Bucket List: 18 Books to Read in 2018

You should be reading more! We should ALL be reading more—that’s just a fact, folks. It can be so difficult, though, when you pick up a book and try to get invested… only to realize it’s a total dumpster fire! I mean, really—they’ll call anything a “best seller” these days, won’t they?

Well, fret not, friends! We’ve put together a great big readout of the bucket list books that you should read in 2018! With our help, you’ll know all the best books to read between now and December.

What are you waiting for? Get to reading, silly!

best book 1

Bell Hooks’ “All About Love

We live in a society where the notion of love is changing on a day-to-day basis. Did you ever watch Her? The movie where Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an AI that’s totally ScarJo? Maybe The Shape of Water? Weird del Toro movie about a woman that loves a fish man? The definition of love is ever-shifting, folks, and wise feminist crusader Bell Hooks will help you figure out how to define and pursue love in your own life.

best book 2

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit

The Hobbit is a wonderful little novella about a short, chubby man who goes on an adventure with a dozen other short, chubby men and a wizard to fight a dragon! How lovely. If you like fiction and you’ve never read The Hobbit, be ashamed of yourself! And then get to reading!

Also maybe set aside a whole year for its sequel, The Lord of the Rings.

best book 3

J.M. Coetzee’s “Disgrace

Disgrace is a beautiful novel that discusses how we confront prejudice and social stigma in modern society. If you’re a fan of Hemingway-esque brevity, you’ll definitely love Disgrace.

best book 5

Marilynne Robinson’s “Gilead

Set in Gilead, Iowa, in the 1950s, “Gilead” is a story for the faithful. It concerns a letter written by a pastor to his son, in which we learn about the pastor’s father and grandfather—both pastors as well—and their differing views on faith and society. It’s a beautiful story that touches on hard subjects, and it’s definitely not one to miss!

best book 6

Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories

Written in the mid-’50s, “A Good Man…” is a controversial collection of short stories in which O’Connor marvelously portrays the complexity of people—the dual nature of good and bad in everyone—in timelessly tragic ways that evoke television shows like The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror.

best book 7

Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale

A classic dystopian novel that portends of a hollow future-America in which misogyny runs rampant. After you read this absolute marvel of powerful literature, look into the adapted TV show!

best book 8

Douglas Adams’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

A bizarre, neurotic, comical look into classic sci-fi. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out on something special!

best book 9

Italo Calvino’s “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler

A story told, strangely enough, about you, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler is a wonderful piece of literature that masterfully alternates between second- and third-person prose to weave together an unforgettable tale.

best book 11

David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest

Born in the digital frontier that was the dot-com era, Infinite Jest is an alarmingly self-aware tale of tennis players struggling at a competitive school and recovering addicts searching for meaning. It’s a tour-de-force of absurdity, and you’ll be glad you read it.

best book 12

Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita

Despite its rather dark subject matter—let’s not mince words, here: pedophilia—Lolita is the premier piece of literature for lovers of puns, witticisms, metaphors and allegories. A story told by an unreliable narrator who knows very well how depraved he is as he pursues a love affair with an adolescent. It isn’t a love story and it isn’t a cautionary tale about morality. It’s a shameless glance into the mind of a deviant written very beautifully.

best book 10

Art Spiegelman’s “Maus

An autobiographical self-portrait of Spiegelman’s experience as a secondhand Holocaust survivor. This story about the raw, visceral youth of a Holocaust survivor’s child can’t be missed.

best book 13

Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go

A subtle sci-fi tale of adolescence and youthful liberty that tackles love and disappointment in a way that no other story can.

best book 15

Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States

A must-read if you endured the American public education system! Learn what public schools would rather kids not talk about, and revise your sadly whitewashed knowledge of American history.

best book 16

Elizabeth Bishop’s “Poems

Some of the most fiercely intelligent and poignant poetry ever written, Elizabeth Bishop’s scant selection of written work is a shining example of brevity and earnestness.

best book 17

Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five

A stark but clever piece of satire that very painfully conveys Kurt Vonnegut’s horrific experiences in World War II.

best book 18

Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most spectacularly subversive stories that has ever dared to buck the status quo. It’s a coming of age story about a young woman experiencing firsthand the abject horror of intrinsic racism that continues to plague our cultural experience today.

best book 19

Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are

A whimsical picture book filled with sparing poetry and incredibly detailed illustrations of unimaginable, curious creatures. A must-read for anyone with a vivid imagination!

best book 20

Haruki Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a surrealistic Japanese novel with a hint of Western pop culture that delves firmly into the psyche of a foreign nature. Murakami is a widely beloved novelist in the West, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is recognized as one of his best.

There you have it! 18 of the best books to read before you kick the bucket! Begin consuming at your discretion, friends. Check out Wonderdealz.com to find your next book at the lowest possible price!

Author: Billie Hauk

24-year-old Tennessee local yokel, part-time LGBTQ+ journalist and blogger.

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