The Best Fiction Books of 2018 (A Year-End List Aggregation)

“What are the Best Fiction & Literature books of 2018?” We aggregated 20 year-end lists and ranked the 286 unique titles by how many times they appeared in an attempt to answer that very question!

 

There are thousands of year-end lists released every year and like we do in our weekly Best Book articles, we wanted to see which books appear the most. The top 40 books, all of which appeared on 3 or more “Best Fiction” book lists, are ranked below with images, summaries, and links for more information or to purchase. The remaining 200+ books, as well as the top book lists are at the bottom of the page.

 

Make sure to take a look at our other Best of 2018 book lists:

You can also take a look at our Best Fiction books from last year as well as all the other Best 2017 articles!

 

Happy Scrolling!



Top 40 Fiction Books Of 2018



40 .) A Lucky Man written by Jamel Brinkley

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • The Morning News

In the nine expansive, searching stories of A Lucky Man, fathers and sons attempt to salvage relationships with friends and family members and confront mistakes made in the past. An imaginative young boy from the Bronx goes swimming with his group from day camp at a backyard pool in the suburbs, and faces the effects of power and privilege in ways he can barely grasp. A teen intent on proving himself a man through the all-night revel of J’Ouvert can’t help but look out for his impressionable younger brother. A pair of college boys on the prowl follow two girls home from a party and have to own the uncomfortable truth of their desires. And at a capoeira conference, two brothers grapple with how to tell the story of their family, caught in the dance of their painful, fractured history. Jamel Brinkley’s stories, in a debut that announces the arrival of a significant new voice, reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class―where luck may be the greatest fiction of all.



39 .) Call Me Zebra written by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Large Hearted Boy
  • The Morning News

A feisty heroine’s quest to reclaim her past through the power of literature—even as she navigates the murkier mysteries of love. Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came, her family didn’t fight; they took refuge in books. Now alone and in exile, Zebra leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago. Books are Zebra’s only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic; their time together fraught. Zebra overwhelms him with her complex literary theories, her concern with death, and her obsession with history. He thinks she’s unhinged; she thinks he’s pedantic. Neither are wrong; neither can let the other go. They push and pull their way across the Mediterranean, wondering with each turn if their love, or lust, can free Zebra from her past.



38 .) Comemadre written by Roque Larraquy

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • Publishers Weekly

La comemadre ofrece dos relatos que hunden sus raíces en la misma materia y abrevan en las mismas obsesiones. De un lado, un médico que se ve envuelto en una iniciativa científica descabellada y cruel, en un sanatorio suburbano. Por otra parte, un célebre artista plástico que lleva al extremo su búsqueda estética y se transforma, él mismo, en objeto de experimentación. Por ambos hemisferios de este libro rondan la intervención sobre el cuerpo y la búsqueda de la trascendencia. Primero, presentadas como derivación de una contrahecha esperanza positivista, a comienzos de 1900. Luego, como resultado de una apuesta artística radical, exitosa y, finalmente, banal en los inicios del siglo XXI. En el centro de esta novela, puntuada por el humor y la velocidad de su cadencia narrativa, flota la idea de lo monstruoso. Roque Larraquy lo presenta no ya de un modo ajeno o repudiable, sino como el motor de un quimérico progreso colectivo o personal, como una de las absurdas secuelas del amor.



37 .) Convenience Store Woman written by Sayaka Murata

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Readings

Keiko Furukura had always been considered a strange child, and her parents always worried how she would get on in the real world, so when she takes on a job in a convenience store while at university, they are delighted for her. For her part, in the convenience store she finds a predictable world mandated by the store manual, which dictates how the workers should act and what they should say, and she copies her coworkers’ style of dress and speech patterns so that she can play the part of a normal person. However, eighteen years later, at age 36, she is still in the same job, has never had a boyfriend, and has only few friends. She feels comfortable in her life, but is aware that she is not living up to society’s expectations and causing her family to worry about her. When a similarly alienated but cynical and bitter young man comes to work in the store, he will upset Keiko’s contented stasis—but will it be for the better? Sayaka Murata brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the familiar convenience store that is so much part of life in Japan. With some laugh-out-loud moments prompted by the disconnect between Keiko’s thoughts and those of the people around her, she provides a sharp look at Japanese society and the pressure to conform, as well as penetrating insights into the female mind. Convenience Store Woman is a fresh, charming portrait of an unforgettable heroine that recalls Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang, and Amélie.



36 .) Fruit of the Drunken Tree written by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Entropy
  • The Morning News

In the vein of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990’s Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both. The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation. When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.



