Sunday 30 December 2018

Best Books of 2018

One of the little end-of-year treats for me is the profusion of ‘best book’ lists published on various sites and blogs around the internet. I love to mine these lists for potential reads. This year, I thought I would return the favour and list my own ‘best reads’ of 2018.  I don’t think the past year was one of my best in terms of finding fantastic books, but there were definitely a few really good ones. Here they are, in the order I read them.

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Everyone who is, or is considering, making their living through an artistic endeavour should read this slim volume. It’s a bit like getting shouted at by a drill instructor, but sometimes that’s what it takes…

Your Money or Your Life – Viki Robin and Joe Dominguez

The most important financial book I have ever read. Maybe the most important one ever written. I wish I had read it twenty years ago.

Nightflyers– George R. R. Martin

Just a really solid collection of science-fiction horror stories.

Lovecraft Country – Mark Ruff

I’m not sure if this book is rightly considered a novel or anthology, but either way it is tremendous collection of weird fiction and an eye-opener for those that have never had to give much thought to systemic racism.

The Fall of Gondolin – J. R. R. Tolkien

All the tales of Middle-Earth are bitter-sweet, and this one is especially so, as it is the last collection of ‘The Professor's’ work that will be edited by his son Christopher. Although this book contains some of Tolkien’s best and arguably some of his worst writing, the good far outstrips the bad.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert Heinlein

A far superior work to his better known Starship Troopers, in this novel Heinlein creates an incredibly detailed, believable, and interesting Lunar culture, populates it with odd characters and then tells a fun and gripping story. It’s not an easy read though, as it is written fully in the odd Lunar dialect!

Day of the Rangers – Leigh Neville

Top-notch military history, Neville retells the story of the Battle of Mogidishu relying heavily on the words of those who fought it. If you have any interest in Black Hawk Down, you will want to add this book to your library.


  1. Sadly, this has been one of the worst years for my personal book reading. I've bought books for my sons, but none for myself. I even read a couple of my sons science fiction, a genre I like as much as the historical. Nothing outstanding unfortunately.

  2. Well, it's time to wipe the slate clean and start a new year. Maybe time to order something up as your first for 2019!

  3. How does Day of the Rangers, stack up against BHD? New info? New viewpoints?

    1. Well, it has been nearly 10 years since I read Black Hawk Down, so I'm perhaps not the best to answer the question, but I would say you'll get a lot of new information. There are additional viewpoints - huge amounts of first hand accounts - commentary on things like the actions of the 10th Mountain that aren't covered in BHD...etc. I would say that BHD is more like war journalism, this is more like military history.

  4. I picked up 'Your Money or Your Life' on your recommendation and I'm really impressed but. It's chimed with everything I've thought for years but been worried to act upon, so thanks!
    If you'd like a recommendation of something to read, I'm about a week into Tad Williams' 'The Witchwood Crown', and it's every bit as good as the 'Memory, Sorrow & Thorn' series.

  5. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is amazing.

    I still have a soft spot for Time enough for Love and Stranger in a Strange Land though