Each week since 2012, I share the books I read that have become part of my #BookDNA. And each year, I select my favorite reads to share with you! This is no easy task.
Books are my favorite gift to give and receive. If you are still seeking last-minute holiday gifts or want to buy something meaningful with a gift card you have received, then I highly recommend the following books:
- Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel – The final book in The Themis Files. I gifted the first book to many friends several years ago. This science fiction tale has strong female characters, robots, and is not written in traditional narrative format – the book is a mix of interviews and journal entries. The format may seem a bit jarring at first, but I guarantee the story will hook you.
- The Poppy War by R. F Kuang – This adventure is a mash-up of Hogwarts and Asian-inspired fantasy. What I really appreciated about this book is that it was written for an adult reader.
- Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy) by Claire Legrand – This fantasy follows two strong female characters – one a royal and the other an assassin – separated by a millennia. Both women have powerful magic binding their fates to each other.
- Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi – I was blown away by this book. This West African-inspired fantasy debut has some of the best writing I have ever read. If you were feeling empty after completing the Broken Earth Trilogy, this new epic will fill the void.
- Personal History by Katherine Graham – Did you like watching the film, The Post, this year? Katherine Graham was more formidable than the performance portrayed by Meryl Streep. I was equal parts depressed and inspired by the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. This woman so much during her lifetime. The story is fitting for us to read now – how do we learn from the past?
- Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover – I haven’t seen a Best of 2018 list that does not mention this book. This memoir reads like fiction. Tara’s story of stepping into her first classroom at seventeen and her quest for knowledge that takes her to Harvard and Cambridge University is a page-turner that I read in one sitting!
- Building the Future: Big Teaming for Audacious Innovation by Amy C. Edmondson and Susan Salter Reynolds – Put down all the how-to business books and read THIS book. Authors, a Harvard professor and a journalist, share culture clash lessons derived from the story of a struggling smart-city start-up.
- Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou – It was difficult to believe this book was non-fiction. The tale seems too juicy to be true. This story is a page-turner and filled with countless examples of what NOT to do in the workplace.
- Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. By Brené Brown – This was the perfect read and boost of self-confidence I needed during my transition from the corporate workplace to academia.
Here are some notable Best of 2018 book lists for further exploration: