9 Rather Excellent Fiction Books You Should Read in 2018

9 Rather Excellent Fiction Books You Should Read in 2018
Carly Jacobs

For someone who loves reading, I suck pretty hard at finding good books. I can’t just go to a bookshop and pick up something that looks entertaining. I don’t get much time to read, so I can’t stuff around with shit books. They have to be pretty amazing and quite highly recommended from several sources before I’ll add them to my reading list.

My book recommendation sources come from three places. My mate Fi, who has an incredible track record of recommending interesting books (she reads at least one book a week), the Chat 10 Looks 3 Facebook group and that algorithm in the Kindle store that suggests books you might like based on the ones you buy and read.

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I know people always want the newest and latest thing but I wrote recently about how people often ignore recommendations and I decided it was time to pop together a list of good fiction books I’ve read in the last few years. If you haven’t read these, get on it in 2018, please.

1. You and Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

I read this book a few years ago now and it’s one of the most fun and batshit crazy books I’ve ever read. Caroline Kepnes is a relatively new (and young!) author and she’s just at the beginning of her career. She’s definitely one to watch. Without going too far into it, You is a black comedy about a murderer. It’s hilarious and grim at the same time. A bloody good read and there’s another book Hidden Bodies you can read immediately after and I’m pretty sure there’s a third book about to be released. You is also being made into a movie, that’s how legit this recommendation is.

2. Little Big Lies by Liane Moriarty

You’re probably so sick of hearing about Liane Moriarty. I was until I got over myself and finally read one of her books and now I’m hooked. They’re the best ever holiday page-turners. I read two of her books between Christmas and New Year. I read Little Big Lies after I watched the series but I don’t think it really matters which order you do it in. Both are ace, and both deserve your attention and time. I read What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret over my Christmas break they’re both great too.

3. Anybody Out There? by Marion Keyes

This is an oldie but I really, really love it. It’s probably my favourite Marion Keyes book and I’ve read just about all of them. If you’ve never read a Marion Keyes book, do yourself a favour and read them. At least start with the Walsh sister books, which are loosely based on Marion Keyes own family. Watermelon, Rachel’s Holiday, Angels, Anybody Out There? and The Mystery of Mercy Close. There are five Walsh sisters and they each get their own book in the series. It’s worth it just for Mammy Walsh, their mother who is a freaking crack up. These books are so popular you can find them for a couple of dollars in most secondhand stores and I’m yet to stay at a coast house that doesn’t have at least one Keyes on the shelf.

4. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

This is another of those ‘Oh my god I can’t BELIEVE you haven’t read it!’ books but with good reason. It’s a rollicking thriller about an alcoholic woman whose husband left her for another woman. Unemployed and drinking daily, she spies on their house from her train that passes by every day. She witnesses some goings on in the house a few doors down from where her husband lives with his new wife and she becomes involved in a missing person case. This is one of those fabulous twisty style novels where you get to the end and you have no idea how you ended up where you did. A fab holiday read.

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5. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

This was recommended to me by the Kindle store and I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely a fiction book but it’s kind of in the faction genre as it refers to real life events with accuracy like 9/11. This book is about a high-level spy who has to track down a Saudi Arabian terrorist who is planning on starting a bio-war with the United States. This one is much heavier than the others I’ve recommended but I found it a particularly interesting read in our current world climate. It’s not a light read by any means but it’s pretty engaging.

6. The Girl With All The Gifts by Mike Carey

Hot tip: Read the book BEFORE you watch the movie. The movie is great but the book is better. I can’t say anything about this book because it will ruin it and after you read it you’ll know why. It’s a fairly short book and it’s not an effort at all. It’s certainly a scary book but it’s also very beautiful and sweet. You’ll have to read it to believe me.

7. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This book is beautiful. It’s written from the point of view of a man who has odd habits and is very particular in his ways and it chronicles his journey into the dating world. It’s a very sweet book and one of those lovely stories that stays with you and helps you to understand people who may be a bit different than you.

8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This one has a very similar feel to The Rosie Project. It’s technically a murder mystery book but it’s written from the perspective of a boy with special needs. I always love a book that gives an insight into how other people’s brains work. It’s always a good reminder how different we all are to each other.

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Full disclosure: I didn’t love this book as much as most other people but it’s still definitely worth a read. The first half is brilliant, the second half goes in some really weird directions but it’s still a total page turner and a fun book to read. Plus when you’re done you can watch the movie and it’s pretty bloody good. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike will do that to a movie.

What excellent fiction books have you read recently? I’d love some more recommendations!

