Best Books 2018: This Year’s Most Popular New Releases


What are the best books of 2018? From New York Times bestsellers to the most popular young adult releases, we have you covered with all of this year’s must-read books.

The year is quickly coming to a close and what a year it has been! We started our blog in March not realizing that books were our true calling in the blogging world. Luckily, we have since found our niche.

Since we started focusing on books in September, we’ve been giving you peeks at the hottest new releases: This Fall’s Most-Anticipated New Books and The Best New Books to Curl Up With are just a few examples.

Let’s be honest, who has time to read every new release? That’s why we’ve decided to help you out by identifying our picks for the cream of the crop: the best books of 2018.

And no, we didn’t just list every New York Times Bestseller, though we have a number of those.

Instead, we tried to strike a balance between bestselling books, popular new releases, and the top fiction books that have been buzzing about the book blogging world. We also have some surprise favorites we heard about through word of mouth.

We wish we could say we’ve read every book on the list, but we can’t. (Sounds like a fun goal for our 2019 Reading Challenge, doesn’t it?) However, if you want to know which 2018 books we did read but didn’t make the cut, we’ll be posting our list of books we read in 2018 in a few weeks.

For now, we hope you enjoy perusing our selections for the best books of 2018. And, as always, we are curious to hear what you think, so leave us a comment!

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase anything, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission. For more information, read our Disclosures.

New York Times Bestsellers 2018

book cover for The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

The Woman in the Window
by A. J. Finn

Imagine the Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Rear Window meets the novel The Girl on the Train. This year’s hottest psychological thriller peeks into the life of Anna Fox, a New York City recluse who, spying on the family across the street, witnesses a shocking event. With its unreliable narrator and layers of secrets, The Woman in the Window will keep you guessing to the end. We can’t wait to read this best-selling book and hope it is worthy of our list of the best books of 2018. If you’ve read our Read This Not That article, you’ll know that we’ve been burned by bestsellers before. Read more →


book cover for The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone
by Kristin Hannah

Coming off The Nightingale, her wildly successful World War II novel, Kristin Hannah’s next book explores the untamed wilds of Alaska. A recently returned Vietnam War POW, Ernt Allbright decides to move his family to the Alaskan frontier. At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers and just what Ernt needs. But when the harsh Alaskan winter approaches and Ernt’s mental state begins to deteriorate, his wife and daughter must fight to survive. A captivating, stay-up-all-night novel that is definitely one of the year’s best reads. Read more →


book cover for Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Lethal White
by Robert Galbraith

J. K. Rowling is back with her fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series (written under the pen name Robert Galbraith). With Robin Ellacott, now his partner instead of his secretary, Strike must investigate the case of a troubled young man who remembers witnessing a murder in his youth. However, Strike’s new found fame complicates the matter, as does his relationship with Robin. Of all the new books to read this fall, we have to admit, we are most excited for this one. Read more →


book cover for The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

The President is Missing
by James Patterson and Bill Clinton

A thriller co-written by a former president and one of the kings of thrillers! That combination alone should have you intrigued. (I’m sure that’s what the publisher was counting on. The publisher even used the phrase “set in real-time.” Cue the Kiefer Sutherland narration.) From what we’ve read, its premise sounds like a season of 24. Right after evidence is revealed that the President could be a traitor, he goes missing. If you like a good James Patterson thriller, give this book a try. I mean, it did sit as the New York Times #1 fiction bestseller for 6 weeks this summer. Read more →


book cover for A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light
by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult has never been one to shy away from controversial topics and her latest book release is no exception. A Spark of Light begins with a gunman entering a women’s reproductive health clinic and taking all inside hostage – including the 15-year-old daughter of the hostage negotiator. With an abundance of characters all with different views on abortion, Picoult wants to encourage discussion on this hotly debated issue. If you’ve loved her other books or are interesting to see her take on the subject, you won’t want to pass up her latest book release. Read more →

Related: Reading Challenge 2019: Read a Book a Week

Amazon Best Selling Books 2018

book cover for The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists
by Chloe Benjamin

