2018 Book Picks

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it has been over two weeks since you last heard from me. I spent a good portion of the last couple weeks reading, playing games, solving puzzles, sledding, skiing and avoiding my computer. That isn’t to say I haven’t thought about you all. I wrote quite a few blog posts in my head over the break…now it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard😉).

I love reading! It’s usually the first thing I list on an interest survey. Just entering the library or a bookstore makes me feel giddy. A great book can cause me to abandon all else and read late into the night.  A few books really stick with me. I remember staying up all night when I was in high school despite the fact that we were headed to the Rose Bowl Parade the following morning, to read Scarlett, the much anticipated sequel to Gone With the WindDuring my first year teaching I sat down at my desk one afternoon to preview Number the Stars as a possible read-a-loud for my students and ended up not leaving my seat until I had read every single page. More recently I insisted we go out for freshly baked biscuits after reading mouthwatering descriptions of southern cooking (and one NOT very appetizing description😂) in The Help. I can picture myself so clearly reading each of those books, but more often than not, one book fades into the next.  I think one of the reasons I love reading so much is that I continue to search for those stories that stay with me forever.

Looking over this year’s list there are several books that really stand out. Becoming was probably my favorite. I loved Michelle Obama’s inspiring and candid portrayal of her life up to this point. Her anecdotes about the Queen and the night the White House was lit up like a rainbow were especially fun insights. All We Ever Wanted was the perfect read during a year where “Me Too” was one of the most discussed issues. Small Great Things is one of those books that you just can’t wait to discuss with a friend and makes you ask the question “What would I do?”

Tip: Click on any of the images below to be taken directly to amazon.com to read a story summary, reader reviews or purchase a copy. 


This page turner is a perfect example of never really knowing what happens behind closed doors.  


Thought Provoking

This book reminded me to never judge a book by its cover. I had little interest in reading about life in the Alaskan wilderness, but ended up thoroughly enjoying this entire book.

Just For Fun

My favorite book yet by Jojo Moyes. Fans of Sex and the City will love exploring NYC through the eyes of fashion loving Louisa Clark.

I think this is the only time I have ever enjoyed a movie more than a book! This fun, but superficial read lacks the feel good messages the movie conveys.  

Family Sagas

Historical Fiction

Nobody does historical fiction like Ken Follet. This is the third book in his Kingsbridge series. Follett’s Century Trilogy is another one of my all time favorites.


Fans of Julie and Julia will enjoy this memoir of a woman that chooses to face her fears head on after being inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt. This would be a great book to kick off the new year. 

I hope one (or a few) of these books pique your interest and provide you with a relaxing escape. Most of the books on this list were chosen based on recommendations from friends or a review that caught my eye. I am thrilled to be able to return the favor and share the books I enjoyed during 2018 with you.

Tip: I keep an ongoing list of books I want to read on a list in my phone, so that I always have something specific to look for on my next trip to the library or local bookstore.

What were some of you favorite books in 2018? I would love to add your recommendations to my 2019 reading list.

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  1. Brenda Gunderson

    January 10, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Thanks Melissa! I am always looking for a good book. Can’t wait to read some of these.

    1. Parker

      January 10, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      You’re welcome! Do you have any favorites that you have read recently?

      1. Brenda

        January 15, 2019 at 10:35 pm

        I loved the Nightingale. Same author as the Great Alone -which I have not read but will check out.

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