I read 78 books in 2018, more than I’ve ever read before. Some books I loved, some I hated, and some were fine but forgettable. Today, I’m sharing the ones that have stuck with me. They may not be the best books of all time or ones that will win any literary awards, but here are ones I can’t stop thinking about and hope to reread one day.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies
This list is in no particular order, but this book absolutely gets the top spot. This book has everything: it’s the saga of one man’s life growing up in Ireland, picking up with him every 7 years to see what he’s up to. It shows how Ireland’s cultural attitudes changed over time and how Cyril adapts to them. It stuck with me because it’s gutting and heartwrenching, but so, so good.. It made me happy and it made me cry. It’s one of those books that only comes around once in a while.
This book stuck with me because it’s like Friday Night Lights, but set in Sweden instead of Texas, and with hockey instead of football. It’s the story of how one small town’s obsession with its youth hockey team is a positive force for so many, but ultimately destructive in other ways. It’s about family and growing up and becoming an adult. The emotion in this book is unparalleled. I loved it.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
This book about the Golden State Killer was published after the author’s death, and shortly after that, the killer was captured. This book stuck with me because it’s like a cross between a novel and a textbook: the depictions of the killer breaking into houses are so vivid from people’s memories that it was easy at times to forget these things actually happened. It’s the first true crime book I’ve read in a long time that I wasn’t able to stop thinking about.
The Great Alone
I have recommended this book to everyone I know. Kristin Hannah is incredible. This book is about a teenage girl that moves to Alaska on the whim of her father, a Vietnam vet who struggles with PTSD. Everything is fine at first, but then it gets closer to winter, and trouble strikes. This book stuck with me because evokes such specific feelings. I felt the cold of Alaska, I felt the stress of being in that situation, and I felt stressed right along with the characters.
This book, a story of four siblings who visit a fortune teller to find out the date of their deaths, ripped me apart. It stuck with me because the siblings all approached their lives differently after the meeting, some in healthy ways and others in healthy ways. It made me wonder if I would want to know the date of my death if I had the opportunity. I feel like I wouldn’t, but I can see how knowing would make me concentrate on what I really cared about. It’s helpful to remember that any day COULD be the last day, and I should be living in a positive way as if it is.