By Amy Adams | Jan. 14, 2019

One of my favorite parts of the end of the year and the start of a new one is all the “best of” lists that are published. Everyone seems to have an opinion. You can find lists on the year’s best movies, best songs, best TV shows, the most viral videos and the most popular baby names. But, of course, the best of the “best of” lists are the book lists.

The reason I love all these book lists is because they are a great source of reading inspiration. There are so many books to read and, unless it is part of a series I’m already into, I usually don’t pick up books the year they are published. Instead, I use The New York Times, Goodreads, the NPR Book Concierge and Bookriot to populate my TBR (To Be Read) list.

Here are 10 (because this post can’t go on forever) books that I’ve added to my TBR list from “best of 2018” lists.

  1. “How Long ‘Til Black Future Month?” by N.K. Jemisin. I found this on the NPR Book Concierge and love this fantasy author. I’m actually reading this collection of short stories now. You can still place a hold, though.
  2. “Circe” by Madeline Miller. This made a lot of lists and was recommended by one of my coworkers. I’m not sure about the whole retelling a myth aspect, but I’ll give it a try.
  3. “Florida” by Lauren Groff. The New Yorker recommends this one, and it made Obama’s list too. It sounds quirky and experimental, and I could use a little of that in my life.
  4. “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou. I heard a discussion of this book on a podcast (don’t ask me which one) and, though this isn’t something I would normally pick up, it sounded fascinating when described by the reviewer. It was a pick on Bookriot and NPR.
  5. “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. I’m a sucker for libraries. This inspirational book was picked by NPR and the Washington Post.
  6. “Transcription” by Kate Atkinson. I really enjoyed Atkinson’s experimental “Life After Life” and am excited to read something else by her. Good thing I found this on the NPR Book Concierge.
  7. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. We’ve probably heard of this one. So have several “best of” lists.
  8. “My Sister the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite. For the NPR Book Concierge, Barrie Hardymon describes this one as “a sharp, slim, pulpy little thriller with gory details and a pace that will leave you with enough time to drive it over to a friend’s house to lend for the evening.”
  9. “Heartland” by Sarah Smarsh. Though I feel like there have been several books on the subject of what is misunderstood about the white working class, I’m drawn to this one simply because Smarsh is writing about Kansas. It’s made several lists, including NPR, Buzzfeed and Publishers Weekly.
  10. “Tess of the Road” by Rachel Hartman. I pulled this one from the NPR Book Concierge (seriously, go check that out) mainly because of its cover. But, I also love a good fantasy story with an interesting female lead.

“Best of” lists are only one way to find new books to read. You can also subscribe to the library’s Wowbrary emails, which keep you up to date on what’s new. Friends are also a great source of inspiration, so tell us what’s on your TBR list.