The Best Books I’ve Read in One Year of Book Blogging


As I mentioned in a previous post, today is the one year anniversary of Read Yourself Happy.  As part of the celebrations, I wanted to share the top ten best and worst books I’ve read and discovered in the first year of my book blogging journey. 

Here are the ten best books I’ve read in my first year of book blogging!

Note: For this list, I’m only including books that I’ve read for the first time since becoming a book blogger. I won’t be including my favorites that I’ve re-read in the past year, such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

The 10 Worst Books I've Read in One Year of Book Blogging.png

10. Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno


Picking the 10th best book I’ve read in the past year was really difficult because there were so many great books that I didn’t want to leave off this list. However, after a lot of consideration, I really wanted to include Summer of Salt. This is not a book that I would have ever picked up if not for Chelsea Palmer‘s Facebook Book Club. Similar to The Night CircusSummer of Salt is another very atmospheric magical realism novel, which seems to be a genre that I’m starting to really love. While the story was a bit predictable at times, I loved the book and the setting a great deal.

9. Becoming by Michelle Obama


The only non-fiction book on this list, Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, was everything. When Barack Obama was in the White House, I often felt that Michelle outshone him, and I loved learning about her life, background, and motivations. This is easily the best memoir that I’ve ever read.

8. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High

First of all, I just want to say that this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing books I’ve seen this year. Second, this book is so freaking good. I don’t usually like young adult contemporaries because I feel that, now that I’m in my early thirties, I’ve outgrown them, but this one can be enjoyed by people of any age. Elizabeth Acevedo’s voice really shines through in this story, and our main character, Emoni, is the kind of strong female character that young adult literature needs.

7. The Last by Hanna Jameson


If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you’ll know that my favorite genre is anything post-apocalyptic. Hanna Jameson took my favorite genre, added a mystery/thriller element to it, and create a wholly unique book. The story is set at a remote hotel in Switzerland after a nuclear war has essentially wiped out the world’s governments. My review for this novel is the one I’m the proudest of on this blog because I had so much to say about this amazing book. I also had the opportunity to interview Hanna Jameson!

6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


The Hate U Give blew everyone away when it was released back in 2017, and for good reason: it’s an incredibly well-written and socially relevant novel about the Black Lives Matter movement. Thomas’ writing is so good that you develop deep empathy for all of the characters involved in the story, and this is definitely the kind of story that needs to be told. If you enjoy audiobooks, the one for The Hate U Give is pretty much perfect.

5. The Montague Siblings Series by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

These books are so adorable, adventurous, and fun. Both of these novels are easily five-star reads, and I love Mackenzi Lee’s characters. The best thing about these books? The relationship between Monty and Percy. Their friendship-turned-romance is so perfect and they’re one of the first couples that come to mind when asked who my favorite fictional couples are. Felicity, the main character of the second book, is such a badass feminist character. If you haven’t read these books, I definitely recommend doing so!

4. The Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes
A Torch Against the Night
A Reaper at the Gates

This is a series that I had never heard of before joining the book community, but I’m so glad that I was inspired to read them. I love the way Sabaa Tahir writes, especially when it comes to character development. All of her characters are very unique and have their own distinct personalities, which led to me having very strong feelings about all of them. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Laia and Elias. Another aspect I enjoyed was the desert setting, which isn’t something that I’ve read a lot of in fantasy. I’m really looking forward to reading the fourth book in this series.

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


I was first introduced to this magical realism novel through the first Booktube channel I ever discovered, A Clockwork Reader. I love whimsy in fiction, and this book is one of the most whimsical I’ve ever read. Morgenstern’s writing is beautiful and atmospheric. The atmosphere of the novel is what drew me so into the story, and is the best quality of the novel overall. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because this is the kind of book you need to go into knowing nothing to really appreciate how it unfolds.

2. The Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows
Crooked Kingdom

While I could also easily include Leigh Bardugo’s GrishaVerse trilogy here, she knocked it out of the park with the Six of Crows duology. I adore the Russian-inspired world Bardugo has created, and the rag-tag group of characters in these two books are delightful. I flew through these fantasy novels because I absolutely had to know what happened next. While the plot of these books is amazing, it’s really the diversity of and the relationship between the characters that make this duology incredible.

1. The Stormlight Archive Series by Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance

Out of all the series I’ve started and books I’ve read in the past year, Brandon Sanderson’s first two books in his Stormlight Archive series have been the best. I haven’t read book three yet (although I now own a copy), but based on the first two books alone, this is going to be one of my favorite series ever. There was nothing that I disliked about these two books, which is a very rare thing for me to say. The world-building is unlike anything I’ve read since J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and Sanderson’s characters are so well-written that they feel like real people. These two books led to Sanderson becoming one of my favorite authors, and I am eagerly looking forward to his other novels.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them? Let me know in the comments!

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The Best Books I Read in 2018

2018 was a great year for reading and one in which I read things I normally would not have, thanks to wanting more variety for this blog. There were so many great books that I read, and these are the best.

For this list, I’m only including books that I read for the first time in 2018, not favorites that I reread, such as Cormac McCarthy’s The Road or Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

Read My Review

This novel was the first I reviewed on Read Yourself Happy, and I still find myself thinking about it regularly. I loved the unusual narration style, especially since the house narrated a few chapters. I’m looking forward to reading many more books by Helen Oyeyemi this year.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Thriftbooks

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Read my review of Six of Crows
My review of Crooked Kingdom will be posted later this week

These two novels blew my mind. I’d been hearing about all the hype for ages, and I was incredibly late on this bandwagon, but these books were incredible and I flew through them in order to learn what would happen next. I wanted so much more from this world, and I’ve already reserved Bardugo’s Grishaverse trilogy at my local library.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Thriftbooks

An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, and A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir


Read my review of An Ember in the Ashes
Read my review of A Torch Against the Night
Read my review of A Reaper at the Gates


The An Ember in the Ashes series is probably my favorite series I’ve read this year, and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to make it until the fourth book comes out. My co-workers and boyfriend probably got sick of me talking about these books while I was reading them. Elias and Laia are wonderfully fleshed-out characters and I enjoyed the world of these novels.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Thriftbooks

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Read my review of City of Ghosts


This was the first Victoria Schwab book I ever read, although it certainly won’t be the last. The book gave me strong vibes of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, which is one of my all-time favorites. I enjoyed the characters and Schwab’s writing style, and I’m excited that the sequel is going to be released next year, and that there’s going to be a television show based on the novel.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee


Read my review of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
Read my review of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy


I first heard of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue through my favorite booktuber, Hannah at A Clockwork Reader. I tend to have a very similar reading style to her, and I will be forever grateful that I picked these books up at her recommendation. Both of these novels were well-written with loveable characters and great representation.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Thriftbooks

Trouble No Man by Brian Hart


Read my review here

This novel comes out on January 29, 2019, and I’m incredibly appreciative to Harper Perennial for sending me a review copy. I rated it five stars, and it’s a great, tragic story. Set in a future where the West Coast has run out of water, the novel follows Roy Bingham through several decades of his life and is told in a non-linear format.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble