No doubt 2019 will bring more award-winning “must reads,” début authors, and HBO adaptations of books to keep your bedside table overflowing. Before they come to your attention, there is still time to read some of the best-selling books of 2018. Everyone at The Book Cove had their favorites, but the following titles flew off the shelves while the ink was still wet, as we say in the business.
Non-fiction and memoirs proved to be more popular this year than fiction. Certainly the plethora of political tell-alls grabbed most of the space in the headlines. Michelle Obama’s autobiography, Becoming, quickly became our second bestselling non-fiction book of the year. However, there was no way the former First Lady was going to unseat Pawling’s own Nancy Clark Tanner who published her own story this year in Bookpeople: Echoes from the Book Cove. Her story begins in 1976 when The Book Cove opens on Thanksgiving weekend on Arch Street. The cover of the book calls the stories within “The Early Years.” We all hope to read more of her memories in a follow-up she could call “The Middle Years.”
Other best-selling titles included Churchill: Walking with Destiny by Andrew Roberts, Always Look On the Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle, In the Hurricane’s Eye by Nathaniel Philbrick, Calypso by David Sedaris, and May I Come In? by Wendy Goodman.
You would need two or three years to read all the great fiction that was published in 2018. It seemed that every genre had its turn at the top of the bestseller list. Historical Fiction kept us intrigued with Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours. Mystery Lovers were thrilled that Louise Penny released her highly anticipated Kingdom of the Blind, the fourteenth book following Inspector Gamache. Début author Christine Mangan had us on the edge of our seats with Tangerine, a dark novel with psychotic characters set in the slowly decaying Moroccan city of Tangier.
Stephen King’s The Outsider was a doorstopper that we did not want to end. Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore probably should have ended 200 pages sooner. Andre Dubus III wrote Gone So Long after an eight-year hiatus, and after reading the rambling, grim novel I would advise him to take another hiatus for even longer this time. I thought The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg was going to take off like a rocket, but it never did.
If this new year can produce even half as many great books, we will not run out of reading material. As is often the case, we run out of year before we run out of pages. To all of our customers who helped make 2018 another record year, we thank you. To everyone else we only ask that you please think of The Book Cove the next time you find yourself in need of something good to read.
Max Weber is Assistant Manager of The Book Cove.