35 .) Girls Burn Brighter written by Shobha Rao

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Paste
  • The Morning News

A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again. When Poornima first meets Savitha, she feels something she thought she lost for good when her mother died: hope. Poornima’s father hires Savitha to work one of their sari looms, and the two girls are quickly drawn to one another. Savitha is even more impoverished than Poornima, but she is full of passion and energy. She shows Poornima how to find beauty in a bolt of indigo cloth, a bowl of yogurt rice and bananas, the warmth of friendship. Suddenly their Indian village doesn’t feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to lock down for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend again. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India’s underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face relentless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within them. In breathtaking prose, Shobha Rao tackles the most urgent issues facing women today: domestic abuse, human trafficking, immigration, and feminism. At once a propulsive page-turner and a heart-wrenching meditation on friendship, Rao’s debut novel is a literary tour de force.



34 .) Heads of the Colored People written by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Huffington Post
  • The Morning News

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction and Kirkus Prize Finalist Calling to mind the best works of Paul Beatty and Junot Díaz, this collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes. Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids’ backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide—while others are devastatingly poignant—a new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture. Thompson-Spires fearlessly shines a light on the simmering tensions and precariousness of black citizenship. Her stories are exquisitely rendered, satirical, and captivating in turn, engaging in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. Boldly resisting categorization and easy answers, Nafissa Thompson-Spires is an original and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.



33 .) Insurrecto written by Gina Apostol

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News

Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines’ present and America’s past by the PEN Open Book Award–winning author of Gun Dealer’s Daughter. Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created “a howling wilderness” of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara’s film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher. Within the spiraling voices and narrative layers of Insurrecto are stories of women—artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters—finding their way to their own truths and histories. Using interlocking voices and a kaleidoscopic structure, the novel is startlingly innovative, meditative, and playful. Insurrecto masterfully questions and twists narrative in the manner of Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch, and Nabokov’s Pale Fire. Apostol pushes up against the limits of fiction in order to recover the atrocity in Balangiga, and in so doing, she shows us the dark heart of an untold and forgotten war that would shape the next century of Philippine and American history.



32 .) Killing Commendatore written by Haruki Murakami

Lists It Appears On:

  • The Arts Desk
  • The Morning News
  • The Week

The epic new novel from the internationally acclaimed and best-selling author of 1Q84 In Killing Commendatore, a thirty-something portrait painter in Tokyo is abandoned by his wife and finds himself holed up in the mountain home of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. When he discovers a previously unseen painting in the attic, he unintentionally opens a circle of mysterious circumstances. To close it, he must complete a journey that involves a mysterious ringing bell, a two-foot-high physical manifestation of an Idea, a dapper businessman who lives across the valley, a precocious thirteen-year-old girl, a Nazi assassination attempt during World War II in Vienna, a pit in the woods behind the artist’s home, and an underworld haunted by Double Metaphors. A tour de force of love and loneliness, war and art—as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby—Killing Commendatore is a stunning work of imagination from one of our greatest writers.



31 .) Melmoth written by Sarah Perry

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly

For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction. It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy. But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .



30 .) Motherhood written by Sheila Heti

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Entropy
  • Readings

From the author of How Should a Person Be? (“one of the most talked-about books of the year”—Time Magazine) and the New York Times Bestseller Women in Clothes comes a daring novel about whether to have children. In Motherhood, Sheila Heti asks what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother, treating the most consequential decision of early adulthood with the candor, originality, and humor that have won Heti international acclaim and made How Should A Person Be? required reading for a generation. In her late thirties, when her friends are asking when they will become mothers, the narrator of Heti’s intimate and urgent novel considers whether she will do so at all. In a narrative spanning several years, casting among the influence of her peers, partner, and her duties to her forbearers, she struggles to make a wise and moral choice. After seeking guidance from philosophy, her body, mysticism, and chance, she discovers her answer much closer to home. Motherhood is a courageous, keenly felt, and starkly original novel that will surely spark lively conversations about womanhood, parenthood, and about how—and for whom—to live.



29 .) Red Clocks written by Leni Zumas

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • The Morning News

Five women. One question. What is a woman for? In this ferociously imaginative novel, abortion is once again illegal in America, in-vitro fertilization is banned, and the Personhood Amendment grants rights of life, liberty, and property to every embryo. In a small Oregon fishing town, five very different women navigate these new barriers alongside age-old questions surrounding motherhood, identity, and freedom. Ro, a single high-school teacher, is trying to have a baby on her own, while also writing a biography of Eivør, a little-known 19th-century female polar explorer. Susan is a frustrated mother of two, trapped in a crumbling marriage. Mattie is the adopted daughter of doting parents and one of Ro’s best students, who finds herself pregnant with nowhere to turn. And Gin is the gifted, forest-dwelling homeopath, or “mender,” who brings all their fates together when she’s arrested and put on trial in a frenzied modern-day witch hunt.



28 .) Speak No Evil written by Uzodinma Iweala

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • The Morning News
  • The Week

A revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences. On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders—and the one person who seems not to judge him. When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.



