These Are the Best Books of 2018: The Obvious Ones and the Ones That Flew Under the Radar

No doubt, there are tons of books written and released every year. If the author is lucky, their manuscript will rise to the top. While The Cheat Sheet can’t come close to sharing all those favored for the year, we can share a few and have chosen five each in a variety of categories, we hope you will find worth a read.

Best nonfiction of 2018

There is little doubt, this has been a year for nonfiction! Political topics have topped the shelves – from the recently released memoir Becoming from former First Lady Michelle Obama to the numerous political work on President Donald J. Trump, and so many others. However, here are a few lesser-known topics that have made for fascinating reads we’d like to share.

The Wisdom of Wolves: Lessons from the Sawtooth Pack by Jim and Jamie Dutcher

Meaty by Samantha Irby

I’ll be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee

Best fiction of 2018

Every year fiction probably has the longest list of recommendations on any reviewer’s list. There are so many books from so many writers – those new to the stage, and those old favorites we’ve been reading for years. But, perhaps the real reasoning lies behind just how many genres make up the section of fiction. Obviously not every topic is right for everyone. Not everyone wants to read a romance novel, nor can stomach futuristic war stories. And, sci-fi may just to be too way out there for some. However, we have chosen a few of our favorites to share and hope may pique the interest of some of our readers. And, just maybe one of these will be the next story adapted into a popular TV show or big screen hit!

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Conscience by Alice Mattison

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

The Immoralists by Chloe Benjamin

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

Best beach reads of 2018

No, these aren’t books about the beach! They are also called contemporary fiction. Beach reads are usually light, airy, and often sexy. And, yes, they are generally, but not always, preferred by women.

Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes

Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen

Limelight by Amy Poeppel

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

Best thrillers of 2018

Stephen King

Stephen King | Mario Tama/Getty Images

From famous authors to newbies one of which is a former U.S. president, the top thriller book lists offer a wide array of tales from intrigue to horror. You can’t miss these, although we realize there are many others.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The President is Missing by Robert Patterson and Bill Clinton

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry

The Outsider by Stephen King

Best good ole’ crime and mystery novels of 2018

Although True Crime is most popular on TV these days, there is nothing like a good who-dun-it fiction novel to dig into on a cold winter evening. Whether you’re following a series, or want to try something new, here’s a sampling of what 2018 has had to offer.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Mycroft and Sherlock by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse

Look Alive Twenty-Five by Janet Evanovich

The Colors of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

The book publishing market has an upward trend forecast as we head toward 2020. Around 113 billion U.S. dollars were spent on books in 2015 and by 2020, that number is expected to come in around 123 billion, according to Statista.

While experts say there is little interest in long reads on the internet, the need for a good novel, or to take a more in-depth look through biographies of the rich and famous, remains strong and is growing.