Best Reads of 2018

I challenged myself to read 40 books this year and I crushed that goal by reading 44 books. My goal next year will be 45 books. It’s just a small increase, but it’s 50% more than last year’s goal. It probably won’t surprise anyone that my TBR shelf has grown instead of decreasing. I do hope that I’ll finish more books of my active TBR and maybe finish a few of my recommended list. Check out my year in reading on Goodreads as well.

(You’ll notice that the list below has less than 44 books. That’s because I’ve left out all the books from the Wicca series by Cate Tiernan. I reread the whole series every once in a while since it’s my favourite, but I don’t count them for this. I’ve read them too often for that.)

Highest Rated

These are my best reads of 2018. When I wrote my update half a year ago, I only had three books with a five-star rating and it more than doubled since then. Goodreads tells me I rated 13 books with five stars. For my actual reviews, a bunch of those five stars are really 4,5 stars. They miss half a point because there’s one thing that I miss. A sequel can definitely earn the full five stars as The Silver Queen did. I absolutely loved it and Jaffrey resolved all of the questions I had from The Gilded King. I’m not talking about plot-related questions, of course. Every story needs its mystery, the suspense that keeps us reading.

One non-fiction book that I want to highlight is Become A Succesful Indie Author by Craig Martelle. It’s one of the best writing books that I’ve read lately. It’s filled with advice and answers about the indie author career. It also made me think about what I want and if this is a path I could walk on. I recommend it to everyone who is working on a manuscript and isn’t sure if the traditional publishing path is what they want.

I’ve already highlighted a few of my highest rated books in my Books to Give post, but there are a few more that I want to talk about. The Things We Said In Venice by Kristin Anderson is one that I really enjoyed reading. I’m always a little sceptical when the Dutch are involved, especially when they’re written about by non-Dutchies. But Anderson does it perfectly. The Dutch sentences, cultural bits and general attitude is spot on. If you like romance novels, this is definitely one that can keep you occupied for a day or so.

Another surprise is The Diviners by Libba Bray. I had never heard of her, nor the book, but the wide spine still catches my eye in the library. I usually don’t go for thrillers, but when they involve the occult, I’m willing to make an exception and I was glad I did. The Diviners is a book that’s a little more specific with its themes and settings and maybe not for everyone. But if you like the occult and the roaring twenties setting, this is a real gem.

All the books I’ve read

The title links will send you to the review of that book. You’ll notice that a few of them don’t have a review yet. I’ll do my best to get those reviews up early next year. November and December have been filled with a lot of other writing things. So all the more reason to come back next year!


School For Psychics by K C Archer
Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis
The Underwater Ballroom Society edited by Stephanie Burgis & Tiffany Trent
The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey (Sovereign #1)
The Silver Queen by Josie Jaffrey (Sovereign #2)
Brace Yourself by S E Smart (review to come)
In The Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard
Runes by Ednah Walters (review to come)
Rippler by Cidney Swanson (review to come)
Atlantis Riptide by Allie Burton (review to come)
The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone (review to come)
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Bright Ruin by Vic James (Dark Gifts #3)
The Things We Said In Venice by Kristin Anderson
And then it fell off in my hand by Louise Rennison
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Chronicles of Nick #1)
Sworn to Raise by Terah Edun (The Courtlight series #1)
Sworn to Transfer by Terah Edun (The Courtlight series #2)
Sworn to Conflict by Terah Edun (The Courtlight series #3)
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #1)
The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #2)
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #3)
The Gatekeeper’s Sons by Eva Pohler
Starstruck by Brenda Hiatt
Chanel Chic by Lauren Weisberger (Dutch)
The Book of Secrets by Melissa McShane (The Last Oracle #1)
The Book of Peril by Melissa McShane (The Last Oracle #2)
The Dark Realm: Feyland by Anthea Sharpe
The Stolen Throne by David Gaider
Lichgates by S. M. Boyce (The Grimoire Saga #1)


The How-To Structure Workbook For Trilogies, Series, And Parallel Worlds by C Michelle Jefferies
How To Write A Novel by Simon Hayes
You Must Write by Kevin McLaughlin
Pulp Speed For Professional Writers by Blaze Ward
The Secrets Of Success by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Become A Successful Indie Author by Craig Martelle
Creative, inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho
Das 4-Studen Startup by Felix Plotz
Nib + Ink: The New Art of Modern Calligraphy by Chiara Perano

4 thoughts on “Best Reads of 2018

  1. Bookmarks and Ink says:

    Congratulations on exceeding your reading goals for 2018! Thanks so much for recommending ‘Become A Successful Indie Author’ by Craig Martelle. I’ve been looking for a good book on writing for ages, especially since I decided to take the self-publishing path. 🙂

    • Tessa Hastjarjanto says:

      A whole new world will open from reading that book. Do check out the Facebook group he mentions as well.

  2. Carolina says:

    So happy that you accomplished your reading goal
    The Diviners sounds like such a great read and I’ve heard fantastic things, I might just check it out soon

    • Tessa Hastjarjanto says:

      Please do! It was my favourite find in the library last year it’s going to be a hard one to top this year haha

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