27 .) The House of Broken Angels written by Luis Alberto Urrea

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times

The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story, a sprawling and deeply felt portrait of a Mexican-American family occasioned by the impending loss of its patriarch, from one of the country’s most beloved authors. Prizewinning and bestselling writer Luis Urrea has written his Mexican coming-to-America story and his masterpiece. Destined to sit alongside other classic immigrant novels, The House of Broken Angels is a sprawling and epic family saga helmed by patriarch Big Angel. The novel gathers together the entire De La Cruz clan, as they meet for the final birthday party Big Angel is throwing for himself, at home in San Diego, as he nears the end of his struggle with cancer and reflects on his long and full life. But when Big Angel’s mother, Mama America, approaching one hundred, dies herself as the party nears, he must plan her funeral as well. There will be two family affairs in one weekend: a farewell double-header. Among the attendants is his half-brother and namesake, Little Angel, who comes face to face with the siblings with whom he shared a father but not, as the weekend proceeds to remind him, a life. This story of the De La Cruzes is the story of what it means to be a Mexican in America, to have lived two lives across one border. It is a tale of the ravaging power of death to shore up the bits of life you have forgotten, whether by choice or not. Above all, this finely wrought portrait of a deeply complex family and the America they have come to call home is Urrea at his purest and best. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.



26 .) The Poppy War written by R.F. Kuang

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Entropy
  • Paste

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good. Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school. For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . . Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.



25 .) Where The Crawdads Sing written by Delia Owens

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Bustle
  • The Morning News

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.



24 .) Crudo written by Olivia Laing

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Paste
  • The New York Times
  • The Spinoff

A brilliant, funny, and emphatically raw novel of love on the brink of the apocalypse, from the acclaimed author of The Lonely City. “She had no idea what to do with love, she experienced it as invasion, as the prelude to loss and pain, she really didn’t have a clue.” Kathy is a writer. Kathy is getting married. It’s the summer of 2017 and the whole world is falling apart. Fast-paced and frantic, Crudo unfolds in real time from the full-throttle perspective of a commitment-phobic artist who may or may not be Kathy Acker. From a Tuscan hotel for the superrich to a Brexit-paralyzed United Kingdom, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties adjusting to the idea of a lifelong commitment. But it’s not only Kathy who’s changing. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up, and Trump is tweeting the world ever-closer to nuclear war. How do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all? In Crudo, her first work of fiction, Olivia Laing radically rewires the novel with a fierce, compassionate account of learning to love when the end of the world seems near.



23 .) Florida written by Lauren Groff

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Entropy
  • The Morning News
  • TIME

The New York Times-bestselling author of Fates and Furies returns, bringing the reader into a physical world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature. A family retreat can be derailed by a prowling panther, or by a sexual secret. Among those navigating this place are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple, a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable, recurring character—a steely and conflicted wife and mother. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida—its landscape, climate, history, and state of mind—becomes its gravitational center: an energy, a mood, as much as a place of residence. Groff transports the reader, then jolts us alert with a crackle of wit, a wave of sadness, a flash of cruelty, as she writes about loneliness, rage, family, and the passage of time. With shocking accuracy and effect, she pinpoints the moments and decisions and connections behind human pleasure and pain, hope and despair, love and fury—the moments that make us alive. Startling, precise, and affecting, Florida is a magnificent achievement.



22 .) French Exit written by Patrick DeWitt

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • CBC
  • Entropy
  • The Morning News

From bestselling author Patrick deWitt, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration Frances Price – tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature – is in dire straits, beset by scandal and impending bankruptcy. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, mired in a permanent state of arrested development. And then there’s the Prices’ aging cat, Small Frank, who Frances believes houses the spirit of her late husband, an infamously immoral litigator and world-class cad whose gruesome tabloid death rendered Frances and Malcolm social outcasts. Putting penury and pariahdom behind them, the family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. One ocean voyage later, the curious trio land in their beloved Paris, the City of Light serving as a backdrop not for love or romance, but self destruction and economical ruin – to riotous effect. A number of singular characters serve to round out the cast: a bashful private investigator, an aimless psychic proposing a seance, a doctor who makes house calls with his wine merchant in tow, and the inimitable Mme. Reynard, aggressive houseguest and dementedly friendly American expat. Brimming with pathos and wit, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind ‘tragedy of manners,’ a riotous send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute



21 .) Milkman written by Anna Burns

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • The Morning News
  • The Spinoff
  • The Week

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.



