8 Must Read Books of 2018

Did you know that Reese Witherspoon has her own bookclub? I've been reading most of her selections, you can find more reviews in this post. Last year I only read 15 books because social media has interfered with my reading time, but thanks to Reese I got a lot of good book recommendations. Here are my favorites from last year.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution. The book goes back and forth in time between narrators Elisa and her granddaughter Marisol. Elisa tells her story in Havana, in 1958 she is the 19-year old daughter of a sugar baron and part of Cuba's high society. Her granddaughter,Marisol is a freelance writer in Miami in 2017. I read this book because because I went to Cuba in 2017 and I learned a lot more about its history and what life is like there through this book.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. This book is currently the #1 book on the NYTimes best sellers list.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. The tale of two women competing for the same man in a fast-paced, domestic psychological thriller.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Written by the author of The Woman in Cabin 10 which I loved and The Lying Game which was just meh for me. This book is about a young woman named Hal who has no family and receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
This is a psychological thriller of a missing daughter and ten years later meeting a girl who looks just like her. It's edgy, dark and a page turner.

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman
A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this psychological thriller.

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be
by Rachel Hollis
Seems like everyone read this book so I jumped on the bandwagon. Rachel is a preacher's daughter from a small town who became a Hollywood party planner, marathon runner,  created her own popular blog and podcast where she shares tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. She talks about her insecurities, adoption, while trying to help women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps

A memoir by the 39 year old struggling actress known for her roles on Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek, and Cougar Town who has become "the breakout star on Instagram stories" and now has her own talk show. Favorite quote from the book:

"Have I talked about being a sparkly human yet? Well, I have a theory. There are certain people who are what I call sparkly humans. These are people who have things just happen for them or to them because other people see them and seemingly inexplicably want to help them. Because they sparkle. From the inside out. I was always a sparkly human (still am, for the most part, on most days). Adults just liked me and wanted to help me. Not kids at my school. Sometimes sparkliness isn't recognized by peers until much later. Sometimes sparkly people are bullied as kids. Because other kids want to put that light out. They don't understand it and they want to kill it. The secret is, if you're truly sparkly, you survive all that bullshit and you don't let them put it out. And at some point, you start to get rewarded for it. Sparkly humans aren't always entertainers, and they don't always become famous. There are sparkly humans everywhere. And there are also plenty of people who are wonderful and amazing, but aren't sparkly. It's a very specific thing. So anyway, I'm sparkly."

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