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MGPL Staff's Top 80 of 2018

To honor MGPL’s 80th anniversary one last time, we compiled a list of 80 titles published or released in 2018 that MGPL staff loved. 

Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with your favorite 2018 titles.






Hearts Beat Loud (Recommended by Jenny)

“A charming father-daughter relationship, superb soundtrack, record store setting, and running theme of courage makes this movie a delight to watch.”

BlacKkKlansman (Recommended by Marlene)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix only) (Recommended by Chad)

“I haven’t stopped thinking about this six-part anthology film by legendary filmmakers Joel & Ethan Coen. Each of the impeccably written stories has something compelling to say about death, destiny, and the Wild West. Favorite story: “The Gal Who Got Rattled”.

Better Call Saul season 4 (Recommended by Amy)

Crazy Rich Asians (Recommened by Raissa)

“It had humor, romance, and I liked how it was more than a romance story.”

The Equalizer 2 (Recommended by Theresa)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Recommended by Diane)

“I enjoyed this documentary a lot since I grew up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood."

Avengers Infinity War (Recommended by Theresa)

Wild, Wild Country (Netflix only) (Recommended by Will)

“In the early 1980s, a fringe group from India attempts to start their version of utopia in Wasco County, Oregon. Things do not go well for anyone involved.” 

Searching (Recommended by Diane)

"A mystery that kept me thinking while watching."

Christopher Robin (Recommended by Theresa)

The Nun (Recommended by Theresa)

The Death of Stalin (Recommended by Chad)

“This pitch-black satire about Stalin’s inner circle after his death is like an extended episode of Veep if Selina Meyer had been a repressive dictator. A kind of 'slapstick horror' that comments on human pettiness and the fickleness of evil.”

Measure of a Man (Recommended by Bob)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix only) (Recommended by Brittany)

The Greatest Showman (Recommended by Amy)

Black Panther (Recommended by Amy)

The Hate U Give (Recommended by Brittany)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Recommended by Theresa)

The Housemaid (Recommended by Marlene)

The Sweet Escape (Recommended by Natalya)

12 Strong (Recommended by Theresa)

Bohemian Rhapsody (Recommended by Maria)






Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous by Keith Calabrese, illustrated by Juana Medina (Recommended by Amy)

Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A. W. Jantha (Recommended by Raissa)

“For having a new, funny take on what happens after the original film while still featuring original characters.” 

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (Recommended by Brittany)

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss and illustrated by EG Keller (Recommended by Raissa)

“For being funny, sweet, and teaching the importance of treating others with respect.”

The Chapo Guide to Revolution: A Manifesto Against Logic, Facts, and Reason by Brendan James and Felix Biederman (Recommended by Mark)

“A really funny take on politics that from authors who identify with the 'Dirtbag Left'. Their vulgar style is really a breath of fresh air and very different from what you get from late-night talk show hosts.”

Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City by Sam Anderson (Recommended by Chad)

"Probably my favorite book of the year. This is more than just a rote retelling of a city's history. Anderson wraps the Oklahama City's pro basketball team, tornadoes, Timothy McVeigh, city planning, a truly insane founding process, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, and much more into a cohesive, sure-handed, wry, and enlightening narrative."

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake (Recommended by James)

"Book Three in the New York Times best-selling series picks up with one queen ruling the island, while another conspires against her. Blake builds a fantastical world fraught with conflict and occupied by well-developed characters fighting for their own causes.”

The Agony House by Cheri Priest (Recommended by James)

“Priest effortlessly blends mystery, murder and intrigue with her latest release that also includes a graphic novel within the book.”

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Recommended by Brittany)

The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Recommended by Marlene)

How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery (Recommended by Marlene)

Sunny by Jason Reynolds (Recommended by Brittany)

Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture (Recommended by Brenda)

“This collection of visceral, unflinching essays is sure to be canon in every Women’s Studies class, but it really should be read by everyone the planet.” 

She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton (Recommended by Brittany)

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Recommended by Brittany)

"Half-Muslim, half-Hindi Nisha details the trek from her home in newly-formed Pakistan to newly-independent India in nightly diary entries to her deceased mother. This middle-grade journey chronicles a compelling piece of history regarding a timeless concern of humanity. Recommended to lovers of historical fiction such as The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney or Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai."

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell (Recommended by Jenny)

“Sharing her experience of her first pregnancy, Meaghan reaches such a point of vulnerability in her memoir that it took my breath away.”

Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly (Recommended by Jenny)

“This is a fascinating and accessible mix of research and stories on women’s anger and how it looks and is treated in modern society.”

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister (Recommended by Natalya)

Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery by Andrew Shaffer (Recommended by Alissa)

“I fully enjoyed this light-hearted fiction about former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden teaming up to solve a murder. It was an easy read with both mystery and humor!”