20 .) The Golden State written by Lydia Kiesling

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Entropy
  • Large Hearted Boy
  • The Morning News

In Lydia Kiesling’s razor-sharp debut novel, The Golden State, we accompany Daphne, a young mother on the edge of a breakdown, as she flees her sensible but strained life in San Francisco for the high desert of Altavista with her toddler, Honey. Bucking under the weight of being a single parent―her Turkish husband is unable to return to the United States because of a “processing error”―Daphne takes refuge in a mobile home left to her by her grandparents in hopes that the quiet will bring clarity. But clarity proves elusive. Over the next ten days Daphne is anxious, she behaves a little erratically, she drinks too much. She wanders the town looking for anyone and anything to punctuate the long hours alone with the baby. Among others, she meets Cindy, a neighbor who is active in a secessionist movement, and befriends the elderly Alice, who has traveled to Altavista as she approaches the end of her life. When her relationships with these women culminate in a dangerous standoff, Daphne must reconcile her inner narrative with the reality of a deeply divided world. Keenly observed, bristling with humor, and set against the beauty of a little-known part of California, The Golden State is about class and cultural breakdowns, and desperate attempts to bridge old and new worlds. But more than anything, it is about motherhood: its voracious worry, frequent tedium, and enthralling, wondrous love.



19 .) The Largesse of the Sea Maiden written by Denis Johnson

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Entropy
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The New York Times

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. It follows the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed Jesus’ Son. Written in the same luminous prose, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating old age, mortality, the ghosts of the past, and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves. Finished shortly before Johnson’s death in May 2017, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.



18 .) The Mars Room written by Rachel Kushner

Lists It Appears On:

  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.



17 .) The Third Hotel written by Laura Van Den Berg

Lists It Appears On:

  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • Large Hearted Boy
  • The Morning News

In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death―and the truth about their marriage―in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery. Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way. Filled with subtle but striking meditations on grief, marriage, art, misogyny, and the loneliness of travel, The Third Hotel is a singular, propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers.



16 .) Freshwater written by Akwaeke Emezi

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Large Hearted Boy
  • The New York Times

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities. Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves–now protective, now hedonistic–move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. Narrated by the various selves within Ada and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.



15 .) Friday Black written by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The New York Times

In the stories of Adjei-Brenyah’s debut, an amusement park lets players enter augmented reality to hunt terrorists or shoot intruders played by minority actors, a school shooting results in both the victim and gunman stuck in a shared purgatory, and an author sells his soul to a many-tongued god. Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage, and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world.



14 .) Kudos written by Rachel Cusk

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times

Rachel Cusk, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Outline and Transit, completes the transcendent literary trilogy with Kudos, a novel of unsettling power. A woman writer visits a Europe in flux, where questions of personal and political identity are rising to the surface and the trauma of change is opening up new possibilities of loss and renewal. Within the rituals of literary culture, Faye finds the human story in disarray amid differing attitudes toward the public performance of the creative persona. She begins to identify among the people she meets a tension between truth and representation, a fissure that accrues great dramatic force as Kudos reaches a profound and beautiful climax. In this conclusion to her groundbreaking trilogy, Cusk unflinchingly explores the nature of family and art, justice and love, and the ultimate value of suffering. She is without question one of our most important living writers.



13 .) The Friend written by Sigrid Nunez

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Paste
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times

A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog’s care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.



12 .) The Pisces written by Melissa Broder

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • The Morning News

An original, imaginative, and hilarious debut novel about love, anxiety, and sea creatures, from the author of So Sad Today. Lucy has been writing her dissertation about Sappho for thirteen years when she and Jamie break up. After she hits rock bottom in Phoenix, her Los Angeles-based sister insists Lucy housesit for the summer—her only tasks caring for a beloved diabetic dog and trying to learn to care for herself. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube atop Venice Beach, but Lucy can find no peace from her misery and anxiety—not in her love addiction group therapy meetings, not in frequent Tinder meetups, not in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection, not in ruminating on the ancient Greeks. Yet everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer one night while sitting alone on the beach rocks. Whip-smart, neurotically funny, sexy, and above all, fearless, The Pisces is built on a premise both sirenic and incredibly real—what happens when you think love will save you but are afraid it might also kill you.



11 .) An American Marriage written by Tayari Jones

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America, Jones achieves that most-elusive of all literary goals: the Great American Novel. Named an Oprah’s Book Club Selection.



10 .) The Great Believers written by Rebecca Makkai

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times

A dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris, by the acclaimed and award-winning author Rebecca Makkai. In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister. Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.



9 .) The Incendiaries written by R.O. Kwon

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Large Hearted Boy
  • Paste
  • The Morning News

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea. Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn’t tell anyone she blames herself for her mother’s recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group—a secretive extremist cult—founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe’s Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he’s tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act. The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most. who lose what they love most.



8 .) The Overstory written by Richard Powers

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These four, and five other strangers—each summoned in different ways by trees—are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe. The Overstory is a book for all readers who despair of humanity’s self-imposed separation from the rest of creation and who hope for the transformative, regenerating possibility of a homecoming. If the trees of this earth could speak, what would they tell us? “Listen. There’s something you need to hear.”



7 .) Asymmetry written by Lisa Halliday

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • Huffington Post
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • The Spinoff
  • TIME

A singularly inventive and unforgettable debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from 2017 Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.



6 .) Severance written by Ling Ma

Lists It Appears On:

  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Huffington Post
  • Large Hearted Boy
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • Turnaround

An offbeat office novel turns apocalyptic satire as a young woman transforms from orphan to worker bee to survivor Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend. So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies halt operations. The subways squeak to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers? A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.



