The 10 best books of 2018, according to the New York Times

The New York Times rounded up the top 10 books of 2018, as chosen by the editors of The Times Book Review.

From a domestic thriller to an ambitious biography of Frederick Douglass—here are their picks and a brief synopsis of the NYT's review.

Asymmetry, by Lisa Halliday: In Asymmetry, a love affair between a young book editor and a geriatric novelist collides with the story of an Iraqi-American economist detained at Heathrow Airport.

The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai: Makkai follows a group of friends, most of them gay men, through the early years of the AIDS epidemic and its repercussions decades after.

The Perfect Nanny, by Leila Slimani: The domestic thriller studies a fatal relationship between a family and their nanny. The novel, winner of France's Goncourt Prize, raises themes of racial and class tension.

There There, by Tommy Orange: Orange's debut model explores identity and myth through the lens of time, poverty, and urban life. A group of loosely connected Native Americans narrate the chapters as they journey from Oakland, California to a powwow.

Read the 10 best leadership books of 2018 (so far)

Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan: Washington Black, winner of Canada's Giller Prize, opens on a sugar plantation in British Barbados. As slavery comes to an end, the characters face new adventures and relationships. 

American Prison, by Shane Bauer: In his book, Bauer, an investigative journalist, expands on his award-winning exposé on a privately-run prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. The book catalogs the history of abuse, violence, and negligence in for-profit prisons.

Educated, by Tara Westover: Westover's memoir has been named a must-read book by the NYT, Barack Obama, and Bill Gates. In her book, Westover chronicles her courageous journey from a survivalist Mormon household to a doctorate program at Cambridge University.

Frederick Douglass, by David W. Blight: Douglass wrote three autobiographies about his rise from slavery to a role as one of greatest thinkers of the 19th century. Blight's biography offers a new look into Douglass' public and private life.  

How to Change Your Mind, by Michael Pollan: Pollan explores the history and science of psychedelic drugs as well as society's changing interest in them.

Small Fry, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs: Brennan-Jobs depicts her childhood shuttling between two different worlds: the bohemian world of her mother, Chrisann Brennan, and the cold, luxurious world of her father, Steve Jobs (Times Book Review Editors, New York Times, 11/29).

Also see: America's 15 favorite books, according to 4.3 million votes


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