My Top 12 of 2018 aka How to Set Some Reading Goals

The major publications have already released their “best of” book lists for the year. But nope, at A Lifely Read, I like to push it to the very, very end. Major newspapers/magazines/websites have a reason for pushing their lists a bit early: No new books are being released at the end of the year and publishers want people to buy books for the holidays. (Did you see the article about printing issues that “derailed” holiday book sales?)

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Set your goals on a post-it next to your two phones and old-school adding machine. (STOCK IMAGE, duh!)

People often create reading challenges for a New Year, so I’m going to frame my Best Books of 2018 List according to the 12 months of the year. These aren’t necessarily the months that I read the books, but you’ll see why I’m slotting them in. Second caveat: Unlike official “best of” books lists, these are not just books published in 2018…I just happened to read them this year. My blog, my rules, okay?

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Come on Eileen: The Spooky in Me Honors the Spooky in You

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Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

My husband and I finished The Americans last week. If you are pensive and stew in your emotions a bit – not that I know this from experience or anything – you will probably need to stare off into space for a while, shed some tears, read all the spoiler-filled recaps online (now that there is nothing to spoil), discuss ad nauseam with anyone who has seen the finale, sit around basically going “hmmmmm” some more, and perhaps play The Americans FX playlist on Spotify so you can relive all the emotion. Just some examples. (You will feel better after two days of this, by the way.)

No spoilers here, but if you know anything at all about The Americans, you can deduce that “identity” is the centerpiece of this tale. “Identity” isn’t just a wee little theme – it’s the whole she-bang. The main course, not the after-dinner mint. On the macro level, you’ve got two Russians who have posed as Americans for over 20 years (and have two American-born kids): What “are” they? Can one still be Russian if living inside a culture diametrically at opposition with one’s homeland? Then on the micro level: Let’s take a look at some of the crazy disguises that Elizabeth and Philip have had to don:

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