2018 marked the second year in a row I’ve set a goal for the number of books I want to read. It’s also the second year in a row that I failed to reach that goal.
I still believe I read more books than I would have if I didn’t have a goal, so I’m ok with it.
I did a post like this last year, and you guys really seemed to like it. So I decided to do another one. This year I read some great stuff, some good stuff and some just ok stuff. So let’s get to it. Here are the best books I read in 2018 (by category, because I’m a fan of those).
Favorite Fiction Book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Summary: This is such an important book, and the fact that the author is from Mississippi makes me love it even more. It’s about a teen girl named Starr, who is torn between life in her rundown, mostly black neighborhood and her private school full of wealthy white kids. She witnesses a white cop shoot and kill her black friend, and the book follows all of the events that unfold in the following weeks.
Most important takeaways: It’s easier to get defensive than it is to listen to the people we disagree with. We all could do a better job of listening to and trying to understand each other.
Favorite quote: “What’s the point of having a voice if you’re gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?”
Honorable mention (Fiction): Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Favorite Non-fiction Book: Bringing Up Bèbè by Pamela Druckerman
Summary: We are expecting our first baby in March and have no idea what we’re doing. I have not read many parenting books, but this one intrigued me. It’s written by an American journalist who married a European and now lives in Paris. She noticed that all of the French babies were so well-behaved and seemed to sleep through the night after just a couple of months, so she began to investigate what French parents do differently. It’s FASCINATING. We hope to apply some French parenting techniques when baby girl gets here in just a couple of months!
Most important takeaways: Babies are new here and need to be taught how to be humans. This includes exploring emotions and learning to sooth themselves. Love and care for your baby, but take care of yourself too.
Favorite quote: “When I ask French parents what they most want for their children, they say things like ‘to feel comfortable in their own skin’ and ‘to find their path in the world.’ They want their kids to develop their own tastes and opinions…. But they believe children can achieve the goals only if they respect boundaries and have self-control. So alongside character, there has to be cadre.”
Honorable mention (Non-fiction): Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari
Favorite Work-Related Book: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
Summary: Every person who owns a business or works in marketing needs to read this book. Donald Miller does a beautiful job of explaining how to get back to the simplicity of your brand and your story. He teaches you how to communicate clearly and creatively with your clients or customers. I have referred back to this book so many times when helping Moore Media Group clients determine how best to connect with their audience. This book is GOLD.
Most important takeaways: Know what your company does and how you help people. Then clearly communicate that. Keep the customer/client first.
Favorite quote: “The customer is the hero of the story, not your brand. When we position our customers as the hero and ourselves as the guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them overcome their challenges.”
Honorable mention (Work-related): Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo
Favorite Comedic Book: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Summary: I am currently finishing up the final book of this trilogy, and I will be so sad when it’s over. It is a light-hearted romantic comedy with SO MANY characters and plots. In this first book, Crazy Rich Asians, Rachel travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick, and discovers that his family is one of the richest and most prominent in Asia. Of course tons of ridiculous drama ensues. This is a super fun, lighthearted read that will weirdly make you thankful you are not crazy rich.
Most important takeaways: Love trumps money.
Favorite quote: “You look like a slutty ebola virus.”
*this quote is in the movie, not the book but still LOL
Honorable mention (Comedic): Where’d You Go, Bernedette? By Maria Semple
Favorite Memoir: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
Summary: Oh man. If you were a fan of Parenthood or Gilmore Girls, this will be the most nostalgic book you read all year. If not, you probably won’t care much for it. Lauren gives us the inside scoop on both shows as well as the GG reunion. She also tells her personal story of breaking onto the acting scene in a way that makes you feel like you’re having coffee with a good friend. I listened to this one on Audible because Lauren reads it herself, and I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of hers.
Most important takeaways: Work hard, be kind and when your plan falls apart, make a new plan and press on.
Favorite quote: “I guess what I’m saying is, let’s keep lifting each other up. It’s not lost on me that two of the biggest opportunities I’ve had to break into the next level were given to me by successful women in positions of power. If I’m ever in that position and you ask me, “Who?” I’ll do my best to say, “You” too. But in order to get there, you may have to break down the walls of whatever it is that’s holding you back first. Ignore the doubt —it’s not your friend—and just keep going, keep going, keep going.”
Honorable mention (Memoir): The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
Perhaps 2019 will be the year I finally meet my goal (which is 30 books). Feel free to comment below and give me a few books to add to my list. And don’t forget to sign up for the email list for exclusive content and free downloads, including a worksheet to help YOU crush YOUR goals this year!