are absolutely excellent. The book also has some excellent back matter on the different nesting habits of various bird species.
I picked this book up on a whim, knowing nothing about it. It is amazing! Many dystopian novels are both a.) written for YA audiences and b.) set in some distant at least semi-realistic future of earth. Kelly Barnhill takes the genre and turns it on its head by masterfully appealing to middle grade audiences all while couching it in a magical fantasy realm. Absolutely wonderful to read.
Cassie Beasley has become one of my favorite authors. Her books are beautifully written, and Tumble and Blue is no exception. I love how she weaves just a touch of magic into the story, but it is still firmly grounded in realistic fiction. I feel like this is the way childhood really is. No, we don’t have magical golden gators (or do we? 😉 ), but childhood is all about wonder and hope and potential. And Cassie is perfect at capturing those feelings in her books.
I cannot sing the praises of this book enough! I nominated it for a Cybil this year, and am happy to see that it is a finalist! I am really rooting for it to win. The sheer undertaking of writing this book is impressive. Lita Judge poured over Mary Shelley’s journal entries and letter correspondences to weave the tale of Shelley’s inspiration for her most famous novel. The graphic novel is in verse, with every poem linked to a specific line or page from Shelley’s personal writings. Judge’s black and white watercolor images are both beautiful and haunting. It is an incredibly accessible and engaging nonfiction book.
My whole family enjoyed reading Chris Harris’ collection of poetry. They were perfect read-aloud poems, and just the right length for a few poems at bedtime. Lane Smith’s illustrations also added a lot to the humor. This would be a great addition to anyone’s bookshelf.