My Top 10 Books, Movies, and TV Shows of the Year: 2018

Looking for some book, movie, or TV recommendations? Here are my top 10 favourites of the year!

If you follow me on social media or are a part of my email crew, you’ve probably heard me talk about some of the things I’ve read and watched throughout the year. And when I say “some” I mean a few out of a very long list.

I’m going to share my top ten of the year with you! These things did not necessarily come out this year (especially the books), this year just happened to be the year I read/watched it.

So, nothing fancy here. I won’t be giving a full review of anything, just a sentence or two on what it is and why I liked it.

Also, I definitely did not put these things in an order of any kind.

And disclaimer: I’m not endorsing these things in whole or in part. I enjoyed them, but you may not. And not everything on this list is “family friendly”, so do your research before partaking. (Or shoot me an email, and I can give you some more thoughts!)

Books

1) Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I’m not a super hardcore Nerdfighter, but I do enjoy the content that John and Hank Green put out, which obviously includes John Green’s novels. It took me about two days to read (I know, not my best work.) There was the classic teen drama/angst/romance that you expect from John Green, along with a slightly unrealistic plot (teenagers solving the mystery of a missing billionaire?), but enough real life to make it believable and relatable. The biggest part of the book was the main character’s struggle with anxiety and OCD. It was very interesting to get a little peek at what life with mental illness is like.

2) No More Faking Fine by Esther Fleece

This book was amazing. This book is for anyone who has ever had something crappy happen to them and didn’t know how to heal or talk about it with others, with themselves, and most importantly with God. No More Faking Fine is all about not being fine, how that’s okay, how to grieve and lament, how to relate to God when you’re not fine, and how to move forward.

3) The Silo Saga (Wool, Shift, Dust) by Hugh Howey

If you enjoy young adult dystopian fiction, this is like a better, grown up version of that. The world, as far as we know, is down to the occupants of an underground silo, stretching over one hundred floors down. The outside air is toxic. Life in the silo is strictly controlled, and even pushing against the rules can get you in fatal trouble. This series was all about the search for truth, a battle for what’s right, and what life is really about. I whipped through this series crazy fast and when I finished the series, I still couldn’t stop reading more Howey.

4) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Somehow I’d gotten this far in my life without ever having read this book, so in honour of Towel Day this year (May 25), I finally checked it off the list. Weird...it’s just really weird. But in the best way. Space travel, strange alien creatures, depressed robots, improbability...a classic and wacky sci fi.

5) The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien

It took me a ridiculously long time to finish this book, but, boy, did I feel accomplished when I finally did. Typical Tolkien, with some very long descriptive parts that are hard to get through, but the amazing story makes it all worth it.

6) The Anne of Green Gables Series (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) by L. M. Montgomery

As a child, I’d only read the first book in this series...does that make me a bad Canadian? I committed to finishing the whole series this summer, and succeeded! I loved pretty much everything about these books. The plot is slow and sweet and timeless, the characters are lovable, the setting is picturesque. I love how Anne holds onto her youth and belief in everyday beauty all throughout her life. I love how in the beginning the years pass slowly and then as Anne gets older, the years fly by faster, just like in life. I love Anne’s determination to enjoy life and love others, no matter who they are!

7) Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

I’d been hearing a lot about this book, and I was finally able to discover why. It’s a simple read, but a deep subject. Hind’s Feet is an analogy of a Christian’s deepening walk with Christ. We follow the journey of a young woman plagued by fear and insecurity as she follows the Great Shepherd up to the high places, but she has to endure many trials and persevere through the desert and the forest and storms along the way. It gives an honest look at the Christian walk and delves into the classic question, “Why do bad things happen?”

8) Now We Are Six Hundred by James Goss

I couldn’t really complete this list without some Doctor Who, now, could I? This little book is a collection of Doctor Who themed poems. It has poems about the different Doctors, companions, villains, and even a tribute to the show’s first producer. It’s as fun, quirky, and utterly heartbreaking as the show.

9) Live Fearless by Sadie Robertson

When I first started reading this book, I was thinking that I didn’t really have a personal struggle with fear. But the more I read, the more I realized how much fear really does affect my life. Sadie speaks such truth and hope into this topic, to draw near to God, live in obedience to Him and not fear, and to not try to tackle your fear all on your own.

10) The Prodigal God by Tim Keller

I may have found a new favourite author. The way Tim Keller writes is down to earth, but so deep and meaningful. The Prodigal God is all about the parable of the Prodigal Son, but Keller brings a whole new light to the story, giving an in depth look at the lostness of the elder son and how God has a prodigal heart towards all his lost children.

Movies

1) The Greatest Showman

Musical with amazing talent, incredible visuals, and tons of anthems that keep you singing at the top of your lungs for the whole year? Yes please!

2) Black Panther

Marvel, check. Brother-sister sass, check. Wakanda Forever, check.

3) What We Do In The Shadows

This is the greatest mockumentary since The Office. Get a glimpse into the lives of a group of roommate vampires. I am still laughing about some of the one-liners just thinking about it.