If you could know the day you will die, would you want to? And if you did know, how would that affect you? In 1969, the four teenage Gold children sneak out to have their fortunes told by a fortune-teller without realizing how that one encounter will affect the rest of their lives. Exploring the line between fate and free will, The Immortalists is an intriguing novel that will have you question your destiny. Content warning: the tale of the youngest brother is rather sexually explicit in sections. Read more →


book cover for Circe by Madeline Miller

by Madeline Miller

One of Amazon’s bestselling books of 2018, Circe has been getting a ton of buzz this year. In this retelling of the Greek myth, Circe, the daughter of the sun god, feels out of place among the gods of Olympus. Yet, among the mortals she has magical powers of witchcraft. Banished by Zeus, Circe must decided where she belongs – with the gods of her birth or the mortals she’s come to live among. An intriguing premise and the perfect book for anyone who loves stories that give a different take on classic tales. Read more →


book cover for Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

For years, Kya Clark has survived alone in the marshes of the North Carolina coast. Dubbed “The Marsh Girl” by the locals, she was abandoned by her family and has been raised by nature itself. Now, as she comes of age, she begins to yearn for something more than her loneliness – maybe even a connection with the locals. An exquisitely written tale that quickly became one of 2018’s bestselling books, Where the Crawdads Sing is one of this year’s must-reads. Read more →


book cover for The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us
by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

If you are looking for an exciting new thriller, try Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s tale The Wife Between Us. As the book jacket notes, from the beginning you will assume you are reading a book about a jealous ex-wife obsessed with her replacement. But appearances can be deceiving. We haven’t read this one yet, but it was among Amazon’s bestselling books of 2018 so we knew it belonged on our list of the best books of 2018. Read more →


book cover for There There by Tommy Orange

There There
by Tommy Orange

Considered one of the best audiobooks of the year, Tommy Orange’s debut novel tells of the lives of urban Native Americans. Centered around the Big Oakland Powwow, There There peeks into the lives of twelve characters as each is drawn by their Native American heritage to visit the Powwow. Orange delivers a striking look at many of the issues that have plagued so many Native Americans – alcoholism, addiction, suicide and abuse – as well as topics more specific to them. If you’ve never listened to a full cast audiobook, you definitely should give this book a try.  Read more →

Related: 2018 Reading List: Every Book We Read This Year

Best Books 2018 Nonfiction

book cover for Educated by Tara Westover

by Tara Westover

There is really no excuse to not read Tara Westover’s spectacular memoir. In our opinion, Educated is simply the best nonfiction book of 2018. Westover grew up in the rural mountains of Idaho with no formal education. Despite her extremist survivalist parents and violent older brother, Westover managed to make her way into college, eventually earning a PhD. Her amazing determination is inspiring while the circumstances of her childhood are incredibly sad. Definitely one book that will stay with you for a long time. Read more →


book cover for I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
by Michelle McNamara

For over a decade, a violent serial rapist plagued Northern California and then went on to commit 10 sadistic murders, never to be caught. 30 years later, journalist Michelle McNamara took on the cold case, obsessively determined to find the Golden State Killer. Posthumously published two years after her death, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is McNamara’s masterpiece of her search for the truth. Even more fascinating, only two months after this book was published, a suspect was formally charged in the murders. Read more →


book cover for Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face
by Rachel Hollis

One of the most popular books of 2018, Rachel Hollis’s motivational book Girl, Wash Your Face, seems to be one of the most talked about books of the year. Honestly, Hollis’s writing seems to provoke extreme reactions – you’ll either love it or hate it. Honestly, Rachael loved it. It was just what she needed to hear at the time. Jaclyn did not. If you ever feel like you aren’t enough or tend to be too hard on yourself, give this book a try. Read more →


book cover for I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O'Farrell

I Am, I Am, I Am
by Maggie O’Farrell

We can’t begin to describe how incredible this book is. Instead of telling you her life story, Maggie O’Farrell gives you glimpses into her life through separate incidents where she brushed against death, which has occurred surprisingly often. From a childhood illness to near fatal accidents to miscarriage, O’Farrell gives you such an intriguing look not just at how she has almost died, but more importantly how she has lived. If you only read one book on this list, we suggest you pick this one.  Read more →

Related: The Best Books of Spring 2019

Young Adult Releases 2018

book cover for The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince
by Holly Black