5 .) Warlight written by Michael Ondaatje

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • CBC
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • The Week

In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself – at once both shadowed and luminous – Warlight is a vivid, thrilling novel of violence and love, intrigue and desire. It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz and years of war. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand in that time, and it is this journey – through reality, recollection, and imagination – that is told in this magnificent novel.



4 .) Washington Black written by Esi Edugyan

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Bustle
  • CBC
  • Indigo
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

Washington Black is an eleven-year-old field slave who knows no other life than the Barbados sugar plantation where he was born. When his master’s eccentric brother chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified of the cruelties he is certain await him. But Christopher Wilde, or “Titch,” is a naturalist, explorer, scientist, inventor, and abolitionist. He initiates Wash into a world where a flying machine can carry a man across the sky; where two people, separated by an impossible divide, might begin to see each other as human; and where a boy born in chains can embrace a life of dignity and meaning. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, Titch abandons everything to save him. What follows is their flight along the eastern coast of America, and, finally, to a remote outpost in the Arctic, where Wash, left on his own, must invent another new life, one which will propel him further across the globe. From the sultry cane fields of the Caribbean to the frozen Far North, Washington Black tells a story of friendship and betrayal, love and redemption, of a world destroyed and made whole again–and asks the question, what is true freedom?



3 .) Circe written by Madeline Miller

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Indigo
  • Paste
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • TIME

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.



2 .) There There written by Tommy Orange

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • Publishers Weekly
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • TIME

Fierce, angry, funny, heartbreaking—Tommy Orange’s first novel is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen, and it introduces a brilliant new author at the start of a major career. There There is a relentlessly paced multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss. Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with stunning urgency and force. Tommy Orange writes of the urban Native American, the Native American in the city, in a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. An unforgettable debut, destined to become required reading in schools and universities across the country.



1 .) My Year Of Rest And Relaxation written by Ottessa Moshfegh

Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Bustle
  • BuzzFeed
  • Entropy
  • Huffington Post
  • Readings
  • The Morning News
  • The New York Times
  • The Spinoff
  • TIME

A shocking, hilarious and strangely tender novel about a young woman’s experiment in narcotic hibernation, aided and abetted by one of the worst psychiatrists in the annals of literature. Our narrator has many of the advantages of life, on the surface. Young, thin, pretty, a recent Columbia graduate, she lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like everything else, by her inheritance. But there is a vacuum at the heart of things, and it isn’t just the loss of her parents in college, or the way her Wall Street boyfriend treats her, or her sadomasochistic relationship with her alleged best friend. It’s the year 2000 in a city aglitter with wealth and possibility; what could be so terribly wrong? This story of a year spent under the influence of a truly mad combination of drugs, designed to heal us from our alienation from this world, shows us how reasonable, even necessary, that alienation sometimes is. Blackly funny, both merciless and compassionate – dangling its legs over the ledge of 9/11 – this novel is a showcase for the gifts of one of America’s major young writers working at the height of her powers.