4) Avengers: Infinity War

Possibly my favourite Marvel movie of all time? I love sad, and there was so much sad in this movie. I walked out of the theatre in shock and couldn’t really function for a few hours. So sad, so good.

Read about spiritual warfare in Infinity War here.

5) A Quiet Place

A thriller movie like you have never seen before! In a world where silence is necessary to survive, every nuance of sound used in the movie was meaningful. This was a totally unique movie-going experience.

6) Ant-Man and the Wasp

I realize this list is a little Marvel-heavy, but my movie watching habits lean largely towards the Marvel side, so tough. Ant-Man is a great bit of light-hearted humour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Read about pain and healing in Ant-Man and the Wasp here.

7) Loving Vincent

An animated movie about the life of Vincent van Gogh, in the style of Vincent van Gogh. It was amazing visually and relatively accurate. So fascinating getting a glimpse into this renowned artist.

8) Christopher Robin

Beautifully charming and nostalgic. Bonus: my favourite Doctor (Peter Capaldi) voiced Rabbit.

Read about priorities in Christopher Robin here.

9) DC Animated Movies (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight; Batman: Under the Red Hood; Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay)

I am fitting three movies here because it’s my list and I can do what I want, and they aren’t really full length movies, so if you put them all together they basically count as one. Gotham by Gaslight was Batman steampunk, which I didn’t realize I wanted, but now I need lots, lots more of it. Under the Red Hood had Red Hood voiced by Jensen Ackles...enough said. Hell to Pay (disclaimer: this one had some, shall we say, adult Vegas scenes) was all about the idea of hell, how to avoid it, and who deserves a way out. Sadly it missed the point, but so interesting to see this topic danced around in a DC animated.

10) Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts is Harry Potter for grownups. Crimes of Grindelwald maybe wasn’t as good as the first one, but I still really enjoyed it. Newt is such an interesting character, and led to a very in depth conversation between my husband and I about whether Newt is on the autism spectrum or not, and what an amazing actor Eddie Redmayne is to portray Newt in that way.

Honourable Mention) Incredibles 2

Again, my list, and I’ll fit as many movies on here as I want however I want to. I am a huge fan of Disney Pixar and the first Incredibles, and I think Incredibles 2 did an amazing job with the characters, and catering to the grownup fans who were kids when the first movie came out.

Read about Biblical Marriage in Incredibles 2 here.

Honourable Mention) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This movie snuck in right at the end of the year, so I had to sneak it onto my list! Before I saw it, all I was hearing about it was that it was the best movie of the year - that’s a lot of hype to live up to! And, boy, did it deliver! The animation was incredible, the actors were perfect, the script was so heartwarming and inspiring, the jokes were hilarious, and Stan Lee’s cameo brought me to tears. I might have to agree - this may have been the best movie of 2018.

TV Shows

1) Victoria Season 1

I will watch anything with Jenna Coleman in it (Clara, my favourite companion from Doctor Who). Especially if it’s British history.

2) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 2

Crazy quirky. Completely unpredictable. Absolutely hilarious. Dirk solves mysteries...kind of. He just kind of feels it and lets the universe bring the answers to him.

3) Final Space Season 1

Animated Netflix series. A regular guy who accidentally gets involved in a fight to save the universe, an adorable little alien who can destroy planets, sarcastic robots, and a villain voiced by David Tennant (and tons of other voices you will totally recognize...or not recognize and then be shocked that you didn’t.)

Read about fear in Final Space here.

4) Frontier Season 2

If they had taught Canadian history like this in school, I actually would have learned and remembered something.

5) Gotham Seasons 3 and 4

The city of Gotham, pre-Batman. I know a lot of people get upset at the inaccuracies (which, if you’re a big comic book fan, there are apparently a lot of), but I will always love a show that gives me an inside look at a villainous character (and there are tons in Gotham). The Riddler for life.

6) Jessica Jones Season 2

Possibly one of Marvel’s more obviously flawed and reluctant heroes. Another David Tennant appearance. Good, good, good.

7) Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2

I was definitely into this series as a kid and waiting for the next book in the series to come out was pretty much torture. This show has kept the spirit of the books alive, with the quirky characters, dry and witty narration, and awesome alliteration. Look away...but don’t actually.

8) The Crown Season 2

More British history, the total kick-butt Queen Elizabeth, whom I only gain more and more respect for with every episode, and Matt Smith. An obvious yes.

9) Angie Tribeca Seasons 1 and 2

Obvious, facepalm-able humour in a cop show to make fun of all cop shows. So stupid it’s funny.

10) Daredevil Season 3

I’m gonna say it: this is the best Marvel Netflix original. Hands down. Each season gets better and better. I am fully invested in the characters. Tears were shed. And it is so amazing to see struggles with faith fleshed out on screen, and have flawed, yet positive, spiritual leaders. I could definitely go on about this one. But I’ll just say that this one merits a rewatch or two. It’s that good.

So there you have it, some of the things I really enjoyed this year!

Did you catch all the Doctor Who references?

What were some of your favourites from the past year? Did we share any of the same things? Let me know down below what you really enjoyed this year!

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