Holly Black (author of the Spiderwick Chronicles) kicked of 2018’s best young adult books with The Cruel Prince, a book destined to develop a huge fandom. Stolen away by her parents’ murderer, twin sisters Jude and Taryn are raised among the magical folk of the fairy world. Being a mere mortal, Jude suffers under the senseless cruelty of the other young adults – especially the cruel Prince Cardan. Now, with the King of the Faeries abdicating his throne for one of his children, Jude is swept up into the complicated intrigue of court life. For its political machinations and young adult drama, The Cruel Prince is the perfect example of young adult fiction in 2018’s best books. Read more →


book cover for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi

The book world was abuzz this year with excitement for this fantasy Young Adult novel, and rightfully so. Zélie Adebola watched as a ruthless king ordered the death of her mother and all the other maji in an effort to rid the world of magic. With one last chance Zélie must use the help of a rogue princess to restore magic before the crown prince manages to eradicate magic for good. Beautifully blending Nigerian mythology, symbols from the Yoruba religion, and young adult fantasy, Tomi Adeyemi shines in her debut novel. Read more →


book cover for Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

Kingdom of Ash
by Sarah J. Maas

Among the most anticipated book releases this fall would have to have been the seventh and last book in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. Aelin Galathynius has gone from slave to assassin to queen and now must fight to the last. As the final battle approaches, the fates of your favorite characters are revealed. For all you Throne of Glass lovers, you are sure to agree that Kingdom of Ash was one of the most hyped new novels. If, like us, you haven’t tested the series yet, there is no better time than now to pick up Throne of Glass, the first book in the series. Read more →


book cover for Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Bridge of Clay
by Markus Zusak

So many of our favorite authors had new books out this fall that we aren’t sure where to begin. But no list of the 2018’s best novels would be complete without Markus Zusak’s latest novel. The five Dunbar boys are a (mostly) united force against the world. When they discover the secret behind their dad’s disappearance, can Clay build a bridge to overcome the past? From the description, I’m not really sure what this books is about, but we can’t tell you how much we loved The Book Thief, so we hope his newest book can measure up. Read more →

Related: Books That Will Make You Cry Embarrassingly Hard

Best WWII Historical Fiction Books to Read

book cover for The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz
by Heather Morris

I can’t help but notice new WWII historical fiction, and this one in particular has been getting great reviews. In April 1942, Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov is imprisoned in Auschwitz. Instead of being forced into manual labor, he is given the task of tattooing the numbers onto his fellow prisoners. Not only is this haunting tale based on a true story, but Heather Morris actually interviewed Lale Sokolov for the book. If you love reading about World War II like we do, be sure to check out this stunning new novel. Read more →


book cover for The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen

The Tuscan Child
by Rhys Bowen

When his plane is shot down over Tuscany, British pilot Hugo Langley takes refuge in a ruined monastery. There he falls in love with and is then betrayed by the beautiful Sofia Bartoli. Now, 30 years later after Hugo’s funeral, his daughter Joanna finds an unopened letter to Sofia. Joanna decides to set off to discover her father’s history and maybe discover something about herself in the process. Another of 2018’s best World War 2 novels, The Tuscan Child is the perfect choice if you enjoy novels that are partly set during WW2 and partly set in modern times. Read more →

Related: The Best World War II Novels of the Last Decade

Top Fiction Books on our To-Read List

book cover for An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage
by Tayani Jones

Selected by Oprah Winfrey for her book club, An American Marriage is one of the top fiction books of 2018. At first glance, newlyweds Celestial and Roy seem like the perfect American couple. He’s a young executive, and she’s an emerging artist. However, as life comes into play and Roy is unjustly imprisoned, their marriage begins to fall apart. Discussing love, marriage, and race, this thought-provoking read is definitely one to add to your to-read list. Read more →


book cover for Vox by Christina Dalcher

by Christina Dalcher

In the ultimate what-if scenario, Vox is set in a terrifying depiction of a future America. One day, the government decrees that women are only allowed to speak 100 words daily. At first, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. How could this be happening? Quickly she must adjust to this scary new reality and do everything she can to fight for the rights of herself and her daughter, along with the rights of all women. A haunting premise that will leave you pondering what you would do if it happened to you. Read more →


book cover for The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker’s Daughter
by Kate Morton

