With 2018 drawing to a close, it’s time to pick your favourites in all categories. Here are the top 10 fiction and non-fiction titles of 2018.
‘Asymmetry’ by Lisa Halliday
This work weaves together two people, Ezra Blazer, an editor, and aspiring writer, and Amar Jaafari, an Iraqi-American economist, in two parts – “Folly” and “Madness” respectively, their tales seemingly unrelated by connected by a shocking finale. Despite being Halliday’s first novel, it reads as one by an established, mature writer and is an engaging work of metafiction.
“The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai
A contender for the Booker Prize and National Book Award, this fictional work takes the reader through an empathetic yet unsentimental journey through mid-80s Chicago and the 2015 Paris attacks, the AIDS epidemic and a mother’s search for her lost daughter.
“The Perfect Nanny” by Leila Slimani
This unconventional domestic thriller surrounds the tale of a nanny who has murdered the children in her care, racial and class-based tension and forbidden desires.
“There There” by Tommy Orange
The author’s debut novel is picaresque and deals with questions of identity and myth in the context of a group of Native Americans as they travel to a powwow, placing tranquil and beautiful moments of a bygone time beside the now.
“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan
Juxtaposing the waning slave trade with a new world of possibility, and an unbreakable bond between a white slave master’s brother and a young black slave, the novel is an unequalled work of compassion and imagination.
“American Prison” by Shane Bauer
Taking root in the author’s time as an undercover guard at a prison, the novel deals with the rampant violence, negligence, and horrors that pervade a multibillion-dollar industry that is the prison system.
“Educated” by Tara Westover
This novel takes us through the author’s life as the youngest of seven in a survivalist family, and her journey to becoming a Ph.D. scholar in Cambridge, bringing out an uncontainable need for knowledge.
“Frederick Douglass” by David W. Blight
This detailed biography covers the details surrounding Douglass who rose from a slave to be one of the most inspirational figures of 19th century America.
“How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan
Incredibly personal, Pollan delves into the history of psychedelics and our interest in them as a society. He examines what happens when we give into the child-like wonder psychedelics bring us, and our existence as conscious beings in this world.
“Small Fry” by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
This memoir takes us through the author’s struggle in balancing between the bohemian ideals of her artistic mother and the luxurious world of her father, Steve Jobs.