The Seven ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Recommended by Jenny)

Groundhog Day mixed with Agatha Christie, this twisty mystery kept me guessing every turn of the page!”

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol (Recommended by Jess)

The Truth About Bears by Maxwell Eaton III (Recommended by Jess)

Little Red Rodent Hood by Ursula Vernon (Recommended by Jess)

Library on Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America’s First Bookmobile by Sharlee Mullins Glenn (Recommended by Jess)

Square by Mac Barnett (Recommended by Jess)

All Summer Long by Hope Larson (Recommended by Brittany)

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (Recommended by Brenda)

Next Level Thinking by Joel Osteen (Recommended by Theresa)

The Bread and Salt Between Us by Mayada Anjari (Recommended by Amanda)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (Recommended by Alissa)

“I found this novel captivating because it spoke of issues about our country’s legal system, using a modern love story as its backdrop."

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (Recommended by Brenda)

“A truly unique twist on the classic crime novel.” 

Educated by Tara Westover (Recommended by Brenda)

“A true story of growing up in a dysfunctional and isolated family that is so unbelievable it seems like fiction.” 

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Recommended by Rebecca)

“One of the most original and exciting fantasy novels I read in 2018; Maggie is a Dinetah (Navajo) bounty hunter in a post-apocalyptic America where the former Navajo reservation is one of the only regions to survive cataclysmic flooding.” 

Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks (Recommended by Brenda)

“One mother’s personal account of the constant risk/reward analysis that is modern parenthood.” 

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Recommended by Brenda)

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Recommended by Rebecca)

“A beautifully written, feminist retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.” 

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole (Recommended by Rebecca)

“A smart and funny romance novel where the meet-cute involves a woman finding out she’s secretly betrothed to a gorgeous African prince? What’s not to love?” 

Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America by Craig Childs (Recommended by Chad)

"Archaeology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and imagination all come into play in this meaty and winding travelogue around North America investigating notable Pleistocene spots."

Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine by Alan Lightman (Recommended by Chad)

"A meditative mix of mind-expanding ruminations on astrophysics, God, philosophy, nature, and the meaning of life. Do not read if you don't want your worldview—or really, galaxyview—bent like spacetime."

Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin (Recommended by Natalya)

Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Recommended by Pam)

“Outstanding and could be read as a standalone, but absolutely stunning when read as the sequel to the author’s debut in 2017, The Dry.”

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce (Recommended by Rebecca)

“Over 30 years after her first book was published, Tamora Pierce’s books are is still a delight. Think Harry Potter but set in Egypt and featuring a cantankerous crocodile god.” 

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Recommended by Brittany)





God of War (Recommended by James)

“A surprisingly poignant reboot that finds the Greek warmonger Kratos struggling with regret and loss while raising a son in the Norse wild lands. An engaging storyline set in Norse mythology makes for an incredible, borderline-addicting gaming experience.”

Battlefield V (Recommended by Mark)

“I thought World War II had been done to death, but this game’s focus on telling lesser known stories (such as a campaign where you play an Algerian “Tirailleur” soldier fighting for France) and that beautiful chaos that is multiplayer make what is old new again.”

Soulcalibur VI (Recommended by Mark)

“A great, easy to pick up fighting game. The game’s character creator is one of the main highlights; facing off against Ronald McDonald wielding a katana or Homer Simpson fielding a donut-esque hula hoop-shaped blade will forever haunt my dreams.”

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Recommended by James)

“Set during the onset of the Peloponnesian War in Greece, Odyssey is an ambitious open world game that effortlessly blends historical fiction with Greek mythology.”

Read Dead Redemption II (Recommended by Alissa)

“This game is awesome. Its open-world graphics are well done and the story is highly entertaining.” 

Critical Role (Twitch/YouTube series) (Recommended by Will)

“The continuing adventures of a bunch of nerdy voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons for 3-4 hours every Thursday, a.k.a. the reason I wake up extra tired every Friday.”

Firepower by Judas Priest (Recommended by Bob)

The Sciences by Sleep (Recommended by Bob)

What is Love? by Clean Bandit (Recommended by Bob)

Expectations by Hayley Kiyoko - (Recommended by Amy)

KOD by J. Cole - (Recommended by Amy)

Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae (Recommended by Will)

“As the universe abhors a vacuum, the Prince/David Bowie hole in our collective lives has now been filled by one of the most creative voices in music today.” 

Everything is Love by The Carters (Recommended by Amy)

The City podcast (Recommended by Will)

“In 1990, a man organizes the dumping of six stories worth of rubble into a vacant lot in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. Things do not go well for anyone involved.”




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