I read a lot in 2018. According to Goodreads, where I tracked it all, I read 75 books. The goal had been 57 since that was where I’d ended 2017. While I enjoyed each of those 75, certain ones (or groups) stand out as the best of the year.
- Becky Albertalli: It’s no surprise that Becky is on the tops of this list. Not only did I re-read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda to prepare for the awesome that was Love, Simon the movie, I also read the sequel, Leah on the Offbeat. Plus, Becky’s co-written book with Adam Silvera, What If It’s Us, was extraordinary.
- YA Debuts: While we’re talking about YA, I have to call out two books from new YA authors: Running with Lions by Julian Winters and There Goes Sunday School by Alexander C. Eberhart. Lions explored teens getting a second chance with each other and how heavily family expectations can weigh. Sunday School took a look at religion and how sometimes we can get our families so wrong.
- TJ Klune: Another name that shouldn’t be a surprise to see. Not only did I take my first trip to Verania with LIghtening Struck Heart, but I also re-read Wolfsong to be ready for Ravensong (which I immediately followed up with Lovesong). There was also The Bones Beneath My Skin, which presented yet another side of TJ.
- Lucy Lennox: If I’ve counted right, I read five books from Lucy, mostly in the Forever Wilde series, but I also took my first steps into the Made Marian series as well. Lucy knows how to write a romance that makes me totally happy.
- Layla Reyne: What a wonderful rabbit hole this was to fall down. I finished up the Agents Irish & Whiskey series and dove right into Trouble Brewing. I didn’t know romantic suspense was my thing, but it is. Later in the year reads from Gregory Ashe and Alice Winters further solidified that. (In fact, I’m so taken with this genre, I’m planning a romantic suspense series of my own).
- A few other notables; Geoffrey Knight had Temple of Time, the first Fathom’s Five book in way too long. I discovered the awesome Sidekick series from C.B. Lee and it’s another example of amazing YA. David Levithan’s Someday scratched the itch to learn more about A and Rihannon. Rhys Ford’s Savoir pulled me deeper into the 415 Ink series and I can’t wait for another book to come out in 2019.
If you want to see my complete list of books from 2018, you can check out my Goodreads Challenge page. For 2019, the goal will be 75 books since that’s where I ended 2018. You can also catch Will and I talking more about her 2018 reads in episode 169 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.
TV, Movies, More.
- Best TV: Pose. The FX series, set in the world of 1980s ballroom in NYC was extraordinary in so many ways–not the least of which was casting many transgendered actors.
- Best Movie: Love, Simon. There can be no doubt that the first ever big screen gay teen rom-com was my favorite movie. One of my all-time favorite books became an all-time favorite film.
- Best Theater Experience: Angels in America. The revival was extraordinary in every way and its overall themes resonate today just as much as they always have. Speaking of revivals, Once on this Island was also back was a production that topped the original. I’m happy I got to revisit the island over the summer.
- Best Music: The December release of Springsteen on Broadway reminded me what an amazing storyteller he is. The stripped down version of the songs was incredible. Also, the television cast recording of Jesus Christ Superstar captured the show in his best form since the original concept album (the TV airing was also excellent).