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13 Comments

  1. Missy D 10 months ago

    I’m one of those book a week people. 🙂 I used to get lots of recommendations from the ABC Book Club, but that finished last year (sob) – but you can still go onto their webpage and trawl through their books. Also Good Reads is one of my favourite websites, newspaper arts sections, writers festivals and even just walking into my local book store to see what’s on their staff recommendations wall.

    Recommendations:
    – The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
    – Any of Khaled Hosseini’s books are massive page turners
    – Also the same with Lionel Shriver.

    This year I really want to try a Tara Moss book, every time I hear her speak I just want to pick up something she’s read and Liane Moriarty is also on my list. 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 months ago

      Oh me too! That’s a great reminder to read a Tara Moss book. You should def read Liane Moriarty, very easy to read and entertaining. I should look at Good Reads again actually, I always forget it exists. I’ll add these recs to my list!

  2. Reannon 10 months ago

    I’m a huge reader but last year I finally got on board with audiobooks- game changer! Now I can read even more books!!
    If you are a member of your local library there are 2 apps you can use to borrow ebooks or audiobooks from your state library- Libby & Borrow Box. Super easy to use & then you’ll never be without a book! Goodreads is also fab for finding new reads & keeping track of what you’ve read or would like to read.
    I’ll recommend The Dry ( but not Jane’s second book force of nature. HUGE let down ), The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck ( I audiobooks this & wish I’d read the hard copy so I could highlight stuff) The Break ( Marian’s newest book, so good!) Eleanor & Park ( this is YA but god I loved it. So much nostalgia!) & in the vein of Moriarty I’ll say read The Mummy Bloggers because is an super easy but entertaining read.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 months ago

      How amazing are audiobooks? I love them. Mr Smaggle pretty much only reads that way now. The Dry is on my list for my camping trip this weekend, it’s been recommended by so many people, I can’t keep ignoring it!

    • Lulu 10 months ago

      I loved The Dry and have Force of Nature on my list. Was it just not as good as her first novel?? Weaker theme, less creative plot?? I’ll probably still read it, just in case I like it!! I love YA fiction, and Eleanor and Park was really beautiful to read. So I second that recommendation 🙂

  3. librarianandson 10 months ago

    This is a good list! Some of my favourites are:
    * Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
    * All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    * Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    * The Eye of the Sheep by Sophia Laguna
    * We are all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 months ago

      Oh thank you so much! Your user name gives me much faith in your recommendations. 🙂

  4. Alison 10 months ago

    I’ve read about half of your list. Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine? or The Eye of the Sheep. Both great reads. Or We were liars? I walked around in a daze for a couple of days after that one just absorbing. A book a week for a year is on my bucket list and I’m on track in 2018 so far, but it’s early days. My sister is an avid reader so I get recommendations from her and I browse any blog that recommends, and a top 20 list issued privately each year by a local school teacher. Pondering whether a book club is for me or not, any-one have advice, for or against? Today I am reading Tin Man, beautifully written and a quick read.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 10 months ago

      Eleanor Oliphant is on my list after The Dry! I’ve never been able to make bookclubs stick but I’ve got a self improvement book club associated with Straight & Curly – https://www.facebook.com/groups/straightandcurlybookclub/ It’s very low commitment.

      • Lizzie 9 months ago

        Put Eleanor Oliphant right to the top of your list! I cant tell enough people how much i loved this book! I follow Reese Witherspoons bookclub on insta and she has great recommendations too.

  5. Hayley 10 months ago

    How funny, you’re so right – I just read Sushi For Beginners by Marian Keyes, found in the cupboard of my Jervis Bay air bnb.

    I love reading but don’t do it enough. I’m going to hit up some of these recommendations for sure. I’ve read just the bottom two.

    My recommendations are
    Room – but has everybody read that now?? Probably my favourite book ever.
    Shantaram – a classic, took me soooooo long though and I’m a very fast reader.
    Emergency Sex – non-fiction, heavy, but brilliant
    Karin Slaughter for crime fiction (I know you prefer true crime though) – she absolutely pulls you in

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 9 months ago

      I tell you, they’re everywhere! Although I tend to leave one in most places I go. They’re just so cheap at bookshops and I think everyone should read them so I’ve bought most of them at least a few times. I definitely haven’t read Room will had that to the list!

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  1. […] butt of yours to bed half an hour earlier each night and read a god damn book. Here are my 2018 book recommendations if you need some inspo and Reece Witherspoon’s book club also has a pretty high hit […]

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