The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Books of 2018!

It is time to announce the winners of the 2018 “The Very Best!” Book Awards! For the first time, I have chosen to restrict the awards to three categories: Best First Book (fiction or non-fiction), Best Fiction, and Best Non-Fiction. I have also chosen to award a small gift to the “notable achievement” books in each category.

It was difficult to choose six books from this year’s shortlist. Very difficult! The shortlisted books are all four and five-star reads in my estimation. Yet, the six winners were standouts in some distinct way: a book that earns a special place on an already overcrowded bookshelf, or one you want to read again or recommend to a friend.

Note that my realm of reading is limited due to the fact I can only read so much in a year. I try to promote east coast authors and small and independent publishing houses. In select cases, I will get books from Ontario and Quebec (and some are 2018 winners), but for the most part, Canada’s Atlantic provinces provide the bulk of the books I read. There are many excellent writers here in the East to read!

This year I have a small, but unique, award to give each winner: a “soap book” which is a bar of handmade soap encased in a specially designed book cover! This gift was generously supplied by Miramichi’s own Clean Suds Soap Co. The scent is called “Miramichi Sunrise” and it has “dewy, green, fresh, fruity florals as well as apple, berries, cyclamen, water lily, rose and musk notes.” I have also added a “notable achievement” prize for each of the three categories: a personal-size bar of Amber-scented artisan soap.

Here are the 2018 winners:

The Reviews:

(If the winning authors could contact me with a mailing address via my Contact page, I will try and get your award out to you as soon as possible.)

Thanks to all the authors and publishers who sent me books to review over the past year! Your Tweets, Re-Tweets, Likes, Shares, etc. on various social media sites were truly appreciated. Thanks, too to Tina at Clean Suds Soap Co. of Miramichi for generously designing, producing and packaging the prizes. Her Facebook page is here:

Happy reading in 2019! My longlist for the next reading year is already stocked with good titles. You can find it here along with past nominees:

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Jennifer Farquhar
September 10, 2018 10:28

I am honoured to be chosen. Thank you so much!

September 10, 2018 11:08

These are all on my list because of you, but I haven’t read any of them yet!
What criteria do you take into account when you choose the books?

Reply to  Naomi
September 10, 2018 11:42

Hi Naomi, I go into the criteria in my original Very Best post, back in 2016, but basically, they are “keepers” and are the special kind of book you would enjoy reading again, and still find something new to discover, fiction or nonfiction. ?

Reply to  James
September 10, 2018 12:18

Oh, thanks James… I will go read that post! (Or re-read it. 😉 )

Reply to  Naomi
September 10, 2018 12:25 Right at the beginning. As I add to my long list throughout the year, I find that the shortlist nominees are the ones that stay with me even after I have read dozens and dozens of books. ?

Reply to  James
September 10, 2018 19:56

Definite sign of a good book!