book reviews

Top 10 Book Reviews in 2018

I love reading and would prefer to do that than watch TV, go to the gym, floss my teeth, pay bills, or do the laundry. I review a lot of the books I read, usually received from NetGalley or the library but I also buy quite a few. I collect my writing book reviews here and my education ones here. When I read, I choose education (for my other passion), thrillers, historical fiction, and then anything else.

Here are my favorite books  I read in 2018 (in alphabetic order):

  1. The Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box
  2. Both Mountain Man series by William W. Johnstone
  3. The Jess Williams series by Robert Thomas
  4. Bloody Sunday by Ben Coes
  5. The Other Woman by Daniel Silva
  6. Spy Master by Brad Thor
  7. All of W. Bruce Cameron’s dog stories
  8. Raptor Red by Robert Bakker
  9. Sam by Sally Cronin
  10. The Operator by Robert O’Neill

I read 222 books according to Goodreads–blasting through my 2018 goal of 197 books. Here’s an image of all 200+ books I read (click to enlarge):

book reviews

But that isn’t always what you (my readers) are most interested in. Here are my top ten reviews from 2018:

  1. Marketing for Writers Who Hate Marketing
  2. Badlands
  3. 3 More Great Books I Read (Williams, Coulter, Watson)
  4. Prehistoric Fiction Authors: Great Books For You
  5. 3 Multi-genre Books I Loved (Sally Cronin, Rod Collins, VanGerve)
  6. 3 Worthy Books from Blogging Authors (Deborah Jay, Luciana Cavallero, Tina Frisco)
  7. 3 Excellent Books from Indie Authors (Luciana Cavallero, Carol. Balawyder, Rich Linville)
  8. 3 More Great Books from NetGalley (Johnson, Mizushima, Greyson)
  9. 7 Books to Understand Your Character’s Psychology
  10. Indie Authors–2 Great YA Books (Grace Allison, Sharon CassanoLochman)

Oh–one more thing. I don’t have enough Twitter followers. If you would follow me, I’ll follow you back! Here’s the handle (with a link):


Since I read about three books a week, I’m always eager for new material. What’s your favorite book from 2018?

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Survival of the Fittest, Spring 2019, first in the Crossroads Trilogy. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning


61 thoughts on “Top 10 Book Reviews in 2018

  1. I always take the time to review what I’ve read on Goodreads. For one thing, it kind of serves as a “reading diary” — a place for me to remind myself what I’ve read and how I felt about it — but it’s also an important intellectual exercise: Rather than just tossing a finished book aside and reaching for the next one in the pile, I allow myself to digest what I’ve read, even and especially when I didn’t like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to make enough time for that many books! I’m positively green with envy here. I’m mostly ready M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series, not my normal type of book, and just laughing myself silly with them. But, when I’m finished with those, I’ll look forward to trying some of these, shame so few women managed to make it into your top ten, they’d better try harder this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacqui, that is a phenomenal amount of books and on top of that I know you write so many reviews. I read lots of great books this year and I found my favourite one changing according to my mood. ‘Bear Town’ by Fredrick Backman was astonishing and I haven’t quite been so awed by a book for a very long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How MARVELOUS on your number of books read (and the books themselves, of course). When I wrote about my 2018 list of books read early this month, some made me feel a bit, ahem, ‘weird’ that I read so much. But I’m a fast reader, as I’m sure you are, and I forego TV for a good book. I figure, the more we read, the more we learn, empathize, love. I enjoyed reading your list (I’m about to read The Other Woman – love Silva books) and will follow you on Twitter for sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. wow, Jacqui! that’s an amazing number of books to read in a year. you must have done a speed reading course. that’s wonderful to read that efriends and fiction are where you spend your time. no other hobbies but reading. sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to be so focussed. well done you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so jealous of your ability to read that many books!I wholeheartedly agree that reading books is more enjoyable than just about anything else (except writing my own, and hanging with my family). But my time is so limited for reading. It’s a shame.

    Currently I’m reading a YA fantasy, Dance of Thieves by Mary Pearson, and Wool by Hugh Howie. I’m also reading Judgment Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein, but that’s more of a read when I’m feeling “judgy” and I need a mentor to redirect me. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Once I started writing my blogs (though sporadic, as I learn to navigate). I never watch TV, except Sundays, and 1 hour per week of CNN, where I get in 1 hour snippets of the whole weeks happenings, just without the depression, llol
    I love reading and Journaling, and working on the film project, which leaves no other than time 4 TV😁💬👣👣👥👣👣👣👤👥👤👥👥👤🙊🙉🙈

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That’s an AMAZING number of books – where do you find the time??? If I read that many, I’d never get my next book written. I manage barely one a week, and sometimes during a busy work period, not even that.
    I am seriously impressed. I guess that’s why you are a Vine Voice.

    Liked by 3 people

    • If you look at my website, loveisstronger y
      you’ll see that not only am I reading all those books; I’m writing a book and a screenplay, for a film by the same name as website (working title), coming out in late fall 2021 but it’s much easier to “listen” to a book, while going about chores and other things besides writing that’s where I find the time but it’s a little here and there may be a couple of chapters over five books per day?
      I couldn’t fathom actually “reading” any book these days, though I miss the smell of an old classic book…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow! I always think of me as fast reader but you definitely top it! 😄 I wanted to make a note of each book I read this last year but gave up in February. 😉 As to my favourite of 2018 I’d have to say that was ‘Manhattan Beach’ by Jennifer Egan. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi jacqui – well I’ve ordered ‘Vancouver’ so I have a copy here … I left my other one behind in Canada … I’d also recommend Circling the Midnight Sun – that one came with me … and the others set out in my July 2018 posts …

    I’ve come across some new ones that have been reissued and once I’ve read one and located the other author … this weekend I hope -you can add these mysteries (novels) to your list – not taking too much energy to read … the others above do …

    My count is few! Thanks for the list though .. and happy 2019 reading – cheers HIlary

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Circling the Midnight Sun” sounds really good. I am always intrigued by those parts of the world where the sun never sets. I’ve been watching an Alaska series on Netflix that is based in that sort of land. Fascinating.


      • Is that the one with Michael Portillo and his trains? He was a British MP – but does lots of train trips around the UK originally, then Europe and now other places following the Guides that were published in the late 1800s or early 1900s … I must check if he’s done a Canadian one … I see he did them last year – when I was that side of the world … I’ll have to check them out.

        Do get Circling the Midnight Sun – and Vancouver!! and for that matter Island of the Blue Foxes …. Cheers H

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Jacqui, I’ve always noted your phenomenal ability to read. I read all the time, but I simply can’t read the number of books that you devour. My favorite was the first one I read in 2018: Moonglow by Michael Chabon. He’s long been a favorite author, and this book, a tribute to his grandfather and a salute to early rocket-to-the-moon history, enchanted me.
    What are you reading now? Of course, I realize it will be a different title if you answer this morning or this evening, but I’m still curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did the math one day on why my reading has exploded in the last few years. A good bit of that extra time is from working out of the house rather than at a school. Commute time, chatting time, meeting time–yikes! That was hours a day and now it’s given over to reading.

      Much nicer.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve heard of Chabon, not read him.

      I’m reading a 42-book series by W.L. Cox about the old West. He writes a book a month so it’ll be 43 before I get there. He also has another 42-book series with a different old west character. I’m in heaven!

      Liked by 1 person

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