5 best books of 2018
5. Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Sunburn is a noirish look at a woman who could be either a black widow or a victim many times over. Polly is new to this seedy bar in a small town. She knows that the other mysterious newcomer Adam will fall for her. They all do. What she doesn’t know is that Adam has ulterior motives of his own.
The book is wistful. Quiet and slow with layers of deception and heartache falling atop one another. It’s sultry. Heavy with secrets.
4. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy are newlyweds, just over a year into their marriage, when Roy is wrongly accused of rape and imprisoned. Can their fledgling marriage survive after five years of prison?
The answers are not easy in An American Marriage. How do they know what the right thing to do is when there’s been nothing but wrong for five years? Their attempts are beautiful and heartbreaking.
3. The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
Angel is a 17 year-old boy, yearning to be a lady. When she puts on her slinky dress and joins the early 198os club scene, she finds acceptance and freedom where before she had only experienced a vague yearning.
If you’ve seen the documentary Paris is Burning, you’ll recognize the characters in The House of Impossible Beauties as fictionalized renditions of their real-life counterparts. It’s full of glitter and dirt and just so damn good.
2. Educated by Tara Westover
Educated is Tara Westover’s nonfiction memoir of growing up off the grid. Her childhood was one of running free in the mountains. But it was also a childhood that eschewed modern medicine when it was badly needed. One in which abuse was not only overlooked, but willfully covered up.
It’s a fascinating, romantic, and slightly terrifying concept, living off the grid. Especially when the person in charge has power that goes unchecked.
1. Putney by Sofka Zinovieff
30 year-old Ralph finds his muse in 9 year-old Daphne. It isn’t until decades later that Daphne sees the reality of what their relationship was.
While dignified and fancy, Putney initially gave me the ick factor, similar to a retread of Lolita. Contrary to my initial fears, though, Zinovieff doesn’t do this to condone the child-adult sexual relationship, though. Everything the author does is on purpose. And it’s masterful. Beautiful and important novel.
Watch this wap-up of the 5 best books of 2018, plus other book review booktube video on my Read Remark YouTube channel.
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