Favorite Books of 2018 – War, Comedy, and Murakami
Below is a list of my top 5 favorite books of 2018. I read 32 books this year spanning a wide variety of genres. My entire reading list for 2018 is at the bottom of this post.
1. Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit by Eric Haney
Hands down my favorite book this year. It’s written by Eric Haney, a retired member of Delta Force, the US Army’s counterterrorist unit. He walks us through his time in Delta Force from the selection process, through the intensive training, into the Iran hostage crisis, locating and killing snipers in Beirut, and the US Invasion of Panama. It’s action packed and shows you the intensity of preparation and training that goes into these military operations. I listened to it on Audible and was HOOKED the entire time. I learned a lot about grit and perseverance. The selection process is mentally and physically straining and only the people who are mentally tough survive. In the end, it’s a mental game and you need to be mentally strong to accomplish amazing things.
2. Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
If you haven’t read anything by Murakami yet, this is a good place to start. Murakami is a Japanese author that writes stories that blur the line of reality and the surreal. Reading his books are always a wild ride because really weird and absurd stuff happens but they’re always grounded in themes that are very realistic — mainly loneliness, isolation, and detachment. Kafka On The Shore is about two characters, a young boy named Kafka Tamura who run away from home and an old man named Satoru Nakata who is mentally slow and can talk to cats. Ultimately their lives intertwine with some time travel, a rock that opens doors, and the appearance of Colonel Sanders (yes, the KFC guy).
3. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
You. Have. To. Read. This. Easily made it to my favorite books list! Whenever I watch the news it seems like the world is getting worse and worse. We hear about the US China Trade War, the stock market crashing, the next lettuce E coli contamination, the chaos at the US-Mexico border, and that’s just the bad news in the US. So, of course our natural tendency is to think that the world is in fact getting worse. However, that’s not true (aside from global warming). In fact, more girls have primary education, extreme poverty has rapidly decreased, babies per woman is decreasing and stabilizing to around 2.5. Of course, there’s a lot of work to be done to continue to improve. However, we should not discount or completely ignore all the progress that already has been made. The world is not developed vs. developing anymore. It’s a more subtle scale than that as the majority of the “developing” world has access to electricity, running water, education, etc. A new way to think about the world and appreciate the progress that humanity has made thus far.
4. Calypso by David Sedaris
I didn’t know who David Sedaris was until I listened to this book on Audible. He’s a comedian and humorist and definitely lives up to those titles. This book is a memoir on his life and his relationships with his husband, parents, and siblings. He loves his Fit Bit and it’s absolutely hilarious the things he does to get those steps in. You will die laughing at all the stories and I probably looked like a fool on I-45 laughing to myself. I’m a huge fan now and plan on reading his other works in 2019.
5. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Malala got shot in the head by the Taliban for defending girls’ access to education in Pakistan. She survived and then went on to be the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The book not only highlights her love for education but also paints a picture of how the Taliban came to be and the terror they evoked in Pakistan. An inspiring story of how we shouldn’t be afraid to speak out and fight for basic human rights. Yup, I listened to this book on Audible too.
If you’re wondering why I listen to so many audiobooks, it’s because I have a 45 minute commute to and from work and I have to entertain myself somehow. Listening to Ariana Grande and Oprah’s podcasts are also recommended forms of entertainment.
I’d love to hear any recommendations you have! Stocking up my reading list for 2019.
Entire Book List For 2018
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albon
- A Wild Sheep’s Chase by Haruki Murakami
- Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
- Inside Delta Force: The Story of America’s Elite Counterterrorist Unit by Eric Haney
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
- The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
- Sapiens — A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
- The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis
- Feeding The Dragon by Sharon Washington
- 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
- Get Well Soon by Jennifer Wright
- I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll
- Calypso by David Sedaris
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
This post was originally published on Medium