Tall Poppy Readers Fav Books of 2018

This past week, I was invited to the cool kids’ lunch table . . . The Tall Poppy Writers invited me to take part in their Book Blogger Appreciation Week on their reader site: Bloom: A Group for Tall Poppy Readers.

The Tall Poppy Writers are a group of 44 female writers. Ann Garvin (a Wisconsin author) founded the group, and it was Susan Gloss (another Tall Poppy Writer) who invited me to hang out this past week on the Bloom Facebook Page.

Why am I telling you this? Because the Bloom readers group is FABULOUS! (You can join them here.) When it was my turn to post, I asked Bloom members to tell me the best book they’ve read so far this year. The results were amazing. I didn’t expect so many replies.

And, when the week concluded, I was a little sad to leave all these good suggestions just sitting around in the Facebook comments section. I decided they deserved a place of their own.

Here’s what Bloom members recommended. (Are any of your favorites on this list?)

The winner by far was The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (named by ten Bloom members).

ABOUT THE BOOK: In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.

Second place, went to the The Alice Network by Kate Quinn with six votes.

ABOUT THE BOOK: In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

Five titles received three votes each:

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

ABOUT THE BOOK: When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam war, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told that nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part. And all for the love of her unborn child.

Face Off by Brenda Sue Novak

ABOUT THE BOOK: SHE VOWED NEVER TO BE A VICTIM AGAIN. BUT NOW A KILLER HAS HER IN HIS SIGHT. . . Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work―studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her―until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

ABOUT THE BOOK: With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

This I Know by Eldonna Edwards

ABOUT THE BOOK: Eleven-year-old Grace Carter has a talent for hiding things. She’s had plenty of practice, burying thoughts and feelings that might anger her strict Evangelical pastor father, and concealing the deep intuition she carries inside. The Knowing, as Grace calls it, offers glimpses of people’s pasts and futures. It enables her to see into the depth of her mother’s sadness, and even allows Grace to talk to Isaac, her twin brother who died at birth. To her wise, loving Aunt Pearl, the Knowing is a family gift; to her daddy, it’s close to witchcraft. 

Vox by Christina Dalcher

ABOUT THE BOOK: On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her. Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

And, three titles received two votes each:

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

ABOUT THE BOOK: Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

The Myth of Perpetual Summer by Susan Crandall

ABOUT THE BOOK: Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders. If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

ABOUT THE BOOK: For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life--until the unthinkable happens.

The other favorites of 2018 were:

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Nightfall by A.J. Banner

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

The Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Carousel Beach by Orly Konig Lopez

Circe by Madeline Miller

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Come Away With Me by Karma K. Brown

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray

Crazy Little Town Called Love by Jill Hannah Anderson

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Manisalco

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves

The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson

Good Me . . . Bad Me by Ali Land

The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

Heartbeat of Grace by Kristin Sterk

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey

Into the Free by Julie Cantrell

Just In Time by Marie Bostwick

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Night of Miracles by Elizabeth Berg

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

The Optimists Guide to Letting Go by Amy Reichert

Origin by Dan Brown

The Other Girl by Erica Spindler

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Rise of the Mystics by Ted Dekker

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

Someone’s Daughter by David Bell

Splintered Silence by Susan Furlong

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner

The Subway Girls by Susan Orman Schnall

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Unbroken Threads by Jennifer Klepper

The Unseen World by Liz Moore

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagan

Wonderland Series by Irina Shapiro

Wrapped in the Stars by Elena Mikalsen


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