KCLS Staff Select Best Books of 2018

As the holiday travel season approaches, you may be looking for a good book to read on the seemingly endless drive to the in-law’s house or perhaps an audiobook to listen to while lying on some far-away beach.

Whatever your travel plans are, the ravenous readers that make up the King County Library System have compiled their Best Books list. This annual list includes KCLS’ top 25 titles — each under four categories: adult fiction, adult nonfiction, teens and children’s — from the past 365 days.

“Our lists are unique because they reflect the interests of our staff and communities,” said Emily Calkins, KCLS Readers’ Services Program Coordinator who tabulates the staff votes. “Local writers appear on all four lists, and there’s a range of genres and topics represented.”

So, make a list of your own and start placing those holds. All books listed are available to check out from your local KCLS library or online. Each book is available in various formats, including print, audio, digital audio, and eBook.

Each of the following lists are listed in order of author’s last name:

Best Adult Fiction Books 2018:
That Kind of Mother, Rumaan Alam
The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin
Washington Black, Esi Edugyan
Lawn Boy, Jonathan Evison
The Woman In the Window, A.J. Finn
The Witch Elm, Tana French
The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory
The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah
The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks
The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang
The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz
An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
An Ocean of Minutes, Thea Lim
Monstress, vol. 3, Marjorie M. Liu
Circe, Madeline Miller
There There, Tommy Orange
Unsheltered, Barbara Kingsolver
Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik
The Merry Spinster, Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens
Girls Burn Brighter, Shobha Rao
Head On, John Scalzi
You Think It, I’ll Say It, Curtis Sittenfeld
Heads of Colored People, Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Red Clocks, Leni Zumas

Best Adult Nonfiction Books 2018:
Fascism, Madeleine Albright
Things That Make White People Uncomfortable, Michael Bennett
The Line Becomes a River, Francisco Cantú
Eloquent Rage, Brittney Cooper
White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo
The Monk of Mokha, Dave Eggers
Natural Causes, Barbara Ehrenreich
Buzz, Thor Hanson
Barracoon, Zora Neale Hurston
The Feather Thief, Kirk Johnson
Dopesick, Beath Macy
Heart Berries, Terese Marie Maihot
I’ll Be Gone In the Dark, Michelle McNamara
A False Report, T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
I Am, I Am, I Am, Maggie O’Farrell
So You Want To Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo
The Library Book, Susan Orlean
How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan
Calypso, David Sedaris
How to Taste, Becky Selengut
Call Them By Their True Names, Rebecca Solnit
Factfulness, Hans Rosling
Educated, Tara Westover
She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, Carl Zimmer
Not That Bad, ed. Roxane Gay

Best Teen Books 2018:
The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeymei
The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
Leah on the Offbeat, Becky Albertalli
Rebound, Kwame Alexander
Speak: the Graphic Novel, Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, Penelope Bagieu
Cruel Prince, Holly Black
A Heart in a Body in the World, Deb Caletti
American Panda, Gloria Chao
Illegal, Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano
Votes for Women, Winifred Conkling
The Truth as Told By Mason Buttle, Leslie Conner
My Family Divided, Diane Guerrero
Dread Nation, Justina Ireland
Darius the Great is Not Okay, Adib Khorran
Hey, Kiddo, Jarrett Krosoczka
All Summer Long, Hope Larson
The Astonishing Color of After, Emily X.R. Pan
Ghost Boys, Jewell Parker Rhodes
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card, Sara Saedi
Thunderhead, Neal Shusterman
Sadie, Courtney Summers
Check, Please!, Ngozi Ukazu
The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang

Best Children’s Books 2018:
Vincent Comes Home, Jessixa and Aaron Bagley
Hedgehog Needs a Hug, Jen Betton
Be Prepared, Vera Brosgol
The Wild Robot Escapes, Peter Brown
Aru Shah and the End of Time, Roshani Chokshi
The Journey of Little Charlie, Christopher Paul Curtis
Love, Matt de la Pena and Loren Long
I Really Want To See You, Grandma, Taro Gomi
I Walk With Vanessa, Kerascoet
Drawn Together, Minh Le and Dan Santat
Fur, Feather, Fin: All of Us Are Kin, Diane Lang and Steph Laberis
A Big Mooncake for Little Star, Lin Grace
Julian Is A Mermaid, Jessica Love
I Just Ate My Friend, Heidi McKinnon
Alma and How She Got Her Name, Juana Martinez-Neal
Bob, Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
Dreamers, Yuyi Morales
A Gift from Abuela, Cecilia Ruiz
Amal Unbound, Aisha Saeed
The Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell
Baby Monkey, Private Eye, Brian Selznick and David Serlin
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies, Joyce Sidman
Harbor Me, Jacqueline Woodson
Front Desk, Kelly Yang
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, various authors

is the managing editor of 425 magazine. Email her.
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