2018 is almost over! Goodness, where does the time go? It’s now the time of year when “Best of 2018” lists will start popping up. It was certainly an amazing year for books. But you know what really shows that a book was one of the best of the year? Awards and honors. And, wow, do these novels have them! Check out these five incredible books if you really want to read the best.
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Arthur Less is an unsuccessful novelist dealing with the fact that he's about to turn fifty, his writing career has stalled, and his ex-boyfriend has become engaged. And not only engaged, but has invited him to his wedding! Arthur thinks that the polite, grown-up thing to do would be to go to the wedding, but he also doesn't want to go to the wedding of his ex. So he accepts invitations to various events around the globe that give him an excuse not to attend. His escapades will take him to Berlin, Paris, London, Morocco, India, and more. But what Arthur learns is that running away won't solve his problems, and that despite his past mistakes and misunderstandings, he is a human who wants love. When he accepts himself, flaws and all, love will be the greatest adventure of his life.
Anthony Award for Best Novel
Edgar Award for Best Novel
Holy smokes, this is such a thrilling book! Darren Mathews is a black Texas Ranger who gets himself into a bit of a spot at work. While it's being sorted out, his boss sends him to the tiny town of Lark to investigate two seemingly unrelated murders. One of the victims is a black lawyer from Chicago, and the other is a local white woman. But as Darren digs deeper, he uncovers a viper's nest of racism and long-standing resentments that runs through the town. And Darren's interest in solving the case—and his interest in the lawyer's wife—will lead him down a dangerous path. FYI: This fantastic novel is soon to be an FX series!
Hugo Award for Best Novel
Nebula Award for Best Novel
RT Reviewer's Choice Award for Epic Fantasy Novel
Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel
Look at all those accolades! This is the third book in N. K. Jemisin's amazing Broken Earth trilogy. Every one of them has won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, making her the first author to win the award three years in a row and the first author to win it for all the books in a trilogy. This wildly ambitious saga starts with The Fifth Season, the story of a doomed world, where ash has blotted out the sun, and the characters who are in a desperate race to save their planet from collapse. It continues with The Obelisk Gate, and comes to its daring conclusion in The Stone Sky.
Michael L. Printz Honor
This is the first in an epic fantasy duology about dreams and a mythic lost city. Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always been obsessed with the lost city of Weep, until he is presented with an actual chance to go looking for it. It will take a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors to help him realize his dreams and solve the riddle of the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. Full of love, nightmares, and danger, this is a thrilling adventure that is not to be missed—plus it's sequel, Muse of Nightmares is now available, too!
Stonewall Book Award
After spending a year away from her family at boarding school, Suzette returns home to California to support her stepbrother, Emil, who has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But helping Emil sort out his life becomes complicated when the siblings both fall for the same girl. And as Emil sinks deeper into his illness, Suzette will have to confront their past to come up with ways in which to help him. Little & Lion is a compassionate, honest examination of illness and love, and Brandy Colbert handles its difficult topics beautifully.
What to Read Next
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot contributor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Steinbeck and Millay. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.