Which Best Books of 2018 Lists Do You Agree With?

Best Books of 2018 Lists


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Last year, I set out to find out which bookish media sources I agreed most with about the best books of the year…and the ones I agreed least with.

And, I found that I pretty much didn’t agree with all the “traditional” media sources, but that I did agree with smaller Facebook groups, podcasts, and bloggers. Unfortunately, some of my best bookish media sources from last year haven’t yet published their Best Books of 2018 lists. I’m not sure why since I’m sharing this post a day later than I did last year. But, I’ll update my results as soon as the Best of 2018 lists from sources like From the Front Porch podcast, Sorta Book Nerds Facebook Group, #SpiveysClub Facebook Group, and Modern Mrs. Darcy come in.

I kept track of as many Best Books of 2018 lists from major bookish news sources as possible and calculated what percentage of their Best Books of 2018 I liked / didn’t like. Now that I know my Best Bookish News Sources, I can use these publications or podcasts to pick better books moving forward!

The Best Best Books of 2018 Lists I Most Agree With

These are my Best Bookish Media Sources…

  1. New York Times 10 Best Books of 2018 (20%)
  2. Library Journal (17%)
  3. Bookpage Editors Picks (13%)
  4. Southern Living (12%)
  5. Publisher’s Weekly (10%), Esquire Magazine (10%), NPR (10%)

My Thoughts:

  • Y’all, I’m shocked at this list! Three of these sources (NYT 10 Best Books, Bookpage, and Publisher’s Weekly) were my WORST from last year! 
  • The overall % agreement was lower for my best sources this year. Last year, my top sources were ALL above 20% and my #1 source (Sorta Book Nerds Facebook Group) was at 50%.
  • I suspect some of the sources that are publishing their lists late will come in and knock some of these out of the top spots. Stay tuned…I’ll update you when they publish their lists!
  • There were a couple specific books I agreed with critics on (Educated, The Great Believers, An American Marriage, Bad Blood) this year…far more of them than last year. I think they carried me since they appeared on so many lists this year.

The Best Books of 2018 Lists I DON’T Agree With

These are my Worst Bookish Media Sources…

  1. Library Reads (-30%)
  2. Washington Post (-15%)
  3. Time Magazine (-10%)
  4. Bustle (-3%), Shelf Awareness (-3%)

My Thoughts:

  • So…Library Reads topping my worst list is surprising. I’ve been using their monthly picks lists as recommendation sources all year! But, not only did it top my worst sources list based on their Best Books of 2018 list, but I checked my recommendations sources stats from the entire year (I use my Rock Your Reading Tracker to keep this stat!) and realized their unsuccessful recommendations completely canceled out their successful ones! So, big takeaway for me…put less stock in this recommendation source next year.
  • Bustle is on this list for the second year in a row.

What I’m going to do with this information

  • At the moment, not much. I’m going to wait for the last few sources to come in with their Best Books of 2018 list and then see where things fall.
  • However, I might give Publisher’s Weekly another chance as a recommendation source in 2019 (I’d cut them out in 2018).
  • Book of the Month was a top recommendation source for me last year. This year, enough of their picks were unsuccessful to cancel out the successful picks, leaving me with a 0% success rate. I said earlier in the year that I wasn’t as thrilled with their picks compared to previous years (basically, ever since they changed their judges structure). Turns out that was confirmed by the numbers. Let’s hope they can turn things around in 2019.

Find the Best Books of 2018 Lists You Most Agree and Disagree With!

  • Download the spreadsheet via the sign-up form below.
  • Follow the spreadsheet’s instructions to find your Best and Worst Best Books of 2018 lists.
  • Trust your Best Bookish Media Sources! Use them to pick books moving forward. Most publish “Most Anticipated Books” and mid-year Best Books list, which are great sources for recommendations throughout the year. Maybe you’ll even find some new-to-you sources you didn’t even realize were in line with your taste!
  • Be skeptical of book recommendations from your Worst Bookish Media Sources.

Give it a go! What Best Books of 2018 lists did you agree or disagree with? What are your Best and Worst Bookish News Sources?

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  1. I haven’t read so many of the books on those lists that it’s really hard for me to judge. No matter how much I read, I never seem to be reading the “hot” books.

    Posted 12.20.18 Reply
  2. Kristin wrote:

    Sorta Book Nerds, of course. I had a few misses, but not many. I think the lists there are more enjoyable reads. The big reviewers seem to prefer prose and complicated matters that I just can’t get into. I’ve removed myself from Library Reads, but will still watch the others. Oh, and I really enjoy the People magazine books, but usually just the few at the bottom on the page that aren’t as well known.

    Posted 12.20.18 Reply
  3. I trust my fellow bloggers above all other sources. Their lists resonate most with me. The bigger resources, overall, feel a bit out of touch.

    Posted 12.20.18 Reply
  4. Wendy wrote:

    It’s pretty rare for me to agree with the newspaper book lists. Same with the winners of the Pulitzer. I feel like those readers are in a different universe than the rest of us. When I sit down to read a book, I want to enjoy it. I don’t want to have to think too hard! Oh, and I agree with what Kristin said above about the People magazine book list. It’s pretty good–they seem to have a handle on quality books that people actually want to read. My main source for finding books is book bloggers–like you!

    Posted 12.20.18 Reply
  5. I love detective books. They take
    you to a place that marches you through a crime step-by-step until crime is solved. I really love when detective is a woman…or a team where a woman is 1/2 of the team. I don’t know which team I should choose for my best club.

    Posted 5.6.19 Reply

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