This post was originally written by Cat from Restitchstance, a wonderful blog combining storytelling and fashion with ethics and sustainability. After reading Cat’s post I asked if I could share the book love on my platform too.
In 2018, I majorly stepped up my reading game and have been blown away by the poignant, imaginative, and diverse stories I’ve seen on the shelves of my local bookstore and library.
I didn’t explicitly intend to read mostly books by women of colour this year, but those were the stories I found myself drawn to. Growing up, I’d read ferociously, but the books I read were written by white authors, about white characters. I honestly didn’t know I could write about characters who weren’t white until I began reading more stories about people of colour.
It’s been incredibly empowering and enlightening to read both books that deepen my understanding of my own experiences, as well as books that help me understand the experiences of other underrepresented groups of people.
So, in no particular order, here are the best books I’ve read in 2018!
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored, but contains affiliate links. I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore, but I have included Amazon links since they are the most ubiquitous book links.
THE BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2018
This was an absolute pleasure to read! Celeste Ng explores questions about motherhood and belonging through the story of a meticulously planned community shaken to its core by the arrival of a mysterious mother-daughter pair, as well as an escalating controversy over the adoption of a Chinese baby.
At times bordering on cinematic and at times achingly too true to life, this book was hard to put down. Celeste Ng has a way of writing characters that are so real, you feel like you’ve known them your whole life. If you somehow haven’t picked this book up yet, go do it ASAP—you won’t want to put it down.
I already raved about this novel in my fall faves, but it had to make it onto this list!
This novel tells the stories of two half-sisters in eighteenth-century Ghana—one who marries a British governor and one who is sold into slavery in America—and their descendants over the generations until the present day.
It explores in unflinching detail the effects of imperialism and slavery on both Black Americans and Africans and how that trauma and violence is carried through generations; but it’s done so in beautiful prose and through unforgettable stories that bring historical facts to life. I think everyone should read this book, especially in today’s political climate.
Don’t let the thickness of this intergenerational saga intimidate you! It’s a chunky book, but intensely readable; I devoured the novel within a mere weekend.
Pachinko follows a Korean family, transplanted to Japan during Japanese colonialism, where they face poverty, discrimination, and hardship. The characters are beautifully human, rendered in Min Jin Lee’s lyrical prose that has you rooting for them all the way through. I loved the strength and resilience of the characters in face of oppression and danger, especially the wonderfully strong female characters. I didn’t expect to love this book so much, but I couldn’t put it down.