The Atlantic

Atlantic Readers Share Their Favorite Books of 2018

We asked readers of The Atlantic’s daily newsletter to tell us what they liked reading this year, and why.
Source: Katie Martin / The Atlantic

We Asked Readers:

What was the best book you read in 2018, and why?

Here’s how they responded.


My favorite book of 2018 was Melmoth by Sarah Perry. On its surface, this book is about the narrator’s encounter with a supernatural specter—an immortal witch known as Melmoth, or the witness, who observes people’s worst deeds and then stalks them with the intention of convincing them to follow her on her doomed and lonely quest to traverse the Earth for eternity. However, the brilliance of this book is that it is actually so much more than a horror story.

The storytelling of the book is so effective in that it expertly builds suspense by alluding to events without actually revealing them until the moment is right. This pulls readers in, as the characters are slowly and exquisitely crafted so that the reader connects with them, feeling what they go through while also marveling at their experiences. Further, the novel deals with intense and heavy themes such as guilt, morality, purpose, forgiveness, and courage. It explores the motives and actions of individuals, all the while delving into their thought processes

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