Book Lists Book Reviews

A Year of Reading: 12 Fantastic Books for January through December

A few years ago, I made a month-by-month reading calendar for one of my freelance clients.

In January, I got an email from a reader telling me how much she’d loved following along with it, and asking if I was planning to do it for 2017.

The thought had never crossed my mind.

But I jotted it down in my notes so that in 2018, I could make one.

And here it is!

I loved going through each month and thinking about what books would be a good fit for that season, whether it’s a cold winter afternoon or a long lazy day at the beach in the summer.

Whether you’re looking for something to read solo or picking options for a bookclub, these books are perfect for every month in 2018.

Twelve books to read in 2018, one for each month picked to correspond with the season - the perfect way to organize a year of reading!

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

There’s basically no better choice in my opinion to kick off the year than this book. It’s just FILLED with great ideas for harnessing your own preferences and personality traits to create habits that really work for you. Plus, I just find her books so readable. My mom and I read this together and having someone to talk about it with made it even more enjoyable. (Full review here)

Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink

New Years Resolutions are still in full-swing and this book is a really interesting (and funny!) look at how much we eat and what simple things you can do to keep your eating in check without feeling deprived. I loved this book and talked about it non-stop for about a year after I read it.

How to Celebrate Everything: Recipes and Rituals for Birthdays, Holidays, Family Dinners, and Every Day In Between by Jenny Rosentrach

March can start to seem a little dreary when winter just. won’t. quit. so I love this upbeat book about all the ways to make life a celebration. Jenny Rosentrach is a phenomenal writer, and I would really like to be her neighbor.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Spring break! And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my very favorite light reading. To be safe, I’d bring along the entire trilogy. I raved about this all summer on my InstaStories, and I’ve gotten more messages back with people who were doubtful but picked it up anyway and fell in love. (Full review here)

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding this month, this is an obvious choice. This is a fictionalized version of the courtship of Prince William and Kate, and I read the whole thing in a few days, then went back and read it straight through again. (Full review here)

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

With summer in full swing, this is one of my favorite middle-grade novels about a series of summers that a brother and sister spend with their (possibly crazy) grandmother. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, and a great read-aloud.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I love a Liane Moriarty book for summer vacation because they’re super engaging without being TOO fluffy, and they’re long enough that you don’t finish it before your plane even departs. It’s one of those books where you don’t want to know too much about it going in – the main thing you need to know is that a parent died at trivia night at the local elementary school. Was it a murder? An accident? And, through 95% of the book, the biggest question is WHO DIED? (Full review here)

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

At the end of the summer, after a bunch of fluffy reading, I’m always ready to ease back into some more serious reading with some historical fiction. And this one, about two girls, both working for the British Airforce during WWII, is filled with plot twists, surprises, and just all-around fantastic writing. This one is on my re-read list. (Full review here)

There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith

Back to school, which means education is on my mind. I love Rafe Esquith and his books really inspire me to create a home life that’s full of educational opportunities. Are we all going to be as impressive as he is? Not even close. But there’s still so many ideas here you can incorporate yourself. (Full review here)

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I don’t read very many spooky books, but this one is filled with mystery and atmosphere without being actually scary. It’s the best thing to read as you pull out the pumpkins and hang up some cobwebs. (Full review here)

Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I have food on my mind, and no one writes about food better than Molly Wizenberg. I was completely absorbed by this book about how her husband decided to start a pizza restaurant in Seattle and how it affected every aspect of their lives. After my mom and I read this, we made a trip to Seattle specifically so we could eat there. And it was delicious. (Full review here)

All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know about Getting and Spending by Laura Vanderkam

This one seems doubly-applicable in December to me. On one side, it’s helpful as you work on Christmas presents and think about what will actually bring happiness and what will just be stuff. And on the other end, as you prepare for January resolutions which might include budgeting or habit change, this is a really thoughtful way to evaluate how your money improves your life. Plus, it’s just fascinating. (Full review here)


Happy reading! Let me know if you’ll be following along – I’d love to hear what you think.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Paige Flamm January 3, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I’d love to follow along! It’s nice to have something all laid out and not have to think about it!

  • Reply Rebecca Lately January 3, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    These are great suggestions. I’ve read a few of them. Code Name Verity is on my short list of books that I would re-read. Have you read the sequel?

  • Reply Diana January 3, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Oh I LOVE this idea! I’ve read about half (Lara Jean, obviously…I believe you’ve converted most of your followers on that one) and you picked GREAT months for those so I’m sure the rest of your picks are spot on! And already had The Royal We on my mental list to reread in May, just for that reason!

  • Reply Danica Reads 2018 – Danica Holdaway January 8, 2018 at 8:01 am

    […] book clubs, and then I follow a third book club online. THEN a blogger I really love just posted her book list for the year so… most months have 3+ books. I’m shooting for 3 a month, hoping for […]

  • Reply Torrie January 9, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Fabulous list! I’m seriously adding about half of these to my TBR list on Goodreads right now 🙂

    Caveat: I’m really tempted by Wizenburg’s book (because I quite liked her other one, The Homemade Life, I think it’s called?), but now that I know how their love story ends (if you follow her blog), I think this book just might make me sad. Hmmm…maybe I’ll pick it up and just pretend that it’s not the same person.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw January 9, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      I haven’t kept up with her blog in years, so I had no idea! That just about breaks my heart.

  • Reply Des January 15, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    I’m not super goodreads savvy. What’s the best way to go about following you on there?

  • Reply Nicole February 12, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Just found this so I got both Jan and Feb books and going to try to read them both yet this month.

  • Reply A Year of Reading 2019: 12 Books to Read from January to December - Everyday Reading December 31, 2018 at 1:39 am

    […] year, I put together a 12 month reading guide with books to read each month. I loved picking new and old favorites and trying to match them to […]

  • Leave a Reply