The 200+ Additional Best Literature Books Of 2018



# Books Authors Lists
41 A River of Stars Vanessa Hua Entropy
The Morning News
42 Census Jesse Ball
Publishers Weekly
The Morning News
43 Cherry Nico Walker
The Morning News
The New York Times
44 Confessions of the Fox Jordy Rosenberg BuzzFeed
Huffington Post
45 Flights Olga Tokarczuk
Publishers Weekly
The Morning News
46 Gun Love Jennifer Clement
Large Hearted Boy
TIME
47 In This Skull Hotel Where I Never Sleep edited Rob Doyle Turnaround
Turnaround
48 Jonny Appleseed Joshua Whitehead CBC
Turnaround
49 Lake Success Gary Shteyngart
The Morning News
The New York Times
50 Less Andrew Sean Greer Readings
The Spinoff
51 Love is Blind William Boyd Readings
The Week
52 My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite BuzzFeed
The Morning News
53 Normal People Sally Rooney Readings
The Spinoff
54 Sabrina Nick Drnaso
The Morning News
The New York Times
55 Self-Portrait With Boy Rachel Lyon Entropy
The Morning News
56 She Would Be King Wayétu Moore BuzzFeed
Publishers Weekly
57 Slave Old Man Patrick Chamoiseau, trans. from the French and Creole by Linda Coverdale
Publishers Weekly
The New York Times
58 Spinning Silver Naomi Novik Bustle
The New York Times
59 The Cage Lloyd Jones The Spinoff
Turnaround
60 The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish Katya Apekina BuzzFeed
Entropy
61 The Female Persuasion Meg Wolitzer
The New York Times
The Week
62 The Immortalists Chloe Benjamin Amazon
The Morning News
63 The Italian Teacher Tom Rachman CBC
The Morning News
64 The Neighbourhood Mario Vargas Llosa
The New York Times
The Week
65 The Only Story Julian Barnes The Spinoff
The Week
66 The Parking Lot Attendant Nafkote Tamirat
The Morning News
The New York Times
67 The Perfect Nanny Leïla Slimani
The Morning News
The New York Times
68 The Shape of the Ruins Juan Gabriel Vásquez, trans. from the Spanish by Anne McLean
Publishers Weekly
The Arts Desk
69 The Shepherd’s Hut Tim Winton Readings
The Morning News
70 The Sparsholt Affair Alan Hollinghurst
Publishers Weekly
The New York Times
71
The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel
Amazon
Indigo
72 The Witch Elm Tana French
The Morning News
The New York Times
73 Those Who Knew Idra Novey Bustle
Large Hearted Boy
74 Transcription Kate Atkinson
The Morning News
The Spinoff
75 Unsheltered Barbara Kingsolver
Publishers Weekly
The Morning News
76 Women Talking Miriam Toews CBC
Indigo
77 21 lessons for the 21st century Yuval Noah Harari The Week
78 A Gentleman in Moscow Amor Towles The Spinoff
79 A long way from Home Peter Carey The Week
80 A Place For Us Fatima Farheen Mirza BuzzFeed
81 A Princess in Theory ALYSSA COLE
The New York Times
82 A State of Freedom NEEL MUKHERJEE
The New York Times
83 A Terrible Country Keith Gessen
The Morning News
84 A View of the Empire at Sunset CARYL PHILLIPS
The New York Times
85 A Winter’s Promise Christelle Dabos Turnaround
86
Above: Esther Kinsky by Matthes & Seitz Berlin
The Arts Desk
87
Above: Leila Slimani by Thibaut Chapotot/ Ministère de Culture et de la Communication
The Arts Desk
88 Above: Ma Jian by Flora Drew The Arts Desk
89 After the Winter Guadalupe Nettel Entropy
90 Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America Gregory Pardlo The Week
91 Alice Isn’t Dead Joseph Fink
The Morning News
92 All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother Danielle Teller Paste
93 All This By Chance Vincent O’Sullivan The Spinoff
94 All We Ever Wanted Indigo
95 America Is Not the Heart Elaine Castillo
The Morning News
96 American Hippo: River of Teeth, Taste of Marrow, and New Stories Sarah Gailey Entropy
97 An Absolutely Remarkable Thing Hank Green Paste
98 An Ocean of Minutes Thea Lim CBC
99 Becoming Michelle Obama The Week
100 Beirut Hellfire Society Rawi Hage CBC
101 Belly Up Rita Bullwinkel BuzzFeed
102 Blue Self-Portrait Noémi Lefebvre
The Morning News
103 Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton Readings
104 Brave Rose McGowen The Week
105 Breach W. L. Goodwater Turnaround
106 Break.up: A Novel in Essays Joanna Walsh Entropy
107 Brother in Ice The Arts Desk
108 Bury What We Cannot Take Kirstin Chen Entropy
109 Cedar Valley Holly Throsby Readings
110 China Dream The Arts Desk
111 City of Saints & Thieves Booklist
112 Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Booklist
113 CoDex 1962 The Arts Desk
114 Cooking in Iran: Regional Recipes & Cooking Secrets Najmieh Batmanglij
Publishers Weekly 2
115 Cræft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts Alexander Langlands
Publishers Weekly 2
116 Crossing Ebenezer Creek Booklist
117 Ctrl Alt Delete: How Politics and Media Crashed Our Democracy Tom Baldwin The Week
118 Dear Martin Booklist
119 Destroy All Monsters Jeff Jackson
