The BookBrowse Review

Published December 5, 2018

ISSN: 1930-0018

printable version
This is a free edition of our twice-monthly magazine, The BookBrowse Review,
which is just one of the benefits of membership for just $3.25 a month!
Give a Gift Membership | Join Today | Renew | BookBrowse for Libraries


In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

Discussions are open to all members to read and post. Click to view the books currently being discussed.

Publishing Soon


Historical Fiction

Short Stories/Essays




History, Science & Current Affairs

True Crime

  • Burned by Edward Humes (rated 5/5)

Young Adults

Short Stories/Essays

  • Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert (rated 5/5)


Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Alternate History

Dear BookBrowsers—

It’s that best of time again! The time when we stand still for a minute, turn back around and take a look at what has unfolded over the course of the year. It feels like the blink of an eye, doesn’t it? From January until now? Don’t you wish you could somehow slow it down?

There’s a theory about time passing called the perceptual theory of time which offers that it seems to speed up as we get older because we continually evolve our perception of the world. Specifically (according to psychologist Robert Ornstein), our sense of the speed of time is determined by how much information our minds are absorbing. The more we take in, the slower time seems to pass. This is why children tend to sigh and exclaim Aren’t we there YET? over and over again. They are taking in so many details that they perceive the ticking of time as endless. So how do we adults reclaim some of that leisurely pace?

One way is by reading really good books that engage our minds with dynamic story-lines, empathetic characters and fascinating details. Reading a book demands that we sit still and focus because there is so much rich information inside its pages.

And here we are in December. Turned and gazing back at the year. We’re sure you’ve read a bunch of great books over the last 11 months, but if you missed some, if you want to slow down time in this last month of the year, then we suggest you take a look at our best of list.

Educated by Tara Westover receives our best non-fiction award and was also our overall highest rated book. This memoir explores Westover’s childhood in a survivalist family and her quest to leave to find education and herself in the process. Circe, Madeline Miller's follow-up to The Song of Achilles receives our best fiction award. It's an epic story about family, rivalry and a celebration of strong women. Our best debut novel award goes to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which is a heartbreaking coming of age story mixed with the suspenseful tale of a possible murder. And finally, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone gets our best young adult fiction award. The first in a series, this West African-inspired fantasy explores one girl’s fight to bring magic back to her world before it is too late.

These four title together with the next sixteen highest rated books form our 2018 Top 20. We also reprise our twelve "best books for book clubs in 2019" and roundup eight of the best author interviews from the year.

Thanks for reading!

Your editor,
Davina Morgan-Witts

About the Awards
BookBrowse's Best of the Year awards are an excellent barometer of great reading. The awards are particularly noteworthy because voting is only open to BookBrowse subscribers - so no vote stuffing by rabid fan bases; and instead of just voting for a book (which favors the most widely read books) subscribers rate each book they've read that is on the shortlist, and the winners are the books with the highest overall rating. Such considered selection results in truly outstanding books being feted every year. 2018 is no different in that regard. Over 6,000 votes were cast this year. If you took part in the voting - thank you! More about the awards.

About BookBrowse
Meet the Editors & Reviewers
Back Issues & Schedule

Educated Circe Where the Crawdads Sing Children of Blood and Bone Bad Blood Dopesick Washington Black The Winter Soldier The Girl Who Smiled Beads The Spy and the Traitor A Place for Us Mothers of Sparta Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree An American Marriage The Overstory Meet Me at the Museum Force of Nature Only Child Unsheltered Ginny Moon

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.