In 1862, a group of young artists summer together at Birchwood Manor to enjoy a season of joint creative endeavors. Instead, they are left with the murder of a young woman and the disappearance of another – along with an irreplaceable heirloom. In modern times, archivist Elodie Winslow discovers a haunting photograph of a young woman. Her search for the truth of the long ago past leaders her into a forgotten history an a thrilling journey through time. Read more →


book cover for Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

Shobha Rao’s debut novel is making waves this year. Chronicling the lives of two Indian girls, Girls Burn Brighter tackles many of the pressing topics facing women today: domestic abuse, human tracking, immigration and women’s rights. Poornima finds a kindred soul in Savitha, one of her father’s new employees. Yet, when an act of violence sends Savitha away, Poornima will go through the underbelly of India and all the way to America to find her.  Read more →


book cover for Sadie by Courtney Summers

by Courtney Summers

Radio personality West McCray stumbles on the story of Mattie, a young girl horribly murdered. He can’t get the tale out of his head and becomes obsessed with finding Mattie’s older sister Sadie. Yet, Sadie has disappeared, determined to find her Mattie’s killer. With no desire to be found, Sadie only wants one thing – revenge. Of all the top fiction books to read, the dark themes of Sadie make it the hardest one on the list. Read more →

Related: 14 Incredible Books That Will Make You Think Differently

Popular Books Recommended by Book Bloggers

book cover for The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls
by Pat Barker

In her latest book, Pat Barker takes you back to the Battle of Troy. Instead of Achilles, Helen, Paris or Agamemnon, The Silence of the Girls chooses Briseis as its main character – the captured queen forced to be one of Achilles’s concubines. When Agamemnon demands her for himself, Briseis finds herself in a unique position between two extremely powerful men. If you love fiction that brings history to life, try Barker’s look at the Trojan War from a new perspective. Read more →


book cover for The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Kiersten White

I have to admit, this book was not on my radar at all. I would never have considered adding it to my list of 2018’s best books if I hadn’t seen it among the recommended books to read from my blogging friends. This interesting retelling of the famous Frankenstein tale focuses on Elizabeth Lavenza, a woman who is taken in by the Frankenstein family and eventually becomes inseparable from the infamous Victor. As Victor descends into darkness with an increasingly dangerous temper, Elizabeth must use all her cunning to survive. One of the best new books out if you are in the mood for a dark and intriguing premise. Read more →


book cover for City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts
by Victoria Schwab

After nearly drowning (or possibly actually drowning), Cass has been able to see beyond into the realm of spirits. An extraordinary ability to be sure, but one she is learning to live with. However, when her parents take her on a tour of Scotland’s most haunted locations, Cass quickly learns how much she doesn’t know and how dangerous that is. An intriguing middle grade pick, City of Ghosts is definitely one of 2018’s best books for younger readers. Read more →

Related: Don’t Buy the Hype: Read This Not That

Latest Books 2018

book cover for Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers
by Liane Moriarty

Marketed as the perfect spot to turn over a new leaf, Tranquilium House is a luxurious and remote health resort. Ready for a change, nine strangers gather together for their life-changing stay. Could these ten days of pampering, relaxation and mindfulness have all the answers they are seeking? Or is much more going on? Would it be better to leave this resort and never look back? Or is it already too late? As with her other novels, Liane Moriarty has likely penned another book club favorite. Read more →


book cover for Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire
by Natasha Ngan

New to the Young Adult fantasy genre is Natasha Ngan’s latest book, Girls of Paper and Fire. Lei, a typical country girl, is selected along with eight other girls to be a Paper Girl, the King’s consorts. Although Lei may be from the paper caste, she has a heart of fire. Instead of succumbing to her fate, she will fight for her rights to love and to be her own person. An exciting new entry, time will tell if Girls of Paper and Fire will live up to 2018’s bestselling YA fiction. Read more →


book cover for Becoming by Michelle Obama

by Michelle Obama

One of the most anticipated releases of 2018 is former First Lady Michelle Obama’s new memoir. Detailing her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her success as a working mother and her years in the White House, Obama shows how her past has shaped her into who she has become today. No matter your personal political views, Michelle Obama’s dedication to improve the lives of women and girls makes her an inspiring individual and earns her memoir a place on our list of the best books of 2018. Read more →


book cover for Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin

Fire & Blood
by George R. R. Martin

Set centuries before A Game of Thrones, this latest release from George R. R. Martin records the history of the Targaryen clan, answering many unanswered questions about such things as the origin of Daeney’s three dragon eggs. At 736 pages, this first volume in the two-part history is not for the faint of heart. However, if you are a die-hard George R. R. Martin fan, I’m sure you will lap up every word. Read more →