Large Hearted Boy
120 Disoriental Negar Djavadi Turnaround
121 Don’t Skip Out on Me Willy Vlautin
The Morning News
122
Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead
The Arts Desk
123 E.E.G. The Arts Desk
124 Early Work ANDREW MARTIN.
The New York Times
125 Educated Tara Westover The Week
126 Elevation Amazon
127 Empty Set Verónica Gerber Bicecci Entropy
128 Eternal Life DARA HORN
The New York Times
129 Everything Under DAISY JOHNSON.
The New York Times
130 Feel Free Zadie Smith The Week
131 Fire Sermon Jamie Quatro
The Morning News
132 Forest of a Thousand Lanterns Booklist
133 Fox Dubravka Ugrešić, trans. from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać and David Williams
Publishers Weekly
134 Frankenstein in Baghdad The Arts Desk
135 From a Low and Quiet Sea Donal Ryan
The Morning News
136 Gabriel’s Bay Catherine Robertson The Spinoff
137 Give Me Your Hand Megan Abbott Bustle
138 Gnomon Nick Harkaway
The Morning News
139 Go Kazuki Kaneshiro
The Morning News
140 Go, Went, Gone JENNY ERPENBECK. Translated by Susan
The New York Times
141 H & G Anna Maria Hong Entropy
142 Heartbreaker Claudia Dey CBC
143 Horse Crazy Gary Indiana Turnaround
144 How Democracy Ends David Runciman The Week
145 How Long Til Black Future Month? N.K. Jemisin Bustle
146 How to be famous Caitlin Moran The Week
147 How to Be Safe Tom McAllister
The Morning News
148 Hype: A Doctor’s Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims and Bad Advice—How to Tell What’s Real and What’s Not Nina Shapiro, with Kristin Loberg
Publishers Weekly 2
149 Identity Francis Fukuyama The Week
150 If You Leave Me Crystal Hana Kim Entropy
151 Immigrant, Montana AMITAVA KUMAR
The New York Times
152 Improvement JOAN SILBER
The New York Times
153 In Every Moment We Still Are Alive TOM MALMQUIST. Translated by
The New York Times
154 In the City of Love’s Sleep Lavinia Greenlaw The Spinoff
155 Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
Publishers Weekly 2
156 Last Stories WILLIAM TREVOR
The New York Times
157 Laura & Emma Kate Greathead
The Morning News
158 Liminal Jordan Tannahill CBC
159 Lion Cross Point Masatsugu Ono Entropy
160 Little Fires Everywhere Celeste Ng
Large Hearted Boy
161 Little Fish Casey Plett Turnaround
162 Little Reunions Eileen Chang Entropy
163 Lost Empress Sergio De La Pava
Large Hearted Boy
164 Lullaby The Arts Desk
165 Macbeth JO NESBØ. Translated by
The New York Times
166 Mazarine Charlotte Grimshaw The Spinoff
167 Mecha Samurai Empire Peter Tieryas Entropy
168 Mem Bethany C. Morrow BuzzFeed
169 Mirror, Shoulder, Signal DORTHE NORS
The New York Times
170 Monster Portraits Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar Entropy
171 Moon of the Crusted Snow Waubgeshig Rice CBC
172 My Pet Serial Killer Michael Seidlinger Entropy
173 My Struggle: Book 6 KARL OVE KNAUSGAARD.
The New York Times
174 Not Heaven, Somewhere Else Rebecca Brown Entropy
175 Ohio Stephen Markley
The Morning News
176 OK, Mr. Field Katharine Kilalea
Publishers Weekly
177 On Hell Johanna Hedva Entropy
178 Once Upon a River: A Novel Amazon
179 Only to Sleep: A Philip Marlowe Novel LAWRENCE OSBORNE
The New York Times
180 Open Me Lisa Locascio Entropy
181 Our Homesick Songs Emma Hooper CBC
182 Past Tense Lee Child The Spinoff
183 Pretend We Live Here Genevieve Hudson Entropy
184 Property LIONEL SHRIVER.
The New York Times
185 Pure Hollywood: And Other Stories CHRISTINE SCHUTT
The New York Times
186 Rebel Seoul Booklist
187 Resistance The Arts Desk
188 River The Arts Desk
189 Room to Dream David Lynch and Kristine McKenna The Week
190 Sacred Smokes Theodore C. Van Alst Entropy
191 Sadness Is a White Bird Moriel Rothman-Zecher
The Morning News
192 Saints and Misfits Booklist
193 Scribe Alyson Hagy Entropy
194 Sea Prayer Indigo
195 Small Country Gaël Faye
The Morning News
196 So Lucky Nicola Griffith
The Morning News
197 Sodom Road Exit Amber Dawn Turnaround
198 Some Trick Helen DeWitt
The Morning News
199 Something for Everyone Lisa Moore CBC
200 Songs for the Cold of Heart Eric Dupont CBC
201 Soul: A Chef’s Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes Todd Richards
Publishers Weekly 2
202 Southernmost Silas House Paste
203 Split Tooth Tanya Tagaq CBC
204 Starlight Richard Wagamese CBC
205 Strawberry Fields Hilary Plum Entropy
206 Stray City Chelsey Johnson
The Morning News
207 Such a Lonely, Lovely Road Kagiso Lesego Molope CBC
208 Sugar Land tammy lynne stoner
The Morning News
209 Suicide Club: A Novel About Living Rachel Heng Entropy
210 Sunburn Laura Lippman
The Morning News
211 T Singer The Arts Desk
212 That Kind of Mother Rumaan Alam
The Morning News
213 That Time I Loved You Carrianne Leung CBC
214 The Authentics Booklist
215 The Blurry Years Eleanor Kriseman Entropy
216 The Boat People Sharon Bala CBC
