That’s it, you guys. 2018 will be over in a few hours. It was a full year for the Badgers. We loved novels that at the beginning didn’t think will be able to finish and hated titles that are best sellers. In this article, I will make a recap of the best books we’ve read this year (I tried to stop at 10, but I couldn’t). This is not a top, because we are three very different Reading Badgers and is impossible to agree on which is the best book for our magazine. So, the novels will be presented in the chronological order that we reviewed them:
11. Handmaid’s Tale
Probably everybody knows that Margaret Atwood‘s “Handmaid’s Tale” is one of the best dystopian stories ever written. The novel was a success even when it was first published, but since the TV series started airing, it became a must for everyone and not just the genre fans.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” happens in a near future United States. Here, the government has failed due to attacks and various disasters. The Constitution was abolished by a religious movement, which stipulated that women won’t have any rights anymore. The main character of the book is Offred, a Handmaid who stays at the service of a high-ranking Commander and her duty to become pregnant, as the Commander’s wife can’t have children.
I wait. I compose myself. My self is a thing I must now compose, as one composes a speech. What I must present is a made thing, not something born.
This is one of the best books we’ve reviewed this year. It scored 9.6 points from us and we definitely recommend it. Margaret Atwood announced this year that she will write a sequel to the novel, so we can’t wait to put our hand on it
10. The Elegance of the Hedgehog
“The Elegance of the Hedgehog” is written by Muriel Barbery and it became one of our fellow Pinky Badger’s favorite reads of all time. She scored it with 9.8 points and explicitly said that is one of the best books she’s ever read.
The story is based on 3 very different characters: Renée Michel, a 50-something concierge, Paloma, a 12 years old smart girl and Kakuro Ozu who somehow unites the destiny of the two females.
People aim for the stars, and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn’t be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd.
The novel has philosophical writing many times, but it doesn’t get you tired, so you should add this title to your TBR list if you haven’t done it yet.
9. Seven Years in Tibet
The movie adaptation of this book is one of my all time favorites. I watch it at least 3 times each year. Because I love it so much, I never could read the novel. However, Pinky Badger, read it and gave it 9.2 points and put it among 2018 best books that we’ve reviewed.
The story is about an Austrian alpinist, Heinrich Harrer, who receives an invitation in 1939 to identify along with other mountain climbers new access to Nanga Parbat from India. But as the 2nd World War breaks out, the members of the expedition had to return to Europe. Some of them needed the transfer from a bearing to another. But this won’t stop them to plan an escape, as their primary purpose is to go in Tibet.
One cannot reach the fifth story of the Potala without starting at the ground floor.
The most impressive thing about “Seven Years in Tibet” is the writing style and its flow. Is like watching a movie, not reading. Although there are so many twists and stories about escaping the bearing or the extended episodes of crossing the massif Himalaya, the reader doesn’t get tired.
8. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Fredrik Backman is one of our favorites authors so of course each year one of his novels finds itself among the best books reviewed. In 2017 it was “A Man Called Ove” and 2018 added “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” on the list.
The book starts in a hilarious way. From the first page, you will meet Elsa, a seven-year-old Swedish girl, who is taken by the police along with her grandmother because the later threw monkey poop in some local police officer when trying to break into the Zoo.
Every seven-year-old deserves a superhero. That’s just how it is.
If you are either a child or a fully grown up, you just simply cannot read “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” without loving it. The novel scored a very well deserved 9 points from us, so if you haven’t got it already, don’t waste any more time and buy it.
7. My Brilliant Friend
This book is the first one of a tetralogy written by Elena Ferrante. It became really popular after the TV series, but it deserves its fame because it received a place among our best books and a 9.2 score.
The action takes place in the ’50s, in an outskirt from Naples. Everything was working based on money and violence.
The friendship between Elena and Lila begins in primary classes. It was totally atypical for them, and also for the people around. Everybody sees Lila as a very intelligent, courageous and strong little girl, who has this special and bad force, which scares even Elena.
Not for you,” Lila replies ardently, “you’re my brilliant friend, you have to be the best of all, boys and girls.”
