Best Picks 2018


As a big reader of fiction I am always surprised that when I come to do this annual summary of the year’s best reads that the most memorable titles are always non-fiction.  I am pleased to present my best picks for 2018. Enjoy!

1. Kassabova, Kapka (2017) Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe. Breathtaking lyrical memoir and travelogue of the shadowy and fractured border region where Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey merge. January 2018 Picks.

2. Goodell, Jeff (2017) The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. Powerful portrait of a new reality and the emotional and economical impact of sea level rise on low-lying cities and islands across the globe. January 2018 Picks.

3. Westover, Tara (2018) Educated. A remarkable coming-of-age memoir where education becomes the catalyst for independence in Westover’s struggle for survival against the demands a fundamentalist family. July 2018 Picks.

4. Mawer, Simon (2018) Prague Spring. Chilling fictional rendering of the summer of 1968 when Alexander Dubcek’s “socialism with a human face” is being proclaimed and the Red Army is massing on the border. September 2018 Picks.

5. Harris, Kate (2018) Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road. Intrepid, revelatory and thrilling modern odyssey by bicycle along the Silk Road, in the steps of Marc Polo, infused with science, literature, history and the stories of borders. December 2018 Picks.

6. Albright, Madeleine (2018) Fascism: A Warning. A chilling reminder of the fragility of liberal democracy in its clash with fascism and authoritarianism.  July 2018 Picks.

7. Harper, Jane (2018) The Lost Man. Character and landscape again compete in this mighty thriller come family drama the Australian outback. November 2018 Picks.

8. Tyler, Anne (2018) Clock Dance. Delicious journey of self-discovery proving that in latter life Willa can find happiness in unexpected places.  August 2018 Picks.

9. Harari, Yuval Noah (2018) 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Fascinating themed essays on how to confront our fears and prepare for a very different future. October 2018 Picks.

10. Fraser, Caroline (2017) Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Meticulously draws on unpublished resources and historical records to fill in the gaps in Wilder’s biography to uncover her grown-up story. January 2018 Picks.

Highly recommended:

Henderson, Susan (2018) The Flicker of Old Dreams. In this moving tale of loss, grief and redemption, set in a crumbling small Great Plains grain town, we meet Mary who is leading a quiet introspective life until it is upended with the return of the town’s outcast, Robert. April 2018 Picks.

Galbraith, Robert (2018) Lethal White. JK Rowling’s storytelling at its best as we continue the crime-solving adventures of Cormoran Strike, and his intrepid partner Robin Ellacott. October 2018 Picks.

Shriver, Lionel (2017) The Standing Chandelier. Pitiless tale on the nature of friendship, possession and the conditions of love when an interloper breaks an intimate bond. February 2018 Picks.

Ng, Celeste (2017) Little Fires Everywhere. Well-crafted tale of how an itinerant mother and daughter can threatens a family’s idyllic and orderly existence and the utopian promise of Shaker Heights, Ohio. May-June 2018 Picks.

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