217 The Book of Chocolate Saints Jeet Thayil The Spinoff
218 The Book of M Peng Shepherd
The Morning News
219 The Calculating Stars Mary Robinette Kowal Paste
220 The Caregiver Samuel Park
The Morning News
221
The Clockmaker’s Daughter: A Novel
Indigo
222 The Collected Stories of Diane Williams Diane Williams Entropy
223 The Day the Sun Died Yan Lianke, trans. from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas
Publishers Weekly
224 The Desert and Its Seed Jorge Barón Biza
The Morning News
225 The Devils’ Dance The Arts Desk
226 The Dictionary of Animal Languages Heidi Sopinka
The Morning News
227 The Dirty Text Soleida Ríos Entropy
228 The Emissary Yoko Tawada Entropy
229 The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint Entropy
230 The Experimentalist Nick Salaman Turnaround
231 The Extinction of Menai Chuma Nwokolo
Publishers Weekly
232 The Favourite Sister Jessica Knoll The Week
233 The Frolic of the Beasts Yukio Mishima, trans. from the Japanese by Andrew Clare
Publishers Weekly
234 The Fruits of my Labour Karl Ove Knausgaard The Week
235 The Governesses Anne Serre, trans. from the French by Mark Hutchinson
Publishers Weekly
236 The Great Alone: A Novel Amazon
237
The Home For Unwanted Girls: The…
Indigo
238 The Houseguest Amparo Dávila Entropy
239 The Immigrant’s Refrigerator Elena Georgiou Entropy
240 The Kiss Quotient Helen Hoang Bustle
241 The Kites ROMAIN GARY. Translated by Miranda
The New York Times
242 The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore Kim Fu CBC
243 The Lucky Ones Get to Be People Rachel Haley Himmelheber Entropy
244 The Maze at Windermere Gregory Blake Smith
The Morning News
245 The Melody Jim Crace The Week
246 The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Morning News
247 The Monk of Mokha Dave Eggers The Week
248 The Naked Woman Armonía Somers Entropy
249 The Odyssey HOMER. Translated by
The New York Times
250 The Organized Child: An Effective Program to Maximize Your Kid’s Potential—in School and in Life Richard Gallagher, Elana G. Spira, and Jennifer L. Rosenblatt
Publishers Weekly 2
251 The Outsider Stephen King The Spinoff
252
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories
The Arts Desk
253 The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo Entropy
254 The President is Missing Bill Clinton and James Patterson The Week
255 The Proposal Jasmine Guillory Bustle
256 The Reckoning John Grisham The Spinoff
257 The Red Word Sarah Henstra CBC
258 The Saturday Night Ghost Club Craig Davidson CBC
259 The Serpent’s Secret Booklist
260 The Shakespeare Requirement Julie Schumacher
The Morning News
261 The Stone Tide Gareth E. Rees Turnaround
262 The Taiga Syndrome Cristina Rivera Garza Entropy
263 The Waterfront Journals David Wojnarowicz Turnaround
264 The Wildlands Abby Geni BuzzFeed
265
The Woman In The Window: A Novel
Indigo
266 Then She Was Gone: A Novel Indigo
267 Theory Dionne Brand CBC
268 This Mortal Boy Fiona Kidman The Spinoff
269 Tin Man Sarah Winman Bustle
270 Too Much Lip Melissa Lucashenko Readings
271 Trick Domenico Starnone Turnaround
272 Under The Sea Mark Leidner The Spinoff
273 Unnatural Habitats & Other Stories Angela Mitchell Entropy
274 Vengeful V.E. Schwab Bustle
275 Vi Kim Thúy CBC
276 Virgil Wander Amazon
277 Waiting for Eden Elliot Ackerman
The Morning News
278 What Was Lost Jean Levy Turnaround
279 What We Were Promised Lucy Tan Entropy
280 Whiskey & Ribbons Leesa Cross-Smith Entropy
281 White Dancing Elephants Chaya Bhuvaneswar Entropy
282 Wild Milk Sabrina Orah Mark Entropy
283 Winter Ali Smith
The Morning News
284 You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories Amazon
285 Your Duck Is My Duck: Stories DEBORAH EISENBERG
The New York Times
286 Zolitude Paige Cooper CBC


20 Best Fiction Books Of 2018 Sources/Lists



Source Article
Amazon Best literature and fiction of 2018
Booklist Top 10 Diverse Fiction 2018
Bustle The 30 Best Fiction Books Of 2018
BuzzFeed This Is The Best Fiction Of 2018
CBC The best Canadian fiction of 2018
Entropy Best of 2018: Best Fiction Books
Huffington Post The Best Fiction Of 2018
Indigo Top 10 Best Fiction of 2018
Large Hearted Boy Favorite Novels 2018
Paste The 12 Best Novels of 2018
Publishers Weekly Best Books 2018 Fiction
Publishers Weekly 2 Publishers Weekly Best Fiction Books 2018
Readings Best Fiction Books Of 2018
The Arts Desk Global fiction: the pick of 2018
The Morning News The 2019 Tournament of Books Long List
The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2018
The Spinoff Hear ye, hear ye: these are the 20 best novels of 2018
The Week 25 best book buys for Christmas 2018
TIME The 10 Best Fiction Books of 2018
Turnaround The Turnarounds Best Books 2018
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