“My Brilliant Friend” is a very impressive lecture in which two girls learn together how to go throw school, boys, sex, mafia, and injustice caused by simply being women.
6. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
“The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” was such a surprise. We received an ARC from Sourcebooks Publisher and I was the one to read it and reviewed it. Let me tell you that I have never thought that I will give it 9.4 points.
The book starts with a man waking up in a forest without knowing who he is and how he got there. The only thing he could remember was the name of “Anna”. He manages to find the house where he is a guest and finds out his name is Sebastian Bell. After a day of struggling to remember who he is and making a plan to leave, he wakes up the next day in a different body being even more confused.
We are never more ourselves than when we think people aren’t watching.
The novel is brilliantly written. It has a combination of styles between Agatha Christie and Edgar Allan Poe and you probably won’t have any chance of cracking the murder before the last chapter.
5. Alice in Wonderland
“Alice in Wonderland” doesn’t need any introduction or an explanation on why it received a 9.8 score. It is one of our Foxy Badger’s favorite books ever since she was read it by her grandmother.
have i gone mad?
I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.
“Alice in Wonderland” is a book for all ages. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, it has something for everyone. For kids, it’s a magical land, for teenagers, it’s a story of rebellion and for adults, well, it’s a way to become a kid again.
4. Animal Farm
“Animal Farm” is one of George Orwell’s most known novels and scored 9.2 points from us.
The idea of the book is simple. Tired of the drunken farmer, the animals, led by the Old Major, decide to rebel against the ruling class. After Old Major dies, the leadership is taken by two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, who take it upon themselves to prepare the other animals for the Rebellion. They teach the other animals to read and write and train them in the principles of Animalism. Food is plentiful and the animals are happy with this way of life, but the pigs are starting to set aside special items just for their use.
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others
So my advice to all of you who haven’t read the book yet, pick it up, read it and take a moment to contemplate on the world today.
3. Millennium Series
The Millennium series has a very special place in my heart. It contains 5 volumes, the first 3 being written by Stieg Larsson and the last two by David Lagercrantz. The series is a thriller that also received at least two movie adaptations that I know of.
The main characters of the series are the genius computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander and the award-winning journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Long story short, their lives are brought together each time by a series of mysterious, corrupted and dangerous events that will make your heart beat faster with each page (it is very difficult for me to talk about one of my favorite series and keep my mouth shut no to give spoilers).
…you have no idea how mentally handicapped I could be if push comes to shove.
The series fully deserves the 9.4 points from us and I still hope that David Lagercrantz will continue his friend’s legacy with at least one more volume.
2. Dead Men’s Trousers
There can be no bigger Irvine Welsh fan other than our Foxy Badger, so there is no surprise that his latest novel scored 9.6 points and quickly became one of the best books we’ve reviewed.
“Dead Men’s Trousers” brings back the beloved characters from Trainspotting. The story begins in 2015, with Renton, now a successful DJ Manager, when he encounters Begbie (now a big-time artist in LA, with a beautiful wife and two kids) on a transatlantic flight. Rather than the death threats he expected, Renton finds Begbie with a zen-like attitude.
Ah fuckin hate the way some American cunts call lassies cunts. Fuckin offensive, that shite.
So if you are a fan of Trainspotting, this book is a must-read. Welsh does not disappoint, and the story just gets crazier and crazier by the page.
“Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton is an awarded winning book that got 9 points from me.
The novel starts with the young Walter Moody’s arrival in New Zealand to try his luck as a gold digger in 1866. At the arrival at the hotel he was staying, he met a group of twelve men who were discussing a series of unfortunate events that each one was involved in a way. The incidents that they were talking about were the death of a loner by the name of Crosbie Wells, the intended suicide of the local prostitute, Anna Wetherell and the disappearance of a wealthy young gold digger prodigy, Emery Staines.
If home can’t be where you come from, then home is what you make of where you go.
I love a good mystery book and this is why I really enjoyed “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton. The novel has 800 or so pages, but it is a real page-turner.
These are the 11 best books that we’ve reviewed in 2018. So what are the most impressive titles you’ve read this year?