I read many good books this year, and I’ll read many more in the new year. Here are the best I came across in 2018:
5) Kill or Be Killed vol. 1-4 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser (graphic novel) – A compelling, grounded take on the vigilante concept by a creative team that always delivers. The ambiguity surrounding the main character’s condition elevates it even further.
4) A Collection of Essays by George Orwell (nonfiction) – Insightful essays covering a delightful mix of topics, by one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century. His thoughts on Charles Dickens are just as intriguing as his thoughts on comic postcards.
3) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (fiction) – I hadn’t read this since high school, and I appreciated it much more after reading it voluntarily as an adult. A wronged man reinvents himself and patiently pursues his revenge in this exciting, enduring classic.
2) Grant by Ron Chernow (nonfiction) – At this point, if Chernow writes a comprehensive single-volume biography of an important American figure, I’m in. His thorough biography on Ulysses Grant is right up there with his excellent books on Hamilton and Washington.
1) Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard (nonfiction) – Millard covers the assassination of President James A. Garfield and everything around it, putting together a rich tapestry of history that also includes the origins of a deranged shooter, doctors’ reluctance to embrace antiseptic practices, the redemption of VP-turned-President Chester Arthur, and much more. It could make a fantastic TV miniseries, but it’s already a superb book.