Thursday, December 20, 2018

Some Really Good Books I Read in 2018

Okay let’s have it. Your favourite end-of-year reading recommendations.
From Jim

This year, it seems to me that there’s been a proliferation of Best Of lists in the crime writing community. More than I’ve ever seen before. But, unfortunately, there hasn’t been much of a proliferation of different titles or authors. We do tend to see the same names cropping up on most of the lists. I wish these lists could be called “Books That I Read and Enjoyed” in 2018. There are so many unnoticed books out there. I get it. It’s understandable. Who has time to read everything? Or even a tiny fraction of what’s been published?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the books or the writers who figure on the lists. They deserve the accolades; I admire them and enjoy their books. What I’m suggesting—in the nicest and gentlest way I know how—is that maybe we could shine some light on overlooked books a little more often. Just to liven things up a bit. I believe my fellow 7 Criminal Minds bloggers have done just that by citing less-obvious books and authors this week. I congratulate them for that.

Now it’s my turn. I read about thirty books in 2018. Some were written by big-name authors, others by mid-listers, and some by relative unknowns. I enjoyed most of them, and a few stood out as exceptional. But I didn’t want to make this a “Best Of” list. That would leave out books I haven’t even read and, in so doing, somehow minimize their worth by omission. So I’m going to call this, “Some Really Good Books I Read in 2018.”

I’m not going to mention any New York Times bestsellers here. I  may love those books, but they get plenty of press already. Let’s look at some of the books I read in 2018 (in no particular order). I won’t say which were my favorites, but these are all very good. And there are a couple of WOWs! among them.



I urge everyone to read. Read anything. Read the big names, the mid-listers, and the unknowns. Read the back of a cereal box. Then post your comments, write reviews, leave ratings on Amazon and Goodreads. Enjoy books and love them for something they bring to you. Not every novel is a masterpiece. Relax and try to find something nice in a book. And if you don’t, remember that you’ll read again.

Happy holidays!

8 comments:

Brenda Chapman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda Chapman said...

Well said, Jim. I've also wondered how media outlets and others pick the 'best books' list when they could not possibly have read all the books in the category for that year. Too many good books do not get the attention they deserve.

Terry said...

What a wonderful departure from the usual Best Of. And I don't just say that because you gifted me with inclusion. I agree with Brenda, wondering how the reviewers pick the "best books."

Nancy Silverman said...

So honored to be part of this great group writers and thank you, Jim, for creating this list.

Erica Miner said...

Jim, I am so flattered to be recognized by you, a superior writer whom I respect both professionally and personally. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


I'm honored to have The Plunge in this list, Jim. Thank you!

Aggie Blogs said...


I'm honored to have The Plunge in this list, Jim. Thank you!

Alice said...

How to decide to read these particular books? Does your publisher ask you to read them? Do you know the authors personally?