2018: Round-up of “Best Books” lists (updated)

2018

How did Asia fare in the best books’ races in the English language press? On the whole, it seems better than last year. The following (unscientific) sampling uses a broad definition of “Asian” in it’s selection, but nevertheless, the number of books about Asia, by Asian authors, in translation seems to have increased in the past twelve months, at least as far as end-of-year listings are concerned.

The clear winner seems to be Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata with Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers a runner up.

Click on the title for our review; and see the ARB’s own list of the favorite Asian books from 2018.

San Francisco Chronicle 100 Recommended Books

  • America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
  • Our Story: A Memoir of Love and Life in China by Rao Pingru
  • Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers
  • Godsend by John Wray
  • The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
  • Killing Commendatore by Karuki Marukami
  • The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
  • The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age by James Crabtree
  • Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly
  • Inseparable: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous With American History by Yunte Huang
  • The Last Englishmen: Love, War, and the End of Empire by Deborah Baker
  • The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

Words Without Borders: Favorite International Reads from 2018

  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants by Mathias Énard (to be reviewed in the ARB)
  • Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri
  • Jasmine Days by Benyamin
  • Shatila Stories, Nashwa Gowanlock

NYT 100 Notable Books

Washington Post

  • On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle by Hampton Sides
  • A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    FT Best Books 2018 (multiple articles)

  • A World of Empires: The Russian Voyage of the Frigate Pallada by Edyta Bojanowska
  • Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age by Stephen Platt
  • Red Flags: Why Xi’s China is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

Christian Science Monitor: The best fiction reads of 2018: the Monitor’s picks; Monitor staff picks the best 2018 nonfiction titles

  • Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown by Lauren Hilgers
  • All the Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy
  • The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
  • No Turning Back:Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria by Rania Abouzeid
  • Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948 by Ramachandra Guha
  • The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq by Dunya Mikhail

36 books for history lovers: BBC History Magazine’s Christmas reading list

  • The British in India: Three Centuries of Ambition and Experience by David Gilmour
  • A Business History of India: Enterprise and the Emergence of Capitalism from 1700 by Tirthankar Roy
  • The Indian Empire at War: From Jihad to Victory, The Untold Story of the Indian Army in the First World War by George Morton-Jack
  • The Great Flowing River: A Memoir of China from Manchuria to Taiwan by Ch’i Pang-yuan
  • Lords of the Desert: Britain’s Struggle with America to Dominate the Middle East by James Barr
  • Ottoman Odyssey: Travels Through a Lost Empire by Alev Scott
  • Empires and Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity, edited by Nicola di Cosmo and Michael Maas

World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2018

  • Like a Sword Wound by Ahmet Altan
  • Bride and Groom by Alisa Ganieva
  • Moon Brow by Shahriar Mandanipour
  • The Emissary by Yoko Tawada
  • Ms Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami
  • The Tale of the Missing Man by Manzoor Ahtesham,
  • We, Day by Day by Jin Eun-young
  • Pearls on a Branch: Tales from the Arab World Told by Women by Najla Jraissaty Khoury
  • What We Owe by Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde
  • Printed in Beirut by Jabbour Douaihy
  • The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq by Dunya Mikhail
  • The Lonesome Bodybuilder, Stories by Yukiko Motoya
  • Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
  • One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan
  • Lion Cross Point by Masatsugu Ono
  • The Sea Cloak by Nayrouz Qarmout
  • The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi
  • Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
  • The Invisible Valley by Su Wei

Lit Hub’s Favorite Books of 2018

  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong
  • Ponti by Sharlene Teo
  • Eye Level, poetry by Jenny Xie
  • Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  • If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
  • The Incendiaries by RO Kwon
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Time: 8 Must-Read Books You Might Have Missed in 2018 and Best non-fiction of 2018

Guardian Best Books of 2018 (and here)

  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif
  • The Poppy War by RF Kuang
  • Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
  • The Mezze Cookbook by Salma Hage
  • Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan
  • Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian by Yusra Mardini
  • Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy by Max Hastings
  • Feast: Food of the Islamic World by Anissa Helou
  • Asma’s Indian Kitchen by Asma Khan
  • Caspian: The Elements, photography by Chloe Dewe Matthews
  • Ravens & Red Lipstick: Japanese Photography Since 1945 by Lena Fritsch

The Economist: Books of the Year

New York Public Library: Best Books (adults) of 2018 (100)

  • America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
  • If They Come for Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar
  • Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
  • A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee
  • Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
  • Not Here, poetry by Hieu Minh Nguyen
  • Eye Level, poetry by Jenny Xie

Raleigh News & Observer: The best books and YA novels of 2018 for younger readers

  • Front Page by Kelly Yang
  • Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
  • The Astonishing Color of After by  Emily XR Pan

Paste Magazine: Best novels of 2018 (12)

  • Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

National Geographic‘s 18 Inspiring books

 

Updated on 21 December to include the Chronicle and Words Without Borders.