Best Books 2018: Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean

Empress of All Seasons
by Emiko Jean

Finally, one of the last YA releases of 2018 we want to highlight is Emiko Jean’s Empress of All Seasons. The kingdom of Honoku has a tradition. Every generation, all eligible maidens are allowed a chance to marry the prince. All they have to do is survive the palace’s four enchanted rooms – one for each season. Mari has been training her whole life to become empress. Except she has a secret. She is actually a yōkai – a person who can transform into a terrifying monster. Can she hid her secret, especially after meeting Taro, the prince who does not want to become emperor? Read more →


What do you think are the best books of 2018?

2018's Best Books // Catch up on all the year's hottest books with the best books of 2018. // books to read, best books 2018, bestselling books 2018 // #bookstoread, #amreading, #books

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  • Reply Christina November 26, 2018 at 9:54 am

    What an awesome giveaway! So many amazing books!

  • Reply Eline November 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    So many great books on this list! I need to read faster πŸ™‚

  • Reply Whispering Stories November 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    All those amazing sounding books. I haven’t read any of them, though I do have ‘The President is Missing’ on my TBR list.

  • Reply DJ Sakata November 26, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I love The Wife Between Us and also enjoyed The Immortalists

  • Reply Tasha November 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    That is a great list. I have a lot of those either in paperback, on e-book or Audible.

  • Reply Kat November 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I saw several books that I need to add to my TBR list! I have seen a lot of people reading “Girl! Wash Your Face”, I’ve been wanting to get that one in paperback.

  • Reply Kate @ Bitch Bookshelf November 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I haven’t read any of these, but quite a number are on my TBR!

  • Reply Shelleen Toland November 26, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    I read The Wife Between Us and loved it. A lot of the other books are on my TBR.

  • Reply Heidi November 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    Where the Crawdads Sing was one of my favorites!!

  • Reply Gemma November 27, 2018 at 3:52 am

    So many great sounding books on that list that I have yet to read. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Melissa's fandom world November 27, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Thanks for sharing this awesome list!

  • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart November 27, 2018 at 8:06 am

    So many great books on this list!! A lot are on my TBR list. There’s just no time! There’s never any time (cue Jessie Spano caffeine pill freak-out moment) to read them all! Some thoughts:

    1) I was a little disappointed with THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW. I thought the Big Twist was predictable, so the moment of that reveal was pretty anti-climactic for me. However, I WAS surprised by the reveal at the very end. Overall, I felt this book didn’t live up to the hype, though it was well-written. I’m interested to see what this author does with a second book.

    2) THE IMMORTALISTS turned out to be one of my fave books of the year, though it took a little bit to get me into it.

    3) I really need to read CIRCE. This type of book borders very closely on the type of novel I wrote and am trying to publish, and I need to become better versed in this genre. Plus, the story sounds fantastic. πŸ™‚

    4) I also need to read THE WIFE BETWEEN US since Pekkanen’s THE EVER AFTER was one of my fave books this year. I will now read anything by her.

    5) I AM, I AM, I AM sounds like it will completely trigger my anxiety about horrible things happening to me or ones I love on the way to work. Too many reminders of how close we all really are to death each day. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. πŸ˜‰

    6) THE DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN was awesome! Totally changed my thoughts on YA forever.

    7) VOX sounds intriguing and terrifying. I’m not a dystopia fan, but this one sounds pretty interesting…and disturbingly timely.

    OKAY! That is all. Thanks for this awesome recap of books!!

  • Reply Marcia December 19, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Sadie is my #1 YA book of 2018!!!
    I can’t wait for you to read it πŸ™‚

  • Reply Ivana December 20, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Girl, wash your face is definitely on my to-read list. I heard it’s really good πŸ™‚

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